Initial trial of bloatware removal from LG G3 could become permanent option
Verizon is said to be testing out an option to remove pre-installed applications from smartphones. Starting with the LG G3, the carrier will apparently give the option to remove "bloatware" apps which are either already installed beforehand or added to the smartphone as part of the initial activation process, a feature which could help users free up storage capacity.
Google Glass developer kit adds support for external webcams
Google has added support for external cameras to Google Glass, on top of the existing built-in imaging sensor. Android Police reports the latest Glass Development Kit update enables the use of an external webcam connected via a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable, though it warns plug-and-play does not work, and if it includes a microphone, it may disable voice commands. Glass owners looking to try it out will have to wait for a developer to create an app for it, as Google does not supply an application to view through a connected webcam.
PDF, CBZ copies of Comixology purchases available to download
ComiXology, the digital comic book retailer owned by Amazon, is now allowing users to make backups of some downloaded comics. For a number of publishers, the service will make PDF and CBZ versions of comic book purchases free of any digital rights management (DRM), effectively letting customers view the comics they own in other reader apps.
Apple pushes iTunes 12 beta as optional update for OS X Yosemite beta
Apple is pushing OS X Yosemite public beta users access to the new iTunes 12 beta. Developers were granted access to the iTunes 12 beta earlier in this week, and similarly OS X Yosemite public beta users will receive a notification via the Mac App Store software update function to install the optional update. iTunes 12 comes with a redesigned interface along with new features. Like the OS X Yosemite beta, the software is not finalized for release and may not alway work as expected, but gives Mac users an opportunity to provide Apple with feedback ahead of its official introduction.
Instrument, effects libraries expand
IK Multimedia has started shipping SampleTank 3, an upgraded version of its "groove workstation" for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is a redesigned interface, newly streamlined into three pages: Play, Mix, and Edit. The first allows for performance, layering, and adjustments, while Mix handles effects and processing. Edit enables more in-depth sound control, including access to 10 filters.
Accessible only to Beta Program participants
As promised earlier this week, Apple has begun seeding the first public beta of OS X Yosemite. Access is limited to the first million people entered into the OS X Beta Program. That requires having both an Apple ID and a Mac running OS X Mavericks.
Google Maps Explore offers nearby activities based on distance, time of day
Google is adding a new option to the Google Maps app for Android and iOS, providing suggestions for nearby locations to visit when traveling. The new "Explore" button, appearing on the apps this week, will offer up a variety of restaurants and coffee shops in the immediate and surrounding area, as well as other potential activities for the user to try out.
AutoFill, compatibility main areas of testing focus
Apple is distributing new developer betas of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion. In release notes for both, the company is asking developers to test AutoFill, extension compatibility, and "general website compatibility." The updates' main feature though will be WebGL, making it possible to run 3D content without third-party plugins.
Skype update allows linking of phonebook with Microsoft account
Microsoft has made a few changes to Skype for Android, adding the option to connect the smartphone's address book to the service. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed it is releasing a version of the messaging app client for Amazon's Fire Phone, one which will take advantage of the smartphone's home screen and graphical effects.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
Microsoft CEO confirms future convergence of operating systems in conference call
Microsoft is still planning to unify its operating systems in the future, CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed. As part of the conference call with analysts following its latest quarterly financial results release, Nadella advised that Windows 9 will be a version of the operating system which will work with universal apps, namely apps which work across multiple platforms and devices.
Developer betas to get more regular updates
The first public beta of OS X Yosemite will be made available on Thursday, July 24, Apple has revealed in a meeting with The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. The public release will be the same code seeded to developers on Monday. To get it, people must sign up for the OS X Beta Program, which is limited to the first million participants.
Puppy Pop is first game made for the LG G3's QuickCircle case window
LG has made its case for the G3 smartphone arguably more useful, by releasing the first game designed specifically to use it. Puppy Pop, a "match-three" game involving dogs, is being made available for free through Google Play later today, and is notably the first and only to use the round window on the front of the company's QuickCircle protective case.
Google rolls out partial Material Design upgrade of Play Store app
Google has started to roll out its rumored changes to the Play Store, in an update to the Android app. Version 4.9.13 brings a number of smaller tweaks, reports Android Police, along with refreshed app and content pages which uses Google's Material Design rules, including an increased use of images and iconography. A future update is expected to roll out Material Design to other aspects of the store.
