Apple CHUD Tools 4.3.3 (free) updates Apple's set of applications and tools for measuring and optimizing software performance on Mac OS X. The latest iteration of CHUD offers improved code analysis, as well as enhanced support for Intel performance counters. [Download - 32.6MB] DayLite 3.0.3 ($150) is a business productivity manager that offers "Heads Up Display" (HUD) functionality. The update offers improved performance for the report writer, as well as the ability to import projects or send a selected note as an email. [Download - 23.4MB] Headdress 1.1 ($15) is designed to help users manage virtual hosting on Mac systems. Version 1.1 offers MAMP -- a standalone Mac installer for Apache, MySQL, and PHP -- and PHP support. Headdress 1.1 can also open the MAMP configuration file to host multiple sites through MAMP. [Download - 821KB] Opera 9 beta 2 (free) brings a new account storage format to the Web browser software. Users installing over an existing profile will be prompted to convert all accounts to the new format. Opera 9 beta 2 is unable to store widget preferences via the widget.setPreferenceForKey method. [Download - [form, 4.4MB]] iMaginator 2.4 ($50) updates the image processing and painting application, offering interoperability with Videator. Version 2.4 refines the Polka Dot plug-in offering anti-aliased edges, incorporates better memory usage, and offers faster library loading times. [Download - 10.8MB]
Podstar has unveiled the Podstar Diablo series for iPod video, a range of "devilish" body castings. "Available in 8 dastardly designs, each of these first-generation Podstars come with a unique personality that just screams with a melancholic but sensual anti-hero vibe." Each Podstar character includes an aluminum hook, a removable screen protector, and an individual Podstar ID. Characters include "Darkside," "Crimsomniek," "Nightstalker," "Garou," "Sideshow," "Big Top," "Reaper" (shown at right), and "Splatterfest." The cases are crafted from high-grade silicone, are compatible with both 30GB as well as 60GB fifth-generation models, and are shipping for $30. Cases featuring a sterling silver earring are also available for $33.
KeynotePro has released Palo Alto 2 Themes, its technically minded, "bright and modern" approach of the original Palo Alto theme. The new theme offers a more flexible framework, additional master slide options, and HD variations. "Palo Alto 2 is a supremely adaptable general-purpose theme, with a clean, business-casual aesthetic - equally at home with shareholder reports and abstract art. The core of the design - sharp contrasts of color and whitespace, with a blend of reversed and neutral type - is surrounded by a visible framework of structure and subtle visual accents." Palo Alto 2 is available for download in a Pro Edition that includes Palo Alto 2 HD for $30, or in a bundle with two other Pro Edition themes for $75. A Standard edition which includes the standard 4:3 version is available for $20, or in a Bundle with two other themes for $50. Palo Alto 2 requires Keynote 3.0 or later, and the Helvetica Neue font face.
Octaga is developing an X3D plug-in for Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader that will allow any user to read and interact with 3D visualizations and virtual reality embedded in a PDF document. The software is designed to enable creative professionals to more quickly and cost-effectively collaborate on projects that require visualization with 3D, video, and audio. X3D is the ISO ratified 3D scene interchange format and runtime system for 3D visualization, virtual reality, and augmented reality (3D with text overlays, audio, and video). X3D supports several file format encodings and programming languages, providing interoperability of 3D data across diverse computing environments and great flexibility in manipulating, communicating and displaying scenes interactively. The Mac version is due to be released in the fall of 2006 (system requirements were unavailable).
One Mac developer has released BarracudaDrive 3.0 beta, a free and secure multi-user Web-based file manager that does not require FTP access. The application includes a user editor and a database for restricting access, as well as a personal Web server. BarracudaDrive offers an integrated real-time chat server/client, an HTML editor, and HTTPS tunnels for securing other services such as telnet, FTP, VNC, or HTTP. The beta release adds WebDAV, and a set of extensions to the HTTP(S) protocol that allows a server to appear as a standard network drive. BarracudaDrive 3.0 beta is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Completedigitalphotography.com has posted a free set of utilities that enable Photoshop Camera Raw Mac users to manage multiple versions of a raw file. The Photoshop Camera Raw Version Control package is a set of simple "droplets" that allow users to create and delete new versions, specify any version as the current version, and automatically create batches of thumbnails or full resolution renderings of an entire set of versions. Users can also create additional, editable versions of any raw file, each of which can contain an entirely different set of raw conversion parameters. The packages includes two Automator actions that offer version control functions for Automator workflows, and the system makes it possible to switch back and forth between different sets of Camera Raw parameters at will (system requirements were unavailable).
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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