Reflector 2 update adds iPad Pro support, more
The latest Reflector 2 update brings mirroring and streaming support for Hulu, Vimeo and YouTube videos, along with complete iPad Pro support. iOS and OS X device owners can now mirror or stream content from these video platforms to any Mac or Windows computer running Reflector 2.4.
Reflector is a wireless mirroring and streaming receiver that works great with AirPlay, Google Cast, and AirParrot 2. Version 2.4 is available now as a free update for current Reflector 2 users. It can be downloaded from the Reflector 2 preferences menu or from the Reflector 2 (http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/).
Patriot releases new Viper USB, Mega USB devices
Patriot has announced their latest additions to company’s steadily growing line of consumer flash drives, the Viper and Mega USB.
The Viper USB — with prices ranging from $34.99 to $94.99 — joins the expanding lines of the company’s brands of computer memory and now gaming peripherals. With USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0, the Viper USB will be available in three capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.
The Viper USB comes in red and black with the Viper logo stamped on the front. A swing feature offers protection for the drive’s connector while not in use and the key ring loop at the top makes it portable for gamers to take on the go
Patriot designed the Supersonic Mega USB with the impressive performance of the high end Magnum as the standard, but with a more affordable price for the consumer ($49.99 to $229.99). Built with an industrial, zinc alloy casing, the Mega comes with a removable cap to keep all of life’s most important data safe from the...
CES: STACKED expands its wireless ecosystem of iPhone accessories
STACKED has announced its latest products at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES): the Audio Dock and Boost Speaker are designed to be used in tandem with the company’s Stack Pack to cut cords, eliminate wires and simplify the lives of consumers.
The $129 Stack Pack is an iPhone charger. The Audio Dock, designed to declutter work spaces and replace bulky conference call systems, allows users take calls and listen to music, while simultaneously and wirelessly charging an iPhone.
The Audio Dock features an integrated 2000mAh charge base that magnetically connects with the Stack Pack to achieve wireless charging and avoid running out of battery during a call. It will be available in the second quarter for $79.99 at poweredbystacked.com.
STACKED’s Boost Speaker is designed to replace consumers’ portable Bluetooth speakers. It magnetically connects to a Stack Pack and amplifies the iPhone’s sound. It features two 30mm drivers. Rather than carry both a phone and a speaker, the Boost...
CES: Lutron announces HomeKit compatible products
(www.lutron.com) announced that its Caséta Wireless smart home system now offers the ability to control Lutron shades using its HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge providing users with control of some of the most frequently-used products in their homes.
Earlier this year, Lutron released one of the world’s first Apple HomeKit-enabled products – its Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge, which allows users to control their lights conveniently and securely via Siri using their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch. Adding Lutron shade support to the HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge provides a more streamlined user experience and a third option for controlling Lutron devices in the home. The other two options – the Lutron App and Pico Wireless remote control – were introduced last year.
The HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge (a do-it-yourself solution) supports Serena battery-powered shades, while the Smart Bridge PRO (a professionally-installed solution)...
CES: re-fuel Introduces eight new extended power accessories
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, re-fuel (www.re-fuel.com) is introducing a new line of extended power accessories with eight new products for iPhones, GoPros and mobile devices. The line-up includes:
° Action Pack extended batteries for GoPro Hero 3 & 4 cameras that extend recording time up to 6, 12 or 24 hours. The all-weather Action Packs are rugged, dustproof, dirt proof, and waterproof to 131 feet (40 meters), withstand extreme heat and cold providing steady power from -22 to 122 degree Fahrenheit (-30 to 50 Celsius), and are sealed against the elements, no matter where you take it.
° Go Charger to simultaneously charge two GoPro Hero 4 batteries and smartphone.
° Quikpod Dynamic Power Selfie Stick and Quickpod Power Grip with built-in power banks for an extra 10 hours of filming on smartphone, GoPros and cameras.
° PowerBiner, a clip-on power carabiner with built-in rechargeable power bank that provides 3000mAh of power. PowerBiner refuels...
Lexar announces new JumpDrive C20i, a 3-in-1 iOS Flash Drive
Lexar (www.lexar.com) has announced the Lexar JumpDrive C20i flash drive. Featuring two connectors – Lightning and USB 3.0 – the new flash drive is designed for the iPhone or iPad and lets users offload content, add storage, back up files, and charge iOS devices on the go with no battery or network required.
The flash drive offers USB 3.0 performance with read speeds up to 95MB per second and write speeds of 20MB per second. It enables users to automatically sync photos and videos, as well as back up files, with the use of a free file management app from the Apple App Store. The JumpDrive C20i is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices and is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities.
The drive is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows systems and comes with a three-year limited warranty. The new JumpDrive C20i flash drive will be available in the first quarter of the year and have manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of $34.99 (16GB), $49.99 (32GB), $69.99 (64GB), and $...
Apple announces record-breaking holiday season for the App Store
Apple has announced that customers around the world made this holiday season the biggest ever for the App Store, setting new records during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.
