Focalcrest unveils HomeKit smart home bridging solution
Focalcrest Technology released its HomeKit smart home bridging solution, Mixtile Hub, at the this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s a smart home bridging solution to support smart home devices from different brands to access Apple’s HomeKit platform.
The Mixtile Hub can link iOS devices with compatible smart home products, surveillance devices and probe sensors through ZigBee and Z-Wave. It has also obtained the Apple MFi license and can communicate with iOS devices via HomeKit protocol. This means it realizes product control and scene linkage through the Apple Home app and Siri.
In addition, the Mixtile Hub eliminates the complex procedure of building a communicating platform for smart home devices from scratch and lowers the entry barrier for ZigBee and Z-wave device manufacturers to join the HomeKit platform, accelerating communication among smart home devices, according to Martin Liu, CEO of Focalcrest.
The hub supports wireless communication protocols...
CES: Koogeek debuts family of HomeKit-compatible products
Koogeek (http://www.koogeek.com/) unveiled a range of new Apple HomeKit compatible products at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. HomeKit is a framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices through iOS and Siri.
Koogeek is one of China’s earliest adopters of the platform. It’s HomeKit compatible products include an US$59.99 Smart Health Scale, $34.99 Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug, and $50.99- Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Socket. All products are available now.
SpriTec introduces ZipTite for the Mac
SpriTec Software has introduced ZipTite (http://www.ziptite.pro), a utility app for creating and sharing zip archives on the Mac. Users can create password-protected Zip Archives.
Archives based on the files being archived. Users can choose where Archives should be placed on their Mac and can even share them via email, Air Drop, Dropbox, iCloud, Messages and FTP. It's all done via drag ’n drop. Since ZipTite lives in the Menu Bar, it is available at all times.
A demo is available for download. ZipTite 1.0. Registration is US$4.99 (50% off the regular price) until March 1. Also included with the purchase are free upgrades to all 1.x versions of ZipTite and lifetime technical support.
Henge Docks debuts new products and partnership at CES 2017
Henge Docks (www.hengedocks.com) debuted a suite of new products at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, including Horizontal and Vertical Docks for the new MacBook Pro, as well as the introduction of an all-new product line with the first-ever Tethered Dock.
In addition to launching new products, Henge Docks announced a partnership with Apple as part of Apple’s Authorized Business Solution Provider (ABSP) program. Henge Docks customers can now purchase Apple MacBooks and accessories bundled with their docking stations. Bundles will range from a Clique purchased with Apple Magic Trackpad 2 and Apple Magic Keyboard, to a new MacBook Pro paired with a Horizontal Docking Station. Purchasing these value-add bundles can save the customer up to $150 on their new MacBook and dock, says Matthew Vroom, Henge Docks CEO.
The Tethered Docking Station is designed to act as a natural extension of your MacBook, matching the aesthetic and adding functionality. Every detail...
Speck debuts new protective solutions for MacBooks, iPhones
Speck (www.speckproducts.com) is launching two new protective solutions: Presidio CLEAR for MacBook, the company’s first drop-protective laptop case, and Presidio SHOW, the newest addition to the Presidio smartphone line.
Presidio CLEAR for MacBook is made with IMPACTIUM CLEAR, a dynamic transparent material designed to absorb and disperse shock upon impact and protect the laptops from drops up to four feet. It’s co-molded into a raised edge around the perimeter of the case that also provides a no-slip grip, so you're less likely to drop your device. The case's dual-layer, two-piece design clips onto the MacBook.
Presidio SHOW was thoughtfully designed with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in mind. The case features Speck's IMPACTIUM Shock Barrier around the perimeter that provides 10-foot drop protection while the clear back shows off the phone's design. Presidio SHOW comes in black, and will soon be available in gold, rose gold and silver, to match the different colors of the iPhone 7 and 7...
App Store shatters records on New Year’s Day
Apple says its App Store welcomed 2017 with its busiest single day ever on New Year’s Day, capping a record-breaking holiday season. There were nearly US$240 million in purchases.
In 2016 alone, developers earned over $20 billion, up over 40% from 2015. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion, creating “amazing” app experiences for App Store customers across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac, according to Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Customers broke all-time records this holiday season with purchases from the App Store topping $3 billion in December.
In the same month, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run made history with more than 40 million downloads in just four days after its release, and was the most downloaded app globally on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Super Mario Run is also among last year’s top 10 most downloaded apps worldwide, with Pokémon Go taking the top spot.
