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This is an entry from our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

Apple TV

iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.

You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.

Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player

Read More | Apple TV

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iPad Air review

Thinner. Lighter. Anyone familiar with Apple keynote events knows that these two words mean a lot to the company. In essence, Apple aims to reduce the bulks of its products, stripping away any unnecessary heft while simultaneously packing in as much power as possible. It's quite a task, really. The company has backed itself into a corner where it's now expected that anything that's a newer version of a previous thing will be smaller, thinner, and lighter.

Back in 2008, Apple did this with the jaw-dropping MacBook Air. Fully a Mac, but so thin you could slid it into a manila envelope. It was hard to believe that a Mac that thin, with a full-sized keyboard and display, was possible when PC makers were all focusing on grossly underpowered netbooks with cramped keyboards.

Now, Apple has done the same with its tablet lineup. Three-and-a-half years after releasing the original and iconic iPad, Apple has now made it almost impossibly thinner and lighter with the iPad Air. Sporting a new, slim design that borrows heavily from that of the iPad mini, the iPad Air bezel has been reduced by over 40%. Thickness has been reduced as well--20% thinner than the iPad 4 at 7.5mm. Perhaps most importantly, the iPad Air sheds almost half a pound of weight when compared against the two iPads that preceded it, all while maintaining the same impressive 9.7-inch Retina display.

So, the question now is, is the new iPad Air worth your time, attention, and hard-earned cash? Read on for our full iPad Air review as we explore Apple's latest flagship tablet.

Click to continue reading iPad Air review


TiVo remote streaming

If you're the owner of a TiVo Roamio Pro or Roamio Plus DVR, out-of-home streaming (a.k.a. TiVo's holy grail) has finally arrived, letting you stream and download content from your TiVo to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad when you're away from home. Even better? You can also access one of your tuners for live television watching remotely as well, so when you're away from home and wanna watch the big game live, you can do so. For now, out-of-home remote streaming requires that your iOS device be connected to Wi-Fi, but LTE streaming is definitely in the cards, set to launch in 2014.

"Until now, your shows have been locked up in your set top box at home," said Jim Denney, Vice President of Product Marketing at TiVo. "Now with a TiVo Roamio DVR, whether it’s a hotel in Denmark, the waiting room at the dentist office, when you’re stuck at the airport, or at the gym, out-of-home streaming gives you the level of choice, control and freedom that consumers have come to expect from TiVo."

Out-of-home viewing requires a software update, which begins rolling out to TiVo Roamio Pro and Roamio Plus users today. If you have a base-model TiVo Roamio, you'll need a TiVo Stream in order to enable out-of-home streaming (support for out-of-home for the TiVo Stream is set to roll out next month.) As mentioned, remote TiVo streaming works only on Apple iOS device, and they've gotta be running iOS 5.1 or higher. Android users, don't worry, you'll be able to get in on the remote streaming action in Spring 2014 (let's be honest, you're used to watching iOS get the cool stuff first,) alongside the launch of LTE streaming.

You can pick up the TiVo Roamio Plus, TiVo Roamio Pro, TiVo Roamio, and TiVo Stream right now on Amazon.


OS X Mavericks

OS X Logo history

We had a few readers email in yesterday after it was announced that OS X Mavericks would be free, a first for a major desktop operating system release. It seems a few of you are curious about how Apple got here, and what the history is as it relates to the pricing of OS X. So, here's a quick history lesson. 

  • 10.0 Cheetah: Released March 24, 2001 for $129
  • 10.1 Puma: Released September 25, 2001 for $0
  • 10.2 Jaguar: Released August 23, 2002 for $129
  • 10.3 Panther: Released October 24, 2003 for $129
  • 10.4 Tiger: Released April 29, 2005 for $129
  • 10.5 Leopard: Released October 26, 2007 for $129
  • 10.6 Snow Leopard: Released August 28, 2009 for $29
  • 10.7 Lion: Released July 20, 2011 for $29
  • 10.8 Mountain Lion: Released July 25, 2012 for $19
  • 10.9 Mavericks: Released October 22, 2013 for $0

So, as you can see, both OS X 10.1 Puma and 10.9 Mavericks were released as free updates, however, Puma was released just six months after 10.0 Cheetah, so that would have been ridiculous if Apple has chosen to charge for it. Other than that anomaly, OS X updates remained at $129 each until Snow Leopard in 2009, which sold for $29. The last $129 version of OS X was Leopard, which saw massive delays due to Apple pulling engineers from it to work on iPhone OS 1.0 (now known as iOS.) Lion was also sold for $29, and was the first version of OS X to be available as a digital download from the Mac App Store. The following year, Mountain Lion debuted at just $19--the best bargain in OS X release history until yesterday, when Mavericks launched for free. The trend has always been that OS X updates would cost the same as the previous year, or less--never more (discounting the Puma issue, which was a huge bugfix patch.) As this point, it appears that OS X has gone the way of iOS, where all updates from here on out will be available for free, on an annual basis.

