iOS 7 user interface still under development, could see major changes from version presented at WWDC

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Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013, 06:24
Category: iOS, News, Software

iOS-7-Logo

You know that new, flatter look demoed for iOS 7 at WWDC?

It’s probably not the final version.

Per The Next Web, sources familiar with Apple’s latest mobile operating system said the iOS 7 beta, as well as the preview shown at the WWDC keynote on Monday, is a “mid-stride” snapshot of the work being done behind closed doors.

The pace is so quick that some of the builds used to present the OS on stage two days ago were later versions of what was seeded to developers in the iOS 7 beta. It can’t be confirmed which feature sets are more advanced, though the beta version is slightly inconsistent with the OS demoed on Monday by software engineering head Craig Federighi.

The fact that iOS 7 will change before it is released seems obvious in that the software currently in the hands of developers are beta versions meant for testing. However, while backend and UI tweaks are expected to change for early build software, the radically different new design language of iOS 7 is also reportedly largely under construction.

Interestingly, Apple’s senior vice president of Industrial Design Jony Ive, who is now also the head of the company’s Human Interaction section, called on in-house marketing design teams to flesh out the much-ballyhooed first party app icons.

The sources said both print and web design personnel laid down a framework of color palettes and a general “look,” which Ive’s app designers used as guidelines to produce what was seen in the iOS 7 preview. As with operational facets of the OS, these are also works in progress.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, and from a design perspective that rings true. Ive and his team have managed to dismantle almost every theme and nuance that the OS has amassed over the preceding six years and six generations. From skeuomorphic iconography to UI and UX, the new iOS 7 tears down almost everything, replacing it with a clean, if not controversial, design. Apple has managed, at least in these early builds, to achieve a feel that is at once completely new and wholly familiar.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple unveils iOS 7 at WWDC

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 12:20
Category: iOS, News, Software

Make no mistake about it, iOS 7 is en route.

And it looks a whole lot different than what you’re used to.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday took the wraps off a drastically redesigned iOS 7 that marks a new direction for the company’s mobile operating system.

Virtually everything about the look and feel of iOS has changed with version 7, including a refined typography, all new icons, and a dynamic color scheme. The new operating system was spearheaded by Apple’s lead designer Jony Ive, and engineering head Craig Federighi.


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“iOS 7: The biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook declared.

As you move an iPhone in your hand, a new parallax feature will actually move the wallpaper in the background, allowing users to “see behind” the icons on their home screen.

All of the built-in applications have been completely rebuilt with a new look, including Messages, Calendar, and even the phone application.

In a demonstration of the new weather application, Federighi showed how dynamic weather effects are shown in the background, giving a visual representation of the current conditions.

A new gesture allows for easier one-handed use, letting users swipe from the left side of the screen to go back. Folders have also been expanded to allow multiple pages and hold more applications.

An updated Notification Center is slightly transparent, removing its previous textured appearance. Notification Center is also available from the lock screen as well, without the need to unlock the device.

In addition to an all-new look, iOS 7 is also a major feature release, he said. Among those features is Control Center, which allows quick access to settings like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness, and even a built-in flashlight. Control Center is available from anywhere, including the lock screen.

Multitasking has also been enhanced “for all apps with great battery life,” Federighi said. iOS 7 notices users’ pattern of use, giving applications background cycles based on how often users access them.

Swiping between open applications is now a full-screen affair, offering users a larger preview of the application as it is currently open.

An updated Safari for iOS 7 has a new full-screen mode that allows users to focus on content. A smart search field also has one-tap access to favorite websites, along with a new tabbed interface. Users are also no longer limited to just 8 tabs.

New AirDrop functionality will allow users to quickly share content with friends nearby with peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. AirDrop will be supported on the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch.

“No need to wander around the room bumping your phone with others,” Federighi joked.

An updated Camera application comes with built-in filters, while enhancements to the Photos application allow individual pictures to be organized into “moments.” Photos are automatically organized based on data such as where and when they were captured.

