Apple believed to be snatching names via shell companies
Apple is using at least two shell companies to secure trademarks on future names for OS X, reports claim. On the same day in early December, two firms -- Yosemite Research LLC and Coast Research LLC -- are said to have filed for US trademarks on several California-related names. The former applied for "Yosemite," "Redwood, "and "Mammoth," while Coast pursued "California," "Big Sur," and "Pacific."
MagicPlay acts as bridge between Google Cast API and AirPlay
Google Play Music on Android can be used to stream music through AirPlay devices, thanks to a release from doubleTwist. MagicPlay: AirPlay for Android, downloadable from Google Play and works with the existing doubleTwist Player, will act as a bridge between Google's Cast API for streaming to the Chromecast and AirPlay, granting the music service AirPlay support.
Windows 8.1 could get Start Menu earlier than first thought
The Start Menu could be making its way back to Windows desktops in another Windows 8.1 update later this year, according to rumors. A second update for the operating system is apparently on the way, landing sometime in the third quarter of this year, and may see Microsoft bringing back the Start Menu before its expected return in the next version of Windows.
Classic HBO shows heading to Prime Instant Video next month
Subscribers of Amazon Prime will be able to enjoy classic HBO shows in the near future, the retailer has revealed. At the same time, Amazon has announced HBO Go will be added to the company's Fire TV, allowing the streaming media box to show recently-broadcast programs as well as its archive of over 1,700 shows, original films, and specials.
Apple support pushes iOS 6 users to upgrade to iOS 7
Apple has released a minor update for the OS X version of FaceTime, v1.0.5. The patch is aimed directly at resolving connection problems some people have been experiencing, particularly in OS X Snow Leopard. The file is a 17.6MB download at the Mac App Store.
WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily
WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.
Perfect Photo Suite Suite 8.5 editor to be released mid-May
OnOne Software has announced the upcoming release of its latest version of Perfect Photo Suite, adding improvements to photo browsing, file-management options, and more. Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 Photo Editor is a full-featured photo editor that also works as a plug-in with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple Aperture. In v8.5.0, the Browse module includes speed and productivity enhancements, such as faster thumbnail and preview viewing, and new file management features for organization. Improved performance with the Perfect Eraser tool simplify object removal on difficult gradient background, and enhanced masking support in Perfect Effects and Perfect Layers utilizes multiple Masking Bugs on a layer.
Users must have Apple ID, signed confidentiality agreement
For the first time, access to OS X beta releases has been opened to non-developers. Apple has introduced the Beta Seed Program, which requires only that a person have an Apple ID and sign a confidentiality agreement. The agreement blocks people from sharing information to anyone not also registered to receive betas.
Safari update allows turning off push notification prompts
Apple has released Security Update 2014-002, an OS X patch that addresses various security flaws. The software applies to Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks. More significantly it comes bundled with Safari 7.0.3, which in addition to improved security includes some minor feature additions and bugfixes.
iOS app gets visual overhaul
AgileBits has released updates to the Mac and iOS editions of 1Password, its app for creating and storing passwords, as well as saving data related to credit cards, passports, and bank accounts. 1Password for Mac 4.3 includes a host of improvements, a number of which focus on 1Password mini, such as the ability to edit items and generated passwords from within the plugin. Mini is also capable of searching any and all 1Password content, displaying Secure Notes, and several new keyboard shortcuts.
New Winzip Mac 3 offers direct cloud sharing support
Today, WinZip announced its new file sharing app, WinZip Mac 3. Aiming to simplify management and projection of file sharing, WinZip Mac 3 offers direct support for Dropbox and Google Drive, complete with 128- or 256-bit AES encryption. Files that have been saved on cloud storage can be viewed and organized within WinZip; its new Cloud Picker tool allows users to see cloud files, rename files and folders, add zipped files and more. Other features in WinZip Mac 3 include an updated user interface, new shortcuts and a new Cloud Links tool for sending cloud files by email. Priced at $30, WinZip Mac 3 can be purchased from the App Store or directly from WinZip.
Latest release has minor tweaks, same focus on testing
Just six days after the previous release, Apple has pushed out the eighth beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to developers for testing. Other than minor tweaks and fixes, the only thing different about the latest version is its build number, 13D45a -- just two build versions older than the previous one, and with an "a" appendix for unknown reasons. The numbering suggests that the update is nearing "golden master" status, with no known issues listed.
