AutoFill, subpixel rendering, extension compatibility and more being tested
On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. The new OS X Server beta requires the latest Mavericks (10.9.4).
Company alters help page to reflect change in timeline content from popular, relevant accounts
Twitter users may have seen a number of items showing up in their feeds from users they don't follow for the last few weeks. In what was thought to be one of the company's experiments, tweets from users that aren't followed and random favorites from others were showing up in timelines. It appears that the feature is no longer in testing, as Twitter has added the new feature to its help page about timelines.
Includes blocking, audio controls
The sixth OS X Yosemite beta enables promised screensharing via Messages, a report notes. The feature requires simply that a person have an iMessage or Apple ID account. Some options include turning audio conversation on and off, pausing sharing, and blocking requests from a particular user.
Software line drops nine different programs, new software launches September 23
Symantec announced earlier this week that it would be issuing a sweeping change to its line of antivirus software to offer consumers a single solution. Starting September 23, the company will begin offering Norton Security for around $80 per year. The change effectively ends releases of Norton Antivirus, the company's main product line that has seen annual releases since the early 90s.
Chat notifications hidden on unused devices if Skype in use elsewhere
Microsoft has updated the way Skype handles some of its notifications for multiple devices. As part of wider ongoing effort to improve the way Skype synchronizes messages between clients on different devices and systems, the Active Endpoint feature will only deliver chat notifications to the device currently being used, rather than to all logged-in devices.
Blu-ray support a focus
Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to the timeline. Other fixes target XML round-trip imports, automatic library backups, and skimming growing files in the Browser.
Virtualization solution uses less RAM, speeds application launch
Parallels today launched Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac and Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Enterprise Edition, the leading virtualization solution for Windows applications on Macs. New built-in intelligence and support for Apple's latest operating systems including OS X Yosemite improves ease-of-use for both business users and consumers, and brings many of the announced features of Mac OS X Yosemite to Windows and Windows applications, supporting iCloud Drive, iMessages and SMS text sharing from Windows, and control of virtual machines from Spotlight preview and Finder QuickLook.
Apple, Google, Microsoft required to delete Secret from customer phones or face fines
A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country.
Apple adds Wellington, NZ and Yosemite National Park in advance of next OS X release
On Tuesday, Apple further improved its Maps application by adding Flyover and other map data for Wellington, New Zealand and -- ahead of its debut as the namesake for the next OS X upgrade -- Yosemite National Park in California. The company also added new photos of Yosemite's Half Dome mountain as wallpapers in the current developer beta, DP6, which was released on Monday. The addition of Wellington marks the third New Zealand city added to Flyover, joining Auckland and the city of Christchurch.
New features include drafts, 'snooze to desktop'
Dropbox has released the first Mac version of Mailbox, its gesture-enabled email client, previously limited to iOS and Android. The Mac software is currently only in public beta, and people must sign up to a waiting list in order to gain access. It does, however, keep all of the iOS app's features while adding two more.
Gatekeeper added to testing list
Apple has posted a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 for developers and AppleSeed participants, identified as build 13F18. Testing areas remain largely the same -- including Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt, and USB/USB smart cards -- but with the addition of a significant change to Gatekeeper, Apple's app-signing security feature. "Signatures created with OS X version 10.8.5 or earlier ('v1 signatures') are obsoleted and will no longer be recognized by Gatekeeper," Apple reminds the developer audience. "To ensure your apps will run on updated versions of OS X, they must be signed using the codesign tool on OS X version 10.9 or later ('v2 signatures')."
Workaround involves manually launching dispatcher service
Yesterday's Developer Preview 6 release of OS X Yosemite is breaking Parallels Desktop 9, users report. After DP6 is installed, Desktop 9 is simply refusing to run, exactly the type of issue beta testers routinely encounter. The problem appears to involve the dispatcher service failing to load, as a temporary solution involves forcing the service to start via a Terminal command. This again has been seen in various other apps not yet updated for the forthcoming Yosemite.
Enterprise Signing Key, Activation Lock keys could have been compromised
An unidentified Twitter user is claiming that recent changes to Gatekeeper in OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite which has forced developers to re-sign their app credentials is actually the result of a security breach that successfully pilfered the Gatekeeper keys and possibly "many other keys for many other things," according to the user. A corraborating source was located by TUAW that has allegedly confirmed the breach and tied it to the recent alleged Activation Lock hack.
Gazelle offers locked price for selling iPhone before new release
Gazelle, a company which focuses on buying used phones, has announced a limited offer on locking-in the current selling value of an iPhone. Until September 9, Gazelle will give customers who wish to sell their current iPhone a locked price value, allowing the sellers until October 10 to send the device in. The purpose of this promotion is to maintain the same price value for a phone to be traded in, even after the anticipated release of the iPhone 6, which will inevitably decrease the value of iPhones currently owned. Once Gazelle receives a traded-in device, it is inspected to verify the claimed condition, and a payment is then sent within one week. Gazelle accepts smartphones from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other major cell phone carriers, in addition to Apple products.
Final release date still nebulous
[Updated with notable changes] Apple is distributing its sixth betas of OS X Yosemite and Xcode 6 to developers. Changes have been largely minor and cosmetic thus far, centering around new appearances rather than fucntionality, and like previous seeds, the updates concentrate on performance and stability fixes. The last betas were released on August 4.
housekeeping, rain damage and a new hope for an old Mac
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Forum Regular "Topaz" sparked a conversation about the best way to clear redundant files and free up hard drive space without accidentally removing essential files. Earlier this week, Administrator "ghporter" was looking for software that could detect duplicate files as he has found an excessive amount of duplicate images on his computer that he would like to remove.
New IE 'not the one you remember' claim developers on Reddit.
Microsoft has had several discussions at high levels, according to reports, considering renaming the nearly two-decade old Internet Explorer browser. The move would be to distance the new versions from previous, flawed iterations, and would hopefully help to improve the image of the tarnished software. Also noted was that while there are tools for developers to test sites in Internet Explorer environments, there are no plans to make an OS X version of the browser.
Public pre-release version of next Windows version includes mandatory monthly updates
The next major version of Windows may be offered as a preview next month, according to a report. Microsoft's latest iteration of Windows, believed to be Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold", will apparently be available to download and test out as a "technology preview" by the general public, rather than just to developers and hardware producers.
Online flight arrangements between private pilots, passengers blocked by FAA
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has stopped the flying equivalent of Uber from taking place, in a ruling over plane sharing costs. After a request for clarification from AirPooler, a flight-sharing start-up, the FAA ruled that private pilots could not use online services or mobile apps to offer seats on their aircraft in exchange for fuel costs.
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.
WebKit vulnerability, memory corruption, other issues addressed
Seven potential security and stability flaws in the WebKit engine that drives Safari have been identified and fixed in a new update for the default Mac web browser, which was released on Wednesday. The patch updates the version numbers to 6.1.6 for older OS versions going back to Lion (OS X 10.7.5), and to 7.0.6 for Mavericks (10.9.4). Problems with a WebKit vulnerability that could cause crashes, alongside some memory corruption issues, prompted the update.
Hashtags, new profile options, links and a subscription service added to messaging app
Early this week, the ubiquitous messaging app Yo received an update that moves it beyond the single-word phrase that made it popular. In the 1.1.0 version of the free application, new profile options, links, a subscription service and hashtags were all added to give Yo some more communication options and perhaps more appeal.
Focus areas remain same as second release
Apple is now seeding a third beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The software has a 13F14 build number, and focus areas identical to the previous beta. Developers are asked to test Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
HTC allegedly moving into app business with Zoe, more apps on the way
HTC is preparing to release some of its apps on Google Play, for use on other non-HTC devices, according to a report. Starting with the Zoe video app later this week, the 260-employee strong HTC Creative Labs unit will apparently bring more of the HTC-specific apps to the online store, as the company attempts to use its software knowledge to try and improve its financial outlook.
Recommendation system gathers data to suggest venues based on location 'stations'
Yahoo continues its trend of buying up startups with the news that the search company has acquired Zofari. Zofari, which is positioned to be the Netflix or Pandora for local recommendations, announced on its website that the startup was acquired by Yahoo to work an undisclosed project. The purchase went relatively unnoticed until TechCrunch reported on it earlier today.
