In a new report for the UK newspaper The Guardian, Apple Senior VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson has acknowledged that the company needs to do more to facilitate more use of renewable energy by its suppliers and partners as well as itself. The iPhone maker has had tremendous success in converting its data centers to renewable energy, and has implemented similar measures in 120 of its stores. The next target, the paper says, is its Arizona sapphire glass plant.
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8 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging, networking, Apple
Parliant has announced the release of its new voice messaging product for Mac users, Echoes. Functioning on a local network, users can contact other Macs running Echoes and send a voice message instantly, without the need for "dialing" like Skype or FaceTime. To send a voice announcement, one selects "Announce" from the Echoes icon found in the menu bar. Users can announce to both individuals or groups, and quickly reply to the sender of the last received announcement. Keyboard shortcuts for sending and replying can be set, and the last announcement made can be re-sent without re-recording. Priced at $10, Echoes is available through the App Store.
Customer service analytics company StellaService has released a new report that ranks Apple as number one for online delivery speed, up from an eighth-place ranking in April. The iPhone maker captured the top spot for the first time in June with an average processing-and-delivery time of just 2.3 days, beating mostly online clothing outlets such as Abercrombie, Zappos, Nike and others. In a separate study that ranked all aspects of customer service, Apple was topped by J. Crew and Mr Porter.
10 hours ago | Posted in: security, developer, iPhone apps, iPad apps
AgileBits, makers of the security and password vault 1Password, are among the first to implement and preview an iOS 8 extension and third-party Touch ID support, allowing other app makers to utilize the program's stored passwords outside of the 1Password app itself. Apple announced the concept of iOS extensions at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, which enables one app to use tools or services found in a different app in a secure manner.
11 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones
Last week, one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but it would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.
Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."
13 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Apple released a new update for MacBook Air EFI firmware today, updating to version 2.9.1 for "Mid-2011" models of the notebook. The company states that the update fixes a few issues for owners facing problems with waking from sleep and fans running at full speed in a specific instance. The update replaces a previous version that caused a number of additional problems for owners.
14 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple
Apple has started seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is listed as built 13F7, and available through the Developer Center. Users are asked to focus testing on just a handful of areas, including Safari, graphics, and USB, including smart cards.
15 hours ago | Posted in: industry, peripherals, Apple
Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.
Although the takeover has yet to be fully approved legally, some workers and technology resources are already being shifted from Beats to Apple, sources say. Apple executives have allegedly visited Beats' California headquarters this week and the last, offering some workers new positions at Apple while telling others that their jobs will be cut. Many Beats employees in creative or development roles are being offered work at Apple; many of these are allegedly headed to Apple's Cupertino's headquarters, but the company is keeping both the Santa Monica offices and some engineers associated with Beats Music.
16 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, peripherals
Peripheral producer Logitech has created what it claims is the world's fastest gaming mouse ever manufactured. The G402 Hyperion Fury uses Logitech's Fusion Engine system on a built-in 32-bit ARM processor for tracking, allowing it to keep up with tracking speeds faster than 500 inches per second, more than the preceding G502 Proteus Core's 300 inches per second tracking.
16 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design
Quark has released a v10.2 update for QuarkXPress, its flagship publishing software. The code makes significant feature additions, for instance letting people adjust rendering quality for different balances between performance and fidelity. Users can also add notes to projects that are separate from content and exportable as PDFs; redlines meanwhile show where changes have been made, and allow groups to approve or reject them.
In an interview, electronics retailer Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly believes that the day of the tablet may already be over. Citing observations at his stores, the CEO claims that the company has "actually had a revival of the PC business at Best Buy," giving credit to Microsoft for discontinuation of Windows XP, and to Apple for continuing to innovate for consumers.
The Russian government has proposed that two Western companies, Apple and SAP, grant access to their source code so it can determine whether or not products are tools for spying on state organizations and/or the public, Reuters reports. Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, is said to have made the request when he met last week with Apple's local general manager, Peter Nielsen, and SAP's local managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. In an official Communications Ministry statement, Nikiforov comments that "Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services' public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware."
Last week, we launched the Crowdfunding Critic here on MacNN and Electronista, and promised that every Tuesday and Thursday we'd highlight a new campaign. While we were working on yesterday's selection, we got wind of this -- the Modbook Pro X, by Modbook, Inc., a modification of Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro into a massive pen-enabled tablet. Based on it, we decided to do our second article in the series a day late, but we think this one is worth the wait.
19 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Apple has updated a promotional page to let shoppers know about tax holidays coming up in nine US states between August 1st and the 3rd. The states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During the holidays, Apple has said it will drop sales tax charges for qualifying purchases made online or at retail. Although taxes will still appear during online checkouts, proper totals should appear in email confirmations.
