Ting adds support for iPhone 5, could add iPhone 5s, 5c in September
Ting has started to support the iPhone 5 over its Sprint-based network, as rumored last month. The MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) already provides support for compatible iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets, with the iPhone 5 bringing it closer to current generation devices, but not by much. A blog post advises that, since the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c reached Sprint in late September last year, support for the devices is expected to occur at "about the same time this year."
Rapid take-up rate matches that of 7.0.6 security fix, adds speed, more
One day after Apple released its latest update to iOS, the latest version is now running on more than six percent of active iOS devices in North America, an analysis from mobile ad aggregator Chitika finds. While iOS 7.1 also contained security fixes, its major focus was adding a few new or enhanced features and squashing bugs, whereas the rapid adoption of the previous update -- 7.0.6 -- was credited to a major security patch.
New version of iPlayer from BBC features program Collections
The BBC is rolling out a new version of its iPlayer today, available for use online, with consoles and connected TVs for UK citizens. The changes to iPlayer have been made in an attempt to move away from being a static service, and aims to offer a more interactive experience. When an episode of a series finishes playing, iPlayer now automatically lines up the next episode in sequence, while suggesting other content that may be relevant to the viewer.
More news promised soon
A new edition of Office for Mac will ship later this year, says Microsoft Business Group Lead Thorsten Hübschen. The executive made the comment at this week's CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany. No details about planned upgrades are available, but development teams are said to be at work, and more news is due to be announced in the second quarter of the year. iOS and Android tablet versions of Office are described as possibilities; an Office for iPad has been rumored for years.
iOS 7.1 is out
This week saw the introduction of iOS 7.1, and yesterday Moderator "P" took to the MacNN forums to get the conversation started, saying that he hopes this fixes the issues some iPad owners have had with iOS 7 Safari. "Will Apple release a 4K Thunderbolt Cinema Display soon?" asks one Fresh-Faced Recruit who is wanting to replace their 10-year-old Apple Cinema Display.
Class-action filing mirrors similar $32.5M suit against Apple
A class action lawsuit against Google has been filed, accusing the search company of enabling unauthorized in-app purchases. The suit, filed by law firm Berger & Montague in San Francisco, accuses Google of failing to protect device owners from such purchases, and mirrors an earlier case against Apple over the same matter, one which led to a settlement of $32.5 million.
Second-generation Kindle Paperwhite features reach first generation
Amazon has updated the software for the first generation of the Kindle Paperwhite, bringing it in line with features already available to the newer model. The free update, available both as a wireless download or a manual transfer over USB, introduces the Goodreads community rating and note sharing scheme to the e-reader, among other new additions to the device.
Ironically patches loopholes that allowed Evasi0n jailbreak to work
In a backhanded compliment, the security notes accompanying today's release of iOS 7.1 thank the jailbreaking hacker team known as Evad3rs -- known for their jailbreaking software, Evasi0n -- for finding several security flaws, which iOS 7.1 patches. Ironically, these discoveries are also what made the Evasi0n jailbreaking software work, and thus iOS 7.1 "breaks" the software and un-jailbreaks any iOS devices using Evasi0n.
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Remote gains Apple TV upgrades
(Updated with Logic Remote news) In the wake of iOS 7.1 and Apple TV 6.1, Apple has released updates to Remote, Podcasts, and GarageBand for iOS, as well as Xcode and iAd Producer for desktops. While the Podcasts and GarageBand updates merely include bugfixes, Remote can now control iTunes Radio on an Apple TV. Apple TV owners have also gained the ability to browse purchased video through the app.
Units may just be subtle revisions
Separate builds of iOS 7.1, available from Apple's website, appear to reveal the existence of two unreleased iPads. The files are for devices identified as "iPad4,3" (link) and "iPad4,6" (link) respectively. iPad4,1 and 4,2 are known to be variants of the iPad Air, while iPad4,4 and 4,5 are Retina iPad minis.
M2 Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system offers room-filling sound, wirelessly
Kinivo has announced the availability of its M2 wireless speaker system, available for purchase online. The Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system is intended for home or office use, and includes two compact speakers with an active subwoofer. Its design features a black finish with copper accents on its volume controls. Able to connect to one's home entertainment system or workspace equipment, the speaker system can stream audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as any device that can connected through its auxiliary input. The M2 2.1 speaker system is priced at $70.