Can sometimes fail to install, leaving computer unusable
A firmware update, issued on Monday for "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models running OS X 10.9.2 and later, apparently has a bug in either the code or the downloaded file, which is causing reports of system crashes and occasionally a failure to install properly, leaving MBA owners unable to boot the machine. The purpose of the firmware update was to correct two "wake from sleep" issues that affected only "mid-2011" MBAs running 10.9.2 or later. Some users have found that an SMC reset can restore the units to functional status.
On-demand video service coming to media boxes, contains Simpsons World content
According to news from television writer Jason Lynch, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices will gain the FXNow on-demand service within the next 12 months. The news emerged from today's Fox and the FX Network stop on the Television Critics Association Press Tour. With the new app comes "Simpsons World," a new service that provides streaming of the 522 episodes of the animated television series.
Previously released for iOS in August, turns tablets into notebook, sketchpad
Those looking for a note-taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom has expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August.
Mobile app from Amazon stores retailer card details, no mobile payments by card yet
Amazon has quietly launched an app to help people manage gift cards and loyalty cards with stores. The Amazon Wallet app for Android and the Fire Phone is able to store membership cards for retailers on the smartphone, allowing shoppers to digitally carry all of their store cards and gift cards without having to also bring along the physical versions.
Mac Pro for consumers?
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" was asking fellow forum-goers if they thought that Apple would ever create a Mac Pro in the sub-2K price range for people who aren't quite "pros" who want that style of desktop. Today, Forum Regular "Nassifer" was trying to determine why their notebook was so slow after doing a complete restore to 10.9.4, and turned to the forums looking for advice.
Twitch overhauls Android app interface, adds user profiles
Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and users.
South Korean capital aims to stop Uber over unregistered taxi services
South Korean capital Seoul could potentially ban Uber in the city, in favor of its own still-in-development app. The city government advised that it would try to ban the car-hailing app, as current South Korean law makes it illegal to provide any sort of fee-based transportation service via privately-owned vehicles not registered to do so with local authorities.
Netflix updates Apple TV channel, adds 'Post-Play' feature
Television and movie streaming service Netflix is updating its integrated app for Apple TV. Its popular web and iPad feature "Post-Play" has been brought to the Apple TV, allowing users a brief countdown once a show's credits begin rolling, followed by automatic playing of the next episode in a series - unless otherwise interrupted. AppleInsider has speculated that though the Post-Play feature was found on multiple Apple TV units during testing, it is likely that the update has yet to be fully released to all customers.
Fixes an issue that caused fans to ramp up, also cures wake-from-sleep issues
On Monday, Apple posted an EFI update specifically aimed at the mid-2011 model MacBook Airs that are running OS X 10.9.2 (Mavericks) or later. The update addresses two wake-from-sleep issues: one in which the computer would take longer than expected to wake from sleep, and the other (more rare) issue of cooling fans ramping up to full speed on waking from sleep. Owners must meet both conditions (mid-2011 MBA, and running Mavericks 10.9.2 or later) for the update to apply.
Will delete photos, videos stored in iCloud Photo Library, email attachments, more
Apple has informed developers testing both of the forthcoming Apple platform releases, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that it will again delete content stored on the CloudKit database serving both platforms tomorrow, July 22. Although details were not listed this time, the effect is expected to be the same as the previous "wipe" of the database, which took place on July 7. Anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features will see their cloud-stored data destroyed.
Deal rumored to be worth at least $300 million, could rapidly grow Yahoo's mobile business
Yahoo could be looking for aggressive growth in its mobile platforms, as reports from Recode and TechCrunch indicate that the search company is acquiring mobile analytic and advertising startup Flurry. While official news of the deal has yet to be announced, sources say that the news is expected to come in later today.
Feature pulls items into central location, issues save item News Feed reminders
Facebook users no longer need to worry about trying to find a post on that interesting band or restaurant they didn't have time to read. The social media company announced today that it launched Save, a feature that allows users to collect items for later consumption into one place. The feature is rolling out to mobile app and web-based users of the social media service.
OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app
(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.
Major Patch Tuesday update expected for Windows 8.1
The next scheduled major update to Windows 8.1 could be coming as early as next month, according to a rumor. Windows 8.1 Update 2 could arrive on the next "Patch Tuesday" on August 12th, a month suggested in earlier speculative reports, and though the exact contents of the update remain unknown to all but Microsoft, it is believed it could feature the return of the Start Menu.
Google Now reminders can be created via Google Search
Google is now allowing for the creation of reminders in Google Search. Similar to the vocal method using Google Voice Search and Google Now on smartphones, Google Operating System reports users can set a reminder by typing "Add reminder" or "Create Reminder" in the search box. A reminder card with extra settings will then appear, with a "Remind me on Google Now" link finalizing the notification.
Updates allow entire direct message history to be seen across apps, consistently deleted
Last week, Twitter announced that it is going to issue an update on how direct messages are handled on the micro-blogging service. The update makes deleting direct messages consistent across all platforms, allowing users a single action for removal, rather than deleting across every interface version. Another update is coming that changes how direct messages are handled across the numerous platforms, to give users access to their complete messaging history.
Blackmagic Design adds Apple ProRes file formats for Camera 1.8.2 software
Video software maker Blackmagic Design has announced the availability of Camera 1.8.2 software, adding three new Apple ProRes file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. The new Apple ProRes file formats include ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy, and their inclusion means that Blackmagic Design camera can have significantly smaller video file sizes with longer recording durations, while preserving 10-bit 4:2:2 quality. Camera v1.8.2 is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website, free for all Blackmagic camera customers.
Kanex Products introduces Thunderbolt to eSATA adapter
Kanex Products has announced the release of its Thunderbolt to eSATA and USB 3.0 adapter. Allowing users to connect Thunderbolt-equipped Mac or PC to an eSATA device, the adapter is capable of extending the use of existing eSATA-equipped external storage units. It USB 3.0 port facilitates a fast connection to peripherals that users may already have, such as external hard drives, a keyboard, or mouse.
New versions for Photoshop CS 6 and CC add new camera support, bug fixes
Adobe has made available release candidate versions of its upcoming Camera Raw 8.6 plug-in and DNG Converter, also at version 8.6, for final testing by users before an official release. As is now official policy with Adobe, users running Photoshop CS6 are limited to only receiving any new camera support and bug fixes; only Photoshop CC subscribers will receive any new feature updates. The release candidates a number of all three additions in the latest version.
DJ Player updated, adds navigation improvements, new track browser
DJ Player for iOS devices has received an update, offering redesigned, streamlined features. DJ Player aims to provide desktop-grade performance on one's mobile device, and allows users to manually beat-match and bend pitches as desired. Displaying, sorting, search and filtering one's music library can be executed with little time elapsing. DJ Player v7.2 includes a completely rewritten track browser. Its "intelligent path bar" allows for one-tap navigation between multiple playlists, and tapping on the artwork, time, comment or BPM columns can queue or "unqueue" a track.
SuperDuper vs. TimeMachine debate continues
The end of the week has been rather quiet in the MacNN forums, however forum members continue to debate the best way to backup data, with some saying SuperDuper (or "cloning" programs like it) are a better solution, others stating the best is Time Machine due to it highly self-regulating nature, and some taking the middle road with a "why not both?" approach. Earlier this week, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Rolando_jose" asked fellow forum-goers if it was possible to control Keynote using the Keynote remote from another iPad, for example, controlling the iPad Air with the iPad mini.
Meeting between executives concerned Android Wear, Tizen use in smartwatches
Google is unhappy by Samsung's choice to use Tizen for its main smartwatch platform instead of Android Wear, according to a report. CEO Larry Page is said to have spent time earlier this month with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in a "tense private meeting" over the smartwatch software issue, with Samsung allegedly spending more on devices running Tizen than Google's new Android offshoot.
iOS support comes out of unofficial stage
Google has released v1.1 of LiquidFun, its open-source 2D physics engine. The software now officially supports iOS, as well as desktop versions of Chrome, the latter via extensions. It was previously possible to make LiquidFun run on iOS, but Google didn't enable that compatibility by default.
Should allow game studios to start full-scale iOS 8 development
Epic Games has released v4.3 of the Unreal Engine, code that undergirds many desktop, console, and mobile games. Although most of the changes are of interest only to developers, the update also includes the first support for Metal, Apple's new 3D graphics API. Developers must be using the Xcode 6 beta to compile it, and it's not enabled by default. It can however be toggled on via a game's Project Settings.
Android Amazon Instant Video app, 4K video mentioned by marketing director
Amazon is said to be preparing to launch an Android app for Amazon Instant Video for non-Kindle Fire tablets. An executive allegedly confirmed the long-awaited app for normal Android devices is "imminent" to a report, a move which would finally bring the video streaming service in line with competitors, such as Netflix, in providing a cross-platform video streaming experience.
Linux gets better Chrome App Launcher
Google has issued Chrome 36 updates for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users. The new version is mostly a maintenance release, making stability, performance, and security fixes. It does however implement several cosmetic changes across desktop platforms, for instance improving rich notifications with a "flatter" look, and giving Incognito mode a new tab page (below) that's cleaner and easier to read. Likewise, the Chrome App Launcher for Linux has been revamped.
