Pundits are speculating that Apple and Google will former a deeper partnership during next week's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Specifically, Apple may look for a way to bring Google apps to .Mac customers -- a notion supported strongly by the fact that Apple hinted at the recent D5 "All Things Digital" conference that .Mac is due for an overhaul. The companies have long pointed to the fact that they share a common competitor -- Microsoft -- as an impetus for expanded alliance.
PreFab Software has announced the release of Event Taps Testbench 1.0, [Download - 388KB] Universal Binary that allows users to explore event taps -- Core Graphics objects that you install in the system to monitor and respond to user input to any application from a keyboard, mouse, scroll wheel or tablet pointer.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the iPod case with kickstand from Body Glove Technology Accessories, MacProVideo.com has released a new tutorial video program for Logic, and the Portland Mac Photographers Users Group is preparing to greet Alex Gauthier to this month's meeting. MacNN has reviewed the iPod case with kickstand from Body Glove Technology Accessories, a functional protective cover for Apple's iPod that offers simplicity as well as an improved video viewing experience. The case is priced at $30, and comes as a one-size-fits all for video-capable iPods.
The next major revision of Pageflakes -- a site that allows users to customize their home pages with select news, weather, sports, entertainment, photos, videos, music, email and more -- will come with support for Safari. "Blizzard" is the name of a new upgrade that will allow users to customize each of their Pageflakes pages with unique themes. Users will be able to pick from a large selection of existing themes, or create one from scratch.
Apple is offering refurbished Intel-based iMacs for as low as $949 with free shipping and a one-year warranty. The company's current stock of reconditioned iMacs includes the 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo with 512MB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $949; 17-inch 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $1,049; 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo with 512MB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,199; 20-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,299; and the 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,699. Apple also offers extended AppleCare Protection Plans for its iMac systems ($169) which extend the warranty from one to three years.
Mark/Space has made available an alpha release of Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4.0, allowing users to synchronize devices running Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 (WM6) operating system with Mac OS X applications. This includes devices that ship with WM6 pre-installed as well as existing devices upgraded to WM6. The full release will feature the capbility to push device-side videos into iPhoto or a folder on the Mac, video encoding and download for mobile playback and call log and SMS text message syncing. The alpha is free to download, but the full release is priced at $40, with upgrades available for $25.
Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor 4.5 ($26) enhances the personal typing training software that features the "Five Habits of Highly Effective Touch Typing." The update also offers improved iTunes library integration, and enhances the networking as well as the class management functionality. [Download - form] GroBoto 2.1 ($80) updates the 3D art and animation software that enables users to create complex, dynamic, lyrical forms as well as animation. The latest revision includes more than a dozen new features, including many new algorithmic bots, expanded bot object generation control, object & texture self illumination, new atmospheric and background controls, UI enhancements, and bug fixes. [Download - form] Actual Open Source Databases ODBC driver ($30) adds SQLite connectivity to the driver software, enabling users to import CoreData database information into FileMaker or Excel. The revision also adds support for Access 2007, text files, and Excel spreadsheet files. The upgrade is free for existing license holders. [Download - 7.3MB] Mental Case 1.0 ($30) is a flash card, personal database, and note taking application that uses spaced-repetition learning techniques to aid with the memorization process. The software catalogs mental notes known as 'tidbids' comprised of text and images, and enables users to utilize the built-in screen shot functionality as well as Apple's iSight camera to avoid retyping information already on the screen or in a book. [Download - 12.3MB] Disc Cover 1.4 ($35) is a free update to the software for designing CD and DVD labels, covers, inserts, jewel cases, and more. The latest release adds Labelflash support, features Disco integration, and allows users to import track names for audio discs from the internet. [Download - 34.4MB] MarsEdit 1.2 ($25) enhances the weblog publishing software with support for Growl notifications, image uploading to the Picasa Web service, and support for Vox weblogs. MarsEdit 1.2 is a free update for existing MarsEdit customers, requiring Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 2.7MB]
Sprint will join Verizon in carrying the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition next month with its own approach to the worldwide roaming plan, according to insiders. Sprint will also support the phone's signature CDMA/GSM feature for roaming in Europe and other areas where unlocked GSM service is available, but will insist on only one plan: a $70 monthly All-World plan would cover e-mail and general Internet use outside of Sprint's normal areas.
