Apple Releases Magic Mouse, Says Goodbye to Mighty Mouse

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, 04:20
Category: Hardware, News

sc001

If you weren’t sure what to make of Apple’s 2005 Mighty Mouse design, it’s not a concern anymore. Per Macworld, Apple left its 2005 Mighty Mouse design behind and introduced a wireless Magic Mouse that incorporates a multi-touch surface on its top side.

The new mouse, which ships standard with the new iMac models announced today, does more than let you right- and left-click. Users can use a single finger to scroll around in any direction in supported applications.

The Magic Mouse also supports swipe gestures, though not the same ones you’ll find in Apple’s multi-touch trackpads. Swiping left with two fingers in Safari will move you back a page, and in a stack of images in iPhoto, swiping left or right with two fingers will take you to the previous or next photo, respectively.

Users can still pick up a wired version of the Mighty Mouse (which has now been rebranded as the “Apple Mouse after the company lost its rights to use the “Mighty Mouse” trademark earlier this month). In addition, the Magic Mouse uses laser tracking instead of optical tracking to make it usable on different types of surfaces.

The Magic Mouse is powered by two AA batteries, and Apple says they’ll power the mouse for approximately four months. The device can detect when it’s not in use and manage power appropriately—a power switch on the bottom can turn it on or off.

In addition to being packaged with the new redesigned iMac, the Magic Mouse is available on its own for US$69. It requires Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later with Wireless Mouse Software Update 1.0.

SpamSieve Updated to 2.7.7

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, 04:29
Category: Software

spamsieve2.jpg
Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.7.7. The new version, a 5.9 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:

- Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
- Made some changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
- Fixed a bug where the “Train as Good” command in Apple Mail didn’t move Exchange messages back to the inbox.
- Encoded HTML mail is spam is now off by default, to reduce the number of false positives.
- Modernized the code.
- Updated the Vietnamese localization.
- Updated the Apple Mail script for discarding spam.

SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.

Apple Releases Unibody MacBook to Replace White MacBook Design

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, 04:21
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News

143393-09macbook386_original

Apple Inc. on Tuesday announced an updated, unibody version to its low end MacBook notebook. The new model, available immediately, is still covered in white polycarbonate but features the same unibody construction and bright LED-backlit screens as Apple’s other laptops, as well as the same glass multi-touch trackpad found in the MacBook Pro line.

According to Macworld, the new 13.3″ MacBook still retails for US$999, but is powered by a 2.26GHz processor. It also features 2GB of 1066MHz RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip, and a 250GB hard drive.

The new notebook weighs in at 4.7 pounds compared to 5 pounds for the old design and now features a non-swappable battery. Apple says that will boost battery life for the MacBook to seven hours, up from five hours in the previous model; it also means users will have to pay US$129 for replacement batteries from Apple. As a result of the battery change, the bottom of the laptop has no feet—instead, the entire bottom surface is rubberized, save for eight screws.

The redesigned MacBook case introduces at least one other change from the previous model—the FireWire 400 port is gone and Apple’s MacBook Pro offerings are now the only Apple portables with FireWire ports.

If you want to vent your spleen about the new notebook, let us know in the comments.

Apple Posts US$1.67 Profit for Q4 2009

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 20th, 2009, 04:57
Category: Finance, News

applelogo1.jpg

In spite of a sagging global economy, Apple posted the results to its most profitable quarter ever, the company setting records for both Mac and iPhone sales. According to Macworld, the company reported a net profit of US$1.67 billion, or US$1.82 per share, on revenue of US$9.87 billion for its fourth quarter earnings.

Comparing those numbers to Apple’s year-ago figures, quarterly profits rose 46%, while earnings per share jumped 44%. Revenue increased 25% from the September 2008 quarter. At the end of the corner, the company had US$34 billion of cash on hand.

For the full 2009 fiscal year, Apple’s revenue rose 12% while its income increased 18% from 2008, according to chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer. Those increases come during what the Apple executive called “extraordinary challenging times” which have done little to slow the company’s growth.

“We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement accompanying the earnings announcement. “We’ve got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010.”

