Five ways to read and watch beyond the storage of the iOS device itself
(This is the first of a new series to showcase apps the staff at MacNN and Electronista use and recommend) This house was an early adopter of iOS, seeing it on first-generation iPod Touches. At the time, it was more of a novelty than anything else -- and of little actual value to us other than as a slick interface to play back our iTunes music and the limited amount of video we owned. Fast-forward six years, and the house is now replete with iDevices and users, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. As the years have passed, one of our principal uses of iOS is now as a media extender for remotely stored media and files: PDFs, music and video alike. Here are our five apps that make sharing, viewing and enjoying mixed media easier.
Metro apps could be used in floating desktop windows in next version
The next major Windows update could include the return of the Start Menu, according to new reports. "Threshold," the apparent codename for the Windows 8.1 follow-up, may include the smaller Start Button user interface last seen in Windows 7, as well as the ability to run Metro-style apps from within the desktop itself.
Rayman Origins to be released for Mac on December 12, 2013
Feral Interactive today announced that Rayman Origins will be release for Mac on December 12, 2013. Rayman Origins has gamers play the role of Rayman, whose goal is to defend his homeland from a Livid Dead army throughout sixty levels. Players can jump, swim, sprint and hover in various environments, wielding a variety of fighting tactics.
Bluetooth speaker offers 30-foot range, water-resistance, two-hour charge
Zagg has released the latest iFrogz speaker, the Coda Pop Bluetooth. Able to play audio from a 30-foot range, the Coda Pop stands 2-inches tall, 1.6-inches in diameter, and can play for up to two hours per charge.
Macgamestore.com offers four-game bundle of Aspyr Media's popular releases
Distributor of Mac-only digital download games, Mac Game Store, released its latest four-game bundle promotion, the Aspyr Greatest Hits Bundle. A compilation of Aspyr Media's most popular releases, such as Civilization V, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Epson adds printer support for Kindle Fire HD and HDX
Epson has announced its printing support for Kindle Fire Printing this week, offering an integrated wireless print function for Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets. By adding the Kindle Fire tablets to its mobile printing capabilities, a wide range of Epson Connect-enabled printers can now print with tablets that run Amazon Fire OS 3.1.
BaseJump's software updated for Mavericks, including headphone detection
Twelve South has announced that its portable sound system, BassJump, has received a MacBook software update for OS X Mavericks compatibility. BassJump offers users additional audio speakers for one's MacBook, powered by a USB cable.
Users can now print complete lists of saved items
AgileBits is today releasing v4.1 of 1Password for Mac, its flagship software for storing logins, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. One major addition is an improved browser plugin, which will now let people use the auto-save function to update existing passwords, instead of just store new ones. Items can now also be tagged from the auto-save panel.
Google Play Music update allows music caching to memory card
Google has updated its Google Play Music app for Android, introducing a wide array of track sharing options. The update also includes the ability to choose the storage location for cached or downloaded music, with Droid-Life noting that storing to the external SD card will free up the device's main storage, and a number of subtle user interface tweaks.
Scans, converts documents into numerous formats
ABBYY has released FineReader Pro, an OCR tool for the Mac. The software pulls images from cameras and dedicated scanners and converts the content into text files. During the import process, FineReader can apply pre-processing options to fix distortions; an Image Editor lets users manually correct elements like contrast, noise, motion blur, and split pages.
Timely app allows logged hours to be scheduled in advance
New time-tracking app Timely has been launched this week on iTunes. Aiming to minimize the effort involved with logging one's work for invoicing, Timely allows users to schedule and plan work while simultaneously logging the hours. Its layout is like a calendar, though simplified to not display time stamps.
Supports major cloud services
Boxcryptor has released an OS X client for its self-titled encryption software. The tool is used to encrypt files before uploading them to a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box, or SugarSync. Using Boxcryptor's apps for various platforms, including iOS and Android, the files can be decrypted and accessed elsewhere.
Skitch iOS update restores PDF reading, markup support, web capture
The iOS version of screen capture and markup app Skitch (free) has been updated, mostly restoring features that were previously removed. Users can now once again open and read PDFs in the program, as well as markup and re-save a PDF (the latter feature requires an Evernote Premium account, however). Crop mode has been removed and various bugs fixed, and web capture has been added back in. Evernote, which bought Skitch two years ago, has dealt with continuing criticism over the company's changes to the program, which was originally created to quickly capture, annotate and share screenshots. Evernote Premium accounts cost $5 per month or $45 per year.
