Charming, surprising, intriguing finds now available or coming to market soon
Continuing our look at some of the more interesting devices and services we ran across at Macworld in San Francisco last month, MacNN and Electronista staffers will periodically write about items and vendors that caught our eye at the show that we thought our readers would like to know about. Today's focus is on two successfully-funded Kickstarter campaigns: The Roost stand for notebooks, and the iMacompanion USB port from Wiplabs.
Charming, surprising, intriguing finds coming to market soon
Now that we've had time to recover from the fury of meeting so many vendors at this year's Macworld, MacNN and Electronista have had a little time to reflect on some of the products and services we saw there. Many have yet to come to market -- a running joke was the number of projects crowdfunded last summer that will be arriving in stores soon -- some have won awards, and some are just little gems we were delighted, intrigued and wowed by. First up in this ongoing series is a successful Kickstarter startup, Glowdeck.
Can encrypt and hide files and folders with 256-bit AES protection
While at the Macworld Expo last weekend in San Francisco, MacNN got a chance to talk with members of the MacPaw software team, best known for their duplicates finder Gemini II and their utility app Clean My Mac. The company released its latest upgrade, file-and-folder encryption tool Hider 2 (formerly MacHider), for OS X 10.8 and higher on Wednesday. The program is designed to allow users to hide, encrypt and password-protect sensitive files, whether they are confidential business documents or those pictures of an ex.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
Cite Super Bowl, weather, holidays as reasons
IDG World Expo -- the organizers of the annual Macworld/iWorld conference -- are pushing the date of the 2014 event to between March 27th and 29th, according to an announcement. The conference was previously scheduled for the first three days of February at Moscone West in San Francisco. As a part of the change, the expo will also be relocating to Moscone North.
Charger finally nearing release
MyFC made headlines two years ago when it unveiled a portable fuel cell charger, the PowerTrekk, however the promise of a spring 2012 release has now turned into a spring 2013 target. We were surprised to see the company at the Macworld expo this week, after passing off the concept as a good idea that wasn't ready for the market, so we decided to stop by the booth to take a second look at the unique technology and reconsider its practicality.
Stompbox settings manageable from iPad
The Macworld expo follows on the heels of the musician-focused NAMM show, so we were not surprised to hear a few guitars wailing in the Moscone Center this week. Eventide is one of the companies that stuck around California to show off its latest gear, the H9 Harmonizer Stompbox and its companion app for iOS devices.
Solar charger combined with backup battery
There are always a few solar charging products at the Macworld expo, and the 2013 show was no exception. Some of the companies have come and gone, but Goal Zero has continued to expand its charging products. MacNN stopped by the company's booth to check out the new Switch 8 kit and Sherpa 50 portable charging systems.
Preview shots from an iOS or Android device
Photography is always a popular theme at the Macworld Expo, where Hyper brought its CameraMator wireless viewfinder for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. MacNN has taken a closer look at the Kickstarter-funded device, which enables users to preview snapshots or trigger the shutter from an iOS or Android device.
Actors intended 'the utmost love, admiration and respect'
The stars of the independent theatrical movie jOBS took the stage on the first day of the MacWorld/iWorld conference today in San Francisco, discussing their roles in the film, which premieres nationally on April 19. During their talk, Ashton Kutcher (who played Steve Jobs) and Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak) discussed their involvement, their take on Apple and the men they were chosen to portray, the accuracy of the film in general and other issues surrounding the movie, which focuses on the formative years of Apple.
Strong attendance despite Apple's absence
IDG World Expo rebranded the Macworld expo using the 'iWorld' label for 2012, an appropriate change as the event continues to evolve. MacNN attended the event to check out the latest products in the Mac and iOS ecosystems, and to see how the event organizers and exhibitors have adapted to Apple's absence.
Apple-made TV also not expected to show
Contrary to a recent DigiTimes report, Apple is not planning to show off new iPads at Macworld|iWorld, says The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. The writer cites "a number" of his sources, who say that an iPad 3 won't show at Macworld, or even at the Consumer Electronics Show; both events are scheduled for January. The sources also add that Apple's upcoming TV set won't make an appearance.
TopHat Apps Menu, Folder Menu
New details regarding the Music Experience, which will debut at the upcoming Macworld | iWorld conference, have been released. The event will feature special performances and presentations from sonic architect and Public Enemy mastermind Hank Shocklee, the rock group moe., and award-winning electronic artist, producer and technologist BT. The organizers are also currently looking for DJs to compete at the first annual RISE Electronic Music DJ Battle & Bash. Anyone interested in competing must fill out the online registration form before December 19th.
Organizers add focus to iOS side of event
Organizers have opened up registrations for Macworld|iWorld, a rebranded Macworld Expo. The event is scheduled for January 26th through the 28th at the Moscone West center in San Francisco. The name change is meant to emphasize the iOS side of the gathering. iWorld will also include new Music Experience and Film Event tracks, featuring media and performances created with Apple products, as well talks with some of the people involved. One Film Event session, for instance, will bridge a screening of the unaired South Park pilot with a Q&A hosted by staff from the show.
Attendance appears to be high
The 2011 Macworld Expo brought a modest increase in exhibitor numbers since the 2010 show, but many people were waiting to see the crowd sizes before gauging the show's success. The lobby of Moscone West was packed with attendees waiting to get in on Thursday morning, making for a show that became more and more crowded through the week. By Saturday morning, it became difficult to wade through the packed halls. MacNN put together a gallery of images from some of the interesting sights at the expo.
"Recipes" to improve installing, launching apps
Codeweavers today unveiled a new version of their flagship product CrossOver for Mac and Linux, a Wine environment that supports running various (but not all) Windows programs without the need to install an actual Windows OS. The new version 10 is now nicknamed "The Impersonator" -- and the staff and guests at their booth at Macworld 2011 have run with the idea that the new version lets Mac and Linux users "put on a Windows costume," as you'll see in MacNN's exclusive pictures.
Believes "memory prothesis" coming within 10 years
The well-publicized "man versus machine" match-up between two "grand masters" of TV's perennial quiz show Jeopardy and the latest supercomputer from IBM, named Watson will make for more than good television -- its a sneak preview of the future, said Apple pioneer Bill Atkinson at the end of his MacWorld 2011 presentation on interface design today. He believes small, in-ear "digital assistants" will soon be available that can understand the sometimes-illogical sequence of human questioning and send "predictive" answers it is confident are right based on an understanding of how the world -- and the human it is responding to -- works.
Sessions for home and small business consultants
MacTech Magazine today announced plans to offer another MacTech Boot Camp. The one-day event will take place San Francisco on Wednesday, January 26th, the same week as Macworld 2011, allowing attendees to visit both on the same trip. The MacTech Boot Camp will focus on consultants and techs who work with home users or small businesses.
Macworld releases Featured Artists lineup
KORG has released details of its current iPad project, the iMS-20, a recreation of the vintage MS20 synthesizer. The software will feature a 16-step analog sequencer for controlling sound, as well as a music production studio with MS-20 mono synth, a six-part drum machine, and a mixer. Integration with SoundCloud is also planned, allowing users to share their music online. Official pricing and a release date have yet to be announced, however, this information should become available within the next few weeks.
Will introduce new iPad, iPhone content
Registrations are now being taken for the Macworld 2011 expo. The event will last from January 26th to the 29th, and take place at Moscone Center West, located in San Francisco. Until December 2nd, special discounts are being offered on all entry fees; costs run from $25 for an expo-only pass through to a $725 Super Pass. The latter includes access to all presentations, all sessions in the User Conference, and one choice of workshop.
Conference focuses on enterprise, admin topics
MacWorld conference organizers IDG have posted a schedule of technical sessions for the MacIT conference of MacWorld 2011, taking place January 27-29, 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The conference is aimed at Mac-using IT professionals, network engineers and enterprise staff with a focus on security, OS X deployment, network and storage management, IT fundamentals for those new to the field and iOS integration.
Version 3.0 adds Tax categories, sub-folders
Neat has launched NeatWorks for Mac 3.0 (site not updated) at IDG's 2010 Macworld Expo. The scanning software provides a system for digital filing that allows users to import and organize receipts, business cards, and documents. Users can create expense reports and keep records of vendors, dates, totals and sales tax. Supported scanners include the company's NeatDesk and NeatReceipts (portable) devices, along with HP and Canon scanners.
Images from the second day of Macworld 2010
Day two of IDG's 2010 Macworld Expo continued to bring large crowds, in spite of the impact from Apple's absence. Exhibits and events are limited to Moscone Center's North Hall, rather than extending across the street to the South Hall, yet the crowds were heavy again in day two.
Four apps likely by year's end
Touring Macworld 2010, MacNN has interviewed Omni Group CEO Ken Case about plans for the company's apps, including porting them to Apple's iPad. Case expects OmniFocus for the iPhone to be ported to the iPad at launch, though initially just as a resized iPhone app. Also coming to the iPad are OmniGraphSketcher, which focuses on sketching and graphing, and OmniGraffle, which diagrams visual objects and can be used for basic web design.
Images from the first day of Macworld 2010
The first day of IDG's 2010 Macworld Expo has attracted large crowds, despite the absence of Apple. Although the exhibits and events only filled the Moscone Center's North Hall, rather than extending across the street to the South Hall, the attendees still arrived in droves.
Pen controls presentations via Wi-Fi
Canson has announced plans to bring Mac support to its PaperShow presentation system. MacNN took a closer look at the hardware, which was on-hand this week at the Macworld 2010 expo. The package consists of a large pen that writes on the company's special paper. Information from the pen is then sent via Bluetooth to a USB dongle attached to the computer.
OfficeJet 4500 aimed at SME market
Today at Macworld, HP released its latest multifunction printer for small- and medium-sized businesses, the Officejet 4500. The Officejet 4500 provides 6ppm laser printing for text, 1m200 dpi optical scanning, fax and copy functions. The Officejet 4500 has both typical USB 2.0 as well as 10/100 Ethernet to print over the network. Other conveniences are a 20 page automatic document feeder for copying and scanning and a paper tray with a 100 sheet capacity.
Apple's absence having minimal impact?
Macworld 2010 should have just as many attendees as the 2009 event, IDG has announced. The expo organizer says that over 30,000 people have pre-registered so far, along with over 300 companies. Potential visitors can still register, although only a few weeks remain before the February 9th beginning of the event. The expo will run at the Moscone Center in San Francisco through February 13th.
To offer Snow Leopard, Final Cut training
IDG World Expo has announced that Macworld 2010 programming has already been completed, with all of the speaker slots and content locked down five months prior to the actual event. IDG also states that over 28,000 attendees have pre-registered, roughly two-thirds of the number that normally comes to the expo. This year will be the first in some time that Apple has not officially attended a Macworld.
MW Snow Leopard sessions
IDG World Expo on Monday announced a wide range of Macworld 2010 conference sessions dedicated to the updated Snow Leopard operating system. The expo is set to host two full days of training related to Mac OS X, with content ranging from basic installation tips to 'power user' techniques.
IDG Indie Dev. Pavilion
IDG World Expo has announced the Independent Developer Pavilion, a new floor area dedicated exclusively to independent Mac software developers. Available for Macworld 2010, the area is intended to attract attention from media, shoppers, industry and potential investors. When taking part in the Pavilion, developers are asked simply to bring a notebook and their product, as IDG will provide the remaining services and equipment.
Apple shareholder Q-and-A
Apple's board of directors faced pointed questions during Wednesday's shareholders' meeting, directed a variety of topics. In a Q&A session held during the event, the topic immediately switched to the health of CEO Steve Jobs, whose absence from the room served as a reminder that the executive is on an extended medical leave through the month of June. Board member Arthur Levinson attempted to reassure shareholders, explaining that the group discloses information when it is considered both important and proper to do so. Possible succession plans come up regularly in talks, said Levinson.
iLounge CES sold in 3 days
iLounge has announced that its iPod- and iPhone-centric pavilion at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show has been completely booked with vendors in just three days. To avoid a long waiting list, CEA decided to quadruple the size of the area to accommodate the additional interest. “The accessories market, driven by the popularity of iPods, iPhones, and other MP3 and smartphone technologies, will grow this year to a nearly $15 billion market," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA.
iPod pavilion at CES
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced the iLounge Pavilion, a unified iPod and iPhone section for the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. The pavilion is co-sponsored by CES and iLounge.com, which originally called for a space at CES for iPod and iPhone vendors, and will feature a special exhibition area for both the manufacturers and retailers of iPod- and iPhone-related products.
iPod vendors look to CES
The effort to put on Macworld 2010 may have taken a hit today, as an editorial claims that the vast majority of iPod- and iPhone-related companies in contact with iLounge are looking to move to the Consumer Electronics Show instead. The move would be a serious blow not only to Macworld, but to organizer IDG and other vendors dependent on traffic.
Apple bans Jobs flyers
The man behind "Bring Back Steve Jobs" flyers at last week's Macworld Expo says the stunt was not meant as a slam against Apple. Gleb Budman and his colleagues were told by Apple representatives to stop handing out flyers to Expo attendees lined up for Apple's keynote on Tuesday morning. Budman says the message was meant as a "compliment" to Steve Jobs -- and a plea for Apple to reverse its decision to abandon the Expo after this year.
Apple coming to CES?
Apple may be looking to exhibit at next year's Consumer Electronics Show, a report claims. Citing second-hand sources within Apple, the story suggests that while the company has decided to pull out of future Macworlds, it is already laying plans for CES, which is hosted in Las Vegas every January and populated by over 2,700 hardware and software companies, including a number of PC builders and key rivals, such as Microsoft. CES 2009 is currently ongoing.
REAL Server 2009 in Feb.
REAL Software, the producer of the REALbasic development platform, has announced plans to release updated server software in February. REAL Server 2009 is said to have been overhauled with an event-based asynchronous architecture, and now uses Multi-Version Concurrency Control, which is said to improve both concurrency and scalability. The latter aspect has been improved throughout the program, in theory allowing over 10,000 concurrent connections.
Analysts on MW09
Only one real story came out of yesterday's keynote speech by Phil Schiller, write analysts with Needham & Co. Despite the announcement of new versions of iLife and iWork, as well as a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the most important revelation is said to be the switch to DRM-free music and variable pricing at iTunes. Even this may have minimal impact, Needham suggests.
MW09 keynote video
Apple has posted an official video of today's Macworld 2009 keynote event, hosted by senior marketing VP Phil Schiller. During the keynote Schiller announced several new products, including a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the iLife '09 home suite, and the iWork '09 office suite. Schiller also exposed changes to DRM and pricing at iTunes. Update: Apple also posted a video talking about the battery technology used in the 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro and the marketing video touting its battery life, battery lifespan, and other "green" features.
MS at Macworld 2009
Using Macworld as a jumping point, Microsoft has announced two new pieces of Mac software. The first is the Document Collaboration Companion, a Cocoa-based tool which should simplify uploading and downloading to Office Live Workspaces as well as SharePoint-based collaboration utilities. Users will be able to check documents in and out, cache them offline, and access services such as a Document Library plus the SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces. A private beta is expected to become available in February, followed by a final release later this year.
New products from iSkin
iSkin has announced multiple products at Macworld 2009. The company has a new iPhone case, a new earphone set for the iPhone and numerous new laptop bags. iSkin's new iPhone case, The iSkin Flex, features a PVC based hard case with a soft, flexible bottom flap, which allows the iPhone entry to the case and protects it from bumps and scratches. The new case comes in black, sliver and red and features a removable, silicone iPhone camera lens protector.
iTunes at MW09
In concluding its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple has confirmed a switch to a variable pricing model for iTunes music, where previously the company charged a flat 99 cents per track. Beginning in April the company will offer three tiers of pricing: 69 cents, 99 cents and finally $1.29, with a greater proportion of tracks falling under the bottom tier than the top; all tracks aged less than six years should remain at 99 cents. The scheme is said to be attributable to flexibility demands from record companies.
iWork '09 at MW09
Complementing its iLife '09 debut, Apple has announced iWork '09, an upgraded productivity suite. The suite's presentation app, Keynote '09, has been enhanced with a new Magic Move feature, which lets users pick the start- and endpoints of objects, and in turn generate transitions automatically; some new transitions include text types such as swings and shimmering, and chart types like slides and rotations. New themes have been added, and users can now manage Keynote presentations from an iPhone or iPod touch. The Keynote Remote app is selling for 99 cents at the App Store.
iLife '09 shown at MW09
In opening up its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple today revealed iLife '09, an update to its core application package for Macs. Changes to the suite begin with iPhoto '09, whose new Faces feature lets users sort images by the people. After running face detection, the app lets users assign names to each of the people involved, and sort photo collections accordingly. Places, meanwhile, now lets users filter photos through geotagging, and can pull information directly from cameras such as Nikon's Coolpix series or that of the iPhone. Smart albums can be generated to include particular people and locations.
Newber app awaits approval
FreedomVoice Systems was prepared to tout its Newber iPhone app at the Macworld Expo this week, but delays with the App Store review process have left the program hanging and still awaiting approval. The team first submitted the app on October 2nd and has yet to receive a formal rejection or acceptance from Apple. Other developers have expressed similar frustration with the review process recently, receiving canned messages that claim "unexpected additional time for review."
Software dev outs Mac mini
A software developer has, intentionally or not, fueled speculation that Tuesday's Apple keynote speech will see the announcement of an updated Mac mini. In promoting v4.6 of its namesake digital asset management (DAM) system, it describes "new Mac mini hardware" as being supported, with the option of bundling the two products together in a server bundle. In operating as a server, the otherwise unidentified Mini would be equipped with 1TB of storage.
NEC intros 26-inch LCD
At the Macworld expo due to kick off tomorrow in San Francisco, CA, NEC Display will demonstrate its newest desktop display for graphics professionals, the 26-inch MultiSync LCD2690WUXi². Based on the existing LCD2690WUXi display, the new monitor has a wider color gamut panel, covering 97.8 percent of the Adobe RGB color spectrum versus the older model's 91 percent, as well as delivering greater blue coverage and brightness uniformity.
Jobs admits to illness
Responding to recent rumors, as well as long-standing concerns, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted in an open letter that his pullout from the annual Macworld keynote can be partially attributed to health matters. "Unfortunately," writes Jobs, "my decision to have Phil [Schiller] deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed. I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow."