Tenon Intersystems' popular Apache configuration software for Mac OS X -- iTools -- is being offered along with Tenon's Post.Office, at a special bundle price of $740. The limited-time bundle includes David Pogue's "The Missing Manual, an Apache Feather Brooch, and unlimited technical support for one year. For further information on Tenon products and specials, customers are encouraged to visit Mac eXperts Network (Expo booth 2432) at Macworld Expo San Francisco.
Apple shares fell 13 cents to $14.77 in after-hours trading Monday following Merrill Lynch's reinitiated coverage on AAPL with a "sell" rating. Merrill analyst Steve Milunovich said that "Apple appears to be dealing with a thin pipeline for new products and he expects the company to continue to lose market share. Milunovich also estimates that Apple's December quarter sales should be $1.45 billion, or about $50 million below the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call," according to CBS Marketwatch.
FireWire Depot (Expo booth 1443) is showcasing its new 2.5" drive enclosures, FireWire/USB2 combo enclosures, and a number of other products at Macworld Expo. Also, starting next week, it will begin shipping the Speedzter3 and Speedzter5 enclosures with new Oxford 911 bridgeboards, allowing the installation of drives of any capacity. Additionally, new standalone bridgeboards will be offered to owners of old SCSI enclosures. Update: FireWire Depot has also announced three new bridgeboards with write-protect software for Forensic use; new, smaller form factor dual-device enclosures that utilize modified Oxford 911 bridgeboards allowing upwards of 500GB of storage, or removable trays for hot swapping devices in the enclosure.
Strange Flavour has released an updated public beta version of Airburst, its online game for the Mac. The latest version addresses a number of bugs, improves the KidChat mode, and allows player "swapping" without unexpected results. [Site unavailable at time of publication] Monkeybread has released version 3.0 of its REALbasic Plugin Collection. It now includes support for Mac OS X Address Book integration, spell checking and disc authoring. The plug-in adds approximately 3450 functions, methods and classes to REALbasic. Pricing is $80 for commercial use and $40 for shareware, freeware and private use. [Download list] MacFamilyTree 3.3.5 is a maintenance update to the $25 geneology software for Mac OS 9/X that adds an improved 'heritage chart,' fixes several translation errors, and offers more robust 'Gedcom' foreign file compatibility. It available in eight languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, Danish and Norwegian. [1.5MB] Xnet today added Rendezvous technology as well as automatic updates, local file copies, offline browsing, improved downloads, and other enhancements to its Captain FTP ftp client ($25 shareware). Xnet also introduced its new Crocodile Server as the first Rendezvous-enabled FTP Server for Windows. Last week, we noted that Freeverse Software had announced eight new free online virtual board games for the Macintosh. Today, the games became available for download.
ITworld.com reports on a "premature news release" this morning by SmartDisk on new desktop hard drives that connect to Macs using the new high-speed 800Mbps FireWire standard: "The aborted news suggests that Apple may announce FireWire2, or FireWire 800, in his keynote speech at Macworld Expo Tuesday. FireWire2 is the next generation of the Apple-invented standard. It supports data transfer at 800Mbps and is backwards-compatible with computers and peripherals that support FireWire 1."
Charismac Engineering has announced FibreShare for OS X, its volume-level software-based shared storage solution that allows multiple users to share high-speed storage without having to access the drives through a traditional network interface. FibreShare supports both FireWire and fibre channel drive interfaces, allowing users to see storage as locally attached to their computers, while having the ability to share data at the volume level between anyone accessing the FibreShare network. It is expected to ship at the end of the month. (Pricing not yet finalized.)
Owners of Apple's latest Power Mac G4 series are working to increase pressure on the computer maker to repair noisy units.
ePocrates has decided to offer Mac support for its pharmaceutical reference for the Palm OS, reversing a decision noted here last November 2002, according to a note received by MacNN reader Harry Mueller. "We have some great news for you to bring in the New Year. We are pleased to announce that in response to thousands of requests, we are currently developing ePocrates Rx Pro, our premium drug reference software, for the Mac. In addition to including over 2700 prescription medications, over 400 alternative medicines, over 45 tables, ePocrates ID, MedMath and MultiCheck, the software will also come with AutoUpdate so you will be able to access up-to-date clinical and formulary information by simply HotSyncing your device while connected to the Internet. You will also be able to receive DocAlert messages." It is expected to ship in the Spring of this year. The free version is currently Mac-compatible. Meanwhile, The Electronic Drug Reference is a database of 700 drugs designed for students in healthcare fields by a panel of clinical pharmacists. FDA-approved indications and dosage ranges including administration and stability for injectable drugs, precautions and contraindications, drug interactions, and other information is included. The $80 tool is for Mac OS X. [3.3MB]
Version 1.72 of Installgen generates the scripts required to automate the installation of Oracle 8.1.7 databases on 7 versions of Red Hat Linux, automating over 100 Oracle 9i Installation Procedures. Pricing starts at $1,200. The Enterprise edition license also includes the Perl source code allowing user customization of the generated output files. [3.5MB] Riccardo Ettore has released TypeIt4Me for Mac OS X, a new version of his macro utility that automatically expands custom abbreviations as you type. The shareware works in any application. It costs $27, while upgrades are $9. A $7 discount is being offered during the Expo. [Classic, OSX] Webstractor ($100) is a tool that quickly creates editable word processor-like documents, each from any number of web pages. Text formatting, tables and images can be edited, saved and printed as a single document. [site not updated] Stone Design has started shipping StampInStone 2.0, a $50 Mac OS X native PDF watermarking application. It allows users to instantly add lines of text, image, or both to every page of a PDF document. A 30 day trial is available. [1.7MB] Discreet had updated its video encoding software for Mac OS X, cleaner 6.01. Information on the update is not known at this time. [12MB] Carbon Copy Cloner 2.1.2 is a "donationware" utility that allows users to make simple, complete, bootable backups of hard drives in Mac OS X. The update adds features such as synchronization, scheduled tasks, creating disk images on the fly, and creating NetBoot and Apple Software Restore-prepared image sets from fully customized installations of Mac OS X. [700KB] Direct Connect 1.0 is a "community oriented" peer-to-peer file-sharing application. Users may share any type of file with no restrictions. The Mac OS X compatible application is based on an open, user-controlled network. [679KB] Apimac Secret Folder 2.4.2 is a $15 shareware application for Mac OS 9 & X that allows users to hide a folder and its contents. This maintenance release introduces code optimizations and other small fixes. [Classic, OSX] A new web searching technology, DEVONagent, uses a variety of searching techniques (including multiple queries and filters) and collects results, which it downloads, analyzes, sorts and stores into a searchable database. The application will be released in the first quarter of 2003. Spork Software has updated 2 applications, Web Jumper Lite 2.3 and Calick 1.0. Web Jumper Lite 2.3 is a Mac OS X application that searches criteria in any of 34 search engines. Calick 1.0 is a system-wide panel window of all incomplete iCal todo items. Both applications are free. [Web Jumper, Calick]
EZQuest today introduced its new Cobra+ 200GB, 7200RPM FireWire hard drive. The external drive is stackable and ships with Intech Hard Disk Speed Tools RAID level-0 striping software for Macs. It is housed in a light-gray, streamlined case that is fully shielded with 0.6 metal. The Cobra+, which features an average seek time of 8.9ms and a burst transfer rate of 35MB/s, includes a built-in universal auto-switching power supply, a cable and software. The drive ships with two-year warranty for $440. Cobra+ FireWire hard drives are also available in 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 100GB and 120GB sizes.
Hitachi has introduced a new 1.8" hard drive designed for mobile and portable devices such as the iPod. The Travelstar Compact Series C4K40, available in 4200RPM 20GB and 40GB models, will be available in April. Hitachi also introduced a 36GB and 73GB, 15,000RPM Ultrastar 15K73 hard drive in the standard 3.5" size. It features fluid dynamic bearing motors and more. Hitachi also announced plans to offer a 4GB Microdrive, which it says will be the "world's smallest hard drive." Designed to the CompactFlash Type II industry standard, it is expected to be available in the Fall of 2003. Hitachi currently offers the Microdrive in capacities ranging from 340MB to 1GB.
