GraphicConverter updated to 8.5, adds Retina support, other features

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 28th, 2012, 09:41
Category: News, Software

A nifty chunk of shareware just got better.

On Friday, Thorsten Lemke’s seminal graphics conversion and editing app GraphicConverter reached version 8.5. The new version, a 153.8 megabyte download, added the following fixes and changes:

New features:
- Retina support added.
- Added support for 16 bit per channel grayscale raw import.
- Split red/green/blue batch added.
- Added batch function to extract all used keywords to convert&modify.
- Added option to disable indicator for unapplied xmp changes.
- Added zoom support to slideshow with gesture.
- Added dialog upon click of rotation indicator.
- Added rating tool to image window toolbar.
- Added option to open a browser with a default path upon launch.
- Added option to use EXIF preview as browser thumbnail.
- Added import of old picture clippings at 64 bit.
- Added import support for some old StartupScreen variants.
- Added editable number fields for display of slider values.
- Added slideshow with find.

Updated features:
- Exif creation does verify gps tags before export.
- Keyword palette supports import of plain keywords list.
- Next/previous icons do now use the last display scale for the new image.
- Improved undo options.
- Improved PhotoRaw options.
- Find and replace colors are stored in the prefs.
- Enhanced edit exif data dialog.

Bug fixes:
- Fixed performance issue after resolution change without resample.
- Added a workaround for a possible issue during keyword change of JPGs on server volumes with 10.7.x.
- Fixed a bug during applying batch settings during html catalog creation.
- Fixed a bug in multipage pdf to tiff conversion.
- Fixed a bug in replace dialog of non image files.
- Fixed a possible memory leak in the slideshow.
- Fixed a bug with the index display in the find and replace dialog.
- Fixed a bug in setting the catalog/picture format.
- Fixed a display issue on 10.6.8.
- Fixed possible crash during import of corrupt WPG file.
- Fixed a bug in JPS to MPO conversion.
- Fixed a bug in flat view.
- Fixed a bug with change of extension if the filename uses dots.

GraphicConverter 8.5 retails for US$39.95 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to update notebooks in June, retain same design with new models

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 28th, 2012, 06:08
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

Rumor: Apple to update notebooks in June, retain same design with new models

Sometimes you just don’t muck with a good design.

Per DigiTimes, Apple will reportedly update the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air product lines in June 2013 with upgraded innards, but no major design changes are expected for either laptop range.

According to the article, Taiwanese supply chain sources said Apple recently issued requests for quotations (RFQs) for a number of notebooks, including the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, with the new models slated to reach consumers in June 2013.

Little information was offered regarding the revised MacBook Pro as the publication focused its report on the effect Apple’s MacBook Air will have on so-called Ultrabook makers next year. For 2013, Apple’s thin-and-light is said to be switching to a new processor platform, most likely Intel’s next-generation Haswell architecture.

As for design, sources say no major changes are planned for either product line. While the MacBook Pro line was the recipient of a design overhaul with the Retina display model, non-Retina versions still sport a unibody chassis largely unaltered since its debut in 2008. The MacBook Air’s enclosure was revamped in 2010, taking on a more angular look as Apple applied design cues learned from its development of the iPad.

DigiTimes also suggests Apple may cut MacBook Air prices ahead of the June launch, but such a move is unlikely considering the company has no recent history of discounting products prior to a newer version’s release. The publication made similar claims in May when it incorrectly predicted that Apple would introduce a US$799 version of the notebook in the third quarter of 2012.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple patent highlights motion-controlled mouse idea for future Macs

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 28th, 2012, 06:15
Category: News, Patents

applelogo_silver

This could lead to something interesting.

Per AppleInsider, a patent filing published on Thursday details an Apple invention pertaining to a computer input device that uses motion gestures, like tilting, brushing and tapping to manipulate a computer’s GUI.

Apple’s “Methods and apparatus for processing combinations of kinematical inputs” describes a system that translates a variety of force and velocity data detected by an input device into commands for a computer’s user interface, such as control of a mouse cursor.

The invention calls for an input device with one or more motion sensors to feed a receiving system adapted to convert gesture data into GUI navigation commands.

In order to achieve precise calculations, the input device can use a number of motion sensors including one or more gyroscopes, optical sensors and accelerometers, among others. By taking force and vector data from the device, the receiving computer generates a “gesture profile” that is associated with a certain system command. For example, if a user slides the input device across a plane or object, a cursor will move in that direction.

Two gestures can be combined, for example below a sliding gesture is performed in conjunction with a tilt gesture, thus enabling a different UI command than would a simple lateral movement of the device.

The system is programmable, meaning different gestures can be assigned to various commands. A “nudge” gesture can equate to the waking of the input device when it is in sleep mode or moving a mouse cursor slightly in one direction. Tilting, tapping and other gravity-based gestures are supported by the system and can likewise reproduce any number of UI commands on a computer’s screen.

Gesture profiles can be multi-step operations. In the example below, the input device starts at the left at a speed of 0 meters per second. Once the start motion is detected, a minimum velocity must be reached in order to enable the gesture. When the magnitude of the force vector reaches zero, that is when the unit is lifted off the desk, the conditions satisfy the second gesture circumstance and the command is triggered.

It appears from the patent drawings that Apple could possibly incorporate the additional motion gesture control into an upcoming mouse. While just speculation, the iPhone and iPod lineups could also be used asinput devices as they carry integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes and imaging sensors. There are existing apps in the iOS ecosystem that “transform” iDevices into usable input peripherals, like R.P.A.Tech’s Mobile Mouse, but Apple may one day use the invention’s technology to offer a built-in first-party solution.

Apple’s patent application was first filed in April and credited Jean L. Lee is credited as its inventor.

Updated (x2): Apple changes guidelines as to 30-pin, Lightning connector ports on same iOS device in wake of Kickstarter effort

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 28th, 2012, 01:51
Category: Hardware, News

This could lead to some interesting stuff.

Per CNET, only a day after a Kickstarter project was killed because of restrictions on Apple’s MFi program that prevented Lightning and 30-Pin connectors from appearing on the same device, Apple has changed its guidelines to allow third-party devices to have 30-pin and Lightning chargers on the same accessory.



“Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to MFi licensees for free,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNET. “We support accessories that integrate USB and Lightning connectors, but there were technical issues that prevented accessories from integrating 30-pin and Lightning connectors so our guidelines did not allow this.”

The company added that the guidelines have since been updated to allow accessories to work with both types of connectors to charge devices.

There is no word from Edison Junior on whether the company will move forward with the POP portable power station, which sought to bring both Lightning and 30-pin Dock connectors to iOS devices now that Apple has reversed course.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve heard anything about the POP effort or those similar to it, please let us know in the comments.

Update: The product now has a new web site that can be looked into via popportablepower.com.

Second update: Edison Junior Director of Operations August Cziment has replied to a query as to whether a MagSafe version of the POP with the following statement:

“Thanks for your interest. Right now we don’t have any definitive plans to do a MagSafe although we’d like to explore that idea. Right now we’re so focused on delivering an awesome POP product as we had promised so for now we’re trying not to distract ourselves.”