Eighty new templates, along with new design tools, have been added to SmileOnMyMac's DiscLabel 6 update. Twenty of the new templates are geared specifically for professional or business use, with several designs for music and special occasions. Version 6 adds a montage tool for combining photos and applying the results to various design elements. The application's interface has been simplified, while a number of options have been added to the image import palate. The inspector and random-generator palates have also been improved for ease of use.
In brief: Izatt International will be running an evening course designed to help grow the iPhone development community in Utah. The courses will be run in the evening from June 23rd to the 26th and all day on the 27th. A new partnership has brought 10 new travel guides to the App Store. Dorling Kindersley and Coolgorilla joined together to release a series of travel guides for the iPhone and iPod touch that cover some of the world's most famous cities. Meanwhile, Macware has announced that its updated website is now online. The company is also currently offering several free fonts as a preview of their upcoming MacFont 3 and MacFont 4 font collections.
LaCie has released a new series of hard drive bags, while expanding its line of USB Hubs. The new USB Hubs consists of the Core4 and the Core7, each designed to add multiple USB ports to a user's computer. The three-model series of hard drive bags are intended to provide different levels of Hard Drive protection.
Former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein reportedly played a significant role in overhauling Palm's Pre project when he began working with the company, according to Fortune. Rubinstein initially started "hanging out" with the Palm teams in June of 2007. Taking a first look, he was unimpressed with the Pre hardware and pushed to have the engineers step away from the resistive touchscreens utilized on the prototypes. The components were replaced with capacitive touchscreens used in devices such as the iPhone.
Boris FX has released the first completed version of Boris Continuum Complete 6, an FxPlug add-on for Motion, Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. The software introduces over 200 filters to Apple's software, with live previews of dozens of preset transitions, glows, and color and film-style effects. The initial release of the plug-in features over a dozen new FxPlug shaders, presented in a redesigned effects browser window.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook introduced by the hardware manufacturer earlier this month is now available to be ordered from Lenovo's website, with retail store availability for the PC being early June. Specs for the 10.1-inch, 1024x600 resolution netbook include a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, a 160GB hard disk drive preloaded with Windows XP, a Wi-Fi radio and a six-cell battery.
The HTC Hero smartphone, running on the latest open-source Android operating system, will be offered exclusively by UK wireless provider Orange in Europe, according to a Wednesday Pocket-Lint report. If this proves true, it would be the provider's first Android-based handset, and is expected to be released sometime in 2009.
IK Multimedia is rolling out the StealthPedal, a USB interface and MIDI controller in a wah-style pedal. Intended for guitar and bass players, the pedal-and-switch combo connects an instrument to a computer while providing parameter control for software. Features include two balanced/unbalanced audio inputs, a low-noise input stage, and 24-bit A/D or D/A conversion.
The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) consortium on Tuesday released the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specification, which doubles the transfer speeds of the current SATA II interface to 6Gbps and adds multimedia application support. The SATA 3 specification is backwards compatible with the earlier version and retains its low-power requirements. Other changes include a new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming to better accommodate bandwidth-intensive audio and video applications.
More leaked documents from wireless provider AT&T have revealed there are at least three new handsets coming, all from hardware maker LG. First from the new mid-range lineup is the Shine 2, which is said to sport a 2.2-inch, 320x240 resolution display, a 2-megapixel fixed focus camera and Bluetooth 2.1 support. Storage will come from a microSD memory card, and it supports 3G over HSDPA. The small image of the Shine2 may actually be that of the KF510, and it's not known whether this is just a placeholder or if the KF510 will be rebranded as the Shine2.
Samsung Russia has officially announced the upcoming release of the S5200 slider cellphone. Just 0.43 inches thin, the handset has a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, an LED flash, smile and face detection and the capability to capture panoramic photos. There is quad-band GSM/EDGE support which lets it work in the US, albeit at the expense of 3G. Users interface via the 2.1-inch, 320x240 resolution, slide-out keypad and five buttons on the front plate.
The state House of North Carolina has voted 81 to 31 for a bill handing out tax breaks to Apple, the Associated Press writes. Although the results are only preliminary, they may suggest the outcome of the final vote, scheduled to be held before Wednesday's end. If successful, the bill will divert $46 million of taxpayers' money towards a 10-year break for Apple.
An image of an upcoming handset, the Samsung M850 Dash, was spotted thanks to a product page for a screen protector film for the handset from invisibleSHIELD. The m850 is expected to be the successor to the Instinct S30 offered by Sprint, and the image with the screen protector does show Sprint logos on the handset. Its interface is also similar to that of the earlier phone.
