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iCloud users should feel a little safer while sending email this week, as 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple now encrypts all digital missives sent between email providers. Cupertino confirmed such a change was in the works last month after a report surfaced outlining security flaws with major email services. But that's only the beginning of what we have on deck for our Thursday recap, so read on...
Well, that was quick: On Tuesday, we reported that Apple had debuted a new Passbook feature called iTunes Pass, but only in Japan — and now the feature is live for the rest of the world as well. By visiting the iTunes Store or App Store app from an iPhone or iPod touch and tapping the Redeem button, shoppers will now see an option at the bottom to add iTunes Pass to Passbook, which allows easy refill of iTunes Store credit from any Apple retail location, no gift card required. It's not quite the full-featured mobile payment service of our dreams, but could be a baby step into the future.
GigaOM reported Wednesday that avid ebook readers may soon have plenty to get excited about now that Amazon has mistakenly leaked a new $9.99 per month subscription service entitled Kindle Unlimited on their website. Offering access to more than 600,000 ebooks along with more than 7,000 Whispersync for Voice-activated audiobook titles, the service appears to be going head-on with existing rivals Scribd and Oyster, although at this writing major publishers including Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins appear to be a no-show. No word on when the service might actually launch, although the pieces and parts seem to already be in place.
Step aside, Otterbox: Logitech is getting into the heavy-duty case market this week with the $34.99 Protection+ for iPhone 5/5s. Available in Winter White, Gunmetal Black, Scarlett Plum or Pacific Blue colors, the Protection+ cases feature an "ultra-protective outer shell" with shock-absorbent corners that exceed military drop standards — even from heights as much as 1.8 meters. A hidden metal plate in the back of the case allows for seamless compatibility with Logitech+ mounts, including a nifty car mount where the iPhone can magnetically snap into place. Logitech is now accepting preorders for Protection+, which will be available next month in the U.S. and Europe.
Prefer to be known by an alias? Up until now, that was a no-no on Google+, but the "me too" social network had a change of heart this week, lifting a previous restriction that required using your real name on the service. "We hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be," the service announced in — where else? — a Google+ post on Tuesday. Will it help stave off the ever-present threat of Facebook? Only time will tell.
The OneDrive Blog announced Wednesday that the new-and-improved storage capacities Microsoft teased a few weeks back are now available to end users, with free accounts bumped from 7GB to 15GB and Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriptions taking a huge leap from 20GB to a full 1TB of additional storage. (The same 1TB also applies to OneDrive for Business users, who previously received only 25GB.) Better yet, paid additional storage just got cheaper, starting at only $1.99 per month for 100GB. Microsoft has tapped into its own Azure cloud service to add another 10 petabytes of capacity for OneDrive, so get out there and start filling it up, folks.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter