Apple Pay expands benefits, heads to the UK
Apple says Apple Pay is making everyday payments even better by adding support for rewards programs and store-issued credit and debit cards with iOS 9. It's also heading to the United Kingdom.
Apple Pay in the US is expanding merchant acceptance to over one million locations next month and bringing support for Discover this fall. With this addition, the payment system will accept credit and debit cards across all major card networks, issued by the most popular banks, representing 98% of all credit card purchase volume in the US, says Jennifer Bailey, Apple's vice president of Internet Services,
With the addition of Apple Pay, the Passbook app in iOS has become much more than simply a place for keeping coupons, gift cards, boarding passes and tickets. So, starting this fall with iOS 9, it's been renamed Wallet, bringing additional options at checkout with Apple Pay support for rewards and store-issued credit and debit cards.
To get the most out of purchases, users add participating...
Apple launches News app for the iPhone and iPad
Apple has unveiled an all-new News app that will be available with iOS 9 this fall for the iPhone and iPad. It combines the layout of a magazine with the immediacy and customization of digital media, according to Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of product marketing, who demoed the app at today's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote.
News follows over a million topics and pulls relevant stories based on your specific interests that can be shared or saved for later — without compromising your privacy, she says. It's powered by the new custom-designed Apple News Format.
News collects all the stories you want to read in one place, in a customized newsfeed called For You. Readers can see the publisher channels and topics they’re following in Favorites, and to discover new content, Explore makes suggestions based on what you’ve already read. The more you read, the more personalized the News app becomes, refining the selection of stories delivered to your iPhone or iPad.
Apple unveils Apple Music; available June 30
Apple has introduced Apple Music, an app that the company says "combines the best ways to enjoy music — all in one place." It's a streaming music service, a worldwide live radio station from Apple broadcasting 24 hours a day and a tool for music fans to connect with their favorite artists.
Apple Music combines the largest and most diverse collection of music on the planet with the expertise of world-class music experts who have programmed playlists for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, Apple TV and Android phones, says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. It will be available starting on June 30 in over 100 countries.
Starting with the music you already know — whether from the iTunes Store or ripped CDs — your music now lives in one place alongside the Apple Music catalog with over 30 million songs. You can stream any song, album or playlist you choose — or let Apple Music do the work for you.
Curation is the soul of every playlist created...
Apple introduces watchOS 2 for the Apple Watch
Today at its Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple previewed watchOS 2, the first major software update for Apple Watch, giving developers the tools to build apps running natively on the smartwatch.
It allows developers to take advantage of innovative hardware features of Apple Watch including the Digital Crown, Taptic Engine and heart rate sensor, along with software APIs [application programming interfaces] to build new app experiences, says Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. Available to Apple Watch users this fall, watchOS 2 also includes new watch faces, third-party app information as watch face complications and new communication capabilities in Mail, Friends and Digital Touch.
The new APIs enable audio and video playback and animation, and with the ClockKit framework, developers can represent their data as complications on the watch face. These new tools allow developers to make apps more robust, says Lynch.
For example, Strava can more accurately track your...
Apple previews iOS 9 at WWDC
Apple has unveiled iOS 9, giving a preview of new iPhone, iPad and iPod touch software that will be available this fall. In this upcoming release, iOS devices become more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features — all without compromising users’ privacy, according to according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
New multitasking features designed specifically for iPad allow you to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature, to keep watching a video while browsing the web, composing email or using any other app. Built-in apps become more powerful in iOS 9 with detailed transit information in Maps, a redesigned Notes app with new ways to capture ideas, and an all-new News app for the best news reading experience on any mobile device.
"iOS 9 is packed with more intelligence throughout, and delivers big updates to the apps customers use most — Maps supports public...
Apple announces OS X El Capitan
Apple has announced OS X El Capitan, a new version of OS X that refines the Mac experience and improves system performance. Building on last year’s release of OS X Yosemite, El Capitan introduces enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and makes everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — faster and more responsive, according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Metal, Apple’s breakthrough graphics technology, is integrated into El Capitan, delivering system-wide performance gains and enabling games and pro apps to tap into the full power of Mac graphics processors, he says.
"OS X delivers unparalleled integration between Mac hardware, iOS devices, apps and online services, and has helped Mac sales outpace the PC industry every year for the last decade," Federighi adds.
"Customers loved last year’s landmark OS X Yosemite release and made it the fastest-adopted PC operating system ever," he says...
Troi Encryptor Plug-in for FileMaker 14 updated to version 3.0
Troi Automatisering (www.troi.com) has released Troi Encryptor Plug-in 3.0 for FileMaker Pro 14. It's an update of the tool for for securing your FileMaker data, exporting or emailing your data without risk and importing safely back into FileMaker.
Version 3.0 adds support for 64-bit architecture with FileMaker Pro 14. It also adds AES-256 bit encryption, up from 128-bit in earlier versions.
A fully functional demo version of Troi Encryptor Plug-in 3.0 is available for downloading at Troi's website. Troi Encryptor Plug-in 3.0 works with FileMaker Pro 12, 13 and 14. The plug-in can also be used with runtimes created by FileMaker Advanced 12, 13 and 14. The plug-in is available for OS X 10.6.x or higher, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Licenses cost US$79 per user. Details on developer licenses and multi-user discounts can be found on the Troi web site.
Troi Encryptor Plug-in 3.0 also works with FileMaker Server 12, 13 and 14 as a server-side plug-in and as a plug...
ComScore: Apple was top U.S. smartphone manufacturer in April
ComScore (www.comscore.com), a digital media analytics firm, says that, as of April, Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 43.1% OEM [original equipment manufacturer] market share, while Google Android led as the #1 smartphone platform with 52.2% platform market share. Facebook ranked as the top individual smartphone app.
ComScore says 188.6 million people in the U.S. owned smartphone during the three months ending in April. Apple ranked as the top OEM of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 1.8 percentage points from January). Samsung ranked second with 28.6% market share, followed by LG with 8.4% (up 0.4 percentage points), Motorola with 4.9% and HTC with 3.7% (up 0.1 percentage points).
Android ranked as the top smartphone platform in April with 52.2% market share. It was followed by Apple with 43.1% (up 1.8 percentage points from January), Microsoft with 3%, BlackBerry with 1.5%, and Symbian with 0.1%.
Cities in Motion Collection launches on Mac App Store with 50%...
MacPlay has announced that Colossal Order's hit title, Cities in Motion Collection, is now available on the Mac App Store. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or higher.
Cities in Motion is a city-based mass transportation simulator. Players operate their own transportation company, building a public network with a variety of vehicle types, including buses, trams, and subway trains. By meeting the needs of city residents, the player tries to make as much profit as possible.
To celebrate the release, Cites in Motion Collection is available during the month of June for 50% off the regular price: US$24.99 instead of $49.99. Cities in Motion Collection includes the Cities in Motion and all DLC and cities.
DayBack Calendar for FileMaker adds multi-day resource scheduling
SeedCode has updated DayBack Calendar, the add-on scheduling calendar for FileMaker Pro databases. It lets users balance their workload with multi-day resource scheduling.
Users can see their workload as a series of columns, each representing the tasks, activities or appointments allocated to each resource. The new multi-day resource scheduling view is delivered as an in-app update, so there's no need for existing calendar users to re-integrate DayBack Calendar with their database.
DayBack Calendar is Completely unlocked and can be added to existing FileMaker databases following simple step-by-step instructions. It can be "linked" to your file in as little as ten minutes, or pasted into your file as a new layout. In addition to Multi-Day Resource Scheduling, DayBack Calendar offers:
Pricing for DayBack Calendar (http://tinyurl.com/nnklmwh) starts at US$219. A 30-day demo is available for download.
AltConf streaming of WWDC content cancelled (and then not)
AltConf has received a letter from Apple’s legal representatives demanding that AltConf refrain from streaming or displaying any video content from the Apple Worldwide Develper Conference.
This includes the Keynote and State of the Union stream on Monday, June 8, which has been a part of the AltConf program for the last few years. This also affects the Viewing Room, where video sessions from WWDC were going to be shown in the hopes to create a collective place where AltConf attendees could view and discuss WWDC content together.
All AltConf speaking sessions have remained untouched and will proceed as scheduled. Hero tickets are unaffected, as these only apply to seating in the two speaking theaters of AltConf.
According to the correspondence from Apple’s legal representatives, “Apple exercises control over not only the content of its messaging, but also the manner in which those messages are packaged, distributed and delivered.” AltConf’s streaming of Apple content “would strip...
Media 100 announces Yosemite support, new $99 pricing
Boris FX and MacVideo Promo have announced Media 100 Suite Version 2.1.6, an upgrade of the video editing software for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for Yosemite and is available at a new price of US$99.
Media 100's Native QuickTime codec support includes ProRes, DVCPRO HD, and more. Mix supported codecs without conversion or rendering. The utility supports dozens of video standards in 4K, 2K, HD, and SD resolutions at frame rates from 23.98 to 60 frames per second. Acquisition interfaces for AVCHD, AVC-Intra, FireWire, Panasonic P2, and Sony XDCAM are provided as well as support for video I/O interfaces from manufacturers such as AJA and Blackmagic Design.
Media 100 Suite 2.1.6 is available for purchase from the aMedia 100 website (www.media100.com). Version 2.1.6 is a free update for Media 100 Suite v2.1.x users. A 60-day demo is available for download.
Apple Watch arrives in seven more countries June 26
Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will be available in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan beginning Friday, June 26 from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
"The response to Apple Watch has surpassed our expectations in every way, and we are thrilled to bring it to more customers around the world," says Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations, in a press announcement. "We’re also making great progress with the backlog of Apple Watch orders, and we thank our customers for their patience. All orders placed through May, with the sole exception of Apple Watch 42 mm Space Black Stainless Steel with Space Black Link Bracelet, will ship to customers within two weeks. At that time, we’ll also begin selling some models in our Apple Retail Stores."
The Apple Watch is available in three collections: Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 and $399; Apple Watch, available from $549 to $1,099;...
Apple ranks number five on the 2015 Fortune 500 list
Fortune has released the 61st Fortune 500 (http://fortune.com/fortune500/), its annual list of the largest corporations in the United States ranked by revenue for the 2014 fiscal year. Apple ranks number five on the list.
The Fortune 500 companies earned a combined total revenue of US$12.5 trillion in 2014, up 2.6% from last year and an all-time high. The total market value for the Fortune 500 hit $17.4 trillion (as of March 31, 2015), setting an all-time record for worth and marking an increase of 7.7% over the previous year. This year's Fortune 500 companies also employ more people than ever, with 26.8 million total employees. Profits decreased 12.6% over the previous year, falling below the trillion dollar mark at a combined total of $945 billion.
Walmart takes the top spot for the third year in a row and the eleventh time ever. Only three companies have held the no. 1 spot on the Fortune 500 since its creation in 1955: General Motors, Exxon Mobil and Walmart. No. 5 Apple boasts...
ArtistInfo enhances iTunes and Spotify with relations among...
Metason (http://www.metason.net) has released ArtistInfo 2.4 , an update to their Mac OS app that presents a concise overview of artists involved in a music album.
Band members, musicians' biographies, played music instruments, discographies, performed musical genres, and upcoming concerts are displayed in detail. Version 2.4 offers synchronization with Spotify, and supports the playback of discovered album tracks and songs using either the local iTunes music collection or Spotify's audio streaming.
ArtistInfo requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later. It costs US$5.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Music category.
Apple announces recall of all Beats Pill XL speakers
Apple has announced a voluntary recall of Beats Pill XL speakers, including a refund for customers. Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. The recall doesn't affect any other Beats or Apple products.
Customers who purchased a Beats Pill XL speaker should visit www.apple.com/support/beats-pillxl-recall for details about how to return their product to Apple, and how to receive an Apple Store credit or electronic payment of US$325.
The Beats Pill XL can be identified by the Beats “b” logo on the speaker grille and the words “beats pill XL” on the handle. The product is sold in five colors: black, metallic sky, pink, titanium and white. The Beats Pill XL was introduced by Beats by Dre in November 2013. Apple acquired Beats in 2014.
nVeil is a new image remix tool for Mac OS X
Storek Studio (http://storekstudio.com) has introduced nVeil for Mac OS X, a graphic remix tool.
The app generates works of digital abstract cubism by filtering photos or video through vector-drawn veils. Colors and motion come from the source imagery, and can be further modified with nVeil's controls. The app plays with the hidden image, always displaying a harmonic palette of colors, and syncs most music with nVeiled video, through the proximal incidence algorithm.
nVeil requires Mac OS X 10.7 and higher. It's comprised of two Mac apps, nVplay and nVmake. nVplay costs US$29 and includes 100 predesigned veils. nVmake, the veil-making app, is priced at $39. Both apps are available in a $49 bundle.
Qikshare 7.0 cross-platform sharing platform offers Apple Watch...
iVinnyApps has announced Qikshare 7.0 (http://www.qikshare.io/index.html), an update to its file sharing app for iOS devices. It offers cross platform file sharing to users of iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac and Windows users.
Qikshare uses iOS sharing extensions to allow anyone to share files directly from within apps. Version 7.0 now includes Apple Watch functionality, allowing Apple Watch users to share their favorite images directly from their wrist. The new version also adds support for a number of new languages, and now supports the following languages: English, Arabic, Bokmal, Norwegian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Qikshare 7.0 is Free, and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Productivity category....
LinkOptimizer 4.9.44 for Adobe InDesign improves color profiles...
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has released LinkOptimizer 4.9.44, a maintenance update to its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign.
LinkOptimizer allows users to reduce the size of InDesign links and speed up processing by automatically eliminating excess image data, performing essential image adjustments and converting file formats. The new version recognizes profiles in user's ColorSync folder, improves alpha channels handling during format conversion and introduces other bug fixes and improvements.
LinkOptimizer 4.9.44 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher and is available for purchase from the Zevrix website for US$259.95 (there's a "lite" version for $179.95) as well as from authorized resellers and Adobe Exchange. A demo version is available for download. The update is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users and is a $130 to upgrade from previous versions.
Sonnet announces high performance USB 3.0 PCI Express adapter...
Sonnet Technologies has announced the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe, a professional 4-port, 4-controller SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 adapter card with charging capabilities.
The Allegro card provides users with a way to add four USB 3.0 ports, each providing full 5Gbps bandwidth, to Mac Pro and Windows computers with PCIe slots, and to Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express card expansion chassis. This Sonnet pro adapter card supports bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray devices through each of its ports, and supports simultaneous sync and charge of iPads and other devices that support USB 3.0 charging.
Sonnet's Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card is equipped with four independent USB 3.0 controllers, with each port receiving its own dedicated bandwidth. As a result, the Sonnet pro card supports data transfers up to 450 MB/s per port and up to 1800 MB/s aggregate for the card, enabling high-speed data transfers between connected drives.
Sonnet specially engineered the Allegro Pro USB 3....
Xojo announces space battle gaming code competition
Xojo, the company that enables 290,000 developers to build native cross-platform applications for the web, mobile and desktop, has announced a Xojo game coding competition open to the entire Xojo community.
Xojo Wars is a programmable space battle and was designed by Xojo, Inc. Using Xojo, participants implement the intelligence for their space ship to fight three other ships in a series of battles. Using the guides provided by Xojo, Inc., participants can control the ship direction, firing, tracking of enemies and more.
"You don’t need to have a lot of programming experience to enter," says Paul Lefebvre Xojo’s developer evangelist and Xojo Wars creator. "It’s designed so that even new users can get up to speed quickly. Xojo is free to use for learning and development, so no purchase is necessary to participate in the gaming competition."
Xojo is offering a kickoff webinar that will include all of the information needed to participate, it can also be viewed on-demand after it airs....
MetalGL now available for iOS game developers
The Brenwill Workshop has announced the availability of MetalGL, which brings the performance of Metal to OpenGL games and applications on iOS devices.
MetalGL is an implementation of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API [application programming interface] that runs on Apple's Metal graphics framework on compatible iOS devices. With MetalGL, OpenGL developers get many of the performance benefits of Metal, without having to abandon the proven and familiar OpenGL ES 2.0 API, or rewrite rendering logic and shaders for a different platform, says Bill Hollings, president of The Brenwill Workshop., the creators of MetalGL.MetalGL unleashes the power of Metal's low-latency rendering to let OpenGL games and applications perform up to 3x the number of draw calls, all without changing the way the game or app use OpenGL, he adds.
"It's all automatic. Developers can continue to use a single OpenGL API to build games and applications that run unchanged across multiple devices, platforms, and operating systems,...
Lutron rolls out HomeKit-enabled Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge
Lutron Electronics (www.casetawireless.com) says its Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge now supports Apple's HomeKit. The Smart Bridge is part of the Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit.
With the HomeKit-enabled Smart Bridge, homeowners can now control their Lutron Caséta Wireless dimmers using Siri on their iPhone or iPad. The Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge with HomeKit support allows homeowners to control lights in specific rooms or areas. For example, just before bed, tell Siri “turn the lights off” and the Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge will turn off lights throughout the house. Unsure if the basement light is still on? Ask Siri to check and if so, turn it off.
The Caséta Wireless can also be set to recognize a user’s location automatically. Through geofencing, lights will automatically be turned on as you approach your home so that you never come home to a dark house. The Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit, with HomeKit-enabled Smart Bridge, is available for US$229.95 at Apple Stores...
Insteon ships HomeKit-enabled Insteon Hub
Insteon is now shipping its new HomeKit-enabled Insteon Hub, bringing Insteon products like switches, outlets, thermostats and light bulbs into the HomeKit ecosystem.
The HomeKit-enabled Insteon Hub is available exclusively through Amazon.com and Smarthome.com for US$149.99. It will be available in retail stores in early July.
Also available is the new and completely redesigned Insteon+ app for iOS 8.1 or later, which will work with other HomeKit-enabled products from various manufacturers, including HomeKit-enabled lights, door locks, color-changing bulbs, garage door openers, thermostats and other HomeKit-enabled products. It will also work with all Insteon products, when paired with the Insteon Hub. Ultimately, this Insteon+ app provides one simple, singular method for consumers to control connected devices, says Insteaon CEO Joe Dada.
HomeKit delivers a common protocol, secure pairing and the ability to easily control individual or groups of products throughout the house. With...
Despite open source community gripes about Apple, most still use...
Open source devotees aren’t quite as addicted to Apple as other people online, but they still use Apple overwhelmingly over other products and systems.
Web application developer Eldarion (www.eldarion.com) conducted an online survey of people who use and contribute to open source, people who use open source but don’t contribute to it, and people who neither contribute nor (knowingly) use open source. 132 people responded to the survey in March and April 2015.
° Nearly three out of four (73%) open source contributors use at least some Apple products.
° The majority of open source contributors (65%) use OS X as their main operating system, with 22% using Linux and 8% using Microsoft Windows.
° More than one in two (57%) open source contributors surveyed use the iPhone, while 38% use an Android phone.
° The top reason given by open source contributors for choosing Apple was “I like the ecosystem” (33%), followed by “dependability” (30%), “better than Microsoft (21%), and “other” (16...
Emulsion is new photo library app for Mac OS X
The Escapers have introduced Emulsion (http://emulsionapp.com), a new photo library app for Mac OS X. It's designed to help you manage your photos, apply filters, fix dust spots, adjust metadata and so much more.
You can apply filters, make subtle adjustments, and create multiple versions of your images. Filters can be applied to several images at once. Geotagging is also supported, so you can see all your images on a Map, and even apply GPS information to images that don't already have it.
You can clone out dust spots, and even apply the film type to image collections. Scans can easily be straighten and flipped. RAW images (including DNG) are supported along with JPEG and TIFF.
Emulsion requires Mac OS X Yosemite, and Retina displays are fully supported. It costs US$49.99 (for a limited time). A 30-day demo is available for download.
Qikshare 7.0 cross-platform sharing platform offers Apple Watch...
PlugSpy for Mac OS X adds crafted activation panel
Celmaro (http://www.celmaro.com) has announced PlugSpy 2, an update to their first grade observation tool for Mac. It protects the device from unauthorized access or in case of unexpected occurrences.
PlugSpy lives in the OS X system menu, ready to monitor your Mac. Made for Yosemite, version 2 introduces a crafted activation panel and the ability to define rule based action-sets to trigger Boxcar and Pushover notifications, iSight snapshots and Twitter messages.
PlugSpy 2 costs US$1.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Lifestyle category. The sale price of $1.99 is for a limited time only. The full price will be $4.99. Existing PlugSpy users can upgrade to PlugSpy 2 free of charge. A demo is available for download from the Celmaro website.
iiHome HomeKit-enabled SmartPlug available for pre-order June 15
iHome says its HomeKit-enabled smart plug (model iSP5) will be available for pre-order on June 15 at iHome.com for US$39.99 and is expected to start hitting retail destinations in late June and throughout July.
With the HomeKit-enabled iHome iSP5 SmartPlug, consumers can use Siri or the iHome Control app to control lamps, fans and other home devices from anywhere with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Users can also group several iHome SmartPlugs into individual “scenes” to control multiple connected devices within a home.
Additionally, the iHome Control app allows for the creation of custom scenes to control multiple SmartPlugs with a single command, or to create schedules for complete home automation. Its fits a standard wall socket and won't block the other outlet.
The slim design allows for one plug to be free, or the installation of two SmartPlugs in one standard wall socket. The iHome iSP5 SmartPlug requires a Wi-Fi connection and HomeKit requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod...
Audified releases old German broadcast compressor/limiter-...
Mac (AAX, AudioUnit, VST2, VST3) and PC (AAX, VST2, VST3). It's an emulation of the Sixties-vintage German broadcast compressor/limiter hardware predecessor with which its shares its name.
U73b Compressor is available to purchase (as an iLok dongle-protected plug-in) for US$149 directly from Audified’s online shop (http://tinyurl.com/ohzudvp). A demo is available for download.
EPI announces UltraClear 40-inch 4K UHD Display
EPI (www.lcdmonitors.philips.com) has announced the Philips UltraClear 40-inch 4K UHD Display (BDM4065UC), an Ultra High Definition with a 40-inch diagonal and 3840 x 2160 resolution.
It delivers four times as much detail as 1080p Full HD. The sleek display features an ultra-narrow bezel to complement any modern space. The Philips UltraClear 40-inch 4K UHD Display is now available on Amazon.com for US$799.
