CES: Griffin rolls out USB-C peripherals
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Griffin Technology (www.GriffinTechnology.com) announced new accessories for USB-C connection ports (Apple’s 12-inch MacBook only has one port — and it’s USB-C).
With the introduction of USB-C on the MacBook, Apple removed the MagSafe connector. Enter Griffin’s BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable ($39.99), which brings back a magnetic breakaway power cable to USB-C compatible laptops, keeping them safe from drops and damage. The patented quick-release magnetic connector plugs into a laptop’s USB-C port and safely disconnects from the rest of the cable when put under stress or strain from incidents like tripping over the power cord.
The magnetic connector is only 12.8 mm deep so it can stay plugged into a laptop’s USB-C port when not in use. The BreakSafe’s included six-foot cable with the USB-C charger that comes with laptops such as the MacBook. BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable will be available in April at griffintechnology.com/...
CES: Brydge launches new keyboards for the iPad Pro, iPad mini 4
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Brydge (www.brydge.com) launched its keyboard lineup for the Apple iPad Pro and iPad mini 4.
Brydge has engineered its keyboards to maximize the functionality of the iPad while providing the productivity of a MacBook, says CEO Nicholas Smith. Following the same award-winning design as previous Brydge models, the BrydgePro and BrydgeMini are equipped with Brydge's patented 180-degree hinge system, 100% aluminum build, backlit keys, and haptic key feel.
Both the BrydgePro and BrydgeMini boast a minimalistic design that includes Brydge's patented U-shaped silicon clamping mechanism for premium viewing angles and adjustments, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three months.
The BrydgePro for iPad Pro is $189 and is available for preorder at www.brydgekeyboards.com; shipping starts in April. The BrydgeMini for iPad mini 4 is $99 (preorder special offer) and is available for preorder at www.brydgekeyboards.com...
Elevan announces Apple Pay support
Elavon (www.elavon.ca), a payments solution provider in Canada and subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, now offers its customers access to Apple Pay. Following the recent launch of Apple Pay in Canada for American Express cardholders, Elavon is among the first payment processing companies to offer Apple Pay to Canadian businesses.
Apple Pay works with current Elavon EMV-contactless point of sale terminals in Canada. To pay, consumers simply hold their mobile device near the contactless reader, exactly as they would a contactless card today. The payment information is then passed to the POS system once the consumer confirms the transaction using Touch ID on their device.
“Elavon has been an early supporter of mobile payments, and Canadians continue to demonstrate their interest in adopting new payment technologies,” says Mia Huntington, Vice President of Elavon in Canada. “Along with the increasing consumer demand for contactless payments, Elavon and Apple Pay enable businesses to offer the ...
Griffin expands its Apple Watch accessories
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Griffin Technology (www.GriffinTechnology.com) unveiled additions to its Apple Watch accessories line.
Griffin’s Travel Power Bank ($69.99) is a compact battery with a Apple Watch charger. With 800 mAh of power, the portable battery purportedly delivers up to four four full charges for Apple’s smartwatch before it needs recharging via the included micro-USB cable. The Travel Power Bank (pictured) will be available in the second quarter of the year and will come with an attached keyring to clip it to a set of keys, a hook or carabiner.
The Uptown Leather Band ($59.99) is a double-wrap band that complements all 38mm Apple Watch versions. It combines colored genuine leather bands with coordinating metal buckle detailing in gold, silver or rose gold. A metal buckle and floating keeper loops adjust to fit wrists measuring 5.1 to 7 inches, while the stainless steel lugs lock securely in place on the Apple Watch. The Uptown Leather Band will be...
CES: Griffin expands its Survivor line of bags
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Griffin Technology announced a new collection of bags to its best-selling Survivor line. Survivor Backpack and Survivor Briefcase are TSA-compliant and offer crush-and-weather-proof protection for laptops, tablets and other tech, no matter how far off the beaten path life takes you.
Both Survivor Backpack and Survivor Briefcase boast enough room for a 15-inch laptop, full-size tablet and smartphone in padded, weatherproof compartments. The main compartments are surrounded by an internal shatter-proof plastic shell and honeycombed sidewalls that provide impact protection and are sealed from rain, snow and sleet with weatherproof zippers.
Wide, padded shoulder straps are lined with breathable mesh for comfort. Combined with a water-resistant ballistic nylon construction and a molded, high-density foam and padded pocket, Survivor Backpack is designed to protect gear from 6-foot drops while Survivor Briefcase protects from 4-...
CES: BoomCloud 360 announces the BoomStick
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BoomCloud 360 (BoomCloud360.com) previewed the BoomStick, which is designed to enhance the sound of any pair of headphones. Customers can pre-order the BoomStick for $99; it will ship in the spring.
“While TV has made huge strides in terms of quality, from black and white to 4k, audio has been going backward. In fact, our research shows that only 4 percent of consumers believe they are achieving great audio experience with their headphones,” said George Appling, co-founder of BoomCloud 360. “Consumers shouldn’t have to settle for mediocre audio. With the BoomStick, you can make your free earphones outperform expensive headphones or you can take your expensive headphones to a whole new level of enveloping sound.”
The BoomStick comes in black and silver. It’s compatible with any pair of headphones or earphones with a standard 3.5 mm connection.
CES: Samsung announces Samsung Portable SSD T3
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung announced the Portable SSD T3 (www.samsung.com/T3), a palm-sized, external solid state drive (SSD) that offers multi-terabyte (TB) storage capacity. It’s equipped with Samsung’s proprietary Vertical NAND (V-NAND) and SSD TurboWrite technology.
Samsung is offering a new 2TB T3 SSD, along with a wide range of capacity options including 250 GB, 500GB, and 1TB. With the rise of rich 4K content, consumers are increasingly relying on external storage solutions, while seeking faster data transfer speeds and large capacity on multiple devices, according to Un-Soo Kim, senior vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. He says the T3 solves these concerns by enabling fast file transfers based on sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s with a USB 3.1 interface, which is up to four times faster than alternative external HDD solutions.
The drive is smaller than an average business...
Acer, Lenovo displays suitable for Apple’s MacBook
Since Apple’s 12-inch MacBook only comes with an USB-C port, it’s a little tricky to connect a monitor. Or, at least it was. Acer and Lenovo have announced two displays with UBS-C connectivity, which should make them nice MacBook accessories.
Acer says its H7 series monitors (pictured) are the world’s first to support USB Type-C, so users can transfer data and display content from notebooks or smartphones, while charging them at the same time through just one cable. With a ZeroFrame design, diamond-cut and brushed-metal stand, the Acer H7 series models are offered in 25-inch and 27-inch options.
They also boast WQHD (2560 x 1440) display resolution, audio with Acer TrueHarmony and DTS Sound and come outfitted with USB Type-C and HDMI 2.0 ports. Acer says the H7 series supports 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The displays will be available in February with prices starting at $499.99.
According to AnandTech (http://tinyurl.com/pfxqjks), Lenovo has announced the 24-inch ThinkVision...
Ford’s SYNC connectivity system will add support for CarPlay
Ford is expanding its SYNC connectivity system, adding Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE and several new AppLink apps.
“SYNC allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With SYNC, we move at our customers’ pace – making it easy for them to maintain a connected lifestyle no matter their choice of smartphone, apps or services inside and outside their vehicle.”
With more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world today and 43 million expected by 2020, Ford’s industry-leading communications and entertainment technology is offering customers even more connectivity. Connectivity is one part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have...
Happy New Year!
MacTech and MacNews will be closed today for New Year's Day. We wish all our readers a great 2016. We’ll be back up and running on Monday, Jan. 4.
Apple settles Italy tax fraud case
Apple's Italian subsidiary has agreed to pay €318m (about US$348m million) following an investigation into tax fraud allegations, Italy's tax office says. Italy's tax authorities say the company failed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013, according to “La Repubblica” — as noted by “BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35197547)
The settlement follows an investigation by prosecutors in Milan. Apple hasn’t commented on the settlement, but has previously denied any attempts to escape paying tax owed on profits made around the world.
The investigation, which dates to 2013, examined whether Apple had moved around $1.1 billion in revenues from its Italian operations through an Irish subsidiary to lower the taxes that the company was to to pay in Italy.
Waves Audio shipping the Greg Wells PianoCentric plugin
Waves Audio is shipping the Waves Greg Wells PianoCentric plugin (http://tinyurl.com/gvz9cvg), part of the Waves Signature Series.
Created in collaboration with multiple GRAMMY®-nominated producer, songwriter, musician and mixing engineer Greg Wells (Adele, Katy Perry, Mika, One Republic, Twenty One Pilots), it’s a an user friendly one-knob plugin that gives users direct access to the customized tools, signal flow and piano processing techniques perfected by Wells. Waves Greg Wells PianoCentric is a solution for shaping your piano or keyboard recordings, with options varying from full-range piano to lo-fi filtered sounds.
A demo is available for download. PianoCentric normally costs US$149, but it’s on sale for $99 for a limited time.
Apple accused of planned planned obsolescence regarding the...
