More color selection options
Savage Interactive has released v2.1 of Procreate, its professional-level illustration app for the iPad. The update is a major one, adding a number of new features, most significantly ColorDrop. Users can now simply drag and drop a color to a location to fill; before dropping, continuing to hold will bring up fill threshold controls.
Twitch overhauls Android app interface, adds user profiles
Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and users.
Google Now reminders can be created via Google Search
Google is now allowing for the creation of reminders in Google Search. Similar to the vocal method using Google Voice Search and Google Now on smartphones, Google Operating System reports users can set a reminder by typing "Add reminder" or "Create Reminder" in the search box. A reminder card with extra settings will then appear, with a "Remind me on Google Now" link finalizing the notification.
Bitcoin added to currency conversion options in Google search
Google has updated its currency-based searches to include results for Bitcoin. Coindesk reports reports the search company is now working with digital wallet service Coinbase to track the price of the digital currency and perform currency conversion functions, just as Google Search does for other currencies. The same conversion can also be performed by the Google Search mobile apps.
Designed to save time wasted on incompatible content
Google has implemented a change to the way mobile search results are displayed, warning users if a website uses Adobe Flash. On devices running iOS or Android, results may now show a tag saying "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Below this are links letting users "try anyway" or learn more about the problem.
Yahoo Mail adds existing iPhone features for iPad
Yahoo has released an update for its Mail app for iOS, featuring enhancements for iPad users. The service includes 1TB of free storage space, and one's inbox can be personalized with Flickr themes that sync across devices. Yahoo Mail v3.1.0 aims to offer more access to information in a consolidated space, with news, search, and snapshots of weather, sports scores and more now available. Filters can be created, edited and deleted for one's mail, and various performance and bug fixes. Free to download, Yahoo Mail requires iOS 7.0 or later, and a mail account through Yahoo.
Mac video editor update fixes crashing bug, improves stability
On Tuesday, Apple issued a minor update to the OS X version of iMovie, bringing it to v10.0.4. The new version sports only a single bug fix, along with the usual "stability improvements" tweaking. The update addresses an issue that would occasionally cause iMovie to crash or quit unexpectedly. It's not clear if the fix is related to a previous minor update that also addressed a crashing bug. Current iMovie owners can update through Software Update; new users can buy the OS X version of the app for $15 (a version for iOS is also available).
Services like MLB At Bat, WatchESPN under the gun
Apple pushed organizations like Major League Baseball and ESPN to adopt its HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology, and in so doing caused them to infringe on an Emblaze patent, a lawyer for the latter party claimed today at the start of a federal trial. The patent in question was issued in 2002; Emblaze says that it covers delivering live-streaming video over wireless networks. Apple began work on HLS "no earlier than 2007," according to the Emblaze attorney, and asked services like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN to switch to the format to improve sales of iOS devices, since they can't handle other standards like Flash.
Creative Do's Doco Photoshop extension organizes multiple open documents
A new Photoshop extension has been released by Creative Do, offering users the ability to better manage multiple open documents. Doco facilitates viewing and performing some editing functions with thumbnails of open images, with the addition of a Documents panel into the program. Layers can be copied between documents, and multiple images can be rotated and or resized. Available for $20 for a single license and $150 for a 10-user license, Doco is available for Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 for both Windows and Mac.
Printers produce 'laser-like prints' at a lower cost, pricing starts at $99
Printer specialists HP announced two new Officejet Pro printers today, each positioned for small business owners searching for quality on a budget. The Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One and the Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinter are designed to deliver expensive-looking prints at a low cost to customers. On top of a lower printing page cost, consumers can save money on ink, as each printer is eligible for HP's Instant Ink service.
