Google Chrome updated to 18.0.1025.142

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2012, 06:00
Category: News, Software


Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 18.0.1025.142 for the Mac. The new version, a 35.4 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

– Sped up graphics and drawing performance for users on capable hardware, and enabled fancier 3D content for other users on older computers.

Google Chrome 18.0.1025.142 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 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.

Apple releases iTunes 10.6.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 16:02
Category: News, Software


On Wednesday, Apple released version 10.6.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 64.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixes several issues that may cause iTunes to unexpectedly quit while playing videos, changing artwork size in Grid view, and syncing photos to devices.

– Addresses an issue where some iTunes interface elements are incorrectly described by VoiceOver and WindowEyes.

– Fixes a problem where iTunes may become unresponsive while syncing iPod nano or iPod shuffle.

– Resolves an ordering problem while browsing TV episodes in your iTunes library on Apple TV.

iTunes 10.6.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Adobe releases Flash Player update

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 07:38
Category: News, Software


On Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player for Mac OS X, a 10.7 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version includes the following fixes and changes:

– Drivers gating for hardware acceleration relaxed — Previously, the hardware accelerated content was gated to 1/1/2009, however, we have relaxed the driver gating to 1/1/2008.

– Throttling event — This release introduces a new ThrottleEvent. A ThrottleEvent is now dispatched by the stage when the Flash Player throttles, pauses or resumes content.

– Mouse lock, relative mouse coordinates, right and middle click events — Create immersive, panoramic games with infinite scrolling to enable new classes of content, including first-person games.

– Multithreaded video decoding (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) — The video decoding pipeline is now fully multithreaded. This feature should improve the overall performance on all platforms. Note that this feature is a significant architecture change required for other future improvements.

Flash Player 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 feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.

Apple planning iPhoto 9.2.3 update, looks to improve stability, address multiple user account issue

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 06:15
Category: News, Software


Bug fixes exist for a reason.

Per AppleInsider, Just weeks after releasing iPhoto 9.2.2 for OS X, Apple is close to publishing a minor update, version 9.2.3, to improve stability and address an issue where the application quits unexpectedly on Macs with multiple user accounts.

A highly reliable source told the web site on Tuesday that the new version of iPhoto is “on its way.” Since Apple has begun seeding a prerelease version of the software, it is likely to arrive within days.

iPhoto 9.2.3 will improve “overall stability” and address “an issue that could cause iPhoto to quit unexpectedly on systems with multiple user accounts,” according to documentation sent by the source. The download reportedly weighs 256.9MB.

Apple released iPhoto 9.2.2 on March 7 after unveiling the new iPad and releasing iOS 5.1. That updated allowed photos to be deleted from Photo Stream, addressed compatibility with iCloud and iOS 5 and included fixes for several issues with the application.

This month also saw the release of iPhoto for iOS. More than a million copies of the iPad and iPhone versions of Apple’s photo management software were sold in its first 10 days on the App Store.

Stay tuned for additional details and we’ll let you know the moment iPhoto 9.2.3 goes live for download.

Apple insists iPad 3 battery functions as designed, disputes charging analysis claims

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 05:43
Category: iPad, News

This may be someone’s fault, but Apple insists everything’s hunky dory.

Concerns about the iPad’s battery arose last week when an analysis was publicized claiming that the new iPad “prematurely” reports that it is fully charged by two hours. Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate claimed that the iPad actually finished its charging cycle some two hours after it reports a full charge.

That’s by design, Apple’s Michael Tchao said to All Things D on Tuesday. All iOS devices, including the new iPad, will display that they are 100 percent charged just before the device reaches a fully charged state. The device will then continue charging, then discharge a bit, and recharge once again — a cycle that will continue until the device is unplugged.

“That circuitry is designed so you can keep your device plugged in as long as you would like,” Tchao said. “it’s a great feature that’s always been in iOS.”

Apple’s battery percentage display is simplified so that users are not confused by the constant cycle of charging and discharging while a device is plugged in. But Apple’s approach allows all of its iOS devices to maximize their potential battery life.

Apple has boasted that the new iPad offers the same 10-hour battery life as its predecessor, even with the inclusion of a new quad-core graphics processor and 3.1-million pixel Retina Display. The new high-speed 4G LTE model also offers 9 hours of battery life when using a wireless network.

In particular, the Verizon model of the new 4G LTE iPad can serve as a mobile hotspot for more than 24 hours when sharing a high-speed data connection with external devices over Wi-Fi. That’s upwards of five times longer than most standalone 4G LTE hotspots.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Flip4Mac updated to

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Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 07:50
Category: News, Software


Early Wednesday, software developer Telestream has released version of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, a 25.2 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed possible crashing and display issues in the browser plugin.

– Numerous fixes in the licensing engine to deal with closed networks and new installations under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Flip4Mac is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires Mac OS X 10.5 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.

iPad 3 gains regulatory in China, exact launch date there unknown

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Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 07:43
Category: iPad, News

If you’re over in China, the third-generation is en route and has gained government regulatory approval.

And that’s a nifty thing.

Per Engadget China, China’s Quality Certification Center granted iPad model number A1416 last week. That’s a sign that the Wi-Fi iPad could head to retail in China “soon.”

Additional approvals are needed for the 3G-capable iPad model to go on sale in China. There has been no indication as to when any version of the new iPad will become available to customers in mainland China.

China has become a very important part of Apple’s business in recent years, as one report last week highlighted in noting that the nation now leads the world in iOS device activations. Last year, the region was the second-largest market for Apple, behind only the U.S.

Approval of the new iPad comes as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was spotted in China this week. Cook was there to meet with government officials to discuss plans to further expand operations in the country.

Apple did not reveal the specifics of what Cook and officials spoke about, but the company did say in a statement that “China is very important to us and we look forward to even greater investment and growth there.”

But the impending launch of the new iPad in China also comes as Apple has been engaged in a series of courtroom battles with a local company over ownership of the “iPad” name. Proview has asserted that it is the rightful owner of the “iPad” brand, and that Apple’s purchase of the rights in 2009 through a Taiwanese affiliate of Proview was not a legal transaction.

Outside of mainland China, Hong Kong was one of ten places the new iPad went on sale when it launched on March 16. It joined the U.S, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AnandTech tests show that Verizon iPad 3 can act as a mobile LTE hotspot for more than 24 hours

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Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 06:33
Category: iPad, News


If you’re somewhat irate at AT&T this fine day, this might be the thing that switches you over to Verizon where your new third-generation iPad choice is concerned.

Per the cool cats at AnandTech, the new Verizon LTE-equipped iPad currently boasts the exclusive capability of sharing its high-speed mobile broadband connection with other devices for upwards of five times longer than most standalone LTE mobile hotspots.

Anand Lal Shimpi recently revealed that his tests of the new Verizon iPad found that it could act as a mobile hotspot by sharing its LTE connection with other devices — such as a notebook — for approximately 25.3 hours under the proper conditions — namely that the device’s display remained turned off. That’s roughly 5 times longer than the 4 hours and change of popular LTE MiFi hotspots from Novatel and Samsung.

Those claims were backed up Monday by independent tests conducted by the Verge, which configuring a notebook to utilize the new iPad’s LTE connection, running tests that continuously cycled through web content for more than 24 hours before exhausting the battery of the iPad, which similarly had its screen turned off in addition to notifications and push email accounts.

“Best of all, we saw no evidence of dropped or stalled connections,” the gadget blog reported. “That’s not to say there aren’t caveats here: LTE reception in our Manhattan office is top notch, and it remains unclear how things would fare in areas with weak signal.”

The largely unpublicized hotspot feature remains exclusive to the Verizon models for the time being, as such capabilities are not yet available with the AT&T models. A spokesman for the carrier indicated earlier this month that it was “working with Apple” to enable the hotspot feature on the new AT&T iPad “in the future,” but offered no timetable for when it might become available.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Safari 5.1.5 update

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Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 06:40
Category: News, Software


On Monday, Apple released Safari 5.1.5, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 44.7 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and new features:

– Contains a fix for an issue that could affect website usability when running Safari in 32-bit mode.

Safari 5.1.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Apple backs royalty-free licensing of “nano-SIM” cards, looks to incorporate the technology in future iOS devices

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Date: Monday, March 26th, 2012, 06:55
Category: Hardware, News


It never hurts to play nice every so often.

Per Foss Patents, Apple will reportedly offer to license a new, ultra-compact SIM card technology to rival mobile devices makers if they agree back the format as the new industry standard for subscriber identification modules (SIM), a move which could pave the way for more compact and efficiently-designed iOS devices.

The pledge, said to have been outlined earlier this month in a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) penned by a senior member of Apple’s legal council, comes just days before the iPhone maker is expected to square off against opponents of the design at the organization’s Smart Card Platform Plenary in southern France.

Sized roughly a third smaller than existing MicroSIM cards found inside current iPads and iPhones, the proposed nano-SIM design — which is also noticeably thinner than that of MicroSIM — has already garnered the support of most European wireless carriers as part of their own proposals to the ETSI.

However, rival mobile device makers Nokia, RIM and Motorola have each voiced concerns in opposing standardization of nano-SIM — mainly out of fears Apple could eventually claim ownership of the patents behind the format, placing the company in a position of powered where it could command royalties from the broader industry.

The March 19th letter to the ETSI stands to invalidate these concerns, according to independent intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller, through “an unequivocal commitment to grant royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents essential to nano-SIM, provided that Apple’s proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”

“This shows that Apple is serious about establishing the nano-SIM standard rather than seeking to cash in on it,” he said. “Apple is a company that values its intellectual property and rarely gives it away for free. But as far as the evolution of SIM cards is concerned, Apple is clearly being generous and absolutely pro-competitive.”

In 2010, Apple was said to be working on an embedded SIM design that would allow users to select a carrier and service plan directly from their iPhone. But those plans allegedly upset the wireless operators, who felt they could be marginalized by such a move. As such, the Cupertino-based company compromised and began talking with carriers about designing a smaller SIM card that eventually emerged as the existing MicroSIM.

Apple’s continued push towards further miniaturization of SIM cards aims to reduce the space required to house the identification cards inside its future mobile devices, paving the way for devices that are either more compact or free up additional space for other components, such as larger batteries.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.