A class action lawsuit (http://tinyurl.com/pss99mc) filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern Division of New York, claims Apple engages in planned obsolescence and knew of potential compatibility issues iPhone 4s owners upgraded to iOS 9.
“The update significantly slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone,” the lawsuit reads. “Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4S. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4S owners that the update may or will significantly interfere with the device’s performance.”
Those filing the class action lawsuit want: the “maximum amount” of award or damages the law allows, an order enjoining Apple’s unlawful practices and corrected advertisements about iOS 9, and, of course, an award of attorney’s fees.
Answers for Mac OS X is now a 64-bit app
Tim Parnell has announced Answers 1.1.6 (http://nswrs.com), an update to his FAQ and Help documentation tool for Mac OS X. It’s designed to help users write help documents.
Using a content-based approach you can make a help book or FAQ. You can create your text, then select a sleek theme to stylize your work. Version 1.1.6 is now a 64-bit app.
Answers 1.1.6 is available now. There’s a free version and a more fully featured, $29 pro version.
SIGNUL Beacon System is now commercially available
The IoT Design Shop at Finger Food Studios has announced the commercial availability of the SIGNUL Beacon System. Geared specifically for personal use, SIGNUL enables a unique smartphone-as-presence system that enables you to automate your digital life.
SIGNUL beacon zones are established by placing a SIGNUL beacon at a physical point of interest. You can send text messages, launch apps, and control home automation systems simply by being present with your smartphone. Beacons are in stock and shipping now.
SIGNUL retails for US$50, and is available for order now on the IoT Design Shop Store (http://fingerfoodstudios.com). iOS and Android are supported, and beta access to the SIGNUL IFTTT channel is available.
New version of DJ Mixer Express for Mac OS X released
DJMixerSoft has announced the next generation of DJ Mixer Express for Mac OS X. New features in the DJ software include advanced loop features.
You can create and recall loops and set up cue-points. DJ Mixer Express now offers automatic/manual mixing, a mixer with crossfading between two tracks, automatic beat detection, iTunes library integration, the ability to apply multiple audio effects, support for mixing video and karaoke, and more,
DJ Mixer Express Version 5.6.2 costs $29.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.10 or newer. It may be downloaded as a free 30-day demo from the macdjmixer.com website. The demo version is full-featured and may be used for 30 days for evaluation purposes only.
Flexihub for OS X allows UBS, serial port sharing
Eltima Software has released FlexiHub (http://www.flexihub.com), a file sharing solution for Mac OS X. It was specifically developed for sharing of USB and serial (COM) ports over network.
According to the folks at Eltima, iIt doesn't matter where shared ports with devices are; they can be across the road, in the same room, or across the globe. FlexiHub allows management of remote devices, connection and disconnection are held without user's physical presence at the USB or serial port.
Paid subscriptions allow sharing multiple devices among multiple nodes (computers) for unlimited periods of time. Users can use FlexiHub's own redirection server and automatic reconnection in case connection with a shared device is interrupted. Pricing starts at $6.59 a month.
Corona Labs brings app, game development to tvOS
Perk.com, a cloud-based mobile rewards platform provider, has announced that Corona Labs, the leader in 2D mobile game and app development, has released a new version of the Corona SDK [software development kit] for their community of 300,000-plus developers.
Developers can now publish apps to iTunes Connect for tvOS, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV supported through the Corona SDK. Also included in this release is support for OS X allowing developers to build apps for Apple desktop computers. New features will continue to be added but the release marks a stable point in OS X platform support.
“We’re proud that Corona Labs developers will be able to publish apps to exciting new channels, including Apple TV, Android TV, and desktop computers, using the same fast, easy platform they are already using to build great games and apps for mobile,” says Roj Niyogi, President and founder of Perk and newly appointed CEO of Corona Labs. “These updates prove that Corona Labs’ development platform...
Happy holidays from ‘MacTech/MacNews’
Today and tomorrow MacTech and MacNews will be closed for the holidays. We wish all our readers a great holiday season. We’ll be back up and running on Monday, Dec. 28.
OWC announces the OWC Mercury Pro
Other World Computing has released the OWC Mercury Pro, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 optical drive for plug and play support of CD, DVD, M-DISC and/or Blu-ray disc reading and writing with Macs and PCs. It brings optical media back to your workflow with USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity for playback of optical media, data transfer and archiving with bandwidth to spare.
The OWC Mercury Pro sports an aluminum chassis and is s available in two configurations:
° 24x DVD burner, for rapid backup, sharing and creating, and playback of any DVD media up to 4.7GB capacity and full read, write and playback of CD media as well;
°16x Blu-ray disc burner, for recordings and large project storage up to 100GB. It allows you to play back retail and personally-created Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs.
The folks at OWC say that, when backing up audio, video, archives or other data for the long term, M-DISC makes the perfect partner for the Mercury Pro. The M-DISC is an archival-quality storage technology that protects your...
Just Mobile shipping AluCable USB-C cables
Just Mobile (www.just-mobile.com) is now shipping two AluCable USB-C cables: the US$19.95 USB-C 3.1 to UB adapter and the $29.95 USB-C to UBC-C cable.
"USB-C is a new hot industry standard equipped in the 12-inch MacBook launched this April, and we believe in the near future it will be accepted by all majority of PC manufacturers and become the standard to replace all existing USB connectors. In order to connect a USB-C device to existing USB-A peripherals, we created the AluCable USB-C 3.1 to USB adapter to connect to a myriad of possibilities." says Nils Gustafsson, co-founder of Just Mobile.
The Just Mobile AluCable USB-C to A is an USB adapter to connect USB-C enabled devices – such as the new Apple MacBook to USB-A peripherals. Running the USB 3.1 standard, this 15cm-long adapter can transfer data at up to 5Gbps while charging devices with a powerful 3A current.
The AluCable USB-C cable features two reversible USB-C connectors. Designed to connect USB-C devices such as the...
PhotoFast launches iOS microSD Card Reader
PhotoFast (www.photofast.com) has announced global availability of the PhotoFast iOS Card Reader. Built with a Lightning connector, it offers the power to store, transfer, stream and back-up data from a microSD card so you can access your photos, videos and songs anytime, anywhere.
It can be plugged directly into an iOS iPhone or iPad, enabling people on-the-go to access, transfer and store up to 128GB of extra storage on their Apple device.
The iOS Card Reader is supported by PhotoFast’s i-FlashDrive ONE app, which includes a variety of online and offline capabilities. Users can store and back-up data from cloud-based services such as iCloud, Google Drive and DropBox, as well as social media accounts, Facebook and Instagram. The i-FlashDrive ONE app also offers enhanced security and file management features, including a USB accessory lock and app lock supported by Touch ID, says Warren Wang, CEO of PhotoFast. “
The PhotoFast iOS Card Reader is available with up to 128GB capacity...
DxO announces Photos extensions for OS X El Capitan
DxO (www.dxo.com) has released two new extensions for OS X El Capitan:, DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos and DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos - DxO ONE Camera Only. They provide DxO's image processing within the Photos app on OS X.
DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos adds access to “tens of thousands” of DxO Optics Modules that enable DxO's automatic optical corrections for distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration and lens softness for most popular cameras and lenses. It’s a paid download ($9.99) from the Mac App Store. When installed, it automatically appears as an extension that can be accessed via the editing tools in Photos. The DxO Optics Modules automatically identify the camera and lens used to capture each photo, then use this information to correct for a variety of optical flaws, such as distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and lens softness.
DxO ONE owners can download DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos for free at the Mac App Store. The tool automatically applies these advanced...
Apple products spur growth in Force Sensing display tech
Apple’s use of Force Touch technology in the Apple Watch and 3D Touch in the iPhone 6s line is leading to growth in force sensing and other touch-panel enhancements in mobile devices, according to IHS ().
Other brands and integrated-circuit (IC) makers are now responding by preparing their own force sensing solutions, mainly for high-end and mid-range smartphones due to the high cost. In 2016, force sensing module shipments are expected to grow 317 percent to reach 461 million units in 2016. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of new smartphones shipped will include the technology, according to the IHS (www.ihs.com) research group.
“Aside from force sensing solutions, touch controller IC makers are aggressively expanding production of in-cell and on-cell touch displays to further improve touch interfaces for smartphone users,” said Calvin Hsieh, director of touch and user interface research for IHS Technology. “In-cell and on-cell touch panel shipments will reach 40 percent of all mobile...
Spitfire Audio adds piano to Signature range from Hans Zimmer
Spitfire Audio (www.spitfireaudio.com) has announced the availability of HZP - HANS ZIMMER PIANO, its fourth collaboration with Academy Award-winning Hollywood film-scoring supremo Hans Zimmer.
It’s the “ultimate piano” to the Signature range of sample-based virtual instruments by trailblazing talent for Native Instruments’ KONTAKT platform. Until Dec. 26, HANS ZIMMER PIANO can be purchased and downloaded directly from Spitfire Audio for an introductory promotional price of $344. Afterward, the price will be $450.
Waves Audio shipping the Element 2.0 Virtual Analog Synth
Waves Audio is shipping the Element 2.0 Virtual Analog Synth, an analog-style polyphonic instrument designed to deliver the sounds of classic analog synths with the precision, flexibility and control of a software instrument.
The first synthesizer to take advantage of the next generation of Waves’ Virtual Voltage technology, Element 2.0 includes an array of features and functions, including five integrated effects, a 16-step sequencer, MIDI learn for all controls, and a massive, fully tweakable preset library. Other features include: high resolution oscillators and analog envelope behavior; filters with zero-delay feedback; effects such as delay, reverb, distortion, chorus and two distinct crushers; the ability to choose between Element 1 and Element 2 modes at the click of a button; and a 16-step sequencer with Hold and Retrigger modes that can be used as a modulation source.
You can use Element 2.0 as a plugin or as a standalone application. Go to http://www.waves.com/plugins/...
Scripps Networks Interactive launches channels on the Apple TV
Scripps Networks Interactive has launched its HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel brands on the fourth get Apple TV.
This new distribution will provide Apple TV viewers with access to the vast library of premier home, food and travel content offered by Scripps Networks Interactive. Viewers who sign in and authenticate with their pay-TV provider credentials will be able to access their favorite lifestyle brands on demand. As an added benefit, by selecting Live TV, viewers can watch what is currently airing on the network, says Henry Ahn, president of Content Distribution and Marketing for Scripps Networks Interactive.
Earlier this year, Scripps Networks initiated live linear streaming feeds for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, as well as its DIY Network and Cooking Channel, through their respective websites, iPhone, iPad, and Android phone and tablet apps, and all five networks’ apps are cast-enabled for Chromecast. In addition, HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel’s TV...
Appocto Introduces PDF Shrinker for Mac OS X
Appocto has introduced PDF Shrinker for Mac OS X. It lets you shrink and compress PDF files, making them smaller and easier to email.
You can decide how much you want to compress files, and at which quality.
PDF Shrinker sells for $4.99 and is available worldwide from Appocto online (http://appocto.com). It requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later.
MetroKit 2 for OS X gets a 'Track Mode' feature
Nikolas Konstantakopoulos from Granny's Audio has announced MetroKit 2, a flexible metronome.
Equipped with speed and rhythm trainers, fully customizable beats and accents, and a new "Track Mode” feature, it can create simple exercises or demanding progressive rhythmic practice exercises. MetroKit 2 supports custom beat divisions.
The app requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. It costs $2.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store (http://tinyurl.com/jey69kx) in the Music category.
Digital Heaven releases Pro Player 2 for video content creators
Digital Heaven has announced Pro Player 2.0, a new version of their professional QuickTime player built for Mac-based video content creators and motion graphics designers.
The free version of Pro Player provides a streamlined way to review or present video content. Pro Player can be extended with an in-app purchase of the Plus Pack to enable other features.
Pro Player 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.8. It’s available for download from the Mac App Store (http://tinyurl.com/jgppml5).
Republic Bank announces Apple Pay support
Republic Bank is now offering clients the ability to use Apple Pay to conduct payment transactions with their Republic Bank consumer credit and debit cards. Users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by their Republic Bank MasterCard credit and debit cards, including Zero Liability Protection.
“We continually look for innovative approaches to make the lives of our clients easier,” said Michael Sadofsky, senior vice president of Marketing, Republic Bank. “We are excited to offer Apple Pay as an easy, secure payment solution that allows our clients to bank when, where and how they want.”
In participating stores, Apple Pay will work with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch. When paying for goods and services within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. For more information on Apple Pay, please visit republicbank.com/applepay or apple.com/apple-pay.
Musicality for OS X adds support for more music services
Industrious One has introduced Musicality 3 for Mac. Musicality breaks your music out of the browser, with desktop conveniences like keyboard shortcuts and notifications, AirPlay streaming, and an iOS remote.
The app lets you take control of over a dozen popular music websites including Pandora Radio, Google Play Music, Spotify, and more. Version 3.0 sports built-in controls for nearly a dozen more music services.
Musicality costs $11 and requires Mac OS X 10.10 or newer, as well as an Internet connection. It may be downloaded as a free 10-day demo from the Musicality website (http://industriousone.com/). The demo is full-featured and unlocks in-place when purchased. Musicality Remote is available free at the Apple App Store. It requires iOS 8 or newer and a Wi-Fi connection to Musicality for Mac.
Apple and China UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China
Apple and China UnionPay have announced a partnership to bring Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment solution, to China. China UnionPay cardholders will be able to add their bank cards to Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.
“China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry,” said Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay. “We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”
“Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and...
TunesKit launches iBook Copy for Mac to remove DRM from iBooks
TunesKit Studio has introduced iBook Copy for Mac (http://www.tuneskit.com/ibook-copy-mac.html), a tool to permanently remove the DRM lock from protected iBook ePub files. With the smart tool, the company says you can legally get rid of DRM protection from iBooks.
All of the original meta info is retained, including the book author, cover photo, publisher, data, and more. You can read the iBook ePubs on Kindle, Nook, Playbook, and other eBook reading devices.
Currently this smart iBook DRM Copy is only available for the Mac and is compatible with OS X 10.11 and higher iTunes 12.3. It costs US$24.95; a demo is available for download.
PFEvent Taps Framework revved to version 1.5.2
PFiddlesoft has released version 1.5.2 of its PFEventTaps Framework, which helps developers write assistive Mac applications for persons with disabilities using Apple's Accessibility and Quartz Event Taps APIs on OS X.
The PFEventTaps Framework was updated to work around an Apple bug in the CoreGraphics framework that can cause a crash when running under OS X v10.10 Yosemite or older. The PFAssistive Framework was created in 2003 as the engine driving PFiddlesoft’s UI Browser application for developers and for users of Apple’s AppleScript GUI Scripting technology.
The frameworks are written using Objective-C. They support the Intel 64-bit architecture using reference counted memory management or ARC, and they support client applications written in Objective-C or Swift. Developers can license the PFiddlesoft Frameworks for distribution or for use with their own products that use Apple's Accessibility and Quartz Event Taps technologies.
The frameworks may be licensed free of charge...
IK Multimedia releases Miroslav Philharmonik 2 for Mac/PC
IK Multimedia is shipping Miroslav Philharmonik 2 for Mac and PC is now shipping.
Made in conjunction with musician, jazz legend and sampling luminary Miroslav Vitous, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 is an orchestral workstation that takes the virtual instrument used on classical productions, film scores and pop hits and provides over 2,700 instruments with over 55 GB of samples recorded in high-resolution at the prestigious Czech National Symphony Orchestra Studios in Prague.
It will be available at a current special, limited-time introductory pricing until Dec;31, and is offered in a number of different options. Current owners of Miroslav Philharmonik can upgrade for $199.99 via download or $229.99 for a boxed copy.
Users with qualifying IK software can crossgrade for $299.99 via direct download or $329.99 for a boxed copy. New users can get Miroslav Philharmonik 2 for$399.99 via direct download or $429.99 for a boxed copy.
At the end of the introductory period, Miroslav Philharmonik 2...
iHome’s SmartPlug now connects with Wink, Nest devices
iHome has announced the first major update to its iHome Control iSP5 SmartPlug. The upgrade makes the smart plug compatible with Wink and Nest devices. The additional platform compatibility joins that for iOS and Android support.
With the recently announced “Works with Wink” compatibility, the iSP5 can now be integrated with hundreds of other Wink-compatible devices to achieve deeper home automation through Shortcuts and Robots in the Wink app. In addition, through its connection with the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iSP5 can automatically turn the Smart Plug on when users are home and off when they’re away.
The US$39.99 iHome iSP5 SmartPlug (http://www.ihomeaudio.com/iSP5WC/) can set schedules and remotely control holiday lighting and gadgets, as well everyday household items such as lamps, portable heaters, fans and other small appliances under 1800W from anywhere using the free iHome Control app. Additionally the iHome Control app can create custom scenes to control numerous...
Booq reveals Slimpack for photographers
Booq has released their latest backpack for photographers: the Slimpack. It’s designed for photographers traveling with their gear and editing on the go, as it fits two DSLRs, up to four mid-sized lenses or one large zoom lens, a 12-inch MacBook or 10-inch iPad/tablet and a tripod.
The interior features a cushioned, non-scratch lining and densely padded dividers that can be configured to fit users’ gear of choice, while a variety of pockets with concealed interior slots keep accessories safe and organized. Made from 47 percent recycled PET and 53 percent cotton, the bag's exterior weatherproof fabric is rugged yet smooth, while ergonomically designed shoulder straps and open mesh enable ventilation, keeping carriers cool and comfortable, says Kema Subsomboon, Lead Product Designer at booq.
The Slimpack also features an exterior pouch and buckle to tote a tripod, and includes a removable rain poncho with reflective graphics for heavier downpours. The backpack’s flat bottom allows it...
Apple names Jeff Williams Chief Operating Officer
Apple has announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the App Store across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.
“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”
He adds: “In addition, Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing...