FileMaker (booth 717) has launched a limited-time promotion: Customers who buy the new QuickBooks 5.0 for Mac OS X (as well as any of 5 other qualified products) may qualify for $100 off a new retail copy of FileMaker Pro 6 (or $50 off an upgrade purchase).
Netopia will be improving its netOctopus Enterprise Systems Manager, which is planned for release in march 2003. It will now include a special version of MindVision's Installer VISE, along with a snapshot utility, enabling administrators to build, distribute and execute software packages on all Windows and Mac computers. Other Mac OS X specific improvements will include the ability to execute .pkg and .mpkg files, shell scripts and specify target volumes when executing installers.
Digital Voodoo announced a special pricing offer for its D1 64RT and HD Fury cards. "D1 64RT's sold at the retail price of $4,000 after January 6th 2003, will entitle the customer the option to purchase an HD Fury for only $8,500, while retaining ownership of the D1 64RT. Mac OSX compatible, these two 10-bit uncompressed SDI QuickTime capture and playback cards at priced at $12,000." The offer is available until March 31.
Discreet (booth 2125) today announced it is shipping combustion 2.1, its award-winning, unified paint, animation and 3D compositing software used in films such as Star Trek Nemesis, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and both Lord of the Rings films. It offers resolution-independent, vector paint, animation and compositing functions for multi-format work from the web to video and HDTV. Version 2.1 is now priced at $1000 and is a free update to current registered owners.
IOGEAR has introduced a device that allows the use of one keyboard, mouse and monitor to control multiple ADC Macintosh systems. The MiniView ADC KVM two-port switch supports most displays with an ADC interface (including the Apple 15", 17" and 22" LCDs), includes a LED display for status monitoring, offers simple push-button monitor switching and needs no software for installation. It ships with a three-year limited warranty. [pricing info not available]
Blacksmith's "one-stop charting and graphing solution for Mac OS X", Chartsmith 1.1, adds new chart types, integration with Microsoft Excel, trend lines, and error bars as well as scientific and business chart types, presentation-quality graphics, and support for drag-n-drop features, Mac OS X Services and AppleScript. A demo of the $130 application is available. [2.8MB] The Zipwise zip code database for Macintosh and Windows has been updated with the new 2003 zip code data. Zipwise 2003 ($100) provides the data to perform proximity searches using zip code latitudes and longtitudes. (ZipCodes FM and Weblet ZipCodes provide the complete zip code searching functionality to FileMaker Pro databases, and CDML- and Lasso-powered web sites.) metaobject has released verson 3.1 of its PDF compression tool for Mac OS X. Pdfcompress 3.1 can recompress images at higher compression ratios with a new safety that prevents JPEG re-compression cycles to avoid image quality degradation. It is a free upgrade to the $25 application. [812KB] Arboretum Systems will begin shipping Montage 1.0 later this month. The multimedia authoring tool supports video, images, audio, and text in a "single, infinitely expandable workspace with movable clips that can be freely and intuitively associated, edited and processed in place."
The University of Wisconsin will be showing a live broadcast of Steve Jobs' opening keynote address at the Pyle Center on Tuesday, January 7 from 11AM - 12:30PM CST. The event is open to the public. NC State University (in Raleigh) isalso broadcasting the keynote at the McKimmon Center starting at 11:30am on Tuesday. NC State's MUG (PackMUG) and Apple are sponsoring the event. MacCenter in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is also having a "Live keynote broadcast" event, although only 100 people are able to attend (must register). The live Macworld keynote will also be available on the Internet (alternate) and satellite as well as here on MacNN. Update: Steve Jobs' keynote will be broadcast at the University of Oklahoma, Neilsen Hall, Room A204 at 11 a.m. EST, tomorrow. There will be donuts and the event is open to the public. Additionally, the Macintosh User Group at CWRU in Cleveland will be hosting a similar event, beginning at 11:45 a.m. EST, in the Baker building, room L5 (lower level).
ShortMotion has announced the first of 8 amateur video contests that will be carried out over the course of 2003. The movies (5 minutes or less) will be judged in 6 categories: Most Adorable, Best Pets, Most Creative, Funniest, Scariest and Best Drama. The winner of each category will receive a $500 prize. A $25 entrance fee is required.