Google at its I/O keynote today demonstrated the first major revision of its Android mobile OS. Nicknamed "Donut" but likely to be rebadged 2.0, the upgrade centers on a new ability to search the entire device for information. Similar to the upcoming iPhone 3.0 update, the addition will let users start typing a search tat can find apps, contacts, media and other content on the phone itself; it can also search online. Google Voice Search will also be embedded for speaking out searches where the spelling isn't familiar.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak claims that Steve Jobs "doesn't sound like he's sick," and does not seem to be enduring a serious health issue, according to The Wall Street Journal. Wozniak made the comments at the All Things D conference, providing his impression of Jobs' health based on a phone conversation. Although the co-founder admitted he did not directly ask about health issues, Jobs did sound "healthy, energetic."
Internal Rogers documents reveal that the Canadian wireless provider will soon offer the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1a smartphone to customers, according to a Tuesday BGR report, effectively becoming the first North American provider to subsidize the device. Starting June 9th, the X1a will reportedly be sold in Rogers' retail locations, but only in areas with historically high data device sales and usage. The quad-band 3G handset was released in the US last fall as a carrier-independent unlocked model.
MSI this afternoon said it has started shipping the X-Slim X340 within the US. The ultraportable initially surfaces in a single, $900 spec ($800 at Amazon) with a CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo for its processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. 802.11n Wi-Fi, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and Bluetooth are equally stock, as is a 4-cell battery. MSI doesn't provide an estimate for battery life but says the Intel chip uses a sixth the energy of a regular notebook and so doesn't need a larger battery pack.
Long-standing rumors of a cheaper iPhone could see the persistence of the 8GB iPhone 3G, argues RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. Serving as an alternative to a new mainline iPhone, the 3G would retain the same specifications, but drop $100 in price to $99. The move could spur iPhone sales by as much as 30 to 40 percent, Abramsky suggests, adding 5 million units in FY09, and 22 million in FY10. Total iPhone sales for each year would be 18 and 28 million.
Telus' planned HSPA 3G network could go live on a national scale earlier than hinted earlier, an additional tip indicated today. Besides supporting the claim that the Canadian provider's new network should have an informal launch in Vancouver on September 2nd, the BGR source now has HSPA ready for the "majority" of the population in October. Previous unofficial timetables would have had the technology active only by early 2010.
Canon on Tuesday announced it will soon be releasing a firmware upgrade for its EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera that will give users control over the manual exposure control in video mode. It gives filmmakers the ability to adjust the camera's ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings while in video mode. Currently, the 21-megapixel camera relies on a fully automatic mode when recording videos and may not necessarily capture low light or the right depth of field.
Apple may push the cost of the MacBook Air downwards while also extending its feature set, a rumor asserted on Wednesday. Unnamed sources for SiliconRumors claim that an entry-level model will push the price down to between $1,300 and $1,500, or at least $300 less than the current model. Whether this would be a smaller model or just a price reduction isn't certain.
pulpTunes 1.1 (free) allows users to access their iTunes collection remotely through a web browser. After installing the software users will be provided with an IP address that will allow them to access their music from any web browser. pulpTunes supports MP3 and AAC files and allows users to download the tracks from the web browser interface. Version 1.1 has introduced a performance boost for large music libraries and a new search function. The update also includes the ability to rate songs and has renamed "Party Shuffle" to "iTunes DJ" mimicking the name change in iTunes 8.1. [Download - 4MB]
OWC today launched a 500GB, 7200RPM version of its Mercury On-The-Go Pro mobile hard disc. The drive reaches peak speeds of 100MBps via FireWire 800 and is available with three connection options, being joined by the earlier FireWire 400 standard and USB 2.0. OWC is also offering a less expensive dual-interface FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 model as well as a low-cost, USB 2.0-only version. The internal drive is a SATA 2.5-inch disc with a 16MB cache.
ASUS has uncovered a new gaming-oriented notebook, the G51. Similar in concept to competing Alienware systems, the G51 uses a stylized "robot" design, in addition to providing high-end performance specifications. Unusual in the latter regard is the option of a Core 2 Quad processor, clocked at either 2 or 2.26GHz. More mundane Core 2 Duo configurations can be clocked anywhere between 2 and 3.06GHz.
Apple on Wednesday released a software update for the third-generation iPod shuffle, Version 1.1, along with a new VoiceOver Kit. The software addresses a rare issue that occasionally caused playback to stop. A number of other bug fixes have been added, along with support for the new VoiceOver Kit. The 3.9MB download is available directly from iTunes.
Apple has won four new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, covering a range of technologies. Among these are ones for riser card housing in the Mac Pro, and a Mac OS-related concept called Computer system with graphical user interface including drawer-like windows. Important however is one for a touchpad surface, covering the multi-touch trackpad in the MacBook Air, and in a minor fashion the iPhone touchscreen.
