Rumor: iOS 7 to include long-awaited AirDrop file sharing feature

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Date: Monday, June 3rd, 2013, 06:57
Category: iOS, Rumor, Software

Granted, no one has ANY REAL IDEA as to what iOS 7′s interface will look like, but there’s some cool new and improved features rumored to be coming down the pipe.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple is currently testing versions of iOS 7 internally that include the AirDrop WiFi-direct file sharing tool from the Mac, according to sources close to the story.

Like the rumored Flickr and Vimeo integration that’s been making the rounds, it is very simple for Apple to remove any single feature from the new operating system ahead of the mid-June unveiling.

Additionally, Apple has scrapped AirDrop late in software development from iOS before. Last year, we reported that Apple was developing an AirDrop tool to take advantage of the new WiFi hardware inside of Apple’s latest iOS devices. Because Apple has postponed the feature before, we believe it is possible that the feature could be pushed back again…

Sources say that the AirDrop functionality is currently integrated into the standard iOS share menu. AirDrop will work between two iOS devices and potentially between an iOS device and a Mac. The feature will make it easier than ever to transfer, for example, a photograph or document from one person’s iPhone to another person’s iPad.

While iCloud synchronization works well for sharing photos and documents between two iOS devices owned by the same person, the AirDrop feature will allow seamless individual file exchanges between iOS devices belonging to different people. Apple launched this functionality between Mac computers in 2011 with OS X Lion.

Notably, this potential addition will increase feature parity between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Android has included peer-to-peer file sharing for multiple releases of the software, but the implementation can be confusing due to fragmentation. For example, Samsung has its own unique fork of peer-to-peer file sharing while Google’s stock Android builds include its own implementation. AirDrop for iOS will be seamless in that it will work the same way on all of Apple’s supported products.

Finally, rumors have also pointed towards improved in-car-integration for Maps and Siri – something I think most iOS users can appreciate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple CEO Tim Cook drops hints, thinks wrist-based computing is “interesting” for users

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Date: Wednesday, May 29th, 2013, 06:33
Category: Hardware, News

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If you were looking for hints as to upcoming Apple products, this might be one of them.

Per 9to5Mac, during his recent interview at the AllThingsD D11 Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook has for the first time talked at length about his view on wearable technologies as competitors like Google and others push ahead with Glass and other wearable projects. While noting that broad range appeal with a product like Google Glass is “tough to see,” Cook said he thinks “the wrist is interesting” while calling the form factor “somewhat natural” compared to head mounted products.

“Nike Fuel Band well made for the fitness category. Works well with iOS. The ones that do more than one thing aren’t great. They won’t convince a kid who has never worn glasses, a band, or a watch to wear one. There are lots of things to solve in this area, ripe for excitement. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this (won’t respond to Walt asking if Apple will). I see this as a very key branch of the tree… referring to the post-PC era,” said Cook during the interview.

Cook did note that “people want wearables to be light, unobtrusive, reflect their fashion/style” and that it would take some convincing to show people ‘why it’s worth wearing them’:

“I’m interested in a great product. I only wear glasses because I can’t see without them. People want wearables to be light, unobtrusive, reflect their fashion/style and so forth. From a mainstream point of view, glasses are difficult. I think the wrist is interesting. It is somewhat natural. I think for something to work [on the wrist], you have to convince people why it is worth wearing them.”

This isn’t the same as Tim Cook openly admitting that an iWatch is in the works, but a decent hint never goes unappreciated.

If you want to hurl your two cents in on this, please let us know what you think over in the comments section.

Google to incorporate voice search feature into iOS Chrome app

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, 06:34
Category: iOS, News, Software

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This could turn into something pretty nifty.

Per 9to5Mac, Google announced on Wednesday via its Chrome blog that a new update will soon be rolling out to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that will allow users to access voice search features previously limited to the Google Search app. Using the same omnibox currently included in the app, Google will soon allow users to tap a microphone icon to search using only their voice with a UI similar to the recently redesigned voice search on Mac.

Google said the updated Chrome app should be landing on the App Store in the coming days.

Google also noted that the updated iOS app would provide faster reloading of web pages and an option for third-party apps “to open links in Chrome and then return to the app with just one tap.”

