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Apple Music Festival Brings Incredible Live Performances to Fans Worldwide in September

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Press Release Aug 18

Ten Nights of Spectacular Live Shows Including Pharrell Williams, One Direction,
Florence + The Machine, Disclosure & More

LONDON ― August 18, 2015 ― Apple® today announced that Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Florence + The Machine and Disclosure are among the headliners at the 2015 Apple Music™ Festival at London’s Roundhouse this September. Apple will broadcast performances to music fans around the world for free, which can be viewed live and on-demand on Apple Music. The Apple Music Festival lets fans get even closer to their favorite performers with coverage on Beats 1℠ alongside backstage news and footage straight from the artists on Apple Music Connect.

“We wanted to do something really special for music fans this year,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The Apple Music Festival is a greatest hits set of ten unbelievable nights featuring some of the best performers on the planet appearing live and interacting directly with their fans on Connect and Beats 1.”

Apple Music is a single, intuitive app that combines the best ways to enjoy music — all in one place. Beats 1 is Apple’s first ever live radio station dedicated entirely to music and music culture. With Apple Music Connect, artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or even release their latest song to fans directly from their iPhone®.

“Wow, I’m so grateful to be performing at the Apple Music Festival. The Roundhouse is such a historic venue … there’s always a special energy in the crowd. Thank you for having me!” – Pharrell Williams

“It’ll be great to be back in London and we can’t wait to perform for our fans in the Roundhouse and around the world on Apple Music! See you there!” – Niall, One Direction

“We’re excited to be playing at this year’s Apple Music Festival at the wonderful Roundhouse!” – Florence + The Machine

“We’re super excited to play our first ever show for Apple Music Festival at the Roundhouse, one of our favorite venues in London. It’s also the day our album’s released so that makes it extra special!” – Disclosure

The Apple Music Festival takes place over ten nights from September 19 to September 28. UK residents can apply to win tickets on Apple Music as well as through media partners including the London Evening Standard. Apple hosted the iTunes® Festival in London for eight years, and now in honor of the launch of Apple Music, has renamed the event the Apple Music Festival. Customers can enjoy the Apple Music Festival via Apple Music or iTunes on their iPhone, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac®, PC or in stunning HD with Apple TV®.

The iTunes Festival started at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007, and has seen over 550 artists perform in front of more than half a million fans and tens of millions more online and on-demand. Past performers include Adele, Beck, Coldplay, Elton John, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Muse, Sir Paul McCartney and many more.

For updates, tickets and additional information visit: www.applemusicfestival.com or join the conversation on Apple Music Connect.

To learn more about Apple Music Connect and Beats 1 visit: www.apple.com/music/connect and www.apple.com/music/radio.

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, the Mac and Apple Watch. Apple’s three software platforms — iOS, OS X and watchOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

http://www.applemusicfestival.com/

-Brad

Top 5 Best Selling Cell Phones

It’s the month of Holidays, and shopping for gifts is inevitable. Buying your loved ones cell phones is always the nicest of ideas. So Brad and I have decided to go over a list of phones that you might want to consider as Christmas presents.

5. HTC One
HTC One
When it comes to a gorgeous looking cell phone, HTC One comes in my mind first. Its eye-catching sleek aluminum body with a dominant quad-core processor is like a living beast on your palm. The HTC UltraPixel Camera feature takes up to 20 photos in single command, and the BoomSound feature with a dual frontal stereo speakers powered by built-in amplifiers delivers bigger sound with less distortion. Its BlinkFeed feature makes you go heavier on social networking, and the interactive TV guide will help you to be notified for all your favorite programs in a friendly step-by-step manner. It’s not very expensive and it’s a beautiful cell phone to carry. So if your loved one is into social networking and TV shows, HTC One is the phone you should order

4. Google Nexus 5
Google Nexus 5
Nexus 5 delivers a simple design and showcases a spectacular full HD display. Best par to its display is that it comes in black and white too. Inevitably it comes with rich Google features and specially networking with Google+. Nexus 5 has a solid build and has a long battery life. LTE for multiple carriers, it makes crystal clear calls. And not to mention it comes with an excellent affordable pricing. It’s a very solid phone to carry as it performers smooth and has a high-end specs. If not among other brands, Nexus 5 is clearly the best Nexus phone till today. Fast, stunning, and filled with useful features, Nexus 5 is the phone I’d personally buy to my loved ones, so why not you?

