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Daily Deals: Long Weekend Edition

05/23, 10:30pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for the Memorial Day weekend

Hello and welcome to an unusual edition of Daily Deals. Typically, the staff of MacNN and Electronista do not provide a deals post on a Saturday or Sunday, but since retailers are offering sales over this three-day weekend, we're making an exception. As well as a recap of the still-active deals from earlier this week, we'll be adding new deals to the list throughout the weekend, so you can make the most of your money.


Hands On: Folder Color 2.1.0 (OS X)

05/23, 1:03pm

Convenient color coding for visual thinkers

Naturally, you have not filled your Mac's desktop with folders. You've done it with files. But from time to time, when you can't see anything any more, you make some temporary folders and move everything into there. Job done. Until you now have millions of folders and unlike files, folders all look identical. Not any more. Not if you buy Folder Color


Briefly: Pebble Time ships May 27, HBO Now discounts considered

05/22, 5:32pm

Pebble Time backer shipments to begin from May 27

The Pebble Time smartwatch will start shipping to backers of its Kickstarter campaign from May 27, the company has revealed. In mass production since the start of this month, backers of the Pebble Time are being sent invitations to finalize their selections for backer rewards and their smartwatch, with tracking numbers expected to be provided to customers by mid-June. Shipments of the smartwatch will apparently continue on a "rolling basis" when the devices reach regional distribution centers. The company has also advised it is preparing to debut the new support apps called "Pebble Time Watch" for iOS and Android from next week


Daily Deals: ViewSonic Projector, Acer Chromebook, iTunes credit

05/22, 2:20pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 22, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week follows after the new batch of deals, including a 1080p home theater projector, a $130 Chromebook, and the Logitech UE Mini Boom speaker.


Forums: 15-inch MBP updates, wireless mouse problems and more

05/22, 2:14pm

15-inch MBP updates, wireless mouse problems and more

This week in the MacNN forums, members discussed the recent updates to the 15-inch MBP in a thread started by Moderator "P" in which he points out some of the changes that have been made. Today Mac Elite "rotuts" turned to the forums looking for help figuring out why his Logitech mouse is not working with his new iMac.


Pointers: get more and less from Spotlight

05/22, 12:47pm

Find fewer but better results on iOS and OS X

There must have been a time before Spotlight, but who wants to remember that? While we've often recommended applications with similar functions like LaunchBar 6 and Alfred 2, what Spotlight does out of the box is very good. It could be handier, though, and you can stop it searching everything, everywhere. You are always more likely to search for music in iTunes, for instance, so having Spotlight list all the soppy ballads you own takes time and might be embarrassing.


Android M could be revealed with fingerprint reader API next week

05/22, 12:36pm

Expected Android unveiling at Google developer conference may include biometric security API

The next version of Android could ship with native fingerprint authentication, bringing it in line with iOS devices, according to reports. Android M, the next version of Android expected to be announced at next week's Google I/O developer conference, could include an API that allows developers access to the functionality from within their apps, potentially making it easier for device producers to add a fingerprint reader to their devices using a common interface.


Google reportedly working on Internet of Things operating system

05/22, 8:42am

Brillo software for the Internet of Things may launch at Google developer conference

Google is planning to make its mark on the Internet of Things, by reportedly offering its own operating system. The search company is said to be working on "Brillo," software The Information reports would be capable of running on smart devices, such as refrigerators and light bulbs, with extremely low power and RAM requirements, potentially as low as 64MB or 32MB of memory in some cases.


Daily Deals: Seagate Barracuda, Asus Transformer, Nintendo 2DS

05/21, 1:41pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 21, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search the Internet to find bundles, discounts, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The last few days of still-active deals are accompanied by a new set, including a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, the Nintendo 2DS, and an Asus Transformer notebook.


Briefly: Facebook video calls goes global, Google Maps traffic alerts

05/21, 9:53am

Facebook Messenger video calling rolls out globally

Facebook is making video calling via the Messenger app available to more users. Previously available in 18 countries, including the United States, the Facebook Messenger video calling has been rolled out globally for iOS and Android users, though some countries will be delayed in receiving the calls due to ongoing work to improve the service's quality in those regions.


Hands On: Postbox 4.0b4 (OS X, Windows)

05/21, 7:53am

Powerful replacement for Apple's Email

It used to be that free trumped everything, especially when that free was something built by Apple or Microsoft. When literally every Mac or Windows user has a particular type of software provided right there with their computer, it used to be that rivals simply died. Now we seem more open to persuasion, or at least to considering alternatives, and for some people Postbox 4 is going to be so ideal they'll wish they bought it two versions ago.


