Search separation proposal set to be finalized, voted on next week
The European Parliament is looking to break Google apart into multiple sections, according to a draft motion discovered by the Financial Times. The proposal seeks to separate Google's "search engines from other commercial services," in an attempt to curb the power gained from being the most dominant search engine on the continent.
Imgur, The Onion among initial partners
Google has launched a new service called Contributor, allowing people to pay to remove ads from participating websites. At the service's portal, visitors can pick which sites they want to contribute to, and whether to donate $1, $2, or $3 per month. Once a subscription is active, visiting those sites will display thank-you messages and/or pixel patterns in place of the ads.
Home Design 3D Gold helps users draft a design project on the go
Drafting programs on iOS aren't really new anymore. They've been around long enough for users to realize that most are overly fussy, or incredibly impractical with the touchscreen interface, and with some inherent inaccuracy for precise placement. However, there are a few great apps out there for just about anyone to use which take into consideration the limits of the platform -- Home Design 3D Gold, by developer Anuman, has plenty of practical uses.
App makes it easy to turn the 'caption a picture' technique on its head
These days, graphic design is king (again). More and more people are looking to play around with typography and imagery, particularly using their own photos -- whether it be captions on photos or a Facebook graphic. Rather than shell out money or invest time in learning complicated programs like Photoshop to accomplish this, a visit to the App Store is a great way to get started. TextMask, by youthhr, is a pretty neat app that allows users to create impressive text-masking imagery in just a few taps.
Developer edition of Firefox set to launch soon
Mozilla is increasing the privacy options available in the Firefox browser, with a few new additions. A "Forget" button has been added for the first time, alongside the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option, with Mozilla also introducing a new version of the browser for developer use, one which should make creating add-ons for the browser much easier.
Includes Handoff, iCloud Drive
The Mac version of Pixelmator has been updated to version 3.3, codenamed Limestone. The interface for the graphics editor has been lightly redesigned, in part to match the flatness and transparencies in OS X Yosemite, but also to support the 5K Retina display on new iMacs. Another key addition is support for two Yosemite features, iCloud Drive and Handoff, the latter of which allows work to be shuttled back and forth with Pixelmator for iPad.
Alex Springer relents on Google News story fee demand in Germany
Germany's largest publisher, Alex Springer, is allowing Google to show snippets of articles in its search results and Google News. A number of major German newspapers restricted the information Google was allowed to show, in a bid to try and force Google to pay a per-story fee, but some have relented after discovering traffic to the sites went down far lower than expected.
Globe Theater opens video on-demand store for Shakespeare plays
The Globe Theater has launched a streaming service specializing in Shakespeare plays. Available globally, the Globe Player store offers a selection of performances filmed at the London theater, with a seven-day rental priced at approximately £4 ($6.50) and sales including offline viewing priced at £8 ($13) for each of the famous plays, though it also hosts a number of interviews with notable performers which can be viewed at no charge. Currently, the service only works through a web browser, but the service is considering creating mobile apps if the demand warrants it.
Gold-colored Moto 360 spotted on Amazon with matching metal bands
New color options of the Moto 360 are on the way, according to a leak on Amazon. The now-removed listings spotted by Android Police showed a champagne gold Moto 360, combined with matching 18mm and 23mm metal bands, with the existing black and brushed steel versions also shown by the online retailer as being sold with their respective-colored metal straps.
Versatile pixel color grabber offers 24 color formats
Visually creative professionals have long been in favor of using OS X to get their job done, in part because of simple, included utilities, like DigitalColor Meter. This utility allows users to magnify screen contents and copy the RGB pixel components, suited for those who seek a specific hue for their own design project - web, graphic or otherwise. This included tool is great, but for those who seek a more integrative alternative, we decided to check out ColorSnapper, priced at $5, to see if more features made a better pixel color picker.
win one of five copies of Printworks
MacNN just finished its hands-on review of Belight Software's latest update to their page layout and design software title, Printworks. This software can be used for everything from creating business cards and calendars, to CD labels, postcards and more, and for a limited time it's priced at only $30 (normally $50). We have five copies to give away to our readers.
Venerable desktop publishing program given 10 features voted on by users
Today Quark Software Inc. unveiled QuarkXPress 2015, the next major version of Quark's design and layout tool for print and digital publishing. Coming in the first quarter of next year, Quark promises that QuarkXPress 2015 will deliver increased performance with a new 64-bit architecture, efficient print and digital production, and many of the most user-requested features. The new version of QuarkXPress will continue to be sold as a perpetual license as opposed to a subscription service.
Win one of 5 copies of RapidWeaver 6!
