Fewer resources used in latest Chrome browser release
The latest release of the Chrome web browser has introduced a number of measures to make it faster and less resource-hungry earlier than anticipated. Version 45 of the browser for desktops now incorporates a number of features that can minimize the amount of memory the software uses for tabs and other functions, with one other feature coming out in the coming weeks which could help notebook users extend their battery life.
Global release of Firefox for iOS expected before end of this year
Mozilla has started to publicly show its attempt at bringing Firefox to iOS, with an initial test launch in just one country. The mobile browser has been unveiled in a public preview in New Zealand with expansion to a "few more countries" expected in the coming months, with Mozilla using the limited launch to receive feedback on a number of features before it has a wider release to users in the rest of the world later this year.
Google re-opens Map Maker tool in 45 countries
Google is making its Map Maker tool available to more countries with an increased level of oversight, as part of a second wave of its reopening to the public. Temporarily shut down in May due to cartographical mischief by some users, the tool can now be used in 45 countries, including the United States, with participants able to submit local mapping changes that could be added to the main Google Maps listings at a later time.
Concierge web service allegedly being integrated into individual Apple Store pages
Apple is allegedly preparing to make some changes to the way it handles Genius Bar and Workshop appointments, as it merges its online and physical stores into a more integrated experience. Arriving weeks after a refresh to the Apple website making it easier to buy items directly from their product pages, another upcoming change will reportedly do something similar for store appointments on the site, with it possibly happening as soon as August 25.
Upcoming update for Chrome browser helps reduce memory, battery usage on Mac
An upcoming update to Google Chrome may allow MacBook users to use their batteries for longer, according to a report. Version 46 is said to have made a number of improvements to the Google-produced browser to solve persistent complaints about the software, including how much memory it uses and other factors that negatively affect the battery life on Mac systems, as well as the overall speed of the browser.
AT&T offers DirecTV subscribers up to $500 for switching carriers
After recently completing its acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T is already attempting to capitalize on the relationship between the two companies by tempting DirecTV subscribers to switch phone services. Under the promotion, Forbes reports DirecTV customers can receive $300 in bill credit per line ported with a new smartphone purchased under AT&T Next, as well as a $200 credit for eligible smartphone trade-ins. Subscribers of U-verse, AT&T's existing TV service, can also take advantage of the same offer.
Right to be Forgotten risks serious chilling effect online if performed globally
Google has responded to France's request for the European "Right to be Forgotten" law to be expanded to cover all Google search pages, suggesting it to be a bad idea for Internet users as a whole. French data protection regulator CNIL's formal notice for delisting of requested links has been declared by Google global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer as a "troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web."
Bug fixes and updates in preparation for fall's launch of iOS 9
While attention and development focus continue on the upcoming iOS 9 major upgrade expected to be delivered in September or early October, Apple on Thursday also updated its ongoing iOS 8-based improvement set of updates with a second beta of iOS 8.4.1, now available through an update directly on iPhones associated with developer accounts or through the iOS Developer Resource Center.
Google social network no longer central to Google services
Google is making more changes to the way its services work with its social network, by starting to separate Google Accounts from Google+. In yet another move that suggests Google+ is slowly losing prominence, the search company is starting to decouple its services from the site, with YouTube comments soon to be disassociated with Google+ possibly being the biggest news from the company for today.
Design courses from Train Simple, Udemy available cheaply on MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the discounted items available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's group are a collection of courses revolving around design, helping you become more creative and possibly kickstart a career in the field.
Social network losing Photos app in favor of recently-launched service
Google is preparing to shut down the photo-sharing section of Google+, in favor of pushing users to the recently-launched Google Photos service. The search giant is warning that it will begin to shut down access to Google+ Photos within the social network from August 1, with users able to transition their existing Google+ Photos over to the new Google Photos from a prompt appearing on their Google+ account page, as well as within the Google+ Photos apps.
Even better features, and it's on sale
There are free apps that still aren't worth the money, but generally speaking, apps are either so cheap as to be worth a punt, or so cheap as to be preposterous. Consequently, MacNN doesn't generally rush to do a Hands On of a product which has had some digits lowered in its price. Similarly, we don't exactly race to redo a Hands On just because a product has had the tiniest of numbers added to its version. You know there's a but, or a yet, coming: one of our very favourite image-editing applications has jumped up from version 2.0.1 to being Pixelmator 2.0.2 for iOS, and briefly sunk from $5 to $1. Go buy it right now. We'll wait.
Old friend offers options from subscription-only InDesign
Yeah, that's right, it's a two-part review. Wanna make something of it? To quote a popular Internet meme, "one does not simply review the latest version of QuarkXpress." Although the company has been working diligently to unify its various areas of expertise -- print, HTML5, and e-publishing -- since at least version 9 (2011), this latest edition (initially called QuarkXpress 11, now known as QuarkXpress 2015) may be the one that tilts the digital publishing playing field back in its favor after more than a decade in the wilderness. Is it? We'll find out in part two of our review.