3. Apple iPhone 5S
Apple iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S is easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date. Powered by a next-gen CPU and motion tracking chip, iPhone 5S is also equipped with an improved camera and a clever fingerprint sensor. iOS 7 includes few nice features including AirDrop that comes very handy for file transfers, and iWork app suite absolutely free. Its 64-bit processor is considered as the most powerful processor to date and has a huge potential to become the very smartphone gamers crave to carry. Apple is never cheap and so isn’t iPhone 5S. But if you want to buy something elegant this Holiday, my recommendation will be this beautifully furnished smartphone.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
With its elegant and massive screen, blaring quad-core processor, and refined S Pen skills the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is definitely among the top cell phones of this time. It also comes with a long battery life and great picture taking features. Features such as Air command, Action memo, Scrapbook and S Finder take its usability to a greater stage. In addition to these Galaxy Note features Samsung has added new features such as the S Note that helps you compose and your thoughts easily. And the new Easy Clip feature is a handy addition for instant photo editing. With more improved security features and control, Galaxy Note 3 is worthy of a gift.

1. Motorola Droid Maxx
Motorola Droid Maxx
Even with its high price it’s definitely a good cell phone comes with an outstanding battery life. With a big and colorful screen, Motorola Droid Maxx also comes with a striking design. Feature such as power without the plug, quick camera functionalities, improved voice command, free 50GB of Google Drive storage, and many more are massive addition to this cell phone. If you are willing to go a little extra over your budget, there’s no second choice then Motorola Droid Maxx.

So that’s all for today. Buy yourself something nice and to your loved ones. We wish you Merry Christmas and happy Holidays.

Amaya Ai,
Gifu, Japan

Apple TV review

Well hello everyone, Hanna Silver here. I’ve been asked to do a review of the Apple TV (which isn’t actually a TV, it’s just a little black box you connect to your TV). I feel I’m a good candidate to write this review, as I have a love/hate relationship with Apple. I grew up on PCs (we had a 386 when I was little), but now I’m on my 2nd iPhone, and I have a MacBook Pro (it’s perfect for recording music on). Clearly, I like Apple products, but I hate the company because they put out new versions of old products saying, “look, now you can do this!” like it’s this totally amazing new thing, when other companies were offering those capabilities 5 years ago. Gimme a break!

But, enough about me.

Firstly, if you want to know what the Apple TV actually does, take a look at the official page: http://www.apple.com/au/appletv/ . Then I can tell you what I like and dislike.

When you get an Apple TV, it’s like, “Yay! Woo! …Ok so now what do I do with it?” It’s perfect if you don’t already have a smart TV and you like watching TV a lot. I have a Samsung smart TV, so to begin with, I was comparing the two’s capabilities. I’ll start by listing the good things.

So, one of the coolest things that Apple TV (hereafter called ATV) does is Airplay and Airplay mirroring (i.e. screen sharing). What that means is, if you have an iPhone, iPad or a Mac computer from mid 2011 or newer, you can send any picture or sound onto your tv. (It was only after I got the ATV that I disappointingly discovered that my mid-2010 MacBook Pro is incapable of mirroring; http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5404. The older Macs can only Airplay sound. i.e. I can play music on iTunes on my computer, and have the sound come out of the TV). I’m not certain, but airplay on iphones and ipad may require iOS7 – connect to the same WiFi the ATV is on, and then the option to Airplay automatically appears in the menu when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The airplay works quite well, the picture streaming is smooth. This way you can, for example, on your TV watch ABC iView, or SBS, by doing mirroring with your iPhone or iPad. Also, it’s a great party trick, if you like your parties to be about the television.