Earlier this week, we reported on a major update to Realmac's web publishing tool, RapidWeaver 6. It is now built exclusively for Mavericks and Yosemite, and has a dozen major new features. Immediately, our team was hard at work putting RapidWeaver 6 to the test, and yesterday our full hands-on review was published. We aren't quite done yet, though -- MacNN has five copies of this software to give away to our readers!
Layer-based editor leans on 64-bit processing
Initially teased at Apple's iPad and iMac event last week, Pixelmator for the iPad has now been released. The app attempts to carry over many of the features of its desktop counterpart, including numerous brushes, effects, and adjustment options. Users can for instance control levels, curves, white balance, and hue and saturation. Individual sections of an image can be lightened, darkened, blurred, and repaired, or even distorted and transformed.
Improved graphic-focused website creator now more powerful
Just because you need a website, doesn't mean that the best option is to hire someone to create one out of whole cloth. The alternative is either learning HTML, CSS, and a host of other acronymic technologies, or seeking out all-in-one website design software that allows users to publish a website without requiring coding knowledge or a ton of design expertise. Realmac Software has announced the release of RapidWeaver 6, an upgrade to its longstanding website creation app, and we've had a chance to put it through its paces.
New version of font management package adds Dropbox, Google Drive sync
Extensis today released a major update to its Suitcase Fusion 6 font manager. The new version brings full OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 integration, font library synchronization with Dropbox or Google Drive accounts, as well as continuing bug fixes and speed enhancements.
Major update to RapidWeaver requires Mavericks, Yosemite
Realmac Software today announced the immediate availability of RapidWeaver 6, a major new upgrade to the company's long-running website creation app. RapidWeaver 6 has over a dozen major new features, hundreds of enhancements and refinements, and is now built exclusively for OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite.
Desktop publisher offers tools suitable for beginner and experienced users
Standalone desktop publishing software fills a need for those who want to create a variety of printed projects, particularly if seeking a structured, template format. Launched earlier this year, Printworks for OS X is an all-purpose page-layout and desktop publishing app that offers templates for a wide variety of documents, as well as the option to design a document from scratch. A comprehensive app currently available for $30 (regularly priced at $50), Printworks' attention to detail throughout the creation process of a document is suitable for personal use or for small businesses who are seeking software specifically for this purpose. Is it worth the pricetag?
Programs gain new look, tap into Yosemite features such as iCloud Drive, Mail Drop
In addition to updating its iWork apps for OS X to better support the formal release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite (and give the programs the signature design language of the new OS update), Apple has also updated iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand with similar changes in the user interface and back-end improvements to take advantage of Yosemite features such as Mail Drop and iCloud Drive storage. In addition, the company issued what is likely to be the last update to Aperture, making it Yosemite-compatible, and also updated iBooks Author to version 2.2.
Suites gain Dynamic Blocks, previously Windows-only features
Autodesk is now shipping the 2015 Mac editions of its flagship design products, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. There are several major additions this year, including Dynamic Blocks, which can be used repeatedly in other design elements and simply tweaked in size and shape as needed. Improving parity with Windows, AutoCAD for Mac now also supports layer states, including data such as color and linetype.
Squarespace announces major platform update, adding Google Apps, Getty Images
Squarespace has announced the release of Squarespace 7, a major platform update comprised of new features and integrations. Squarespace provides tools for Web and mobile content creation, and the latest release aims to improve upon the rebuilt codebase of Squarespace 6. Using a new visual language, according to its Frequently Asked Questions page, Squarespace 7's icons and buttons are now clearer, simpler and more intuitive.
Desktop, mobile connectivity outlined by Adobe that includes shared profiles
During the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles, the company kicked off with a number of announcements for items coming in the next release of Creative Suite. On top of adding a number of mobile solutions that connect to existing tools, Adobe added universal profiles and other enhancements to desktop applications. Additional tools that utilize cloud resources for creation and productivity are coming as well, including a talent search through Behance.
Clip marks first attempt at iOS-based video editing
Adobe has updated its suite of iOS apps, launching several new ones in the process. The most significant of these may be Premiere Clip, the company's first effort at mobile video editing. The title can be used independently, or in tandem with Premiere Pro CC; projects started on iOS can be automatically synced with Premiere Pro by way of Creative Cloud.
Year-old German copyright law interpretation in dispute between publishers, Google
Google has changed the way it shows articles in search results and Google News in Germany, as part of an ongoing battle against publishers in the country. Searches for news will now just show a headline and link to the story hosted on certain German news sites, removing the thumbnail images and article snippets Google usually displays for the listings.