Bypasses Parental Controls menu
In tandem with iOS 7.1, Apple has released new firmware for the Apple TV, v6.1. While a relatively minor update, the code adds the ability to hide unwanted apps, a frequently-requested feature. It was previously only possible to change visible apps by blocking them through the Parental Controls menu. 6.1 can be downloaded through the Apple TV Software Update system.
Cash prize, Pebble Steel offered to highest-voted Pebble apps
Pebble has launched the Android version of its smart watch app store, just over one month after the iOS version first became available to use. The app's update to version 2.0 comes at the same time as the company launches a hackathon to create new apps for the crowd-funded device, with the developer of the highest-voted app receiving a grand prize of $5,000 in cash.
PonoPlayer to be available for pre-order via Kickstarter campaign beginning next week
Musician Neil Young has founded a high-fidelity digital music service, and with it an accompanying playback device soon to be available for pre-order. Entitled PonoMusic, the company encompasses both an online music store and a playback device (PonoPlayer), which is set to be available for pre-ordering through Kickstarter starting next week. The PonoPlayer offers the ability to play high-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for purchasing on PonoMusic.com. The aim is to deliver audio quality that is far superior to other audio file formats, such as the standard MP3.
Mujjo releases Understated, Low Key sleeve collections for iPhone 5s and iPad
Tech accessory producer, Mujjo, has announced the release of its two new sleeve collections -- Low-key and Understated -- for iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air. Composed of vegetable-tanned leather, the Low-key collection features a matte black finish, and the Understated collection a tan color. The sleeves' leather is treated with aniline oil for color enrichment, and the vegetable tanning process creates a dense and compact product. Both collections feature a combination of leather and felt, each with an angle-cut exterior pocket for additional items.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Milk Music offers 200 genre stations, personalization options, 13M songs
Samsung is offering owners of its Galaxy mobile devices in the United States a free streaming music service. Milk Music will let users listen to more than 200 genre-based and ad-free music stations, using a catalog of more than 13 million tracks to generate playlists, with the additional option of generating personal stations based on favorite songs and albums.
the future of Mac OS X debate continues
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to debate what the future of Mac OS X will hold, with some forum-goers noting that Microsoft is attempting major redesigns and customers are rejecting it. On another topic, "Can I delete apps without having to enter ID?" asked Mac Elite "jeff k" yesterday.
Appears intended to support 4K displays
The OS X 10.9.3 beta supports new graphics scaling options which appear aimed at supporting 4K displays, users say. While a Mac Pro or Retina MacBook Pro can connect to a 4K monitor, they normally do so at resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 24Hz, which results in OS X's interface being spread out and shrunk, and choppiness in the case of things like the mouse cursor. The MacBook Pro can alternately use 3840x2160 at 30Hz, but this isn't an improvement.
Nudity banned in Vine clips, though artistic and documentary nudity spared
Twitter has updated its terms of service for video sharing app Vine, banning videos of sexual content. The change, which takes immediate effect, aims to stop users from posting adult content of a sexual nature on the service, but still allows for nudity in an artistic or documentary context to be displayed, and appears to be another attempt by the company to clean up the service.
Update not officially available, but user-downloadable anyhow
Microsoft has, perhaps inadvertently, made the next version of Windows 8.1 available for download. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has been discovered, requiring either registry changes to automatically obtain the update, or a manual install by way of direct download.
Division responsible for $1.3 billion in losses in seven years
As a result of a shift in strategy, Disney's Internet and video game department Disney Interactive is laying off 25 percent of its employees, effective immediately. Around 700 employees are now looking for work, following 2013's consolidation of Disney's mobile and social game development efforts.
Graphics, audio requested as areas of focus in new build
Slightly less than two weeks after the public release of OS X 10.9.2, which brought FaceTime audio calling, Mail improvements and an important security fix to Mavericks, Apple is seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.3, build 13D12, to developers. The brief release notes mention that developers are requested to focus on audio and graphic drivers in their testing. The previous update was released after approximately 14 weeks of testing across seven betas.
Warning e-mail from ComiXology states no payment details at risk
Digital comic book retailer ComiXology is asking all of its customers to reset their passwords, as a precautionary measure following an intrusion. An e-mail sent to users of the comic book store and reader app states that an "unauthorized individual" had gained access to a database containing usernames, e-mail addresses, and "cryptographically protected" passwords.
