TIME

These Are the 5 Coolest Features of OS X Yosemite

Apple OS X Yosemite Apple

These features come free on Apple's latest desktop upgrade

From Apple Pay to Apple Watch — and with new iPhones and iPads launched in between — the tech world has been awash with innovations flowing from Cupertino over the past few months. Less publicized but just as game-changing, OS X Yosemite, Apple’s new Mac operating system, was released last Thursday as a free upgrade.

A major release with an array of features, Yosemite has a lot more than just new graphics and typefaces: the operating system unites Apple’s desktop and mobile devices in ways they’ve never worked together before, for instance. So while you were eyeing that oversized iPhone 6 Plus and ogling that svelte iPad Air 2, here are the five coolest, new OS X features that you missed.

1. Handoff

As fun as it is to say phablets are killing tablets or tablets are killing laptops, the reality is that most computer users are carrying around more than one machine. Yosemite’s new Handoff feature gets these multiple devices thinking like one intuitive supercomputer. For example, imagine reading about the World Series in Safari on a Mac Mini, and then turning to check the weather with an iPad. With OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 installed, you’ll find a Safari icon at the bottom left of your iPad’s lock screen, ready to be swiped and take you to the same baseball story in Safari on the tablet. It’s a fantastically fluid feature that works with an array of apps, from productivity software like Numbers and Pages to personal apps like Reminders and Contacts.

2. Desktop Macs Can Make Phone Calls

It’s almost 2015 — shouldn’t this new feature be old hat? In a way it is; Skype and Google Voice users have been yapping away for years on Macs. But Yosemite uses a new technology called “Continuity” that uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to link iDevices and Macs owned by the same user in order to push phone calls from iPhones to Apple computers and even iPads.

The feature is enabled by default, so it may be a bit jarring the first time your iMac rings. But with all the standard calling features like call waiting, conference calling, and even custom ringtones, it’s a welcome addition to a multi-tasker’s workflow. SMS text messages, not just iMessages, even get displayed in the Messages app, turning your MacBook into a full-fledged smartphone. Still, beware deploying this new feature in an office environment: with computers ringing and people conducting conversations via speakers and microphones, this new feature could get very old, very fast.

3. Safari Gets Private and Secure

Prior to Yosemite, Safari’s Private Browsing mode was the best way to ensure Apple’s web browser would keep your secrets. But this operating system release saw an overhaul of the browser, introducing more security features like a custom history clearing option that lets users clear history, cookies, and other data from the previous hour, day, or two days. In addition, Apple has added DuckDuckGo, a non-tracking search engine that doesn’t store users’ data, to its search offerings. And with Continuity features of its own, a Safari browser running on an Apple computer can not only share its history with browsers on associated iPhones and iPads, but it can also close tabs left open on the iOS devices—a great way to ensure people don’t view the browsing habits on your mobile devices.

4. Edit Attachments Directly In the Mail App

Little bloats a computer’s hard drive more than email attachments, especially when you need to edit them. Consider this workflow: Save the attachment, edit the saved data, and reattach the updated document — that simple exchange turns one file into three, at least tripling the space it occupies on a hard drive. Yosemite’s Mail app lets users make edits to attachments within the email window through tools that allow text to be inserted, signatures to be doodled with the touchpad, and diagrams to be drawn. It’s a small but necessary feature that is much overdue, and offers a convenience that could finally (hopefully?) spell the end of the fax machine.

5. AirDrop with iOS

Speaking of Mail, Yosemite’s Mac to iDevice diplomacy marks the end of another painstaking workaround: emailing files from your mobile device to your desktop. AirDrop is nothing new — introduced in iOS 7, it previously allowed two nearby iDevices to transfer files between each other, wirelessly. But for reasons that only Apple engineers can explain, these handhelds couldn’t send files to Macs — until now. It’s such a simple feature that it hardly feels like magic, but Yosemite’s AirDrop is representative of the overhaul Apple made with this operating system build: Finally, all your machines can interact with each other and it just works.