M-Audio has released Revolution 7.1, "the first high-definition 7.1 surround sound card providing up to eight channels of professional 24-bit/192kHz audio with consumer-oriented features. Revolution 7.1 allows Mac and PC owners to play DVDs and music in surround sound, experience more realistic gaming, and record or mix their own music." It has direct analog output for up to seven speakers and a subwoofer and supports both 5.1 and 7.1 formats-allowing computer-based surround sound as well as Dolby Digital and DTS pass-through for external decoders on its digital output. The $100 PCI card includes MixMan Studio, Arkaos VJ Lite, over 100 sounds and loops, and a free sampler CD of music.
MacNN reader Charles Vollum notes that the drivers for Canon's CP-100 4x6 Photo Printer cause the Mac OS X Print Center to unexpectedly quit while trying to add a new printer. Canon states that the drivers are not compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.3, but to continue to check for driver updates.
ATTO (Booth 1642) announced it will enhance its ExpressStripe for Mac OS X to include RAID level 1 and RAID level 0+1 in its Mac OS X disk storage RAID software application. The update will also enhance ExpressStripe's benchmarking and also offer the ability to create multiple volumes at one time, as well as options to create and delete volumes. The company also announced that its ExpressPCI FC 3320 2-Gigabit dual channel Fibre Channel HBA will be the first dual-channel card to support Mac OS X, offering users the ability to connect directly to SANs upon the release of ATTO's dual channel Fibre Channel OS X driver. [ship dates not available]
PowerEasy ERP 1.0 for Mac OS X Server 10.2 is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2003. The PowerEasy product "targets the needs of resource planning and e-commerce for small and medium-sized businesses, and will be built on Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) 12.5, and Apple's WebObjects 5.2 development environment. [It] will combine an easy-to-use enterprise resource planning application with the power of Sybase ASE 12.5, WebObjects, Mac OS X Server and Xserve. With pricing starting at $80,000 per machine, the solution will be 20 percent less than comparable solutions on Windows platforms."
Stupendous Software has released updates to two of its iMovie plugins: "Levels & Balances" and "Smoke & Glass," bringing the total number of iMovie effects to 205, including 34 free effects. Levels & Balances 1.1, with 9 new effects, brings Photoshop-style image adjustment controls to iMovie, allowing the selective replacement of colors, the application of film-like color response curves, and more flexible white balance tuning. Smoke & Glass 1.1 with 10 new effects (including 2 free effects) includes effects for a number of animated smoke effects, as well as frosted glass effects and several wavy glass refraction effects. The new effects create vertical wisps of smoke and several new varieties of glass refractions. Each plugin is $25.
Exabyte (Booth 2246) today began shipping its VXA-2 with FireWire, a new version of its VXA-2 tape drive. It provides a native capacity of up to 80GB and a compressed capacity of up to 160 GB, while maintaining full read and write compatibility with the first generation VXA-1 tape drive. The $1,700 drive includes support for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, and is available through all the major distributor and reseller channels.
Atomz today announced Mac support for its enterprise Web site content editor, Atomz Publish. The WYSIWYG Web site content editor is billed as "the only hosted Web site content management system for Macintosh users. [It] lets companies easily create, publish and update content on their Web sites." It includes a free-form HTML editing interface for inserting any standard HTML, as well as images, PDFs, video and audio files, MS Office documents and a host of other Web-standard content.
Sorenson Media announced it would showcase three upcoming Mac OS-X compatible video encoding tools this week at Macworld Expo. The company will demonstrate three new versions of Sorenson Squeeze, its video compression software: Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite, Sorenson Squeeze 3 for Macromedia Flash MX and Sorenson Squeeze 3 for MPEG-4. Sorenson Squeeze is a video compression tool designed to meet the needs of both novice and professional content creators who want to encode and deliver high-quality video on CDs or over the Internet, IP-based networks and other consumer digital dev
Mindwrap today released version 6 of its Optix Workstation for Macintosh with native support for Mac OS X. The new client supports high-speed, high resolution, dual-sided document scanners such as the new Fujitsu fi-4860, with speeds as fast as 73 letter-size pages or 146 sides per minute at 200 dpi black and white, grayscale, or color. The document management software also fully supports image enhancement, form design and processing, barcode recognition, patch cards, and a full set of interactive tools for designing GUI-based indexing and query screens as well as AppleScript for custom workfolows and integration with third party applications such as OCR.