Nikon may be set to finally replace its D2 series of top-end digital SLR cameras, according to two separate claims. Likely to simply be called the D3, the camera will reportedly be announced in June and would represent a major improvement over the D2x first seen in late 2004. The camera would be one of the first portable Nikon digital SLRs to include a near full-frame sensor, according to reports: a 1 to 1.1 ratio would make its shots nearly equivalent to a standard 35mm film camera with an otherwise identical lens.
Without a press release, Sony today has launched a pair of upgrades to its HD-capable camcorder lines. Though details are unclear, the HDR-SR8 appears to be a close variant of the SR7 announced in April. It shares the same 3.2-megapixel video sensor and 10X optical zoom, and should also include true optical image stabilization. Sony lists the official ship date of the camera as July 9th and expects to sell it for $1,600.
Nokia today silently introduced a beta version of its Media Transfer 1.0 suite for Macs, marking the company's first support for sideloading media files from non-Windows computers. The app mounts any compatible Nokia phone as a Bluetooth or USB device in Mac OS X and allows two-way transfer to keep the phone up to date beyond the contacts and other basic information supported by iSync. Users who rely on iTunes and iPhoto can load most images, unprotected music files, and playlists (including iTunes Plus songs) directly from the relevant program. As with iPods, users can also choose to sync files by starting transfers automatically on plug-in, changing only the files that have been updated.
Dell's first notebooks to reach retail shelves will at Sam's Club, the computer maker said today. It revealed that the 15.4-inch, AMD-based Inspiron E1501 would reach 500 of the Wal-Mart operated stores beginning sometime next week, representing the first time any Dell portable would be available beyond direct orders. Exact specifications haven't yet been released but are expected to involve a better-than-basic model with a Turion 64 X2 dual-core CPU, 2GB of memory, and a 120GB hard drive preloaded with Vista Home Premium, Dell has said.
The US International Trade Commission on late Thursday instituted a ban on Qualcomm chipsets that could have a potentially chilling effect on certain American cellphone carriers. Following a loss by the chipset maker to rival Broadcom in a patent dispute, future cellphones that integrate the hardware will be blocked from import to the US. The ruling doesn't affect existing cellphones that could be in violation of the patent but will prevent carriers from upgrading their lineups to include newer handsets that use the controversial technology, which handles power-saving measures on phones when they fall outside of coverage areas.
Piecing together the big picture of Apple's business points to a bright future for the Cupertino-based company, according to research firm Piper Jaffray. The highly anticipated iPhone is scheduled to ship on June 29th amidst a new TV ad campaign, the World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) kicks off on Monday which promises to bring a feature-complete version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to attendees, YouTube is coming to Apple TV in mid-June, and Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed in an interview that the number of iTunes users is "several times" the count of 100 million iPods the company has sold since debuting the portable device in 2001. These factors combine to paint a powerful picture of Apple's business in general, backed by bullish analysts and investors.
Leading up to the shipment of Office 2008 for Mac OS X later this year, Microsoft has announced a major management change at the Mac BU, with longtime General Manager Roz Ho being replaced by Craig Eisler. Ho will move to Robbie Bach's Entertainment and Devices Division, which is responsible for the Xbox and Zune product lines. Craig Eisler (whose blog is here) was formerly general manager of the Windows Media Platform Group at Microsoft, the "father" of DirectX and later worked at Redmond based wireless software company, Action Engine.
