Possible Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi card spotted, currently supported in OS X 10.8.4 betas

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 07:37
Category: Hardware, Rumor

802-11ac-wi-fi

Your Wi-Fi is about to get faster.

Which is never a bad thing.

Per 9to5Mac, additional evidence has surfaced indicating that Apple’s incoming next round of MacBook Air/Pros would contain 802.11AC Gigabit wifi chips, not the least of which was code we found referencing ’802.11AC‘ in 10.8.4 Betas.

Reader TonyMacx86, found some interesting parts on Chinese VR-Zone that could be the next 802.11AC boards in Macs, widely expected to be announced at WWDC next month. The Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN+Bluetooth card supports IEEE 802.11ac, the next standard in wireless computer networking. Interestingly, it also looks like it may fit in current MacBooks which could mean aftermarket updates could be possible.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AT&T to offer FaceTime connections over cellular for all LTE-compatible iPhones by end of 2013

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 06:59
Category: iPhone, News

attlogo

This could prove useful.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and The Verge, wireless carrier AT&T has indicated that all iPhone subscribers will be able to use FaceTime via a cellular connection by the end of 2013, as stated below:

“For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers. Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end. Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the internet, such as Skype.”

AT&T was initially reluctant to enable FaceTime over cellular connection due to bandwidth concerns.

This past January, AT&T announced that it was enabling FaceTime over cellular to subscribers of its tiered data plans. Now, with its most recent announcement, iPhone users on AT&T who have grandfathered-in unlimited data plans will also be able to FaceTime to their hearts content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.9

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 07:48
Category: News, Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.9.

The new version, a 9.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

General:
- Improved HandBrake pineapple icon by Matt Johnson.

- Improved Retina-resolution icons within the application, by Nik Pawlak (http://nikpawlak.com).

Core:
- Blu-ray (PGS) subtitle support.

- Works with Foreign Audio Search.

- Can be Burned-In.

- Can be passed through to MKV (but not MP4).

- Additional video framerates (30, 50, 59.94, 60 fps).

- Double framerate (“bob”) mode for the deinterlace and decomb filters.

- Better audio remix support.

- Additional mixdowns: 6.1, 7.1, 7.1 (5F/2R/LFE).

- CLI users should note 6ch becomes 5point1.

- Better-than-Stereo sources can be upmixed to 5.1.

- Discard one channel from Stereo sources.

- Mono (Left Only), Mono (Right Only).

- Allow the selection of higher audio bitrates where appropriate.

- Allow the selection of lower audio samplerates where appropriate.

- 8, 11.025, 12, 16 kHz.

- Audio dithering (TPDF) when converting to 16-bit FLAC.

- Use libavcodec for DTS audio decoding (instead of libdca).

- DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete support.

- All graphical interfaces: support for x264′s preset, tune and profile options alternative to the Advanced panel (which is still available).

- HandBrake-specific option to ensure compliance with a specific H.264 level.

Updated built-in presets:
- Take advantage of x264 preset/tune/profile support.

- Removed increasingly suboptimal and irrelevant Legacy presets.

- Assorted bug fixes and improvements to the core library (libhb).

Updated libraries:
- x264 r2273-b3065e6.

- Libav v9.6.

- libbluray 0.2.3.

Windows:
- User Interface has been re-written in WPF.

- Includes many small UI enhancements.

- Switched to .NET 4 Client Profile (smaller download for those who don’t have .NET 4 fully installed).

Mac:
- Assorted bug fixes including better support for Retina displays.

- Prevent sleep during encoding and scanning for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Drag & Drop files onto the Main window or application icon to scan.

- Nicer progress indication on the dock icon.

- Preview window improvements and bugfixes.

- Updated Growl to 2.0.1.

- Notification Center support (when Growl is not installed).

Linux:
- Assorted bug fixes and improvements.

- Use some system libraries rather than bundling (fontconfig, freetype, libxml2, libass, libogg, libvorbis, libtheora and libsamplerate).

Command Line Interface:
- Audio option (-a) will ignore invalid input tracks and encode with only the valid ones.

- Allow use of hh:mm:ss format when specifying p-to-p start/stop time.

Advanced audio options:
- Enable level normalization when downmixing (disabled by default).

- Disable audio dithering or select a specific algorithm.

HandBrake 0.9.9 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Rumor: Apple, suppliers testing 1.5-inch displays for upcoming “iWatch”

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 06:25
Category: Hardware, Rumor

applelogo_silver

It’s in the rumor mill, so part of it must be true.

Per ” target=”_blank”>Macotakara and AppleInsider, development of Apple’s rumored smart watch is allegedly gaining momentum, as a pair of new reports claim the company is testing 1.5-inch OLED screens for a wrist-worn device, and that Foxconn has been contracted to build a trial batch.

The latest rumors on Apple’s so-called “iWatch” were highlighted on Monday by Macotakara. The publication spotted pair of reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News which, like other publications that print unattributed rumors stemming from Apple’s supply chain, has a hit-or-miss track record.

In the first report, the publication claims that Apple is testing organic light emitting diode displays for its anticipated smart watch. The company allegedly tested 1.8-inch panels, but felt they were too big, prompting development to go smaller with 1.5-inch displays.

According to the report, Apple is exploring 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens manufactured by RiTdisplay of Taiwan that use one-glass-solution touch sensors. This would allow the display component to be as thin as possible for the wearable accessory.

It should be noted that rumors for years have claimed that Apple is interested in OLED displays, but to date the company has never used the display technology in any of its devices. OLED screens could, however, be an optimal choice for wearable technology because of their low power consumption levels.

In a second report, Foxconn, Apple’s longtime manufacturing partner, has already received orders for an “iWatch.” However, the initial production run is said to be for no more than a thousand units, as Foxconn is allegedly running a “small-scale trial production.”

With “iWatch” rumors heating up, one survey from last month found that 19 percent of consumers are interested in buying such a device from Apple. That exceeds pre-announcement interest in both the iPad and Intel-based Mac hardware.

Rumors of an Apple smart watch began growing earlier this year, when a number of reports claimed that the company is developing a wearable wrist accessory. One such report claimed that the company has a 100-person team working on the project.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

13-inch MacBook Air inventory beginning to come up short, new models expected around WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 06:29
Category: MacBook Air, News, retail

When the inventory numbers trend downwards, the cool new stuff tends to be around the corner.

Per AppleInsider, availability of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air had apparently begun to dry up at major authorized resellers.

The popular 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8-gigahertz processor and 256-gigabyte solid-state drive is currently out of stock at resellers Amazon, B&H, MacConnection, and MacMall. In addition, J&R is currently advertising that the thin-and-light notebook is only available for purchase in its brick-and-mortar stores.

In fact, one of the few resellers that is currently advertising available inventory of that 13-inch MacBook Air configuration is Best Buy.

Constrained availability of existing models is often one of the first signs of an impending product refresh, as Apple draws down inventory in anticipation of the release of new hardware. Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled for June 10 through 14, would be an opportune time for the company to introduce newly updated MacBook Airs.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities indicated last month that Apple apparently plans to introduce new MacBook Airs featuring Intel’s next-generation Haswell processors at WWDC. The new ultraportable notebooks are expected to go on sale before the end of June.

Intel Haswell chips are scheduled to launch the first week of June, boasting more capable processors that will consume less power, leading to longer battery life on notebooks. The chips will also feature next-generation Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics that will offer a 50 percent in improvement over the previous 4000-class.

Kuo also said that Apple will likely introduce Haswell-powered MacBook Pro models at WWDC 2013. He expects that updated versions of the legacy, optical-drive-equipped MacBook Pro will launch alongside new MacBook Airs before the end of June, while a refresh of the premium Retina display MacBook Pro models will become available at a later date.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

OnyX updated to 2.6.9

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 05:14
Category: News, Software

onyxicon

An update’s an update.

OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.6.9. The new version, a 17.9 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:
- New option: Delete the saved application states.

- New option: Show/hide interface level switching (Simple/full Finder).

- New option: Turn on/Turn off Rubber-Band Scrolling.

- New version of sqlite3.

- It is no longer necessary to quit all applications in order to check the disk.

- Help improved.

OnyX 2.6.9 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

iPhone 5S component photos leaked, could indicate more colors to choose from

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 06:18
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Pictures, Rumor

A couple pictures may indicate a lot about the next-gen iPhone.

Over on Boy Genius Report, a number of leaked high-resolution photos of assorted components may indicate that Apple is looking to expand the color scheme the next-gen iPhone handset will be available in.

Earlier rumors have suggested that the iPhone 5S will include several internal changes such as a faster processor, a better camera and possibly even a fingerprint scanner that makes use of Apple’s AuthenTec acquisition. Nothing has been confirmed at this point, but leaked photos of redesigned internal components suggest that Apple is indeed planning an internal overhaul to improve various iPhone features and likely to make room for new components as well.


bgr-iphone-5s-parts-11

BGR has obtained high-quality images of several internal iPhone 5S components from a source that asked not to be identified. The parts include the loud-speaker bracket, ear speaker bracket, vibrating motor assembly, Wi-Fi flex cable ribbon and SIM card tray from Apple’s upcoming seventh-generation iPhone.

The next-generation iPhone is also rumored to include a redesigned ear speaker bracket and a new loud-speaker bracket, which can be seen in BGR’s gallery.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S is expected to launch this fall alongside iOS 7, which will reportedly feature a substantial user interface overhaul that does away with most textures in favor of flatter design elements.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: AU Optronics may not be part of next-gen iPad mini screen supply chain

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 06:30
Category: Hardware, iPad mini, Rumor

With any luck, the next-gen iPad mini’s screen will be awesome.

But AU Optronics may not be part of it.

Per DigiTimes, AU Optronics, which has reportedly “faced issues” in producing iPad mini display panels, are cited as “not expected” to remain a major iPad mini panel supplier. However, the company is said to have submitted panels for use in the next iPad mini for certification by Apple.

The company must await Apple’s approval, the report indicated, but LG Display and Sharp have already been selected as panel suppliers. The report did not give any indication as to whether the next iPad mini will have a high-resolution Retina display.

In preparation for the second-generation iPad mini, Apple is expected to draw down production of the current model. Accordingly, the report claimed that AUO panel shipments are to be drawn down over the coming quarters, and will decrease sequentially.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

UPS for iPad app goes live, now available in App Store

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 06:05
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

ups

You’ve gotta admit…a UPS app for the iPad sounds attractive.

Per 9to5Mac, UPS announced on Thursday that the company is finally rolling out its native UPS for iPad app that brings the ability to track and schedule deliveries as well as access to features of UPS My Choice® and enhanced mapping features.

The app offers the following functions without having to log in:
– Track packages and freight shipments.

– Save up to 5 tracking numbers in your tracking list.

– See the current location of your package on a map.

– Find UPS service locations via GPS.

When you log in, you can also:
– Sync your recent tracks from ups.com.

– Nickname tracked shipments.

– Enroll in UPS My Choice.

– Use UPS My Choice to take action on your incoming deliveries.

– Set your delivery preferences.

The UPS for iPad app requires an iPad running iOS 5.0 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0 for mid-2012 MacBook Air notebook

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 05:20
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

If you’re using a mid-2012 MacBook Air, you’re going to want to snag this.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple on Thursday released its MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0, a 1.69 megabyte download that helps to address problems with the device recovering from a crash. Apple release notes said the update addresses “a storage firmware issue that, in rare cases, may cause a system to fail to recover from crash.”

The update requires a mid-2012 MacBook Air notebook running OS X 10.7.5 or OS X 10.8.3 or later to install and run.

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