The UltraClear utilizes high performance panels with high density pixel count, true 8-bit + FRC color depth and high bandwidth sources like Displayport, HDMI, Dual link DVI and MHL. The panel’s optimized pixel management technology offers 176/176 degree extra wide viewing angle.
The display also features MultiView functionality to enable active dual connect and view so that users can work with multiple devices like computers and laptop side-by-side simultaneously.
Zero-day software vulnerability could affect older Macs
A zero-day software vulnerability in the firmware of older Apple computers could be used to slip hard-to-remove malware onto a computer, reports the IDG News Service (http://tinyurl.com/q2pkhpb).
Pedro Vilaca, who studies Mac security, says in his blog (http://tinyurl.com/qeohn2k) that the flaw he found builds on previous ones but this one could be far more dangerous. He says it's possible to tamper with an Apple computer’s UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface). UEFI is firmware designed to improve upon BIOS, which is low-level code that bridges a computer’s hardware and operating system at startup.
The Inaugural Bay Area SuperMeetUp in San Jose will be held June...
The Creative Pro User Group (CPUG) Network says the inaugural Bay Area SuperMeetUp will take place on Friday, June 26, 2015, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Held in association with Future Media Concepts and the FCPX Creative Summit, the Bay Area SuperMeetUp will feature a keynote by Randy Ubillos (pictured), former chief architect of Final Cut Pro at Apple. In addition to Ubillos, there will be presentations by Blackmagic Design, Adobe, Other World Computing and That Studio.
Ubillos recently retired from Apple after 20 years. In that time he was chief architect on a wide range of products such as Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Aperture, iMovie '08 through '11, and iPhoto for iOS. In addition, he also created versions 1 through 4.2 of Adobe Premiere Pro.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. with the "SuperMeetUp Digital Showcase," featuring over a dozen software and hardware developers including Atomos, Boris FX, FCPWORKS, Flanders Scientific, HDDISK, Imagineer,...
Audio Hijack for Mac OS X revved to version 3.1
Rogue Amoeba (www.rogueamoeba.com) has updated Audio Hijack, the Mac OS X tool for recording and enhancing audio, to version 3.1.
With the utility, audio from individual applications like Safari or Skype, hardware audio devices like microphones and mixers, and even the entire system audio output, can all be saved. In version 3.1, Rogue Amoeba updated the "File Limits" section of the Recorder Block to include a Silence Monitor. Now, users can control just how Audio Hijack reacts to silence in the audio stream. You can remove the silence from a recording, automatically start a new file when silence occurs, or stop the recording based on silence.
The file actions in Audio Hijack can now make quick work of common file tasks. Recordings can be passed over to the user's chosen audio editor, added to iTunes, or shared use the OS's built-in Share sheet.
Audio Hijack requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. Audio Hijack 3.1 is a free update for owners of Audio Hijack 3. Users who are new to Audio...
AKVIS SmartMask 7.0 for Mac OS X adds new tools
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has announced AKVIS SmartMask 7.0 for Mac OS X (10.6 and higher) and Windows.
The app lets you create selections and mask objects on images. Version 7.0 brings new features and tools: Refine Edges, standard selection tools, new post-processing tools' options, new Print options, and other changes and improvements.
All registered users of SmartMask can upgrade to the new version for free. A 10-day demo is available for download. A Home license is US$69. AKVIS subscribers can buy the product at a special reduced price of 10% off. One license key allows activating and using the software on two computers.
IDC: PC shipments will continue to decline in 2015
Worldwide PC [personal computer] shipments are expected to fall by -6.2% in 2015 according to IDC (www.idc.com). This will be the fourth consecutive year of declining volume as the PC market continues to struggle with competition from tablets and smartphones and generally low demand, according to IDC.
The research group says the market almost saw stable shipments in mid-2014 as the end of support for Windows XP boosted demand for replacements, but that cycle has passed and been replaced by a reduction in inventory on the supply side as the market awaits the arrival of Windows 10 this summer. IDC says Windows 10 should be a significant contributor to the PC market — providing an upgrade path from Windows 7 for commercial users and a range of features boosting convenience and integrating the user experience across platforms.
Nevertheless, changes like the free upgrade option for consumers and platform integration aren't expected to drive a surge in new PC shipments. The commercial...
'Apple Watch eGuide' published
Stopframe has published the Apple Watch eGuide, an US$2.99, 157-page eBook by author T.A. Rudderham that's available in Apple's iBookstore that's packed with Apple Watch tips and tutorials.
Readers will learn how the Apple Watch is made, discover in-depth guides to apps, and more. The eBook also looks at technologies such as haptic feedback, a flexible Retina display, the Digital Crown and a heart rate monitor.
Apple Watch eGuide works with any iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.
Apple working on fix for Messages bug
Earlier this week it was reported that there's an iOS bug that lets someone crash your iPhone by sending a text message from their own iPhone containing what appears to be a single line of seemingly innocuous Arabic script. Apple has acknowledged the problem and says that it's working on a fix.
With the bug, when a text or iMessage (but not part of a normal Messages conversation) containing the text string is received and presented in the lock screen or as a drop-down notification, iOS consumes resources trying to render the message, ultimately causing a crash.
In a support document (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204897), Apple has this to say:
Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app.
° Ask Siri to "read unread messages."
° Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able...
24U releases 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In 5.0 for FileMaker Pro 14
24U Software (www.24usoftware.com/) has released 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In 5.0, an upgrade to their popular FileMaker plugin for Mac OS X and Windows.
24U SimpleDialog Plug-In enables FileMaker Pro 14 to display dynamically created OS-native error messages, input dialogs, and progress bars in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes. Version 5.0 takes full advantage of the 64-bit architecture. It also( offers better stability when multiple copies of the plug-in are accidentally installed at the same time.
24U SimpleDialog Plug-In 5.0 is available for download free of charge as a fully functional 14-days trial version; it can be activated after purchasing a license. Licenses for 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In start at US$49) per user; volume discounts are available for five or more users. Existing customers can upgrade to the new version at 50% off the regular prices if placing an order within 14 days upon release -- and 30 % off if buying later. Customers who have bought 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In on or...
Typeeto turns your Mac into a Bluetooth keyboard
Eltima Software has introduced Typeeto (http://mac.eltima.com/bluetooth-keyboard.html), an app that enables use of Mac as a Bluetooth keyboard for other devices.
The tool provides a real-time access to a full-scale Mac keyboard for easier interaction and typing on other devices. You can connect as many devices as you need to your Mac and switch between them in one click.
No additional applications have to be installed on your device. Just launch Typeeto and start typing away. You can copy-paste text from your Mac to the device and the other way around.
Typeeto requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later. It's available on the Mac App Store and costs US9.99.
Subject 13 game available for Mac OS X
Microids and developer Paul Cuisset have released Subject 13, a combination adventure/puzzle game, for Mac OS X and Windows.
In Subject 13, the player embodies Franklin Fargo, a discreet physics professor. Franklin leads a lonely and bitter life since Sophie, her fiancée, was killed during a robbery. One morning, he wakes up in a scientific abandoned underground plant with only one link with the outside world: a voice that calls him "Subject 13". His goal is to escape from this place where he is being held captive and to find out more about the reasons of his imprisonment.
Subject 13 costs US$13 for a limited time, then the price goes to $20. It's available here (http://store.steampowered.com/app/322970).
Smith Micro rolls out Anime Studio 11
The Productivity and Graphics group of Smith Micro Software (mysmithmicro.com) has announced the latest version of Anime Studio software, which is designed to streamline production for studios and professional artists who create complex animations.
The new Frame-by-Frame feature of Anime Studio 11 lets artists switch between traditional animation techniques and more automated bone-rigging techniques. New and enhanced drawing and painting features provide a natural feel and raster-like characteristics with life-like results, according to the folks at Smith Micro. Key features of Anime Studio 11 include:
° Frame-by-Frame allows artists to immediately switch between bone-rigging and a frame-by-frame workspace;
° Layer Referencing propagates changes from one design layer to all related layers, even across multiple documents;
° Animated Shape Ordering extends the ability to rearrange shapes anywhere within an animation timeline rather than adjusting each full frame independently;
PopChar X 7.1 for Mac OS X offers extended support for emojis...
Ergonis Software (www.ergonis.com) has released PopChar X 7.1, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts.
With PopChar, thousands of special characters are only a few clicks away. Version 7.1 offers improved support for emoji characters, comes with an improved installer, and offers many other enhancements and fixes. This update also introduces a new shape finder, which lets you find special characters simply by drawing their shape.
PopChar X 7 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or newer. It can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to PopChar X 7.1 is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014. Upgrade paths are available for customers who purchased their license before that date.
IDC: tablet growth will continue to slow in 2015
Worldwide shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices are forecast to reach 221.8 million units in 2015, a decline of -3.8% from 2014, according to IDC (www.idc.com).
The new outlook follows two consecutive quarters of declining sales and represents a modest downward revision from the previous forecast of 234.5 million units and 2.1% year-over-year growth in 2015, notes the research group. While IDC expects overall sales to decline in 2015, some segments of the product category are poised to experience strong growth.
"We're seeing cellular-capable tablets and 2-in-1 devices experience important growth in certain parts of the world and we think this represents a huge opportunity for the entire tablet ecosystem," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, tablets, IDC. "Those cellular-connected devices fill multiple needs for vendors and carriers around the world; they offer a quick solution to price and margin erosion, and when compared to smartphones, they offer a less expensive way...
Escape Motion releases new watercolor, acrylic painting app for...
Escape Motions (http://www.escapemotions.com) has released Rebelle, a watercolor and acrylic painting application for Mac OS X. Its watercolor simulation is based on a real-world color mixing, blending, wet- diffusion, and drying.
Rebelle mimics the way natural media interacts with the canvas and itself. Users can paint, smear, re-wet dried colors, blow wet washes across the paper, tilt the paper to create water drops and runs and create countless fantastic watercolor effects. Wet tools — watercolors, acrylics or ink pen — can be combined with pastels, pencils, airbrush many other dry-media tools and effects.
Rebelle is available for US$59.99 at the Escape Motions website. A Mac App Store edition will be available soon.
TextExpander 5 for Mac OS X suggests new snippets
Smile (www.smilesoftware.com/) has released TextExpander 5, an update to its to typing shortcut tool for Mac OS X Yosemite.
TextExpander costs US$44.95 at the Smile Store online. Upgrades for current TextExpander users to version 5 are $19.95.
Rayner Software updates NetShade for Mac and iOS
Rayner Software (www.raynersw.com) has released updates to NetShade for Mac and iOS. The iOS version of NetShade updates to 3.0, and the Mac version to 6.2.
NetShade is a Proxy and VPN app for Apple platforms. With NetShade, users can connect to the Internet via one of Rayner Software's 12 servers, or via a public proxy. Proxy servers allow access to overseas Internet content, and a VPN server adds encryption for security and privacy protection. Proxy and VPN apps are commonly used when traveling, or when using a public or insecure WiFi network.
NetShade 3.0 for iOS is a major rewrite of the app. Among the many changes in this version are a new VPN backend, a unified app for iPhone and iPad clients, and a new user interface. NetShade 6.2 for Mac includes a number of bug fixes and a new client/server communications system. This update intends to improve reliability for users on slow Internet connections.
NetShade is available with a year of Proxy access for US$29, or a year of Proxy...
OWC's iMac hard drive upgrades now extend to 8TB
Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that iMac owners can now upgrade their iMac to 8TB of storage while maintaining correct system fan control with the OWC in-line digital thermal sensor.
The new drive option, one of many upgrade options for the iMac from OWC, extends the iMac upgrade path and provides increased storage capacity with 23 percent lower energy consumption, according to Larry O'Connor, founder and CEO, OWC.
OWC upgrade kits (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/imacdiy/) for iMacs provide the tools and equipment required to install a new hard drive or solid state drive in the Apple all-in-one. All OWC drive upgrade kits include a 14-piece toolkit, two suction cups for outer glass removal and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Solid state drive upgrade kits include a SATA data cable and an SSD power cable.
OWC hard drive upgrade kits include the OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor, which works though the iMac System Management Controller to eliminate excessive fan noise and...
Class action suit involving MacKeeper nears settlement
An Internet advertising campaign is planned to alert people to a proposed class-action settlement over MacKeeper, a security program for Macs accused of deceptive practices, reports the IDG News Service (http://tinyurl.com/ozmxorb).
ZeoBit, the developer of MacKeeper, was sued in May 2014 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Filed on behalf of Pennsylvania resident Holly Yencha, the class-action suit alleges MacKeeper was deceptively marketed and did not fully function as advertised.
Under a proposed settlement, ZeoBicwill put US$2 million into a fund to reimburse customers but admit no fault, which is customary in class-action settlements. Once the settlement has preliminary approval from the judge in the case, anyone who bought MacKeeper will be contacted by email. In case some of those email addresses are invalid, an Internet advertising campaign is planned as well as a website, notes IDG.
Apple became the number one smartphone vendor in China for the...
Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users reached 336 million units, an increase of 19.3% during the first quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). And Apple became the number one smartphone vendor in China for the first time.
Smartphone growth was led by strong smartphone sales in emerging markets (excluding China); the fastest growing regions were emerging Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa. Due to these high-performing regions, the emerging markets achieved a 40 percent increase in sales during the first quarter of 2015.
"During this quarter, local brands and Chinese vendors came out as the key winners in emerging markets," says Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "These vendors recorded an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales and saw their combined share go up from 38 percent to 47 percent during the first quarter of 2015."
Apple continued to exhibit a strong performance in the quarter, particularly in...