App has utility in retail; Autism and healthcare utilities possible
Facial expression recognition company Emotient has announced the availability of its Sentiment Analysis prototype application for Google Glass, which is currently being released as a private beta with select partners and customers. The company claims that among other uses, the software could be used by retailers to improve the understanding of customer sentiment, as well as customer satisfaction.
Music curation API used by other music services will remain open despite purchase
Spotify is looking to bolster the music curation and discovery functions of its service, by acquiring music intelligence company The Echo Nest, the streaming music service has revealed. The purchase will provide Spotify with deeper access to The Echo Nest's knowledge base and music curation tools, currently used by competitors such as Nokia MixRadio and Rdio for their own music discovery offerings.
Opera adds WebRTC, updated design to Android browser
Opera has updated the Android variant of its web browser to version 20, and has included support for WebRTC, a technology that can support browser-based video conferencing. The update also adds a new customizable interface, a flat-design Speed Dial, upgrades to the search and address bar, an update of the Chromium core to version 33, and a number of other minor updates. The updated Opera for Android is available to download now from Google Play, for devices running Android 4.0 or higher.
Code allowed for benchmark manipulation by removing CPU throttling limitation
Samsung may have learned its lesson from the benchmark inflation affair, with a report suggesting the latest software updates from the company gives a more accurate result of a device's capabilities. Code relating to optimizing the processor of the company's smartphones in earlier releases of Android customized for the devices appears to be missing in Android 4.4 updates, which could be a sign it has been removed completely.
Twitch SDK allows players to stream game footage from mobile devices
Game video streaming service Twitch is hoping to expand the reach of its service into mobile gaming, from its existing PC and console efforts. The announced Twitch Mobile Software Development Kit will allow developers to add Twitch streaming to mobile titles, letting gamers broadcast their gameplay live, as well as capturing and archiving the video for future viewing.
Gmail update for iOS adds background mail retrieval, simplified sign-in
Google's email service Gmail has received an update for its iOS app. The newly redesigned app provides real-time notifications, multiple account support and search across one's entire inbox. In v3.0, Gmail now includes background app refreshing, meaning that email is fully downloaded and retrieved as it arrives in one's inbox, as opposed to syncing only when the app is opened. Sign-in has been simplified, with consolidated authorization with all Google apps now enabled. Gmail for iOS now requires iOS 7 for all features to function.
Vudu adding support for Google Chromecast to mobile apps, website
Vudu has revealed it will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to the streaming service in the future. Both the mobile apps for iOS and Android will gain the extra ability, including offering remote control through the app itself, with casting through the Chrome browser for Mac and PC also touted as part of the release. Though Vudu has yet to reveal a date, it is accepting registrations for beta testing.
Virtual assistant from Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1 demonstrated
Video of what is claimed to be a virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 has surfaced, showing the initial setup process. Cortana, named after the Halo character but could change before release, is shown to introduce itself to the user, asking for the user to set up their Microsoft account, naming the user, and asking a number of questions to set up initial notification preferences.
Smith Micro's 2D animation software Anime Studio 10 released
Announced today, Smith Micro has introduced its latest version of Anime Studio, Anime Studio Pro 10 and Anime Studio Debut 10. Animation software for both beginners and professionals, Anime Studio 10 features tools that provide increased bone control, more movement options and more, improving the simplicity of creating animated content. The latest bone features include rigging options to help set up more complex characters, and its independent angle constraints allow bones to keep their global angle and remain unaffected by inverse kinematics. Also included are new Bounce, Elastic and Stagger interpolations, as well as enhanced drawing tools. Anime Studio Debut is priced at $50, and the Pro 10 version is available for $300.
Facebook ignores name change request, improves article sharing
Facebook, which was asked by a prominent iPad developer to change the name of its Paper magazine-style article reader, has instead issued a minor update with the first new feature since its debut in late January. The iPhone-centric app is now at v1.0.2, which adds new ways to share Facebook articles.
Polishes areas like UI, performance, imports/exports
IGG Software has issued iBank 5.1, a significant update of its personal finance software. While there are no major feature additions, there are numerous smaller ones, and improvements to existing code. A system notification, for instance, now displays when Update Everything is finished, and source list counters show how many new transactions there are per account. Transaction management has been upgraded with things like drag-and-drop file attachment, manual mergers, an "unreconciled" filter, and a command option that shows the original details of imported transactions.
