Pixels Digital has released PIXELS:3D 5.5, a new version of its three-dimensional image rendering and design application. The updated version is a Universal Binary application capable of running natively on PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, adds new NURBS curves, supports ambient lighting, Volumetric scattering, indirect diffuse lighting, OpenEXR output and more. It also features faster OBJ and 3ds support, a more native Mac OS X native look and feel (Quartz fonts, system dialogs), support for Mac OS X's native Tcl Framework and its private Opus framework, adjustable samples for soft raytraced shadows, and improved pixel filtering, faster rendering (raytracing, depth of field, etc.). LogoMaker also now works with Illustrator 8 files. Upgrades are $50, while the full version is $150.
The American Balloon has released PopCopy 2, a menubar application that tracks the history of any and all text, images, or files that have been copied to the clipboard. Users can select an item by pressing a user-defined (by default Command+Shift+V) hotkey combination, which presents the user with a menu to choose a previously copied item, and when the hotkey is released, places this item into the clipboard, and pastes it into the frontmost app. Version 2, completely rewritten, sports new features such as customizable hotkeys, a new hotkey interface which lets the user preview three items at once, and better item previewing in the menubar, offering a submenu with the full path of a file, a larger preview of an image, or a longer preview of text. PopCopy 2 also adds support for text from Microsoft Office. It is available for $14.
The Omni Group has released OmniDazzle 1.0, a set of fun and useful enhancements that help users highlight certain areas of your screen, create special effects, and track the location of your mouse pointer. "By allowing you to manipulate your screen, OmniDazzle offers practical features for doing presentations, taking screen shots, focusing on specific tasks, and adding visual information to your desktop," the company said. With OmniDazzle, plug-ins can be activated to professionally emphasize a section of your screen, or turn your mouse movement into an area of focus that trails visual effects across your desktop. Each plug-in can be configured to suit your own particular preferences: change colors, make objects bigger or smaller, or change the way you activate the OmniDazzle plug-in of your choice. It is available for $15.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.96 ( + 0.37 )
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
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX