Apple introduces ResearchKit
Apple has announced ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps.
World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. Users decide if they want to participate in a study and how their data is shared. Apple never sees the data, says Williams.
"iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research," he adds. "ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data...
HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the...
Apple and HBO have announced that HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch every episode of every season of the best of HBO’s original programming, as well as the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials for US$14.99 a month.
What's more Apple has cut the price of the Apple TV box from US$99 to $69. The company has sold more than 25 units of the set-top box so far.
"HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO," says Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO, HBO. "With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately. Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription."
Apple Watch available in nine countries on April 24
The Apple Watch will be available on Friday, April 24, to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.
It introduces "revolutionary" technologies such as the Digital Crown, a way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly access relevant controls. The Taptic Engine "discreetly" delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.
The Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard, according to Cook. It can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face.
The Apple Watch goes beyond telling time with specialized functions on the watch face—known in...
Apple updates the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air
Apple has updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the all-new Force Touch trackpad, fifth generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Graphics 6100 for two times faster flash and longer battery life.
Apple has also updated the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air with fifth generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, and added up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features the all-new Force Touch trackpad that brings a new dimension of interactivity to the Mac, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. The new trackpad features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive and uniform feel.
You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click...
Apple unveils new MacBook
Apple has unveiled the all-new MacBook, a new line of notebooks that weighs just two pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It boasts a 12-inch Retina display that is the thinnest ever on a Mac, an Apple-designed full-size keyboard which is thinner and more responsive than its predecessor, a new Force Touch trackpad, and a compact USB-C port.
"Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook, and at just two pounds and 13.1 mm, it’s the thinnest and lightest Mac ever," says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Every component of the MacBook reveals a new innovation. From its fanless design, ultra-thin Retina display and full-size keyboard that’s 34 percent thinner, to its all-new Force Touch trackpad, versatile USB-C port and breakthrough terraced battery design, the new MacBook is the future of the notebook."
Measuring just 13.1 mm at its thickest point, the new MacBook design is 24% than the 11-inch MacBook Air. With a new precision-milled unibody...
Desperados game comes to the Mac App Store
Runesoft (http://www.rune-soft.com) has introduced Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive 1.0.0, its new game title on the Mac App Store. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 and costs US$19.99.
Here's how the game is described: "Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive offers a thrilling storyline with breath-taking landscapes in an unmatched Wild West atmosphere. In this real-time tactic-strategy game, your job is to complete 25 missions by using the skills of your up to six Desperados to unveil the secret surrounding recent train robberies.
"Play six Desperados, lead by the hero John Cooper in the hardest and wildest Wild West Game of all times. Guide Cooper and his fearless companions in the exciting pursuit of the mysterious bandit leader El Diabolo. Breath-taking landscapes and a thrilling story create an unmatched Wild West atmosphere."
ATTO ships storage controller for data centers
ATTO Technology (www.attotech.com) is shipping what it says is the industry’s fastest storage controller – the FibreBridge 7500. Based on the technology introduced with the FibreBridge 6500, it brings enterprise-level Fibre Channel to SAS SSD/HDD storage with less than four microseconds of latency, enabling applications such as shared storage and multi-site clustering, according to Wayne Arvidson, vice president of marketing and channels at ATTO Technology.
The ATTO FibreBridge 7500 Storage Controller is an accelerated platform that allows users to build their own high performance flash, hybrid or high capacity storage using standard SAS SSD Flash or HDD drives and direct attached JBOD storage enclosures. The acceleration architecture of ATTO’s 7500 has dedicated memory modules and data paths so commands won’t have to compete for shared system resources, further allowing more data transfers at faster transfer rates. Arvidson says that key benefits of the FibreBridge 7500 include:
Dukane announces the Stand-Up Treadmill desk
Dukane (www.dukaneav.com) has announced the US$1,799 Stand-Up Treadmill desktop. It's designed to proved a low-impact workout — and eliminate the excuse that you don't have time to exercise.
It's specifically engineered for walking (0.4-4 mph) and has a shock absorbing suspension system. Stand-Up Treadmill automatically pauses when you step off.
It has built-in Bluetooth, a LED display console with safety key and USB charge port, a 60-inch wide adjustable height stand-up desk, a 14-inch deep top shelf, a 16-inch deep lower shelf, three-inch furniture casters with two locking brakes, and a heavy duty steel frame.
Media Explorer for iMessage Released for OS X
LostVertex has released Media Explorer for iMessage, an iMessage file explorer application for Mac OS X.
The utility finds pictures, videos, audio and documents that have been previously sent to an iMessage account on a Mac. Media Explorer for iMessage is designed to make it simple to find forgotten pictures, videos or lost documents such as PDFs, spreadsheets and more.
Media Explorer for iMessage requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. It's available for US$3.99 exclusively through the LostVertex store (http://lostvertex.co.uk/).
Paragon Boot Camp Backup gets you back-up Windows under OS X
Paragon Software Group (PSG) has released Paragon Boot Camp Backup (http://www.paragon-software.com/home/bootcamp-backup/), a free Mac OS X-based backup solution for Windows partitions on Macs.
The backup tools that come with Mac OS X don't support the Windows native file system NTFS and work on the file level only which has a negative effect on computer performance. Paragon Boot Camp Backup backs up NTFS Boot Camp partitions at the sector level. It creates incremental chains, where each new increment describes the changes between the current state of the backup object and the previous state.
Paragon Book Camp Backup requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher. Additional free and commercial tools for Mac users can be found at the Mac ToolBox portal (http://tinyurl.com/msgaap7).
Nektony introduces Duplicates Finder 2.0 for Mac OS X
Nektony (http://nektony.com/) has introduced Duplicate Expert 2.0, an update of the cleanup utility for Mac OS X.
Duplicates Expert was developed specifically to help anyone find and delete all duplicate content, including hidden files as well as inspect duplicate files and folder - even similar folders. It can scan at a time as many folders and drive as you selected.
Duplicates Expert requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later and costs US$1.99. It's available at the Mac App Store.
PipelineFX’s Qube! releases Autodesk VRED Job Type
To satisfy growing demand in the automotive and design markets, PipelineFX (https://pipelinefx.com), which specializes in render farm management solutions, is releasing Autodesk VRED (www.autodesk.com) batch render support for Qube!, the scalable render management solution.
Available for free to Qube! subscribers, the VRED job type now includes the ability to use artist workstations as render nodes, a feature developed with US automotive companies during the beta program. With the new VRED job type, Qube!’s customers can leverage real-time clusters and workstations to achieve faster throughput while creating prototype and marketing materials.
KeynotePro announces MagnetBoard NXT Themes for Keynote 6
KeynotePro has introduced MagnetBoard NXT (http://tinyurl.com/lz9a4pv) for Keynote 6. It's a set of three themes featuring a trio of textured bases: smooth, galvanized steel and distressed, oxidized and perforated metals: show-boxing crisp paper and thumb-worn magnets.
The MagnetBoard themes each include 40 master slides — a mix of whole-page and mixed-object layouts — along with the Freeform Masters optimized for custom layouts or accent object placement. Along with the basic text and photo layouts present in any Keynote 6 theme, MagnetBoard NXT includes an expanded selection of content-oriented masters, including Percentage Compare & Contrast, Quotation, Numbered Section Header, multi-column and captioned layout/photo slides.
Widescreen (HD) themes are available in the MagnetBoard NXT Pro Edition, expand the style into widescreen format with aspect-optimized HD versions of the MagnetBoard NXT design. The MagnetBoard NXT themes are also fully compatible with Keynote for iOS,...
Microsoft announces Office 2016 Mac Preview (updated)
Microsoft has announced the Office 2016 Mac Preview (http://tinyurl.com/jw59utq). Naturally, it includes new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.
Office 2016 for Mac is powered by the cloud, so you can access your documents on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint at anytime, anywhere and on any device. Microsoft wants you to give the apps a try and provide feedback.
"Office 2016 for Mac shares an unmistakably Office experience–but it is also thoughtfully designed to take advantage of the unique features of the Mac," says Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office 365 Client Apps and Services team. "The new apps offer full retina display support with thousands of retina-optimized graphics, full screen view for native immersive experiences, and even little Mac affordances like scroll bounce. While there are too many new features to cover in a single blog post, here’s a quick overview of a few of the highlights."
The design tab in Word 2016...
Sperensis Applications releases Minion for Mac OS X
Sperensis Applications has released Minion for Mac OS X. It allows you to monitor long running tasks such as movie renders, file downloads, and file transfers.
Minion can also notify you when an application quits or becomes active, the CPU level changes, when a file appears or a pixel changes on the screen. Once a task is complete, the utility will notify you via SMS, email or on your Mac and iOS device.
All this allows for progress bars to be monitored in software and on websites. With a free companion app for iOS, users can view the history of completed tasks.
Minion requires OS X 10.8 or later and costs US$24. It's worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category. A seven-day free trial is available from Minion's website (http://www.minionapp.com).
Stronghold Kingdoms: Rise of The Wolf Out comes to the Mac
Firefly Studios has released a new expansion pack for Stronghold Kingdoms (www.strongholdkingdoms.com) — Stronghold Kingdoms: Rise of The Wolf, available now for free on Mac and Windows systems.
Rise of The Wolf recreates the savage world of the original Stronghold in an MMO environment, featuring new PvE gameplay in a world under siege from series antagonist The Wolf.
"The idea with Rise of The Wolf is to invert the gameplay of Stronghold Kingdoms. We’re turning Kingdoms’ hardcore player-versus-player gameplay on its head and challenging people to work together, to defeat a common enemy," says Simon Bradbury, creative director at Firefly Studios. "While you can still enjoy a more pure PvP experience on the regular game worlds, we developed Rise of The Wolf because it offers a new way to play our MMO for those who enjoy or indeed prefer PvE. I can’t wait to see what tactics players use to take down The Wolf, The Snake, The Pig and The Rat!"
Rise of The Wolf is a special game mode...
Retale to launch app for Apple Watch
Retale (www.retale.com), a location-based mobile platform connecting more than three million shoppers with their favorite local retailers, has announced the imminent launch of the Retale Apple Watch app. Apple's smartwatch will go on sale in April.
Retale says its Apple Watch app will build upon the location-based features users have become accustomed to in using Retale on iOS. The Retale Apple Watch platform takes advantage of Retale’s drive-to-store emphasis by making its “Store Finder” a key component.
Retailer ads will also be visible on the Apple Watch, serving as an extension of Retale’s iPhone and iPad apps, allowing users to sync preferences, favorites, lists and actions across devices to create one of the most comprehensive and convenient multi-platform shopping experiences today.
Beyond its interconnectivity with other devices, Retale’s Apple Watch app will introduce new features to help users navigate their surroundings to track down items and the best deals locally,...
ArtHandler for Mac OS X adds new fields
Martin Walk has releasedArtHandler 1.3 (http://arthandlerapp.com), a new version of the application for Mac OS X.
The app is designed to help you keep track of artworks and metadata. ArtHandler is built for artists who need to remember titles, dimensions and dates of their artworks. ArtHandler archives images of each artwork and makes them easily accessible for future use. Version 1.3 adds fields for price, sale status and location of an artwork
ArtHandler requires OS X 10.9 or later. It costs US$12.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Graphics & Design category.
Sonnet introduces new adapters
Sonnet (www.sonnettech.com) has launched its new USB 3.0 + eSATA Thunderbolt Adapter for connectivity to USB 3.0 devices and eSATA storage, and USB 3.0 + Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt Adapter for connectivity to USB 3.0 devices and Gigabit Ethernet wired networking.
Both devices leverage Thunderbolt technology to provide a connectivity alternative for Mac and Windows users. For early adopters of Thunderbolt technology, these adapters provide the USB 3.0 connectivity found on today's systems, while the eSATA and Gigabit Ethernet ports enable many more users to connect effortlessly to fast storage and wired infrastructure, says Robert Farnsworth, CEO, Sonnet Technologies.
Both the USB 3.0 + eSATA Thunderbolt Adapter and USB 3.0 + Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt Adapter provide one 5.0 Gbps USB 3.0 port for connecting to storage, hubs, and other USB 3.0 devices. In addition, the eSATA Adapter offers a single eSATA port that supports port multipliers, and the Gigabit Ethernet Adapter...
Inpaint 6.2 improves texture generation for better image...
TeoreX has introduced Inpaint 6.2 (http://www.theinpaint.com/), an upgrade of its multi-platform retouching tool for removal of undesired elements from photos.
The app removes scratches, watermarks, timestamps and even complex objects like strangers, unwanted elements and background debris automatically. Version 6.2 improves texture generation for better results and offers new usability options.
Another improvement is an option to clear the donor area completely. While the program automatically creates default donor areas as soon as a user selects objects to remove, the user may need to redefine them manually if the scene is too complex for auto-retouching. This is simpler now. A user presses Shift+Del and instantly clears the donor area.
Inpaint costs US$19.99 for a license. The program supports Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Brattoo Propaganda Software introduces Duplicate Annihilator for...
Apple's Photos — the app that will replace iPhoto and Aperture on Macs — is only available in the latest beta version of Mac OS X Yosemite, but Brattoo Propaganda Software has already introduced Duplicates Annihilator for the software.
Duplicate Annihilator compares the images in your Photos library, using algorithms to make sure that no duplicates escape, says Anders Bjarby, CEO of Brattoo Propaganda Software. He says that the app provides the ability to detect, display and delete duplicate photos, thumbnails, thumbnails of faces, corrupt jpegs and missing image files.
Duplicate Annihilator requires Mac OS X Yosemite and Photos 1.0. It sells for US$7.95) and is available from Brattoo Propaganda Software online (http://brattoo.com/propaganda/).
PortAuthority for Mac OS X now up to version 7.0
Code by Kevin has rolled out PortAuthority 7.0 (http://tinyurl.com/3889qb), a GUI [graphical user interface] for the MacPorts Unix software management system for Mac OS X.
MacPorts is a powerful command-line tool for installing and updating a variety of Unix-based applications for the Mac. PortAuthority aims to bring the power of MacPorts to the traditional Mac user by providing a user-friendly graphical interface to MacPorts, according to the folks at Code by Kevin. Using a familiar combination of windows, icons, and menus, PortAuthority users can search, install, update, and remove MacPorts programs and the MacPorts infrastructure itself.
In version 7.0, you can restore native application programming interfaces for elevated privileges. The new version supports Mac-native notifications if Growl isn't installed. There are also improvements in user interface responsiveness.
PortAuthority is shareware; a license costs $29.99 and a 30-day demo is available. It requires Mac OS X Yosemite...
EditReady 1.2 adds AVCHD and HDV camera support to world class...
Divergent Media has revved EditReady (http://tinyurl.com/pcd9poa), a transcoding tool for Mac OS X, to version 1.2. The upgrade adds support for hundreds of the most popular cameras which shoot to AVCHD and HDV transport streams.
In addition to the various AVCHD and HDV cameras supported by ClipWrap, EditReady can transcode footage from MXF and QuickTime cameras such as the GoPro, iPhone, Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Sony F7, digital SLRs and more. The app shows thumbnails of clips for at-a-glance review and organization.
EditReady 1.2 is available as a free update for existing EditReady users, and as a $29.95 crossgrade for existing ClipWrap users. For new users the cost is US$49.99.
PCalc 4.2 released for the Mac with updated widget
TLA Systems has updated PCalc (www.pcalc.com), for Mac OS X, to version 4.2. It sports several improvements, including a calculator widget.
PCalc is a scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, parentheses, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit conversions. Version 4.2 offers an advanced layout with more of the functionality of the main application. The widget also now supports keyboard shortcuts for all operations.
This is a free upgrade for existing users. For new users the cost is US$9.99. PCalc requires OS X 10.8 and later. It's available at the product website and the Mac App Store.
Virtual TimeClock 15 goes green with electronic employee...
Redcort Software (www.redcort.com) has announced Virtual TimeClock 15, an update to the timecard management application for Mac and Windows PC computers.
Virtual TimeClock records the exact time as it occurs, removing any guessing or estimating of arrivals, departures, breaks and lunches. Version 15 adds electronic timecard approval system and a suite of data security enhancements to keep pace with today's increased need for data privacy.
Pricing for Virtual TimeClock starts at US$99. Annual software maintenance and support as well as generously discounted upgrade pricing is available.
PCI Geomatics releases GXL 2015
PCI Geomatics (www.pcigeomatics.com/GXL) has rolled out GeoImaging Accelerator (GXL) 2015, the latest version of the company’s proven, high-performance, and scalable image processing solution.
GXL technology is designed to provide improvements in automation, speed and efficiency by optimizing and distributing automated workflows.
GXL 2015 brings improvements in color balancing along with an updated and intuitive quality assessment interface, JPS improvements for more flexible workflows, a new airphoto bundle adjustment algorithm, as well as new satellite sensor models to meet the growing requirements of the industry, says David Piekny, product marketing manager at PCI Geomatics.
The color balancing model in GXL 2015 uses an all-new bundle method for more consistent and seamless mosaics while the automatic desaturation mechanism intuitively reduces hot spots, he adds. In addition to these quality improvements, productivity and workflow improvements are also included.
Solar Media Player combines a speaker with a charging case
Secur Products has released the US$49.99 Solar Media Player (www.securproducts.com), a zippered speaker with a built-in solar panel, to protect and charge phones in any outdoor situation without missing a beat.
To use you unzip the Solar Media Player, connect a phone or MP3 player, zip it closed and the Solar Media Player will simultaneously function as a speaker and solar phone charger. It's rainproof, dust proof and shock proof. Once a smartphone or MP3 player is safely stowed inside, it will be protected from the elements and accidents.
The 7.28 inch by 3.74 inch by 1.77 inch Solar Media Player is large enough to hold most smartphones including the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. It features two 3-watt stereo speakers, a built in 2000 mAh power bank and a 5.5V solar panel.
When a phone is connected to the Solar Media Player it can draw power from the power bank, or the solar panel can charge both the phone and the power bank at the same time. Other features of the Solar Media...
AAS releases Raw sound bank for Ultra Analog VA-2 and AAS Player...
Applied Acoustics Systems (www.applied-acoustics.com) has released the Raw sound bank for the Ultra Analog VA-2 synthesizer and AAS Player plug-ins in collaboration with artist and sound designer Andre Ettema.
This collection of 100 signature presets is divided into six categories: Bass, Effect, Keys, Leads, Movers, and Pads. The regular price is US$39. However, until March 17, the Raw sound bank is available at the special introductory price of US$29.
The instant download delivery package includes both a Ultra Analog VA-2 bank file and the free AAS Player plug-in. The AAS Player plug-in runs on both Mac OS X and Windows systems and supports the VST, Audio Units, AAX Native, and RTAS plug-in formats.
Red Giant introduces volume licensing program
Red Giant has announced a new Volume Licensing Program (VLP) for its lineup of plug-in suites, designed to meet the demands of larger organizations. Targeted to customers who require 10 or more floating licenses, the Volume Licensing Program is designed to remove the tedium of software deployment and management.
The Volume Licensing Program includes the option to buy an annual subscription to Trapcode Suite, Magic Bullet Suite, Shooter Suite, Effects Suite and Keying Suite. Customers can also buy an annual subscription to the Red Giant Complete Suite, which contains all of the suites at a discounted price. To learn more about Red Giant’s new Volume Licensing Program, go to http://tinyurl.com/kocqt34 .
The program uses a floating license server model called Reprise License Manager (RLM) for easy management. With RLM, Red Giant volume customers requiring 10 or more seats can now “check out” licenses for use on individual client machines, then “check in” licenses after they are finished...
IBM helps developers design mobile apps for people with...
IBM researchers have created a new tool for iOS and Android mobile applications expected to potentially benefit as many as one billion people with disabilities worldwide, including those who are vision and hearing impaired, as well as the elderly. The new Mobile Accessibility Checker (http://tinyurl.com/qccdd37) is an automated test to help strengthen the accessibility features of mobile applications, says Frances West, IBM's chief accessibility officer.
"Our researchers saw an opportunity to address this by inventing technology that identifies and corrects usability issues early in the software development process," West says. "This makes mobile apps easier to use for people with disabilities, helps developers save on costs and satisfy compliance requirements, and drives greater inclusivity in our communities through mobile technology."
The Mobile Accessibility Checker is designed to help developers identify and correct usability issues early in development to deliver an optimized...
PenFed credit and debit cards now offer Apple Pay
Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) has joined the growing ranks of financial institutions that now brings Apple Pay. It's offering the Apple payment service to all its PenFed Visa credit and debit cardholders and American Express Cardmembers.
Now, any of PenFed's Visa and American Express cardholders may now have the ability to add those cards to Apple Pay. By making the service available to cardholders, "they get to enjoy the best in the latest mobile device trends, combined with some of the best cards available in the industry," says Kevyn Myers, executive vice president and chief operating officer with PenFed.
What makes Apple Pay a serious consideration for mobile device users is the amount of retail partners the platform now has, he adds. New stores are increasingly being added. Besides the Apple Store, a PenFed cardholder can use Apple Pay at many brick-and-mortar retail locations or within participating apps.
To get more information about enrolling a PenFed credit or debit...
Apple overtakes Samsung in smartphone sales
Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users had a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an increase of 29.9% from the fourth quarter of 2013 to reach 367.5 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) Samsung lost the No. 1 spot to Apple in the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2014. Samsung had been in the top spot since 2011.
Apple reported its best quarter ever in the fourth quarter of 2014, which saw it sell 74.8 million units and move to the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market. Apple's first ever large-screen phones continued to see huge demand with sales in China and U.S., growing at 56% and 88%, respectively.
Apple's strong ecosystem and its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus drove strong replacements within the iOS base, according to Garner. These new smartphones also offered new users, who are looking for larger screen phones, a strong alternative to Android.
In 2014, sales of smartphones to end users totaled 1.2 billion units, up 28.4%...
SmartBear launches software developer network
SmartBear Software has created the SmartBear Developer Network (SDN) for its community of users and partners to freely build integrations and plugins to further extend the functionality of the company’s software quality tools.
Customers and partners can build plugins and extensions for most SmartBear products, starting with any of the Ready! API [application programming interface] family of tools, to meet their specific needs. The SDN provides an opportunity for the SmartBear community to collaborate on projects, share ideas and the plugins themselves, says Lorinda Brandon, technical evangelist, API Products at SmartBear.
SmartBear has already collaborated with several API product companies, including 3scale, Apiary, IBM, Mashery, an Intel Company, MuleSoft and Swagger, among others, and expects to add more. Various plugins are currently available on the SDN including RAML, Groovy Console, SSL Workaround for REST Discovery, Apiary's API Blueprint, APIs from 3scale, Dragonfly, IBM...
Package Central update for Adobe InDesign improves email...
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has announced Package Central 1.9, a feature update to its file packaging automation solution for Adobe InDesign.
Package Central automates InDesign document collection by processing files from hot folders. The software offloads file packaging to a central system leaving operator workstations free from the collection process. Version 1.9 introduces a new email notification engine with support for SSL connection security and improved performance on OS X Yosemite.
Package Central can be purchased for US$299.95 from the Zevrix website, as well as from authorized resellers. A demo is available for download. Package Central requires Mac OS X 10.6-10.10 and Adobe InDesign CS4-CC 2014.
Autodesk adds more tools to Game Development Suite
Autodesk is previewing its new Stingray Game Engine this week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. The company is also launching Autodesk Maya LT 2016, the latest release of its 3D animation and modeling software for professional indie game developers.
Built using the core technology behind the Bitsquid engine acquired last summer, Stingray is currently in development and comprises intuitive, powerful tools that make it easier for professional and novice developers to bring graphically advanced games to market on a wide range of platforms, says Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark, which is using the new Stingray engine to build their upcoming Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide game.
The technical preview at GDC will highlight several core areas of focus that make it easier for game makers of every level create the next generation of blockbusters., according to the folks at Autodesk. The company will give a live demonstration of several key advances it has made in...
Flying Pig releases Edouard Universe version 2.0 for OS X
Flying Pig (http://flyingpigcorp.com) has released an update of the whole Edouard Universe. Edouard 2.0, Edouard Warehouse 2.0 and Edouard POS 2.0 are now available and 100% cloud based solutions.
The 2.0 version brings major changes to the Edouard universe. Following a registration from the OS X app, users can quickly access their dedicated cloud. These instances are reportedly accessed securely and remotely from anywhere in the world from all of your Edouard client applications.
Edouard is also now cheaper. Subscriptions start at US$29) per slot per month compared to $99 previously. The previously used metric of the connection slot is preserved. As a reminder, connection slots are active connections to the server regardless of the number of user accounts.
Edouard 2.0 also brings other improvements. Among those, users will enjoy new import schemes, new inventory management tools, a new Network Monitor, a new identification system, search in every table and outlines, completions in...
Latest version of MASA LIFE to be showcased at Game Developers...
MASA Group (www.masagroup.com), providers of Artificial Intelligence, will use the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) to demonstrate version 1.10 of its AI technology, LIFE.
LIFE enables the authoring and execution of a range of autonomous behaviors for NPCs (Non-Player Characters) in any games or simulations, leveraging decision, spatial reasoning and navigation modules, extensively validated in military 3D simulations.
LIFE is designed for both designers and developers. It's available as a pre-integrated plug-in for Unity 5 and VBS3, the simulation version of ArmA III.
The integration of LIFE with other game engines is done via a software development kit included in the design to ensure optimal ease of use. It has an editor designed for teamwork and created behaviors that can be handled as any other assets.
Audio Switcher for Mac OS X revved to version 2.5.3
Spike Software (http://www.spikesoft.net) has announced Audio Switcher 2.5.3, an update to its menubar applet utility for Mac OS X.
Audio Switcher allows you to switch your audio input and output between different audio devices. It supports a range of devices, as well as the built-in audio hardware of your Mac desktop or laptop. Version 2.5.3 adds a preference where the audio device's manufacturer's name can appear in the menu.
Audio Switcher requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Version 2.5.3 costs US$4.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category. Current users can receive the free update via the Mac Store.
Remarkable is a new CMS built for the post-PC era
Entropy, a mobile innovations company based in the United Kingdom, used the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce the launch of the new free-to-use mobile app CMS, Remarkable.
As “the first CMS built specifically for the post-PC era,” Remarkable enables anyone with a native mobile app to take full creative control of their product, according to Entropy CEO Eddie Vassallo. He introduced the full beta launch of the Remarkable mobile management solution at the Mobile World Congress. Anyone can sign up and manage their first app for free.
"Since our soft-launch in October, we have been absolutely inundated with demo requests for the Remarkable system," says Vassallo. "At Mobile World Congress, we were extremely excited to formally announce the release of our new free-to-use Tier - allowing people to not only demo Remarkable, but to begin using it in their live native mobile apps for free. We’re confident that once developers and content owners see how easy it is to manage...
Deliver Express 2.4.6 for Mac OS X improves file transfer to...
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has announced Deliver Express 2.4.6, a maintenance update to its solution to automatically send files across the Internet and locally from watched hot folders.
Deliver Express can serve multiple users on a network, offers automatic variable email notifications, and supports FTP, Amazon S3, WebDAV, Google Storage, AFP, SMB and other services. The new version fixes an issue in which automatic date-based subfolders could not be created on SFTP servers.
Deliver Express' license prices are based on the maximum number of allowed destinations and range from US$29.95 to $299.95. The update is free for licensed users. A demo is available for download. Deliver Express requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
Wordaux is new data mining app for Mac OS X
Mac-Chi has released Wordaux 1.0 (http://www.wordaux.com), a data extraction tool for Mac OS X with integrated one-click user actions.
The app recognizes selected text, Clipboard, files, and webpages as data sources. From these sources it extracts seven data types for names, email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses, urls, dates, and a user supplied custom regex. Designed to empower Mac users to leverage data as they encounter it, Wordaux can be used by sales executives, students doing research, or just the generally curious.
Examples of usage include: creating contacts from spreadsheet data, augmenting existing spreadsheets with web data, building a note base for research papers, and following up on interesting articles found while surfing the web.The extracted data is presented in standard OS X tables and Wordaux provides immediate drag-ability. With the exception of the Clipboard, all data source provide a citation to the source. The citation can be optionally included in...
RealVNC releases Mac compatible VNC product
RealVNC (www.realvnc.com) has released its flagship VNC product for the Raspberry Pi, enabling users to connect to their Pi from any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer.
Once VNC has been downloaded to the Pi users can apply a free license or, for an enhanced set of features, a personal or enterprise license. Raspberry Pi users will also be able to connect to their Pi from an iPad, iPhone, Android or Chrome device by downloading RealVNC’s free VNC Viewer app, which is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Chrome web store.
VNC can be used with Raspberry Pi in two ways. If the Raspberry Pi is connected to a monitor or TV and is running a graphical desktop, the connected user can see exactly what a user sitting in front of the Pi would see. If the Pi isn't running a graphical desktop, then graphical remote access can still be obtained by creating a virtual desktop instead.
QuartzCode 1.2 for OS X adds unified timeline panel, improved...
Wan Ahmad Lutfi has released QuartzCode 1.2, an update to his code generation tool for Mac OS X.
It's a lightweight animation tool that turns vector drawing and animation into Objective C and Swift code, bridging the gap between developer, designer and animator. Version 1.2 introduces a new unified timeline panel, which now show animations from all layers, instead of only one layer.
QuartzCode requires OS X 10.9 or later. Version 1.2 is available as a free update to existing QuartzCode customers. New customers can purchase QuartzCode 1.2 on the Mac App Store and Bijokmind store (http://www.quartzcodeapp.com) for US$89.99.
A-Shirt launches with Apple-inspired t-shirts
Following a successful launch on the French speaking market, A-Shirt (https://a-shirt.club/) is launching in the English speaking market and is inviting all Apple fans to join the club, which specializes in Apple inspired t-shirts.
"Following the successful launch in the French speaking market last December, we are happy to invite all Apple addicts out there to join the A-Shirt Club," says co-founder Cyril Pavillard. "Its aim is to unite Apple fans from around the world on one platform and allow them to show their love for Apple products in a unique, sleek and stylish way."
A-shirt releases six series of t-shirts every year. Each series is created once and rolled out to A-Shirt members every two months.
