Apple began transitioning paid MobileMe customers to iCloud, it used a temporary 25 GB of additional storage as incentive. Apple planned to take it back on June 30, but in fact extended the program until Sept. 30, 2012. That date was eventually extended an additional 12 months to Sept. 30, 2013. Hey, that’s today!No doubt many of you have received emails from Apple prompting you to either reduce the amount of iCloud storage you’re using, if you’re above the basic 5 GB, or pay for an extended plan. I opted to avoid paying and spent some time getting myself back down to 5 GB. Here’s how you can reduce the amount of iCloud storage you’re using.The idea here is to delete stored files until you’re down to 5 GB. You can manage this via a Mac or an iOS device. Let’s start with the Mac.Manage iCloud data from a MacApple’s engineers have placed iCloud management in system preferences. So launch it and click iCloud to get started. The status bar near the bottom of the window shows how much storage you’re using. Click Manage to work with your allocation and storage directly.A new sheet appears. Every app or service that’s got a piece of itself bopping around in iCloud is listed on the left in decreasing order. For many of you, Backups will be in the number one slot. If you have more than one iOS device backing up to iCloud, this will eat up storage space in a jiffy. I had three (iPhone, an iPad and an iPad mini), so I nixed two after making a local backup. Don’t taunt fate by deleting an iCloud backup before making sure you’ve got a good replacement first.Mail will appear on the list, too. The best way to get that number down is to delete messages in your junk folder and Mail trash. Junk especially tends to build up.From there, it’s a parade of apps. Many of these can be dealt with easily. For example, Pixelmator was holding all sorts of stuff that I didn’t need. To get rid of them, I clicked Pixelmator in the source list on the left, clicked Documents & Data on the right and then selected and deleted the resulting list. Poof, gone. Repeat the process with any app in the list.Important note: Don’t delete anything you need! I shouldn’t have to say this, but opening up System Preferences and mindlessly zapping anything in this list is a bad idea. Stop and think about what you need and what you don’t. Is there another copy elsewhere? Could you make one before going nuclear? Think before you click.Manage iCloud data from an iOS deviceThe process is similar on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. To get started, tap Settings and then iCloud. At the bottom of the screen you’ll find Storage & Backup. Give it a tap.Here you can review your total allotted storage, what’s free and the option to change your plan. You can also toggle iCloud backup on or off and finally manage your storage. That’s what we’re after, so tap Manage Storage.The same information you saw on your Mac is presented a little differently. Tap a backup file for fine-grained tuning. For example, you can select which apps back up to iCloud and which don’t. As for apps, tap each one and delete the files you want to trash, and ignore those you’d like to keep. There’s also a Delete All button if you want to wipe everything out at once.As I said before, the most powerful and important tool here is thoughtful consideration. Killing stuff willy-nilly is not the textbook way of doing things.
NFL.com is hosting a Madden 25 player rankings challenge hub, in which users can sort through a list of players every week to decide who is the best of the best. EA says these lists will be compiled, similar to EA’s cover athlete voting process in the past, and used as a resource when the team does its weekly Madden 25 roster updates.The voting challenge also includes a special list of 25 young athletes making their mark on the sport today, such as Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson or Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb. EA says fans are “solely responsible” for determining who the top “Next Generation” player will be this year, as each week in the voting process the top player earns 25 points toward their cumulative season total, second place earns 24 points and so on. Given that Madden 25 will launch on next-gen systems this November, crowning a top Next Generation player through fan voting is appropriate.The fan rankings for the other listed positions won’t have a direct “one to one” impact on the in-game roster updates that happen after every week of the NFL season, but they also won’t be totally ignored, EA says.
Moto X magic happens: a 455,000 square-foot factory in Fort Worth, Texas that formerly manufactured devices for Nokia. From start to finish, these human-manned assembly banks are where your Moto X Moto Maker creations are born, assembled, tested for quality and then shipped off. We’ll have more to come from our big Texas excursion, but for now feast your eyes on this bit of mobile Americana. Gallery: Moto X factory tour | 54 Photos 54 +50
Xbox One will have to submit information to Game Help, a function on Microsoft’s new game console that aims to fundamentally change the concept of user manuals. Developers submit a “help manual” to Microsoft, which then converts said manual into contextual in-game help, either on-screen or via SmartGlass.”You can access this in a couple of different ways,” Microsoft general manager Ron Pessner told Engadget. “In front of your console, you can say, ‘Xbox: Help!’ and then it will appear on the console. Or in SmartGlass, you can click on the Help icon and then it will just tune into exactly what you’re doing and present the right help content for you.”This applies across the rest of the console as well, including Internet Explorer and even the system’s settings. You can say, ‘Hey, I’m in Internet Explorer, where are my settings?’ Okay, well, here’s where you are. Or how do I add a contact? Or how do I add a friend? Or how do I do Game DVR clips? We think this is gonna apply not only to games and game help, but also to applications on the system as well as the system itself,” Pessner said.Beyond the standard uses, it can be integrated into gameplay directly. Should a cheeky developer decide to make a joke at the gamer’s expense for needing help, that’s possible. Pessner stressed that the functionality isn’t intended to dumb down games, nor is it an auto-play system. “We’ve been very thoughtful about how this is implemented or what’s possible,” he said. At very least, it’ll serve to add another layer in our already thorough list of Xbox commands.For more on SmartGlass for Xbox One, head right here!
Distro Issue 107In Distro Issue 107 we chat with Edward Thorp, famous for being banned from casinos in Vegas for counting cards. Mr. Throp published a book on his method for winning at the blackjack tables, and while at MIT, built the first wearable device for beating roulette. We also go hands-on with Apple’s new iPhones, and more. Read on for all the download links.BRIX gaming PC with Haswell hands-onIt seems that every product is adding Intel’s Haswell processor, and Gigabyte’s new miniature BRIX PCs are the latest on the list. Along with updated CPUs, the devices have also been granted with Iris Pro graphics, an HDMI port, Ethernet, four USB 3.0 slots, and Bluetooth 4.0. We had a chance to play around with a prototype model at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, and we came away impressed. Click through for more.Android Central’s Phil Nickinson on the Treo 750 and Gmail dependencyIn this week’s Distro Q&A, Android Central’s Phil Nickinson takes on the Engadget Questionaire. From the gadget he most depends on, his smartphone, to his least favorite gadget, “anything thought up by Blackberry,” Nickinson works his way through our list of questions, revealing his most personal technology habits. Interested in hearing the full transcript? Click the link above and read on.iPhone 5c pre-orders are open: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and other carriers are now liveAs promised today, Apple, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and other carriers went live with their pre-orders for the newly announced iPhone 5c. You can hit the Apple Store to order one on a two year contract through Sprint, AT&T and Verizon for $99 (16GB) and $199 (32GB) respectively. It can also be pre-ordered from all the latter carriers directly. They’ll be delivered on September 20th, the date when Apple’s higher-end iPhone 5s will be available for purchase. Head on up for all the details.You also might like:Editor’s Letter: The secret is outThis is the Modem World: The warm embrace of the machineGold-colored HTC One part leaked in China, we’re sensing a trend here