Red Giant releases update for Red Giant Universe, includes new effects
Red Giant has announced the release of an update for its new multi-host app library of GPU-accelerated tools, Red Giant Universe. Red Giant produces tools for filmmakers, editors, visual effects artists and motion designers; this release of Red Giant Universe allows its members to access a wide variety of tools and effects for creating visual projects that run on multiple host apps. The update (v1.1) includes nine new free and premium effects, as well as updates that add new features and functionality to several existing Universe tools, expanding the toolset to a total of 59 effects and transitions.
Rhapsody for iOS adds song recognition, live radio stations
Rhapsody, an Internet radio streaming app and music store, has released an update for its iOS version. Rhapsody is available free for T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE data plans, and as a $10 monthly subscription accessible through an in-app purchase for others. Adding a new TrackMatch integration feature, users can identify and tag a song that is currently playing; any identified song is then available for full-length playback and purchase. The release of v3.1 also includes the ability to listen to live stations from anywhere in the world. Rhapsody v3.1 is available for free for iOS devices running iOS 6.0 or later.
Builds in shortcut buttons, palm rejection, pressure sensitivity
Adonit has unveiled the Jot Touch with Pixelpoint, an iPad stylus based on Adobe's new SDK. Its name refers to the Pixelpoint tip, which is extremely precise and has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Supporting apps also make use of the stylus' two shortcut buttons, and turn on palm rejection to prevent accidental input.
Every app refreshed
Adobe has officially revealed the 2014 update of its Creative Cloud desktop suite. Every app has been updated; the suite's core software, Photoshop CC, has gained new Blur Gallery motion effects, as well as a tool called Focus Mask, which makes it possible to highlight individual sections in photos with low depth-of-field. Other changes include new Content-Aware functions, Smart Object linking across documents, and the ability to sync settings for one layer across all others.
SDK will enable third-party apps based on Adobe tech
Previously teased in concept form, Adobe has formally announced its first two hardware accessories, the Ink pen and Slide ruler. The former is a pressure-sensitive aluminum stylus designed around iOS 7, while the latter is a companion designed to help with more precise drawing, including straight lines and perfect circles. To provide initial software support, Adobe has released two iPad apps, Sketch and Line.
Non-white emoji still lacking
The Unicode Consortium has announced the next revision of its font character standard, v7.0. It now incorporates over 2,834 more characters, including 23 historic scripts, and new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat. One of the more significant additions is the inclusion of over 250 new emoji characters. The Consortium notes that most of these are well-established elsewhere, having previously been a part of the Wingdings and Webdings fonts.
Darklight Version 2.0 now available on iTunes
Image editor for iOS Darklight has received an update, bringing the latest release version to 2.0. Featuring a range of enhancements, adjustments and effects, DarkLight offers image-editing tools with preset attributes as well as customizable options. The latest release of Darklight includes an updated home screen layout, minor bug fixes and improved rendering of images. Free to download through iTunes, Darklight requires iOS 6.0 or later.
ChronoSync update adds Document Organizer, 64-bit performance
Econ Technologies has released an update for ChronoSync, a back-up and synchronization tool for Mac users. Chronosync is capable of synchronizing or backing up nearly any device that can be connected to one's Mac computer, including PCs and external drives. The latest update, v4.5, includes an all-new Document Organizer, support for Apple's Notification Center, 64-bit performance, and over 100 additional new features.
Flickr users forced to link new, existing Yahoo IDs to account
Yahoo is going to remove the ability to sign into Flickr using a Google or Facebook account at the end of this month. E-mails have been sent to users of the photo hosting service warning them that they will be forced to log in using only a Yahoo ID from June 30th, as part of a wider move by Yahoo away from third-party authentication to just using its own account system.
Third-party keyboards, Touch ID access coming
On top of public-facing enhancements, Apple has made a variety of developer-side improvements for iOS 8. The new iOS SDK includes over 4,000 APIs, and features like Extensibility, which permit apps to extend services and functions to other apps. Extensions are still sandboxed, but link software using a secure framework.