If your computer is on, the ATV can access all your music and movie files from your computer (whatever you have in your iTunes library) wirelessly. Also, you can buy or rent movies, TV shows or buy music right from your TV. When you set up the ATV, you put in your apple ID, so purchases just go through that account, which is pretty easy. There’s also YouTube, Vimeo and Vevo for free content.

Of course, one of Apple’s strong points is always how things look. The ATV has a screen saver, which looks great.

The ATV comes with its own remote control (which, annoyingly, doesn’t control the volume), but you can also download an app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, called ‘Remote’ and you can use your iPhone screen like a mouse touch pad. It’s pretty cool.

Next, I’ll talk about things I don’t like. Firstly, I don’t like that you can’t download apps onto the ATV, as I am accustomed to doing on my iPhone, Mac and Samsung smart TV. Basically, you’re stuck with what apps they give you…unless you use a VPN. (A VPN blocks your location so that you can access content that is normally restricted. Eg. In Australia, we are not offered Netflix or Hulu (which cost $8USD per month for unlimited streaming). In Settings – iTunes Store, you can change what country you are in. So if you change it to USA, you’ll see the apps available to US citizens, or UK, or any other country.

I feel like the apps available to Australian citizens are pretty limited. Like I said at the start of this review, “Great, I have an ATV…now what?” Just being able to watch YouTube videos or listen or watch anything from my iTunes library on the TV isn’t so exciting to me. I don’t torrent movies and I don’t want to spend $6.99 just to rent one movie off iTunes, or $3.49 to buy one TV episode. I am a self-confessed schnorrer (if I can get something for free, I am very happy). I’ll pay for stuff, but not that much.

If only the ATV had a browser, then we could easily access ABC iView, SBS and the new TenPlay. (Samsung smart TV has a browser on it.) But, computer says no. Apple love controlling what we can and can’t do. No. Extra. Apps.

So using a VPN (which is fairly easy to set up) and getting stuck into Netflix or Hulu for their small fees may be something you’d like to do to get the most out of your ATV. Using a VPN such as unotelly.com or unblock-us.com costs around $5 a month, or there are free browser extensions like Hola Unblocker for Firefox and Chrome. For the legalities on using a VPN, read this article http://nic.suzor.net/2013/07/22/using-a-vpn-to-access-netflix-is-it-legal/ .

Even if you use a VPN though, there are still some US apps you may not be able to use. Like iTunes Radio, which requires a US Apple ID, or the Disney and HBO apps, which want to know who your US tv provider is, and you have to put in a special code. Other apps available to Australia as well as US, like NBA, require a paid subscription to access.

Ok, now onto the problems that I encountered. Firstly, the most annoying thing that happened was my MacBook was responding to every touch of the ATV’s remote control. I tried pairing the remote with the ATV, but that didn’t help. I ended up turning off my MacBook’s infrared sensor. Problem solved. Info on that: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4513

The other big disappointment was one I mentioned before; that I discovered only after I got the ATV that my mid-2010 MacBook doesn’t do Airplay mirroring. (I was hoping to be able to use the tv as a 2nd monitor, wirelessly.) For info on which computers are capable of airplay mirroring, check this article: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5404 . There is software you can download for screen mirroring, eg. Air Parrot, but I found the stream to be jumpy, not smooth at all. And when I tried to use the tv as a 2nd monitor, rather than just screen share, it said it had to install a driver that had a known problem with my model computer, so I decided against it.

So, final verdict: The Apple TV works well, it’s easy to use and it looks good. It’s up to you whether you think you need one. If you don’t have any other Apple devices, I’m not sure how convenient it would be to use. I hope my little writeup might help you make a decision on whether to get one or not. Leave a comment if you’d like to add to the discussion or ask a question.

– Hanna

iPad Air Review

Now that Apple unveiled their new products, we got our hands on them right away. This time, let’s talk about the new iPad, called iPad Air.

iPad AirIt does look ingeniously simple

First thing everyone should notice is the name change.  It’s not called the iPad 5, it’s not even called just the iPad, it’s the iPad Air. The new name comes with a redesigned exterior, it’s a whole lot lighter and thinner, and while the bezels got smaller too. We can expect better performance, but still the same battery life of its previous models. With more competition than ever, even from its own iPad Mini with Retina screen, the iPad Air will have to be better than it has ever been. Let’s break it down, and see if it really is.

