A trio of new Google AdSense ads that surfaced this weekend have alluded to new iMacs and Mac minis as well as a similarly redesigned MacBook. Searches on the Dutch version of Google with the right keywords have shown AppleInsider text ads for a "brand new," "ultra thin" iMac in 20- and 24-inch models and a "thinner, lighter and stronger" MacBook. A Mac mini ad touts the system as "faster and more affordable than ever" but sells it for 499 Euros where the lowest official Netherlands price is 599 Euros.
LittleSnapper v1.5.1 and Voila v2.1 are screen capture and markup applications, allowing users to capture their screen, desktop, application windows or web pages. Both utilities can also add callouts, including arrows, circles and instructional text. LittleSnapper is able to capture all web pages, regardless of the elements used but is limited in its adjustment tools and parameter controls. Conversely, Voila features expanded filters and adjustment tools but mishandled some Flash web pages. In our latest review our reviewer contrasts the two apps and elucidates the good and the bad parts of each program.
Crackers at the iPhone Dev-Team began the weekend by releasing an updated version of PwnageTool that can jailbreak the iPhone 3GS. The 3.1.3 tool works only as long as the Apple phone was jailbroken with firmware 3.0 or 3.0.1 and won't work if the phone is already at Apple's official 3.1. The second-generation iPod touch can now also be de-restricted under the same firmware limits as the 3GS.
Palm today quietly circumvented Apple's protective measures again with webOS 1.2.1. Its second update in a week is the first to restore iTunes syncing for the Pre since iTunes 8.2 and will let the Pre take media from iTunes 9.0.1 as though it were a native device in the jukebox software. It even adds deeper integration and will now sync photo albums as well as lower-resolution versions that save space on the phone.
Blue Microphone has released the Eyeball 2.0, its upgrade to the original camera and microphone combo. The 2-megapixel upgrade is capable of broadcasting video at a maximum resolution of 1600x1200 at 30 frames per second. Like the original reviewed here, it has a retractable lens which can be stored into the microphone unit and automatically turns off to help ensure privacy. The device is designed to mount onto any display or notebook using its integrated adapter.
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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
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