A-Shirt offers two packages: "The Just Addicted Plan" and "The Mega Addicted Plan." The former is the regular package plan where members receive six t-shirts annually at a price of US$49 per t-shirt, billed at the beginning of each...
A Druid's Duel for OS X launches on Steam
Surprise Attack Games and ThoughtShelter Games have announced that A Druid's Duel is now available on Steam ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/333970/) for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux systems. It's being offered at 20% off for a limited time: US$7.99 instead of the $9.99.
Here's how the game is described: "Welcome to the Realm of Six Seasons, where the predictable cycle of nature's seasons has turned constantly since time began. But now, something is wrong. Something (or someone) is tampering with the precious Seasons, making a complete mess of the Realm.
"The Druids of the Esoteric Orders have long fostered this fertile landscape and tended to this delicate mystical balance. And it is up to Warren, a young druid fresh from his Esoteric Training, to discover what is causing this disastrous mixing of Seasons."
AKVIS announces Pets Frame Pack for ArtSuite
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has announced a new frame pack for AKVIS ArtSuite. The program allows users to decorate their photos with frames and effects.
Extra frame packs can be installed to the program to increase its functionality. The new Pets Pack includes 60 frames targeted to animal lovers. You can frame photos of your pet with nature decorations, surround it by furry and feathered friends, by its favorite toys, food and treats.
The frame packs can only be used in the AKVIS ArtSuite Standalone program (with Home Standalone, Home Deluxe, Business licenses). A frame pack can be added to ArtSuite by placing the archive into a folder specified in the program's preferences.
AKVIS ArtSuite, with all its frame packs, runs on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher and Windows. It sells for US$69 (a demo is available for download); the price of the new frame pack is $15.
VisionTek introduces DriveXpander 2.5" drive expansion slot...
VisionTek (http://www.visiontek.com) has released the DriveXpander 2.5" drive expansion slot adapter. It's compatible with the latest Mac Pro.
Designed to fit any full-sized PCI or PCIe expansion slot, the DriveXpander enables data transfer speeds up to 600MB/s from bare drives with nearly any Mac OS X based 2006-2012 Mac Pro or Windows-based PC desktop. Unlike other hot-swap drive adapter designs that only work with PCI slots, it includes a custom PCIe slot stability adapter for a snug fit on either expansion slot type.To prevent unauthorized removal of an installed drive, the DriveXpander features a special shaped key lock to provide peace-of-mind long-term drive installation.
The US$19.99 DriveXpander includes all data and power cables required for plug and play operation and It's available immediately directly from VisionTek, select e-tailers such as Amazon, Tiger Direct, and Dell.
The Ghost Archives: Haunting of Shady Valley comes to the Mac
G5 has released The Ghost Archives: Haunting of Shadey Valley for Mac OS X. It's available at the Mac App Store for US$4.99 through Feb. 28 and $6.99 afterwards.
Here's how the game is described: "You're an employee of S.O.U.L., the agency that helps ghosts find eternal rest. In this mysterious thriller, you'll have to uncover the many secrets of Shady Valley and fulfill tasks that keep restless souls in this world.
"Upon your arrival in an abandoned mining town you will be greeted by a large, hulking ghost named Norman Macabre,' who will not only care for your safety but also watch every step you take. As the story goes, the villagers who died here with unfinished business have become earthbound souls who cannot cross over. Allegedly, Norman died in an accidental house fire. He asks you to find his wife and beg her for forgiveness for a crime he committed in the past.
"This won't be easy as many more people are involved into this spine-chilling story and desperately need your help...
Apple plans March 9 special event
Apple has announced a special event for Monday, March 9. An invitation send to the press shows a picture of an invitation with the wording "spring forward."
The event will almost certainly offer details on the upcoming Apple Watch, such as a precise release data and pricing. So far Apple has only said the smartwatch would be available in April with prices starting at US$350.
It's also possible that the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display could be announced. Apple will hold the special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
The Apple events page (http://www.apple.com/live/) invites you to come back on March 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, when live video from the presentation will be available. Live streaming requires Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X 10.6.8 or later, or Safari on iOS 6 or later.
iOS takes record-high profit share in smartphone operating...
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014. The Android operating system captured a record-low 11% global smartphone profit share during the quarter. In contrast, while Apple's iOS took a record-high 89% profit share.
Global smartphone operating profit grew 31% annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014, notes the research group.
"Apple iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry," says Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple's strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. Android's weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google. If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or...