Apple releases iTunes 11.0.3 update

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Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 05:14
Category: News, Software

It’s not the biggest update in the world, but it might make a difference.

Late Thursday, Apple released version 11.0.3 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 197.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork. In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.

- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.

- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.

iTunes 11.0.3 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, please let us know in the comments.

Dropbox updated to 2.0.12

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 08:46
Category: News, Software

If an update reduces the pressure on the CPU, how can you be against it?

On Thursday, Dropbox released version 2.0.12 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 29.3 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:

- Lower CPU usage when idle.

Dropbox 2.0.12 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Google announces All Access music streaming service

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 07:46
Category: News, Software

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When in doubt, offer some additional competition.

Per AppleInsider, Google on Wednesday introduced its long-anticipated Spotify competitor: Google Play Music All Access, a “uniquely Google approach” to subscription music service.

Google engineering director Chris Yerga announced the new music service during the keynote for the search giant’s annual Google I/O developer conference. As was previously rumored, the streaming service is similar to popular music service Spotify, but it also adds elements similar to Internet radio service Pandora.

“We set out to build a music service that didn’t just give you access to the world of music,” Yerga said, “but also helped guide you through it.”

All Access has a focus on personalized recommendations, using a feature called “Explore”. Explore allows users to start a radio station from an individual track. Once the station is established, users can tailor the tracks that will play to their likes by stopping tracks that they don’t want to hear.

The new streaming service will also suggest new releases and other tracks that Google thinks users will enjoy based on their listening habits. All Access will also allow users to blend their own Google Play-stored tracks in on playlists with All Access songs.

The move into streaming will bring Google into competition not only with Spotify and Pandora, but also potentially with Apple. The iPhone maker is said to be working on its own radio service to debut some time this summer. Much of the negotiations with the major record labels is said to already be done, but holdouts among some labels are thought to be holding up the rollout of Apple’s streaming option.

All Access is available in the United States as of May 15 for US$10 per month. Google is opening up the service to all users in the country, though, for a 30-day free trial. Users beginning their trial before June 30 will be able to take advantage of a special discount, getting access to the streaming service for US$8 per month.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve tried All Access and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google to launch Maps for iPad, incorporate additional features, this summer

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:33
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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There’s some cool stuff coming out of Google I/O 2013 and this is no exception.

Per Android Central, Google has announced that new features will be coming to the Google Maps for iPhone later this summer and, what’s more, it’ll be getting an iPad-specific interface as well.

Albeit unconfirmed at this point, the new version could also incorporate Google’s new five-point rating system, integrated Google Offers, and more.

Also interesting, Google Maps in the browser will be using WebGL, which could be interesting depending on how it’s implemented.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.4 12E52 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:05
Category: News, Software

It’s a long haul to OS X 10.8.4, but it’s getting closer…

Per 9to5Mac, a week following the previous build, Apple has released build 12E52 of the OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta to developers. Apple, once again, asks developers to focus on WiFi, Graphics Drivers, and Safari.

We previously noted that 10.8.4 includes support for Mac computers with 802.11ac WiFi chips.

While 10.8.4 is a minor update to OS X Mountain Lion, Apple also has a major release launching in the next couple of months. It’s also been rumored that OS X 10.9 will include an enhanced Finder, much improved multiple-monitor support, a new version of Safari, and various other features from iOS, so larger improvements are waiting down the line.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you want to hurl your two cents in, let us know what’s on your mind in the comments section.

Skype updated to 6.4.0.833

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:11
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 6.4.0.833 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 40 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

New and Improved:
- Infinite chat scrolling

- Improved find within the chat

- Custom Chat Styles removal

- Improved send and receive contacts

- Improved file transfer

- Support for Simplified Chinese

Resolved:
- [Contact] Easier to add a new number to any existing contact.

- [Contact] Easier to add a contact number from the Contacts list.

- [Generic] Fixed random crash when waking from sleep.

- [Generic] Fixed crashes due to outdated 3rd party plugins

- [File Transfer] File transfer shows correct received size.

- [Preferences] You can switch speakers from Preferences during the incoming call.

- [Profile] You can add “Apply an effect” when editing display picture.