Fastmac has announced the availability of an Airport Extreme compatible 802.11n wireless card upgrade kit for Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro Mac Pro systems. The card requires no third-party drivers party drivers and is natively compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The card can be purchased and installed either as a Do It Yourself (DIY) kit or via a same day mail order service provided by Fastmac at extra cost. Pricing starts at $60 for the former option.
Adobe has announced immediate availability of GoLive 9, the latest edition of the WYSIWYG Web site creator/editor, Primary improvements come in the areas of interface refinement, integration with other CS3 applications, adherence to page creation techniques set forth by InDesign, and site management. The full version is priced at $400, with upgrades from GoLive 6.0, CS or CS2 priced at $170. The release quells concerns from some users that GoLive was being discontinued as a product line, through Adobe is making it clear that users should migrate to Dreamweaver, stating "With GoLive 9, designers can master the basics of web design and then grow into building more sophisticated web experiences using the industry-leading tools in Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 software."
USBFever.com has begun offering an iPod 2-in-1 Remote + Radio. USBFever's latest device serves as a remote control for Apple's iPod nano or video iPod while adding FM radio functionality to the portable players. The device provides full FM spectrum support and displays reception frequency on the screen of a connected iPod. Critics of iPods have long claimed that the portable players are functionally inferior to numerous competing devices, mostly due to a lack of Wi-Fi functionality and FM radio capability. The iPod 2-in-1 Remote + Radio serves to remedy the lack of radio support for $26, and offers nine preset favorite frequencies.
In brief: The AOL Mac Clients' team is seeking a senior software engineer to work on its development team chartered with reinvigorating AOL's Mac client, Transintl is offering 4GB memory upgrade kits for MacBook Pros, Take Control Books has released a new eBook related to troubleshooting Macs, and Virtual Training Company has announced its latest FileMaker training course focusing on security. The AOL Mac Clients' team is seeking a senior software engineer to work on the development of team (interested individuals can apply by sending an email to this address), which is tasked with "reinvigorating" AOL's Mac client. The candidate will be responsible for performing design, development, testing, documentation, and analysis of software applications written in Objective-C in the Cocoa application environment.
HP has quietly released the dv6500tse, better known as the dv6500t Special Edition. The customized version of the original breaks with the rest of HP's lineup by shipping in ceramic white: the notebook lid, keyboard, and trackpad edges take on the brighter color versus the black of other models. A matching mouse and voice headset are also unique to the 15.4-inch system.
A video-capable iPod that uses flash memory instead of a hard disk is in the works but may be facing setbacks, according to reports from a handful of Taiwan memory producers. The unnamed companies say that Apple plans to order the equivalent of 20 million gigabits of memory over the course of the summer -- an exceptionally large amount, the manufacturers claim. The production rate is said to reflect a new product rather than typical increases in demand and has been associated with a new iPod with video support.
Netscape has released Netscape Navigataor 9.0 Beta 1, the latest revision of its Web browser software that features URL correction alongside integrated news support. The new URL correction optionally corrects common typos -- such as googlecom -- in URLs via built-in fixes for nearly 30 different common mistakes. Integreated news support is built directly into the browser under the News menu, enabling users to customize the menu to contain only desired news sections. Navigator 9 also includes in-browser voting for sharing interesting stories, and adds support for split-screen browsing. Netscape Navigator 9.0 Beta 1 shares its architecture with the latest Mozilla technologies which allows users to install extensions that are compatible with Firefox 2, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
CalDigit this week added the FireWireVR 2TB dual drive to its lineup of storage solution products. This new unit allows for the universal connectivity -- including FireWire 400, 800, and USB 2.0 -- and offers hardware-based RAID settings of 0, 1, and JBOD (which are located on the device itself). The FireWireVR product utilizes SATA 3Gb/s drives with 32MB of cache per drive to meet the high-speed demands of applications, such as with Final Cut Studio 2 and Adobe Creative Suite. The FireWire RAID solution supports uncompressed 8-bit/10-bit SD editing for multi-stream uncompressed SD, DVCPRO, HDV and DV non-linear video editing systems. The solution can store up 2TB of capacity, is daisy-chainable without performance loss, and is compatible with Apple’s ProRes 422 HD workflows and AJA IoHD. It features removable, replaceable drive module in an aluminum case (with a ball bearing fan and 60W power supply). It is compatible with both PCs and Macs and ships with a two-year warranty.