Users can even zoom out to a year-by-year view. Enhanced by the Retina display, users can “scrub” through their yearly photos to narrow down what they’re looking for. And new Shared Photo Streams also allow group sharing of photos and video via iCloud.

Additional features include the following:
- A new Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased.

- Night Mode in Maps that responds to ambient light when you use it in the dark.

- FaceTime audio for high quality calls over a data network.

- Notification sync, so when you dismiss a notification on one device it is dismissed on all of your devices.

- Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you.

- Tencent Weibo support for users in China, a Chinese-English bilingual dictionary, and improved Chinese input including handwriting recognition for multiple Chinese characters.

- The ability for businesses to more efficiently deploy and manage iPhones and iPads;

- Enhanced in-car integration, bringing an Apple designed experience into the car for the first time.

Apple has released an iOS 7 beta to its developer community (available at developer.apple.com).

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple closes OS X 10.8.4 seeds, release seems imminent

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Date: Monday, June 3rd, 2013, 08:35
Category: News, Software

OS X 10.8.4 should be out any day now.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Friday sent notice to developers that it will be closing the OS X Software Update 10.8.4 seed project, suggesting a final version of the maintenance update is close to release.

Sources who have seen the emailed notice believe OS X 10.8.4 could see public release in the near future, possibly at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference coming up on June 10.

Along with thanking participants who contributed to the testing, Apple noted the discussion board and Project Area dedicated to the seeding initiative will be shut down following scheduled infrastructure maintenance this weekend. No information was given regarding a public release date.

Though Apple has yet to dole out a Gold Master of 10.8.4, signaling an imminent release of the software update, the company most recently seeded the eighth beta version of the software last week.

While the maintenance update is not expected to have many new features, a beta issued in April revealed code pointing to support for the 802.11ac wireless protocol, hinting that future Macs could soon employ the speedy Wi-Fi tech. Last week, pictures of a reported Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN+Bluetooth card made the rounds, with some speculating that the part could be used in an as-yet-unannounced Mac.

Apple has announced that it will show off next-generation versions of OS X and iOS at WWDC 2013, but many are anticipating new hardware like a refreshed MacBook lineup featuring Intel’s latest Haswell processors.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Possible Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi card spotted, currently supported in OS X 10.8.4 betas

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Date: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 07:37
Category: Hardware, Rumor

802-11ac-wi-fi

Your Wi-Fi is about to get faster.

Which is never a bad thing.

Per 9to5Mac, additional evidence has surfaced indicating that Apple’s incoming next round of MacBook Air/Pros would contain 802.11AC Gigabit wifi chips, not the least of which was code we found referencing ’802.11AC‘ in 10.8.4 Betas.

Reader TonyMacx86, found some interesting parts on Chinese VR-Zone that could be the next 802.11AC boards in Macs, widely expected to be announced at WWDC next month. The Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN+Bluetooth card supports IEEE 802.11ac, the next standard in wireless computer networking. Interestingly, it also looks like it may fit in current MacBooks which could mean aftermarket updates could be possible.

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.

Apple seeds third OS X 10.8.4 beta to developer community

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Date: Thursday, April 18th, 2013, 07:21
Category: News, Software

OS X 10.8.4 is en route.

It’ll just be in beta for a bit longer.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday seeded build 12E33a of OS X 10.8.4 maintenance update to developers, with the latest beta coming a little over one week after the build 12E30 went out for testing in early April.

Mountain Lion’s latest build comes with no known issues and once again asks testers to focus on Wi-Fi, Graphics Drivers and Safari.

In the last beta build 12E30, code was discovered mentioning the 802.11ac “Gigabit” wireless protocol, suggesting that Apple could be making preparations to launch compatible hardware in the near future.

Wednesday’s release is the third beta build release for OS X 10.8.4. Developers can access the most recent seed through the Mac App Store’s Software Update mechanism, a feature first seen with the OS X 10.8.3 beta builds.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Adobe releases Lightroom 5.0 beta

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Date: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 06:39
Category: News, Software

Never knock a good public beta of a useful application.

On Monday, Adobe released a beta of version 5.0 of its Lightroom image editing program. The new version, a 437 megabyte download via MacUpdate, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Advanced Healing Brush: Easily remove objects and fix defects — even those with irregular shapes such as threads or lint — with a single brush stroke. Take precise control over what’s being removed as you make unwanted objects just disappear.

- Upright: Straighten tilted images with a single click. Upright analyzes images and detects skewed horizontal or vertical lines. You choose one of four correction methods, and Upright can even straighten images where the horizon is hidden.

- Radial Gradient: Lead your viewer’s eye through your images with more flexibility and control. The radial gradient tool lets you create off-center vignette effects, or multiple vignette areas within a single image.

- Offline editing with Smart Previews: Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Just generate smaller stand-in files called Smart Previews.
Make adjustments or metadata additions to Smart Previews and your changes will be automatically applied to the full-size originals later.

- Video slideshow sharing: Easily share your work in elegant video slideshows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device.

- Improved photo book creation: Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.

The Adobe Lightroom 5.0 beta is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 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.

802.11ac support noted in OS X 10.8.4 beta

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Date: Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, 07:00
Category: News, Software

Never doubt the power of an operating system upgrade.

Per AppleInsider, code found in the just released Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta build references the next-generation 802.11ac wireless protocol, hinting that Apple may soon introduce the technology in its Mac lineup.

The string was discovered in the OS X 10.8.4 beta build 12E30, which was seeded to developers earlier on Tuesday, and suggests Apple is planning on releasing a lineup of Macs compatible with the 802.11ac wireless draft.

While 802.11ac has yet to be ratified as a wireless standard by the IEEE, a number of OEMs have already started rolling out routers based on the draft. Although Apple has yet to adopt the protocol, other manufacturers began shipping products last year, meaning the Cupertino company shouldn’t be far behind.

As the fifth-generation wireless standard, 802.11ac promises to deliver data speeds of 1 gigabits per second over two channels, each carrying single link speeds of 500 megabits per second. In theory, the draft can reach speed of up to 1.3Gbps, which improves upon the existing 802.11n spec that tops out at a theoretical maximum of 900Mbps (450Mbps per channel). In addition, 802.11ac can accommodate up to 8 MIMO streams and extends effective range over previous technologies.

In January, Apple posted job listings for Gigabit Wi-Fi engineers, and the company was rumored to have struck a deal with Broadcom to use the chipmaker’s “5G Wi-Fi” silicon in as-yet-unannounced products.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple seeds first OS X 10.8.4 beta to developer community

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Date: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, 06:54
Category: News, Software

That OS X 10.8.4 goodness you’re looking for…it just entered its first beta.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday began seeding the OS X 10.8.4 beta to developers, though not much is known about the new maintenance update as little information was offered in the release notes.

According to sources familiar with the release notes, build number 12E27 doesn’t show any changes in the areas on which developers should focus, suggesting the software contains bug fixes and small enhancements at this time.

Like the final OS X 10.8.3 betas, the first 10.8.4 seed asks testers to look at Wi-Fi, Graphics Drivers and Safari, while the seed comes with no known issues.

Interestingly, Apple said it is not offering the build as a software update through the Mac App Store, as it did with the 10.8.3 builds. This may change with future seeds, but the company didn’t elaborate further.

The new seed come a over two weeks after Apple released OS X 10.8.3 to the public with Safari 6.0.3 and enhanced iTunes integration. Along with the new feature set, 10.8.3 brought bug fixes and wider support for Windows 8 in Boot Camp.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox 2.1.3 beta out the door

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update, even if it’s just a beta.

Late Friday, Dropbox released the public beta 2.1.3 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 27.4 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix an issue preventing Dropbox from starting on Mac.

- Fix an issue when clicking on notification bubbles.

- Fix an issue with Camera Uploads.

- Fix some issues with the right click context menu on Mac.

- Minor translation fixes.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.1.3 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.