20 hours ago | Posted in: networking, iPad
Free voice, texting, and data service provider FreedomPop is extending its plans to tablets, starting with the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, according to an announcement. In the case of Minis, subscribers will be given mic-equipped Apple headphones and a special app, allowing them to make calls through FreedomPop's VoIP platform. Each person will have a unique phone number, and associated features such as voicemail and the ability to port that number to a different device or carrier.
Freeway Pro features a traditional page layout approach that can help users create dynamic sites without the need to write code. Within the software users can visually layout a page with embedded images and content, then instantly publish it to a server, .Mac account, or local folder. A host of new features are included in the v7.0 release, including support for media types and widths, support for Universal Analytics in the Google Analytics Action, and new View menu options with keyboard shortcuts which allow selection of the next/previous sibling box, and the ancestor/first descendant element.
NetShade is a tool for routing an Internet connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or through NetShades own dedicated proxy. This allows users to mask their IP address and improve security while browsing the web. Version 6.0 introduces the new KeyShade password manager, as well as an updated interface. A new Tiles view is also included, along with a customizable Events system and AppleScript support.
Drive Genius is a storage management utility that features a number of tools for optimizing and repairing hard drives. The v3.2.4 update resolves an incompatibility problem with DriveSlim that could occur with certain applications running on OS X 10.8 or later.
Porthole allows users to stream audio from their favorite music source to an AirPort Express, AirPlay speakers, or Apple TV. In v1.7.1, the software will now default to using a monochrome stays bar icon to make sure the software still looks good with Yosemite’s dark theme. A number of other icons in the status bar menu have also been updated and a Polish localization has been added.
Toast Titanium is a tool for burning CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs on the Mac. The software includes a number of tools for burning projects, including SonicFire Pro 5, HD video authoring, video format presets, and more. The latest update allows users to record directly from their screen with Live Screen Capture. The ability to burn HD videos on standard DVDs for playback on Blu-ray players has also been added.
21 hours ago | Posted in: computers
The same Apple support document that references a 2014 Mac mini also lists a "mid 2014" 27-inch iMac, checks show. It's mentioned alongside a 2014 21.5-inch iMac, but that presumably refers to the low-end model Apple introduced in June. To meet a mid-2014 launch date, Apple would have to ship an updated 27-inch system within the next month.
The question of how much productivity you can get done on the Apple iPad is one that has persisted since its introduction. Even if the question is not an easy one to answer, it seems almost irrelevant to even ask when one looks at how massively successful the iPad has been since its introduction. The question also depends on what one defines as being 'productivity,' when it has been clear for some time that plenty of people can and do use iPads for getting work done, particularly in creative endeavors. The recently announced partnership between Apple and IBM in enterprise, coupled with the arrival of Microsoft Office for iPad suggests that the iPad's capability in the workplace will be properly tested given that IBM also becomes an official Apple reseller and will help to shift many more units into the workplace.
Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: software, accessories, Apple
WaterField has announced the release of new sizes for two of its bags, designed to fit the previous and refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops. The new 15-inch Outback Solo will fit the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina, and the new 13-inch Indy leather satchelfits the smaller Retina.
Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: accessories, audio
Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, it doesn't mean that it's the right speaker for the job. When it comes to tablets, a speaker that can be kept to the side may not be the best purchase for something that's meant to be as portable as possible. So why not look for a device that can attach to an iPad or Android tablet, like the Adesso Xtream S3B speaker? Does the Adesso speaker provide enough of a boost to sound while retaining the original portability? Find out in our review.
Tue July 29, 2014 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Microsoft on Tuesday issued a significant update of its free note-taking application, OneNote. The new version, 2.3, adds a number of user-requested features, including the ability to insert files into notes, add PDF printouts to any notebook page alongside a users' own notes, copy and paste formatted text and more -- as well as lock or unlock password-protected sections created in OneNote for Windows. The update affects all versions of the app, including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Tue July 29, 2014 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones, Apple
On the release of its first set of statistics following last month's report of a two percent drop in Mac sales (that turned out to be a 16 percent gain), IDC has made the term "shipments" more prominent in its latest report on smartphone share worldwide. Although its reports have always been based on shipment data rather than on sales to end-users, the company emphasized the term in its latest set of numbers, and noted that both Apple and Samsung lost share to smaller Chinese smartphone makers.
Twitter released its quarterly results today, showing a strong surge in business during the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. The company posted revenues of $312 million, compared to only $139 million during the year-ago quarter. The increase represents a 129 percent increase year-over-year. The social media company also saw an increase in users compared to the results from the previous year.
Painting itself in an altruistic, pro-consumer light, Amazon in a post posing as an "update" on the Hachette standoff -- that has prevented customers from buying print or e-book editions from the publisher because Amazon refuses to fill orders -- explains that it is putting pressure on Hachette (and other publishers soon to follow) to lower the wholesale price of e-books to where Amazon can make a profit on them selling them at $10 or less. Amazon argues that e-books "must stay competitive" against all other forms of media.
Tue July 29, 2014 | Posted in: industry
In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.
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