May hint at simpler cross-platform compatibility
New developer APIs for OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 are already being pushed to open-source channels for WebKit, users note. A new class involves a view that replaces the current OS X and iOS support for displaying inline content. It's believed to include cross-platform compatibility, eliminating the need to use "WebView" for OS X and "UIWebView" for iOS. At the same time though, some separate view classes remain, meaning that the platforms are still not thoroughly meshed.
EU court ruling over privacy prompts form collecting removal requests
Google is complying with a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union over the "right to be forgotten." A form has been published on Google's support pages, collecting requests from individuals for Google to consider removing specific listings from its search services in Europe, though it does not state how long it will take for a URL to be hidden from view.
Skype to offer voice translation, beta expected late this year
Microsoft today announced its plans to release a real-time translation of voice conversations using Skype. Skype Translator will allow users to speak in their native language to another user who speaks a different language, with the software automatically translating it to the other person. The beta is anticipated to be released later this year, with its commercial availability estimated for debut within the next two and a half years. In its current development stage, translation can convert between English to German. The translation service may be a paid feature.
E-on Software releases VUE 2014.5 and its new Exchange Area for 3D files
E-on Software has made two additional announcements this week, including the release of Vue 2014.5 xStream and Infinite, as well as the opening of Cornucopia3D's new File Exchange Area. Vue 2014.5 xStream and Infinite are the latest production-driven versions for the creation, animation and rendering of natural 3D environments, designed for graphics professionals.
Reminders will show to new, existing users about audience of status updates
Facebook is changing the default target of status updates for new users, it has revealed, potentially helping users from posting publicly things that should be between friends. As well as helping prevent first-time posters from oversharing, Facebook is also preparing to release a new privacy checkup tool, which will aid existing users in reviewing their privacy preferences.
16-bit channel editing no longer limited to Mac Pro
The developer of Pixelmator has released v3.2, codenamed Sandstone. The update makes several significant improvements, for instance revamping the Repair Tool to use color correction and eliminate the need to precisely select objects when trying to remove them. Backgrounds should likewise be better reconstructed. The tool has been further enhanced with three different settings, Quick, Standard, and Advanced. Quick is meant to deal with small fixes, while the latter two deal with larger objects.
Site now offers music for commercial use under two pricing structures
Stock photography site Shutterstock has announced another revenue source with its introduction of music licensing. With the launch of its new service, Shutterstock Music, the company now offers 60,000 songs for use thanks to a deal with Rumblefish, and is aimed at the growing need for licensed music in commercial video projects.
Buttons and icons can be exported into code
Indeeo has released iDraw 2.4, an update of its design and illustration software. Despite the version number the update makes significant changes, for instance incorporating a redesigned Layers pane with a hierarchical layout. Multiple objects can be selected and edited simultaneously. Layers can now be exported to PNG, SVG, PDF, PSD, TIFF, or GIF files; tagging allows objects, layers, and groups to be assigned separate filenames and formats for the export process.
Dual color printer brings cost to $1200, opens up printing to more consumers
Electronics retailer Monoprice has announced that it will start selling its dual-color extrusion 3D printer at the end of the month. The unit, which was first shown at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, is the first 3D printer to be released from the company. The offering marks yet another expansion by Monoprice into other areas of consumer electronics. The company has gone well beyond its early offering of cables, and since branched out into game electronics and music instruments.
Downtime disrupted major publications
Adobe has issued an apology for Wednesday and Thursday's online services outage, which ultimately lasted about 28 hours. "We know we let you down. We apologize and are working to ensure it doesn't happen again," the company says. The cause of the downtime is said to have been server maintenance.
Problem traced back to Adobe ID system
People have been unable to sign into Adobe online services -- including Creative Cloud -- for about 24 hours at this point, according to the company's status tracker. Trouble is said to have started around 3PM Eastern on Wednesday, preventing people from downloading apps, modifying team accounts, buying subscriptions, or creating new Adobe IDs. The cause appears to be a glitch with the Adobe ID system itself.