Briefly: Comcast HBO Go on Fire TV, Wi-Fi update for Android Wear

05/20, 6:09pm

Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick gain HBO Go, Showtime Anytime access on Comcast

Comcast is finally allowing owners of the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to access two major streaming apps. Showtime Anytime and HBO Go can now be used through the two streaming devices, with Comcast subscribers required to download the relevant apps and sign in using their Xfinity TV account details. Access to both Showtime Anytime and HBO Go has already been granted to a large number of other set-top boxes, including Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Chromecast.


Daily Deals: Lenovo G50, Logitech UE Boom, Sony Action Camera

05/20, 3:10pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 20, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for sales, bundles, discounts, and offers on hardware, software, and gadgetry for you, the discerning reader. A recap of still-active deals follows the new batch, which includes $300 off a Lenovo notebook, the Logitech UE Boom speaker, and the Sony AS30 HD Action Camera


Hands On: Awesomenauts (cross-platform)

05/20, 12:31pm

Cartoony MOBA offers fun play, poor multiplayer experience

Ah, the humble multiplayer online battle arena, or as it's colloquially known, the MOBA. We're not sure if there is a more misunderstood genre. This community-heavy, no-holds-barred, multiplayer brawl is almost unanimously love it or hate it, with very few people in between. Today, we took a look at a rather unusual MOBA, known as Awesomenauts, to see where it stacks up against other big-name games.


Living With: iTunes

05/20, 7:25am

More than a dozen years with the maligned music player

I can see me doing this now, ripping a track off a CD of mine for the very first time. I was in my living room, it was Orinoco Flow by Enya and I was ripping it onto my PowerBook G3. Can't quite tell you when it was, can't even be sure that iTunes existed then, but I remember how peculiarly, deliciously weird it felt having that music continue playing after I took the CD out.


Daily Deals: XYZprinting 3D printer, Dell 4K monitor, Dodocase

05/19, 2:50pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 19, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search online for offers, sales, bundles, and discounts on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. New deals follow after a recap of still-active deals from yesterday, with today's additions including a wide discount on Dodocase products, a 4K monitor from Dell, and a 3D printer and scanner for $600.


Apple Watch: Watch OS 1.0.1 update out, Cook adds China to June list

05/19, 1:54pm

First software update for Apple Watch adds emoji, offers bug fixes, more

On Tuesday, Apple issued its first-ever software update for the Apple Watch, nearly a month after its abortive retail debut. The popular device, still facing overwhelming demand and supply shortages due to a now-worked-out part issue, can be updated through the paired iPhone to Watch OS version 1.0.1, which brings the usual "performance improvements and bug fixes" to the device, adds more than 300 new emoji characters, and updates language support.


Basis releases Peak software update, reveals titanium fitness tracker

05/19, 10:58am

HealthKit, Google Fit integration to provide more Peak data to fitness apps

Basis, the Intel-owned company behind the Peak fitness tracker, is rolling out a major update to its Basis App that will allow it to work with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, along with a number of other changes. At the same time, the manufacturer has also started selling a limited-edition version of the Peak tracker, this time made from titanium instead of the aluminum used in the standard version.


Starbucks teams up with Spotify for in-store music

05/19, 9:14am

App integration will allow Spotify users to earn Starbucks rewards

Starbucks employees will be able to have more control over in-store music provided by Spotify, the two companies have revealed. A multi-year deal struck between the coffee chain and the music streaming service will also do more than provide music, with it opening up the Starbucks loyalty program to allow Spotify subscribers to increase their rewards balance and eventually earn free drinks.


Microsoft will control release schedule for Windows 10 mobile updates

05/18, 5:06pm

Carriers will be unable to delay Windows 10 for Mobile update releases

Microsoft will be attempting to make Windows 10 for mobile devices more secure than Windows Phone has been previously, by excluding device manufacturers and carriers from the process entirely. The software giant will be directly applying patches to smartphones running Windows 10 Mobile, potentially eliminating some of the operating system fragmentation that occurs when carriers delay the release of upgrades produced by manufacturers.


Daily Deals: Samsung 512GB SSD, Mac mini, Altec speaker

05/18, 2:04pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 18, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. The deals slate has been wiped clean of last week's sales, with the new batch including a 512GB SSD from Samsung, a $400 Mac mini, and an Altec Bluetooth Speaker for $30.


Pointers: Add photos to recent contacts (OS X, iOS)

05/18, 11:01am

Stop that toothless grin look in iOS multitasking

Apple's iOS 8 introduced the very handy and surprisingly-controversial feature that when you press the Home button twice to swap between applications, you also see a row of your recent and favorite callers. The controversy is just that some people don't like the idea that anyone can pick up their iPhone and see who they've been talking to. We can help you with that, but we'd much rather sort out the Horrible Gap: the way that if you don't have a photo of a recent caller, iOS 8 displays their initials in a gray circle.


Hands On: Alternote 1.0 (OS X)

05/16, 7:11am

An alternative to Evernote's kludgy interface

It's not so much "alter" as in "change," it's more "alter" as in "alternative." Alternote 1.0 is an alternative to Evernote, or at least it is a better way of writing notes into Evernote. It's not a true alternative like Microsoft's OneNote, where the two do the same jobs of both entering and storing notes. Instead, Alternote is a substitute for the Evernote note-entering interface: you can write in this faster, and it's a much cleaner, simpler, OS X Yosemite-like application that is visually appealing.


Windows 10 free upgrade will not be available to pirates

05/15, 11:10pm

Microsoft clarifies stance on free Windows 10 upgrade qualification

Microsoft will not be providing the free Windows 10 upgrade to owners of pirated operating systems, the software giant has clarified. A blog post by operating systems vice president Terry Myerson doubles back from earlier comments suggesting users of pirated software would receive the update, with the affected users now being required to pay for a full Windows license before receiving Windows 10.


Daily Deals: JBL speakers, Alienware Alpha, Cube 3D Printer

05/15, 1:37pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 15, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search for sales, offers, discounts, and bundles on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week's still-going deals follows, while the new collection includes JBL all-weather speakers, a $400 Alienware Alpha computer, and a 3D Systems printer.


Briefly: FCP X 10.2.1, Quanta now 'full speed' on Watch deliveries

05/15, 12:09pm

New FCP X update fixes crash-on-launch bug, returns AVCCAM support

An update to Final Cut Pro X issued yesterday is minor by technical standards, but crucial to users who were experiencing a crash-on-launch bug, which affected some users. Apple on Thursday issued version 10.2.1 for Final Cut Pro X to fix the issue, as well as restoring support for Panasonic's AVCCAM video format at 25p and 30p frame rates. The update also increases accuracy as users select a range in the Timeline by dragging.


Encrypted messenger Bleep released to public with new iOS app

05/14, 5:06pm

End-to-end encrypted messaging app from BitTorrent adds screenshot protection

BitTorrent has made its private and secure messaging app available to all potential users, following an invitation-only alpha testing period last year. Alongside the existing Windows, OS X, and Android versions, Bleep has finally made the transition to iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad owners to use the end-to-end encrypted, peer-to-peer messaging service.


Daily Deals: Audio Technica USB mic, Nintendo 3DS XL, Massive Chalice

05/14, 1:52pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 14, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the column where we scour online retailers for discounts, sales, offers, and deals on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Our usual recap of still-active deals follows after the new batch, which includes an Audio Technica USB condenser microphone, a Nintendo 3DS XL, and half price early access to Massive Chalice


Google restricts extension installs in Chrome for Mac, Developers

05/14, 9:55am

Windows Developers, Mac users forced to install extensions through Chrome Web Store

Google is expanding the reach of a security policy it introduced last year, preventing users from installing Chrome extensions sourced from anywhere but the Chrome Web Store. Initially put in place for Windows users, the rule is now being applied to the browser's developer channel for Windows as well as the main Mac version of the browser, with the changes taking place over the next few months.


Game Replay: Portal 2 in Lego Dimensions, Rockstar Editor on consoles

05/13, 9:44pm

Gaming new summary for May 13, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly post where MacNN and Electronista look back at the last few days in the wider world of gaming. In today's edition, more IP is confirmed for Lego Dimensions, the Rockstar Editor will be heading to Grand Theft Auto V on next-gen consoles, and Nintendo is seriously contemplating dropping regional restrictions in its next console launch.


Pointers: work smarter with Smart Folders, Albums, Playlists

05/13, 6:33pm

Apple's database of your inventory allows for quick, easy custom views

In the classes I often teach on OS X and iOS devices and how to utilize them, a great deal of confusion comes up about the concept of Smart Folders -- or, as they are known in iPhoto and Photos (and elsewhere) Smart Albums; or as they are known in Mail, Smart Mailboxes; or as they are known in iTunes, Smart Playlists. They certainly sound smart, so what does that say about us that we often can't figure them out? How are they different from regular folders, albums, mailboxes, and playlists? Read this edition of Pointers to find out.