Schiller says Prisma,...
Quark extends ‘buy one, get one’ offer on QuarkXPress 2016
Quark has announced an extension to the “QuarkXPress 2016 Buy One, Get One” offer. From now until Jan. 31, everyone who purchases or upgrades to QuarkXPress 2016 will receive a second license, worth $849, completely free. Get all the details about the offer at http://content.quark.com/bogof2016-us.html.
QuarkXPress is design and page layout software for creative professionals, publishers, and design hobbyists who create everything from digital ebooks and HTML5 publications to posters, packaging, brochures, annual reports, newsletters, business cards, and more. QuarkXPress 2016 is the latest version of QuarkXPress and includes a range of new feature.
TimeTag for macOS revved to version 5.0
Capparsa (http://www.capparsa.com/) has released TimeTag 5.0, an update to the syncing-enabled time tracking solution for macOS. It’s designed for freelancers and achievers.
TimeTag features a simple interface, including the "Big Green Button" to help you start and stop timers with ease. Version 5.0 has a new, smaller design that takes up even less screen real estate.
TimeTag is available to download for free and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. TimeTag Pro is a recurring subscription priced at US$3.99 monthly or $39.99 annually.
Wacom debuts Intros Pen and Intuos Pro Paper Editions
Wacom (www.wacom.com) has announced their new Intuos Pro and Intuos Pro Paper Edition of pen and touch tablets.
“The new generation Intuos Pro provides a wealth of new features and benefits to artists, designers and photographers who demand the very best from their creative tools,” says Masahiko Yamada, president and CEO of Wacom. “The new Pro Pen 2 anchors the overall creative experience with enhanced pressure-sensitivity and precision, but it's the Intuos Pro Paper Edition that really stands out by giving users the ability to incorporate paper into their creative workflow. Ink-on-paper drawings are captured and stored digitally on board the Intuos Pro Paper Edition and can be refined later on the tablet with any compatible layered raster or vector software application. Gone are the days of tedious and time-consuming scanning.
The Intuos Pro Paper Edition boasts all the features as the Intuos Pro, but the Paper Edition model adds a Paper Clip (to attach the artists favorite drawing...
Robo offers an iOS app for use with its 3D printers
Robo (www.robo3d.com) is introducing an iOS app for 3D printing with its new smart Wi-Fi enabled, 3D printers. The app lets you connect and print right from your iPhone or iPad, monitor the progress of every print in real time, manage multiple prints and printers at once, connect to cloud libraries and access thousands of 3D models, make in-app purchases (filaments, accessories, print kits and more) and get access to 24/7 support and helpful tutorials.
From the Robo C2's compact size, to Robo R2's high-performance, both printers feature built-in Wi-Fi, fast print speed, substantial print sizes, large color touch screens, automatic self-leveling print beds, integrated model slicing and filament run-out detection. The US$699.99 Robo C2 is engineered to fit any space with its small footprint, while still delivering a product that can scale nearly any project with the utmost detail and efficiency.
The successor to the Robo R1+PLUS, the $1,299.99 Robo R2 sports a larger print size, heated...
Elgato introduces Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Elgato (www.elgato.com) has introduced the Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which enables you to connect and charge your MacBook Pro or Windows notebook with only one cable. It drives up to two additional displays without compromising the 4K resolution and smooth 60 Hz frame rate, according to Markus Fest, general manager of Elgato.
Providing up to 85 W of power, the Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock charges your notebook through the same cable you use to connect it to your MacBook Pro or Windows laptop. USB-C accessories will be powered with up to 15 W, while the built-in USB 3.0 ports can even charge your iPad or iPhone at full speed.
The Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports: one to connect and charge your computer, and one to extend the versatility of Thunderbolt even further. The dock will be available later this quarter at a suggested retail price of $299.95.
OWC announces the OWC DEC for MacBook Pros
OWC has announced the OWC DEC (https://www.owcdigital.com/DEC/), the first-ever expansion solution designed specifically for the 2016 Apple MacBook Pro. It will arrive in the spring; pricing hasn’t been announced.
The OWC DEC attaches completely flush to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro, providing additional flash storage and connectivity. When installed, the OWC DEC and MacBook Pro will be as thin as a 2012 MacBook Pro. This patented solution has a range of features, which include:
° Up to 4TB of additional Flash/SSD storage (for a maximum of 6 TB, including factory capacity);
° SD Card Slot/Multi-Media card slot;
° USB 3 Type A Ports for standard USB cabled devices;
° Gigabit Ethernet;
° And other features to be announced at a later date.
LaCie upgrades its d2 and Rugged drives
LaCie (www.lacie.com) has announced updates to its LaCie Rugged and d2 storage solutions at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The new LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C — available in capacities up to 5TB — combines iconic Rugged toughness with USB-C compatibility and fast Thunderbolt speeds.
In addition, a 1TB SSD version delivers speeds of up to 510MB/s, a 30% increase over the previous SSD generation. Thanks to USB-C, the user can connect the LaCie Rugged drive to USB 3.0-compatible computers as well as to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 models. Plus, with an integrated Thunderbolt cable featuring compatibility with first-generation Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2, this LaCie Rugged drive can be used with a large variety of computers. The LaCie Rugged drive is bus-powered and backed by a three-year limited warranty.
The new LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 3 is designed as a companion to limited-capacity SSD-based laptops and all-in-one computers to expand storage up to 10TB for...
Patriot announces three new gaming headsets
Patriot (http://patriotmemory.com/) has announced the new Patriot Viper V370 RGB headset, V361 LED headset and the V330 stereo headset.
“We are very excited to add three newly designed headsets to our lineup this year,” says Roger Shinmoto, Patriot’s Vice President of Product Development. “The V330 stereo headset will offer great stereo sound quality for PC or mobile gaming enthusiasts, while the V361 and V370 RGB headsets will offer the same proven 7.1 virtual surround sound and Ultra Base Response (UBR) system our customers have come to enjoy.”
The V370 and V361 7.1 virtual surround sound headsets come equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers for sound detection in FPS and MMO games. An added 30mm sub-driver enhances the bass. A red V lights the side of the V361, while the V370 comes to life with full-spectrum RGB lighting. Connecting through a gold plated USB, the V370 and V361 have downloadable software to adjust sound levels and lighting effects.
The V330 stereo headset is built with...
Amped Wireless debuts HELIOS, HELIOS-EX range extenders
Amped Wireless (http://ampedwireless.com) will announce its first high power tri-band range extender and router series, the HELIOS and HELIOS-EX, at this week’s CES 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The HELIOS-EX High Power AC2200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender, is compatible with any router and can increase coverage up to 12,000 square feet. It features DirectLink Technology that yields speeds up to two times greater than other range extenders using a dedicated connection to the home network, according to Jason Owen, vice president of Networking at Amped Wireless.
The HELIOS-EX Range Extender has maximum signal magnification via 12 high power amplifiers and four high gain antennas (one internal, three external). The HELIOS-EX Range Extender and HELIOS Router both feature MU-MIMO technology so data can be delivered to multiple devices at once without a lag in streaming or downloading. They’re also both built with gigabit ports and USB 3.0 file sharing...
ExoLens debuts new case for the iPhone 7
ExoLens (www.exolens.com) will debut the ExoLens Case at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The dual layer case allows photographers and cinematographers to use the ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS mobile photography lenses.
Designed with high-end aesthetics and impact-resistant materials, the ExoLens Case serves as a low profile, highly protective solution even without the lenses, says John Fellowes, CEO of Fellowes Brands. The ExoLens Case will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2017. Pricing hasn’t been announced.
Scorpion Research releases Scorpion BarCode 2.80 for Apple macOS
Scorpion Research (http://www.scorpionresearch.com/) has announced Scorpion BarCode 2.80, an update to its barcode creation software for macOS. The upgrade is optimized for macOS Sierra.
The utility is designed to facilitate the creation and printing of all major barcode symbologies in EPS, PDF, PNG, or TIFF file formats. You can integrate barcodes into database, spreadsheet and word processor applications. A command line version is also provided to build scripted solutions.
Scorpion BarCode 2.80 is compatible with macOS 10.6 or later. A demo is available for download. A single user license is approximately US$121. Multiple user and educational discounts are available.
Quardio introduces QardioCore EGG monitor
Qardio, Inc.'s US$449 QardioCore — a wearable ECG monitor showcased at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas — is now available for pre-order at www.getqardio.com. It’s iOS compatible.
QardioCore is a wearable medical electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) monitor allowing users to proactively look after their heart health long-term, all without the need for wires or patches. Packed with proprietary sensor technology, it records more than 20 million data points, streaming the user's live medical-grade data to their smartphones.
ECG monitors sense the tiny electrical charges on the skin arising from the heart muscle's electrophysiological activity. It’s IP65 certified, making it splash and rain-resistant.
QardioCore is worn as a chest strap and records continuous ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, temperature and activity data. The data can then be automatically shared, for example, with medical professionals. Athletes can also take advantage of...
Kanex launches Thunderbolt 3 line at CES 2017
Kanex (www.kanex.com) is launching its new Thunderbolt 3 line of products at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The line includes: the Thunderbolt 3 Travel Dock for MacBook Pro, a Thunderbolt 3.0 to eSATA 3 + USB 3.0 Adapter, and 1.6-foot and 6.6-foot Thunderbolt 3/USB-C cables.
With the US$149.95 Kanex Thunderbolt 3 Travel Dock, users can connect and power their MacBook with a single cable, converting it to a desktop workstation. The unit comes with two HDMI ports, a USB port, 1-gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB-C port for pass-through charging.
The $129.95 Kanex Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB 3.0 adapter lets you easily connect your Thunderbolt-equipped Mac to an eSATA device. It connects to the Mac's Thunderbolt port, adding an eSATA port and an extra USB 3.0 port. The adapter allows you to upgrade to the latest MacBook Pro and still use your eSATA hard drive.
With the Kanex Thunderbolt 3/USB-C cable, you can connect to a single display 5K 60Hz or...
Pyle USA introduces MusicMover stereo system
Pyle USA has introduced MusicMover, a full range stereo speaker system that also provides a “light show.” It boasts LED lights with five color changing modes, that blink and pulse to the music.
The MusicMover allows users to connect via Bluetooth or 3.5mm to listen to Pandora, Spotify or online playlists. It has an FM tuner if users prefer to listen to the radio.
The portable boombox offers two 2-inch drivers and two 4-inch subwoofers with a ported enclosure. Users can adjust treble, bass, echo and volume levels. When fully charged, the boombox provides eight hours of playtime, and includes battery level indicators to know when it needs to be recharged.
Pyle’s MusicMover is available now at PyleUSA.com/ for a manufactures suggested retail price of US$119.99.
Maintain Serves Up Cocktail 10.1.4 (Sierra Edition)
Maintain has served up Cocktail 10.1.4 (Sierra Edition), a new edition of Cocktail for users running macOS Sierra.
It’s a general purpose utility for macOS that lets users clean, repair and optimize their Macs. Version 10.1.4 fixes compatibility issues with Logic Pro X audio units plug-ins and contains many other bug fixes as well as overall performance improvements
Cocktail costs $19 for a single user license and available for purchase from the Maintain website (http://www.maintain.se/cocktail). When unregistered, Cocktail runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch.
Cisdem conjures up OCRWizard 4.2.0 for macOS
Cisdem has conjured up version 4.2.0 of OCR Wizard. The app can convert PDFs, scanned documents, and image files in over 40 languages into searchable and editable files.
Version 4.2.0 provides improved editing functions. It’s available for macOS 10.9 and higher.
OCRWizard is available now at the Cisdem website (www.cisdem.com). A demo is available for download. Normally, a single license of OCRWizard costs US$59.99; a two Mac license is $79.99; and a five Mac license is $119.99. However, prices are reduced 30% for a limited time.
PDFConverterOCR for macOS revved to version 4
Cisdem (www.cisdem.com) has updated PDFConverterOCR for macOS to version 4. The app can help batch convert both native and scanned PDF files to a variety of editable formats, such as Word, Pages, Excel, PPT, Text, etc.
This new version 4.0.0 offers improvements in converting native and scanned PDF docs, more accurate OCR recognition, and batch conversion etc. PDF Converter OCR costs US$49.99. A demo is available for download.
Kanex introduces new Apple Watch accessories
Kanex will use CES 2017 (running Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada) to introduce the two newest members to its growing line of GoPower Apple Watch accessories (www.kanex.com/gopowerwatch). The products are the GoPower Watch Stand, a magnetic charging stand, and the GoPower Watch Mini, a portable keychain battery.
Each member of the Kanex GoPower family has integrated into it the same magnetic inductive charging connector used in the Apple Watch. This allows users to leave their other charger at the office, in the car, or packed for traveling.
The GoPower Watch Stand charges and displays both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch models. An additional USB port on the back simultaneously charges an iPhone, iPad, or any other device.
The Kanex GoPower Watch Mini charges an Apple Watch on-the-go and completely cord free. This magnetic charging disc starts charging at first contact. With 1,000 mAh of power, its lightweight battery is capable of delivering one full extra charge to the Apple smartwatch...
Flashphoner presents iOS and Android SDK
Flashphoner — a company specializing on video streaming in browsers and on mobile devices — has delivered a set of three instruments, Web SDK [software development kit], iOS SDK (http://flashphoner.com/wcs-ios-sdk) and Android SDK, that allows independent developers and software development companies to develop and embed their own mobile and web applications for streaming video such as video chats, conferences, online broadcasts, IP camera broadcasting, screen sharing and online calls.
"If you develop a website or a mobile application, like a webinar, you should focus on design, usability, user experiences and do a lot more to develop a really good and easy-to-use application for your users,” says Alexey Trunov, product-manager at Flashphoner. "With our tools and API, you simply give commands. You tell ´send the video stream´, and the video stream is sent. ´Play the video stream´, and the video stream starts playing. All internal complexity including processing, sending, synchronizing...
RCS Software releases Combo Cleaner for macOS
RCS Software has released Combo Cleaner: Antivirus and System Optimizer 1.0.6, an antivirus and system optimization application for macOS 10.10 and higher.
The suite of tools allows you to scan your Mac for viruses, find duplicate files, uninstall apps, scan for privacy issues, remove junk and obsolete files, and more. Combo Cleaner also keeps you informed of the amount of your computer’s free disk space and memory, as well as the system's CPU load.
While Combo Cleaner (http://www.rcs-software.com/) is free to download in the Mac App Store, it also offers a premium subscription option, which enables additional features. Subscriptions are available via an in-app purchase. Pricing is US$2.99 monthly, $14.99 for six moths, and $25.99 annually. The Combo Cleaner free version offers a Disk Cleaner feature, designed to ensure that your Mac is free of junk and obsolete files.
Holiday cyber shopping computer infection rates still doubling
The 2016 holiday shopping season started with a dramatic spike in malware infections, and that spike has not let up.
Enigma Software Group reports that as of December 19th, malware infections on its customers' computers are 99.23% higher than the average number of infections in the month prior to the holiday shopping season starting on Black Friday.
The infection rate is tracking much higher than the infection rate in 2015, which saw an 84% spike. In 2014 the spike was 42%.
"We believe the continued spike in malware is due in large part to increased online activity by holiday shoppers, and increased efforts on the part of malware makers to take advantage of those shoppers," said ESG spokesperson Ryan Gerding.
The busiest day so far for malware infections was not on Cyber Monday. Instead, it was Wednesday, Dec. 14. That day saw infections 120.06% higher than normal. Cyber Monday's spike was 118.34%.
"We know that one of the most common ways to trick people into installing malware is...
TextSoap for macOS improves handling of international text
Unmarked Software (www.unmarked.com) has updated TextSoap, its macOS productivity tool designed to automate the tedious task of manually cleaning up text, to version 8.3.
The software — compatible with macOS 10.10 or higher — processes text from different formats. Version 8.3 improves handling of international text, as well as addressing a number of issues reported by customers.
The upgrade is free to all TextSoap 8 customers. Customers may either update from within the app or directly download the update from Unmarked
TextSoap 8.3 has a suggested retail price of $45. Through Dec 31, 2016, it’s available for $29.24, a 35% discount. TextSoap 8.3 may be purchased directly from Unmarked Software. Discounted upgrades for existing customers are also available and may be purchased directly from Unmarked Software. Prices for upgrades start at $23.
5% of macOS users work with at least three incompatible file...
Full Unlimited Access to Windows, macOS, Linux File Systems
Paragon Software Group (www.paragon-software.com) reports that Paragon UFSD (Universal File System Driver) Value Pack– a bundle of five essential cross-platform tools providing access to non-native file systems — has been installed by 5% of Paragon NTFS for Mac users, showing that every 20 macOS users work with at least three incompatible file system standards.
Previously available as licensing-based technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, in September, 2016 Paragon’s UFSD technology is now available for the first time as a bundle pack targeted at individual users. Paragon UFSD Value Pack includes NTFS for Mac, ExtFS for Mac, HFS+ for Windows, ExtFS for Windows, and NTFS-HFS Converter.
The UFSD Value Pack has been developed to solve compatibility issues for users working with multiple file systems. The Pack comes with a lifetime free upgrade guarantee for US$49.95 — a savings of nearly $100 compared to purchasing...
Apple updates its AirPort Extreme software
Apple has released new versions of its router software: 7.6.8 for the 802.11n AirPort Extreme, and 7.7.8 for the 802.11ac AirPort Extreme. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes an issue where the routers would not respond to the AirPort Utility when "Back to My Mac" is enabled. There are also security fixes.
You can install the upgrades via the AirPort Utility. If the routers are not visible as a result of "Back to my Mac" being enabled, disable the feature and reboot the routers.
VidConvert for macOS revved to version 1.7.1
Reggie Ashworth has announced VidConvert 1.7.1 (http://www.reggieashworth.com/vidconvert), an update to his video converter for macOS.
It’s a video converter designed to make converting your videos simple and easy. VidConvert will convert just about any type of video into one of many popular formats. You can create videos for your iPhone or iPad, for your Mac or TV, or formats such as DivX and MPEG. Version 1.7.1 is optimized for macOS Sierra.
VidConvert requires macOS 10.7 or later. It costs $7.99 for a single user license. A demo which creates three-minute samples is available.
AKVIS Neon for macOS ready for Photoshop CC 2017
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has released AKVIS Neon 2.5 for macOS (10.7 and higher) and Windows. The new version provides full compatibility with Photoshop CC 2017, adds support for more RAW files, and fixes minor bugs.
AKVIS Neon creates sparkling drawings that look like they were drawn with light or luminescent ink. The app offers numerous presets and decoration effects.
Version 2.5 is a free upgrade for recent buyers. Users, whose license is not valid for the new version, can get Neon 2.5 for $14.95. For new users the cost is $39 for the plug-in.
A demo is available for download. AKVIS Neon is available as a standalone application and as a plugin filter for Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro, and other image editors.
Apple releases new developer betas of macOS Sierra 10.12.3, iOS...
Apple has released a second beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 and iOS 10.2.1 to developers. They can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center (https://idmsa.apple.com).
NFC Forum announces new tech specs
The NFC Forum has announced \the availability of three adopted and one candidate technical specifications, following approval by the Board of Directors. The specifications are available on the NFC Forum website (www.nfc-forum.org).
Significant enhancements to these specifications include the addition of Active Communication Mode (ACM) for Peer-to-Peer Mode (P2P) communication, support of NFC-V Technology compatible to ISO/IEC 15693 and the introduction of the NFC-V based Type 5 Tag allowing NFC devices to communicate with a broader range of devices and tags.
“As global NFC adoption grows, these new specifications bring the ease and power of NFC to more applications and use cases in the Internet of Things, Transportation, Payments, Connected Vehicles markets, and beyond,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “I’d like to thank the NFC Forum’s Working Groups and Technical Committee for their work on these important new specifications in support of product innovation and design...
BatchOutput for Microsoft Excel now Supports macOS Sierra
Zevrix Solutions has announced BatchOutput XLS 2.3.8, a compatibility update to its output automation solution for Microsoft Excel.
BatchOutput automates printing and exporting of multiple documents to PDF, and allows to carry out powerful professional PDF production directly from Excel. In addition to batch printing the software brings advanced PDF creation options right to the user's fingertips. Version 2.3.3 makes BatchOutput XLS compatible with macOS 10.12 Sierra.
BatchOutput XLS can be purchased for US$39.95 from the Zevrix website (www.zevrix.com), as well as from authorized resellers and Mac App Store. A demo is available for download. BatchOutput XLS requires macOS 10.6 and higher and Microsoft Excel 2008, 2011 or 2016.
Chord Buddy 1.2 for macOS gets 50-plus improvements, bug fixes
Gerald Flossmann has released ChordPro Buddy 1.2.5 (http://www.gfApps.com), an update to his easy and song editor and viewer for the Mac.
The app allows musicians to create, edit and view songs, lyrics and lead sheets. It allows users to transpose, change chords and create formatted printouts or PDF. Version 1.2.5 boasts more than 50 improvements and bug fixes.
Chord Buddy requires version runs on macOS 10.10 or higher. It costs $4.99 and is available at the Mac App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/app/chordpro-buddy/id434955766) in the Music category.
AntiVirus for macOS new port and vulnerability scanners
B-Eng (http://www.b-eng.ch/) has announced AntiVirus 1.2, an update to their popular virus and adware scanner for macOS.