KickShark to ship USB-C USB 3.1 dock and hub in February
KickShark has announced its “production ready” 13-port HydraDock (www.hydradock.com) USB Type C USB 3.1 docking station and hub for the 12-inch Apple MacBook and new Google Pixel laptop. The company has demonstration videos posted and is taking pre-orders now on its HydraDock web site for February shipment to customers.
All input and output connections of the 13-port HydraDock are full compliant with the newest USB standards for data, power, configuration, and alternate mode operations, says Kristin Cales, marketing director for KickShark. HydraDock sits under or behind the MacBook, plugs in with its single cable, and is powered by the computer’s AC-DC power adapter. It can operate in reduced power mode just from the computer connection, without a power supply.
HydraDock powers 4K displays by Mini DisplayPort or HDMI, two USB-C USB 3.1 ports and four USB Type A USB 3.1 ports (all at 5Gb/sec. speeds), SDXC cards up to 260MB/sec, Gigabit Ethernet, CD-quality stereo audio input or output...
Medieval II: Total War Collection available at the Mac App Store
Feral Interactive says Medieval II: Total War Collection is out now for Mac via the Mac App Store.
Here’s how the game is described: “The Medieval II: Total War Collection combines thrilling real-time battles and sophisticated turn-based strategy in a vast campaign that spans five centuries and encompasses the Crusades, the spread of plague and the proliferation of gunpowder. As a warrior king, players will lead one of 17 factions to supremacy in the medieval world with an artful mix of diplomacy, commerce and war.
“On the campaign map, players will build their empire’s infrastructure, cities and trade routes, then master the art of diplomacy to disarm enemies, empower allies and gain the favour of the Pope. On the battlefield, they will conduct siege warfare, command thundering cavalry charges and lead their armies into epic clashes that will bring entire kingdoms to their knees. The Medieval II: Total War Collection contains the Kingdoms expansion, which includes four standalone...
LinkOptimizer for InDesign adds image preview support on OS X El...
Zevrix Solutions has announced LinkOptimizer 4.9.52, a maintenance update to its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign.
LinkOptimizer helps reduce InDesign link size and speed up processing by eliminating excess image data, perform essential image adjustments, convert image formats and more. Version 4.9.52 adds support for image previews on Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and introduces several bug fixes and improvements.
LinkOptimizer can be purchased from the Zevrix website (www.zevrix.com) for US$259.95. There’s a “lite” version for $179.95. A demo is available for download.
The update 4.9.52 upgrade is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users and $130 to upgrade from previous versions. LinkOptimizer requires Mac OS X 10.6-10.11 and Adobe InDesign/Photoshop CS3-CC 2015.
Creolabs offers beta test of Creo for OS X
Creolabs has announced the opening of the beta test for Creo, their modern development tool for Mac OS X. It combines the design and development of mobile apps into one solution.
Creo offers drag-and-drop controls, classes, and objects that allow anyone to build their app's navigation and features. While building the app's interface, the user is also effectively building a native app. Creo uses Creolabs CreoKIT Objective-C/Swift native framework that enables the tool to execute any iOS, (and coming soon: Android), code on the Mac. The method offers a way to preview your running code directly in the Creo app.
While Creo offers a way to preview mobile application code on the Mac, it also offers a native iOS app that can run the Creo code developed on the Mac, so developers can get a feel for how their code will look on the target device. Testing Creo apps directly on a mobile device is as simple as making sure both the mobile device and the Mac are on the same network, running the Creo...
SkySafari 5 versions for iOS 8+ now in the Apple App Store
Simulation Curriculum Corp, which specializes in astronomy and science education software, has released new versions of its award winning SkySafari astronomy apps for iOS. They’re available at the Apple App Store.
The new SkySafari 5 apps are available today on the iTunes Store. All versions will be available at introductory discount pricing 50 percent off the list prices quoted below though Jan. 15, 2016.
° SkySafari 5 (US$2.99, 180 MB), basic version intended for the widest possible audience of casual stargazers: http://tinyurl.com/zn7ezps
° SkySafari 5 Plus ($14.99, 430 MB), enhanced version with telescope control and solar system fly-through mode: http://tinyurl.com/hk8sf76
° SkySafari 5 Pro ($39.99, 1.6 GB), premium version with all features of Plus, plus professional-grade astronomy database: http://tinyurl.com/jnyzrdw
All versions require iOS 8 or later, and are universal for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Android versions are planned for the first half of 2016.
Mac/iOS compatible GuitarJack Stage, StudioJack Mini audio...
Sonoma Wire Works' has released a new generation of studio quality interfaces that are compatible with Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android systems. The successors to the critically acclaimed GuitarJack Model 2, StudioJack Mini and GuitarJack Stage are now shipping.
