Staffers reflect on the fifth anniversary of the iPad, ponder the Surface 3
Presenting episode nine of The MacNN Podcast, which this week features a hands-on report on the new 2015 MacBook Pro, along with some chatting about the recently-revealed new MacBook benchmarks, well ahead of its April 10 debut. We also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the iPad by talking about the many ways, big and small, it has changed our lives. We discuss the new Surface 3 from Microsoft, the Doctor Who BBC bundle on BitTorrent, and more.
Daring move offers entire Series Eight and extras for $1 per episode
In one of the most daring moves in recent memory, the BBC is experimenting with a BitTorrent "bundle" to offer a box set of the popular sf/fantasy series Doctor Who as a legal download. The "Decade of the Doctor" bundle includes some free content, including a welcome video featuring the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and a 10-minute except of the first of the "modern era" episodes from 2005. For $12, buyers can unlock 12 full episodes and bonus content.
Users can pick up unowned remainder of bundled apps at savings
As part of the iOS App Store updated for iOS 8, Apple is now offering grouped "bundles" of applications at discounted prices, and a new ability to "Complete My Bundle" for those who already own some of the apps featured in the bundle. The bundles, usually grouped by developer at present, offer related apps shown in an "iOS folder" icon, and download together into a folder automatically when purchased. Users who already own one or more of the apps see the price discounted to reflect that.
'Paygate' endeavor starts with bundle for original series 'Children of the Machine'
BitTorrent is trying to evolve into a bigger business, as it attempts to expand its bundled offerings by putting "paygates" into place. The company, best known for its file transfer protocol, originally launched its BitTorrent Bundle as an alpha experiment in May 2013, in hopes of providing a better platform distribution and connecting with fans.
Includes usable SD memory card, four apps, CanvasPop gift card, more
Photo- and image-editing software maker Macphun has launched a bundle deal on four of its OS X consumer photo apps -- Snapheal, Focus 2, FX Photo Studio and ColorStrokes -- delivered on a reusable SD memory card during the first week of July. Dubbed the "Snap Pack Bundle" the $25 offer also includes a $20 gift certificate for CanvasPop, which specializes in turning photographs into wrapped canvas prints, and a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards.
Limited to first 500 respondents, includes Pro versions of top image apps
Image-editing software maker MacPhun is now featuring a limited-capacity bundle offer on three of its top Mac-only photo manipulation programs, along with a premium membership to the ViewBug photo contest site and a complimentary copy of its next photo-oriented app, to be released later this summer. The Creative Kit bundle, now on sale for $99, includes the Pro versions of Snapheal, Intensify and Focus Pro (normally selling for $140 if purchased together), with the ViewBug membership normally costing another $60.
Fantastical 2 calendar app for iPad takes advantage of large display
Flexibits has introduced Fantastical 2 for iPad, a calendar app for iOS 7. Including features such as half-screen and full-screen week view, reminders, and intuitive parser, background app refresh and more, Fantastical 2 for iPad takes advantage of the larger display over what is available for the iPhone. Newly included in Fantastical 2 for iPad is its Dashboard feature, a schedule manager, and users can toggle between the DayTicker, half-screen view, and full-screen view.
Xbox One's Titanfall Special Edition Bundle now available for pre-order
Multiplayer game Titanfall is now available for pre-order as part of a special edition console bundle, according to Xbox One's blog. Titanfall will utilize new patty and chat improvements that have been in development for Xbox One, as well as multiplayer alerts for matches while users are watching TV, and more. In light of the game's upcoming launch, Xbox and Titanfall's creators -- Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts -- have announced the Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, priced at $500. The bundle includes a digital download of Titanfall, an Xbox One console and Kinect sensor, a wireless controller, a chat headset, and a one month Xbox Live Gold membership. The pre-order has begun, with the bundle available officially March 11.