In the two weeks ending Jan. 3, customers spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases. Jan. 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million. It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.
“The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We're grateful to all the developers who have created the most innovative and exciting apps in the world for our customers. We can't wait for what's to...
CF Card Recovery for OS X gets new interface, more
AppleXsoft has updated CF Card Recovery for Mac, its data rescue software for Mac OS X, to version 5.1.3. The tool was specifically developed to help anyone recover images, documents, video, music or just about anything from CF card, memory card, USB flash drives and all other types of digital media.
The software has been completely rewritten from scratch. and completely redesigned wizard-style interface,. Version 5.1.3 also adds support for larger capacity memory cards. New video and image formats added include RAW image and HD/UHD/3D for video.
CF Card Recovery works with Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It's available for $49.95 for a single-user license. A free trial version may be downloaded from the product website (http://www.cfcardrecovery.com/).
SCSC Releases Phoenix 2.1 for Mac OS X
Software and Computer System Company (http://scsc-online.com) has released version 2.1 of Phoenix, an update to their operating system tool for Mac OS X. Phoenix allows users to clone volumes, create emergency boot volumes, and attempt to recover data from drives and SSDs with bad blocks.
Phoenix is offered as a standalone product and is a standard component in the company's main product, Scannerz for Mac OS X. Version 2.1 offers several performance improvements. Phoenix may be obtained as a stand-alone product for $13.95. Or it may be obtained as part of the either of the fully featured versions of Scannerz (but not Scannerz-Lite).
TypeIt4Me celebrates 25 years on the Mac with a new version
Ettore Software has released TypeIt4Me version 5.5 for Mac. This update coincides with the 25th anniversary of the original version 1.0 release. To celebrate this milestone in the app’s long-running development, for a limited time TypeIt4Me 5.5 licenses can be bought for $4.99; that’s 75% off the regular price.
TypeIt4Me is a typing shortcut tool. With it you can type abbreviations that instantly expand to longer words, paragraphs, pictures and more. You can create short, expandable abbreviations for email signatures, greetings, commonly repeated phrases, formatted text and images.
TypeIt4Me 5.5 provides the syncing of snippets via Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive and shared network folders for use on more than one Mac. The upgrade also sports an user interface refinements, a redesigned app icon, and performance and stability improvements
TypeIt4Me 5.5 requires a Mac running OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later. A demo is available for download (http://tinyurl.com/ht9cty4).
Braven unveils smart modular backup battery
BRAVEN (www.braven.com) has unveiled the he BRAVEN BRV-BANK PRO LE, an “ultra-rugged” modular backup battery with an ecosystem of accessories designed to adapt to even the most extreme outdoor environments.
An even more rugged version of BRAVEN’s acclaimed BRV-BANK, the original Bluetooth Smart portable outdoor backup battery, the BRV-BANK PRO LE can now survive full submersion with an IPX7 waterproof rating, features a built-in 300-lumen LED flashlight, and is protected by an aircraft-grade aluminum housing for extra versatility and durability says says BRAVEN CEO Andy Fathollahi. It’s also compatible with all accessories from the BRV-PRO modular rugged-speaker, including the solar charging panel, multi-tool, GoPro compatible action mount, and stacking plate, which allows users to stack multiple BRV-BANK PRO LE batteries on top of each other for even more power.
Similar to its predecessor, the BRV-BANK PRO LE is Bluetooth SMART enabled, and can be remotely controlled through BRAVEN’s...
Seagate rolls out the Backup Plus Ultra Slim
Seagate Technology has launched the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim, which it says is the world’s thinnest 2TB mobile hard drive. This new product builds on the award-winning Backup Plus Slim drive, delivering a new design with the same leading capacity in an even slimmer profile.
Available in golden or platinum metal finish, the drive includes Seagate Dashboard software, which offers users either one-click on-demand or customizable, scheduled backups for their devices. The Backup Plus Ultra Slim comes with 200GB of free Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage for two years.
The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim gold and platinum finishes will be available this quarter from Amazon and Seagate.com.
LaCie previews Chrome desktop storage solution
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, LaCie (www.lacie.com) unveiled the LaCie Chromé desktop storage solution, which sports USB 3.1 Gen 2 technology, USB-C connectivity and SSDs housed in an aluminum enclosure by Neil Poulton.
The LaCie Chromé features a pair of 500 GB M.2 SATA SSDs in RAID 0. Working together, these components deliver speeds of up to 940 MB/second. According to the folks at LaCie, this performance lets users ingest two hours of 4K GoPro footage in a little over one minute, makes architectural and 3D modeling tasks smoother and faster, and enables the editing of hi-res video without first needing to convert footage to a lower resolution.
The elevated form is an homage to a 1935 bronze statue from Constantin Brâncuși, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. Once machined, the enclosure is hand assembled, then chromed to a mirror polish. Forged from solid chromed zinc, the stand securely docks the product with neodymium magnets...