Briefly: Google Fit gains Android Wear widget, Gmail for Android

05/13, 4:51pm

Google Fit adds calorie burn, distance estimates, Android Wear widget

The latest update to Google Fit for Android has added the ability to estimate the distance the user has traveled, and using information such as gender, height, and weight from their profile, estimate the calories burned. The update also includes a new widget for use with Android Wear smartwatches, one which provides more details about how far away the wearer is from their daily goal.


Daily Deals: Typinator, Buzzi Smart Plug, Dell 23-inch monitor

05/13, 2:47pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 13, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search for the best hardware and software offers, sales, discounts, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. A mid-week recap of still-active deals comes after new additions to the list, including the Typinator Family Pack, a Buzzi Wi-Fi Smart Plug, and a 23-inch Dell monitor.


Review: FileMaker Pro 14 (OS X, iOS, Windows)

05/13, 12:22pm

Excellent update to a superb but not flawless tool

Here's the thing. FileMaker Pro is a quietly spectacular app: it's for creating databases but for three decades now it has also created careers. There are people whose entire working lives have been devoted to creating databases in FileMaker Pro and they do it for lone freelancers, corner shop businesses and even corporations. Now a new FileMaker Pro 14 has been released for the app's 30th anniversary and, with one caveat, it is hugely recommended. Check our full review to see what we liked, and what we didn't.


Briefly: BBC iPlayer closing outside UK, WWE Network on UK Apple TV

05/13, 10:23am

BBC shutting down global version of iPlayer

The BBC is shutting down its Global Player for the BBC iPlayer streaming tool. Spotted on Twitter by The Next Web, the BBC has advised auto-renewing subscriptions will cease between May 26 and June 26, with downloaded programs becoming unavailable after the user's subscription ends. The United Kingdom-specific version of the iPlayer is unaffected by the closure.


Microsoft opens up real-time Skype translation preview to all users

05/12, 4:45pm

Real-time voice-based Skype translation available in English, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin

Microsoft is making its Skype Translator available to all users of the video messaging service. Open to everyone, instead of being available to people signing up to take part in the preview, the tool provides near real-time translation of spoken languages, allowing participants to easily speak to each other with little in the way of additional conversational gaps between participants.


Daily Deals: Maingear Spark A8, Netgear Nighthawk X4, 4K monitor

05/12, 2:23pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 12, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and other interesting items for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap of yesterday's still-active deals follows the new list, which includes a Netgear dual band smart router, a compact Maingear Spark A8 desktop, and a 28-inch Samsung 4K monitor.


Hands On: BBEdit 11.1 (OS X)

05/12, 1:30pm

Is there anything this text editor can't do?

Sometimes you just need a pencil. BBEdit is not that. BBEdit is more like a lifetime of writing and editing tools compiled into one veteran application, and regularly updated with more. It got a shakeup with version 11, but now the new BBEdit 11.1 introduces still more features -- seriously, where do they keep finding features to put into this text editor?


FileMaker debuts version 14, celebrates 30th anniversary year

05/12, 10:55am

New version simplifies business automation, improves tablet browser experience

In parallel with the Apple spin-off's 30th anniversary of its flagship product, FileMaker on Tuesday announced Filemaker 14, its flagship database program for OS X, Windows, and iOS. New features in the update include a new Script Workspace to speed up common business processes, and also includes a redesigned WebDirect optimization for tablet browsers, a Launch Center for more app-like visual icons for FM-based programs, an enhanced iOS experience, and general speed and interface enhancements.


Daily Deals: Lenovo Y40, 50-inch Toshiba TV, IR thermometer

05/11, 1:29pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 11, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search the Internet for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. The slate has been wiped clean, leaving only new deals, including a Lenovo Y40 gaming notebook, a 50-inch Toshiba television, and an infrared thermometer from Nubee.


Briefly: Amazon Echo Prime Stations, Windows Insider upgrades

05/11, 10:20am

Amazon adds Prime Stations to Echo wireless speaker

Amazon has updated the Echo portable wireless speaker to work with Prime Stations. An email sent to Prime subscribers owning the device advises that the Alexa digital assistant can be commanded to play a personalized ad-free station from Prime Music. The verbal command "Alexa, play the Bruno Mars Prime Station" will start streaming the relevant station through the speaker, with "Alexa, thumbs up/thumbs down" rating the track for further personalization, and "Alexa, what song is this?" to receive more track details.


Hands On: BBC News 2.1.4 & NY Times Breaking News 5.0 (iOS, Watch)

05/11, 7:10am

Two of the world's best news services on your Apple Watch

It's not as if either BBC or the New York Times is flawless in terms of news coverage but they are behemoths that are mostly trusted and what they write sets the news agenda across the world. Now both are among the burgeoning news apps available for Apple Watch and they have separately found similar yet sometimes distinctly different ways to do some nice touches. One has done it via a standalone app and one via its existing Newsstand version and this would be a news app smackdown except we're recommending you get both.


Review: Alsoft DiskWarrior 5.0 (OS X)

05/10, 8:30am

An old friend returns, but you can't always go home again

For veteran Mac users, the mere mention of the name of DiskWarrior often brings stories of multiple bacon-saving incidents or helping in the resurrection of drives and data nearly written off from across the last three decades. There are few Mac programs that have earned genuine "legendary" status, but DiskWarrior, from tiny outfit Alsoft, is one of them. Recently the company released a version 5.0 for modern Macs after a nearly five-year hiatus since version 4.4, but in the meantime much as changed. DW is still awesome at what it does -- but is what it does as relevant now as it once was? Check out our review to find out.


Briefly: Google Play app pre-registration, Possible Tesco Mobile sale

05/09, 3:19pm

Google Play adds option to pre-register for Android apps

Android users are now able to pre-register for apps due for release in the near future on Google Play. According to Android Central, Glu Media's Terminator Genisys: Revolution game currently gives the option to sign up for an alert when the app is released, allowing them to buy it as soon as it becomes available. The same system also allows users who have registered their interest to unregister, if they no longer want a release alert for the app.


Briefly: WWDC scholarships, Xcode 6.3.2 GM, USB-C hub now funded

05/08, 5:10pm

Apple sends out notifications to winning WWDC scholarship applicants

Just a month before the conference starts, Apple has begun sending out emails to 350 winners of a contest for Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) scholarship admissions. Student developers and members of STEM, a group dedicated to offering minorities increased opportunities in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, were able to enter to win free admission to the conference. This year's student scholarships were increased to 350 from the previous 200.


Developer evangelist claims Windows 10 'last' version of Windows

05/08, 4:43pm

Comments suggest regular updates instead of milestone Windows releases in future

Windows 10 will be the "last" version of the operating system, a Microsoft developer evangelist has claimed. Speaking at the Ignite conference earlier this week, Jerry Nixon told attendees "Right now we're releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we're all still working on Windows 10," suggesting Microsoft will be taking an alternative path to upgrading the operating system.


Researcher: MacKeeper software has critical security flaw

05/08, 2:58pm

Contentious utility ignored Apple guidelines, created zero-day exploit

Controversial software package MacKeeper -- long a sore spot with veteran users due to its aggressive and fear-based advertising, reputation for causing more problems than it might solve, and deliberate difficulty and obfuscation when users want to remove it -- has often been labelled junkware, extortionware, trickware, or even a form of malware in its own right, despite the company's protestations. A security researcher has now found, however, that the program contains a critical security flaw that leaves users vulnerable to attack.


Daily Deals: Sony NEX-5TL, Slingbox M1, Logitech wireless mouse

05/08, 1:43pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for May 8, 2015

Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers, searching for discounts, sales, bundles, and offers for you, the discerning reader. Our usual final recap of the week's still-active deals follows the new batch, which includes the Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX, the Slingbox M1, and a Sony NEX-5TL bundle.


Apple Game Roundup: iOS Legend of Grimrock, ARMA for OS X?

05/08, 10:17am

Apple Game Roundup for May 12, 2015

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at the release of Legend of Grimrock for the iPad, a Game of the Year update for Wasteland 2, Nintendo's tone-deafness on the smartphone game market and five forthcoming releases through 2016, and a possible future release of military shooter ARMA for OS X.


NYT: Uber reportedly bids $3B for Nokia Here maps

05/08, 7:18am

Uber allegedly joins fight to acquire Nokia mapping arm

Uber has apparently placed a bid to acquire the Here mapping arm of Nokia, according to a report. The New York Times claims the company has placed a bid in the region of $3 billion for the mapping technology, though it still has competition from other sources, including a collection of German car manufacturers working with Baidu, as well as another offer from an unnamed private equity firm.



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