- [Screen sharing] Picture-in-Picture for screen sharing will appear in case switching to the Contacts list.

- [Skype Home] Disabling animated emoticons from Preferences will also take effect in the Skype Home view.

- [Calling] Improved dial pad animation in the calling toolbar.

- [Calling] You can use firewire device for Skype video call.

Known Issues:
- [Conversation] Chat input field does not switch to SMS mode when adding PSTN numbers to new conversation. Fix is in progress for next release.

- [SMS] SMS sending status stays to ‘sending’. Fix is in progress.

Skype 6.4.0.833 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 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.

CrossOver updated to 12.2.1

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 13:38
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock improved language support.

CrossOver, the popular virtualization program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 12.2.1. The new version, a 78.9 megabyte download, is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Updated Chinese support,

CrossOver 12.2.1 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.6 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

Siri receives update, now prompts users to speak in shorter, more recognizable sentences

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 08:49
Category: iOS, News, Software

Keep it short and sweet, folks.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple’s voice interaction system Siri has been updated, this time specifically to ask users to keep it short. Siri’s system doesn’t deal well with longer user queries, so if you happen to ask something that’s just too long for Siri to deal with, she’ll interrupt you, giving you a quote from a famous person, and then asking you to rephrase the question, shorter or in fewer words. Siri herself doesn’t have the authority to change your speech patterns, apparently, so she’s recruited figures such as William Strunk and Thomas Jefferson to make her point more clearly.

So, um, try speaking long sentences to Siri and see if it begins correcting you with quotes of some of the greatest wordsmiths of the past.

“ABC Player” app renamed to “Watch ABC”, now allows live streams of all ABC programming in select markets

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 07:21
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You can’t say ABC’s not investing in the iOS side of things…

Per AppleInsider, Tuesday saw the launch of of version 3.0.0 broadcaster ABC’s iOS app, one that for the first time will allow users in select markets to watch live television from a U.S. broadcaster.

The new version saw ABC’s app’s name change from ABC Player to Watch ABC. App users in New York City and Philadelphia will now have the ability to see a live stream of ABC’s programming, and plans are underway to roll out the live service to at least six more markets where ABC owns local stations.

The live stream feature will arrive in an additional 13 Hearst-owned stations over the rest of the year. ABC is working to bring the feature to users in other markets, but that will depend on the willingness of more than 200 local broadcasters to join in on the live streaming.

The service is currently unrestricted, but ABC’s release notes for the app state that the app will begin verifying whether users are customers of an eligible local cable system beginning July 1.

The live streaming move is a first among the major U.S. broadcast networks, and it signals a shift in their thinking. While cable giant ESPN — which, like ABC, is also owned by Disney — has gradually grown, the capabilities of its apps to the point where it now includes the ability to watch live content, the broadcasters have been reluctant to move beyond delayed release of content to their apps.

The live streaming also functions as a salvo against services like Hulu. The near future will see ABC holding back its most recent TV episodes from the free versions of Hulu and ABC.com.

Among the more troubling developments has been the rise of Aereo, a service that uses antennas to capture broadcast content and stream it to subscribers, who watch it on their iPads and other mobile devices. The major broadcast networks say Aereo’s service amounts to illegal rebroadcasting, a violation of their content rights. So far, though, the courts have disagreed.

By putting its own live content out in an app that it controls, ABC is taking a risk, but also partly wresting control from Aereo and similar services. Announcing the move, Disney-ABC Television Group president said it was the result of a realization that ABC wasn’t moving fast enough to give consumers what they want.

“We keep a very close eye on consumer demand,” said Anne Sweeney, the Television Group president. “We watch how people are behaving with their devices, and we really felt that we needed to move faster.”

The Watch ABC app is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The 38.8MB download requires an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iMovie 9.0.9 update

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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It’s a huge update file, but it might be helpful.

Late Tuesday, Apple released iMovie 9.0.9, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 1.08 gigabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses issues where iMovie does not recognize video cameras connected to your Mac.

- Improves compatibility with projects imported from iMovie for iOS.

- Includes stability improvements.

iMovie 9.0.8 requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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