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Dropbox for iOS integrates Microsoft Office document editing


As promised earlier in November, Dropbox on Tuesday activated a new iOS app feature that lets users open and edit Microsoft Office documents through their respective apps, with automatic syncing and saving.

While not in-app editing, the latest Dropbox for iOS app links with Microsoft Office mobile titles to open, view and edit files stored in the cloud.

When a compatible Office file is opened in Dropbox, such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, a new “Edit” icon appears. Tapping the button will open the corresponding Microsoft Office app, where Office 365 subscribers can edit or review a file. Exiting the Office app automatically saves the revised version to Dropbox.

Alternatively, files can be accessed from Dropbox in an Office app, with support for the same automated save and sync features.

If users do not already have Word, Excel, or PowerPoint installed on their device, tapping the Edit icon will first redirect to the iOS App Store for download. Following a registration process that involves authorizing Dropbox to edit Office documents, the set up procedure is complete.

Dropbox for iOS is a free download from the iOS App Store, though Dropbox Business users will need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents on mobile.

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Union pushes Apple for better treatment of campus security guards


An effort to unionize security guards across Silicon Valley has set its sights on Apple, pushing the tech trendsetter to stand up for contract laborers in hopes of catalyzing interest from other companies in the area.

In its fight to unionize Silicon Valley contract workers, a regional division of Service Employees International Union called United Service Workers West is asking Apple to support an initiative seeking better treatment of security guards, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Apple’s campus is currently staffed by a security guard force supplied by contractor Security Industry Specialists, which supposedly treats their employees poorly, according to the SEIU-USWW. Chief among the union’s concerns is pay, as these workers have to deal with quickly rising cost of living in and around San Francisco.

“Apple can be the leader,” said Samuel Kehinde, vice president of United Service Workers West. “They can decide how life should be for this class of workers in the valley.”

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson lent his voice to the movement in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month, asking the company to take a closer look at SIS operations. Jackson asked for a meeting with Cook to discuss the issue, but has yet to receive a reply, the report said.

“Part of the narrative of their firm is equitable and first-class leadership,” Jackson said. “As they grow at such a rapid pace, they should have world-class working conditions for their workers from the bottom up.”

For its part, SIS CFO Tom Seltz last year claimed Silicon Valley security guards contracted by his company made an average of $19.77 per hour, not including benefits. While higher than the state average, advocates and unions argue SIS salaries are not enough to account for ballooning living expenses seen in the Bay Area.

The push for unionization is linked to a wider issue concerning a supposed gentrification of the Bay Area, where longtime residents are being displaced by an influx of affluent tech industry workers.

Employees holding skill positions at tech companies like Apple are widely considered to garner lopsided salaries compared to contract workers who perform menial duties, such as security guards. Economic discord has manifested in outrage famously directed at tech company shuttle buses that ferry passengers from their homes in San Francisco to jobs outside the city. The shuttles, which make stops at city bus stops, have become a symbol for activists’ struggle for normalization.

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Early Black Friday: Apple’s current 15" MacBook Pro for $1,699 ($300 off), 27" iMac 5K for $2,299 ($200 off), 13" MacBook Air for $889 ($110 off)


Though Black Friday remains 3 days away, multiple Apple Authorized Resellers on Monday began releasing aggressive door busters on current, 2014 MacBooks and iMacs, all of which can be paired with exclusive deals for AI readers offering free accessories, discounted or free AppleCare and significant tax-savings.

Dozens of early Black Friday deals and discounts are already present on our Apple Deal Tracker and Apple Price Guides, respectively. Among the highlights released just hours ago, some of which are limited in supply at their current prices, are:

2014 MacBook Pros

BH Photo: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.2GHz, 16GB, 256GB) for $1,749.00+ [$250 Savings]
Adorama: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.2GHz, 16GB, 256GB) for $1,749.00! [$250 Savings]
Best Buy: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.2GHz, 16GB, 256GB) for $1,699.00# [$300 Savings]
Best Buy: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.5GHz, 16GB, 512GB, 750M) for $2,199.00# [$300 Savings]

+ No tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.
! No tax collected on orders outside NY NJ.
# Tax collected on all sales.

The Adorama offer can be paired with an exclusive offer from Adorama for AppleInsider readers that offers 25-100% off AppleCare plus a free Apple Magic Trackpad with every MacBook, Mac Pro and non-Retina iMac by clicking this link and applying promo code APHOLIDAYS in the “Payment” section during checkout. Note that new customers must first register for a free Adorama VIP account before adding items to their cart.

Also note that while Best Buy offers this 15″ MacBook Pro (2.2GHz, 16GB, 256GB) $50 cheaper than its competitors, unless you live in NY, your lowest price will still be at BH Photo (or Adorama unless you live in NJ) since it will save you around $150 in tax.

Adorama: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.2GHz, 16GB, 256GB) with AppleCare Magic Trackpad for $1,993.00! [$355 Savings]

! Price after applying promo code APHOLIDAYS no tax outside NY NJ.

2014 iMac Retina 5Ks

BH Photo: 27.0″ iMac 5K (3.5GHz/8GB/1TB/290) for $2,299.00+ [$200 Savings]
Adorama: 27.0″ iMac 5K (3.5GHz/8GB/1TB/290) for $2,299.00! [$200 Savings]

+ No tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.
! No tax collected on orders outside NY NJ.

The Adorama offer can be paired with this offer that throws in 3-Years of Free AppleCare with each iMac 5K order or pre-order.