MacUpdate's Winter app bundle offers a $400 value for $40
Mac-only software directory MacUpdate has released its latest app bundle for the winter holiday season. Containing 10 apps (with an addition two bonus apps for early buyers), the bundle is worth nearly $400 and sells for $39, a 90 percent savings. The Winter Bundle consists of primarily of productivity and office utility apps.
Workers prepped to deal with update's changes
Apple is now seeding the latest build of OS X 10.9.1 -- 13B40 -- to AppleCare workers, a report says. The code reached developers Tuesday night, but its distribution to AppleCare is believed to be more significant, since it implies that the software is close enough to completion that AppleCare workers can start familiarizing themselves. A finished update might therefore reach the public within the next week or two.
Remote record expanded to include on-demand programming
British broadcaster Sky has made a number of updates to its online services. The Sky+ app for iOS and Android has received some usability updates, Sky Go for Android now has a version specifically made for tablets, and its Sky Store streaming rentals service has been opened up to all of the UK, including those not subscribing to Sky's satellite TV offering.
Tasks, expenses among new categories
Fanurio has released a major update of its self-named time-tracking software, v3.0. The new software expands tracking beyond strict billing purposes; users can for instance create tasks and follow their progress, and record expenses, which can be tallied at actual cost or with a markup. Trip tracking includes options for distance and time, and product tracking can be used to bill for goods and services that don't fall under tasks or expenses.
More fixes for GMail integration in Mail, Smart Folders, VoiceOver
Just less than two weeks after the second OS X 10.9.1 beta was released, Apple has made a third available, this time with build number 13B40. The new release offers further advances on GMail integration in Mail and Smart Folders, both mentioned as areas of improvement in the second developer beta. Developers are still asked to focus on Mail, along with Safari, graphics drivers for various video cards and chipsets, and VoiceOver -- the same areas of attention as the previous beta.
Dashboard widget also gets maintenance update
Apple has updated its Remote Desktop software for client machines, along with the Remote Desktop Dashboard widget for administrators. Version 3.7.1 of the client software is said to address "several issues related to overall reliability, usability and compatibility," providing support for OS X Mavericks, automatic copy-and-paste between local and remote computers, and improved support for multiple displays, among other enhancements.
Ember offers image file organization, sync via iCloud
RealMac Software has launched its latest app for iOS, imaging organizer Ember (formerly known as LittleSnapper). Allowing users to collect images and organize them into projects, the compiled library can be synced via iCloud for accessing on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Design gets shareable themes, drag-and-drop data
Having leaked it yesterday, today Apple-owned FileMaker has formally announced FileMaker 13, the next major edition of its database creation software. One of the major additions is WebDirect, an HTML5-based method of publishing databases to the web without special programming. When developing iOS frontends, users can now generate them in a single step, and add things like slide controls, popovers, gesture controls, custom keyboards, and barcode capture functions.
Natural-media software works with photo-editing apps or as standalone
Photo-manipulation software maker Alien Skin has debuted a new version of its natural-media tool Snap Art, now at version 4.0. The update features a redesigned user interface and significant improvements in speed, and now requires OS X Mountain Lion or later for Mac and Windows 7 or newer for Windows users. The program, which can turn photographs into drawings or paintings emulating human artists in a wide variety of styles and media, is available as a stand-alone application or as a photo-editor plug-in.
Mac, PC, iOS, Android versions all available to qualified institutions
After a reveal in October, Microsoft has launched the Student Advantage program, giving free access to Microsoft Office software. The Student Advantage program is an initiative by Microsoft that gives attendees of schools and universities that have site licenses for Office 365 access to current software Office releases. Office 2011 is provided for Mac students, with a version of Office 2013 available for Windows users.
TomTom's GPS watches' new MySports mobile app, offering easy data upload
TomTom, a GPS gadget producer, has announced its latest software release to compliment its GPS watches. TomTom MySports offers flexibility to runners, cyclists and swimmers in respects to their interactions with their performance data. Users of the Sports Watch can upload and access their key performance information to the app without needing to connect to a computer.