A key feature of AntiVirus is that the app doesn't force you to update virus definitions manually. In addition to stability improvements, version 1.2 adds a new port scanner, as well as a new vulnerability scanner.
AntiVirus 1.2 requires macOS 10.11 or later. It costs $8.99 and is available at the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.
MegaSeg 6.0.1 for macOS improves support for Apple Music Tracks
Fidelity Media has released MegaSeg 6.0.1 (http://www.megaseg.com), an upgrade to the radio automation and DJ mixing system for macOS Sierra. The features over 30 bug fixes and improvements, including better support for Apple Music tracks, new global search shortcut, a superior rotation shuffle method, scaled album artwork progress rings, and various speed optimizations.
MegaSeg is available in two editions. The $99 DJ edition focuses on core live mixing features with visual beat syncing via multitouch gestures, multiple outputs for headphone preview, MIDI control, automatic volume, advanced categorization, track logging, and integrated iTunes playlists. MegaSeg Pro ($199) adds video playback with ambient visuals, hot keys for triggering sound effects, automated music scheduling, advertisement messaging events, rules for applying artist separations, request lists with reminder notes, and more advanced features for professional DJs and VJs, radio stations, and hospitality businesses...
Henge Docks debuts the Clique 2 for the Magic Keyboard and Magic...
Henge Docks (www.hengedocks.com) has announced the Clique², designed to unite the Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 into a single, streamlined device. With its laser-cut aluminum chassis, it secures the devices in place, allowing you to retain full functionality on both a desktop surface and in your lap.
An open design enables access to the charging ports and power switches, making it easy to interact with the rear of the devices while docked in Clique2. Lightning ports remain fully accessible so devices can stay charged while docked. Clique2 is also configurable for right or left handed use, relying on a fitted tray and reusable attachment surface to secure the keyboard and trackpad in place.
The Clique2 is currently available for purchase for $59. Henge Docks also sells the Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 alongside the Clique2 so users can conveniently purchase the entire bundle at once.
Super Mario Run arrives on the Apple App Store
Nintendo’s Super Mario Run game for the iPhone and iPad is now available at the Apple App Store. You can play the game one-handed and engage in a new battle mode called Toad Battle.
It’s a free download, but costs $9.99 to unlock all the features. Super Mario Run also requires a persistent Internet connection.
In the game, Mario runs through the world as you tap on the screen, making him jump to avoid obstacles, strike objects, clear gaps and perform other maneuvers. Level scores, coins and world progress are collected and tallied.
Super Mario Run features three main game modes: World Tour, in which gamers run through six worlds and 24 courses to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Mario's nemesis Bowser; Toad Rally, a multiplayer mode that pits users against friends and other players in a race to gather coins; and Kingdom Builder, which lets users customize a virtual environment with buildings and decorations purchased using collected coins and toads acquired through Toad...
DockShelf 1.5 for macOS allows unlimited mini-desktops
The Alchemist Guild has conjured up DockShelf 1.5, an update to their popular Dock management utility for macOS.
Version 1.5 allows unlimited mini-desktops. DockShelf lets you place unlimited docks around your desktop so you never run out of space again for your commonly used files, folders and applications. Launching your favorite documents and apps is faster because you control where your docks are positioned, how many are on screen, how they're labeled and when they're visible.
DockShelf 1.5 costs $4.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/app/dockshelf/id483044083) in the Utilities category. It can also be purchased from Alchemist Guild online (http://www.thealchemistguild.com/dockshelf/). A demo is available for download.
MakeMusic releases new SmartMusic
MakeMusic has announced the formal release of the new SmartMusic, a web-based redesign of the acclaimed interactive music practice platform for music students and educators.
Like the classic SmartMusic, the new SmartMusic (www.smartmusic.com) supports the proven deliberate practice model by providing immediate feedback and making it possible for educators to individually guide each student, according to Fred Flowerday, MakeMusic’s senior vice president of product strategy. Students practice specific music assigned by their teacher and receive instant feedback on what they played correctly – and incorrectly.
They also receive an assessment score and can hear recordings of their performances. When they’ve mastered an assignment, SmartMusic sends their score and recording back to their teacher’s Gradebook to be evaluated, graded, and documented. Teachers and students can also provide comments on every performance.
In addition to interactive practice tools for students and administrative...
Maintain serves up Cocktail 10.1.3 (Sierra Edition)
Maintain has served up Cocktail 10.1.3 (Sierra Edition), a new edition of Cocktail for users running macOS Sierra.