Autodesk launches standalone app for viewing 3D assets on OS X, iOS
Autodesk has launched its FBX Review for OS X and iOS 7, offering a standalone app for professional level artists and animators the tools to review 3D assets. Users can view 3D assets including detailed 3D models, environments and character animations without requiring commercial animation software. New features for the Apple platforms are support for ZIP files, and geometry cache support (including Maya cache, 3ds Max cache, and the Alembic cache format), and support for changing the focus of the perspective camera. Both OS X and iOS versions are available through the App Store, and are free to download.
Design changes current bar organization system, removes tab system
In a design that moves away from its familiar client layout, including the tab system that was introduced last year, Google is said to be testing a new interface for the web. Screenshots from a current Gmail test obtained by Geek show the alteration of the client for the first time since the introduction of the current layout in 2011.
Autodesk announces availability of Desktop Subscriptions for Smoke 2015, Mudbox Digital Sculpting To
Autodesk has announced that its digital painting and 3D sculpting software, Mudbox 2015, as well as editing and effects software Smoke 2015, have been released and are now available in a Desktop Subscription format. Mudbox assists users in customizing 3D models for use in mobile and indie games and other 3D projects, and accelerates development while reducing production costs. Smoke 2015 has added an integrated timeline editor, visual effects tools, and various desktop tools, and support for OS X 10.9 as well as the new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X. The Mudbox 2015's Desktop Subscription is priced at $10 per month, and Smoke 2015 is available in three payment options of monthly, quarterly or by the year, starting at $200 per month. More information about both Mudbox 2015 and Smoke 2015 can be found online.
'Studio arrangement' process for true white backdrop photos filed in 2011
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a questionable patent to Amazon in March, which gives the online retailer a hold on a common photography practice. Called "studio arrangement," the practice awarded the patent is an instruction set that outlines specific light and object placement to achieve photos of a subject on a white background, as well as steps for the process -- which has used by retailers for catalogs since the beginning of commercial photography.
PFiddlesoft releases update for its GUI Scripting assistant
PFiddlesoft has announced its release of its latest version of UI Browser, assistive software for GUI Scripting with AppleScript, and a developer utility for exploring Apple's Accessibility API. Users of UI Browser can monitor and manipulate the user interface of most OS X applications running on one's computer, as well as generate AppleScript statements to control any application using GUI Scripting. Version 2.4.4 includes various bug fixes, and a fix for a crashing issue. New customers can purchase UI Browser for $55, with the latest version available as a free upgrade for those with UI Browser v2.0.0 and newer.
Twitter users reply to posts with hashtag to add items to Amazon cart
Amazon is expanding its purchasing options, by allowing customers to shop for products by posting on Twitter. Introduced today, users of both services can add items featured on the social media site directly to their Amazon.com cart by responding to specific posts with #AmazonCart, with the product then shown in the checkout section of Amazon's website for later purchase.
Alien Skin to release new film emulation and photography effects software June 2014
Alien Skin software has announced the upcoming launch of the latest version of its flagship photography effects software, Exposure 6. Designed to create accurate analog film emulation and creative effects, Exposure 6 can be used as a plug-in or as a stand-alone program. The program offers over 450 preset effects that can be applied to an image to quickly achieve a desired look, including Polaroid, Kodachrome, and TRI-X emulations. New features that are a part of Exposure 6 include Bokeh functionality, as well as an updated image processing engine for instant previews. A faster workflow and greater creative texture control are also included. Able to integrate with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Apple Aperture, Exposure 6 -- either as a plug-in or standalone -- will be available in June for $150.
Inexpensive wearable aimed to incentivize healthy habits, good eating
Educational hardware developer LeapFrog has unveiled the LeapBand, the first wearable activity tracker designed for children that encourages active play and other healthy habits. As the child earns points through active play, additional games are unlocked, as well as more challenges, extra levels of play, and also virtual rewards given for an on-screen pet.
