MacNN readers have posted photos from the Grand Opening of the Chicago Store. "AKMA" has also posted "photos of the line around the Chicago Apple Store and a few interior shots at my dot-Mac site" (as well as a few comments in his blog). The Chicago Sun-Times, also covering the opening, talks about the detrimental effect of the Apple Store on Apple dealers in the area and other retailers, noting that "an announcement may made soon about an Apple store that will have a direct impact on his Evanston business." [updated]
MacProf has published Face to face with the new G5: "We have published another interesting picture gallery with comments of the new G5 with many interesting news and details received from an official presentation at Apple Italy. Wireless antennas, locking mechanism, how to unmount fans, design and material details...."
Apple's new 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks (as well as Palm's Zire Handheld) received the "Gold" Awards in the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition (see Computer Equipment Gallery), co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Apple's Xserve received a Silver Award in the competition. Judging criteria for each entry fulfilled five areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation, benefit to the user, benefit to the client/business, ecological responsibility, and appropriate aesthetics and appeal. This year internationally, 25 designs from 13 countries were awarded from over 172 entries. Photos of other winners are available in the IDEA Showcase.
Several readers note that Fleet Bank has no plans to support Apple's new Safari browser for its online banking services: "At this time, there are no immediate plans to support Safari for HomeLink use. However, we are continually updating and expanding our products and customer suggestions are reviewed on an ongoing basis." Customer servicer responses suggest the use of Netscape 6.2 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher (except 5.1.1 - 5.1.4 and 5.2.1 on Macintosh).
Greene County (North Carolina) leaders on Thursday approved a lease agreement that will provide laptop computers for every middle and high school student this school year, according to The Free Press: "Supporters say the program will allow the rural county to teach students important skills they'll need in the digital age. It's the first countywide initiative of its kind in North Carolina, they say. The program, which will provide more than 1,715 Apple iBook computers for students and 136 of the devices for teachers, will cost the county about $3.23 million over four years. The deal includes software, servers and other related equipment."
Dantz yesterday evening confirmed to MacNN that it is investigating the potential security flaw we noted yesterday: "Dantz Development treats security concerns like this as our highest priority and we are now investigating this report so that the best course of action can be taken quickly. Data integrity and security is at the core of all of our products and we want to make sure our customers always have the most secure data on any platform."
KB roundup: Apple continues to post information about its latest Safari 1.0 release, including noting that Safari doesn't resolve certain aliases (e.g., IE bookmarks), users can drag only one bookmark at a time from IE, and that Safari may only print the visible portion of a webpage, cutting off the portion you must scroll to see. Finally, the iSight camera, designed for video conferencing, does not output the DV format necessary for capturing video with iMovie, iSight's microphone can be used to capture audio in the Audio pane of iMovie. MacNN readers also note that Apple has pulled Backup 1.2.2 and replaced it with Backup 1.2.1. Although Apple did not offer any details, a MacNN reader offers a possible explanation: "Apple probably pulled the 1.2.2 version because it didn't work with external CD burners even if you have a paid .Mac account, as I do. You must remove the com.apple.backup.plist file from the system before re-installing Backup 1.2.1 - you will get a warning if you try to install 1.2.1 over 1.2.2. Going back to 1.2.1 resolves the external burning issue."
Catchy Software has released MaxiMice 1.01, which brings clickless scrolling and window dragging to Cocoa applications. Users can automatically scroll when the mouse pointer comes close to an edge and windows can be both moved and scrolled by holding down a modifier key. It can provide an alternative to a scroll wheel or provide relief for people suffering from RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome." The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [362KB] Addressix 1.3.3 allows users to print evelopes quickly. The $13 shareware can access common addresses in the Address Book, can print bar codes, supports custom envelope sizes, and other features. Version 1.3.3 fixes formatting for a number of non-US countries, properly formats the country name in all caps, and removes blank lines from Address Book info. [448KB] The freeware BCViewer 1.1 is designed to help store, retrieve, and organize business card images: "This software is intended for only storing and referencing business cards, it is not designed to scan the cards into the computer. BCViewer, Business Card Viewer, is a small, free, program that is so simple there are no manuals needed for it's use." [7.9MB] Jeremy Wood's Flipbook 1.0 is a $20 application designed to combine still frames into animations. It supports transitions (Fade, Push, Wide, Slide), titles (for introductions, credits, etc.), cropping, rotating, and adding layers. The software can be used for stop-motion animation, or tweaking home-made movies made with a digital camera. [2.5MB] Segue 1.0 is a $10 shareware movie file converter that can "can interchange your .avi, .mov and .dvc movie files. Just drag and drop movie files over the main window to begin converting them.Not only is it useful to convert files, but you can adjust compression settings and add QuickTime filters to existing movies." [499KB] AGDesign's Laze E 1.01 uses the Mac OS X DiskRecording Framework to perform basic CD-R and CD-RW functions such as 'Erase' and also author simple CD-R(W)s with the easy to use interface. Version 1.01 includes a dock app that you can launch at start up and use to erase CD-RWs from the desktop. [972KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 144.12 ( + 0.32 )
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