You can download OS X Mavericks, for free, right now.


Apple iWork Numbers 3.0
Completing the iWork app updates, Apple has released Numbers 3.0 on the Mac App Store (alongside the Pages and Keynote updates), bringing a revamped user interface to the spreadsheet program. There are a bunch of new Apple-designed templates in the mix, as well as simplified formulas, charts, tables, and more. iCloud collaboration is also thrown in, allowing multiple users to edit the same document at once, in realtime. Here's a list of improvements:
  • Stunning new user interface
  • Brand-new Apple-designed templates
  • Simplified toolbar gives you quick access to shapes, media, tables, charts, and sharing options
  • New Format Panel automatically updates based on selection
  • Quickly click through a spreadsheet using new tab navigation
  • Get function suggestions as soon as you start typing a formula
  • Get live formula results, error checking, exact value, and cell format with the new smart cell view
  • Add your favorite functions to Quick Calculations for instant results
  • Search the integrated function browser for built-in help and sample formulas
  • Use gorgeous preset styles to make your text, tables, shapes, and images look beautiful
  • Animate data with new interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • Use new 2D bubble charts
  • Enhanced conditional highlighting makes it easy to automatically highlight cells based on numbers, text, dates, and durations
  • Easily filter through large tables with the new Filter Panel
  • New star ratings cell format
  • Quickly and easily share a link to your work via Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook
  • Anyone with the link will always have access to the latest version of the spreadsheet and can edit it with you at iCloud.com with Numbers for iCloud beta
  • All-new calculation engine for fast performance
  • New unified file format across Mac, iOS, and web makes spreadsheets work seamlessly everywhere
  • Turn on Coaching Tips for guided in-app help

You can download the new Numbers for free if you're an existing user, or get it for $19.99 if you're a first timer.

Be sure to check out all the rest of the news from the Apple iPad event!


Apple Keynote 6.0

Apple has released a major update to its Keynote presentation software today, as part of a greater software push release in conjunction with today's Apple iPad event. There are a bunch of new themes and animations to be found, as well as deeper iCloud integration that allows for simultaneous collaboration. Here's a rundown of all the new features found in Keynote 6.0:

  • Stunning new user interface
  • Brand-new Apple-designed themes
  • Simplified toolbar gives you quick access to shapes, media, tables, charts, and sharing options
  • New Format Panel automatically updates based on selection
  • New and updated cinematic transitions and animations
  • Updated Magic Move animations
  • New Emphasis build animations
  • Centered canvas for greater layout control
  • Use gorgeous preset styles to make your text, tables, shapes, and images look beautiful
  • Animate data with new interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • Use new 2D bubble charts
  • Quickly and easily share a link to your work via Mail, Messages, Twitter or Facebook
  • Anyone with the link will always have access to the latest version of the presentation and can edit it with you at iCloud.com with Keynote for iCloud beta
  • New unified file format across the Mac, iOS, and the web makes presentations work seamlessly everywhere
  • Turn on Coaching Tips for guided in-app help

You can download the new Keynote now for free if you're an existing user, otherwise you can buy Keynote for $19.99.