Adorama: 27.0″ iMac 5K (3.5GHz/8GB/1TB/290) with AppleCare for $2,299.00! [$369 Savings]

2014 MacBook Airs

13″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/128GB) for $889.00+ [$110 Savings]
13″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/256GB) for $1,069.00+ [$130 Savings]

+ No tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.

2013 MacBook Closeouts

Additionally, MacBook Pro shoppers looking for exceptional value can check out a handful of remaining closeouts (limited to existing supply) from BH which are largely identical to current models with the exception of CPU speed bumps:

2.4GHz 13″ (4GB,128GB) for $1,059.00+ [$240 Savings]
2.6GHz 13″ (8GB, 512GB) for $1,449.00+ [$350.00 Savings]

2.0GHz 15″ (8GB, 256GB) for $1,499.00+ [$500.00 Savings]
2.3GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB, 750M) for $1,999.00+ [$600.00 Savings]
2.6GHz 15″ (8GB, 512GB) for $2,199.00+ [$400.00 Savings]
2.6GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB, 750M) for $2,799.00+ [$500.00 Savings]

+ Instant discounts and no sales tax collected on orders shipped to every state by NY.

Stay Tuned For More Exclusive

Stay tuned to AppleInsider throughout the week and weekend as we continue to announce unbeatable, exclusive deals for our readers.

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Facebook details upcoming privacy changes with notifications to users on mobile & desktop


Facebook pushed a rare service notification to users on Tuesday, reminding millions of the social network’s members of updates to its terms, data and cookies policies, advertising systems, and new privacy controls.

Facebook’s new Privacy Basics feature walks users through the steps required to tweak their privacy settings to their own liking. Interactive guides are available for customizing settings in three areas — ”what others see about you,” “how others interact with you,” and “what you see” — that show the process needed to make changes.

The company also reminded users to review changes to its terms of service and policies surrounding the collection of data, tracking cookies, and advertising. Facebook says many of the changes are designed to increase transparency about operations, including:

  • Details about how location information is collected and used when on mobile devices.
  • Information about the new Buy button that allows users to make purchases without leaving Facebook.
  • Explanations of the way Facebook analyzes device data, like battery and signal strength, to improve its apps.
  • Additional details describing how Facebook shares data between its services, like WhatsApp and Instagram

Finally, Facebook will now respect users’ advertising preferences regardless of the device they are on. Previously, opting out of advertisements on a laptop would not opt out of the same ads on an iOS device, for instance.

The changes, which will take effect on Jan. 1, come as Facebook — and numerous other Silicon Valley firms — are under fire from privacy advocates. Recent data leaks and the ongoing revelations of coercion by the National Security Agency have eroded public confidence and brought information security and privacy to the forefront.

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Google’s search deal with Apple expires in early 2015, could bring new default to Safari


The Safari browser for both iOS and Mac could have a new default search partner as soon as next year, as Apple’s current deal with Google is reportedly set to expire in early 2015.

The most likely replacement candidates — Yahoo and Microsoft — have already spoken with Apple’s Eddy Cue about replacing Google, according to Amir Efrati of The Information. It was said that Cue’s decision is “likely to be based on the quality of the product as much as the potential money made from search ads.”

Apple already replaced Google in Siri with the launch of iOS 7 in 2013. Since then, default search results have come from Microsoft’s Bing, though users can audibly request the virtual personal assistant to “search Google” if they so choose.

As for Yahoo, CEO Marissa Mayer publicly stated earlier this year that she wants Apple to ditch Google as the default iOS search engine. She recently successfully negotiated a deal with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default provider in its Firefox browser.

Apple, meanwhile, has been steadily removing Google services as default options from its iOS platform. While iPhones previously shipped with Google Maps, Apple famously — and controversially — switched to its own proprietary mapping solution in 2012. In addition, YouTube is no longer a native iOS app.

Microsoft was said to be in talks with Apple to make Bing the default iPhone search engine as far back as 2010. Users can change their iOS Safari search engine to Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo if they choose, but out of the box the browser will default to Google.

The rift between Google and Apple began to escalate when the search giant unveiled Android, entering it into the smartphone market to compete with the iPhone and eventually into the tablet space to take on the iPad. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was incensed by Google’s moves, vowing to “go thermonuclear” to destroy Android, which he viewed as a “stolen product.”

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IDC: Tablet market suffers massive slowdown in 2014, Apple’s iPad not immune


Year-over-year growth in the tablet market is projected to fall by more than 45 percentage points from its 2013 rate, new data released Tuesday suggests, as Apple is expected to book the first full-year shipment decline in the iPad’s history.

The primary issue facing the tablet market — which is likely to book a growth rate of just 7.2 percent in 2014, compares to 52.5 percent in 2013 — is the lengthening replacement cycle, according to market research firm IDC. Consumers who were expected to replace their tablets every two to three years are instead waiting four years or more.

“The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets,” IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers executive Ryan Reith said in a release. “In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years.”

IDC believes that consumers simply see no need to replace tablets as often because manufacturers have committed to keeping the devices up-to-date with software patches, while the increasing size of smartphones has also caused them to subsume some tablet duties.

The release of 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid devices, which run on Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform, have not helped sales. Those devices are thought to account for just 4 percent of the market, leaving manufacturers to try other strategies for growth.

“We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well,” IDC tablet research director Jean Philippe Bouchard said. “But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting.”

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