This year’s iPad has an all new exterior design. As previously stated it’s thinner, lighter and the bezels are smaller on the left and right (portrait mode) . The iPad Air is only 7.5mm ‘thick’, which is  a staggering 1.9mm less than the previous iPads (yes, that’s a huge difference, considering how small we are going these days). It just weighs 1 pound, 0.4 pound less than before! You really do feel the difference, it’s great. What’ s surprising is that there is no Touch-ID to be found on the Home Button. It was to be expected they would incorporate their fingerprint scanner in their latest iPad devices, but no such luck (maybe – probably – next year?).  The speakers are on the bottom this time around, next to the lightning connector. A better position than last models, you’ll less likely cover them up while holding the device.

iPad Air
You won’t even feel it’s with you. That’s horrible!

The new iPad has the 64-bit, dual-core A7 chip, which is also found in the iPhone 5S. It has 1GB of RAM inside. We’re pleased to say the iPad Air is extremely fast, it handles everything you throw at it without any problems. The new M7 motion co-processor is here too, but since consumers probably won’t go jogging with their iPads, it’s being used for power saving. It  gets data from the gyroscope, accelerometer and the built-in GPS (for the cellular model). With this power efficient co-processor, the main A7 chips won’t have to wake up, which is a tremendous difference in power consumption overall. Now that the iPad is even thinner, you can indeed feel it getting a bit warm while doing heavy tasks, but it’s never too extreme. As we said in a previous article, apps aren’t yet optimized for the 64-bit CPU, but they are already loading and running faster than before. It’s expected that this will get even more noticeable when apps will be optimized for this new architecture inside the latest iOS devices. The camera is still 5 megapixels, without a flash. The new camera features of the iPhone 5S are also absent, like the burst or slow-motion mode.

iPad Air LineThe patience I had to put up with for a peek

The iPad Air is definitely an excellent device, and it finally got its updated look. Too bad it doesn’t have Touch-ID yet, but they have to have something new next year, right? The iPad Air starts at $499 (16GB). If you don’t mind paying a little more for the best of the best, this is probably the tablet for you!

As always, special thanks to Kevin for his all his support and everything he does to help me going, and Alex for the proofread. Stay tuned for more tech reviews from Brad and me. Until next time –

Amaya Ai, Tech Webcast
Gifu, Japan

Apple iPod touch (5th Generation) review

by Brian Booher

After 2 years of selling with the 4th generation iPod touch, Apple has finally released the 5th generation (5th gen) iPod touch.  Compared to the older model, I can sum it up in one word…..WOW!!!  All right, that is my review.  Thank you for coming by.

Hmm? What?  You’re still here, reading this?  Wanting more about what the 5th gen iPod touch is like?  Oh I guess I could.  You sure you won’t just settle with “WOW”?  This is an Apple product, they say you’ll like it.

But since I must remain neutral with computer products, I will give my full report on the iPod touch (5th Generation).

The iPod touch is a giant leap in technology compared to the previous model.  The iPod touch is a lot closer to being the iPhone 5.  I could say that it is essentially an iPhone 5, but without the phone.

HARDWARE

This new iPod touch is a major improvement over the previous models.  While the width has been kept the same, the length has been extended by about an inch.

As you can see in the above photo, the 5th gen model has a 4 inch screen, therefore allowing the addition of a 5th row of icons and folders.

The new model does have a retina display, but since it has a bigger screen, there are more pixels added to the length.  The 4th generation model has a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels and the 5th gen model has a resolution of 1136 x 640.  Both has the same pixel density at 326 pixels/inch.

As compared to the back of both models, the 5th gen has moved away from the shiny stainless steel as the previous models have.  It is still a metal back, but this time it comes on different colors.  The colors come in black, silver, pink, green, and blue.  Apple does sell a red model that is sold exclusively at the Apple Stores or the website.

In the case of my model, I have the black version.  The black model is the only model that both sides are the same color.  The other models have the white face in the front and the different color on the back.

Camera

The 5th gen iPod touch comes with a huge update to the camera.  Whereas the previous model has a camera that took pictures at a resolution of less and 1MP (megapixel), the 5th gen model comes with a 5MP camera.  The added bonus is that it also has a flash.  There is a microphone in between the camera and flash so you can record videos with sound.

One other feature that has never been on any previous models of the iPod touch is the addition of a tab to attach a hand strap to.  While it is a nice thing to have, it is not a completely durable object.  It is a push button tab that extends up by about a millimeter, enough to attach the provided strap, which is color coordinated with the color of the iPod touch.

 

 

Lightning connector

Unless you have not heard, Apple has changed their proprietary connector for the newest models of iPod touch, iPhone 5, 4th gen iPad, and iPad mini.  It is called the “Lightning connector”.  It is smaller than the older dock connector and since it is reversible as for connecting the device.  Don’t expect thinking this connector will make things faster, as the other end is still USB.  Apple does sell an adapter to connect the old dock connector to the lightning port, but that is sold for $30.  Apple does sell a lightning to micro-USB connector, but that is primarily sold in Europe and coming to Australia.

If you live in the United States like I do, you don’t have the opportunity to get it at all since we have no laws that require devices to have universal connectors like the European Union has.

 

Internals

As for the internal specs of the 5th gen iPod touch, the only major feature is that it has the A5 processor, which can be found in the iPhone 4S.  Although it might not be as fast as the iPhone 5’s A6 processor, I doubt anyone would really care, especially when this is marketed towards kids.

As for storage, Apple only gives you two options: 32GB and 64GB.  The model I have is the 64GB version.

There is also a speaker at the bottom of the iPod touch as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The iPod touch also comes with antennas for Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

 

SOFTWARE

iOS 6

The 5th gen iPod touch comes with iOS 6, Apple’s latest mobile operating system.  As compared to iOS 5, there really is not a major difference between the old and new as for functionality.

One new feature is “Passbook” that is supposed to use your iPod touch or iPhone 5 as a way to use for boarding passes on a flight or coupons or tickets for events, games, and movies.  It shows a barcode that is meant to be scanned and allows you to get on your flight or get into an event or get a discount on items.

Another new feature is Facebook integration.  Now you can take pictures and videos and share them on your Facebook page, without having to go to another app to upload.  Now if only Apple would add Google+ integration, but I think Hell would have to freeze over before that happens.

The other major app in iOS 6 is “Maps”.  Apple decided to move away from using Google Maps and make their own.  While the fly-over feature of 3D buildings and voice directions are nice, it’s not perfect to the point that if Steve Jobs was still alive today, he would probably fire everyone at Apple.

In case you didn’t hear, it turned into a disaster of sorts as many people were complaining of how the maps were not showing the correct buildings, streets, or directions.  It got to a point where CEO Tim Cook wrote an apology letter and said that they will work on improving it in a future update.  To give you a sense of how big of a problem this was, Scott Forstall, VP of iOS 6 and Maps would not sign his name to the apology letter, resulting in his position at Apple being terminated at the end of this year and broken up to other officers.

Siri

One of the cool features of the iPod touch is the ability to use Siri, which is Apple’s voice command app that can do almost anything.  As neat as it is, I have found Siri to not be as fun and knowledgeable as a similar app that I use on my Android phone.  Much like what Apple does with their products, Siri too is in the “walled garden”.  Siri makes sure to not offend anyone with the information provided.  This to me makes her kind of boring because then I can’t ask for crazy stuff, of which I will not tell in this review.  You get the picture.

Camera

The camera on the 5th gen iPod touch is a huge improvement over the previous model, as I stated earlier, but there is more improvements as for the software that runs the camera.

You can now take pictures using the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature.  The idea is that you take a picture and the software will created an over exposed and under exposed photo of the shot and then meld both with the original to make a picture that is supposed to have more detail than with without HDR.

Panorama

A new feature with iOS 6 is the ability to take panoramic photos right from the camera.  Whereas there were apps that did that, Apple did it themselves.  All you do is select “Panorama” in the options and press start and just move the phone from left to right or right to left.  It uses the gyroscope to help with making a steady shot by showing an arrow that you need to keep centered as you move along.

The iPod touch also can record video in 1080p resolution, making it perfect to show on a 1080p HDTV.  If you have an Apple TV, you can stream your videos and photos to your TV to share with others.

Apps

Now that the iPod touch has better features, you can enjoy more of the apps that Apple has to offer in The App Store.  Although you won’t be able to use all of them, since some apps use features only found in the iPhone, your selection is much broader especially when it comes to using camera apps.

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED

Even though the 5th gen iPod touch is great, it is not as “perfect” as compared to the more powerful iPhone 5.  There are some features that just aren’t as great, though they do not take away the fun.

With the camera shots I have taken, I have noticed that the pictures are grainy, especially in low light situations.  You cannot use the flash to take a panorama photo.  You cannot change the resolution of the camera when taking a shot.  The menu of the features is quite limited.

Though things will change in the future, there are some apps that are not compatible with iOS 6.  I have “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and it will not open.  Though the first Sonic game was updated to be compatible, as of November 12, 2012, the second one has not yet been updated.

The speaker is on the bottom, therefore when playing a game in landscape mode, your hand will probably cover the speaker when playing.

There is no hardware that involves vibrating like in the iPhone 5.  I think this would have been great to add since it would make games a lot more fun to play.  If this was a feature that Apple intentionally left out to push people to buy an iPhone, I think it’s dumb because there are a lot of kids whose parents would never want to get them an iPhone since it’s so expensive.  Maybe they will add that feature to the next version.  Hey, they put in a flash for the camera, so anything is possible.

Siri is fun to talk to, but she just doesn’t seem to be as great as what Apple advertised her to be.  I say “her” since it has a female-like voice.

The Bluetooth feature also is not as great as you cannot connect to any non-Apple devices, like an Android device.  God forbid that something like that would ever happen.  The world would probably come to an end, especially for Apple fan-people, if Android and iOS could communicate through something like Bluetooth.

iMessage is only usable when communicating with other people via SMS or MMS only IF they have an Apple device.  You cannot send an message to a phone number that is not connected to an iPhone.  You would have to use something like Facebook Messenger or Google+ Messenger to get with those people.

The lightning dock connector is a nice feature, but I just wish Apple would have gone to micro-USB.  But since they make royalties from their proprietary ports, there’s no way to convince them to make it easy for people.  The Lightning connector is the same size as a micro-USB connector, as I show below.

 

I just feel that people will get confused between the two.  Remember that iOS devices are marketed to people who are not computer geeks like I am, so doing this can bring confusion.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The 5th gen iPod touch is a great device.  It is a major improvement over the previous iPod  touch in so many ways.  Apple has recognized that a lot people don’t want to buy the iPhone and have an expensive phone plan, like me.

I will say that the 5th generation iPod touch is basically an iPhone 5, but without the phone part.  There are some things that I wish were made better, but I am not going to make a big deal about it.

The one thing that puzzles me is that this model is a huge jump as compared to previous model.  I can’t help but wonder if Apple made this version what it is because Steve Jobs was no longer around to tell what to put into the iPod touch.  I have a feeling that it was Steve Jobs who kept the iPod touch to such a low level compared to the iPhone in order to persuade people to make the big jump to the iPhone.  I can understand that it was a business decision to make money, but who would buy an iPhone for a 10-year old kid who can drop it easily or lose it easily?

I know there are a lot of other features that I didn’t talk about here, like the improved headphones, but I think that should be your opportunity to check it out yourself.  If you want to get a 5th gen iPod touch, I suggest going out to an Apple Store or any electronics store near you and check out the display model.  I could talk about everything about the iPod touch, but it’s nothing compared to experiencing it yourself.

If you want to skip driving to the store and just order it online, you can check out all the details at the Apple website.

Click here to go to the iPod touch page on Apple.com

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianBooher

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HAVE FUN AND GEEK OUT!!

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