Touch ID fix on the way
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to discuss problems with Touch ID, and to many users' delight, Apple has announced that there is an iOS update in the works to fix the issue. Yesterday Grizzled Veteran "And.reg" turned to the forums looking for a reason why iTunes 7 is not showing any radio stations on a Powerbook G4 that they recently picked up.
App gains 64-bit code, better accuracy, transcriptions from recordings
Nuance has launched Dragon Dictate 4, a new edition of its dictation and transcription software for the Mac. The app has switched to a fully 64-bit codebase, allowing it to better exploit modern processors and RAM. Nuance says it has also improved the accuracy of voice recognition, optimizing it for newer technology.
Global launch allows Skype use within browser
Outlook.com users across the world will be able to use Skype from within their browser, Microsoft has revealed. Previously tested with a small number of users in the US and UK, the service allows all users of the e-mail service to make video calls, audio calls, and send messages to other Skype users, all from within the Outlook.com inbox.
Windows Update claimed to be in hands of manufacturers before April release
Microsoft has reportedly finalized the incoming update for Windows 8.1, ahead of a release in early April. The final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been signed-off for a Release to Manufacturing (RTM), namely to computer and notebook manufacturers to include in their products, with devices offering the update pre-installed likely to appear at the same time as the update's release to consumers.
Qrayon's Presentation Recorder creates HD video screencasts on iPad
App creator Qrayon has launched its latest product, Presentation Recorder. Available for iPad, Presentation Recorder lets users create HD video screencasts from an imported Keynote or PowerPoint deck. Created videos can be securely emailed or published to the service of choice. Voice audio is automatically synced to displayed slides in a presentation, and 720p HD videos can be edited within iMovie. Available for $3, Presentation Recorder requires iOS7.0 or later.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
Updates support for OS X 10.9.2, CUDA update also available
On Monday, video card maker Nvidia released updated drivers for 2010, 2009 and 2008-model Mac Pro units, along with a reminder that the units will need the previously-updated CUDA 5.5.28 driver for Mac in order to leverage the CUDA architecture in some Nvidia cards. The updated drivers bring support for the latest version of OS X Mavericks (10.9.2), and include an Nvidia Driver Manager preference pane.
Mac owners get custom UI colors
Quark has released a major update to QuarkXPress, v10.1. The software adds several important features, such as 8,000X zoom, and dynamic guides. The latter appear automatically when objects align with others, have the same width and height, and/or have the same distance to several more objects.
Virtual assistant settings menu shows Notebook, name options
Images of what could be the final form of Microsoft's Siri and Google Now competitor have surfaced. Cortana, named after the AI character from the Halo video game series but could still be rebranded for launch, has been previously said to have a similar personality to Siri, though in a nod to Google Now, the basic interface for the virtual assistant appears to offer a text-based entry option to go alongside the voice recognition system.
New version enhances business use at cost of some personality
FileMaker Pro 13 is the first new version of the venerable database software since the company opted to kill of its consumer-friendly Bento software, and brings some of that influence into the fold -- such as new themes, easier import and a more-streamlined web-publishing feature to compliment FileMaker 12's mobile savvy. Is it worth the upgrade? Are databases still useful outside business or enterprise? Read on to find out.
Beta version uses Dropbox to backup game progress and settings
Razer's Game Booster has been gained another feature in its recent beta release, bringing cloud-saving capabilities to the software for game save files and settings as the company branches out further. The new Game Save Manager currently supports over 2,000 titles with more being added.
Initiative may seek to increase Bing penetration, grow Windows adoption
According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft is allegedly working on a subsidized version of "Windows 8.1 with Bing." With Microsoft solutions included -- such as the eponymous Bing search engine as default -- Microsoft appears to be readying a free or inexpensive version of Windows, perhaps to combat Apple's offering of OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" for free.
where is OS X heading?
This week in the MacNN Forums, a discussion was started about the direction that OS X might be headed after Mac Elite "PeterParker" posed the question "Do you think OS X will receive a radical redesign?" to fellow users. Forum-goers discuss what iPhone choice would be better, an iPhone with 16GB of storage or 32GB.
Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future
Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.