No noted changes or known issues reported once again
The weekly release of new builds of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 are continuing apace, with build 12E47 now available for testers -- again with no new changes or known issues, and again asking developers to focus testing efforts on the same areas as before: graphics, Safari and Wi-Fi performance. Earlier builds of 10.8.4 are known to be slightly improving battery life, addressing bugs with Wi-Fi stability and reconnection after waking from sleep, as well as fixing some remaining Nvidia card graphic glitches.
Added support for emerging 802.11ac Wi-Fi in previous release
As it has done almost every week for the last few months, Apple on Wednesday seeded a new build of the next update to 10.8 Mountain Lion on Wednesday. The latest version of the 10.8.4 beta comes with the curious numbering of 12E33a, the first beta in recent memory to have a letter designation at the end. The significance of the letter is unknown, but could be indicative of a last-minute revision. As has become usual, the release notes only ask developers to focus on graphics drivers, Safari and general Wi-Fi testing.
Notes are identical to final 10.8.3 betas
Just two weeks after Apple finally released Mountain Lion OS X 10.8.3 to Mac users, the development cycle on the next minor update, 10.8.4, has begun. Currently only available to AppleSeed testers, the first beta of 10.8.4 will be distributed to registered OS X developers through Software Update soon, and comes with no known issues. Curiously, the release notes on 10.8.4 are the same as the last betas of 10.8.3 -- asking testers to test Wi-Fi, graphics drivers and Safari. The new build, 12E27, is likely focused on bug fixes.
New build comes two weeks after fourth beta, no new release notes
Two weeks after the previous build, Apple has made available a new, fifth beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers through its Software Update channel. The latest build, 12D50, comes with no changes to the release notes from the previous 12D44 and lists no known issues, with the same request for testers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Safari, Graphics and Game Center. The lack of new information for the second beta running suggests that release may be imminent.
Release likely coming soon for Mountain Lion users
In an unusual move, Apple has seeded a new build of OS X 10.8.3 to developers just two days after the previous version. No explanation was given for the new build, 12D44 (just one build higher than the previous one), and the release notes on the build are identical to the one given out on Tuesday. The new version becomes the fourth beta of 10.8.3 and the third sent out so far this month. Given the identical release notes, it is possible that the new build simply fixes a discovered flaw or vulnerability in the previous build.
Developers to focus on Power Nap, Facebook sharing
Apple unveiled a third beta of OS X 10.8.2 developers late Wednesday, just a week after the previous release. The new build, numbered 12C43, lists no known issues but asks developers to focus on several areas, including both the Facebook integration introduced in the previous build along with Power Nap, a feature introduced in the original release of Mountain Lion. The company appears to be moving quickly to seal compatibility with the forthcoming iOS 6.
May address Thunderbolt 'static noise' issue
Apple developers have started receiving a beta of OS X 10.8.1, the first update to Mountain Lion since its release on July 25. While the release note accompanying the update lists no known issues, Apple does ask developers to focus testing on several areas -- including Wi-Fi and audio when connected to an Apple Thunderbolt Display, a noise issue tested extensively by MacNN last month. The new build is number 12B13 and is 38.5MB in size.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta hooks half million users
Less than a week after making a free beta of its high-end photo editing software public, Adobe has announced that it has already served up over 500, 000 downloads of the app. The last time Adobe opened up a free beta of is Photoshop app to the public was ahead of the launch of CS3. However, while the number is impressive, when the title launches before the end of June, it will retail at around $699 for the standard install and $999 for the pro-level Extended iteration.
Lion providing major sales push to Macs
Apple has quietly updated its unreleased 10.7.2 beta to developers, bringing the build number up to 11C40 and the download size to 730MB. The update is expected to follow along fairly quickly after last week's release of OS X 10.7.1, which improved bugs in Wi-Fi performance and audio out glitches. The company also released beta 8 of its iCloud add-on installer for Lion, which adds pre-release iCloud functionality to developer Macs.
Also includes beta of Native Client, Web Audio
Today's release of a new beta of Google's Chrome 14 web browser brings three major changes -- the first to Mac users, the second and third to users on all platforms. Included in the new beta is the much-requested Print Preview for the Mac version, but more importantly the updated beta features encryption of all synchronized data, and the first preview of a technology that will eventually envelop Chrome itself, called Native Client.
Build 8C5101c may set stage for future products
The just-posted iOS 4.2 beta 2 (build 8C5101c) reveals a previously unknown feature being considered for final release: allowing users to mark uploaded YouTube videos for public or private viewing. Alongside other additions already announced (such as Airplay and AirPrint), observers are beginning to wonder if the stage is being quietly set for iOS to leap to additional products.
MobileMe Control Panel v1.6.1 available now
Apple has updated its MobileMe Calendar beta, adding support for Outlook calendars for Windows users. Using the new MobileMe Control Panel v1.6.1, beta users can view and edit MobileMe calendars from within Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010. Users who also sync Outlook to an Exchange Server should not have issues, as the data for Exchange and MobileMe are kept separate and can be viewed side-by-side on iPhones, iPads, Macs or PCs.
