AOL to discontinue iCloud account support for its Alto webmail service come December 2nd

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Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 06:42
Category: iCloud, News, Software

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If you weren’t enchanted with AOL before, then this won’t help win you over.

According to 9to5Mac, AOL has informed applicable users that it will be dropping support for accessing email from Apple’s iCloud service from its recently launched Alto webmail client. Alto is a web-based mail client that intelligently sorts and integrates email from services such as iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. AOL has informed iCloud users who have logged into Alto that support for iCloud will be dropped on December 2nd via the following e-mail:

“Thanks for using Alto to read and send mail from your @iCloud, @me or @mac account. We’ve been honored to host those accounts and get great, positive feedback on the experience from users like you. But we’re sad to say that Alto will no longer support iCloud accounts as of December 2, 2013. We sincerely regret the frustration this will cause.”

iCloud accounts will automatically be disabled in Alto on that date, but users can begin the process early by removing iCloud accounts from Alto manually. All iCloud accounts, no matter if the domain is @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com will no longer be supported. AOL has not shared why it is dropping support for Apple’s email service, and AOL does not appear to be dropping support for any other provider.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple job listing points towards partnership with China Mobile wireless carrier

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Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 06:18
Category: iPhone, News

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It’s the job postings that show where Apple’s headed…

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Bloomberg, a new Apple job listing seeking an engineer experienced with China Mobile’s proprietary TD-LTE network. The job listing notes that the position will “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones.”

The job posting seeks in-depth knowledge and experience with wireless systems including TD-LTE, which is the 4G standard used by China Mobile. Skills with WCDMA and CDMA, the technologies used by China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively, are also sought. “This role will be responsible for the overall management of the technical interface to all carriers in the Greater China region,” Apple said in the ad.

China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier with upwards of 700 million subscribers. To that end, reaching a deal with them would provide Apple with a tremendous opportunity to really create a noticeable uptick in iPhone sales.

Just recently, word emerged that in early September, Apple received a “network access license” to carry the iPhone on China Mobile.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Best Buy to open new iPhone 5s, 5c incentive program on October 11th, offer $100 credit for any working smartphone

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 05:51
Category: iPhone, retail, Rumor

best-buy-logo

Never doubt the power of an incentive program.

Per AppleInsider and TechnoBuffalo, electronics retailer Best Buy appears on the verge of kicking off another trade-in program aimed at getting iPhone 5s and 5c customers through its doors, this time offering a minimum of US$100 toward the purchase of one of Apple’s two new phones in exchange for any working smartphone.

The new trade-in offer will launch on Friday, October 11, for customers interested in the iPhone 5c, according to an apparent internal document obtained by TechnoBuffalo. Those interested in the iPhone 5s can take advantage of the option beginning October 13. For both phones, the promotion will run through October 19.

According to the document, the trade-in program will see Best Buy offering a gift card for at least US$100 in exchange for any working smartphone. That gift card must be used toward the purchase of an iPhone 5c or an iPhone 5s with a two-year contract on a supported carrier.

This new trade-in offer reportedly can not be combined with Best Buy’s existing iPhone 5c offer. That offer makes the 5c available for US$49 with a US$50 Best Buy gift card.

Devices eligible for trade-in must power on, and devices that are water damaged or that have cracked screens are not eligible for the program. Customers bringing in smartphones in their original packaging or with their original accessories may also see their trade-in values increase.

Interested customers may also want to call ahead to their local Best Buy location, as the document notes that the offer may not be valid at all locations.

This apparent new program would be the latest in a string of iPhone-centric deals the electronics retailer has offered. Current iPhone owners looking to upgrade to one of Apple’s newer models can take advantage of a wealth of options to trade-in their iPhones.

iPhone 5s, 5c to expand to dozens of additional countries on October 25th, November 1st

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Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 07:37
Category: iPhone, News, retail

eliphone5s

The iPhone 5s and 5c handsets, they’re coming to a country near you.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple has announced that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available in 35 additional countries starting October 25, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, French West Indies, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.

In addition, the iPhone 5s and 5c will debut in the following countries on Friday, November 1: Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE.

So, yeah, it looks like you should be able to get your paws on the new handset…

Adobe Flash Player updated to 11.9.900.117

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Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 06:06
Category: News, Software

This one’s fairly substantial.

On Tuesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.9.900.117 for Mac OS X, an 18 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version adds the following fixes and changes:
- Mobile Workers (concurrency) – Android: Workers APIs are now supported for Android. This will work only with swf-version 22 (namespace 3.9) or later. The feature is in development and there are a few known issues.

- Support for background execution in Direct render mode – iOS and Android: Presently AIR on iOS and Android does not support background execution when render mode direct is set. Due to this restriction, Stage3D based apps are not able to execute background tasks like audio playback, location updates, network upload/download etc. iOS does not allow OpenGLES/rendering calls in the background. Applications which attempt to make OpenGL calls in the background are terminated by the iOS. Android does not restrict applications from either making OpenGLES in the background or other background task (like audio playback). With this feature, we would be allowing AIR mobile apps to execute in background when renderMode direct is set. AIR iOS runtime will throw an error if OpenGLES calls are made in background. However no error will be thrown on Android, as Android native apps are allowed to make OpenGLES calls in background. It’s recommended to not make rendering calls while app is executing in background as its important to utilize the mobile resources judicially. List of Stage APIs which may throw the error 3768 – The Stage3D API may not be used during background execution”.

- XXHDPI (144×144) Icon Support – Android: With this feature we have added support for beautiful, high resolution icons on devices such as the Nexus 10.

- Mac OS X 10.9 Support: We have tested against the latest developer releases of OS X 10.9 and are ensuring that Flash Player continues to perform as expected.

- Mac .pkg Installation Support: Deploying Flash Player and keeping it up to date is a critical task for system administrators worldwide. We’re introducing a new .pkg installer format for our distribution partners so we can reduce their workload by allowing them to deploy Flash Player for Mac using their current tools and environments.

Adobe Flash Player 11.9.900.117 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.8 update

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Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 15:32
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a steadily updated app.

Microsoft on Tuesday released version 14.3.8 of its Microsoft Office 2011 suite for the Mac. The update, a 113 megabyte download, features the following changes:
- This update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code. For more information about this update, please visit the Microsoft Web site.

- Applies to: Office 2011, Office 2011 Home and Business Edition, Word 2011, Excel 2011, PowerPoint 2011, Outlook 2011, Office for Mac Standard 2011 Edition, Microsoft Office for Mac Home & Student 2011, and Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011

The update can also be located and installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate feature.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.8 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, let us know in the comments.

Apple working on upcoming OS X 10.9.1 bug fix, attaches “Syrah” code name to OS X 10.10 project

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Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 07:32
Category: News, Software

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This is just how quickly software development moves.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple has apparently dubbed its future OS X 10.10 operating system “Syrah” (a type of wine), which they’ve begun seeding to Apple employees for internal testing as of early September.

While it’s been reported that Apple is targeting a redesign of the OS X interface to mimic iOS 7′s new look for OS X 10.10, the current nightly builds are said to be nearly identical to the Golden Master version of OS X Mavericks. It’s unlikely that 10.10 seeds will gain new user-facing features or interface elements until well into development. Apple software engineering teams typically work on several projects independently, then pull them in all-together into the new operating system ahead of seed milestones.

Emphasizing the fact that OS X 10.10 is still very early in development is its current build number. It’s been said that OS X 10.10 has seen approximately 30 seeds so far in development. For comparison, the first OS X Mavericks Developer Preview was build 476, while the first OS X Mountain Lion and Lion Previews were build numbers in the 100s range and 400s range, respectively. Nonetheless, it is likely that Apple is targeting a release of OS X 10.10 for sometime in 2014.

As OS X Mavericks moved to Golden Master status (the state in which the OS is ready to ship and/or be installed on new Macs), Apple moved a fair portion of its Mac software engineering resources onto its OS X 10.10 project. Other people on the team, however, are said to be working on updates to the OS X 10.9 Mavericks track. Apple is said to already be closing in on a point-release update (OS X 10.9.1) to Mavericks with bug fixes and perhaps the ability to block iMessages and FaceTime calls from certain users.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.9

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 7th, 2013, 08:02
Category: News, Software

spamsieve-icon

SpamSieve’s about ready for Mavericks.

Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.9. The new version, a 10.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- SpamSieve is now compatible with the GM build of OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It is recommended that you update to SpamSieve 2.9.9 before installing Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Mavericks first, and you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.

- Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.

- Microsoft Outlook 2011’s notification sounds are now available in SpamSieve’s Notification preferences.

- Added the Apple Mail – Server Junk Mailbox script. When it’s not possible to turn off a server-side junk filter (e.g., iCloud’s), this lets SpamSieve save you from mistakes that the server junk filter made by moving any messages that SpamSieve thinks are good back to the inbox. It will also consolidate the spam messages from all the accounts into a single spam mailbox (the same one where SpamSieve is already putting your spam).

- Can now repair the ownership and permissions of the SpamSieve and Apple Mail preferences files if needed. This fixes problems where SpamSieve would lose its registration information or Apple Mail wouldn’t show the SpamSieve menu commands.

- Fixed some problems where the Open Window command in Apple Mail was not available or did not always open the specified window.

SpamSieve 2.9.9 retails for US$30.00 and 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.

RadioShack, Walmart, Best Buy all offering iPhone 5c at $50 discount

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Date: Monday, October 7th, 2013, 07:40
Category: iPhone, News, retail

No one ever said price-based competition was a bad thing.

Per AppleInsider, following a move by big box retailer Best Buy, RadioShack and Walmart have announced they too will be slashing prices on Apple’s mid-range iPhone, the iPhone 5c, putting the on-contract price for the device at or below US$50.

The two retailers revealed their discount prices for the iPhone 5c on Friday, with RadioShack announcing that it will begin matching Best Buy’s iPhone 5c deal on Saturday. In-store iPhone 5c purchasers will be able to get a US$50 gift card applicable toward the purchase of their device. For an on-contract 5c, that will bring the cost to US$50. RadioShack’s promotion will run through November 2.


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Meanwhile, Walmart has announced that its already discounted iPhone 5c will now sell for US$45. In dropping the price to US$45, Walmart has knocked nearly 50 percent off of an on-contract price that was already US$20 lower than the cost to purchase the phone through Apple and most other outlets.

Friday’s announcements mean the polycarbonate-backed iPhone 5c is now available for US$50 or less at three retailers: Best Buy, RadioShack, and Walmart. Customers taking advantage of those deals are still eligible to participate in the iPhone trade-in programs available at all three chains, earning up to $300 in store credit for an older model iPhone. The trade-in initiative is only available in select locations.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Skype for iPhone, iPad updated to 4.13, receives iOS 7 UI overhaul, other fixes

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Date: Monday, October 7th, 2013, 07:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

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On Monday, Skype released version 4.10 of its iOS app.

According to 9to5Mac, the new version includes the following fixes and changes:
- Refreshed look and feel for iOS 7.

Accessibility improvements, including:
- Improved accessibility of dialpad with touchtype support.

- VoiceOver announces the senders name when messaging.

- VoiceOver improvements for group chats.

- General fixes

The update, available as a free download from iTunes, requires iOS 5.0 or later to install and run and is suitable for all iPhones from the 3GS onward as well as all iPads and iPod Touches from 3rd Gen up.

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