Pioneer of digital publishing unifies its efforts into coherent whole
The release of QuarkXpress 2015 has given me an occasion to renew an old acquaintance; like many veteran graphic designers, I once made my living using programs like QuarkXpress, Pagemaker, and later, InDesign and even Pages to create various small-press type work all the way up to major magazine and newspaper advertisements, books, and other mostly-printed matter. Quark is back (it never really went away), both because the 2015 release in particular seems to have found its footing in the current design environment, and because it offers an option to those reluctant to climb on board Adobe's subscription-only model for pro apps. Should you switch teams, and throw in with the loyal opposition? We'll find out, but first, a little background on the program -- and the reviewer -- in part one of our full review.
The book isn't good enough, and new doors are opening
The e-book of The Blank Screen: Blogging is ready, I could send it to you, and I was about to upload it to iBooks and Amazon Kindle. This week, I was going to be showing you how you get the paperback ready, and that that is a surprisingly intricate little tale that involves new online software that we haven't talked about before. We're not going to talk about it this week either, because the book is not good enough.
Loss of Reddit AMA staff member angers site visitors, moderators
The firing of an employee has caused community outrage over at Reddit today, prompting many parts of the site to be hidden from view by volunteer moderators. A number of the site's communities are setting their subreddits to private in protest of a decision by management to let go of Victoria Taylor, a staff member that managed the famous Ask Me Anything (AMA) section, with readers revolting over a lack of explanation for the site's actions.
Creating e-books and prepping paperbacks
You're at the stage now where you know you will never have to write another word of your book ever again. Meanwhile, we're at the stage of wondering how to break it to you that you still have some writing to do. However, we've decided to build up to that after taking you through the next stage of the e-publishing process. In this part of the Pointers Summer Project, we'll actually, genuinely, thoroughly produce an e-book. We'll also prepare the paperback, and you'll see why that takes a step more.
Responsive drawing app works wonders for those without a stylus
As we've stated before, the iPad has become a viable art tool in recent years, and there's no shortage of app developers who have taken notice. We've covered several different drawing apps, and they've all had their merits and disadvantages. Today, we take a look at Tayasui Sketches+, to see how it stacks up against the other apps that have come our way.
Photography resources, software at deeply-discounted price for charity
Last week, Foto Promos announced its largest-ever bundle of resources, software, training, printing, memberships and other pro-photographer education in a special offer available through MacNN and Electronista called The Big Deal that includes over $4,200 worth of downloadable products for just $99. The bundle, which runs through Thursday, has raised over $45,000 for charity, and features contributions from Lindsay Adler, Jared Platt, Dave Cross, KelbyOne, Lee Varis, Gavin Gough, Tony Sweet, Rick Sammon, Phlearn, Photoshop Cafe, Mylio, Eyefi, Viewbug, AthenTech, and B&H Photo and Video, among others.
Turn Camera Roll photos into stylish sketches
The recent trend of coloring books geared for adults is intriguing to us. We don't consider ourselves particularly artistic in the area of drawing and painting, but we do occasionally like to dabble. Sure, it's been a while, but we're reasonably confident we can still stay between the lines. The downside is we would have to color in images other people choose for us. We'd like to make our own coloring book, and we think we've found the perfect app to help us make it: Tracing Paper by Hesham Wahba.
Visual tool for marking up documents and images
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and yet writers still hang on to the fact that sometimes you need a caption. Napkin 1.5 is a tool for rapidly marking an image with captions, with annotations, with notes, with doodles.
Software, training, discounts, plug-ins, e-books, more offered for photographers
Foto Promos is currently running its largest-ever bundle of resources, software, training, printing, memberships and other pro-photographer education in a special offer available through MacNN and Electronista called The Big Deal that includes over $4,000 worth of downloadable products for just $99. Contributors to the bundle include Lindsay Adler, Jared Platt, Dave Cross, KelbyOne, Lee Varis, Gavin Gough, Tony Sweet, Rick Sammon, Phlearn, Photoshop Cafe, Mylio, Eyefi, Viewbug, AthenTech, and B&H Photo and Video among others.
Adobe starts selling stock images from within CC suite apps
Adobe's latest updates to its Creative Cloud have been revealed, with new additions accompanying mainstay apps. Improvements to the main app suite including Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC arrive alongside new mobile apps, with a large contingent heading to Android, while the new Adobe Stock is a marketplace for various assets useful to design projects created within Creative Cloud.
CNIL gives Google 15 days to implement search removal requests globally
Google is facing pressure to implement its "Right to be Forgotten" measures on all sites around the world, instead of just the European versions. French data protection regulator CNIL has demanded that Google allows European users to request the removal of certain search results in all global Google search sites in the next 15 days, or face the prospect of having sanctions imposed on the company's activities.
A Swiss Army Knife of image tools
It's misnamed. Not that we have any idea what it should be called, but Reformator 1.2.2 does so much more than reformatting that we'd contemplate a name like Image-o-Matic. Within this app, you can convert any or all of your photos between different handy formats, you can watermark them, do certain edits, and more.
Google adds Chromecast, AirPlay support to Slides apps
Google Slides, the search company's presentations app, has been updated to allow presentations to be shown wirelessly. Both the iOS and Android versions of the app have been given support for AirPlay and Chromecast, letting users take advantage of streaming devices such as the Google Chromecast to show their presentation on a television or alternative display, without needing to hook up a computer.
First 8K-resolution video posted to YouTube
YouTube is starting to show videos filmed in 8K-resolution, five years after it added support for 4K content. Appearing in the YouTube resolution settings as 4320p, 9to5google reports the label was added only recently, though Google claims the 8K video support has been available as long as 4K. The first 8K video, "Ghost Towns," was filmed on a Red Epic Dragon 6K instead of an 8K-capable device, with After Effects used to stitch together multiple videos to reach the resolution, instead of losing quality by scaling up the 6K content.
Browser-based version of Skype widens beta reach, global availability expected in weeks
Microsoft has opened up Skype for Web to more users, pulling it out of the closed beta and making it available to all current Skype users based in the United States or the United Kingdom. The widening of beta access follows after another web-based Skype change, namely a redesign of how Skype for Outlook.com appears and works for users of the browser-based webmail client.
Excellent mind mapping app gets redesign for OS X and iOS
Two things: first, we have previously said that MindNode in particular -- and mind mapping in general -- is best on the iPad. Second, we have never said, nor even thought of considering saying, that what the Apple Watch really needs is is more mind-mapping apps. Yet here we are with MindNode 2.0 for OS X, which makes us reconsider mind-mapping on the Mac, and MindNode 4.0 for iOS, which tries to tell us we're wrong about the Apple Watch.
Nvidia shows off its wares at Computex Taipei 2015
Electronista has had the opportunity at Computex Taipei 2015 to go hands-on with the eagerly anticipated Nvidia Shield Console and high-end GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU. Although differing substantially in terms of overall processing power, both share Nvidia's latest Maxwell GPU architecture, and stand to put their respective competitors on notice. Read on for our first impressions of these intriguing pieces of technology, which also includes a look at how the GTX 980 Ti performs utilizing Nvidia's latest VR frameworks on the Oculus Rift.
New Summer Project, MacKeeper lawsuit, Google I/O make for busy week
It's been a big week here at MacNN, covering all the announcements from Google's I/O conference. You might think this wouldn't have much of interest to Apple users, but luckily, episode 17 of the MacNN Podcast is here to sort it all out. Google brought many of its announcements to platforms other than its own, capped off with a new web- and iOS-based Photos program to rival the recently-released one for Mac and iOS from Apple itself, which we talk about and compare.
Amazon Echo can read appointments stored in Google Calendar
Alexa, the virtual assistant that forms part of the Amazon Echo network-connected speaker, has been upgraded to allow it to read Google Calendar events. Android Central reports Alexa can now be linked to the user's Calendar and will respond to queries about it, such as "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" and "When is my next event?" So far, it appears Alexa can only read appointments, not add new items, but this could be included in a future update of the device.
Now also an excellent iPhone app
Where was this yesterday? We were in our car –– properly and correctly in a car park, we would never edit photographs on the Interstate –– and needed to do a tiny bit of work on an image that we'd forgotten to do earlier. Sometimes it's very handy getting to hide behind the third person: we were daft forgetting to do that image, we were daft forgetting to bring our iPads. If this were just about 18 hours later, we could've used the new Pixelmator 2.0.1 on our iPhones.
Very, very niche but well done tool
You're not going to need this often, but let's work it out. What Monodraw 1.0 does it let you produce ASCII art -- and already if you're blinking at that, you're not the market for this -- like those images you've seen that are made up entirely of letters. They used to be done on typewriters because we knew no better, they were then done on computers because we were young. The makers of Monodraw want you to do ASCII art because it will last forever. They're right.
Keep on using paper just a bit longer
Its full title in the App Store is Carbo -- Handwriting in the Digital Age and you're already thinking iPads, stylus or scribbling on the screen, but you're wrong. This is not another app about mimicking the experience of writing on paper, it's not really about replacing paper at all. Carbo is about letting you continue to use paper, but now use it in the digital world: take paper you write on and edit, copy or share it as you would anything you create online from scratch.
Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone
You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.
Quickly fix photo problems and remove background blemishes
Erase. Ex. Spouse. Partner. Lover. Delete. There you go: just popping all the terms you'd put into Google if you were looking for software like this. However, it's not solely for removing your heartbreak, PhotoScissors 2.0 is actually excellent when you're making images for use on websites, because it lets you quickly remove unwanted backgrounds and emotional baggage.
Convenient color coding for visual thinkers
Naturally, you have not filled your Mac's desktop with folders. You've done it with files. But from time to time, when you can't see anything any more, you make some temporary folders and move everything into there. Job done. Until you now have millions of folders and unlike files, folders all look identical. Not any more. Not if you buy Folder Color.
Google takes on Twitch by offering live streams at 1080p 60fps
Google is making a number of small changes to YouTube, that will likely be welcomed by advertisers and gamers alike. YouTube's live streaming capability will now include support for 60fps streams, making it more suitable for gaming, while the initial advertising preroll that runs before many videos will now allow users to find out a lot more information about the advertised products, as well as making it easier to purchase.
Project Rigel to be available in late 2015, offer advanced features
[Updated with correction to erroreous CC subscription requirement] Adobe has chosen to withdraw its current photo editor for the iPad and Android tablets, Photoshop Touch, as of May 28, but has announced plans for new and supplemental technologies manifested in a number of apps to come later this year. A new photo editor, currently dubbed "Project Rigel," will offer greatly-improved speed, and was teased in a video that shows the program offering selective object removal, warping, and color swapping. The new app will be free of charge, unlike the $10 Touch app, and does not require a Creative Cloud subscription.
Wacom offers well-designed, albeit simple drawing app to pair with stylus lines
Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.
Ad blocking plans could result in request by carriers for advertising revenue cut
European carriers are allegedly working on blocking mobile advertising from major advertising networks, including those from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. A report claims the current plans to remove the online advertising from smartphone browsers in order to save on bandwidth costs, though it will also apparently have the ulterior motive of trying to force the advertising networks to share some of their revenue with the carriers themselves.
Design, print, and assemble paper-craft toys and art
Readers might remember our Hands On for Storest, an app that gives kids physical paper props with which to play store. Today, we take a look at Foldify -- Create, Print, Fold! by the same developer, Pixle. Much like Storest, Foldify is an app that kids -- or immature adults like us -- can play with and then take part of that app into the physical world by printing it out in paper.
Almost 59 percent of European search listing removal requests denied by Google
Google is not fulfilling a high proportion of "Right to be Forgotten" requests, with more than half of requests being denied by the search company. According to its latest Transparency Report, Google has evaluated over 922 thousand requests for the removal of search listings since the program began last year, but out of that figure, 58.7 percent of all requests have been rejected.
Access to Google Map Maker denied for all while moderation system gets overhauled
Google is temporarily preventing users from being able to access the Map Maker tool, following a series of incidents concerning its misuse. Starting from tomorrow, the tool will be pulled while Google works to add some sort of moderation system to it, in order to avoid further issues such as the recent image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple logo appearing in Google Maps.
Design giant Adobe updates digital sketchbook to include flow, opacity, and size controls
Many people would be surprised to learn that the iPad is an entirely viable way to create art, but thanks to the amount of fully-functional drawing apps on the app store, that's exactly the case. Today, we took a look at Adobe Photoshop Sketch, the brainchild of digital design empire Adobe, to see how it stacks up to other sketchbooks on the App Store.
Complaints about net neutrality issues prompts expansion of Internet.org
Facebook is allowing more online services to take part in its Internet.org free access scheme, following complaints. The initiative, which allows for free access to certain web services for mobile phone users in emerging markets, drew criticism from some over the "walled garden" created by the free service, something which goes against the concept of an open Internet and net neutrality principles.
More discounts available via dedicated MacNN Deals site
Regular readers of our Daily Deals posts may have noticed a paragraph near the top of the list for the last few weeks promoting a dedicated deals page. Today, we've officially launched MacNN Deals over at deals.macnn.com, offering discounts on a wide range of items you will probably find useful, including sections for gadgets and gear, eLearning packages, and even one for drones.
Publishers could receive larger percentage of advertising revenue from Facebook-hosted articles
Facebook may host news stories and articles on behalf of online publishers, to make it easier for users to share them throughout the social network, a report claims. Titled "Instant Articles," the service could start as soon as this month, with users expected to be able to click on and read content directly from within Facebook itself, instead of waiting for the publisher's site to load.
Cloud storage service starts public testing of multi-user editing feature
Dropbox has started to publicly test a new note-taking service that could be competition for other online productivity services, such as Evernote. A beta sign-up page for the new service advises it is called Dropbox Notes, with it revolving around allowing individuals and groups to collaboratively write and edit a document, all at the same time.