LaCie announces mobile, desktop versions of USB-C drives
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LaCie (www.lacie.com) announced a new line of LaCie Porsche Design Drives. Housed in all-aluminum enclosures that reflect the signature Porsche Design style, the new Mobile and Desktop Drives feature USB-C connectivity (as found on the 12-inch MacBook) with the highest capacities on the market in a compact form factor.
By harnessing the power of USB 3.1, the LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive will charge a compatible laptop’s battery when the drive’s power supply is connected to the wall outlet. Via a single USB-C cable, users can power their notebook and access their drive at the same time.
Both the Mobile and Desktop Drives feature all-aluminum enclosures that are scratch resistant and dissipate heat. The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive will be available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities starting at $109.95; the LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive comes in 4TB, 5TB and 8TB capacities starting at $209.95. The drives will be...
DupHunter for OS X offers a way to deal with ‘garbage’ photos
A new cross-platform app by Teorex, DupHunter (http://www.duphunter.com) scans photos on a user´s computer and gets rid of all duplicates leaving only the best images in each group of similar pictures.
The program automatically detects series of photos taken with continuous shooting or locates similar images based on their content. You set the program against folders on your computer, and it reveals all doubling images it finds. Then you select the best photos in each group of duplicates; DupHunter discards others.
DupHunter is available for Windows and MacOS. The price for a single license is $19.99.
Akitio unveils the Thunder3 Duo Pro
AKITIO has unveiled the Thunder3 Duo Pro, which it says is the industry's first hardware RAID and display dock solution designed to unleash the groundbreaking speed and simplicity of Thunderbolt 3.
Developed to handle the data protection and performance requirements for today's ever-growing media libraries, the Thunder3 Duo Pro offers fast transfers with the added flexibility of a DisplayPort video output in a form factor small enough for a desktop, says Richard Wright, vice president of Sales & Marketing for Akitio.
Utilizing Thunderbolt 3, the Thunder3 Duo Pro can deliver transfer speeds up to 770 MB/s while simultaneously providing two 4K video streams to connected displays, roughly 8x faster than USB 3.1 Gen 1 and 4x faster than USB 3.1 Gen 2. Thunder3 Duo Pro is ideal for consumers and professionals who desire high capacity external storage with advanced RAID support and robust data protection, says Wright.
The Thunder3 Duo Pro is offered as a 2-bay RAID enclosure...
Patriot announces the Hellfire M.2 and PCIe AIC
Patriot (www.patriotmem.com) has released its latest solid-state drive offerings, the Patriot Hellfire M.2 PCIe SSD and the Hellfire PCIe AIC (Add-in Card).
Hellfire M.2 PCIe SSD.
The Hellfire will be Patriot’s first M.2 PCIe SSD. With a Gen 3 x 4 interface and NVMe 1.2 compliant, the Hellfire M.2 reportedly reaches speeds of up to 2,500MB/s read and 600MB/s. Hellfire will lower latency while increasing the productivity and response times of any PC, laptop or notebook, says Les Henry, vice president of Engineering at Patriot.
The Hellfire M.2 will be released in capacities of 240GB, 480GB and 960GB in a M.2 2280 form factor. It’s powered by the Phison 5007 controller and MLC NAND.
In addition to the Hellfire M.2, Patriot will also launch the Patriot Hellfire PCIe AIC. The Hellfire PCIe AIC with a Gen 3 x 4 interface is Patriot’s top-of-the-line choice for a storage solution with sequential read speeds of up to 3000MB/s and write speeds of up to 2200MB/s.
With varying speeds between...
Amped Wireless debuts HD Wi-Fi cameras
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Amped Wireless announced the latest solutions for consumer and business security, the APOLLO and APOLLO PRO Long Range HD Wi-Fi Cameras. According to Lacey Limbrick, Amped Wireless’ Brand and Marketing manager, they provide three times the Wi-Fi range of any other cameras of their kind.
Accompanied by a mobile app and cloud recording, these Long Range HD Wi-Fi Cameras combine high powered amplifiers and a high gain antenna. This High Power technology enables the cameras to be installed in the outer corners of a home or office, outside of the garage, near the pool or in other areas that standard cameras can’t reach. The APOLLO and APOLLO PRO can be installed anywhere without the need to be close to a Wi-Fi source.
The APOLLO PRO is equipped with a wide viewing angle for optimal viewing dimensions. Advanced Night Vision provides clear viewing in dark conditions. The APOLLO PRO is also equipped with two-way Audio that allows...
Buy one copy of QuarkXPress 2015 and get one free
Everyone who purchases a copy of QuarkXPress 2015, or upgrades to it from previous versions, between now and Feb. 15, will receive a second license of QuarkXPress 2015 free. Go to http://content.quark.com/bogof-us.html for more info.
QuarkXPress 2015 is the current version of Quark’s design and page layout software for creative professionals. It features the top 10 most user-requested enhancements as well as 64-bit performance, certified PDF/X-4 output, and functionality for creating fixed layout eBooks. QuarkXPress is sold as a perpetual license for Mac OS X and Windows, which means no subscriptions are required.
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.