Parallels Access debuts, brings Parallels features to iPad

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, 06:28
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

21252

You can’t knock a company that also goes in a subscription-based direction.

Per AppleInsider, Parallels, the company known for its virtualization software, rolled out a new iPad app and subscription service on Tuesday called Parallels Access that promises to run both Mac and PC programs on Apple’s tablet with near-native performance.

With Parallels Access, the company has built a completely new way to naturally interact with desktop applications on an iPad. A number of developers have fielded similar apps that promise full remote control functionality from Apple’s tablet, but many resort to clunky interfaces that draw users out of the “iPad experience.”

Unlike other apps, Access offers the full gamut of iPad gestures, with taps, swipes and pinches all supported by almost any desktop program. To bridge the gap between computer and tablet, the system translates mouse clicks and movement into iPad-friendly gestures.

Parallels claims its new product can handle a variety of tasks, including business programs, streaming video and even games. Internet speeds are supposedly a non-factor, though degradation may be expected when connecting over cellular networks.

The system is actually split into two parts: the iOS app and a Mac or PC client that runs on the host computer. Access authenticates via a Parallels account and links the two devices with a 256-bit AES secured SSL connection.

At the heart of Access is the App Launcher, which is basically a Springboard-like layout of compatible desktop applications. Programs can be added or deleted from this view in much the same way as iOS.

The App Switcher seamlessly moves users between programs, a necessary tool since Access only works in “full screen” mode. Parallels calls this method “applifying.”

Navigating within running programs is an intuitive experience thanks to the combination of SmartTap and the iOS magnifying glass. SmartTap is a contextual cursor control that, in tandem with magnifying glass, allows users to perform advanced mouse actions like drag and drop.

One difficult maneuver that many VNC and other remote desktop apps have trouble with is scrolling. Access’ gesture translation engine doesn’t appear to suffer from the same problems, making in-window navigation less of a chore.

The app’s keyboard is also tweaked from the standard iOS version, offering users dedicated keys for functions, arrows, and even the “Windows” button.

Those interested can try Parallels Access for free for 14 days on a Mac and 90 days on a Windows machine. Subscription pricing is set at US$79.99 per year for each computer running a registered client. The iPad app and Mac or PC clients can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Parallels’ webpage, respectively.

Leaked Nuance e-mail to developer community points to September 10th release date for iOS 7

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013, 07:20
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

ios7logo

September 10th seems to be the day for iOS 7′s release.

Per Owened and The Verge, an email sent to developers from speech recognition software company Nuance (in this case, those using its SpeechKit 1.4.5 speech services) on Monday suggests iOS 7 could be available to the public on Sept. 10, the same day Apple is widely expected to announce its next-generation iPhone.

Technology from Nuance was recently confirmed to be part of the Siri voice-recognizing assistant, meaning the company works closely with Apple and could be privy to upcoming launch information.

There is, however, some confusion over the email’s use of iOS 7 “GA,” which means general availability, a term often confused with “GM,” or golden master. Traditionally, Apple has released GM versions of iOS to developers alongside a new iPhone’s release, with the GA rolling out a week later.

Apple is expected to announce both a next-generation “iPhone 5S” and a lower-cost “iPhone 5C” at a special event on Sept. 10.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple TV update adds support for Vevo, Disney, Weather Channel and Smithsonian Channel

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013, 07:41
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

The Apple TV console received several new channels via an update today.

Per AppleInsider, an update released for the set top box added Vevo, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Weather Channel, and content from the Smithsonian Channel.

The launch of new content options on Apple TV comes just days after it was revealed that Apple had inked a deal with Vevo to provide music video content to its HDTV accessory.

Apple has been steadily adding channels to the Apple TV through new dedicated apps throughout 2013. The last major update came in June, when Apple added HBO Go, WatchESPN, Sky News, CrunchyRoll and Qello.

Established programming partners on the Apple TV also include Hulu Plus, Netflix, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, and The Wall Street Journal.

The next major direction for Apple TV may be live and on demand content from cable providers. Apple is said to have been working with Time Warner Cable to provide streaming content to existing cable subscribers without the need to have a dedicated table box.

Tuesday’s update also arrives amidst rumors that Apple is in the process of negotiating directly with content providers for a new product category that may be a realization of the company’s long-rumored television set. It’s been said that Apple has found little success in negotiations with cable providers, prompting the company to turn to the content providers themselves.

The update can be installed by heading to the “General” settings on the Apple TV, then choosing “Software Update” and letting the unit locate, download and install its updated operating system.

One rumor from earlier this month suggested that Apple could announce a new television product of some sort as soon as November. While that product may not be a full-fledged television set, it was said the supposed product is likely to include some sort of enhanced control functionality.

Apple’s future ambitions in the TV space were hinted at with the company’s acquisition of Matcha.tv earlier this month. The small startup company provided a second-screen iOS app connected to various content outlets like cable TV, Internet streams, and digital storefronts.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple could release OS X 10.8.5 update as soon as today

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 26th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

If you’ve been hankering for OS X 10.8.5, it could hit as soon as today.

Per AppleInsider, Apple began supplying prerelease builds of OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion to select partners on Monday, signaling that a public release of the maintenance and software update is not far behind.

Sources familiar with the software indicated that the prerelease version made available is identified as build “12F35.” The update, recommended for all users of Mountain Lion, includes the following changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

The prerelease build supplied to partners on Monday is said to weigh in at 286 megabytes. Those early releases are typically provided only hours before the software is launched to the public, suggesting that OS X 10.8.5 will arrive on Monday.

A total of seven beta builds of OS X 10.8.5 have been supplied to developers for testing ahead of the final release. The most recent was issued on July 31, identified as build “12F30.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Next-gen iPhone to see 31% speed improvement via A7 chip, will feature motion detection

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 26th, 2013, 06:27
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Processors, Rumor

If this report’s anything close to accurate, you’re going to like the speed of the next-gen iPhone.

Per a tweet sent by Fox News and citing inside sources, Clayton Morris claims the so-called “iPhone 5S” will be powered by an Apple-designed “A7″ system on a chip that is some 31 percent faster than the current A6 silicon used in the iPhone 5. In addition, mention of a totally new chip dedicated to “motion tracking” will be used to bring another layer of user interactivity to Apple’s flagship handset.

A 31 percent bump should be noticeable to future iPhone 5S owners in day-to-day use. It is unknown what metrics were being used as a basis, an important question given an applications processor’s architecture includes both the number-crunching CPUs and graphics driving GPUs.

It is largely unknown how Apple is managing to squeeze out the extra horsepower, though analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities noted in a recent report that a move to the ARMv8 architecture could yield a 20 percent increase in efficiency. In that same note to investors, Kuo speculates that Apple could offer 64-bit support in the A7, which would theoretically allow for greater speeds.

As for the motion tracking feature, Morris said in a follow-up tweet, “I’ve also heard there’s a separate chip devoted to motion tracking. Should be an interesting camera upgrade.” It would appear from the tweet’s wording that the unknown chip would be part of the iPhone’s camera package, perhaps as a special post processor.

Apple owns a number of patents regarding post processing techniques, including a few that interpolate camera sensor data for tasks other than outputting an image such as “gaze detection.” Some of these patents include a separate chip, usually disposed on the sensor module’s circuit board, to handle processing duties.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5S at a special event on Sept. 10, possibly alongside a lower cost plastic handset dubbed the “iPhone 5C.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple purchases Embark, appears to be adding transit functionality to Maps

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 08:34
Category: Finance, News, Software

embark-ibart-big-icon_1396

Apple’s small-but-really-useful company shopping spree continues.

Per iMore and The Verge, Apple is now reported to have acquired another transit focused app, Embark. While the usual public statements apply, the transaction has reportedly been confirmed to former Wall Street Journal writer, Jessica Lessin:

“We don’t know how much Apple paid for the several-person team it acquired very recently. But we heard from people knowledgeable about the deal that the company plans to directly integrate Embark’s technology into Apple Maps.”

Apple is deeply committed to building out Maps, and a year after launch users are seeing a much-improved product already. But, transit information is one of the next big hurdles, and this acquisition along with the earlier one of HopStop is sure to have a big impact on the future of Maps.

As always, let us know what you make of this in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to unveil Haswell-based MacBook Pro at September 10th event

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 07:02
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

macbookpro15

The Haswell-based MacBook Pro you’re hankering for could be unveiled early next month.

Per AppleInsider and EMSone, the highly-anticipated MacBook Pro refresh is said to already be in production, setting the stage for a possible unveiling alongside new iPhones at Apple’s rumored Sept. 10 event.

Taiwanese manufacturers have begun to ship components for new MacBook Pros based on Intel’s fourth-generation Haswell processors to assembly plants, according to a Thursday report by Hong Kong-based supply chain monitor EMSOne.

The Haswell architecture, which made its Apple debut at WWDC 2013 in the MacBook Air, is designed to take advantage of improvements in transistor manufacturing processes to increase power efficiency and computational performance. Like its predecessor Ivy Bridge, Haswell chips are manufactured using a 22-nanometer process.

Apple’s 2013 MacBook Air demonstrated the substantial power savings that can be realized with the new architecture. Despite maintaining the same battery capacity as their 2012 counterparts, the 2013 Airs run significantly longer on a charge – the 13-inch model gained five hours of battery life after the Haswell update, while the 11-inch model gained four hours.

Haswell-based MacBook Pros are expected to see similarly impressive gains in graphics performance. Benchmarks have revealed that we can expect to see Intel’s Iris Pro 5200 GPU — the chipmaker’s top-of-the-line integrated graphics option that is intended to compete with discrete GPUs from nVidia and AMD — in the new models.

The future of non-Retina and hard disk-based MacBook Pros remains unclear. While Apple is not expected to discontinue either model, the report does not specify which variants will benefit from the September refresh.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.08

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

eliphoto

Late Thursday, Apple posted its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.08, an update designed to extend RAW image compatibility for the Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11 applications.

The update, a 6.9 megabyte download, adds support for the following cameras:
- Canon EOS 70D

- Fujifilm X-M1

- Leica M

- Leica M Monochrome

- Nikon COOLPIX P330

- Pentax 645D

- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R

- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run and is also available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new Digital Camera RAW update and noticed any changes, please let us know how it went.

Drive Genius updated to 3.2.3

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 07:11
Category: News, Software

17099

Prosoft Engineering has released Drive Genius 3.2.3, an updated version of its drive repair and recovery program for Mac OS X.

The new version, a 15.2 megabyte download” target=”_blank”>download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Bug fixes.

Drive Genius retails for US$99 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later installed to install and run.

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

Apple releases Find My iPhone 2.0.3 update, adds bug fixes

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013, 11:17
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

updatedfindmyiphone

You might want to snag this sometime today.

On Thursday, Apple released version 2.0.3 of its Find My iPhone app for iOS. The new version, a 17.5 megabyte download, adds bug fixes and stability improvements for the app.

Find My iPhone 2.0.3 requires iOS 5.0 or later to install and run.

Yeah, this may not be the most poignant thing that’ll happen to you today, but if your iPhone, iPad or iPad touch gets snagged and this gives you a better shot at getting it back, then it’s worth grabbing the new version if you have a free minute.

As always, be careful out there and let us know what’s on your mind in our comments section.