It’s a general purpose utility for macOS that lets users clean, repair and optimize their Macs. The new version adds: the ability to clear Siri caches; the ability to prevent Photos form launching automatically when a device is connected; macOS 10.12.2 compatibility.
Cocktail costs $19 for a single user license and available for purchase from the Maintain website (http://www.maintain.se/cocktail). When unregistered, Cocktail runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch.
Apple releases first developer betas of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 and...
Apple has seeded the first beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update to developers. The company has also seeded the first beta of iOS 10.2.1 to developers.
The beta updates can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
AKVIS updates three Mac compatible apps
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has updated three apps: Retoucher 8.1, MultiBrush 9.0, and Coloriage 10.5. The new versions provide full compatibility with Photoshop CC 2017, offer a modernized user interface and other improvements.
All of these products are available as plugins and as standalone applications for macOS (10.7 and higher) and Windows. They can be purchased separately or together as a software bundle. Demos are available for download.
Apple releases iTunes 12.5.4
Apple has revved iTunes to version 12.5.4. The upgrade adds support for the new "TV" app on iOS and tvOS. It also improves Touch Bar capabilities with the new MacBook Pro.
With Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, you can use the scrubber to go to different parts of songs, movies, TV shows, and more. Version 12.5.4 also includes minor app and performance improvements.
iTunes 12.5.4 can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.
BBEdit revved to version 11.6.3
Bare Bones Software (www.barebones.com) has rolled out BBEdit 11.6.3, a recommended update to its professional strength text and code editor, available free of charge to all BBEdit 11 customers.
Version 11.6.3 contains fixes for reported issues, as well as refinements to new features that were added in BBEdit 11.6. The BBEdit update also maintains the recently introduced evaluation model in which the full, complete feature set is available for the first 30 days of use.
At the end of the 30-day evaluation period, the permanently functional feature set changes to include BBEdit’s editing capabilities, but not its web authoring tools or
other exclusive features. BBEdit requires macOS 10.9.5 or higher. Registration is US$49.99 for new users.
Apple releases macOS Sierra 10.12.2
Apple has released macOS Sierra 10.12.2. It’s available free as a download at the Mac App Store. According to Apple, the update:
° Improves setup and reliability of Auto Unlock;
° Allows addition of a Chinese Trackpad Handwriting button to the Touch Bar Control Strip;
° Adds support for taking screenshots of the Touch Bar using the Grab app or Cmd-Shift-6 shortcut;
° Fixes an issue that caused the Touch Bar emoji picker to appear on the display;
° Resolves graphics issues on MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers;
° Fixes an issue where System Integrity Protection was disabled on some MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers;
° Improves setup and opt-out experience for iCloud Desktop and Documents;
° Fixes an issue with the delivery of Optimized Storage alerts;
° Improves audio quality when using Siri and FaceTime with Bluetooth headphones;
° Improves the stability of Photos when creating and ordering books;
° Fixes an issue where incoming Mail messages did not appear when using a Microsoft...
Epson unveils two new document scanners
Epson America (www.epson.com) has introduced two new home and office organization solutions – the US$349 WorkForce ES-400 and $399 ES-500W duplex document scanners.
They boast speeds up to 35 ppm/70 ipm and feature a 50-page auto document feeder (ADF). Both models enable users to scan to online storage accounts including DropBox, SharePoint, Evernote, Google Drive and more. In addition, the ES-500W includes wireless capabilities for scanning directly to smartphones, tablets or computers.
The new scanners include TWAIN drivers for integration with virtually any document management software. The ES-400 and ES-500W sport single-step duplex technology that scans both sides of virtually any paper, turning paper documents into searchable and editable files with the included OCR software.
Both models offer Auto Document Size Detection, which enables scanning of virtually any size documents including business and ID cards, single sheets, receipts, extra-long pages and more. In addition,...
iPhone and iPad backup software TouchCopy updated to support iOS...
The developers at Wide Angle Software have announced an update to TouchCopy 16 (http://tinyurl.com/o77s96d), adding support for devices using the iOS 10.2 release.
It’s an app that enables users to backup all content from their iPhone and iPad to a Mac or a PC. TouchCopy backups include content not normally included in iTunes and iCloud backups, such as music, playlists and iBooks.
A demo is available for download. TouchCopy works with all iPhones, iPods, and iPads. A 12-month software license retails for $29.95, while a lifetime license for two computers is $39.95.