Must Read Bits & Bytes

iPad Air 2 official: 6.1mm thick and Touch ID

iPad Air 2 official: 6.1mm thick and Touch ID

Apple has taken the wraps off of the new iPad Air 2, the world's thinnest tablet and an astonishing 18-percent thinner than the previous iPad Air. So slim, at 6.1mm, you can in fact stack two of the iPad Air 2 one on top of each other, and still have a tablet that's thinner than the original iPad. Still, the upgrades aren't limited just to the iOS slate's dimensions.

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iOS 8.1 release Monday with iCloud Photos, Apple Pay

iOS 8.1 release Monday with iCloud Photos, Apple Pay

This week Apple has made with the iPhone and iPad update with iOS 8.1. This system update will bring several new features to the iPhone and iPad world, including the return of Camera Roll and the first release of Apple Pay for mobile NFC payments with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This system also works with the public beta of the new iCloud Photo Library app and system. This iCloud Photo Library system uses iCloud storage for space - of course, and that might cost you.

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CBS All Access streams against HBO/Netflix with commercials

CBS All Access streams against HBO/Netflix with commercials

Just in case you heard that CBS was going to sneak up on Netflix and yesterday’s big reveal of HBO’s streaming service, think again. CBS All Access, as they’re calling it, has quite a few caveats to get over before it’ll be sneaking up on any competing service. First, and perhaps most important, they’ll be continuing to show commercials during your viewing of shows even after you’ve paid for their service. Advertisements on your already paid-for service. What is this, Hulu Plus?!

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Netflix stock plummets as HBO enters streaming race

Netflix stock plummets as HBO enters streaming race

This morning it was announced by HBO that they’d be offering up their own streaming service separate from Cable TV. That means Game of Thrones. It also means Girls, Boardwalk Empire, Veep, and a collection of AAA movies like Rush, Les Miserbles, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It also means that Netflix will have its first real competition since it went streaming itself all the way back in 2007.

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Android Lollipop guide: everything a Nexus needs to know

Android Lollipop guide: everything a Nexus needs to know

When Google releases a new version of Android, it’s like a celebration for devices of all sorts. Your device might not get the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system in its entirety when it’s released, but you can bet that Google’s innovations in the software will trickle down to you eventually. What we’re doing today is checking out everything Google has in store for the Nexus line of smartphones - their babies. Their "this is what we want, ideally" devices.

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Nexus 9 detailed for Android Lollipop release

Nexus 9 detailed for Android Lollipop release

This week the folks at Google have made a sly deal of releasing their next wave of devices, starting with the Nexus 9 tablet from HTC. This device works with an 8.9-inch display with IPS LCD technology, an 8-megapixel camera at its back, a 1.6-megapixel camera up front, and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 (64-bit) processor under the hood. This tablet will be released in three colors and two different internal storage sizes.

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Nexus 9 incoming: Nexus 5, 7, 10 leave Play store

Nexus 9 incoming: Nexus 5, 7, 10 leave Play store

This morning it’s become clear that Google means to move some inventory in a very short time. As they’ve done in the past immediately preceding the release of a new product, they’ve taken out the Buy button from several of their main products - Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 - to make way for the next wave. What that’ll mean for you is a new Nexus 9, at least, and perhaps a new Nexus 6 to go along with it. The release of these devices to the play store will likely occur this afternoon.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Phablet Refocused

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Phablet Refocused

Samsung can’t afford to stumble with the Galaxy Note 4. The fourth-gen phablet arrives as Samsung wakes up to a new, and not especially rewarding, phase in its mobile life: the discovery that throwing a hundred designs at the market and hoping at least some of them stick no longer has the same sales success as it once did. At a time so fiercely competitive, Samsung can’t count on simply having originally created the Note 4’s segment to commend this latest model. It needs to deliver as much in the hand as its specifications promise to on the page.

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Tesla’s first battery-swap station opening by year-end

Tesla’s first battery-swap station opening by year-end

Tesla will open its first battery-swap station within the next few months, the electric car company has confirmed to SlashGear, offering drivers of the Model S a ninety second way to "refuel" their cars. First demonstrated in June 2013, the battery exchange system eschews even the rapid charging of Tesla's Supercharger network in favor of a wholesale exchange of the batteries themselves. The process would be fully automatic, too, meaning the driver won't even need to step out of the car in order to replenish their charge levels.

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Skype Qik aims to cut down Snapchat, Instagram

Skype Qik aims to cut down Snapchat, Instagram

There’s no doubt now that Microsoft is aiming for the throats of their software-slinging opponents. Have a peek in the Microsoft archive and you’ll see a littering of new, experimental, or otherwise modified apps in the mobile space. Today’s entry is "Skype Qik", an app that takes what Skype has - video communication - and makes it into a much more vibrant and versatile - and quick - sort of situation. Record a tiny video, send it as a message, and wait for a response.

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