Free upgrade spurs quick adoption
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
YouTube joins Netflix, Hulu Plus on handheld Nintendo game console
The Nintendo 3DS is now able to play videos from YouTube. A new app download available from the 3DS eShop for North America and Europe lets users view shows on the handheld Nintendo game console, though despite the capability of the 3DS to show glasses-free 3D imagery on one of its screens, the app will not support 3D videos from the service.
Feature additions go unmentioned
Various editions of FileMaker Pro 13 have gone on sale at Apple's UK online store ahead of an anticipated official announcement. The listings don't make mention of specific feature upgrades, but in screenshots the OS X release appears to have a new "Share" button, while the companion iOS app - FileMaker Go -- has been given a visual overhaul for iOS 7. Still missing is a matching FileMaker Server update.
Side Tree Software's programs on Mac App Store $1 throughout December
Side Tree Software has announced that all of its programs available at the App Store will be $1 each through the month of December. Starting today, apps such as Abuzzle, Equal, Mymyry, SlidePuzzle and Tribbi are available for the $1 sale price.
LG will add Android KitKat to G2 late in first quarter of 2014
The LG G2 will receive the latest version of Android early next year, allowing the device to skip past Android 4.3 entirely. Version 4.4 of the mobile operating system, also known as KitKat, will appear on the company's flagship smartphone late in the first quarter of 2014, or near the end of march, according to details passed from LG Canada to Mobile Syrup.
Reduced up to 50 percent or more this weekend, including $1 apps
Black Friday sales aren't exclusive to tech gear and shopping malls -- there are plenty of discounts to be had on iTunes and the App Store for Mac OS X and iOS users.
Black Friday sales on tablets, laptops, desktops and more from OfficeMax
Officemax, a office supply retailer, currently has its own Black Friday sale promoting a variety of office-related products, but with a focus on technology. Tablets, laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, scanners, and portable file storage systems are included in the promotion.
Valentina Studio 5.5 released, Paradigma offers Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials
Paradigma's cross-platform database management software for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, Valentina Studio has been updated to v5.5 and 5.5 Pro. Offering new features for administration of database servers, Valentina Studio has improved report design features for datasource Microsoft SQL Server, additional administrator functions, and more. Valentina Studio Pro is regularly available for $200, and includes 12 months of free updates, while Valentina Studio is free.
Allows scaling for different phone, tablet szies
RunRev has released v6.5 of LiveCode, its simplified app development tool for iOS and Android apps. The update primarily adds resolution independence -- meaning that the same app can quickly be rescaled for any screen size, whether on a phone or a tablet. This includes accommodation for displays with high pixel densities, such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
Pioneer release includes specialized SuperHero, Frontier variants
Following up on the release of flagship xStream and Infinite editions, e-on Software has shipped the Esprit, Studio, Complete, and Pioneer versions of Vue 2014, its scenery rendering software. As its name implies, Complete is intended to be a completely self-contained scenery tool. Studio is focused on vegetation, while Esprit is more basic still. Pioneer is a free, feature-limited edition of the software, meant to introduce people to concepts and the platform; images it produces include logos and watermarks.
Mega releases cloud storage app for iOS, iPad version due in future
Mega, the cloud storage service operated by Kim Dotcom, has launched an official iOS app. The free download allows users to browse their account, preview and stream specific documents and files, and to send links to files and folders to other people. Support for the iPad as well as photo synchronization are touted as future upgrades.
Skulls of Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition now ported to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Originally released for Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Steam, Skulls of Shogun is now available for iOS users. The Bone-A-Fide edition of Skulls features five episodes of single-player content, and 36 multi-player maps, playable over the Internet through the turn-based Skulls Anywhere mode, or pass-and-play with up to four people.
Virgin TV Anywhere boasts 67 channels through mobile app
British cable service Virgin Media has updated its Virgin TV Anywhere service, by introducing an Android app to compliment its existing iOS offering. At the same time, the company is adding nine more live channels to the service for both platforms, as it continues to compete against dominant broadcaster Sky and its similar Sky Go service.
AT&T killing support for U-Verse on Xbox 360 at end of 2013
AT&T will stop supporting the Xbox 360 under its U-Verse service after December 31st of this year. The service, which allowed the game console to act as a secondary set-top box for watching TV, with a representative advising Polygon that it was being pulled due to "low customer demand," and that it will not appear on the Xbox One. An e-mail sent out to a number of subscribers details a $99 credit to cover part of the cost of Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as the required conversion kit.