Squarespace releases Blog and Note apps for Android
Website design platform Squarespace has released two new apps in beta format for Android users today, entitled Blog and Note. Originally launched for iOS, Blog facilitates Squarespace site management from a smartphone or tablet, and Note is a minimalist note-taking app.
Bugs in Yosemite
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to discuss bugs they have found in the developer preview and beta versions of Yosemite. Today "angelmb" started a thread looking for help trying to figure out what keeps causing "Circus Ponies NoteBook" to crash, and they included a complete crash report.
Enables development of Oculus-compatible Mac apps
Facebook-owned Oculus VR has released v0.41 of its beta SDK. Mostly a maintenance release, it is however the first to support OS X, which should allow developers to add Oculus Rift support to games and other Mac software. Since Macs are lacking an appropriate display driver, support currently relies on the Extend Desktop mode.
Most recent version of Internet Explorer required for updates, support for IE8 dropped
Microsoft announced last week that it would be changing its support policy in regard to Internet Explorer. Outlined in the change is migration guidance for versions of Windows past XP, which excludes any further support for Internet Explorer 8. The software giant is urging users to enable Windows Updates to keep up with the most recent updates to Internet Explorer.
Device Unlock only works with one T-Mobile smartphone
T-Mobile is now allowing customers to unlock their smartphones, though in a limited number of cases. Using a rumored app called Device Unlock, owners of the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy Avant are able to unlock their devices relatively simply and at no charge, though it appears only one smartphone model has been enabled to use the app at present.
VoIP service continues coping with backlash
A version of Skype compatible with OS X Leopard is in development, a company spokesperson now says. "We have a Skype version for Mac OS X 10.5 users which will soon be available for download," the person states. The release will not however be compatible with anything older, such as OS X Tiger.
peripheral connections, RAID upgrades and more
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "rotuts" explained that he is getting a new iMac next week and was wondering what connectors would be necessary to run an external monitor off the iMac. Earlier this week, Grizzled Veteran "PHoynak" was looking for the best way to increase the storage in his RAID setup.
Adds support for newer cameras to Aperture 3, iPhoto '11
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW Compatibility plug-in for its two leading Mac photo programs, Aperture 3.x and iPhoto '11, to add support for a number of recently-introduced digital cameras. The update includes support for two Nikon models, two Olympus models, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, several Sony Alpha releases and a single Sony Cyber-shot camera, the DSC-RX100 III. The update allows RAW files from these cameras to be directly imported by Aperture and iPhoto.
Minimum Intel processor, 10.6 requirement follows eight years of updates
As a confirmation of earlier reports that Skype was locking out users of very old Macs with OS versions below 10.6 Snow Leopard, Microsoft on Thursday issued a memo that confirmed and clarified that it no longer supported the nearly seven-year-old OS X 10.5.8 or any lower releases on the Mac, and that Skype's service now requires a minimum of an Intel processor and 10.6 or later in order to work. How long Snow Leopard will be supported is unclear.
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.
Finding unlikely to affect judgement or payout, will take years to resolve
A claim asserted against Samsung in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial in California, which had already received a summary judgement of infringement by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, has been rejected alongside other claims in the same patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office -- the same body that initially granted the patent. The finding, which is a preliminary rejection that is part of a long process, has already been brought up by Samsung in an effort to get out of paying part of the $119 million judgement against it.
Subscriptions should finally update properly
Apple has released Mac and Windows versions of iTunes 11.3.1, a minor update of its media software. The latest version deals with two bugs related to podcasts, foremost being one that prevented subscriptions from being updated. The second caused episode list browsing to become unresponsive.
Thunderbolt added to listing of testing areas
Apple has begun distributing a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers, available via the Mac App Store or the Mac Developer Center. The code is listed as build 13F12. In addition to Safari, graphics, and USB/USB smart card issues highlighted in the first beta, Apple is now also asking users to test out Thunderbolt connections.
Possibility of Leopard-compatible update uncertain
Microsoft-owned Skype has, without warning, cut off support for users with OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or earlier, reports say. The company has given instructions on how to update the client software, but users say they don't appear to fix the problem. A spokesperson explains that the company doesn't "currently have a build that OS X Leopard (10.5) users could use."
Supports more formats, streamlines interface
Adobe has released an update for Photoshop CC, its flagship image editing software. Listed as 2014.1, the code is geared exclusively towards 3D printing improvements. It now supports VRML, U3D, PLY, and IGES files for instance, as well as the fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator, and Japan's DMM.com printing service.
Pinterest adds direct messaging of followers to service
Pinterest has added the ability to message other users to its service for the first time. An extension from last year's pin-sharing feature, Pocket-Lint notes the social network's mobile apps include the option to send messages back in responses to pins, including support for messaging multiple followers in the same thread, with the site suggesting it could be useful for planning events or projects with others.
Aimed at journalists, podcasters, online radio announcers, home recording buffs
A new version of IK Multimedia's previous iRig Mic is now available beginning today for the iRig Mic HD, an all-in-one digital condenser mic that features its own A/D converters to eliminate any requirement for pricey audio interfaces. By providing both a 1.5 meter (59-inch) Lightning and USB cable, the mic is one of the few that works natively with both mobile and desktop/notebook systems (a 30-pin connector is sold separately for older iOS devices). The unit is capable of 24-bit, 48kHz recording.
Forthcoming feature will see 'more downtime' than in previous betas, but files should be retained
Apple has sent out an email to registered participants in the AppleSeed beta-testing program, most of whom are currently working with the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that those who opted to engage the iCloud Drive feature may see "more downtime" than has been previously seen. Still in development, Apple's iCloud Drive is expected to be included in the formal release of Yosemite and iOS 8, and allows users to store any kind of document or image/video file, as well as enable other features.
hard drive, slideshows, Illustrator and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums Grizzled Veteran "chasg" was asking fellow members if they knew what brand hard drive their 24-inch iMac came with, as they want to upgrade and heard that it would need to be a "like for like" swap. "Thorzdad" asks if there is a way to re-start a slideshow after it has been paused, restarting it at the exact moment that it had been paused.
Parallels notifies Desktop 8 for Mac users that software will not run on Yosemite public beta
Parallels has released a service notification for users of Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. Users considering installing the OS X Yosemite public beta 10.10 will not be able to launch Windows applications, or directly use files through Parallels Desktop 8. Parallels Desktop allows for Windows applications to run on OS X without rebooting in systems up to and including 10.9 Mavericks. In order to avoid service disruption, Parallels encourages users to upgrade to version 9 of its software. Upgrading is available for $50, with Parallels Desktop 9 for new users priced at $80.
Final channel may have to wait months for 64-bit support
The latest build of Chrome Canary for the Mac has switched to a 64-bit codebase, reports note. Canary is Google's "experimental" version of Chrome, based on the absolute latest changes, which can make it unstable but with the benefit of early access to upcoming features. The first 64-bit build is listed as "Version 38.0.2114.2 canary (64-bit)."
DevonThink and DevonNote updated
DevonTechnologies has released updated versions of its document and information management software for Mac. The latest version of DevonThink, v2.7.7, recognizes Swift source code files as plain text, and retains more metadata when exporting documents. The program's interface can now retain scroll position, insertion mark position, and selection when toggling views. Able to index external folders faster, the software can support OS X Mavericks tags based on former labels.
Forthcoming Photos may not meet pro needs, at least at first
Following Apple's decision to cease development on its own pro photo organizer and editor Aperture in favor of a forthcoming hybrid photo manager called Photos, Adobe has published a new guide intended to help current Aperture users switch and migrate their images and projects to Lightroom, its own pro-level image manager. While Photos, with its support of third-party plug-ins, may grow into a program that both pros and amateurs can use, its mission is aimed more at "prosumer" users.
Some hashtags now have an explanation attached to them when searched by test users
Social micro-blogging service Twitter was discovered to be testing a new feature recently that demystifies the code of a hashtag. The new feature was discovered in the Twitter iOS app, showing the meaning behind some popular hashtags, including those for television shows, Twitter specific events and video games. The feature could help relieve some confusion when it comes to hashtags, but it's unknown if the feature will be adopted.
Update to Windows Phone introduces Live Folders, improved Xbox Music app
Microsoft has made the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 available to download for developers. The software update, which introduces a number of changes to the mobile operating system, can be downloaded by developers enrolled in the Windows App Studio program today, ahead of a rollout to all compatible Windows Phone smartphones in the future.