DivXRay 1.1.4 is a "user-friendly movie converter to convert MPEG-2-Program Streams into AVI files by using ffmpeg. It offers an easy step-by-step interface for configuring several movie options such as movie width, format and quality and supports .vob-files including multiple Audio-Streams. DivXRay tries to make the best configuration for the divx encoders automatically." The freeware runs on Mac OS X in English, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. [737KB] Pixologic has released a demo of ZBrush 1.55, which includes "ground-breaking" ZSphere 3D modeling, new painting and sculpting tools, enriched texturing features, and lighting and rendering options such as global-illumination shadows. The $400 application offers 2D and 3D tools and functions, including 2D/3D painting, texturing and sculpting. Budget 3.3 brings QIF file import, a long term planner, currency conversion, a redesigned Preferences window, and a new localization for British English to the $30 shareware personal finance tool for Mac OS X that can also track a stock portfolio, help balance a checkbook and print checks on any printer. It is a free update and the company is offering $5 off during January. [1.9MB] Omicron Software Systems has released an updated version of ToDo X 1.1, a simple, dedicated to-do list application written for Mac OS X. The update provides additional printing options and dock menu capabilities, as well as a number of user interface improvements, convenience features and bug fixes. The $15 shareware supports multiple to-do lists and allows a to-do item to appear in more than one list. [142KB] The BDXmlRpcForWO framework 1.0 is an open-source framework that lets WebObjects developers using build flexible XML-RPC web services quickly and easily: "Applications can expose their functionality to other applications on a network through standard interfaces, enabling them to work together easily. [It] builds on the power of the WebObjects application server by intercepting incoming XML-RPC requests and passing them to handlers registered with the framework." Koingo Software's Password Retriever 4.1 brings ability to rename individual fields for services and support for batch printing to the $12 shareware password storage utility for Mac OS 8/9/X that features encryption support. [965KB]
Destineer will debut an early preview version of Dungeon Siege for Macintosh at Macworld Expo. The Macintosh version is published by Destineer's Macintosh label, Bold, and converted for the Macintosh by Westlake Interactive: "Dungeon Siege is a fantasy role-playing game with an emphasis on combat and action. It is set in a gigantic, continuous, fully 3D world that truly extends in all directions. Players journey from secret underground lairs to towering mountains without ever stopping to watch a loading screen. Players can travel alone or assemble a party of up to eight cohorts." The final version is expected to ship "early in 2003."
ATI today announced that the Radeon 9000 Pro Mac Edition is now available at retail outlets worldwide for $170. Based on the Radeon 9000 Pro visual processor, the graphics card features a "high-performance quad-pipe rendering engine with robust OpenGL support and advanced programmable pixel and vertex shaders...One of the special features is its ability to support two independent digital flat panels simultaneously, including Apple Cinema HD Displays at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200." The card has an single ADC connector, one DVI connector and includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter. It is capable of driving dual CRT's, dual flat panels or combinations of each with the appropriate adapters."
Iomega today released its new Iomega HDD 60GB Portable Hard Drive, a sleek, portable device about the size and shape of a PDA, weighing only 8 ounces. The drive features a 4200RPM drive mechanism, and is available in either Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0, backwards compatible with USB 1.1) or FireWire configurations, with the ability to easily swap between the interfaces. It is now shipping in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, and online for $380 (USB 2.0) or $400 (FireWire).
Channel Storm this week will debut Live Channel 2.0, its TV studio-in-a-box solution. The new version adds a new dynamic interface with multiple window support, real-time compositing of multiple video sources, and the ability to broadcast directly to video (as well as stream live to the Internet). The application offers all the tools and features needed to edit, produce and broadcast live video over the Internet without the need for expensive and complex broadcasting hardware. Live Channel Pro 1.42 is available for $700 (30% discount) at Macworld Expo and will be bundled with a pre-released version of 2.0. All new purchases will be entitled to a free upgrade to v2.0 when released. Demos of both are available online.
