Apple releases Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.3 for all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs

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Date: Friday, May 10th, 2013, 06:00
Category: News, Software

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Never doubt a good firmware update.

Early Friday, Apple released its Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.3 for all Macs with Thunderbolt ports. The update, a 1.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– This update provides stability fixes for Thunderbolt and Target Disk Mode

Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.3 requires and Intel-based Mac with a Thunderbolt port running OS X 10.8.3 or later.

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

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.4, incorporates Office 365 functionality into newest version

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Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013, 06:54
Category: News, Software

This one’s been something of a long time coming.

Per AppleInsider, Microsoft on Tuesday released version 14.3.4 of its Microsoft Office 2011 suite for the Mac. The update, a 113 megabyte download, includes a variety of feature additions that brings the application suite somewhat up to spec with its Windows counterpart, and includes bug fixes for compatibility issues that hindered interoperability between PC and Mac versions of Word, Outlook and other titles.

Perhaps most important is the ability for existing Office for Mac 2011 users to integrate with Office 365, a subscription service that offers users access to the latest Office software updates, as well as SkyDrive cloud storage and SharePoint access for Word.

Fixes included in the new version:
– Coauthoring session with Microsoft PowerPoint Web App and Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac.

– After token expires, does not prompt for credentials in Microsoft Outlook for Mac.

– Calibri Light font not included in Office for Mac.

– SetupUI is shown to user on start after Office for Mac is already activated.

– Saving files to SkyDrive and SharePoint in Microsoft Word for Mac.

– Folder contains excess white space: Error 1025 in Outlook for Mac.

– XLIST command that is used by Gmail is deprecated in Outlook for Mac.

– Local group mail cannot be sent in Outlook for Mac.

– Remote devices lose control while in Presentation Mode in Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac.

– File format extension support in PowerPoint for Mac.

– Searching continues after user cancels in Outlook for Mac.

– Items go into Junk Mail in Outlook for Mac.

– Blocked Senders List under Junk Email Protection in Outlook for Mac.

In a recent change to its pricing policies, Microsoft placed Office 2011 for Mac in the same tier as its more current PC counterpart Office 2013 for Windows. At the time, it was thought that the Redmond, Wash., company was pushing Mac users toward an Office 365 subscription due to the deprecation of multi-license bundles.

With Tuesday’s update, Office 2011 users can sign up for Microsoft Office 365 if they so choose. Subscription to the Home Premium edition costs US$99.99 per year, or US$9.99 per month, and grants the use of Office on up to five computers.

In order to take advantage of the newest Office for Mac 2011 version, existing owners must have version 14.1.0 or higher installed on a machine running OS X 10.5.8 or later, while Office 365 requires an Intel Mac and OS X 10.6 or higher.

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

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

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

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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.

Logitech releases Control Center 3.7 update

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Date: Monday, May 6th, 2013, 06:53
Category: News, Software

On Monday, Logitech released version 3.7 of its Control Center software. The update, a 19 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes for the driver software:
– Updated logo.

– Stability improvements.

Logitech Control Center 3.7 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Cocktail updated to 6.4

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Date: Friday, May 3rd, 2013, 07:33
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.4 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
– Added ability to change standby delay (Disks – Sleep)* – *Specifies the delay (in minutes) before writing the hibernation image to disk and powering off memory for standby. This setting is only available on compatible computers.

– Added ability to disable shadow in window captures (Interface – General).

– Added ability to show Debug menu in App Store, Photo Booth and Reminders (Interface – Misc).

– Added compatibility with the latest versions of supported web browsers.

– Improvements on the clear system caches procedure.

Cocktail 6.4 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

Flip4Mac updated to 3.2.0.16

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Date: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, 07:42
Category: News, Software

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A worthwhile software update never hurt anyone.

Or kicked your puppy when you weren’t looking.

On Thursday, software developer Telestream has released version 3.2.0.16 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, an 85.8 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
– New in-app stores purchasing.

Fixes and Enhancements:
– Dramatically improved the loading time for ASF files (.wmv, .wma, .wm, .wmp, .asf, etc.).

Flip4Mac 3.2.0.16 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version 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.

Intel details specs for upcoming i7 “Haswell” processor

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Date: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, 06:59
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

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The next-gen stuff always looks pretty sexy…

Per AppleInsider and Engadget, a document released on Wednesday sheds some light on Intel’s forthcoming Core i7 processors, which will boast new integrated graphics silicon that promises to double or even triple performance compared to existing models.

Alongside a new iteration of the “Intel HD Graphics” series, dubbed HD 5000, Intel is introducing the “Iris” and “Iris Pro” tiers to its graphics lineup with Haswell, effectively creating a three-tier system for its upcoming Core i7 offerings. Apple is expected to use products from the newest family of processors when the company refreshes its Mac lineup later this year.

As is the case with every new generation of CPUs, there will be an across the board performance boost with the fourth-generation Core i7 chips. However, while previous generational changes brought only slight gains to Intel’s respective Ultrabook, notebook and desktop class lineups, Iris and Iris Pro will enjoy huge gains, in some cases showing threefold improvements.

The options start out with HD 5000 for 15W TDP (Thermal Design Power) U-series chips, and move to the new Iris graphics with 28W U-series silicon. Iris Pro, which uses embedded DRAM instead of shared system memory, promises to double the speed of current 47-55W H-series laptop processors. Most intriguing is a tripling in 3D rendering speeds for 65-84W R-series desktop CPUs.

According to Intel’s documentation, Iris Pro will also be available on certain M-series laptop and K-series desktop chips.

The 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air currently uses two U-series chips — a 17W dual-core Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor in its standard configuration and an optional Core i7 version. Apple uses M-series Core i5 and i7 chips for its MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina Display products.

Intel also detailed the three tiers’ feature sets, which support DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4 and OpenCL 1.2. Display modes include “enhanced” 4K and 2K output and a 3-screen collage, which looks to eschew the need for a discrete graphics card for multi-panel setups.

Full specs, including those pertaining to non-graphics processing performance, are slated to be revealed , one day prior to the Computex Taipei trade show.

CrossOver updated to 12.2

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Date: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, 06:36
Category: News, Software

A helpful update’s a helpful update.

CrossOver, the popular virtualization program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 12.2. The new version, a 79.8 megabyte download, is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

Application Support:
Quicken:
– Fixed a bug which caused Quicken to fail to register on Mac OS X.

– Fixed graphics distortions in some Quicken windows.

– Fixed a bug which prevented a double-click on a .QFX file in the Mac OS X Finder from importing the file into Quicken.

– Fixed a bug which caused Office 2007 applications to crash in some circumstances.

– Fixed a bug which caused Wizard101 to fail to recover after being re-sized.

– Fixed a bug which caused mailto: links to be broken in Outlook 2003.

– Fixed a bug which caused .Net 4.0 applications to fail to run.

Mac OS X:
– Drag and drop support in the Mac Driver.

– Gamma support in the Mac Driver.

– Reduced window flicker when using the Mac Driver.

Language Support:
– Fixed a bug which sometimes caused Traditional Chinese to be used even when a user’s preferences were set to Simplified Chinese.

CrossOver 12.2 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.6 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

Rumor: Apple to debut updated MacBook models at this year’s WWDC

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Date: Monday, April 29th, 2013, 06:03
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

If there’s one new-ish rule of the universe, it’s that Apple chooses when it gets to hold its dog and pony shows.

And the next one might be during the Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Per AppleInsider, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes Apple will showcase updated MacBook Pro models at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June, with the most notable upgrade being the move to Intel’s next-generation Haswell family of processors.

Kuo, who has a reliable track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, said in a research note that while the Cupertino company is likely to bump its current MacBook lineup to Intel’s latest platform, speculated upgrades like a MacBook Air with Retina display are unlikely.

While no major design changes are thought to be in store for WWDC, Kuo now thinks Apple will keep the optical drive-toting MacBook Pro alive alongside the company’s most advanced MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air models. The analyst previously forecast Apple would retire the line as it moved to all-Retina product offerings.

“There is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives,” he said of the 13- and 15-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro. Apple’s top-tier MacBook lineup eschewed the previous built-in SuperDrive in a bid to slim down the chassis and cut weight.

For the consumer market, Kuo said the biggest change to the MacBook lineup in 2013 will be the introduction of Intel’s Haswell processor, which replaces the Ivy Bridge architecture currently used in the company’s computers. Intel recently announced that Haswell will be unveiled on June 3, one day prior to the Computex Taipei trade show.

Kuo believes the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will begin shipping by the end of the second quarter, close to the forecasted WWDC launch, while the MacBook Pro with Retina display will see release later in the year due to low yield of the notebook’s high-resolution panels.

Apple has traditionally used WWDC as an opportunity to launch innovative new products, with last year’s event seeing the debut of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

WWDC 2013 is scheduled to run from June 10 through 14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Tickets to the conference sold out in less than two minutes, breaking the previous record of about two hours.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.6.1 update

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Date: Friday, April 26th, 2013, 06:18
Category: News, Software

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A handy update never let anyone down.

On Monday, Elgato Systems released version 3.6.1 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The update, a 148.8 megabyte download via MacUpdate, offers the following fixes and changes:
– Improved EPG data display and search.

– Faster Gracenote EPG data download.

– Improved HDMI display support.

– Improved application performance after system sleep.

– Miscellaneous bug fixes.

EyeTV 3.6.1 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, please let us know in the comments.