The Guardian Unlimited has in-depth look at Jonathan Ive, Apple's Vice-president of industrial design: "Friends say the roots of his success lie in his lateral thinking - finding the true appeal of an object, often ignoring the traditional approach to design. Inspiration comes from almost anywhere. The original candy-coloured iMac had its roots in gumdrops. The popular transparent Apple mouse came from thinking about how drops of water sit on a flat surface. An angle-poise desk lamp helped inspire the new iMac."
Symantec has published a support document detailing a bug whereby no disks appear in Norton Disk Doctor, UnErase or Speed Disk window after updating to Norton Utilities 8.0.1. A simple seven-step procedure is outlined to correct the conflict.
Photologist 1.5 is an update to the $20 image management, manipulation, and presentation solution. Version 1.5 fixes a bug that could cause image files to loose their icons; adds individual and batch file type conversion; the "Open Folder in Finder" menu item now works in Panther; and there is now an option to remove images from digital camera after downloading. [Download - 3.5MB] FastScripts 1.1.4 patches a few troublesome problems that could affect any user, especially those with a large number of scripts. FastScripts is a utility for quickly and elegantly running scripts (AppleScript or shell scripts) from any application. [Download - 1.2MB] iStill 1.0 is a $25 still image capture application for Mac OS X. Using an iSight camera and iStill, users can capture sketches, signatures, business cards, photos, and other media that are "inconvenient or difficult to get quite right, with a traditional scanner or camera." Using a proprietary image enhancement engine, iStill can build a single sharp image from the iSight's video stream. [Download - 580KB] Copernican Technologies today released Boswell 3.1.2, am update to the $100 application that is required for use with Mac OS X 10.3. Boswell archives, organizes, manipulates, and retrieves "any text you give it": original writings, e-mail, instant messages, web clippings, research, or class notes, for example. [Download - demo form; update form] Xover 1.1 is a tool that allows users to remotely control a Mac that is running Mac OS X. Version 1.1 corrects bugs, and introduces an updated interface appearance. Xover is a free download. [Download - 1.2MB] IdleWeb 1.2 (freeware) is a screen saver module for Mac OS X 10.2 that allows you to load websites while your computer sleeps. Version 1.2 is complete rewrite offering custom refresh intervals for certain websites, a new, configurable autoscroll feature, and other enhancements. [29KB] The $40 shareware iPod.iTunes 2.4 provides "real" synchronization of MP3/AAC tracks and even playlists from your iPod(s) to your Mac(s). It automatically only copies those tracks which are missing in the iTunes library, excluding duplicates and can copy only desired tracks from a given list. [472KB] IC-Switch 1.4 is a freeware helper utility for Internet Config for Mac OS X only. It allows you to change quickly and easily your default emailer, Web browser, news reader and FTP client, simply by choosing an item from a menu displayed in all applications. [134KB]
Softpress today launched DataDesigner, a suite of Actions for the creation of dynamic FileMaker 6 sites with Freeway Pro. "With DataDesigner and its intuitive Mac interface, it's easy to generate and deploy all the necessary CDML code and construct beautifully designed and presented FM-driven Web sites. Using the Actions Palette in Freeway Pro, you can add the dynamic fields to your page design...DataDesigner manages the connections for you, automatically building lists of fields based on the current data design" It is available for $100 until the end of January.
BBC News reports that Apple's digital jukebox, the iPod, is flying off shop shelves in the run-up to Christmas: "'The demand is certainly outstripping supply,' said Mike Khalfey, department store John Lewis' electronics buyer. Apple says it is working flat out to keep up with sales, but some shops are having to take post-Christmas orders. An Apple spokesperson said it was doing all it could to increase production, but the demand meant some people may be disappointed on Christmas Day. The iPod comes in three guises, but Mr Khalfey said the most popular model had been the mid-range one with 20GB of memory."
MacNN reader Ted Benson writes Fast Company has an intriguing article (by Carleen Hawn, January 2004) about Apple, Steve Jobs, and why the most consistently innovative company in the world is consistently marginalized in the markets it creates. Not every salient point is raised (intellectual property is not discussed), nor is every statement inarguable (Napster and Dell/Musicmatch "offer consumers more choice" apparently because they provide streaming music, while iPod 'works only with the iTunes service', a partial truth at best). But the article is very thought-provoking, and implies that Apple's business model generally dooms it to never be more than a high-end-niche player, forced to innovate simply to stay out of the red. Example: 'the iPod contributed substantially all of Apple's 2003 estimated operating income of $24.8 million.'"
Apple will continue its retail expansion by allocating $160 million to capital expenditures in fiscal 2004, roughly $85 million of the total for retail expansion, according to the Sacremento Business Journal: "In fiscal 2003, Apple had $164 million in capital expenditures, including $92 million for retail stores and equipment. The 2003 investment added 25 retail stores during 2003 for a total of 65 as of Sept. 27, up from 40 in Sept. 2002 and 8 in Sept. 2001. Apple added 9 more stores in the first quarter of fiscal 2004, including its first international store, in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district."
Marketcircle has released DayLite 1.5.4, the latest version of its contact and sales manager for Mac OS X. This release includes a new quick start template database, improved call management, an improved win/loss graph, significantly improved Address Book syncing performance, better list management, and other changes. DayLite helps manage customer relationships, sales opportunities, and company projects using a built-in SQL database. A 30-day demo of the $150 (single-user) application is available.
Following reports on rumor sites such as AppleInsider, Reuters reports that analysts now expect Apple to unveil smaller, cheaper iPods at Macworld Expo San Francisco as well as revamped version of its iLife Software: "In addition to the lower-cost iPods, Cupertino, California-based Apple is also expected to unveil them with different colors and even in stripes, as well as variously colored cases for Apple's traditional iPod."
Ambrosia Software has released Aki Mahjong Solitaire, an "elegant blend of the ancient Chinese game of Mahjong with an enchanting journey across Japan. It's a modern fusion of two ancient Asian cultures, and is as much an experience as it is a game. The principle is simple: you have a number of ivory tiles arranged on a beautiful Japanese backdrop. Your goal is to make all of the tiles disappear by matching them to similar tiles." The $20 game title runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
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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