TIME Gadgets

7 Cases That Do More Than Protect Your iPhone

You already know you need a case to protect your phone from accidental drops and bumps, but did you know the right case can do so much more? Whether you want your case to perform double duty as a wallet or help keep your precious photos private, we’ve rounded up seven cases that go above and beyond protection. Some are available now, while others are coming before the end of the year.

1. iFrogz Charisma Case

ifrogz-charisma-case-510px
iFrogz

For those days when you don’t want to carry a purse but need a credit card and driver’s license or ID, the iFrogz Charisma iPhone 6 case has you covered. It’s made of soft silicone in fun, bright colors like purple and pink. Inside the case is a secret wallet compartment where you can fit three credit cards in separate slots. A built-in mirror on the opposite side accommodates a quick lipstick check after lunch.

Price: $29.99 for iPhone 6 cases on Amazon and for iPhone 6 Plus cases on Amazon

2. Pong Case

pong-iphone-6-case-350px
Pong

The Pong case not only boosts signal strength with its next-gen antenna technology, it also helps reduce your radiation exposure from the phone. It does this by redirecting wireless energy away from your head and body for a reduction of up to 89% below safety limits, according to the company, which verified its findings in FCC-certified labs.

The Pong case protects your phone as well as protecting you, offering drop protection for up to four to six feet in the Sleek and Rugged case styles.

Price: Starting at $51.90 for iPhone 5/5S cases on Amazon; $49.99 for iPhone 6 cases on Amazon; $69.99 for iPhone 6 Plus cases (available starting Nov 17) on Amazon

3. Vysk EP1 Everyday Privacy Case

vysk-iphone-6-case-510px
Vysk

The Vysk Everyday Privacy Case protects your phone and its contents with an encrypted text and photo gallery app. This stealthy case looks stylish in colors like gold, red, blue and black, as it guards against cyberthieves who might remotely access your camera and texts. The case protects your data with the help of an app that encrypts your texts and photos. And if sending all those texts drains your phone’s battery too quickly, the Vysk case’s built-in, rechargeable 3200mAh battery provides a 120% boost to your battery power.

Price: $119 for iPhone 5/5S cases from vysk.com (iPhone 6 cases coming soon)

4. Incipio Highland Folio

incipio-highlan-iphone-6-case-510px
Incipio

Incipio’s Highland Folio is a thin case with a rigid front cover and brushed aluminum finish that protects in style, with colors like gold and pink. Its built-in rear kickstand is a great addition for anyone who likes to watch videos or show demos on the new, larger iPhone. There’s a slot on the inside cover for you to stash a credit card or ID.

Price: $39.99 for iPhone 5/5S cases on Amazon; Starting at $32.18 for iPhone 6 cases on Amazon; $39.99 for iPhone 6 Plus cases (shipping in 1 to 4 months) on Amazon

5. Boostcase Crossbody Wallet Case

bootcase-crossbody-wallet-case-510px
Boostcase

The fashion-forward folio case from Boostcase turns your iPhone into a stylish shoulder bag with a soft leather wallet and suede base. Tuck a credit card, some cash and an ID into the card slots on the inside of the folio, snap your phone in on the other side and secure your precious cargo with the snap enclosure. The Crossbody shoulder chain is detachable in case you want to carry the phone like a clutch, and the extra outer pocket on the back is perfect for quickly stashing receipts or a metro card.

Price: $99.95 for iPhone 5/5S cases on Amazon

6. ChargeAll Battery Case

chargeall-iphone-6-battery-case-510px
ChargeAll

We all know it’s nearly impossible to get through a full day on a single iPhone charge. The ChargeAll case doubles as a backup battery, so you never run out of power. Its 2400mAh battery lets you recharge whenever you need, providing enough power to more than double the life of your phone’s charge. Its slim profile doesn’t add much bulk to your sleek new phone, and its protection is spot on, with a two-piece design and raised bumpers that guard against accidental drops and scratches. The ChargeAll is available in colors including blue, pink, green, red and purple and ships in December.