US Domino's customers can now pay using Google Wallet
Pizza service Domino's has added Google Wallet to its payment options for US customers, available on Android. Beginning today, pizza orders can be placed through the Google Wallet app, and those who spend more than $10 will receive a free order of Specialty Chicken until June 15. New users can initiate an account directly within the Domino's mobile app, or through Google's own portal.
App sends variety of video codecs to Apple's media streaming box
Apple's "hobby" Apple TV may not have been the first to market, or the most flexible, but it was the cleanest interface and easiest to use of all the media streamers. Bound to the iTunes ecosystem, it allowed for simple connection and content navigation for all levels of experience. However, for the experienced user, the limit on codecs the device supports is a bit of a problem. A few solutions exist for wider codec playback, but one that promises simplicity is Beamer 2.0 by Tupil. The simple app purports to allow drag-and-drop playback of nearly any video file to an Apple TV, but how well does it actually perform?
Google refunds, provides extra credit to buyers of fake antivirus tool
Google is providing refunds to buyers of the fake Virus Shield app for Android. Discovered by Android Police, the paid $3.99 app was discovered to just switch between different sets of graphics, and failed to provide any protection. The app was removed from the Play Store shortly after the discovery, with more than 10,000 downloads recorded. Google has started to send e-mails to affected customers, promising a refund within 14 days and a $5 promotional credit for Google Play.
No reported fatalities in South Korean data center fire
A number of Samsung online services were unavailable for several hours this weekend, after major incident at a Samsung data center used for backing-up data. A fire at the Samsung SDS building in Gwacheon, South Korea caused the outage, which reportedly affected smartphones, tablets, and Smart TV apps that connect to the center in order to function, with services restored hours later.
Vimeo's Couch mode feature adds compatibility with Leap Motion controller
Video content platform Vimeo has announced that its Couch Mode feature is now compatible with the Leap Motion controller. The new addition allows Vimeo users to control their viewing with hand-based gestures, such as a circle gesture with one's finger fast-forwarding or rewinding a video, and tapping one's finger in the air engages playing or pausing. A swiping gesture plays the next video in queue.
Experts say conjoint studies flawed, patents worthless as Samsung begs for time
The eighth full day of the Samsung-Apple patent trial went through another raft of witnesses as Samsung struggles to make its case inside its allotted limit of 25 hours -- a problem that hounded the company in the last trial as well. Lead attorney for Samsung John Quinn was forced to read transcripts of declarations to save time, hustle through witnesses and plead with Judge Lucy Koh for more time. An expert that the Galaxy S5 maker paid $1,000 an hour for refuted a colleagues' studies as "kind of biased."
UC Berkeley was birthplace of BSD Unix kernel used in OS X, iOS
Apple has again expanded its Maps program for both iOS and OS X by adding 3D "Flyover" support for the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the city of Berkeley and its University of California campus, which by happenstance is the birthplace of the original UNIX used as the foundation of both OS X and iOS. The 3d Flyover feature has generally been regarded as one of Maps' best features, alongside turn-by-turn driving navigation.
Free service will gain advertising, $3.99 subscription will be ad-free
Samsung will be offering a premium version of its Milk Music service to its users in the future, the phone manufacturer has revealed. Launched last month as a free service for Galaxy smartphone owners, Samsung will soon introduce advertising to free accounts, adding an option to remove advertising priced at $3.99 per month, with premium subscribers said to be receiving some unnamed "exclusive features."
VLC for iOS updated, adds folders, more options
Free media player VLC has updated its iOS ported app today, offering various fixes and new features. Users can play most video file formats, and do so without the need for conversion. File synchronization with Dropbox, GDrive, iTunes, direct download and through an embedded web upload is also permitted by the app.
Canonical releases Ubuntu 14.04 for desktops and servers, update for phone and tablets
Canonical has released its latest Long Term Support version of Ubuntu for desktops and servers. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS includes an update to its phone version as well as for tablets. Stated in a press release from by the company, the most recent Ubuntu version will "form the basis of the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets from Canonical OEM partners."
OWC updates its Hard Drive DIY Kit for expanding iMac storage
Other World Computing today introduced its new DIY Kit for all 2011 iMac and 27-inch 2012 iMac models, enabling owners to replace the factory-installed internal hard drive with up to a 6TB hard drive for expanded storage and back-up capacity. The kits feature a custom power cable with an in-line digital thermal sensor, ensuring proper factory fan operation and full compliance with Apple diagnostic testing.
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.
Likely meant to boost Carousel
Cloud storage service Dropbox has bought out Loom, a photo storage and organization service, according to a notice on the latter company's website. Additionally acquired by the file sharing locker is collaborative document service Hackpad which will continue to support its app, unlike Loom.
RunKeeper's step tracking app utilizes Apple's M7 chip in iPhone 5s
RunKeeper has launched a new, passive step tracking app today, entitled Breeze. By constantly tracking motion with the M7 chip found within the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers its users a personal coaching feature, in the form of push notifications and updates regarding one's activity levels. The following day, Breeze details a summary of the previous day's activities and stats. Users can share their completed goals, high activity level days, and a general activity profile with friends on Facebook, Twitter, RunKeeper and elsewhere. Free to download, Breeze requires iOS 7.0 or later and an iPhone 5s for full feature compatibility.
Galaxy owners can claim one free Kindle book from monthly selection
Samsung has entered into a partnership with Amazon to provide owners of its Galaxy smartphone and tablets free books. The Kindle for Samsung app, a custom-built version of Amazon's e-reader just for Galaxy devices, will provide not only access to the online retailer's collection of books and reading material, but will also give app users a free ebook every month.
Ergonis Software releases Typinator 5.9, preps for launch of version 6
Productivity software developer Ergonis has announced the release of Typinator 5.9, a maintenance update for its text expander. Released prior to the launch of the next major version 6, Typinator v5.9 incorporates several minor bug fixes, and improves compatibility with third-party applications, such as Aperture, MacGiro, Mellel and more. Requiring OS X 10.5.8 or later, Typinator 5.9 is a free upgrade for anyone who owns a valid license for Typinator 5, and costs $35.50 for new customers.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Tizen smartphones, Android-powered smart watch still on the way
Samsung is preparing to launch at least one Tizen-powered smartphone before the end of this year, according to an executive. Speaking in an interview about the Galaxy S5's sales figures, senior vice president for Samsung's product strategy team Yoon Han-kil advised that the first would be a "high-end model" launching around the end of the second quarter.
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Weekly update comes with no known issues, few changes
Just shy of a week after the last release, Apple has issued its seventh beta of the forthcoming maintenance release, 10.9.3, to developers. As before, the new version lists no known issues, and asks testers to focus on any remaining issues with graphics drivers, audio, Mail, Safari, and the re-introduced feature of local syncing of Contacts and Calendar data through iTunes to local devices. The new build, 13D43, also includes preliminary support for pixel doubling on 4K displays.
Cheaper Office 365 subscription lowers computer, tablet, user count
Microsoft has launched a new cheaper tier of its Office 365 subscription service, aimed at individuals wanting to use the productivity suite. Hinted at last month, Office 365 Personal allows for the software to be installed and used on one PC or Mac and one tablet, including the iPad version, rather than the five computers and five tablets provided in the more expensive Office 365 Home Premium, renamed to Home, subscription plan.
Excel Online adds comments, OneNote gains printing options
Microsoft has made a number of updates to its Office Online web apps, just over a month after its rebranding and relaunch. Changes to the online versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote apply to all users of the online productivity suite, with Chrome users also benefiting from the addition of the Office Online apps to the Chrome Web Store.
Universal app submissions part of Windows Dev Center changes
Microsoft has started to accept submissions for "Universal Apps" in its Dev Center. Developers can now link apps made for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store to create a single Windows app listing, allowing users to buy once on one platform and for it to be downloadable and usable on other Windows devices they also own.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
Windows Phone update to 8.1 adds Cortana, may void warranties
Windows Phone 8.1 is now available to download as a developer preview, allowing users to try out the Cortana virtual assistant on their own devices. The latest version of the mobile operating system, which Microsoft officially debuted on April 2nd at its Build conference, can be installed on smartphones owned by developers enrolled in Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer program.
Printer Pro adds nine languages, currently free to download
Wireless printing app for iPhone PrinterPro has announced that it has been localized into nine languages. Now the app is available in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese as well as English. The software allows users to print attachments, documents and web pages from their iPhone on any Wi-Fi or USB-connected printer. Currently free for the remainder of its 24-hour promotion, Printer Pro can be downloaded through iTunes, and is normally priced at $5.
Migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 delayed by IRS over budget troubles
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has paid Microsoft for an extra year of support for Windows XP, it has been revealed. The agency's failure to migrate approximately 58,000 out of 110,000 Windows computers from Windows XP to Windows 7, and though the actual figure being paid is unknown, it is likely to cost the IRS millions of dollars.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Latest Chrome beta for Android improves Chromecast support
Google has announced that it has begun rolling out a Chrome 35 beta for Android users today. Featuring improved Chromecast support, users can now send some video clips from the browser to a Chromecast-equipped TV. Additionally, Chrome now offers full-screen videos and improved support for multi-window devices. The update is available through Google Play.
Samsung begins its defense, downplays Apple patents, losses
Apple's presentation to the jury in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with attorneys for the iPhone maker resting their case as expected on Friday following the completion of damages expert Christopher Vellturo's detailed explanation of why Apple is asking for $2.191 billion in total from Samsung. Apple had one final witness on its list, but decided against calling him following Vellturo's testimony. Samsung has already begun its presentation, which seeks to minimize the value of Apple's royalties and calls the damages estimate "grossly inflated."
Can add menus, chapter markers to videos
Corel's Roxio division has released Toast DVD at the Mac App Store. The utility makes it possible to not only burn videos to DVDs or Video-TS folders, but add menus for navigation. There are 25 stock themes, and users can further customize colors, text, and backgrounds.
Mixvibes' Cross DJ 3.1 released, DJ competition announced
Mixvibes has introduced the newest version of its cross-platform software, Cross DJ v3.1.0. The software provides users with the tools needed to DJ, such as browsing track catalogues, and monitoring playing track's peaks and phrasings. The new version allows for the ability of users to record their mix and share it on Mixcloud and Youtube, as well as Dailymotion.
Replaces absent Google Reader sync with new sources
Popular RSS client Reeder has returned to the Mac in the form of an initial public beta of Reeder 2. The beta is a free download, and replaces Reeder's formerly centerpiece Google Reader sync with services like Feedly, Feedbin, and Fever. Alternately, the software can be set up with locally-stored, non-synced RSS feeds. Google discontinued Reader in July 2013.
Xcode update a bug-fix release, iMovie adds features
A week after developers received the "golden master" for Xcode 5.1.1 (free), the minor update has been released to users by Apple. The 2.18GB program, which allows developers to author programs for OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks (10.8 and 10.9) as well as iOS 7.1, has received a handful of bug fixes, and improves the reliability of Quick Look within the debugger. In addition, Apple has updated iMovie for Mac to v10.0.3, which adds new sorting, title and font options.
Verify Apps updated to check for Android malware regularly after installation
Google is attempting to improve the security of Android, by changing the way it monitors apps on mobile devices. The Verify Apps service, which protects smartphones and tablets by checking the apps for malware at the time of installation and warning over potentially harmful software, will be updated to provide constant on-device monitoring of apps after the installation.
Google Play Music app on Android can cast directly to Sonos speakers
Sonos is adding support for Google Play Music to its multi-room speaker system, the company has confirmed. While both Android and iOS will gain the extra support, users on Android will be able to control music playback from the Google Play Music app itself, and marks the first time the speaker manufacturer is allowing a third-party app to control the speakers directly.
Multiple sources confirm retirement was announced internally weeks ago
Earlier reports that senior iOS engineer and leader of Apple's Human Interface Group Greg Christie was leaving the company over tension with software and hardware design chief Sir Jonathan Ive appear to have been half-correct. Multiple sources have come forward to note that Christie is retiring, but had announced the move weeks ago internally.
Latest release comes with minor tweaks to new features
On Wednesday, Apple issued its sixth beta of the forthcoming maintenance release, 10.9.3. As with last week, developers are asked to focus on graphics drivers, audio, Mail, Safari and the newly-restored local syncing of contacts and calendar data over USB through iTunes. In earlier versions of iTunes 11, syncing was exclusively handled by iCloud. The new build, 13D38, is only five revisions higher than the previous release, suggesting that a public debut is likely to happen relatively soon.