Modernized Firefox includes increased customization options
The latest incarnation of the Firefox web browser has introduced a major redesign of its user interface. The Australis design scheme, first introduced in mid-2012, makes Firefox version 29 look sleeker with curved tabs and a cleaner interface, with some aspects of the browser modernization scheme also spreading from the desktop version to the Android app.
Clock icon on Google Street View shows earlier photographs of locations
Google has updated its online Maps service by adding the option to view earlier Street View imagery. Users of Google Maps can, in a number of locations, use previously-collected Street View photographs to explore an area, and be able to compare recent shots of the location with those from the same place dated from as far back as 2007.
Shack cuts up-front cost in half, iPhone 5s drops to free when trading in an iPhone 4S
Although there have been a number of good deals in recent months on both the iPhone 5c and 5s, a new deal kicking off tomorrow from RadioShack may be the one iPhone 4S holdouts have been waiting for. Starting April 18, new or upgrading customers using AT&T, Verizon or Sprint can buy the 16GB version of the iPhone 5s for $99, half of its usual $199 up-front cost. The deal, which is available both online and in stores, gets sweeter if users trade in a working iPhone 4S or newer.
WordPress announces debut of Version 3.9, refines blog management tool
Today WordPress.org announced an update to its blog management tool of the same name. Aiming to provides its users with a clearer understanding of how content will appear once published, WordPress v3.9.0 features improved editing. Its new visual editor includes increased speed, accessibility, and mobile support. Speedier access to crop and rotation tools allows for faster image editing, and images can now be uploaded by dragging and dropping from one's desktop to the editor.
Updated app now offers postcards, gallery or canvas prints of images
Image software maker MacPhun has partnered with PQ Blackwell-owned Milk Tailor Made Books, integrating print services into MacPhun's Focus 2 software for the first time. Users can now order prints of their manipulated images directly from within the program, in the form of postcards, folded notecards, framed gallery prints or wrapped canvas prints.
Images can be picked to match device specs
Google has released Chrome 34 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The main addition is support for "responsive" images. This allows web developers to set multiple versions of a graphic, improving speed and bandwidth consumption on less powerful devices. Whereas a Windows desktop user might see the full-quality version of an image, for example, someone on an iPhone might see a lower-resolution file. The iOS and Android apps haven't been updated yet, however.
New content-focused Twitter profile pages add post filtering options
Twitter has unveiled its upcoming changes to profile pages, a change that first surfaced in February. Bearing a passing resemblance to Facebook profiles, all user profile pages will receive an update that overhauls the layout of the page, providing larger profile photographs and putting a greater focus and control on the account's more popular tweets and images.
WW2 combat simulation Combat Mision: Red Thunder released
Battlefront.com has released a major new title in its series of tactical WW2 combat simulations, entitled Combat Mission: Red Thunder. Set during 1944, when Operation Bagration took the Soviet forces from the swamps of Belarus to the gates of Warsaw, players can play out historical battles and campaigns or create customized quick battles. Combat Mission: Red Thunder is a standalone game, and features new game engine features such as backpack and vehicle flamethrowers, tank riders, hit decals, and more. The game is available for download for OS X (as well as Windows), priced at $55.
BBC extends iPlayer catch-up video from week to 30 days
The BBC is extending the time British viewers will have to watch recently-broadcast shows on iPlayer to 30 days. Up from the previous seven-day limit, Pocket-Lint reports the popular catch-up streaming service will allow for downloads or streams of shows from any of the BBC's television channels up to 30 days after being broadcast, with the changes set to take place from this summer.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Current character set limited by Unicode standard, Apple says
Apple is working with the Unicode Consortium on expanding the racial diversity of emoji characters in iOS, and by extension other platforms, according to a statement provided to MTV. "Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Apple says. "There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."