Price: $59.99 for iPhone 6 cases at chargeall.com

7. HoldTight Case

holdtight-iphone-6-case-350px
HoldTight

If your needs change on a daily basis, get a phone case that you can personalize to meet those needs. Perhaps you want to stow earbuds to take to the gym, then tuck away some cash for a smoothie after your workout or store your metro card for a trip to a business meeting. The HoldTight comes with seven interchangeable bands in a variety of colors. You choose the case color as well as the color of the bands and then stretch them to whatever configuration you want. The website offers design suggestions with names like “The Music Lover,” “The College Kid,” or “Paper or Plastic.” You can also watch a video of the HoldTight in action.

Price: $29.99 for iPhone 5/5S cases and $34.99 for iPhone 6 cases (ships at end of year) at felix.com

This article was written by Andrea Smith and originally appeared on Techlicious.

More from Techlicious:

TIME Companies

Google Inks $542 Million Venture Deal to Fund Mysterious Startup

2013 Google Developer Conference Continues In San Francisco
An attendee tries Google Glass during the Google I/O developer conference on May 17, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The four-year-old firm Magic Leap aspires to blend computer generated images into the physical world

Google and several other leading tech firms have pooled $542 million in venture capital funding for Magic Leap, a secretive, Florida-based startup that is rumored to be working on virtual reality eyewear.

The deal, one of the largest venture capital fundraisers to date, would value the company at nearly $2 billion, two sources close to the negotiations told the Wall Street Journal. Two senior Google executives will join Magic Leap’s board of directors.

Little is known about Magic Leap beyond an eye-popping video of what the company hopes to achieve with its technology: a projection of life-like imagery that seamlessly blends with the physical surroundings. This deal echoes Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that immerses users in graphically rendered 3-D worlds.

Both technologies point to a gamble within the tech industry that interfaces will ultimately break free from the confines of 2-D screens and form more immersive user experiences.

[WSJ]

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone and Android Apps You Should Try This Week

From Flickr to hands-free music control

It seems like hundreds of new smartphone apps pop up every day, but which ones should you bother trying? Here, TIME offers a look at five apps for iPhone, iPad and Android that stand out and are worth a shot.

 

  • Alien Blue

    There have been a series of unofficial Reddit apps available for a while now, but last week the social networking/news website that receives over a million uniques a day sanctioned the official release of a Reddit app, Alien Bue. It’s a clean, mobile-friendly version of the site, allowing users to keep up on threads and receive notifications as well as discover new subreddits. For a short while, users can also upgrade to Alien Blue Pro for free in order to access features like switching between multiple accounts.

    Alienblue is available free in the App Store.

  • Flickr for iPad

    Flickr for iPad App Store

    Although imgur has nearly replaced Flickr on many social media sites, the decade-old photo-sharing site just released an iPad app that offers extensive editing tools for mobile devices. And because of the iPad’s retina display, early reviews suggest that Flickr’s iOS app may be more efficient than using older model computers for light editing. Flickr also offers 1TB of free storage space.

    Flickr for iPad is available free in the App Store.

  • WishBeen

    Wishbeen Google Play

    When Tripadvisor fails and your outdated travel books begin to weigh down a suitcase, WishBeen offers a solution to the most complicated, time-consuming parts of planning a vacation. WishBeen, also a popular travel website, delivers an app that allows users to search, modify, and create travel itineraries, find nearby spots to visit and tailor activities to a budget. Most importantly, travel plans can be downloaded for offline use when Internet access is limited.

    WishBeen is available free in the Google Play store.

  • Hooks

    As football season stats to pick up and a different fall television show airs every night of the week, the hardest part may be keeping track of scores and when new episodes go up on Hulu. Hooks eliminates this strange, 21st century anxiety; it is a task reminder app not for obligations, but for the things you care about and actually enjoy. No more missed parties, no more delayed celebration until you check the final results of your team’s game, no more missing your favorite band next time they’re in town.

    Hooks is available free in the App Store.

     

  • Brainwave

    Brainwave Google Play

    Brainwave integrates the sleek, Minority Report technology of hands-free device operation with Android phones. Brainwave asks which music application you wish to use (it’s compatible with Spotify, Pandora and iHeart Radio, among others), and then allows you to control these various music apps by swiping a hand in different directions over the phone. Not only is it good for the moments in which you need to play DJ with greasy kitchen hands or are serving drinks at a party, but it’s precisely the kind of fascinating technology that reminds us why we’ve allowed our lives to be run by phones.

    Brainwave (beta) is available free in the Google Play store.

TIME Ask TIME Tech

Ask TIME Tech: Best iPad for the Money Right Now?

iPads
The iPad Mini 3 (left) and the iPad Air 2 (right) Asahi Shimbun / Getty Images

A rundown of all the available models, highlighting the differences in search of the best value

Question: I need a new iPad, but I’m not sure which one I should get. Is the iPad Air 2 worth it or is one of the other models a better deal? I don’t really care if it’s a full-size iPad or one of the smaller ones. And I’m okay with spending $500, but if I don’t have to, obviously I would like to save some money. What are the main differences between all of them?

Short Answer: Last year’s iPad Mini 2 is a good deal at $299.

Long Answer: Someone who says “I need a new iPad” is apparently a rarity nowadays, with Apple having trouble convincing people to upgrade their tablets regularly. I’m part of the problem: I’ve been using an iPad 3 for the past million years and it still suits me fine.

Here’s a video comparison of all the currently-available iPads, which contains much of the advice you’ll otherwise read below:

iPad Air 2 ($499+)

If you have $500 to spend on an iPad, the new iPad Air 2 won’t disappoint. Of all the available models — there are now five: the iPad Air 2, the iPad Air, the iPad Mini 3, the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad Mini — the iPad Air 2 has the newest processor, which might help you squeeze an extra year out of it over one of the other models.

Don’t get too distracted by the iPad Air 2’s other specs, though. It’s thinner than the first iPad Air, yes, but we’re talking half of a tenth of an inch. It’s lighter, sure, but we’re talking 0.04 pounds for the Wi-Fi model. The big news here is the processor. The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to sport two gigabytes of RAM versus one gigabyte for all the other models, which should increase performance.

The iPad Air 2 has the fingerprint sensor that debuted with the iPhone 5S, which makes unlocking your iPad quick (assuming you lock it with a passcode) and lets you buy stuff from iTunes without typing in your password. You’ll also be able to log into certain third-party apps with your fingerprint as well.

Finally, the iPad Air 2 uses newer, thinner screen technology that makes colors pop a bit more. Apple added an anti-reflective coating as well. The front-facing camera is a little better than the previous model’s, and the Wi-Fi chip uses newer technology that allows it to connect to certain networks faster. Oh, and you can get it in gold (gold is best) and in a 128-gigabyte storage configuration.

iPad Air 2 ($499+) vs iPad Air ($399+)

iPad Air 2 v iPad Air
Apple

Step “down” to last year’s iPad Air, and you lose the gold option. You get a less efficient processor. The screen is still the same resolution, but there’s no antireflective coating. It’s marginally, marginally, marginally less thin and light. The front-facing camera is five megapixels instead of eight. There’s no fingerprint sensor. It doesn’t connect to certain superfast Wi-Fi networks as fast as the iPad Air 2 does. It might not have as much RAM.

On paper, Apple makes a somewhat convincing case for going with the iPad Air 2 over the iPad Air. In reality, what you’re giving up in order to save $100 might not be all that important. The iPad Air is still plenty fast, plenty thin and plenty light.

iPad Air ($399+) vs iPad Mini 3 ($399+)

iPad Air v iPad Mini 3
Apple

Now we’re going to basically step laterally to the iPad Mini 3, Apple’s newest iPad Mini model. Aside from it being smaller than the iPad Air models, under the hood, the iPad Mini 3 is almost identical to the iPad Air — all the way down to the $399 starting price. You do get the fingerprint sensor with the iPad Mini 3, the gold color option and the 128-gigabyte storage option. The processor, cameras, connections and just about everything else are the same.

iPad Mini 3 ($399+) vs iPad Mini 2 ($299+)

iPad Mini 3 v iPad Mini 2
Apple

Here’s where things get interesting. The iPad Mini 3 and the iPad Mini 2 share pretty much the exact same innards, except that the iPad Mini 3 has the fingerprint reader, the gold color option and the 128-gigabyte storage option. For $299, the iPad Mini 2 is on par with both the iPad Mini 3 and the iPad Air, which makes the iPad Mini 2 a great deal relative to the other available iPads. As long as you don’t care about the fingerprint reader, you’re okay with the space gray or silver options, and you don’t have enormous storage requirements, the iPad Mini 2 is arguably the best bang for your buck.

iPad Mini 2 ($299+) vs iPad Mini ($249+)

iPad Mini 2 v iPad Mini
Apple

Don’t fall for this one. You might save $50 by going with the original iPad Mini, but it’s got a much slower processor than all the other iPads and its screen is much lower-resolution. If ever you had a reason to cough up an extra $50, this is it. The iPad Mini at $250 allows Apple to offer an iPad that can kinda-sorta compete with low-cost Android tablets, except that any $250 Android tablet would almost certainly feature much more potent specs. This is half a marketing play by Apple (“iPad starts at $250!”) and half a chance to clear out leftover inventory of a two-year-old tablet.

If you’re looking for even more info, Apple has a handy iPad comparison page for your perusal.

Related:

 

TIME Retail

Staples Investigates Reports of Possible Credit Card Data Breach

Staples To Close 225 Stores
A Staples store is seen on March 6, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Potentially the latest in a string of high-profile data thefts

The world’s biggest office-supply retailer is investigating reports of a possible data breach of Staples customers’ credit cards after banks detected a pattern of unusual charges concentrating on a group of shoppers.

Staples acknowledged on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation and requested assistance from law enforcement officials, Bloomberg reports.

Reports of fraudulent charges recently surfaced on an independent security blog, which noted that the bulk of the card data appeared to come from a group of stores clustered in the northeast, including seven in Pennsylvania, three in New York and one in New Jersey.

The security concerns come amid a wave of breaches in the past two years against retailers like Home Depot, Kmart and Target. The latter said in August that its breach was expected to cost some $148 million.

[Bloomberg]

TIME Companies

Amazon and Simon & Schuster Reach Deal Over E-Book Prices

The deal follows an impasse between Amazon and Hachette

Amazon and Simon & Schuster have reached a multi-year agreement over the sale and pricing of print and digital books following the online retail giant’s falling out with the Hachette Book Group.

The publisher will set its own prices for e-books, while Amazon will promote Simon & Schuster titles on the site and be able to set discounts in certain situations as well, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The agreement specifically creates a financial incentive for Simon & Schuster to deliver lower prices for readers,” Amazon said in a statement. The deal arrived two months before its contact with Simon & Schuster was set to expire.

Carolyn Reidy, the head of Simon & Schuster, wrote in a letter to authors and agents that the deal was “economically advantageous” for both the publisher and the retailer and that it “maintains the author’s share of income generated from e-book sales.”

Earlier this year, Amazon and Hachette had a much-publicized dispute over the price of e-books. Customers as a result can no longer pre-order Hachette titles on Amazon. Amazon will at some point renegotiate contracts withe other publishers Macmillan, Penguin Random House and HarperCollins.

[WSJ]

TIME Companies

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Says Company Pays Men and Women Equally

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Satya NadellaSpeaks At Company Event
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks to students during the Microsoft Talent India conference in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Graham Crouch—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Verifying the lack of a pay gap is difficult, however

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was criticized earlier this month for saying women should not ask for raises, said Monday that his company pays men and women equally.

“I checked that it is something that we are enforcing,” said Nadella, who has apologized for the earlier remarks, at a presentation in San Francisco, Reuters reports. “We are in fact in good shape. Men and women get paid equally at Microsoft.”

Nadella’s statement is difficult to verify, as Microsoft does not make its pay structure public. Nadella’s comments also seem to contradict data from the site Glassdoor, which reported — based on a very small sample of employees who voluntarily shared their salaries — that men seem to earn more than woman doing the same job. According to its figures, male senior software development engineers earn around $137,000 a year, while women with that title earn around $129,000 a year.

“We have made some progress,” Nadella said during the presentation. “We have a lot more to do.”

[Reuters]

TIME Companies

Apple’s Growth Stays Strong in Latest Quarter

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York City Timothy A. Clary—AFP/Getty Images

Tech-giant reports beat analyst expectations with strong sales of iPhones and Mac computers. Sales of iPads fell, however

Apple on Monday reported a 12.7% bump in fourth-quarter profit, sending shares up nearly 1% in after-hours trading to just above the $100 mark. Here are the most important points from the tech giant’s latest earnings report.

What you need to know: Apple crushed analyst predictions by posting sales of $42.1 billion in the fourth quarter, which was more than a 12% increase over the same period last year. The company reported $8.5 billion in profits, or $1.43 per share, which is an improvement of $1 billion year-over-year. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt recently polled a few dozen analysts for their Apple quarterly predictions and every last one said to expect a record quarter for the company, including average sales and earnings bumps of at least 7.1% and 11.9%, respectively.

In July, Apple’s revenues grew by 6%, but came in just below analysts’ expectations despite a 12.6% bump in Q3 iPhone sales.

The big number: Apple said it sold 39.3 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, which beat analysts’ estimates and represents an 11.6% increase over the 35.2 million sold during the same quarter last year. The fourth quarter included September’s unveiling of Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the company said in a press release announcing the fourth-quarter results that strong iPhone and Mac sales helped drive a record month of September.

Mac sales jumped 25% year-over-year, to 5.5 million, while iPad sales declined for the third quarter in a row. Apple, which just revealed its new iPad Air 2 last week at a product-launch event, said Monday that its iPad sales were down more than 7%, to 12.3 million, in the fourth quarter.

What you might have missed: Apple’s strong fourth-quarter results came after the company’s mobile-payments system, Apple Pay, went live on Monday along with an update to its mobile operating system, now known as iOS 8.1. The launch came on the heels of Apple announcing it had signed up another 500 banks to support the Apple Pay platform. Apple Pay is expected to compete with PayPal and other online systems. The entire mobile-payments market had more than 11 million users last year and could grow to have more than 36 million users in 2016, according to eMarketer.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME legal

Facebook Suing Attorneys Who Pushed Allegedly Fraudulent Case

Though an old lawsuit against it was dismissed, Facebook is going after the lawyers behind it

Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are suing the lawyers of man who claimed in 2010 that he and Zuckerberg had an agreement that granted him a major stake in the company.

Though a judge previously dismissed the claims of Paul Ceglia, a lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court on Monday alleges that Ceglia’s lawyers continued their lawsuit in order to win a settlement despite knowing that Ceglia’s claims were false, the New York Times reports.

“We said from the beginning that Paul Ceglia’s claim was a fraud and that we would seek to hold those responsible accountable,” said Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel, in a statement. “DLA Piper and the other named law firms knew the case was based on forged documents yet they pursued it anyway, and they should be held to account.”

Peter Pantaleo, general counsel for DLA Piper, one of the firms named in the suit, denied the allegations.

“This is an entirely baseless lawsuit that has been filed as a tactic to intimidate lawyers from bringing litigation against Facebook,” he said in a statement.

[NYT]

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