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App Store, iTunes, Apple TV and more experiencing service disruptions

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Apple is currently listing outages for the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, iTunes Store, iTunes U, Mac App Store, and OS X Software Update.
The company says that only some users are affected and currently “unable to access multiple services and stores or make purchases.”
Following the outage earlier this week, which also hit…

10 reasons why Apple is to blame for the decline of iPad sales

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It has been a tough slough for Apple’s iPad since the height of its popularity in 2013. Facing its second straight year of negative growth, there isn’t a consensus on why iPad sales have declined. I believe the slump is attributable to a combination of factors.
Apple CEO Tim Cook called the declining iPad sales a “speed bump” last year before the launch of the 2014 models, but we haven’t…

Apple begins releasing the first set of third-party Apple Watch apps

The Apple Watch is still almost a month away from shipping and 15 days away from being available to preview in Apple Stores, but a select few apps selected by Apple to be available for the Apple Watch have started hitting the App Store today. These app updates that add Apple Watch support include Things, Target, Dark Sky, and Sky Guide, and more apps are continuing to roll out wit…

Review: August Smart Lock provides smart home security features for your front door (Video)

I’m always in the market for new smart home stuff. Just about every room in my house has some gadget or accessory to make things a bit easier. Recently, I moved this smart home mission outside with the addition of Ring Video Doorbell, but now I’m tackling the front door with the August Smart Lock…

I’ve always been interested in smart locks, but there was something about August that caught my…

Wired video abuses ultra-protective iPhone cases, two withstand slams, one even survives falling safe

Most cases will protect your iPhone during regular use, and many can handle accidental drops and a little abuse, but very few can withstand deliberate punishment. An amusing new Battle Damage video from Wired uses abusive tests to crown the “toughest iPhone case ever” from four different ultra-protective models: Griffin’s $50 Survivor, LifeProof’s $80 Fre, Lunatik’s $125 Taktik Extreme, and…

Here are the new Apple Pay decals for business owners [Gallery]

Earlier this week, we noted that Apple has opened up a new web portal for business owners to order Apple Pay decals to promote their support of the service. Now, these stickers have begun arriving to those who have ordered. As can be seen in the image gallery below, the decal pack includes a placement guide, multiple stickers, and a tool to apply the stickers. Thanks, Michael.

Filed…

How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Part 2

As I noted in Part 1 of How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Apple has designed the Mac purchasing process to be easy: pick a model, pick the good, better, or best configuration, hand over your cash, and enjoy your computer. Since most people get confused by tech specs — bullet points filled with numbers and acronyms — Apple downplays them in its marketing…

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Sol Republic Bluetooth headphones $75, 750GB Portable HDD $40, iPad Air 2 $75 off, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+ and Safari push notifications.
Today’s can’t miss deals:

Headphones: Sol Republic Tracks Air Bluetooth $75, Klipsch Image X10 in-ears $80, more

WD Elements 750GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive: $39.95 shipped (orig. $100)

Daily Deals…

Apple Watch launch retail stock to be limited for many models, reservations favored

If you want to buy the Apple Watch model of your choice at an Apple Store at launch, you should consider pre-ordering online or through an Apple Store reservation, sources have told 9to5Mac. Due in part to the number of different models, Apple Watch inventory at many Apple Stores in the United States will be heavily constrained at launch, with priority given to reservations, meaning that A…

Backblaze launches free update, potentially increasing speed of Mac backups more than five-fold

Backblaze is today launching version 4.0 of its Mac backup app, potentially allowing file uploads to happen five times faster. This will primarily be of benefit for the initial backup, which can take several weeks. Faster downloads will also be available when restoring from a backup.
Although you’ve always been able to choose how much of your upload bandwidth the app uses, latency issues meant…

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