NudeAudio announces Studio 5, its first home speaker
NudeAudio announced today its asymmetrical home speaker, the Studio 5. Featuring Bluetooth and Apple Lightning connectivity, the Studio 5 is compatible with all smartphones and tablets. Its 2.1 audio system offers high-fidelity sound, and is housed in metal and fabric material combination. The Studio 5's play-control buttons are hidden in its circular dock-plate, and its iPad support is composed of transparent polycarbonate.
FileMaker releases FileMaker Training Series: Basics
FileMaker has announced its release of an all-new free training series for its recently-premiered FileMaker 13 Platform. FileMaker Training Series: Basics assists with learning how to build professional custom business applications and solutions that run on iOS, Windows and Mac OS X, and the web. New users can learn the fundamentals of FileMaker, and then progress quickly to create what they need for business and professional use.
Pay-what-you-want bundle offers DRM-free games for charity fundraising
Once again, the Humble Bundle team has put together a package of DRM-free indie games in support of its chosen charities, with users paying whatever amount they want for four cross-platform games. Buyers paying above the average price ($4.03 at present) also get two additional games, with more said to be coming. Soundtracks are included for some of the games, all of which run on the PC, Mac, Linux and Android platforms (system requirements vary).
Just Mobile releases dashboard charger, Lightning cable
Available today, Just Mobile has unveiled its latest products in mobile charging: the Just Mobile Highway Duo, Just Mobile Highway Max, and Just Mobile AluCable. The Highway Duo and Highway Max feature surge protection, mirco-LED green power light, and coiled cable to connect to your mobile device. The Highway Duo, priced at $40, supports both USB and Lightning (for iPhone) cable, and the Max, priced at $25, accommodates one USB cable. The Just Mobile AluCable provides tangle-free connection for iPhones, iPads and iPods with Lightning connectors. The Apple-certified USB-to-Lightning connector cable is available in four-inch and 10-inch lengths, for $20 and $25 each.
Apple addresses bugs and other issues in live performance app
On Wednesday, Apple issued a v3.0.1 update to its live performance and effects program MainStage, fixing a handful of issues. The program -- which incorporates hardware control, pre-recorded backing tracks, Audio Unit and MIDI plug-ins and more -- now works correctly with certain Macs that have an AMD graphics processor, and the Arpeggiator MIDI plug-in no long causes unexpected CPU spikes. In addition, the update fixes an issue that could cause content downloading to stall, and solves a problem with adding and renaming markings in the Playback plug-in so that it now works as expected. The program costs $30 and is available on the Mac App Store.
Buyers can get up to seven King's War games through Steam
Bargain indie game site "The Gala Store" is offering a "King's War" indie game bundle consisting of up to up to three King's Bounty adventure games for Windows or Mac as well as up to four games from the related Men of War series, saving up to $90 off the normal retail price. All of the games work on both PC and Mac, but have differing system requirements. They are offered on a "pay what you want" basis, with the minimum purchase price being $1.
Rhapsody adds 'liner notes,' technical info to music files
Music service Rhapsody has implemented a new "liner notes" feature, implementing the RIAA's "Give Fans the Credit" plan for including detailed production information with each digital song, including songwriters, background performers, producers and engineers involved in the production. The rollout, scheduled to take place over the next few months, would allow fans to search for music in new ways, such as tracking songs a specific producer was involved in, or for example finding out which songs featured a specific group of sidemen. The service has already started curating collections of tunes grouped by notable names of either producers, engineers or composers.
Nine apps valued at over $400 for $49 in latest bundle deal
Another Mac-centric shareware bundle deal has popped up, with Nova Development offering a new Mac SuperBundle deal celebrating Spring. The offer includes nine commercial and shareware programs with a total value of $413 for $49. The most prominent program in the bundle, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, sells by itself for $80 at retail. Other programs include TextExpander (normally $35), RapidWeaver 5 (normally $80), Circus Ponies Notebook ($50) and other Mac software.
Stacksocial Mac app bundle
Stacksocial has launched a new Mac app bundle that lets customers pick their own price for 10 different apps. In order to receive all 10 apps customers must pay more than the average price, $7 as of this writing, while customers who pay less will only receive PhotoBulk, Elmedia Player Pro, and HoudahSpot. Customers are also give the choice between three different charities, Child's Play, World Wildlife Fund, and Creative Commons, to which 10 percent of the purchase will be donated. Software featured in the bundle includes CrossOver 12, Gemini, Snapz Pro X, and DiskTools Pro.