HP's first ultraportables to use Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors will at first just conversions of existing models, those building the notebooks in Taiwan said on Wednesday. They claim to DigiTimes that the first models will actually use existing case designs and that a true redesign to take advantage of the platform won't be ready until the fall. The makeshift change is reportedly triggered by pressure to chase after the Acer Timeline as well as reducing the costs of the systems themselves.
Beats includes three tools that can help a DJ create smooth, and harmonically matched mixes. The BPM counter allows users to determine the BPM of a song by tapping the beat on the screen. The application then records each tap and averages the time between each to calculate the tempo. The metronome supports beat, duple, and triplet timing and includes four different sound sets, click, 808, 909, and live drums. The key mixing tool allows users to enter the key of the current song and provides feedback on what other keys will mix harmonically with it.
AT&T today explained some of the key details behind a planned upgrade for its 3G network, including improvements to the infrastructure underneath. Having initially run a trial, the carrier now says it plans to start upgrading its network to 7.2Mbps HSPA this year and should have the faster service in place on all its connections by 2011. While actual speeds are likely to be lower, the peak is twice as fast as for the existing 3.6Mbps network.
The international distribution of iPhone applications is not being handled properly at the App Store, one developer tells MacNN. Having launched a title called CameraUFO, Magno Urbano says he recently visited the US App Store to verify if his software was on sale. Although not at its main intended venue, the app could be found at a number foreign stores, though still not all of them.
Hitachi on Wednesday leapt back into North American TVs with its LCD lineup for 2009. The UltraVision models headline the series and all have 1080p images with 120Hz panels. Certain models have as many as five HDMI inputs. Hitachi produces the higher-end sets in 42-inch (L42S503), 46-inch (L46S603) and 55-inch (L55S603) versions; the smallest set ships first, appearing in June for $999, while the 46-inch TV shows in August for $1,299 and the 55-inch in September for $1,799.
Best known for real-world DJ tools, Numark today detailed the game controller it's making for Scratch: The Ultimate DJ. Nicknamed the Scratch Deck, the peripheral has a touch-sensitive turntable for its core mix-and-scratch gameplay as well as five drum pads that mimic Akai Pro MPCs and, like the real equipment, are used to trigger samples. The game comes with 60 "battle records" for samples but can take any sample recorded through a USB microphone.
iRiver has recently put up a teaser ad on its US website with specs and an approximate release date for its P35 portable audio player, which was first shown to the US audience at CES. The ad reveals nothing but an approximate release date, but is known to be available in three versions in Korea. The basic version acts as a touchscreen digital multimedia player, the Wi-Fi version adds portable and wireless Internet connection, while a DMB tuner-equipped version will let users watch digital TV. This last version is not expected to make its way to the US given the absence of DMB networks.
The quality of web browsing on Android and iPhone devices has led both to be used online far more than other devices, according to fresh AdMob data. Although it has just 8 percent of the smartphone market, the iPhone now accounts for about 43 percent of the web ad traffic AdMob follows as of April. Android's presence online is also disproportionate as its 1 percent share of actual phones is met by 3 percent of mobile web use.
(Updated with new Apple document) Flouting earlier rumors, Apple has gone in a different direction with the terms of its 2009 Back to School promotion. At the center of the new offer is a rebate for an 8GB iPod touch, which is available with the purchase of an iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Aside from college and university students, eligible parties include the staff of any public or private school, some homeschooling teachers, school board members, and the officers of PTA and PTO groups.
LG Display today demonstrated a new display that could make 3D more affordable for computers. The 23-inch, 1080p LCD embeds the hardware to generate the 3D effect directly into the monitor rather than requiring it in viewing glasses. Although glasses are still needed, the shift means viewers can depend on simple polarized models. It's also twice as bright as earlier 3D displays and so works more effectively in regular light.
Apple this morning quietly updated the plastic white MacBook to give it specifications that are at times better than the current aluminum model. It now has a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo, up from 2GHz, and now carries the same 160GB hard drive as the entry aluminum system. The 2GB of onboard DDR2 memory now runs at 800MHz instead of 667MHz.
HP on Wednesday updated its Mini netbooks with three new core models. The Mini 110 XP Edition, 110 Mi Edition and 1101 are aesthetically close to the 10-inch Mini 1000 but bring newer features: the 110 XP adds a new Broadcom accelerator chipset that decodes HD video up to 1080p without burdening the processor; it and the other models can also use the 1.66GHz Atom N280 instead of just the older 1.6GHz Atom N270.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R