Category - Software
For a long time, MacNN has been highlighting great offers from the MacNN Deals store for our readers to enjoy, and this is the last installment. Today's selections are all software tools for you to use on your Mac, including one powerful text editor, a fantastic scanning app, something to jazz up your photographs, and an ideal addition to your toolkit if you need to improve your productivity.
In part one of this piece, we took a look at some of the headline features in macOS Sierra, coming later this fall. This time around, we examine some of the other features that Apple has baked into macOS Sierra. As we noted last time, there is a lot to like about what Apple is adding to the macOS mix with this latest update. Features like Apple Pay for the web, Auto Unlock with Apple Watch, Universal Clipboard, iCloud Drive, Optimized Storage, and Tabs are also worth a look, particularly as the latter is something I suggested to Apple a couple of years ago, and it's great to see them implement it.
On Wednesday, Apple released both developer and public-tester versions the fourth beta for its next current-release update for OS X and iOS, and a developer-only fourth beta for tvOS. Developers are also expecting to gain access to a second beta for the major upgrades to these and watchOS in the near future, as it has been two weeks since the first beta was released at WWDC. The latest updates -- iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6, and tvOS 9.2.2 -- are focused on bug fixes, along with security and performance enhancements, as usual.
Apple's latest version of its desktop OS has picked up a rebrand, bringing it into alignment with its tvOS, watchOS, and iOS lowercase stablemates. The rebrand also suggests that Apple is going to settle into a pattern of continually evolving its desktop OS iteratively -- OS X is now macOS in perpetuity, with the internal codename now taking top billing. While it naturally picks up several new marquee features, the arrival of Siri on the Mac is by far the biggest news in macOS Sierra. Read on for our initial thoughts.
A fourth lawsuit against Apple over alleged infringement of patents used by FaceTime has been filed, this time by Straight Path Group. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern California District Court, claims that FaceTime infringes on five patents previously owned by NetSpeak, which made the popular VOIP application WebPhone in the mid-1990s. As with previous suits underway by patent trolls VirnetX, VOIP-Pal, and Uniloc, the suit covers older and more general audio-video patents allegedly used by Apple in its FaceTime and Messages technologies.
Editor's Note: as MacNN closes at the end of this month, we're showcasing some of our favorite pieces from its recent history. I'm Malcolm Owen, and I helped out on a series of reports concerning a collection of "bundle" sites that sold licenses for a number of apps, but failed to pay the developers behind those apps. The first report appeared in November, with an updated reminder of what was going on published in April this year, the content of which is repeated below.
Editor's note: we're winding down the site with some of our special stories and moments across the last few years. As a long-time staffer, the heyday of the Macworld Expos were a very special time for all of us working at MacNN: it was a rare chance for us all to get together in person, report on the latest and greatest in an intense blitz of publicity, and stay in swanky New York City or San Francisco hotels. Editor Charles Martin attended the final Macworld/iWorld Expo in March of 2014, and filed this report.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
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