Launches Elements Live portal for online learning, tips and tricks
On Tuesday, Adobe released major upgrades to its two consumer-oriented "Elements" programs -- the image-editing program Photoshop Elements, and the video-editing program Premiere Elements, now both at version 13. In addition, both programs now feature a new help and instruction portal called Elements Live that offers various tips, tricks and tutorials on using the programs. Both programs boast several new features.
Software creates dynamically-updating magazine apps, could aid publishers, iBooks Author
One of Apple's routinely-unpublicized acquisitions this year was magazine-app creator Prss. The firm, which created software that makes it easy to create magazine apps (and more importantly, to dynamically refresh them with silent updates), shut down this July -- and some of the former employees now appear to be working at Apple, according to Dutch enthusiast site iCulture. The iPad maker recently confirmed the acquisition.
DuckDuckGo unavailable in China since start of month
The privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo is unable to be used in China. Selling itself as a service which does not collect personal information about its users, DuckDuckGo has been inaccessible in the country since earlier this month, and though there is no official explanation from any party, it is believed to be an act of censorship by the Chinese government.
Country-wide redirection from Nokia part of gradual branding changes
Microsoft is slowly migrating away from the Nokia branding it has used since it bought the phone manufacturer's Devices and Services division. Visitors to Nokia.com located within the United Kingdom are now being pointed towards the mobile sections of Microsoft.com, with the Microsoft Mobile Devices site also receiving a refresh in the process.
Founder bills Netropolitan as social network for the affluent
A new social network for affluent individuals has launched, with an unusual membership strategy. Netropolitan is billed as the "world's most exclusive online community," with new users looking to sign up to the service required to pay $9,000 for the first year's membership fees, followed by annual fees of $3,000 in subsequent years.
Part is likely to be the PowerVR Series6XT GX6650, running at 1.4GHz
An analysis of the claims of Apple and leaked benchmarks with regards to the graphics performance and technologies in the new A8 chip that powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus indicates that Apple has likely moved to a new PowerVR GPU. The most likely candidate is the six-core PowerVR Series6XT GX6650 made by Imagination. Apple is also likely using a revised version of the Cyclone architecture, first used in the A7, to manage graphics processing.
Adopts drop-down menus, other touches
To accompany its iPhone and Watch announcements, Apple has launched a redesigned phone edition of its website. It sports a flatter look, in keeping with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and includes a drop-down menu for jumping to different product categories or the online store. Depending on the product, further submenus are hidden as drop-down items or immediately swipable.
One combination pen and stylus released, two Bluetooth pens shown
Wacom has unveiled a series of new devices at the German IFA show this week. Starting the reveals are the third-generation Bamboo Stylus Solo and Bamboo Stylus Duo as a combination with a traditional ball pen for use on capacitive devices and paper. Also revealed are the Intuos Creative Stylus 2 for sketching, drawing and painting on an iPad. Finally, the Bamboo Fineline is a smart stylus with new "thin tip" technology for precise work with an iPad.
Free subscriptions for basic users, paid Pro level for photographers
After years of good reviews as a series of iOS apps, Autodesk has now brought its image-editing app Pixlr to the Mac. While it bears great resemblance to the myriad other filter-and-effect photo editors from the iOS world, the app does offer some features rarely seen in competitors, such as a "double exposure" collaging feature. As with the company's Sketchbook, Autodesk offers several "tiers" of use, the most "pro" level of which is available on an annual or monthly paid subscription.
Also gains new Text and Shape Cutter tools, Smart Edges
Corel has released PaintShop Pro X7, a major upgrade of its photo-editing suite. The biggest addition is said to be Magic Fill, a Photoshop-like "content-aware" tool that can erase an object and replace it with content that matches the background, even if that background is varied. Several other tools have also been added, including Text and Shape Cutters -- used to create objects based on underlying images -- and Smart Edge, which prevents brush strokes from crossing lines.
Firm has worked with Dell, HP, Logitech on a wide variety of consumer electronics
Google has acquired design firm Gecko, in an effort to bolster its Google(x) product manufacture efforts. The firm has previously done industrial design work for OLPC, Logitech, Sling Media, Herman Miller, Hewlett-Packard, and contributed to the Fitbit design, pre-launch.
New guide panel makes TV YouTube interface closer to desktop view
Google has overhauled the design of its YouTube for TV interface, and has started to roll out the changes to its set-top box apps. The new user interface, taking on many of the characteristics of Android L's Material Design scheme, aims to simplify searching for channels and specific videos for those preferring to watch YouTube clips on a bigger screen.
US Digital Service created to avoid issues similar to Healthcare.gov launch
The Obama administration has launched a new team dedicated to managing the IT practices of government agencies. The US Digital Service (USDS), headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson, aims to help government-created public IT projects work as effectively as privately-owned services, in order to avoid issues similar to the ill-fated Healthcare.gov launch, a project Dickerson helped rescue.
