Sprint offers $100 off upcoming iPhone handsets, somewhat looser contract terms for new subscribers

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Date: Monday, September 16th, 2013, 07:26
Category: iPhone, News, retail

No one ever said open competition was a bad thing.

Per 9to5Mac, Sprint has announced that the carrier will be offering US$100 discounts on the new iPhones to customers who port their number over to Sprint from another carrier. With this promotion, the iPhone 5c will cost US$0 for a 16GB model and US$99 for a 32GB model. The iPhone 5s will come out to US$99 for 16GB, US$199 for 32GB, and US$299 for 64GB. The iPhone 4s, like the 16GB iPhone 5c, will be free of charge.

Of course, this promotion means you have to sign a contract with Sprint. On September 20th (which is the day that the new iPhones launch), Sprint will rollout a “One Up” yearly upgrade program that allows users to pay the unsubsidized cost of a phone on a monthly basis. The US$100 off promotion for the iPhones is a limited time offer. Last week, Sprint announced a similar program for the Moto X.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you have any positive or negative feedback regarding Sprint as a wireless carrier for the iPhone, please let us know in the comments.

Apple job posting alludes to solar power features for upcoming mobile devices

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Date: Monday, September 16th, 2013, 07:30
Category: Hardware, News

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One day, your Apple mobile products will drink in the sun for energy.

Or at least that’s what can be speculated from their hiring boards.

Per AppleInsider, Apple is seeking an engineer with thin films experience as applied to semiconductor or solar manufacturing, suggesting the company is investigating viable alternative energy source for future mobile products like a smart watch.

The post, discovered on Apple’s employment web site, describes a position for the Mobile Devices group, with suitable candidates having experience with thin film deposition technology in either semiconductor processing or solar industries.

Looking into the Key Qualifications section of the listing, which was posted on Thursday and spotted Friday, it appears that the position will deal with the applications side of R&D, rather than the development phase. Applicants are asked to have experience in sputtering, vacuum evaporation, electroplating and other technologies commonly associated with disposing thin-films on circuitry.

While the word “solar” is mentioned twice in the listing, it may not necessarily mean that Apple is working to bring a solar-powered iPhone to market. Many advanced technologies require engineers to have multidisciplinary backgrounds, as these systems are intricately tied together.

Perhaps most interesting is a qualification that reads, “Knowledge of thin-films in the context of RF shielding is highly desirable.” This suggests Apple may be looking to develop a new method of radio interference blocking for its smartphone lineup that could possibly reduce dependence on the current metal RFI shielding seen in wireless-capable devices.

As with many Apple job postings, other desirable qualities include experience in working with Asian manufacturers, problem solving skills and an ability to work as part of a team.

Apple has a number of patents regarding solar-powered devices, many involving portable devices like the iPod and iPhone. Most recently, the company outlined a system that uses a display’s electrodes to both collect sunlight and act as capacitive touch sensors.

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular as light conversion efficiency increases, but the technology is not yet at the point where a panel can simply replace wall charging. A more likely scenario would be battery life augmentation for smaller portables, like a watch. Interestingly, Apple’s smart watch patent also directly mentions such a solution.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

OnyX updated to 2.7.3

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Date: Monday, September 16th, 2013, 07:04
Category: News, Software

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Never doubt a regularly updated app.

OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.7.3. The new version, a 22.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Deleting the Applications Cache improved.

- New Parameters > Mission Control tab.

- New option: Change the background image of Mission Control.

- New option: Show the window preview of Mission Control in full size.

- New option: Show/hide the App Store Debug menu.

- Showing/hiding rubber-band scrolling function improved.

- Bug when resetting Launchpad corrected.

- Bug while setting the Safari history corrected.

- Bug while searching for an update corrected.

- Misc. minor corrections.

- New version of sqlite3.

OnyX 2.7.3 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.

