Apple devices dominate wish-lists in most other electronics categories -- even routers
If there was one word to summarize what's at the top of US Christmas gift lists when it comes to electronics, the word is "Apple." Retail analyst firm Parks Associates revealed that in its latest survey, the iPhone maker -- long the most popular brand for tablets, smartphones, MP3 players and TV set-top boxes -- is now also the hottest brand in desktop computers. The top spot for desktops was previously held by Dell for the last two years, with Apple coming in second until the 2013 survey.
MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMacs on sale at B&H, MacMall
Black Friday sales are well under way today, and online retailers promoting Apple products are selling out quickly. Presently, the best Black Friday deals still available at this writing can be found for Mac computers at B&H and MacMall. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with an i7 Dual-Core 2.9GHz CPU, 8GB RAM and 750GB hard drive is available from B&H for $1,250 (saving $200), and the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with an i5 Dual-Core 2.5GHz CPU, 8GB RM and 128GB hard drive is available for $1,150 from MacMall.
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.
Also improves reliability when updating projects, events from previous versions
In a rare move, Apple has updated its Mac iMovie application to expand its compatibility with some older video cards, and now lists its only system requirement as being "OS X 10.9 Mavericks," suggesting it has dropped the previous requirements for "an OpenCL-compatible graphics card" and "a display with 1280x800 resolution or higher" as strict requirements (though they are likely still recommended). The move could allow some Mac models that can run Mavericks but don't have OpenCL-supported cards, or have added third-party cards, to run the latest iMovie.
Dramatically faster troubleshooting, resolution achieved with visuals
In a quiet update today, Apple is now giving users who have a problem the option of initiating a screen-sharing session directly with AppleCare representatives. While screen-sharing has been a tool available for the reps for some time to help customers, it usually comes only after many other areas of discussion and testing of a problem have already been tried. The practice can be a great help in quickly troubleshooting or identifying the cause of a problem.
Version 11 brings 120 features, migration to OS X Cocoa frameworks
Cross-platform small business client and project management tool Studiometry has received what developer Oranged Software calls "probably our biggest change to the app since its initial release." Version 11 of the Windows, iOS, and OS X application ships today with a brand new user interface, adding over 120 features and improvements and finally transitioning to Cocoa on Mac.
Apple extends your creative potential with GarageBand for iOS, Mac
GarageBand for iOS and Mac OS X both received comprehensive updates at Apple’s “A lot to cover” event last week. GarageBand for iOS used to cost a few dollars, but like all of Apple’s third party apps for both iOS and Mac, it is now free. GarageBand for iOS looks quite similar to GarageBand on the Mac, but the iOS version has of course been optimized for multi-touch UI. As far as music creation goes on mobile devices or on desktops, none are simpler to use. Yet at the same time, you can create highly polished pieces of music on either device with the iPhone 5s highlighting the processing processing power of Apple's 64-bit A7 chip, being able to handle up to 32 simultaneous tracks. It’s hard to believe, but every iPhone 5s owner has more recording power in their pocket than The Beatles ever had access to.
Mac Pro to begin shipping this December
Apple's Phil Schiller took time during today's presentation to provide new information on the updated Mac Pro. We now know that the Mac Pro will start at $2999 for the basic configuration, which features a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of DRAM and dual FirePro D300 GPUs, and will begin shipping this December.
Worldwide softening of PC sales also hurting Macs; iPods down 36 percent
Based on data from NPD (but with a caveat), investment analysts Piper Jaffray has maintained its "overweight" rating on AAPL and reports in a note to investors that it is "comfortable" with its original estimate of a decline in Mac sales year-over-year of around five percent, though it acknowledges that NPD is estimating seven percent. Apple's fiscal year ended on September 30, and it will report the results of that quarter on October 28.
iTunes can't download nor update Apps
This week in the MacNN forums, a frustrated "angelmb" took to the forums posting the thread titled "my iTunes can't download nor update apps" when they were trying to figure out why apps could not be downloaded or updated. Yesterday, Moderator "andi*pandi" started a thread titled "iPhoto 11 will not email photos" while looking for help in trying to get iPhoto 11 to connect to Mail.
Only security issues addressed, affects all Mac Office 2011 editions
On Tuesday, Microsoft issued a new security patch for all versions of its Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 edition, including academic, Standard and Home & Business editions and all the main applications contained therein. The update "fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code." The fix is intended for Intel Macs running OS X 10.5.8 or later.
Company's new iCloud Keychain to be included in final release
After first releasing a build of the next major version of OS X exclusively to AppleSeed members that had dropped the words "Developer Preview" from the title, very late Thursday Apple sent developers the same build -- now labelled the "Golden Master" of Mavericks. Barring the discovery of any serious flaws, the version seeded tonight will be the final that is distributed to the public when OS X Mavericks (10.9) is formally released -- though the company has not yet announced a date.
Command server down; risk low, but points out potential vulnerability
A file that looks like a image file and bears a camera-like filename with the extension not visible by default has been discovered to actually be a rogue application that could install a permanent "backdoor" on Mac systems and triggers Preview to open an image, fooling the user into thinking it was simply an unusual picture file. The purpose of the Trojan appears to be supportive of the hacker Syrian Electronic Army, which is in league with the totalitarian regime of Syria's present government. It is currently considered low-risk for a number of reasons.
new Mac Pro, Magic Mouse with Tiger and more
Excitement is growing around the imminent release of the new Mac Pro, with forum members continuing to discuss the design, and more importantly the components of the new system from Apple. Fresh rumors about the introduction of Haswell-powered iMacs has brought the thread titled "Haswell iMacs....when?" back to life.
Indirect-control soccer game by HeroCraft launched
Herocraft has launched its indirect-control soccer (or 'football') game, FootLOL, for Mac. FootLOL has gamers use mines, shields, UFOs, cows, glue and many other items to protect one's players, and beat the opposing team. Featuring four planets, each with several types of playing field, users can play in tournament mode or multiplayer. FootLOL is available for $10 at the App Store.
Beta version available for users running preview of Mavericks
Maintain, a Mac applications developer, has released version 7.0 Beta 1 of system utility Cocktail. Cocktail is a digital toolset with a variety of features that lets users repair and optimize their system. The application offers a combination of maintenance tools and interface 'tweaks'. Anticipating Apple's fall release of OS X Mavericks 10.9, the latest beta version of the software is intended for users running a developer preview. Cocktail for OS X 10.8 and earlier is available with a Single User License for $20.
Time Machine add-on details backups
Tri-edre has released its latest issuing of its OS X back-up software, Back-In-Time 3. Optimizing users' experience of Apple's Time Machine, Back-In-Time displays the number of different versions of each file backed up and their respective backup dates, as well as whether items have been deleted and their availability within backups. The latest offering includes a new user interface, and improved navigation and search features. Virtual disks can be created for Time Capsule or for other Macs. Additionally, Back-In-Time 3 includes the ability to use the software without the need for administrator privileges. Back-In-Time 3 is available for download in full for $30, or as an upgrade for $10.
Total Mac percentage of Apple revenue to drop to 11 percent next year
A new report from industry analyst NPD has predicted that Mac sales will see a small year-over-year decline in sales again, mostly (and somewhat ironically) due to the industry-wise cannibalization of traditional PCs by the iPad. While still likely to beat the industry average rate of decline, Apple had until last quarter been able to continue growing Mac demand thanks to a greater emphasis on notebook sales. Apple missed expectations for Mac sales last quarter, but may have a chance to reverse its fortunes in its fiscal first quarter this winter.
Ember updated with new annotation feature
Realmac software has updated its Mac-based digital scrapbook software, Ember. New to v1.1 is a Smart Drawing feature that is capable of detecting specific hand drawn shapes and replacing them with smooth pre-rendered versions. This includes arrows, circles, squares, and more. A host of other improvements, including the ability to drag images directly from the Finder and into Collections, are also featured in this release. Ember weighs in at 21.8MB and can be purchased in the Mac App Store for $50.
iOS app update rolls out textbooks
As per Google's announcement in July regarding its plan to release textbooks to Google Play Books, listings are now available via an update to the iOS app.The textbooks are currently available to purchase outright, though some titles will be offering a six month lower-cost "rental" option. Free samples of textbooks are provided. Presently only available to US customers, the Google Play Books app is available for Android, iOS, and on the web.
Interface Builder now iOS 7 compatible, new Auto Vectorizer tool, more
Alongside the releases of fresh iOS 7 and Apple TV betas, Apple has also issued a fifth Developer Preview of Xcode 5 -- which offers some improvements and changes as well as the usual fixes and performance enhancements. The new build (5A11365y) continues to polish the Simulator and Instruments, makes slight tweaks to the user interface and overall experience, adds iOS 7 support to Interface Builder and brings a new Auto Vectorizer tool to Compiler among other changes. Though bugs remain, there are also some further changes in the new build.
New iOS app
Mac Elite "boy8cookie" is looking for some feedback on their new app for iOS called "Eyebrowse" that makes it possible to create "spaces" on your iOS device that each function as a web browser, making it possible to visit multiple websites simultaneously. "ShortcutToMoncton" is trying to figure out the best way of storing photos on their Mac, while editing them on their iPad.
Which screen recorder should I get?
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for advice about which screen recorder to get. Also yesterday "rotuts" was looking for some help with troubleshooting problems with a Logitech mouse which is being used with a Mac Pro that is running 10.5.6.
Retina MBPs from $1,269
The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $230 to $1,269. For $1,439, after a $260 discount, is the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.
Rare Twentieth Anniversary Mac listed on eBay
A new listing for a rare Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh has appeared on eBay. Recognized as the first major design project for Jonathan Ive, the TAM was introduced as a limited production in the spring of 1997. Only 12,000 machines were ever produced, and 399 of those were kept by apple to be used as spare parts. The system comes in all of its original packaging and includes all of the accessories that came with the system when it was shipped. Biding will remain open until June 23 with shipping limited to locations with the United States.
Overheating woes, Safari gripes and more
On the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "FireWire" is trying to figure out why his iMac keeps shutting off when the CPU temp reaches 50°C in the thread titled "iMac doesn't adjust fan speed, and dies." Forum-goers are helping "Laminar" troubleshoot a problem in which Time Machine doesn't see his most recent backups.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
New Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks, iOS 7
With the announcements at WWDC yesterday, the forums are alive with discussions about the announcements made. Forum-goers quickly started debating the practicality of the upcoming Mac Pro in a thread started by Administrator "reader50" immediately following the unveiling of this latest model. In the thread titled "OS X Mavericks," members talk about their first impressions of the updated OS that will be available later this year.
Cloud app Evernote gets nod; Student winners include Finish and Mosaic
The Apple Design Awards for 2013 for iOS apps have been announced through a web page and a a series of tweets from Apple's @AppStore account. Among the winners are cloud productivity tool Evernote, word game Letterpress and Yahoo Weather -- the latter largely upstaged earlier in the day by the new default weather app in iOS 7, which strongly resembles the Yahoo app in style and function. A number of other companies also won Apple Design Awards, as well as two student entries that won student ADAs.
Intel's Haswell released, MBP update imminent
With the recent release of Intel's new Haswell chips, the MacNN forums are abuzz with talk of a refresh for the MacBook Pro lineup, as well as a long awaited update to the Mac Pro. One Senior User turned to the forums this weekend in search of a solution to fan issues with their MacBook Pro.
Weather HD now known as Clear Day
Vimov has updated the desktop version of its Clear Day weather software for the Mac. Previously known as Weather HD, the app has been designed to provide users with detailed weather forecasts for locations around the world. Severe weather warnings are delivered to the app directly from the National Weather Service and MetroAlarm, and detailed animations are used to depict the conditions. Version 2.0 has updated the real-time severe weather notifications to support Mountain Lion, and now provides quick access to a detailed view of weather conditions through the menu bar icon. Support has also been added for pausing and playing videos with a click, as well as dragging map borders to enlarge the view. Clear Day can be purchased from the Mac App Store for $4.
Unusual notice required due to infrastructure maintenance
In a rare move, Apple has notified developers working on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.4 update that it is closing down the seeding of new betas, essentially signalling that release of the update is likely to come next week. In the message, the company explains that scheduled maintenance on its Software Update project requires it to close existing projects and that the system for developer updates will be down from today, Friday the 31st. Apple also took a moment in the message to thank developers for their efforts in helping finalize the software.
Still-functioning Mac SE mod preceded Mac Portable by two years
Mobile software developer and former Apple employee Ken Landau was engaged in a bit of spring cleaning when he uncovered a rare find: a still-functional, Apple-sanctioned portable version of the Mac SE created and built by electronics pioneer Chuck Colby in 1987, two years before Apple would begin its own journey into mobile computing with the Macintosh Portable. The Colby Walkmac (as it was known) was the first battery-operated Macintosh, as well as the first portable Mac with an LCD display. At the time, the 13-pound Walkmac sold for around $6,000.
Safari video problems, Facetime audio issues, more
Yesterday, Forum Regular "Nassifer" turned to the MacNN forums looking for help when they were no longer able to play videos in Safari. Junior Member "canadave" recently used Facetime for the first time and was trying to figure out why there wasn't two-way simultaneous audio, like on a phone call.
Components to be sourced from US companies where possible
During his testimony before the Senate on Apple's tax strategies, CEO Tim Cook restated an earlier promise that a forthcoming Mac model -- not identified -- was going to be built in the United States, and further revealed that it would be assembled in Texas. While the exact site wasn't specified, Apple has established and is expanding an administrative campus in Austin, and manufacturing partner Foxconn has facilities in Houston.
Bluetooth keyboard typing issues with iPad and more
Earlier this week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "abbaZaba" was trying to figure out why the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that they have paired with an iPad 4 will stutter the first letter when typing. After making a digital copy of a 20-year-old VHS home movie, one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for any advice on ways to make the imported footage look a little less faded.
Nine apps valued at over $400 for $49 in latest bundle deal
Another Mac-centric shareware bundle deal has popped up, with Nova Development offering a new Mac SuperBundle deal celebrating Spring. The offer includes nine commercial and shareware programs with a total value of $413 for $49. The most prominent program in the bundle, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, sells by itself for $80 at retail. Other programs include TextExpander (normally $35), RapidWeaver 5 (normally $80), Circus Ponies Notebook ($50) and other Mac software.
Adobe Flash update and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss the most recent Flash update in the thread titled "Adobe Flash 11.7.7 update requires download?" which was started by "Hawkeye_a" who found it strange, especially after the recent malware scares. Yesterday "ibook_steve" reported that his Finder is showing that he has more free space on their hard drive than he does in reality.
Mac mini and iPods
Find bargain prices on refurbished Mac mini models today at Apple's online store. The refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, an Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and dual 500GB hard drives has been reduced by $240 to $759. For $889 is the refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, a 2.0GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and dual 750GB hard drives.
Keyboards, Magsafe, Airport devices, cables and more now available
Coming on the heels of a similar expansion of Apple offerings in US Staples stores in February, Radio Shack has opted to expand its current line of Apple-made iOS accessories with additional offerings aimed at Mac owners, including wired (and wireless) keyboards, Magic Mouses and Trackpads, Magsafe power adapters, USB SuperDrives, Airport products and various cables and adapters. The company has also added an accessories section to its Apple product page, and is offering a $10 store credit for purchases over $30 from the section.
Jolla inches closer to launch with release of the Sailfish OS SDK
Jolla has released the Software Development Kit (SDK) for its Linux-based Sailfish mobile operating system. The SDK has been made available for Mac, Windows and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) with its release paving the way for interested developers to create native applications for Jolla’s forthcoming handsets. The Sailfish OS also supports the Qt platform, which developers previously used for creating native apps on Nokia’s abandoned Symbian and MeeGo operating systems, making it simple for apps running on those platforms to be ported to the new OS.
SCSI drive for an old Mac IIcx
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "Doc HM" was looking for a SCSI drive for a Macintosh IIcx, but has yet to find a solution. Junior Member "Harvey" is having trouble syncing his iPad 2 with his iPhone 5 even though both are running iOS 6.
Refurbished MacBook Pros from $1,019
At Apple's online store today, save on a variety of refurbished MacBook Pro models. The 13.3-inch MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive is only $1,019 after a $180 price cut. A $270 discount is offered on the 15.4-inch MBP with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive, now $1,529.
Mac minis at discounted prices
At Apple's online store this week, there is an abundance of refurbished Mac mini configurations starting as low as $469 for the Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. For $509 is a refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
Low prices on refurbished Mac Pro and Apple accessories
A price cut of $680 is offered on the refurbished Mac Pro with a 2.8GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 3GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now priced at $1,819. Save 24 percent off the list price of the refurbished Mac Pro with a 2.4GHz 8-Core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $2,649.
The debate continues.
The MacNN forums have been fairly quiet so far this week, with very few new threads started -- however the war wages on in the thread titled "Windows 8 vs. Mountain Lion" where forum-goers debate the differences between the two operating systems. A recent discussion about how to copy a piece of text to Notes without copying the original style can be found in this thread.
Selling iMac, how to install brand new OS
Today, Grizzled Veteran "jmiddel" announced that they are selling their iMac, but they are looking for a way to install a copy of Mountain Lion that can be transferred to the new owner along with the computer. Also today, Mac Elite "euphras" was looking for a way to determine what capacity their VRAM sticks that they have lying around are, from a machine that was built in the early '90s.
Logitech delivers wireless backlit keyboard for Mac, iOS
The Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard for the Mac and iOS users, first revealed late last year, is now shipping. From a distance, the Logitech keyboard looked as though it was the Bluetooth keyboard that Mac users have been looking for with the addition of keybaord backlighting. While the Apple Wireless Keyboard is popular choice for Mac users, it does not have backlighting like its MacBook lineup. Not one to miss an opportunity in the world of peripherals, Logitech has finally developed a keyboard that fits that bill.
Version 2 of the software provides several UI, usability improvements
Acclivity today announced AccountEdge Basic 2 for Mac and Windows. The new version of the accounting application includes improvements to sales, banking, and customer management, in addition to other features designed to make small business owners' bookkeeping tasks easier.
Once again, no major code changes noted
Apple is distributing an eleventh beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers, listed as build 12D65. As with the tenth release, there appear to be no significant code changes or feature changes other than some bug fixes. Apple is also asking developers to once again test the same components as before, including AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, graphics drivers, and Safari.