OpenGL 4.5 released, group asks for participation in Next Generation OpenGL Initiative
The Khronos Group make a number of announcements regarding OpenGL today at SIGgraph 2014. On top of a number of industry implementations of OpenGL ES 3.1, the group announced the release of OpenGL 4.5. Khronos also unveiled a new project called the Next Generation OpenGL Initiation, in turn asking for participation in the project to help "define a future standard for high-efficiency access to graphics and computing on modern GPUs."
Macphun updates UI, image processing engine, adds effects
Image software maker Macphun has updated its FX Photo Studio for iPhone to version 6.0, revising its effects categories, improving the image-processing engine and updating the look of the app to a more modern UI design. The app, which has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times since the beginning of 2014, allows users to stack effects as well as adjust portions of the image using a Mask tool. It carries a complete selection of over 200 effects and filters -- combinations of which can be saved as presets -- alongside standard camera app editing tools. To celebrate, the app will be on sale until Monday for just $1, one-third of its normal $3 price.
Withings aiming for Activité smartwatch release in October
Withings is aiming to put its Activité smartwatch on sale in October, CEO Cédric Hutchings has revealed. At the same time as advising to Wareable about the updated release schedule for the wrist-based device, Hutchings highlighted the stylish and minimal design of the Activite compared to other smartwatches, claiming "We found that wearables were not that wearable." The Withings Activité will apparently cost around $500 at launch.
HTTPS use by sites will give slight improvement to Google search results in future
A website's usage of HTTPS to secure a connection with its visitors will soon play a role in search rankings, Google has announced. Websites actively adopting HTTPS by default for all traffic could rank higher in results listings to sites which do not use it, as the company continues to push other services online into adding more security to their sites.
Gmail non-Latin address support to be followed by similar Google Calendar update
Google has added support for non-Latin and accented characters in email addresses on Gmail, in an effort to improve the company's overall multi-language support. The change, which will allow users to send and receive messages to and from addresses with characters not typically used in English, will apparently also spread to Google Calendar in the future.
Softpress releases updated WYSIWYG web design software Freeway 7
Softpress has announced the release of its new Freeway 7 Pro web design software. OS X users can utilize the design tool for building and publishing website and email newsletters without the need for coding or HTML knowledge. Newly featuring responsive web design, Freeway 7 Pro can facilitate creating sites that adapt for mobile viewing. Navigation menus can be automatically generated, and search engine functionality is optimized, with the inclusion of social integration. Keyboard shortcuts have been added, so as to enhance user productivity. Priced at $150 for new users and $75 for existing users upgrading from Freeway 5+ Express and Pro, Freeway 7 can be downloaded online. Upon launch of Freeway 7, the Express version is now available for free.
Delta Airlines updates iPhone and iPad apps, now offering access to free in-flight entertainment
Delta Airlines today released an update for both of its Fly Delta iOS app, now allowing access to free in-flight entertainment content. Available through its new Delta Studio initiative, the service will be available on all domestic and two-cabin aircrafts, and feature a variety of TV shows and movies through the on-board Wi-Fi. The updated Fly Delta app also includes access to past and current issues of Delta's Sky Magazine, as well as a "Glass Bottom Jet" feature which provides flight tracking information. Users of the Gogo Video Player app are permitted to stream and access content through in-flight entertainment services. The apps for iPhone and iPad are both free to download through iTunes.
Brings styles, filters, fine controls to RAW, JPEG monochrome pictures
Photo software maker Macphun has unveiled a fourth tool in its suite of image-editing apps, this time creating one aimed at the art of black and white photography, whether the image was originally shot in color or not. Called Tonality, the program works with up to 16-bit RAW images or JPEG files and offers a range of tools that go far beyond simply removing color. In addition to serious tools like adaptive exposure, smart contrast and structure detailing, the program brings various styles and filters into the mix.
New version promises future speed enhancements, stability
Google has released a beta of the 64-bit version of the Chrome web browser. The beta version released today is available for both Windows 7 and 8.1, and closely follows the initial release version in June for Microsoft's operating systems. So far, there have not been any major problems with the release, but some bugs noticed in the previous developer's release are still present.
Limitations removed on nesting anchored boxes
Quark has released a v10.2 update for QuarkXPress, its flagship publishing software. The code makes significant feature additions, for instance letting people adjust rendering quality for different balances between performance and fidelity. Users can also add notes to projects that are separate from content and exportable as PDFs; redlines meanwhile show where changes have been made, and allow groups to approve or reject them.
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.