Team discounts now on sale
Dashlane has launched version 3 of its namesake password and wallet management software for Mac and Windows. The update features two major additions, beginning with the Sharing Center, which lets people share passwords with other people while maintaining central control and AES-256 encryption. Although recipients must have a Dashlane account, the system gives administrators the ability to limit re-shares or revoke access, and will sync password changes made by others.
BlackBerry Assistant competes with Siri, Google Now, Cortana
BlackBerry will include its own virtual assistant in a future version of the company's mobile operating system, the smartphone manufacturer has revealed. Taking its cue from Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, BlackBerry Assistant will recognize commands via voice recognition and entered text, and will be able to perform simple tasks such as searching e-mail archives or setting appointments, to more elaborate requests.
Apple iOS 8 sets up iPhone and iPad for the future
Last year Apple delivered iOS 7, which was a massive upgrade. Not only did it bring an all-new look as well as add several new dimensions to the user interface, it also brought full compatibility with Apple's industry-leading 64-bit chip technology. This year, Apple used its WWDC 2014 to unveil iOS 8, its next-gen mobile OS. A lot of foundational work was laid in iOS 7 and iOS 8 looks to build on this adding several new and powerful features to the front end and back end. Apple is calling iOS 8 its biggest release to date, which is some statement when set against the backdrop of what it achieved with iOS 7. But when you factor in over 4,000 additional APIs and an all-new in-house developed programming language in Swift, plus some potentially revolutionary new frameworks in HealthKit and HomeKit, iOS 8 could well be the most significant iteration of iOS yet.
Mail Designer 2 app available for introductory price of $10
Equinux has introduced a major new version of Mail Designer, an email HTML design app. Aligning itself with current mail design trends, Mail Designer 2 includes support for animated images, embedding videos directly within emails, and more. Professional-level newsletters can be created without the use of HTML coding, and the project can be easily managed by a team, with collaboration features built into the interface.
New AppleCare tailored for enterprise, IBM to sell iOS devices with custom apps
[Updated with text from Tim Cook's memo to employees] In a surprise move, Apple and IBM have announced a new partnership that will see the enterprise giant working with the iPhone maker to bring more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions to the iOS platform as native apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as see IBM selling and leasing iOS devices pre-loaded with industry-specific solutions to its business clients. The exclusive deal also includes new AppleCare service and support plans tailored for enterprise, and IBM enterprise cloud services optimized for iOS.
Google not limiting effort to internal apps -- any vendor is fair game
Google has launched a new web-wide security project. Titled "Project Zero", the effort by the search behemoth has the lofty goal to "significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks." Google intends to have no bounds for the project, planning on working to "improve the security of any software depended upon by large numbers of people, paying careful attention to the techniques, targets and motivations of attackers."
SuperDuper vs. Time Machine
Today in the MacNN forums, Dedicated MacNNer "akent35" started a thread defending SuperDuper as a backup solution because every time this has come up in the past it starts a "war," and this time he believes he has reasonable evidence to prove this is a superior way to do backups. Yesterday Moderator "andi*pandi" was trying to figure out why Siri seems to have forgotten how to access contact information.
Lumia Cyan adds Windows Phone 8.1, updates Nokia apps
Microsoft has started to roll out the Cyan software update for Lumia smartphones, bringing Windows Phone 8.1 to the smartphone range. At the same time, a report claims that some new Lumia devices being sold no longer give the option to set Google as the default search engine, restricting users to instead primarily search using Microsoft's own search engine, Bing.
Figure based on visits to the App Store, growing at one percent a month
Ahead of the forthcoming iOS 8 update, expected in the fall, Apple has told developers that iOS 7 is now running on 90 percent of iOS devices using the App Store, indicating a growth rate of about one percent per month. The penetration level of iOS 7 is consequently, like most other iOS versions before it, the most quickly-adopted operating system update ever, on any major platform. The result was garnered from visits to the App Store over a seven-day period that ended on July 13.
Image shows potential Start Menu with Tile column, icon list
Microsoft's Start Menu may appear in the next major update for Windows, an alleged leaked screenshot suggests. The image believed to depict an early internal build of the update shows the Start Menu as having two main columns, similar to an image which surfaced a few months ago, taking the old style of Start Menu from Windows 7 and earlier iterations, and combining it with Windows 8's Live Tiles.