Apple Pages 5.0 iwork

Apple has updated Pages to version 5.0 as part of a bunch of refreshed iWork and iLife updates in conjunction with its Apple iPad event today. Apple's word processor sees a host of new features integrated, including new writing tools, better performance, and a new design with a bunch of Apple-designed templates. Deep iCloud integration is here as well, allowing you to access yoru documents across all your OS X and iOS devices. Here's the full list of what's new in Pages:

  • Stunning new user interface
  • Over 60 Apple-designed templates
  • Simplified toolbar gives you quick access to shapes, media, tables, charts, and sharing options
  • New Format Panel automatically updates based on selection
  • Enhanced change tracking, comments, and highlights; show and hide changes and comments on mouse-over
  • Animate data with new interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • Use gorgeous preset styles to make your text, tables, shapes, and images look beautiful
  • Easy setup for headers, footers, and document body
  • Use new 2D bubble charts
  • Enhanced conditional highlighting makes it easy to automatically highlight cells based on numbers, text, dates, and durations
  • Quickly and easily share a link to your work via Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook
  • Anyone with a shared document link will always have access to the latest version of the document and can edit it with you at iCloud.com
  • Access and edit documents from iCloud.com using Pages for iCloud beta
  • New unified file format across the Mac, iOS, and the web makes documents work seamlessly everywhere
  • Turn on Coaching Tips for guided in-app help
  • Pages is now available in Arabic and Hebrew
  • Improved support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean

You can download Pages now for free if you've purchased a Mac on or after October 1, 2013, otherwise you can grab it for $19.99.


iMovie 10.0

Up next for today's Apple software updates coming out of the Apple iPad event is iMovie. iMovie sees a redesign, and also bring in a bunch of iCloud functionality, allowing you iMovie content to be found and played back on your iOS devices, and Apple TV. Here's the full list of what's new:

  • All-new, streamlined design
  • Share clips, movies, and trailers to iMovie Theater and watch them anywhere
  • Video browsing mode with quick clip sharing
  • Adjustments Bar for easy access to video and audio controls
  • 16 new title styles
  • 14 new trailer templates from iMovie for iOS
  • Eight new movie themes from iMovie for iOS
  • Use photos in trailers
  • Plus button for quickly adding clips to your movie
  • Trim video and audio clips directly in the timeline
  • Simplified drag and drop for picture-in-picture, side-by-side, green screen, and audio-only effects
  • One-click Enhance for video and audio
  • Adjust shadows, highlights, and color temperature
  • Match the color of two clips
  • Ken Burns Effect for panorama photos
  • Improved video stabilization
  • Enhanced green screen and blue screen effect
  • Volume-aware audio ducking
  • Speed change controls in the timeline
  • Add just a portion of a song from iTunes to your movie
  • Email video clips and projects
  • Sharing support for Youku and Tudou
  • Import, analyze, and share clips in the background
  • Native support for AVCHD video
  • 64-bit support

You can find the iMovie update in the Mac App Store for free if you're an existing user. If not, you can buy iMovie for $14.99.


iPhoto 9.5 '11

As announced during this morning's Apple iPad event, the company is also updating its entire suite of creative and productivity apps across OS X and iOS. First up, iPhoto, which is bumped to version 9.5. Below is a list of what's new:

  • 64-bit support
  • The Places feature now uses Apple maps to display photo locations
  • Adds support for iCloud Photo Sharing, including the ability to post videos to shared photo streams and the ability to have multiple subscribers contribute to a shared stream
  • Adds support for iOS 7 camera filters applied to photos imported from iOS devices
  • Includes a new, streamlined interface for printing
  • Replaces the Create menu with an updated Share menu providing access to all sharing options, including print products such as books, cards and calendars
  • Fixes an issue that could cause iPhoto to quit unexpectedly when sharing an edited photo from a MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • Addresses an issue that could cause iPhoto to show incorrect file type and size information for imported TIFF and PSD files
  • Comment sheet now appears correctly when sharing multiple photos to a new or existing photo stream
  • Fixes an issue that caused photos with specific color profiles to display incorrectly on iOS devices after being shared via iCloud
  • Captions instead of version names are now synced between iPhoto and Facebook for newly-created albums
  • Privacy settings can now be managed when sharing photos from iPhoto to a Facebook Timeline
  • Videos up to three minutes long can now be shared to Flickr
  • Addresses an issue that could cause photos synced to iPhoto from Flickr to appear rotated incorrectly
  • Fixes an issue that could cause photos synced to iPhoto from Facebook or Flickr to be duplicated and reposted
  • URLs in the photo comments field can now be clicked to open the corresponding links
  • Improves reliability when working with custom locations in the Places feature
  • Improves reliability when copying and pasting photos to a new event
  • When a single photo is selected in an album, clicking the Trash button in the contextual menu now removes the photo from the album rather than from the library
  • Includes stability and performance improvements

You can download the new iPhoto now. If you're an existing user, the update is free. If not, you can download it for $14.99.

Read More | iPhoto '11

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