Bundle includes Parallels Desktop 8, MotionComposer 1.6, DiskAid 6
Today, MacUpdate has launched its annual Spring/Parallels bundle. The latest bundle includes 10 productivity, utility and creative packages for OS X, including 1,000 OpenType fonts, all for $49.99. The bundle includes five applications normally priced higher than the bundle itself, including virtualization solution Parallels Desktop 8 with a normal retail price of $80, and web animation generator MotionComposer 1.6, normally priced at $149.
Documentary Indie Game: The Movie included if median beat
The Humble Indie Bundle has fired up again for the last time in 2012. The new bundle brings four games for purchase, with an additional two games and documentary film if the average bundle purchase price is exceeded. As usual, the purchaser can divvy up the purchase price between the developers, charity, and the Humble Bundle purveyors themselves. Soundtracks for many of the games is also included (in lossy or lossless formats) in the purchase price.
Photo and game bundles from iStack Social
MacNN has previously mentioned the iStack Mac Bundle 2.0 from StackSocial (requires signup for emails), but the company is also offering two more targeted Mac mini-bundles as well. The Photo Fanatic Bundle offers five photo-editing programs for $25, including filter program PhotoStyler, photo-to-artwork conversion utility Sketcher, collage maker Choco, mosaic maker Waffle and virtual frame app Light Frame. This deal ends in 14 days.
Eleven titles for $49, plus bonus for first 12,000 purchasers
Adding to the currently running assortment of bundle offers, MacUpdate has launched its annual holiday bundle. This year, for $49, the bundle includes 11 productivity, utility and entertainment titles for OS X. The first 12,000 purchasers of the bundle receive home remodeling visualizer Live Interior 3D Pro as a bonus.
Macbundler bundles 9 apps for $45
Macbundler's holiday bundle featuring nine popular Mac apps for $45 has been launched. Bundled apps include MacScan, RapidWeaver 5, MotionComposer, Tidy Up, Screenium 2, iFinance, PulpMotion, DEVONSphere Express, and Cocktail, which together carry a value of more than $450. The bundle will be available for two weeks and can be purchased through Macbundler's website. In addition, the company is running a referral contest that gives customers the chance to win an iPhone 5 or iPad mini.
Up to five DRM-free games available for charitable donation
The third Humble Bundle to feature Android games (as well as versions for Mac, Windows and Linux) has been launched, featuring up to five games in a bundle deal where users decide not only the amount they want to pay, but also what percentage of the price goes to the developers, the Humble Bundle team, or two charities -- digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Child's Play organization, which donates gaming equipment and games to children's hospitals.
Includes Parallels Desktop 7, Civ V, ScreenFlow 3, and more
The latest MacUpdate bundle is underway. Until June 20, Macintosh users can purchase the regular retail versions of 11 applications and games worth $456.80 for the regular bundle price of $50. The bundle includes two applications normally priced higher than the bundle itself -- virtualization solution Parallels Desktop 7 with a normal retail price of $80, and screen recording tool ScreenFlow 3 normally priced at $99.
Pay-what-you-want offer supports charities
The Humble Bundle team are making another stab at promoting Android gaming alongside independent-developer desktop gaming with their latest offer, the Humble Bundle for Android 2, which offers four DRM-free games that are available for Mac, Linux and PC as well as all debuting on the Android platform. Buyers choose their own price and most of the games are also available on Steam, a cross-platform gaming service.
11 apps worth $378 for $50
MacUpdate has launched its Spring Bundle offer, giving buyers the regular retail versions of 11 top-rated Mac titles worth $377.79 at normal prices for a bundle price of $50. The bundle includes three tools normally priced higher than the entire bundle: VMWare Fusion 4 ($50) for virtualizing a Windows environment, Mac utility Drive Genius 3 ($100), and PDF markup tool PDFpen 5 ($60).
Macbundler brings together nine apps
Alien Skin Software has announced that Exposure 4, the latest version of its photography effects plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Photoshop Lightroom, will launch this month. The software provides accurate film simulation as well as a range of effects with customizable parameters. The new release will feature a completely redesigned interface, as well as new controls for effects, and a text search feature. At release, a full Exposure 4 license is expected to sell for $250, while upgrade license will be sold for $99.
Savings up to 75 percent
Two more Mac-centric companies have announced post-holiday deals, including a games bundle at 75 percent off the retail price and a half-off sale for an entire store. MacGameStore is offering its Best Mac Games Bundle Ever featuring 10 games for $20 through January 7th, while Mariner Software is taking 50 percent off all purchases in its store until the end of 2011. The Mariner offer includes reductions on its own bundles and standalone software for Mac and Windows.
10 apps for $50, first 10K get bonus app
MacLegion has unveiled its latest quarterly bundle deal on Mac applications, the Winter Bundle, which consists of 10 apps for $50 (a savings of over 90 percent off the $480 retail price). The special runs for another two weeks, and the first 10,000 buyers will receive a bonus 11th app, the security program MacScan, as well. In addition, one buyer of the bundle will be selected to win an iPad 2 (non-buyers can subscribe to the MacLegion newsletter to enter the drawing) .
Name-your-own-price, DRM-free games
Days after the completion of the last Humble Bundle offer, developer Jeffrey Rosen has launched a new promotion, dubbed the Humble Introversion Bundle. As with previous offers, buyers set their own price for the bundle, which this time includes four games from Introversion (with an option to get two more games). All games work natively on all major platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux) and are DRM-free. The money raised is split according to the buyers' wishes.
New Guided Edits and movie themes, more
Just in time for the products' 10th anniversary, Adobe has issued both standalone packages and a bundle offering for Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premiere Elements 10 for both Mac and Windows systems. The new programs offer new features, new format support, content-aware tools and a new online service that offers 20GB of storage for photos and videos along with additional themes, tips and templates for $50 per year.
Parallels, TechTool Pro, Civilization IV, more
MacUpdate has kicked off its Spring 2011 software bundle offer, featuring a number of apps (or their current versions) that are making debut appearances in a bundle of any kind, and totalling 10 applications (11 for the first 10,000 buyers) for $50, an 87 percent discount off the normal combined retail price of $381. Highlights of the bundle include Parallels Desktop 6, TechTool Pro 5, 1Password 3 and for the first time, MacUpdate's own MacUpdate Desktop v5.
Post-Xmas sales offer great savings till Dec. 31s
[Updated with a new bundle offer] Four unrelated sales add up to great savings for Mac users in the last days of 2010. MacBundlePro is offering their NanoBundle2, a total of seven useful apps through December 30th; Mariner Software has discounted all of their software and combo-packs by 50 percent, with prices on their award-winning software for Mac and Windows now starting as low as $10 until the end of the year; Bundles for Mac offers a package of six apps aimed specifically at web developers; and a collective of six popular indie developers have thrown together a bundle deal that only lasts until the start of the new year.
Through December 10th, up to 60% off selections
Spicy Distribution have launched the fourth annual edition of their "make-your-own-bundle" deal, Give Good Food to Your Mac. Buyers can choose from a selection of 46 applications from various developers, with escalating discounts based on the number of selections -- topping out at 60 percent off the retail price. The promotion is intended primarily as a showcase for European Mac developers, but features offerings from around the world.
iSkySoft's DVD-Library app a bonus
For the month of November, ApparentSoft is hosting a Mac bundle deal of software called MacGraPhoto 2 aimed at graphic creators, including the company's own ImageFramer v3, an all-new version released last month. Other apps in the bundle include Sandvox, Posterino 2, Swift Publisher, Layers and Snapshot. The total retail value of the applications is $444, making the $40 bundle price a 91 percent discount.
Software bundle offers$400 in software for $50
MacUpdate has launched its Spring Software Bundle, headlined by Parallels Desktop 5. The $50 bundle would normally sell for almost $400. It includes 10 applications, with an eleventh available for the first 10,000 purchasers -- they are currently approaching 3800 bundles in day one of the sale. Parallels Desktop 5 ($80) runs virtualizations of Windows and Linux on the Mac.
First 10,000 purchasers get 3 free applications
MacUpdate has launched its latest software package, the Holiday Bundle for 2009, which features 11 applications for $50. The third-annual promotion offers a 90 percent savings compared to the retail cost of purchasing each title alone. The first 10,000 purchasers will receive three additional programs including PowerTunes ($20), which organizes and shares multiple iTunes libraries; Holliday DVD Templates ($105), which allows users to design DVD menu themes; and FlagIt ($15), which adds multicolored flags to Apple's Mail.
MacMall Snow Leopard promo
MacMall is currently running an introductory promotion for Apple's Snow Leopard upgrade, along with the range of family packs and bundles. The basic upgrade for a single system is available to pre-order for $24.99, a savings of $4. The Mac Box Set is available for $149.99, a savings of $19, and includes the Snow Leopard Upgrade, iWork and iLife.
MacUpdate software bundle
Longtime Mac OS software supplier MacUpdate on Wednesday unveiled its new Back-To-School-themed bundle, featuring 10 software titles normally priced at $600 separately, available for $50. MacUpdate is offering all purchasers of the bundle access to seven of the titles initially, with three subsequent applications to follow. Customers who are among the first to purchase the bundle will receive a bonus mystery app, but MacUpdate would not immediately reveal its nature.
MGS4 PS3 bundles revealed
As Metal Gear Solid 4 approaches release, Sony and Konami have released definitive details about two previously mentioned console bundles, with some apparent tradeoffs between them. Crave reports that the limited edition gunmetal grey 40GB model features the same downside as the standard version, in that it can not play Playstation 2 game titles. The special edition will, however, come with a soundtrack and a Blu-ray disc with a behind-the-scenes documentary.
Sony PS3 Metal Gear bundle
Sony is offering consumers a gunmetal grey limited edition Playstation 3 console, with a matching DualShock 3 controller, bundled with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Konami's latest sequel to the epic Metal Gear game series. The bundle, which has already been released and almost immediately sold out in Japan, features an 80GB hard drive for storage. Pricing and availability were not expressly mentioned, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is available on June 12th for $60.
Video of Apple Store thief
In brief: We have a review of the Speck ActiveFit Armband, an Apple Store thief stuffed a 13" MacBook down his pants, MacTech is offering VBA to AppleScript bundles, MacSpeech extends its crossgrade offer, and Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual for the Mac ships.. We have posted a review of the Speck ActiveFit Armband. The inside felt-like material protects your iPod from scratching when it is inserted or removed. The case is sewn onto a breathable mesh pad that extends into a foot-long armband. The armband includes well-secured 1.25" long Velcro strips every inch. The video screen sits behind a flexible thick clear plastic sewn into the case. The Click Wheel is exposed though, so you may want to use a Gelaskin to protect it from grime. All the stitching is clean, straight, but a couple of dangling threads appeared after a few weeks of wear.
Themed iTunes cards
Apple is expanding its iTunes compilation card collection, offering themed collections through Best Buy, and supposedly other locations as well. iLounge reports that the cards are available in 15- and 30-song versions, offering bundles such as "Classic Rock Hits", "80's Super Hits", "Love Song Classics", and "R&B Hits", among others. The compilation cards are available from $10 to $20 for the 15- and 30-song versions, at a price of 67¢ per track.
Dualshock 3, PS3, PSP
Sony today announced that it will ship two major console bundles this year, as well as making the Dualshock 3 controller available for North American audiences. The Dualshock 3 wireless controller brings back the force feedback rumble from the Playstation 2, while incorporating the Sixaxis features of the standard PS3 controller. The Dualshock 3 controller will be available in April, at a cost of $55, and will be supported by over 100 current PS3 titles.