Working together is quicker than ever with Dropbox
Dropbox is so handy and so universally-used that it's probably the case that either you already use it to share files, or you haven't yet had a need to. Dropbox has changed over the years, though, and the current ways of sharing large files and whole folders are better. They're easier. They're also faster, in that you can do much more sharing directly from the Finder on your Mac, and only rarely going to Dropbox.com to do anything.
Comcast notably not allowing PlayStation 4 HBO Go app to operate
HBO Go has been enabled for the PlayStation 4 in the United States, allowing most cable customers with the channel included in their subscription to access the app, with one notable exception. Comcast is still denying access to HBO Go through the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, but it is unclear why the cable company is taking the stance in the first place.
Not necessarily related to rumored Apple 'iCar,' but with eye on collaboration
Two major auto manufacturers are said to be in talks with Apple about a variety of possible partnerships, from Continental's hopes that it could participate in any rumored Apple Car creation to BMW's desire to collaborate with the iPhone maker about bringing some its existing and future car technology to its auto lineup. BMW went out if its way, however, to specifically deny that its talks with Apple have anything do with developing or building a car.
Service ending following Google purchase of IP, technology
Softcard, the mobile payments service backed by carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile, will be closing completely by the end of this month. The company revealed that, following the purchase of its intellectual property and technology by Google, the Softcard app will cease working on March 31, with accounts automatically closing on the same date.
Building iPad version assisted in Mac rebuild and rethink of programs, company says
Microsoft on Thursday released a public preview beta of the programs that make up the forthcoming Office 2016 for Mac. The new versions, which inherit many of the features from the last Windows release, offer a Yosemite-inspired look that support Retina displays, full-screen mode, and other modern Mac and OS X features. The preview versions are completely free to download and use, but are intended to give customers a sneak peek and to gather feedback from users ahead of the final release.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 5, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where discounts, sales, and offers for various gadgets, gizmos, hardware, and software are listed for you, the dear MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we recap the still-active deals from earlier this week, with the new items including a 40-inch HDTV, a $25 dual-band wireless router, and $20 off the Amazon Kindle.
Imgur releases second iPhone, iPad app
Imgur, the image hosting service, has launched a new app for iOS devices. The free app provides quick access to popular images on the service, as well as voting and commenting on individual photographs, and managing the user's own image collection. This is Imgur's second attempt at the mobile app, as the original iOS version wasn't "native to the platform," founder and CEO Alan Schaaf told The Verge. An Android app is currently available, but Imgur is apparently planning to update it, bringing it in line with the iOS version.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 4, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals the post where we search for offers and discounts on a variety of computer hardware, gadgets, games, and other technology for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Aside from a recap of still-active deals, today's new additions include the Wacom Cintiq 13HD, $200 off a 55-inch RCA HDTV, and a Sony Action Camera for $150.
Medieval-themed physics games has players building fantastic siege engines
Physics games are fun, and we'd be willing to be that most gamers are keen to agree. There's something almost addicting about games that employ smart physics engines, and fun rag-doll effects, that just seem to keep us coming back for more. Newcomer Besiege, by Spiderling Games, is a title that takes everything we love about the physics genre, drops it into a Medieval setting, and creates one of the most fun not-quite-sandbox games we've played with in a long time.
Simple, useful radio streaming app for Macs
It used to be so much fun, tuning in to radio stations from around the world. Shortwave radios -- who has those any more? Sitting in central Paris, just about able to pick up BBC Radio 4 from the UK -- it's just no thrill now that you can listen to any station, anywhere in the world, on a whim. Snowflake, a new app born from the ashes of radio recorder Snowtape, makes it even less of a thrill: it is an extremely easy-to-use radio app that streams music from around the world right to your Mac.
Harnessing the iPad as Mac graphics tablet
Professional creation apps often feature built-in support for drawing tablets, though many users never get the chance to take advantage of this, due to the high cost of these input accessories. Astro-HQ, a new company formed by two former Apple engineers, is looking to solve this issue with the release of Astropad, a new tool that turns nearly any iPad into a sketch board for any OS X app. Consisting of a free iOS app and a $50 desktop companion, Astropad looks to be a great option for a graphics artist on a tight budget.
Coriolis debuts Yosemite-specific iDefrag 5
Coriolis Systems has unveiled its latest version of utility tool iDefrag. Now on version 5, the new software has a revamped user interface to accommodate Yosemite, boasts easier-to-understand statistics about fragmented drives, better handling of bad drive blocks, new documentation, and enhanced support for Retina displays. The new version is priced at $40, with an upgrade from previous versions available for $20 through the company's web store.
clean installs, contact access and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was asking other members how they might go about doing a clean install of the OS on a 2010 MacBook Pro that they don't have a system install disc for. A discussion about giving Apps access to contacts was started by Mac Elite "jeff k" earlier this week, after he asked about a specific app that was requesting such access.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 3, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post when the staff of MacNN and Electronista search for discounts and deals on hardware, software, games, gadgets, and other tech for you, our discerning readers. Today, we have a pair of Linksys routers, Sennheiser headphones, and a 27-inch Dell 4K monitor, alongside our recap of yesterday's still-active deals.
One year as a premium subscriber
It's one year since I was given a premium subscription to Evernote for OS X as a present, it's probably three years since I started using the service and its generous free version. Naturally, when you've used something for a while you get familiar with it and you know it's good and bad points. However, the kind of long-term test that Living With entails feels especially vital with Evernote. At first it feels like a handy note-taking app or convenient syncing service but if that is enough for you to carry on using it, there suddenly comes a moment when it changes. At some point Evernote becomes a ubiquitous part of your working life.
Switching keys, attitudes, and getting the input of the masters of the house
Recently, staff writer and long-time Windows user Malcolm Owen returned to the Mac following a five-year absence. Back to the Mac is a series of posts where he charts his progress in introducing Apple to his computing environment again. In this installment, Malcolm recounts his first full working week with on the Mac mini.
Switching between two different ways of using an item or working can be tough to do. Long-established patterns are difficult to break, and altering the way you navigate a computer in the short term could, for people resistant to change, be akin to giving up an addiction. I hate change.
First public release of Photos does not replace iPhoto, Aperture
A little over a week after the second developer beta of OS X 10.10.3, which includes the first public peek at the forthcoming Photos app, Apple has made a new version public for pre-registered beta testers. Build 14D87p is the first public beta of 10.10.3, and includes the Photos app for public testing for the first time (developers had been able to to use the application in the previous two betas). The public version appears to be identical to the second developer beta, numbered 14D87h.
Amendment intended as catch-all, includes motorbikes, ships, aircraft, more
According to a Swiss enthusiast site, Apple has amended the corporate document filings it maintains with the government in that country to include "vehicles" among its activities. The statement, added to official documents that classify the company for tax and licensing purposes, is incredibly broad -- covering any sort of product for any sort of moving vehicle, from wheelchairs to airplanes -- but is notable in light of recent speculation that Apple is developing a car of some type.
Secure messaging, document editing, collaboration tools coming to nearly all
BlackBerry today unveiled a package of software and services to bring the platform's security features to smartphone and tablets running iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. Coming to all platforms are the BlackBerry Productivity Suite, BlackBerry Communication and Collaboration Suite, and the BlackBerry Security Suite. The Productivity Suite allows users to manage work and personal messages, and edit documents across all devices. Additionally, all personal and work messages can be monitored one place, including email, text messages, and social networking accounts.
Lighthearted tactical board game offers easy-to-play mechanics
Digital board games are becoming more common these days, especially those that boast the chance for online multiplayer. We've tried out several for various platforms, from Magnifico for the iPad to Small World 2 for the PC, and we have enjoyed what they have brought to the digital table, so to speak. We sat down with A Druid's Duel by Thoughtshelter Games, a tactical tile-control based board game that has been released on Steam.
Get more from Apple's deceptively powerful word processor
You probably own Apple's Pages, and you may even have opened it. If you did, what you think depends on what you're used to: new users just dive right in and start typing, while we've heard Word users complain that it simply isn't powerful enough for them. This is an odd one: they are actually right, but not in the ways they expect. Pages does lack some of the very heavy-lifting word processor functions that Word has, but few people use those. What Word fans think is missing from Pages is the more general day-to-day features that in fact it has, and has very well.
News from the video game industry for the week of February 23
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista collect together a few notable items from earlier this week in the world of gaming. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, Telltale Games is working with Lionsgate to span between games and TV shows, Fable Legends becomes free-to-play, and ToeJam & Earl may be making a comeback.
First-class drawing tool for people who aren't first-class artists
Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.
Great newsreader app gets bug fix update
Even when we praised the RSS newsreader Unread back in January, we said we personally lean toward using one of its main rivals, Reeder for Mac and for iOS. Software is a hugely personal thing and while Reeder has specific features we rate, we also just like using it. Now a minor new update to version 2.5.3 has fixed just about our only key criticism of Reeder so we want to enthuse at you about it.
It's back. Get this free video player
VLC has famously been on and off the iOS App Store for various reasons -- but it's back now and looks likely to stay, because the developer is promising another major update besides this week's update, coming in the near future. Nonetheless, don't wait: grab this video player while you definitely can.
Download and keep YouTube videos with this simple app
The newly-updated Airy - YouTube Downloader for Mac does what almost every word in its title says. It downloads YouTube videos, it runs on a Mac. Run this, grab a YouTube video, and save it to your Mac to watch later. It's so simple, you'll be surprised YouTube itself doesn't come with this functionality.
VLC returns to iOS App Store after long hiatus with new version
Video playing and translation app VLC has received a major new update today, including a return to an iOS version of the app. The latter has actually been available for a while now, but was only offered to those who had originally "purchased" the official iOS app. The new version today is a minor bump from the "buyers only" v2.4.0, now at 2.4.1 for iOS and available to all. The desktop version for various platforms is 2.2.0, with a v1.1.0 final for Android and a beta of the same version for Android TV also being released.
trouble pasting text into mail, cleaning App cookies and more
Recently one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the MacNN forums looking for help figuring out why they were having trouble pasting text into Mail. A solution has yet to be found. A discussion about how to clear out cookies that are generated by iPhone Apps is under way in the thread titled "cleaning iPhone App cookies" that was started last week.
Rare situation where two future iOS betas were in circulation at the same time
Ending an unusual scenario where two iOS betas were being tested by developers simultaneously, a new report suggests that iOS 8.2 is likely to be released next week, possibly as early as Monday. Apple has been testing both iOS 8.2 and the forthcoming iOS 8.3, the latter of which is now on its own second beta version. While Apple released a total of five betas for iOS 8.2, the same report claims that iOS 8.3 will only have a maximum of four betas.
Daily deals for Friday February 27, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the time when we search for deals, offers, discounts, and sales on hardware, software, and other technology for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside our usual recap of still-active deals, the new batch of offers include an omnibus deal on Rosetta Stone, a battery case for the iPhone 6, and a heads-up on the OWC garage sale.
Use TextExpander to speed up every job you ever do in OS X
Previously on Pointers, we talked about how OS X comes with text shortcuts, a way for you to write a couple of characters and then have your Mac expand those out into words and whole sentences. This is true, and if it weren't fantastically useful, we wouldn't have told you about it. However, all the way through that Pointers column, we frequently pointed out that TextExpander is better.
Ericsson source of latest barrage, court filings made in Eastern District of Texas
On February 26, Ericsson filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The patents include standards-essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices, such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.
Excellent free app psychoanalyzes your batteries
The curiously-named CoconutBattery 3.2 is a free app that examines the batteries in your MacBooks and your iOS devices. One click and you know everything: it gives you the skinny on every possible scintilla of information about the state your battery is in.
Mac and Windows users alike need only an Apple ID to use web versions of productivity apps
PC users that have been curious to try out Apple's suite of productivity programs, formerly known collectively as iWork, are now able to do so from the main iCloud.com website, the feature having been taken out of Apple's beta.icloud.com lab. Earlier this month, Apple made a free 1GB account available to any users who wanted to sign up but did not have an Apple device, but only within the beta site. Now the applications (in their web versions) are available free for anyone with an Apple ID to use.
Android Pay rumor comes as Softcard pulls support for Windows Phone
Google will be launching a new payments API at its Google I/O developer conference in May, a report claims, potentially giving Apple Pay some stiff competition. Android Pay will allow developers to not only add mobile payments to their apps, but to also facilitate in-store purchases via smartphone over NFC. The news comes as Softcard reveals it is starting to pull support for its apps, following the purchase of its intellectual property by the search company.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 25, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where we scour the Internet for offers, discounts, and deals on computer hardware, gadgets, games, and other items for you, the glorious MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap follows a selection of new deals, including an MSI GP Series gaming notebook, a 512GB Crucial SSD, and a sale of classic rock on iTunes.
Clever route map for walkers
Footpath -- usually $1 but at time of review free on the App Store -- is a route map app for walkers and runners that does one thing very well. We would like it to do just a little more for the ambulatory, but it's one of those apps you'll play with just to see how it works.
Microsoft simplifies student enrollment process for free Office 365 subscription
Microsoft is offering a simpler way for students around the world to check their eligibility for a free Office 365 license. While free subscriptions have been around for a while, it typically involved a lengthy process to check for eligibility. Now, students and teachers need to just sign up with a valid school email address to receive their subscription, which includes installation of Office apps on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.
World Travel Adapter Kit drops price to $29, loses included USB cable
Apple has revised its World Travel Adapter Kit, which includes plugs for the differing electrical systems around the world. The new package sees a price drop of $10, and is now priced at $29. Changes in the new version include the addition of a new plug type for Brazil known as a "type N" adapter, but the dropping of a formerly-included USB cable and power adapter.
large data transfer, Bootcamp trouble and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, "the_badger" was looking for a way to copy 6TB of data, and is wondering if there is some kind of app or script that will not stop on filename errors, and will provide a list of items that were not copied. Junior Member "phkc070408" is wondering if there is a good way of deleting the cookies and cache from apps on his iPhone.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we find the best discounts and offers on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside a recap of still-active deals featured yesterday, we are adding more deals, including money off the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One Remote Control, the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Macbook Pro.
Products no longer available for purchase, but support remains intact
Camel Audio, best known for its audio production plug-ins such as the Alchemy synth, appears to have been acquired by Apple. The company appointed Apple Europe lawyer, Heather Joy Morrison, as its director in early January, and the company's official address changed to Apple's UK address. The next day, the company shuttered operations and announced on January 8 that its products were no longer available, though a support contact form remains in place.
Cycling tile added to Microsoft band, more exercise tiles incoming
The first update for the Microsoft Band will introduce new tools for users and developers, as the company tries to improve its standing in the fitness-tracking market. A tile for monitoring cycling, improved communications between the band and mobile apps, and an on-screen keyboard are joined by Microsoft's preview release of an SDK, giving developers a hint at what they could do with the wearable device.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet for offers and discounts on hardware, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it is the start of a new week, we have wiped the slate clean of older deals, with the new items including a 65-inch WebOS TV from LG, JLab earbuds, and an Xbox One bundle.
How to use the automatic text expansion in OS X and iOS to save typing
It's a funny world where most Mac users have heard of TextExpander by Smile Software, but so many of us don't even know that OS X has much of the same functionality built in for free. Strictly speaking, it is identical: your Mac can let you type a few characters, and it will expand that out into whole sentences, phone numbers you keep repeating, words you always find difficult to spell, and more -- assuming you've done some pre-configuration.
Powerful file-finding app for searching your documents
We wrote something ages ago about finding documents on your Mac. Fortunately, the whole point of HoudahSpot 4.0 is to help us dig that one scribble out from the untold thousands of files that clog up our Macs. Unfortunately, the problem is that OS X's own Spotlight is meant to do that, too.
Superb Sudoku app gets gets bug fix update
The bug was something to do with iOS 8 compatibility. We don't care. We just want to enthuse about a puzzle game that has kept us up nights with that 'just one more game' feeling. Plus, the bug's been fixed now, what are you waiting for? Sue Doku is on the App Store and it's $1.
News from the video game industry for the week of February 15
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista gather together a selection of notable news from the world of gaming into one post. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, we talk about Epic Games fostering development by providing $5 million in grants to Unreal Engine 4 projects, Twitch announcing its first convention, and the revelation that Kanye West is making a game.
The MacNN Podcast for February 22, 2015
The MacNN Podcast hits its third broadcast and like the previous pair, touches on the hot button issues in the tech world! Join this week's hosts, MacNN Editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, reviewer William Gallagher, Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele, and contributor Sanjiv Sathiah as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.
CTO admits Lenovo at fault for installing adware with security vulnerability
Lenovo has admitted wrongdoing in installing adware on its consumer notebooks, one that poses a security risk to its users. The PC producer's CTO Peter Hortensius has admitted that the company "messed up," with the firm not only providing tools to remove the software, but also actively encouraging customers to do so on their affected systems.