Samsung has just launched the E950, a significant upgrade to its E900 slider. Central to the upgrade is a new, larger touch-sensitive directional pad that allows for scrolling through menus without sacrificing dedicated functions; owners can also tap the pad to trigger e-mail, music playback, or Yahoo's web search tool. The 950 also represents a design feat, Samsung says: the camera has been upgraded to a 3-megapixel sensor even though the body is now 1mm thinner at 15.5mm (0.6 inches).
Sonic Studio has released an update to its flagship digital audio workstation solution, soundBlade 1.2. First announced at the 122nd convention of the Audio Engineering Society in Vienna, the product offers a streamlined, high-fidelity alternative to other PCM production applications. soundBlade relies on Core Audio for default I/O (eliminating hardware lock–in) and combines Sonic Studio’s EFM and four point editing capabilities with its SSE real-time audio engine and other options such as Series 300 DSP I/O processors and the NoNOISE II suite of restoration tools.
VMWare has released VMWare Fusion Beta 4, the latest test version of its virtualization software that allows Intel-based Mac owners to run Microsoft Windows applications right alongside Mac OS X without rebooting. VMWare Fusion Beta 4 introduces a new feature called Unity, which is similar to Parallels' "Coherence" feature by running each Windows application in its own window under Mac OS X. Unity enables users to work with Windows applications as if they were Mac OS X software, offering support for minimizing windows in the dock as well as an Applications menu designed to closely resemble the Windows Start menu.
JVC finished its week this morning by introducing the largest rear-projection set ever. The HD110-MH80 is also likely the largest consumer TV to date and promises a 110-inch diagonal viewing area, eclipsing both Panasonic's 103-inch plasma screen as well as Sharp's 108-inch LCD. The size is manageable in part due to the set's processing hardware, JVC says. Its internally developed D-ILA technology scales the native 1080p resolution to enhance its detail even at the large size and also boosts contrast to a practical 5,000:1. The TV maker's current Genessa processor also helps remove jagged edges or noise and fine-tunes color output with 14-bit precision. A bright 110W lamp keeps the image visible in brighter environments.
Calling it the most successful marketing campaign of 2007, Apple's “Get a Mac” campaign, created by Media Arts Lab/TBWA was awarded the Grand Effie at the 39th Annual Effie Awards gala last night at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. The Effie Awards honor the most significant achievement in the business of marketing communications: ideas that work. Results from the “Get a Mac” campaign included market share growth of 42 percent, record sales and cultural influence. The six Grand Effie Finalist campaigns, which were deliberated by a panel of leaders from the marketing industry, included the Grand Effie winner Apple “Get a Mac” (Media Arts LabTBWA and OMD), American Express “My Life. My Card.” (Ogilvy & Mather and Mindshare), California Milk Processor Board “Got Milk?” (Goodby Silverstein & Partners), Montana Meth Project “Not Even Once” (Venables Bell & Partners and OMD), Pedigree “Pedigree Adoption Drive” (TBWAChiatDay and Grey Interactive) and Philips Norelco “Bodygroom” (Tribal DDB, DDB New York, MS&L and Carat USA).
Electronista exclusive, updated Apple appears to be taking 'free' pre-orders for the iPhone, Electronista has learned. A new credible source from an Apple reseller has spoken with Apple by phone and was informed that he could reserve a place for the iPhone in advance of its June 29th launch. The pre-order would ensure a call back upon availability and a likely shipment immediately after the device is available to the public. The reservation process was "very official" and would apply to any other customer, the source (known only as "Dan") said.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives