Must Read Bits & Bytes

Nexus 9 vs iPad Air 2 vs Mini 3: Release Day

Nexus 9 vs iPad Air 2 vs Mini 3: Release Day

There’s a collection of tablets appearing on the market today - two from Apple, the other from Google and manufactured by HTC. These tablets are amongst the thinnest, highest-powered, and finest tablets ever made. But supposing you’re going to get one of them - which one do you choose? We’re not going to make it that easy for you - but we will tell you the differences between the three. And there's a tablet made by NVIDIA in the mix as well - released previously, but still very much in this competition.

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Could a thumb-scanning MasterCard sideline Apple Pay?

Could a thumb-scanning MasterCard sideline Apple Pay?

Apple Pay isn't the only next-gen payments system hoping to use your thumbprint to authorize spending, with MasterCard and Zwipe teaming up on a new credit or debit card that has an integrated fingerprint scanner for more security contactless payments. Set to launch in 2015, the Zwipe MasterCard looks at first glance like a regular slice of plastic as you probably already have in your wallet, but rather than demanding you punch in a PIN code or even do something so archaic as put your signature on a receipt, the system instead automatically scans your fingerprint and uses that to authenticate that the right person is making a purchase.

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iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — should you upgrade?

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — should you upgrade?

With two new iPad models being announced today, there’s one overriding question: should I upgrade? If you’re reading this on an iPad, you might be wondering if it’s worth plopping down some cash at the Apple Store for a new iPad Air or iPad mini. There’s a lot of cool stuff, but the top-end 128GB iPad Air 2 with cellular connectivity starts creeping into the Macbook Air price range. That’s a lot of cash, especially if you’ve got an iPad you’re happy with.

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Retina iMac hands-on: Tim Cook explains the “Wow!”

Retina iMac hands-on: Tim Cook explains the “Wow!”

The iMac has always had a certain wow-factor, particularly in its most recent design iteration with its 5mm-thick body, but pair that with the new Retina 5K Display and you have an even more eye-catching machine. Announced at Apple's event this morning, the iMac has a whopping 5120 x 2880 display for a huge 14.7m pixels, and while that means you can't see them individually, check out after the cut for the sum impact... with a surprise interruption from Apple CEO Tim Cook to tell me about the new all-in-one's "wow" factor.

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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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