With the compact and portable StudioJack Mini audio interface, musicians record, practice, and play live anywhere with a computer or mobile device using audio software. With the GuitarJack Stage audio interface and guitar-pedal-style controller, guitar players transform their computer, smartphone or tablet into a powerful amp and effects rig, and control guitar software using assignable knobs and foot switches.
The StudioJack Mini costs US$149 and the GuitarJack Stage ($299). They’re shipping worldwide. Go to http://www.sonomawireworks.com for more info.
Antelope Audio releases two Thunderbolt compatible devices
Antelope Audio has announced that its interfaces, Orion32+ and Orion Studio, are both fully compatible with Apple Thunderbolt technology.
Both interfaces, which were previewed at the 139th AES Show in New York City last month, are now shipping. During the remainder of December, customers who purchase an Orion32+ or Orion Studio at select dealers will receive a free two-meter Thunderbolt cable (an US$49 value).
The Orion32+ follows its predecessor, Orion32, which launched three years ago as the world's first 32-channel interface solution in a 1U rack. Orion32+ is now Antelope's flagship interface, and features Thunderbolt compatibility, improved dynamic range, and zero latency monitoring.
Suitable for both project studios, home recording environments and other applications, Orion Studio delivers professional grade audio quality and is capable of processing 32 channels of 192 kHz audio at speeds of 100μ round trip delay. It has 12 commercial quality microphone preamplifiers, 16 analog...
IBM announces new ResearchKit app to help track concussions
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center will begin testing whether a new free mobile app for iPhone and Apple Watch can help those with concussions better track their symptoms during the critical six weeks following their diagnosis.
Participants will complete three daily tasks: a five-question survey that captures symptoms, including balance issues, blurred vision, and drowsiness; a six-minute walk test; and tasks to measure concentration. The NYU Langone Concussion Tracker app is now available at the Apple App Store.
While the app isn’t intended to diagnose or treat disease, the larger goal of such surveillance is to catch cases where the initial injury caused a persistent problem that must be addressed, according to Laura Balcer, MD, co-director of NYU Lagone’s Concussion Center. With availability throughout the U.S., researchers hope the app will provide a more in-depth, daily picture of concussion nationwide, she adds.
The study uses the ResearchKit software framework — which is...
Ntrepid announces general availability of Passages Enterprise
Ntrepid Corp., a provider of cutting-edge cyber security solutions, has announced the general availability of Passages Enterprise (Passages), a secure virtual browser that allows users to navigate and browse the Internet without fear of picking up malware.
Passages also significantly reduces the ability of adversaries to conduct targeted social engineering attacks – all while providing the complete functionality that users expect from a traditional web browser, according to Richard Helms, Founder and Chief Executive at Ntrepid. Using Passages as the default method for Internet use, if/when a user clicks a bad link or is targeted with a web attack, they will be protected. Passages isolates the web session from the actual computer, allowing the user to virtually surf online without the risk of infecting their actual computer or mobile device – severing the link that would allow for the compromising of their data.
The Passages user interface is based off of Mozilla Firefox. Passages’...
VisionTek expands USB 3.0 Pocket SSD line
VisionTek Products (http://www.visiontek.com) has announced an expansion to the VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized Solid State Drives. The line is designed for creative professionals, IT power users, and performance enthusiasts.
Available in full density storage capacities of 128 gigabyte (GB) with an suggested retail price (SRP) of US$89.99, 256 GB with an SRP of $149.99, and 512 GB with an SRP of $279.99, the 3.0 Pocket Drive will launch in North America later this month. The VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD can be plugged into any computer’s USB 3.0 port to save or share work files, movies, images, music libraries, and more. The drives can be used with any Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux-based system with a USB 3.0/2.0 interface.
The aircraft-grade aluminum housing contains a Solid State Drive with a multi-chip design utilizing high endurance MLC NAND that delivers consistent 450MB/s reads and 155MB/s writes, which makes it possible for file transfers to and from the...
Studiometry 12.2 adds client access, report approval system
Oranged Software (www.oranged.com) has updated Studiometry, its client and project management tool, to version 12.2. The software is used by small businesses and freelancers around the world.
Studiometry 12.2 adds the ability to send out estimates, purchase orders, and reports to your clients and have their feedback automatically synced to your Studiometry database. In addition, you can also give clients live access to their projects list, as well as current status, category, and stage information. The upgrade also sports improvements improvements to payments and contacts, more summaries and an expanded set of fields and settings, and more.
Studiometry 12.2 is available for download from the Oranged Software website. A demo is available for download. Pricing options are available at the website.