Earlier today Google began rolling out revamped voice search functionality in the Chrome app for Mac users.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 27.0.1453.93

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, 06:21
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock an application that’s updated this frequently.

On Wednesday, Google released version 27.0.1453.93 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 49.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Web pages load 5% faster on average

- Chrome.syncFileSystem API

- Improved ranking of predictions, improved spell correction, and numerous fundamental improvements for Omnibox predictions. Please see the Help Center for more information on our updated policies.

Security fixes:
- [235638] High CVE-2013-2837: Use-after-free in SVG.

- [235311] Medium CVE-2013-2838: Out-of-bounds read in v8.

- [230176] High CVE-2013-2839: Bad cast in clipboard handling.

- [230117] High CVE-2013-2840: Use-after-free in media loader.

- [227350] High CVE-2013-2841: Use-after-free in Pepper resource handling.

- [226696] High CVE-2013-2842: Use-after-free in widget handling.

- [222000] High CVE-2013-2843: Use-after-free in speech handling.

- [196393] High CVE-2013-2844: Use-after-free in style resolution.

- [188092] [179522] [222136] [188092] High CVE-2013-2845: Memory safety issues in Web Audio.

- [177620] High CVE-2013-2846: Use-after-free in media loader.

- [176692] High CVE-2013-2847: Use-after-free race condition with workers.

- [176137] Medium CVE-2013-2848: Possible data extraction with XSS Auditor.

- [171392] Low CVE-2013-2849: Possible XSS with drag+drop or copy+paste.

Google Chrome 27.0.1453.93 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 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.

Google announces All Access music streaming service

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 07:46
Category: News, Software

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When in doubt, offer some additional competition.

Per AppleInsider, Google on Wednesday introduced its long-anticipated Spotify competitor: Google Play Music All Access, a “uniquely Google approach” to subscription music service.

Google engineering director Chris Yerga announced the new music service during the keynote for the search giant’s annual Google I/O developer conference. As was previously rumored, the streaming service is similar to popular music service Spotify, but it also adds elements similar to Internet radio service Pandora.

“We set out to build a music service that didn’t just give you access to the world of music,” Yerga said, “but also helped guide you through it.”

All Access has a focus on personalized recommendations, using a feature called “Explore”. Explore allows users to start a radio station from an individual track. Once the station is established, users can tailor the tracks that will play to their likes by stopping tracks that they don’t want to hear.

The new streaming service will also suggest new releases and other tracks that Google thinks users will enjoy based on their listening habits. All Access will also allow users to blend their own Google Play-stored tracks in on playlists with All Access songs.

The move into streaming will bring Google into competition not only with Spotify and Pandora, but also potentially with Apple. The iPhone maker is said to be working on its own radio service to debut some time this summer. Much of the negotiations with the major record labels is said to already be done, but holdouts among some labels are thought to be holding up the rollout of Apple’s streaming option.

All Access is available in the United States as of May 15 for US$10 per month. Google is opening up the service to all users in the country, though, for a 30-day free trial. Users beginning their trial before June 30 will be able to take advantage of a special discount, getting access to the streaming service for US$8 per month.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve tried All Access and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google to launch Maps for iPad, incorporate additional features, this summer

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:33
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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There’s some cool stuff coming out of Google I/O 2013 and this is no exception.

Per Android Central, Google has announced that new features will be coming to the Google Maps for iPhone later this summer and, what’s more, it’ll be getting an iPad-specific interface as well.

Albeit unconfirmed at this point, the new version could also incorporate Google’s new five-point rating system, integrated Google Offers, and more.

Also interesting, Google Maps in the browser will be using WebGL, which could be interesting depending on how it’s implemented.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Drive space upgraded to 15 GB for all accounts, transition to take place over next few weeks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, 06:25
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You can’t knock healthy competition.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google announced that it will be upgrading its complimentary Google Drive storage space from 5 GB to 15 GB.

Google says the changes will be rolling out over the next several weeks to all customers. All that space is shared, so if you are just using Google Drive Photo (for example), that 15 GB is shared with any other Google services that require storage.

With this move, Google has unified its storage system, a similar concept to the Apple pool of iCloud storage, although at this point Apple does not count image storage in Photo Stream against your 5 GB allotment. Google has a free iOS app so you can access this storage space, and it can also be managed through a web browser on any computer.

Take a gander at Google Drive as the upgrade occurs and if you love it or hate it, please let us know in the comments, as always.

Google Drive updated to 1.9.4536.8202, allows for easier cross-platform sharing

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 7th, 2013, 07:55
Category: News, Software

Google-Drive-Logo

Never knock a useful update.

Per iMore, Google has rolled version 1.9.4536.8202 of its Google Drive program for the Mac. The update features better sharing in mind, with the addition of a right-click share menu. Files will naturally have to already be in your Google Drive folder, but quick sharing is sure to be appreciated by power users.

Clicking on the share menu brings up the box we see here. You get your link, privacy settings, people to share with and who can edit the file you’re sharing.

The new sharing menu is beginning to hit users now, and will continue rolling out over the next few days.

Google Drive 1.9.4536.8202 is available as a free 24.9 megabyte download and 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 to offer, let us know in the comments.

Delicious Library updated to 3.0

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 25th, 2013, 06:16
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, software company Delicious Monster released version 3.0 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The new version, an 81 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Major New Features:
- Fully 3D cover view.

- All items are drawn in full 3D [industry first], with multiple light sources and normal, reflection, and environment maps.

- Books are rendered at actual thickness based on page count.

- Live lighting changes as items are selected.

- Shadows draw dynamically behind all items.

- Many gorgeous woods to choose from for shelves.

- New “Recommended” pane.

- Makes smart recommendations by considering everything the user owns and has ever rated.

- User can now rate items they don’t own to improve recommendations (using search widget).

- Recommended items that user’s friends own have badges so they can be easily borrowed.

- Add recommended items to the wishlist with a single click.

- New “Wishlist” pane.

- New Flexible Smart shelves.

- New global search.

- Displays results in a table/popover like iTunes 11.

- Searches through user’s collection, friends’ collections, and online.

- Can be used to find existing items or new ones.

- Can be used to rate items user doesn’t own but has opinions on.

- User can also search by speaking or selecting a cover color.

- New iOS barcode scanner app.

- New interactive charts mode.

Preferences
- Entire UI redesigned to be bookshelf-centric.

- Show covers, a table, or charts using buttons at upper left of the window.

- Switch between owned items, recommended items, and wishlist items at the upper center.

- Find existing or new items in search widget at the upper right.

- Switch between media types with buttons at the lower left.

- Change sorting at the bottom middle.

- Show and hide auxilliary right pane using button at the lower right.

- Source list is hidden by default but available for advanced users.

Medium-sized New Features:
- We’ve eliminated the “Preferences” panel–all options are set where they are actually used, instead of in a single global panel.

- iTunes books will be read into Delicious Library 3 when iTunes is launched.

- Two new Amazon stores are now accessible: Italy and Spain.

Popover Details:
- Dates entered manually remember their precision, so if the user specifies “Jan, 2000″ for a book’s release date, it won’t switch it to “Jan 1, 2000.” However, dates are still formatted according to the user’s localization settings in System Preferences.

- When editing multi-line fields, the “return” key goes to a new line as users expect (no need to figure out “option-return”).

Sorting:
- User’s favorite sorts are remembered and can be re-applied anywhere.

- Improved per-language article-stripping; e.g., ignoring “a, an, the” in English, “der, die, das” in German.

Publishing:
- Now remembers multiple places; e.g., set up publishing both to Dropbox and FTP site
Live preview the generated web pages.

- Privacy options moved to publishing shelves.

Printing:
- Added “Compact” template to minimize paper use.

- Added “Insurance” template to show fields insurance companies care about in the event of theft.

- Interface cleaned up so template selection is obvious.

Scanning history:
- User’s last 500 added items are shown above scanner window for easy rating or deleting.

- Provides context if a book isn’t found online so it can be entered manually.

- Import from another library.

- Import libraries from other machines without removing current items.

- Importing the same library twice applies the changes but doesn’t duplicate items.

- Can be used to easily sync libraries between computers.

- Multiple people can scan in items on multiple computers, then merge all the items into one collection.

- Importing is now undoable.

Friends:
- Loans now appear in friends’ sidebars instead of in main bookshelf view, to reduce confusion.

- Send loan reminder e-mails with a single click.

- Friends can be re-ordered in source list. If friends are dragged into a sorted order, they’ll stay in that order automatically.

Help:
- The “Search:” field in the main menu’s Help searches our online forums for relevant answers.

Tiny New Features:
- When user first launches the app, most panes explain why they are empty and what to do.

- All item types from Amazon are supported (user prompted for the type if item is from a store we don’t recognize).

- More descriptive titles for most menu items; e.g., “Delete 4 Books” or “Delete Shelf” instead of “Delete”.

- Added expand-on-hover, so if titles or authors are ever drawn truncated they can still be read.

- Cover view responds to some EMACS keybindings for selection movement.

- Items can be dragged from and to more places.

- Items can be dragged to the trash can to delete.

- User can copy media with command-C and paste into text areas or URL-taking places.

New Features from OS X:
- Scene Kit: for fast, gorgeous, interactive 3D graphics

- Sharing Services: tweet, iMessage, Facebook, or e-mail items to friends

- SQLite write-ahead logging: user’s database can no longer be corrupted if machine crashes

- Full-screen mode: added and optimized

- New drag architecture: multiple items can be dragged in or out at once

- Spotlight: Library items are written to Spotlight, can be found quickly in the global Spotlight search pane (command-space) with structured queries like “media:book color:blue” (standard Spotlight keys include: kMDItemAlbum, kMDItemComposer, kMDItemContentCreationDate, kMDItemDirector, kMDItemGenre, kMDItemMediaTypes, kMDItemPerformers, kMDItemRecordingDate, and kMDItemMediaTypes).

- QuickLook: Spotlight items (or media dragged onto the desktop) are viewable in QuickLook with full-color covers and complete descriptions.

- Retina graphics: high-resolution graphics used throughout.

- State restoration: Delicious Library opens up exactly as it was last closed.

- 64-bit: for unlimited memory, and because it’s faster.

- Obj-C 2 runtime: faster, future-proof.

- ARC: eliminates certain categories of crash bugs.

- Constraints-based layout: makes the layout of all buttons and text much more natural
NSSupportsSuddenTermination: quits instantly when it’s safe.

- If it’s not safe to quit, user can force quit if there’s a long operation in progress, or the app will auto-quit when long operation is over.

- Automatic termination: can automatically quit under memory pressure.

- Power assertions: the machine won’t idle-sleep during long operations (publishing, importing, etc.)

Some Bugs Fixed:
- Deleting thousands of items (and undoing that deletion) is now close to instant instead of taking minutes.

Friends:
- Friends’ libraries now download in the background, NOT blocking the program from running. Yay.

- Friends’ libraries aren’t re-downloaded every launch but only if the friend has changed something.

- Friends’ libraries are imported MUCH more quickly.

- If friends are removed from Contacts, the app doesn’t forget their names.

- Undoing the deletion of a friend restores items loaned to that friend.

- Adding a new friend doesn’t spam Google when automatically searching for the friend’s published library.

- Adding friends is undoable.

Delicious Library 3.0 retails for US$40 and requires OS X 10.8 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.

Google Earth updated to 7.1.1.1580

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, 06:03
Category: News, Software

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Late Monday, software giant Google released version 7.1.1.1580 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 42.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Ability to create rich, annotated images from print and save.

- Redesigned print flow.

- Viewshed/Line of Sight analysis tool from a placemark.

- Support for LEAP Motion device.

- Enhanced starfield.

- Google Feedback tool integration.

- Redesigned balloons.

Bug fixes:
- Polygons and image overlays display over the international dateline.

- Performance improvements in Movie Maker and in viewing 3D imagery areas.

- Ocean surface displays across Mac clients with Intel GPUs.

- Full Map names display in Google Maps Engine maps.

- Earth client now supports NTLM authentication for a PAC file.

- Fixed Incorrect “Z-order” in rendering overlapped vector layers.

Google Earth 7.1.1.1580 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 to offer, let us know in the comments.