Possible Play Store rule violations could have forced CyanogenMod exit
CyanogenMod has been kicked out of the Google Play Store, potentially for violating the store's rules. The app, which allows users to install the CyanogenMod version of Android, is now no longer listed in the Android app store after Google Play support contacted the development team and asked for its removal, otherwise they would remove it themselves.
Skype traffic in China flows directly through Microsoft servers
Microsoft has moved to a new partner for providing Skype in China, one that could help improve privacy in the region. The messaging service will now be operated by Guangming Founder instead of TOM Online, with some reports suggesting that the move could potentially offer greater protections to users in China from monitoring by the country's government.
Moto X wood options will be available in coming weeks
The Moto X will have options for a wood backing in the future, but not in time for Thanksgiving, according to a Reuters reporter on Twitter. Despite this, Motorola is allegedly aiming to offer the backing option to customers through Moto Maker in the coming weeks, "in time for some holiday shopping." Original sightings of the backing showed options for Ebony, Rosewood, Teak, and Bamboo, though it is not clear which of these will be offered to customers.
ChronoSync backup and mirroring tool takes 25 percent off regular price
Well-regarded synchronization, backup and mirroring tool ChronoSync will be going on sale between November 28 and December 2 in what the developer, Econ Technologies, says is its "Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Small Business Saturday-Cyber-Monday" event. The program, which normally sells for $40 but includes free lifetime upgrades, will be discounted by 25 percent to $30 during the sale. Unlike Apple's own Time Machine solution, ChronoSync can be customized to backup only selected items, create bootable backups, and works across platforms, external drives, network drives and even iOS devices. A demo and the full program are available directly from the developer.
BlackBerry Messenger to be preinstalled on some Android smartphones
BlackBerry is rolling out its social network-style content feeds to BlackBerry OS devices today. The announcement that BBM Channels is leaving beta comes at the same time as reports that the company has struck deals with a number of Android smartphone producers to have the messaging platform preinstalled on devices.
Inflated scores removed from benchmark listings after cheating discovered
Benchmark scores for smartphones and tablets from Samsung and HTC have been removed from one ranking site, after it was discovered that they were manipulated for a higher mark. Futuremark has delisted smartphones caught cheating its benchmarking app, including the HTC One and One Mini, and both processor variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note III.
Android KitKat heads to Google Play editions of Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One
Updates for Android KitKat are heading to the Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. The two devices, running on stock Android instead of the Sense or TouchWiz versions provided by HTC and Samsung respectively, will start receiving over-the-air updates from today onwards, upgrading the devices to Android version 4.4.
Chair makes original Infinity Blade free for limited time
The three-year-old but still highly-regarded game Infinity Blade for iOS has been made free for a limited time in celebration of Black Friday -- only the second time the game has gone free since its debut. The game, the first in the series, is compatible with iPhones from the 3GS on up and all iPad models, as well as the third-generation or later iPod touch. The game -- in which players take on the role of a knight and his descendants battling the God King and his minions in a single-player campaign marked by lush, cinematic graphics -- normally sells for $6.
Android cameras to get higher-end photo features
Google has confirmed that it is working on building support for the RAW photo file format into its Android mobile operating system, as well as a burst mode that allows for rapid image capture. The company spoke to Cnet on Monday, saying that the new features have been under development and may be opened up to developers in the future. Reportedly, the features are already present in Android's hardware abstraction layer, the part of the operating system handling inputs from a mobile device's hardware.
Full 3D sequel offers classic characters with new heroes and ten playable tales
Nearly 20 years after Final Fantasy IV's release, a full 3D remake sequel has been released for iOS. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years includes classic characters alongside new heroes, such as Ceodore, son of King Cecil and Rosa of Baron. Another moon has appeared in the sky, as well as new destructive monsters that threaten the world.
Call states, message notifications to synchronize in Skype in future
Microsoft will be making some changes to Skype, in order to address a number of problems on the messaging platform. Skype product manager Jeff Kunins revealed that the company is testing updates that will allow for full message synchronization across multiple devices, among a number of other items set to improve the service overall.
System could create specific responses based on earlier messages
Responding to social network postings could be easier in the future, according to a patent filing from Google. A listing on the USPTO for the "Automated generation of suggestions for personalized reactions in a social network" advises of a potential system that could suggest appropriate responses to posts and messages, one that takes into account previous messages by the user.