For the December quarter, Apple told analysts to expect between US$11.3 and US$11.6 billion in sales and earnings ranging from US$1.70 to US$1.78 per share. This guidance was given without accounting for a rule change in the way Apple recognizes revenue from the iPhone and Apple TV. Apple was uncertain when it would adopt the new accounting method, which was OK’d by the Financial Accounting Standards Board last month.

Over the course of the quarter, Apple sold 3.05 million Macs during the quarter (a 17 percent increase over what it sold for the same three-month period in 2008). That 3.05 million figure sets a record for Mac sales, topping the previous high-water mark of 2.61 million Macs sold during the fiscal fourth-quarter of 2008.

During the quarter, Apple sold nearly 2.3 million notebooks, with portables accounting for an astounding 74% of the Macs sold during the last three months.

“Last quarter was the quarter of the portable,” chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a Monday conference call to discuss Apple’s earnings. In response to one analyst’s comment that “the [laptop] price cut worked,” Cook responded loudly, “Yes, it did!”

Cook also said that Snow Leopard sales were stronger than Apple expected, with twice as many sales of Snow Leopard upgrades during the operating system’s first five weeks on sale than Leopard made during its first five weeks.

iPhone sales rose 7% from the year-ago quarter to nearly 7.4 million units. That compares to a little less than 6.9 million iPhones in the September 2008 quarter—a three-month period that saw Apple roll out the iPhone 3G in a number of markets around the globe.

For the quarter, Apple reported recognized revenue from iPhone handset sales of $2.3 billion, a 185% jump from US$806 million in last year’s fourth quarter.

If Apple had any disappointments in the quarter, it would be in its iPod business, where sales of the handheld music players fell 8% from the year-ago quarter to 10.2 million units. It was the second consecutive quarter where Apple saw iPod sales drop from the year-ago period.

However, Apple saw signs for optimism in its iPod numbers. According to the company, 50% of recent iPod buyers were purchasing their first iPod. What’s more, sales of the iPod touch doubled when compared to the same quarter a year ago, and Apple believes it can attract even more customers to the widescreen music player after cutting the price of the 8GB iPod touch to $199 last month.

“We believe the iPod lineup is attractive positioned for the holiday buying season,” Oppenheimer told analysts during Monday’s conference call. And that’s critical for Apple, which traditionally sees its highest iPod sales during the December quarter. In the December 2008 quarter, for example, Apple sold 22.7 million music players.

Apple Releases Third Beta Build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update to Developers

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 19th, 2009, 04:38
Category: Software

snowleopard

Over the weekend, Apple sent its third beta release of the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 update with fixes for QuickTime, iChat, and a widely reported guest account glitch that could delete user data to its developer community.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with build 10C527f said the latest update has only one known issue, and has a number of fixes in 13 different focus areas. It also reportedly provides reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, iDisk, and Safari plug-ins.

The update also reportedly fixes a glitch that could delete user data. This issue is triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. Upon logging back in to their regular account, some users may find that it has been wiped of all data. Apple acknowledged the issue earlier this week and has stated that the company is working on a fix.

The latest build allegedly provides a number of GraphicsDrivers fixes, including resolutions for crashes with OpenCL, a screen flickering issue, and stuttering while playing 1080p content with QuickTime Player X.

The update is also said to resolve an issue that did not allow some QuickTime movies to play in QuickTime Player X.

A handful of iMovie-related issues were also addressed, including color shift issues and a crash that occurred when looping previews of titles in the skimming palette.

The update is currently a 483.5 megabyte file, and is the third beta release in less than two weeks. The previous build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 was provided to developers on Oct. 9. The last build addressed nearly 150 general focus areas covering a wide range.

Flip4Mac 2.3.0.14 Released

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 16th, 2009, 03:30
Category: Software

flip4mac.jpg
Software developer Telestream has released version 2.3.0.14 of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, a 19.7 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), includes the following fixes and changes:
- Added support for Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard. While support for the latest OS is good news, we’d like you to be aware of some changes in Snow Leopard that affect Flip4Mac WMV (see Flip4Mac WMV FAQs for more details):
- QuickTime Player X has removed export functionality to all formats other than standard Apple formats, including WMV. If you need this functionality, Apple continues to provide QuickTime Player 7.
- In Safari 4, Flip4Mac WMV runs with limited functionality.
- Safari 4 now runs in 64-bit mode by default, which causes Flip4Mac WMV to run with limited functionality. However, you have the option to run Safari in 32-bit mode.
- Local files now import in the background by default so that your movie is available for viewing almost immediately. If you prefer the previous behavior, this can be changed on a per-application basis in Flip4Mac WMV by going to System Preferences > Flip4Mac WMV > Player and clicking the Advanced button.
- The installer also includes a browser plug-in for Microsoft® SilverlightTM, which allows you to play Smooth Streaming video content. This is installed by default. To disable its installation, click the Customize button on the Installation Type pane and uncheck the Microsoft Silverlight Plug-in option.
- Fixed bug that prevented ASX streams from playing in Firefox 3.
- Other miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements.

Flip4Mac 2.2.3.7 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and QuickTime 6.5.1 or later to run.

Apple Modifies iPhone BootROM on 3GS Models to Stop Hacking Efforts

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 04:56
Category: iPhone, Software

3gs.jpg

If you can’t beat them on software, change the BootROM. Per iClarified, Apple has taken an usual step in its efforts to stop groups from hacking its iPhone hardware and installed a modified iPhone 3GS BootROM. The report noted that the new iPhone is no longer vulnerable to the so-called “24kpwn” exploit.

Over the years, it’s this exploit that hackers have used to jailbreak the iPhone. With the most recent update, they will have to find another way to hack the device.

Jailbreaking of the iPhone is nothing new, but it has been an ongoing battle between Apple and the hacking community since the first iPhone was released. It seems whenever a new version of the iPhone OS is released, Apple breaks the most recent hacks.

However, within days or weeks, the hacking community comes out with a “fix” and the cycle starts all over again. There is no word yet on how the community will get around the latest update.

Apple Releases Performance Update 1.0 Patch for Certain Macs

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 03:46
Category: Hardware, Software

applelogo1.jpg

Early Thursday, Apple released Performance Update 1.0, a firmware fix for Macs experiencing occasional hard drive stalls under the Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 operating systems.

The patch, a 300 kilobyte download available via Software Update, affects the following machines:

- MacBook Air (Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53GHz, Mid 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009), MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
- iMac (24-inch, Early 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Early 2009)
- Mac mini (Early 2009)

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or Mac OS X 10.6.1 (for the Snow Leopard version) to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update, please let us know how it worked in the comments.

Apple Reportedly Working on FM Radio Application for iPhone, iPod Touch

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 06:54
Category: iPhone, iPod, News, Software

3gs.jpg

Apple is reportedly developing an FM radio application for the iPhone and iPod touch, with similar functions now available to iPod nano users. Per 9to5Mac, the company is developing an FM radio application that would work in the background, like listening to music via iTunes, while users check email and surf the Internet.

Last month Apple added an FM radio tuner to the popular iPod nano with the ability to pause and rewind your favorite radio stations and shows while on the go.

The radio supports tagging in the US, with listeners able to buy songs they hear on air via iTunes.

According to 9to5Mac: “The holdup on this app is that Apple is trying to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchases into the functionality of the program.”

The website suggests Apple could could add some Shazam technology to help with those stations that don’t support tagging, which appears to be the majority of them.

Apple’s iPhones and iPods are already able to receive FM radio signals but the function has only be used for the Nike+ ecosystem until now according to 9to5Mac.

Adobe Releases Acrobat, Reader 9.2, Addresses Security Concerns

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 05:49
Category: Software

readerlogo

Last Friday, Adobe released version 9.2 of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, the company’s Portable Document Format reader and creation utility.

Adobe Systems has updated Acrobat and Reader to version 9.2. Both updates are available through the Adobe Updater application or for download through Adobe’s Web site.

The new versions of Acrobat and Reader both address “critical security vulnerabilities while providing more stability,” according to Adobe’s documentation.

Both Adobe Reader 9.2 and Adobe Acrobat 9.2 require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.