XtremeMac made three Macworld Expo announcements today and also noted that visitors to XtremeMac's booth will receive a Show Special 10% discount on all items: XtremeMac's line of Apple-white XwireGold Low-Noise Technology cables has been expanded to include 1- meter, 2-meter, and 3-meter USB 2.0 A to B cables, as well as a 2-meter USB Keyboard extension cable. Desktop-connectivity Cat 5e Ethernet LAN cables have also been added to its existing line of FireWire and Audio cables. The company also lowered the pricing of its iPod accessory bundles by $10. The Get Connected Bundle ($40) includes three audio cables, an iShare Earbud Splitter, a cassette adapter and a FireWire car charger, all in Apple-white, while The Ultimate iPod bundle ($80) includes everything in the Get Connected Bundle and also features XtremeMac's Deluxe iPod case, available in a dozen styles. The case comes with a belt- clip, neck-lanyard, 2 surface mounts, and an earbud pouch. The company is now shipping its UFO (USB. FireWire. Organizer) for Apple's iMac. The $130 illuminated digital pedestal hub sits directly under the iMac and features a cool-blue glowing base and an integrated cable management system that routes the iMac's keyboard and speaker cables under the computer as well as an integrated FireWire and USB hub with 6 self-powered expansion ports.
LiteSwitch X 1.5.1 is a maintenance update to Proteron's $15 shareware Mac OS X keyboard application switcher. It offers better compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and improves support for non-standard keyboard layouts and non-Roman script languages. It is also available in a bundle with MaxMenus for $30. [517KB] Vega Strike 0.3, the popular open-source space sim has finally been ported to Mac OS X: "This is one of the most complete and beautiful flight sims ever created with features ranging from a full score to a plot and storyline that a player can discover after battling foes and cruising through space and making money off of trade routes and missions." [90.8MB] Version 4.0.0b2 of MultiMode OSX adds AppleScript support to the application which allows your Macintosh to decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. It allows you to decode and display morse code, RTTY, FAX, SSTV, ACARS, PSK31, and many other modes on your Mac, without any extra hardware. [784KB] IP*Works! v5 for Mac OS X is a special version of IP*Works! built for native Mac OS X development. This release provides developers with more then 30 components that facilitate integration of Internet functionality within native Mac OS X applications. It provides "easy-to-use programmable components that facilitate tasks such as sending email, transferring files, browsing the web, consuming web services, parsing XML documents, etc." McWare has released McSerialnumber v2.0 ($15 shareware) for Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X, which offers a registration database solution and a development tool to create individual Soft-Dongle-Type-Libraries that can be integrated into any new and existing development software project. Version 2.0 features a new interface as well as new and improved Product- and Soft-Dongle-Master-Code management. Pariahware's ChimeX 1.2 brings back the Classic hourly chime functionality of the Mac OS X. It can speak the time, play an MP3, AIFF, MIDI, or WAV sound, or play your computer's standard alert sound on the hour, on the half, and on the quarter hour. Version 1.2 can now randomly play a song/sound from a specific folder. The $5 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [1.0MB] Gracion Software has released ClickMail Central Directory 1.2, an LDAP directory server for Mac OS that sets up a central email address book that a group of users can access from within their own email programs. The new version improves compatibility of the web admin feature with current browsers, and supports web admin when hosted on OS X (in Classic). The $250 application runs on Mac OS 8/9 or under Classic in Mac OS X. [2.2MB] Sonny Software's Bookends 7.5 is a Mac-only full-featured bibliography/reference and information management system for professionals and students. Version 7.5 adds the ability to create and manage reference groups, customize the reference window listing, faster text entry under Mac OS X, support for Mac OS X Services, BibTeX key generation and export, new reference types, and other enhancements. It is $100 with a $30 discount for students and $20 discount for competitive upgrades. Upgrades are $30.
Now AAPL Stock: 106 ( -0.82 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE