Microsoft rolls out latest update for Xbox One console, adds friend notifications
Microsoft's Xbox One console has received another update, rolling out beginning today. Now including notifications for when friend players arrive online, users will be able to identify friends who are playing multiplayer games. The console's Kinect voice and motion detection has also been improved, reducing false positives on non-hand objects that trigger gesture commands. Other features in the update include improved GameDVR video quality, controller headset adapter firmware updates, silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand, and more.
Xcode update a bug-fix release, iMovie adds features
A week after developers received the "golden master" for Xcode 5.1.1 (free), the minor update has been released to users by Apple. The 2.18GB program, which allows developers to author programs for OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks (10.8 and 10.9) as well as iOS 7.1, has received a handful of bug fixes, and improves the reliability of Quick Look within the debugger. In addition, Apple has updated iMovie for Mac to v10.0.3, which adds new sorting, title and font options.
Deframe version 1.5.1 released, features new video tools
Developer Einstein's Legacy has announced the release of its updated video tool software, Deframe. Allowing users the ability to extract high-quality still images and video clips from their footage, Deframe v 1.5.1 includes a redesigned user interface, new slide show creation, and the ability to share images via email or social media platforms. Deframe operations have been consolidated into a single window, providing a simplified interface for manipulating movies and extractions. Its slide show feature displays in a full screen mode, and can be navigated manually, or as a timed slide show. Available for $20 through the Mac App Store, Deframe requires OS X 10.8.5 or higher.
Construction beginning in earnest following demolition of HP buildings
Photos taken by a Mac and iOS developer's tip site last month and recently show a great deal of progress being made on the preparation for construction of Apple's "spaceship" Campus 2 main building and grounds. A month ago, demolition of existing HP buildings was still taking place; in the most recent photos, the site is all but completely cleared of any trace of its former occupant. Currently, a small army of equipment is preparing the ground for construction.
Heavy bug-fix update indicates final release imminent
On Friday, Apple seeded a "golden master" (GM) version of Xcode 5.1.1 to developers. The "golden master" is usually a release the company feels will not be changed before the final, but is tested one more time to find any showstopper issues. The new update features a substantive number of bug fixes and enhancements. Xcode 5.1.1 will also mark the beginning of a deprecation of some features, including the Apple Text Services (ATS) framework, which is being migrated to CoreText.
Snow Leopard users get separate version but continued support
Late on Thursday, Apple updated its drivers for Xerox printers, print servers and its WorkCentre line. The new version, 3.0.1, covers updated drivers for OS X Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9). Release simultaneously but separately was version 2.3 for Snow Leopard (10.6) only. The drivers update support for existing models and add support for new Xerox products, and the two versions are identical in terms of what products they support.
New update makes more concessions to keyboard, mouse users
At Microsoft's annual Build conference, Microsoft also announced that it has developed a major update to Windows 8.1. The update, available to users April 8, will improve the experience for keyboard and mouse users, as well as bring substantive changes to the Microsoft application store.
2013 Supplier Responsibility summary builds on previous successes
Apple has updated its Supplier Responsibility report, highlighting both continuing improvement and pointing out new initiatives designed to further improve conditions and social issues along its supply chain. Apple reports it achieved 95 percent compliance among all suppliers in limiting workers to a maximum 60-hour work week in 2013, and the company has doubled the number of factories offering free worker education and development programs. The company is also now training additional environment, health and safety (EHS) personnel for its workplaces.
Three-episode 'season pass' now available for $20
The epic quest platformer BioShock Infinite on Tuesday saw the simultaneous release on Mac and Windows of its third and final expansion pack, Burial at Sea - Episode 2. The add-on follows the release of Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Clash in the Clouds for the artistic platformer, which makes exceptional use of rich environments, and offers new achievements as well as a continuation of the previous pack's storyline. The $20 "Season Pass" has been updated to include the new content.
Adds further support for in-app Rotten Tomatoes review snippets
On Tuesday, Apple updated its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS devices, bringing updated notifications when new releases hit local cinemas or the iTunes Store. Version 1.4 also adds actual review excerpts from the Rotten Tomatoes review website, rather than just scores, and adds sharing courtesy of the AirDrop feature, allowing users to share links to movie trailers featured in the app.
Mavericks server 3.1 pulled, version 3.1.1 posted with no changelog
Having released OS X Server for Mavericks nearly a week ago, Apple on Monday replaced the former 3.1 version available on the Mac App Store with a revised version, 3.1.1, which does not list any differences or bug fixes from the previous 3.1 release. The previous and current release both list a number of improvements, including new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Device Manager; new management of fonts, AirPrint and Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 settings, and improved Activation Lock use for admins. The suite costs $20 for new users, but the updated version is free for existing 3.x users.
Apple updates Digital Camera Raw Compatibility plug-in for iPhoto, Aperture
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW plug-in for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 that adds compatibility with supported and new RAW camera output formats. The latest version, 5.04, adds six new cameras to its support list for users running OS X 10.8.5 or later and recent versions of Aperture (3.4.5 or higher) and iPhoto (v9.4.3 or higher). The update adds support for the Fujifilm X-E2 and X-T1, the Nikon D3300 and Nikon 1 AW1, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Pentax K-3. The update is now available through the Mac App Store's Software Update.
Restores Contacts and Calendar local syncing to iTunes
Following the release of internal betas distributed to Apple and AppleCare employees on Tuesday, the company has now made its latest betas for OS X Mavericks and iTunes available to developers. As noted previously, the update to iTunes restores local management of Contacts and Calendar data for users who prefer not to use iCloud syncing. The latest Mavericks beta features improved support for 4K high-definition displays.
Users who haven't upgraded to 10.9.2 get reminder notice
In an unusual move, Apple is sending out "critical security update" reminders to users running OS X 10.9.x if they haven't yet updated to 10.9.2, which fixes an SSL/VPN vulnerability. The reminder, which can appear as a notification on the user's desktop or as an update in Software Update (handled through the Mac App Store), emphasizes the importance of the 10.9.2 update, which also brought new features and other improvements on board. Apple may choose to similarly warn iOS 7 users who haven't updated yet, even though adoption has -- as is typical for both platforms -- been strong.
Adoption rate on par with recent releases, features bug fixes and features
The take-up of Apple's latest iOS point upgrade, 7.1, reached 17.9 percent of all iOS web traffic in North America just 72 hours after its initial launch, according to a follow-up study from mobile analyst Chitika. The firm studied tens of millions of ad impressions to draw its figures, which are in line with recent point releases from Apple. The company says that iOS 7.1 is on track to surpass the recent 7.0.6 update within a few days.
Opera Mini 8 for Java-running phones and BlackBerry OS updated
Mobile web browser Opera Mini has been updated with the release of Opera Mini 8. Custom made for the Java platform on basic ("feature") cellphones, Opera Mini 8 has a revamped appearance that includes an improved Speed Dial start page with redesigned tiles. Featuring a new night mode, users can dim the browser's screen and utilize darker colors for viewing in low-light conditions. Opera Mini 8 supports private tabs that do not save information once the open tab is closed, and settings for minimizing data usage have been improved. Opera Mini 8 can be downloaded for free with one's existing browser on any Java-based basic mobile phone.
Snow Leopard and later included, adds support for new models
On Thursday, Apple refreshed its printer drivers covering Epson and Xerox printers -- likely to be the first of a fresh batch of printer and scanner driver updates -- for Macs running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later. Though the company is slowly winding down support for 10.6, the four-year-old OS continues to get selected security, iTunes/QuickTime and printer driver updates for the time being. Today's release both updates existing drivers and adds support for new models.
Only works with iOS 7.1 at present, Mavericks support likely ahead
The recently-released Apple TV 6.1 update that arrived on Monday has an undocumented new feature that allows AirPlay sessions to be initiated using Bluetooth rather than Bonjour, a change that should make third-generation (1080p-capable) Apple TV units friendlier to complex networks such as those found in institutional and enterprise environments. The system can still scan using Bonjour as well, but will work with Bluetooth if the initiating devices are running iOS 7.1.
Rapid take-up rate matches that of 7.0.6 security fix, adds speed, more
One day after Apple released its latest update to iOS, the latest version is now running on more than six percent of active iOS devices in North America, an analysis from mobile ad aggregator Chitika finds. While iOS 7.1 also contained security fixes, its major focus was adding a few new or enhanced features and squashing bugs, whereas the rapid adoption of the previous update -- 7.0.6 -- was credited to a major security patch.
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
Updates support for OS X 10.9.2, CUDA update also available
On Monday, video card maker Nvidia released updated drivers for 2010, 2009 and 2008-model Mac Pro units, along with a reminder that the units will need the previously-updated CUDA 5.5.28 driver for Mac in order to leverage the CUDA architecture in some Nvidia cards. The updated drivers bring support for the latest version of OS X Mavericks (10.9.2), and include an Nvidia Driver Manager preference pane.
Critical SSL security fix will be on majority of devices by next week
[Updated with more recent statistics from Chitika] One of Apple's biggest advantages over other mobile platforms is its ability to update its OS quickly, and more crucially -- particularly in the case of the rare security issue -- to deploy the update across all compatible devices rapidly, rather than have to wait weeks or months for carriers and partners to incorporate their own apps and other processes and "skins" into the fix. Updted stats from mobile ad analysts Chitika show that more than 25.9 percent of all North American iDevices were already running the latest version within four days of its release.
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
OS X said be vulnerable to same style of attack, patch to come
On February 21, Apple released a patch for iOS bringing iOS 7 and 6 to versions 7.06 and 6.16 (respectively), with little fanfare as to why the patch was issued. However, it now appears to have had more to it than a simple fix to SSL connections. The release notes mentioned a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) vulnerability for "an attacker with a privileged network," meaning that a flaw in the SSL implementation could conceivably allow for a "man-in-the-middle" attack as uncovered by ZDNet.
Latest update brings 'before/after' previews to CS6, CC editions
Prior to a final release, Adobe on Friday has posted release candidates for Camera Raw and its DNG Converter app, both at version 8.4, for testing on Photoshop CS6 and CC. In addition to the usual array of new lenses and cameras being supported (and bug fixes), the new version of Camera Raw offers new features for Photoshop CC users, including a "before and after" preview system. The update also drops support for OS X Snow Leopard, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Limefuel's Rugged L150XR external battery features resilient construction, surpasses Kickstarter goa
Limefuel has succeeded in crowdfunding its latest gadget, the IP66 Rugged L150XR external battery. The battery is waterproof, dirt-proof, shock- and crush-proof, as determined by its IP66 protection rating. Featuring a 15,000mAh (57Wh) battery capacity, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR comes equipped with a 5V/2A(max) input for faster charging, dual 5V/2.4A(max) outputs to charge multiple devices at the same time, a touch-activated power indicator, pass-through charging enabled, auto-on and auto-off functionality, and a slot for a strap or clip for carrying. The rugged Limefuel battery will be available in two smaller capacities as well, with the L104XR offering 10,400mAh and the L130XR holding 13,000mAh. Its Kickstarter is ongoing until mid-March, and those interested in pledging as way of pre-ordering the Limefuel Rugged can receive the lowest capacity battery for $50, with shipping beginning in May.
Realmac Software rectifies confusion with Clear by offering it free for limited time
Realmac has announced an upcoming, limited-time offer, making Clear free, as part of its consolidation process. A new version of productivity to-do list app Clear was released last year, called Clear+. Built as a universal app for iOS 7, Clear+ was structured as a paid upgrade, with the original version removed from the App Store. Clear customers, according to Dan Counsell of Realmac Software, reported confusion and frustration over the switch to charging for the update version, so Realmac updated the old version of Clear for iOS 7 and reintroduced it.
Software that saves iTunes audio streams now available for Mac
DoubleTwist has announced the release of its AirPlay Recorder for Mac. Able to capture iTunes Radio streams for offline play, DoubleTwist offers a download for OS X users, as it has for capturing Google Music and other streaming services on Android devices. By selecting the app as an AirPlay device, the software starts recording when a song or station is played. The application download is free, but only records ten songs --the full version of AirPlay Recorder is $10.
No significant changes listed; rumors of early March release continue
Apple on Wednesday released its sixth OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks beta to develops right on schedule, using a build number exactly six digits higher than last weeks'. The new update lists no significant changes, and again asks developers to focus their testing on Mail, Messages, SMB2, graphics drivers, VoiceOver and VPN. The company has been battling mostly-minor but annoying issues with its re-written Mail program, and bug fixing continues on that.
Mid- and late-2013 models get slightly different revision
On Tuesday, Apple released updated versions of its Boot Camp support software, which allows users to install Windows operating systems on a separate partition to run natively on Intel-based Macs. Two versions of the update were released: version 5.1.5640 for certain mid- and late-2013 model iMacs and MacBooks, and version 5.1.5621 for other machines. The updates bring Windows drivers for supporting 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows 8 installations.
No final release date, no significant changes from previous beta
Developers can now download the fifth version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2, an upcoming maintenance release, from Software Update through their registered developer accounts, or from the Apple developer portal. The latest update has no significant changes in the release notes, but again asks developers to focus on networking, Mail, Messages, VoiceOver, VPN and graphics drivers. The new build, 13C53, comes one week after the previous release.
Ember for Mac adds Inspector into the Ember window, browser extensions
Digital scrapbooking app Ember for Mac has announced another new update for its software for OS X -- the second update within a week. Ember v1.4 features an auto-importing function, that upon selection of a number of rules for the program to follow, imports images from one's library automatically. A new set of browser extensions have launched with today's update as well, which facilitate saving images from Safari and Chrome's right-click menu into Ember. The extension always shows the latest collections in one's library due to the new native snapping window with the page's metadata.
Update to Microsoft OS leaks before expected March 11 launch
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 has leaked ahead of its expected March 11 launch. The update, appearing in a number of file sharing sites, is said to have been compiled on January 14th and is not the final version that will be supplied to users, but at the same time it does not appear to include many more updates other than what has already leaked out.
Apple adds new scripting features; old scripts may need revising
Oddly listed as "improvements to AppleScript support" in its last update, an investigation of the latest version of Apple's spreadsheet program for Mac (version 3.1) has revealed that in fact, Apple has restored AppleScript support to the program as well as improved it. Removed in the previous update as part of a "rebuilding" process for the app, scripts written for the last "iWork '09" version of Numbers may still work, though they may need some tweaking.
App Tamer 2.0 adds new UI, ability to limit apps to certain amount of CPU
St. Clair Software's App Tamer has had its second version released, offering a new user interface and additional features. App Tamer controls the amount of CPU allocation applications can access on one's Mac computer, with an 'AutoStop' function that stops an application when the user switches away from directly using it, and then restarting it when it is revisited. App Tamer v2.0 features a revamped user interface, visualizing all functions directly on the menubar. The App Tamer icon displays current CPU usage and task management upon being clicked, and hovering over an app reveals its CPU usage in a graphical format.
Keynote 6.1 regains transitions, new features; iMovie fixes bugs
Apple on Thursday continued with a slew of updates by issuing a bug-fix release of iMovie for OS X, bringing it up to v10.0.2, and a refresh of its productivity suite of three apps known collectively as "iWork" for OS X and iOS that returns some features dropped from the previous releases in November, which were part of a "rebuilding" process for the now 64-bit and web-compatible programs (Keynote, Pages and Numbers). Apple had previously promised to return most features taken out of the programs in the most recent redesign.
Requires Mavericks 10.9.2 beta, fixes Profile Manager issue
Just days after its latest update to the forthcoming Mavericks 10.9.2 beta, Apple has also released an updated OS X Server v3.1 for developer testing. The new build, 13S4076F, is said to address a problem with the Profile Manager in which syntax errors appear in migration SQL. The new version can only run on the current beta of 10.9.2, which is also developer-only.
OS X 10.9.2 build distributed to developers, with focus on Mail issues
On Thursday, Apple seeded a new build of the forthcoming OS X 10.9.2 update to developers, a month after the first one. The new build, 13C39, continues to focus on issues within Mail, as well as VPN functions, Messages, graphic drivers and VoiceOver. The revamped Mail introduced in Mavericks has had a number of issues with Gmail compatibility and problems with Smart Mailboxes, along with other more minor issues. The update is available through Software Update or Apple's developer portal (registered developer account required).
Chrome for iOS to add malware protection to mobile version
Google has announced its latest update of Chrome for iOS, featuring Safe Browsing malware protection akin to what is available for the desktop application. Chrome can now provide warnings when the user is about to visit a potentially dangerous site.
Private social networking app receives iOS 7 design revamp
Second Gear has released the latest version of Glassboard this week, offering users a redesigned aesthetic to accompany iOS 7. A private social network tool for teams, Glassboard consists of multiple 'boards' that each represent a specific grouping of people. Within each board, users can share messages, photos, videos, files and location privately and securely. Second Gear recently acquired Glassboard from NewsGator, and with the change Glassboard 3.0 now offers a layout that reflects the design language of Apple's iOS 7.
Twitter updating look of website to match its iOS and Android apps
Social media service Twitter has initiated rolling out an update to its website, with the aim to mirror the aesthetic approach to that of its app versions to iOS and Android. Users will be able to personalize their profile more than previously, with the settings menu including an option to add accent colors. The navigation bar is a different color and style than before, and some icons have been redesigned.
Adds Mavericks support, overhauls UI, fixes bugs
The Mac-centric online backup service DollyDrive has updated its Mac application to version 2.0, bringing Mavericks support and an entirely new user interface to the program, which acts as an interface to the DollyDrive cloud-based service. The company, named after the first cloned sheep, offers automatic and encrypted backup of user files to a minimum 10GB space (free) up to multiple terabytes of space if required.
Visual enhancements throughout apps
Twitter has released a major update to its OS X client, bringing new features and an overhauled appearance. Version 3.0 is said to take design cues from the companies other apps for mobile devices, adopting a "cleaner and more modern" interface to showcase the additional capabilities.
Lightroom extends tethered capture for some Canon models
Adobe on Wednesday updated its photo-management and editing program Lightroom to version 5.3 after more than a month in beta, adding support for a number of cameras as well as bringing tethered capture to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. The company also updated Adobe Camera Raw to version 8.3, which now supports the iPhone 5s lens among others as well as many other camera models, and brings some new features such as auto-straighten and new camera profiles.
Updated DataMan Pro offers improved Smart Forecast, usage prediction
DataMan Pro, a data usage app for iOS, has released an updated version today. Version 8.3 of the app learns its user's usage trends, and can notify users how much they can use each day without surpassing a user-defined data cap. The new version also features an improved Smart Forecast, allowing users receive notifications on their usage based on trended information.
Users can add credit cards simply by taking a picture of it
Google has updated its Google Wallet application for iOS, allowing users to add credit or debit cards simply by taking a picture of it using the built-in camera on a user's iPhone. The update also adds instant sign-in if users are already logged into any other Google service or site that supports single sign-on, and users can utilize the physical Google Wallet card at most MasterCard locations as well as withdraw cash from any ATM. The app also stores various loyalty and reward cards and can be disabled online if the users' phone is stolen.
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.
Best online deals remain available from Amazon, MacMall, B&H
Online retailers still have MacBooks, iMacs, and iPads on sale, in spite of Black Friday being over and Cyber Monday having not yet started. We have collected some of the best deals still in stock.
Tumblr app gives visual overhaul, new UI for user interaction
Visual blogging service Tumblr has updated its iOS app for iPhone and iPad to version 3.5, bringing with it a complete overhaul of the look - now using the iOS 7 design language - as well as a handful of new features. Users will discover a completely new user interface for composing, reblogging and post style selection, alongside the redesigned Dashboard. The reblogging feature is now faster as well, and the update also offers tagging auto-completion.