Parallels Desktop updated to 9.0.23062

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Date: Monday, September 16th, 2013, 06:51
Category: News, Software

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Because updates are important in life.

Parallels announced its Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac client today. The new version, a 356 megabyte download, offers the following set of fixes and features:
- Resolves an issue with horizontal scrolling using a mouse not working in some applications.

- You can now choose whether to download and install the Parallels Access agent, used with the Parallels Access app to work with your Windows and Mac applications from your iPad.

Parallels Desktop 9 retails for US$79.99 for the full version, US$49.99 for the upgrade version and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 to install and run.

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

QuarkXPress updated to 10.0.0.1

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Date: Monday, September 16th, 2013, 06:19
Category: News, Software

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The new QuarkXPress has arrived.

And it is a hefty update.

Late Friday, software developer Quark released version 10.0.0.1 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 293.5 megabyte update, which can be downloaded here, adds the following changes:
- Xenon Graphics Engine The new state-of-the-art Xenon Graphics Engine takes full advantage of your computer’s processing power, rendering rich PDFs, Photoshop and TIFF images giving you maximum performance at the most appropriate resolution.

- HiDPI and Retina Display Support With a pixel density so high that the human eye can’t distinguish individual pixels, every element of QuarkXPress 10 has been optimized to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina displays.

- Modern and Optimized UI From the new full-screen view to auto-hiding dockable palettes, QuarkXPress 10 has been redesigned inside and out.

- PDF Pass-Through Transparency Avoid flattening and create smaller, more nimble, device-independent PDFs. QuarkXPress objects can interact with placed PDFs and maintain the transparency throughout your workflow.
QR Code Creator Generate vector Quick Response (QR) codes directly within QuarkXPress and style and color them the way you want. Supports text QR codes such as URLs and SMS as well as vCards.

- Import Pictures and Hyperlinks from MS Word Take MS Word docs with embedded or linked pictures and place them directly into your QuarkXPress layout. Hyperlinks are automatically honored and added to the Hyperlinks Palette.

- East Asian Typography Features in Every Edition Maintain total control over Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean layouts.

- Export to ePUB Convert your QuarkXPress layouts into standardized eBooks for the Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Sony Reader, NOOK, and more.

- Design for App Studio App Studio is the leading cloud-based HTML5 solution that turns print into interactive award-winning tablet and smartphone experiences. Now you can design interactive app content directly within QuarkXPress, then publish it to your own branded apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android, and other mobile devices.

Other Enhancements:
- Layer Enhancements Make layers an integral part of your design with support for layers on master pages. Paste also now remembers layers and if those layers don’t exist in the target layout, QuarkXPress will create new layers automatically. Use the new palette preference to turn this feature on or off.

- Print Preview Ensure your output settings are correct before printing with new thumbnail page previews in the print dialog.

- Key Item Space/Align Key Item Space/Align makes it easy to align and space objects relative to a key item. Select your key item first and everything else will be relative to it.

- Highlight Missing Fonts It’s now effortless to find text that uses a missing font in a layout. You can even change the highlight color in the preferences.

- Improved IME support Correct entered text without having to retype the phonetic again by easily choosing different characters from the candidate list. Send text to Japanese, Korean, Chinese and 3rd party IMEs.

- Full-Screen Color Browsing Utilize the full size of your screen to add and edit colors in QuarkXPress.

- Browse rich Pantones in multiple views to choose the one that’s just right for your design.

Plus:
- OS X file extensions now added to QuarkXPress files.

- Flip shapes horizontally and vertically.

- Easily join, extend, and close open Béziér paths.

- Apply Style Sheets after creation.

- Support for Portuguese Reformed hyphenation and spellcheck.

- Layout tab reordering.

- Set default tool preferences from existing objects.

- View persistent Unicode values in the Glyphs Palette.

- Set separate trim view pasteboard color for App Studio.

QuarkXPress 10.0.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 later to install and retails for US$849.00 for the full version.

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