Panic offering limited beta for Transmit software
In brief: A beta program has been set up by Panic to test an upcoming release of its Transmit software. This limited beta carries the usual warnings attached to any ptr-release software and requires potential participants to register online. Meanwhile, professional photographer Chase Jarvis has announced the release of his new iPhone application, Best Camera. The photography utility features functions for both capturing and editing images directly on the mobile interface.
Open-source browser takes on Firefox, Safari
Google has finally released a beta version of its Chrome browser for the Mac platform, following a year of availability for Windows users. The open source software is designed to compete with other popular browsers such as Safari and Firefox. The latest release offers many of the same features as the Windows version, although the early Mac beta still lacks several capabilities.
TRI-EDRE has released the first public beta of Space-In-Time. The program is used to monitor a computer's disk data in order to understand which folders and files are taking up the most space. Space-In-Time records the space usage for each folder, while keeping a log of file values and totals.
Playfirst unveils 3 games
PlayFirst plans to release three new games later this year, Passport to Perfume, Gemini Lost, and Avenue Flo. Beta versions of Passport to Perfume and Gemini Lost have already been released, and the Avenue Flo beta will be released in June.
iPhone 2.2 adds app rating
As Apple prepares v2.2 of the iPhone operating system, a new screenshot indicates that the company is inserting a rating dialogue before users can delete an application from their device. Greek language site iPhone Hellas reports that attempting to delete an application directly from the device yields a popup window, offering the familiar five-star system, as well as a "No Thanks" button for users who are not interested in supplying feedback about the app.
Windows 7 Beta delayed
A blog entry by Mary-Jo Foley posted on Thursday suggests Microsoft will not make the Beta version of its Windows 7 operating system available to testers at either its October Professional Developers Conference or November’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, as expected by many in the industry. While the software giant is likely to unveil new information about the new operating system that is to be Vista’s successor, the actual Beta 1 versions aren’t likely to be released until the middle of December, Foley claims, citing industry sources familiar with the schedule who do not want to be named.
Beta program coming soon
Apple is preparing to offer a beta-testing program for iPhone applications in its App Store, according to an app developer. The beta program will allow developers to distribute beta versions of their iPhone Apps to registered iPhones for testing, according to TechCrunch. Currently, there is no easy way to put apps on an iPhone other than distribution on Apple's iPhone App Store. Developers have to put any fixes out for all to use. "The big problem here is that the only way to install software on an iPhone or iPod touch is with the App Store. There are also no provisions for beta testing," one developer on the Twitterific team said. "The only way to test a fix is to release the changes to tens of thousands of users. It’s the developer equivalent of playing Russian roulette."
OpenOffice 3 beta 2
Sun Microsystems recently unveiled OpenOffice 3.0b2, a new beta preview release of the next major version of its business productivity suite, adding a number of optimizations, features, and fixes. The new version introduces new regional grammar and numeric standards for Indian customers, as well as refined behaviour of editing filtered rows. Sun also introduced 'y axis' error bars, allowing users to define a range of error for estimated figures.
IAntiVirus Beta released
Security software developer PC Tools has just released a beta of iAntiVirus, its first security software for the Mac. The company says iAntiVirus uses less memory and system resources than similar security applications because it ignores Windows viruses and only removes malware intended for the Mac. “Let’s face it, malware is (now) a business,” said Michael Greene, PC Tools Vice President of Product Strategy. He says rapid growth in Mac market share has made the platform a profitable target for organized identity theft.
Sequence beta released
Independent software developer app4mac has announced its latest beta version of Sequence. Touted as 'a simple way to capture and save an image or movie of your screen', the desktop utillity allows users to capture images or movies directly from their Mac's display, and then save them as files, email them, or post them directly onto the web. Making full use of modern multi-threaded code and a 64-bit compression system, it can capture DVD, audio or multimedia material and enables the simultaneous capture of webcam images and screen data. Sequence also offers extensive audio recording options, such as integration with a Mac's built-in mic or external sound device or recording an audio 'voice over' for video clips. Supporting most common file types (including .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .tiff and .pdf), the Leopard-only software is expected to ship on July 4th and is offered until that time at a price of $9.
web widgets on the desktop
Mesa Dynamics has posted a beta of Amnesty Hypercube, which is designed to “free” Google Gadgets and other web widgets from the confines of a web browser to the desktop. Not to be confused with Dashboard widgets, web widgets are tiny applications -- often snippets of HTML code -- designed to be inserted in blogs or other web pages. Amnesty Hypercube allows these widgets to be launched from within Dashboard or from the desktop.
Flickery for Mac
Eternal Storms Software on Monday unveiled a public beta for Flickery, a new Flickr image client for the Mac that allows Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users to browse, view, upload, manage, and comment on photos. Flickery features a minimalist interface, which can show several photos, or just a one-up approach in either full-window or full-screen. Eternal Storms Software is running a public beta of the software from now until June 30th, and is currently free to try.
VMware Fusion 2.0 beta 1
VMware today unveiled VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 1, a free beta preview of the next major update to its OS virtualization software, which introduces many new features, including true multi-display support for virtual machines. In addition to using multiple displays, the beta also introduces experimental support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2, allowing users to run complex 3D software in a virtualized environment. When it ships, VMware Fusion 2.0 will be a free upgrade for all existing v1.x users, while new users can purchase Fusion for $80.
SDK beta opens BG process
Apple's newly released SDK build could potentially support background processes to allow for a richer user experience, and allow intricate applications to run properly. The Unofficial Apple Weblog reveals that the SDK supports the UIApplication delegate class, which includes methods that apply to gaining and resigning "active" status. While not officially confirmed in any documentation, the revelation could indicate support for background tasks.
iPhone writing recognition
ModMyiFone.com forum members have discovered a new utility for jailbroken iPhones which allows for handwriting recognition using a small grey area. The beta software can recognize both Latin and Chinese characters at the moment, transcribing finger motions into editable text on a yellow notepad-style document. User poetic_folly notes that installing HWPen requires the user to add iphonecake.com/src/all as the installer source.
iPhone beta saves images
iPhone developers testing the latest v1.2.0 beta firmware have found that future implementations of the iPhone OS allows users to press and hold their finger over an image in Safari to save it to their Photo Album. According to Gizmodo, the method works with all new versions of the v1.2.0 beta, and is ideal for saving friends photos from Facebook or a similar service, allowing the photo to serve as a background or other interface element.
Parallels Server beta 3
Parallels Server Beta 3 has been released, adding an integrated toolset that includes Parallels Tools, Parallels Image Tool and Parallels Transporter (a P2V and V2V migration tool) to the hypervisor solution for server virtualization. Parallels Server includes support for Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT-x) hardware acceleration technologies, 32- and 64-bit platform and guest OS support, and 4-way guest SMP and multi-core CPU support. The new release also adds open APIs and SDK for extensible management, allowing third party tools vendors to add support for Parallels Server. Also new is a command line interface (CLI), and scripting (including Python) allowing automation of common server tasks from the command line.
SDK beta times out
Developers participating in the iPhone SDK beta are discovering that the device is "bricking" itself after the limited-time beta expires. TUAW readers point out that this shouldn't come as a surprise, since a note posted for developers says that the beta would indeed expire if not kept current. Another user notes that the next development firmware version has yet to be seeded to non-enterprise developers, while another still says that a call to the Apple Developer Connection revealed an updated SDK masquerading as an older one.
Architosh reports that the Windows-based 3D software package, Houdini, is coming to the Mac OS X platform and Houdini for Mac Beta has been announced. The company is looking for beta testers and to get their Mac version in the hands of as many 3D professionals as possible. The developer says "With the recent redesign of the Houdini user-interface (UI), the program has become much more artist-friendly, claims the company, making it a great fit for the Mac. Apple's switch to Intel processors has also been a factor in developing a native Mac version."
The TeamViewer remote maintenance software, which until now has only been available for Windows PCs, is now available as a beta for Mac OS X. The new version runs from Mac OS X 10.4 and offers cross-platform support. This means that not only other Macs, but also Windows systems can be remotely controlled. Following the establishment of a connection to the remote computer by means of a Partner ID, changes and maintenance work can be carried out or programs can be installed and executed. Unlike the final version, TeamViewer for Mac is not yet equipped with the function for transferring files between computers. The so-called customer module from the Windows version, which allows spontaneous support without installation on the remote controlled computer, has also not yet been implemented. The developer says these features will probably appear at the end of April.
Photoshop Express beta
Adobe on Thursday morning released Photoshop Express public beta, a free internet-based application that easily and quickly edits and applies non-destructive digital effects to photos. As a beta product, Adobe promised it would solicit user feedback on product features and functionality and continue to evolve the product over time. The application leverages Adobe's image editing technology and allows users to store up to 2GB of images online for free, make edits to photos, and share them online with using social networking site such as Facebook. The free service, which offers a variety of photo management tools, is available online as a beta product, but the company did not provide any details on a final release date.
Apple clarifies SDK beta
Apple today released a note to developers who were earlier temporarily rejected from the iPhone SDK beta. According to iLounge News, the note claims that Apple is currently at full capacity for the current beta stage, saying that it would expand the beta program shortly, after it has control over the current round of developers. The email thanks users for their patience in the matter, and says that Apple will contact a second round of developers once the first is properly sated.
iPhone devs rejected
Hundreds if not more of the developers who applied to Apple's iPhone Developer Program have been rejected for membership. The $100 program promised developer support, entry to the iPhone AppStore and other benefits. Part of a published portion of the rejection letter reads: "We have received your enrollment request. At this time, the iPhone Developer Program is available to a limited number of developers and we plan to expand the program during the course of the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time." As pointed out by TUAW, however, "this is less about 'rejection' than it is about developers being unable to commit resources when Apple won't give a firm go-ahead. Feel free to think about it as a 'limbogram' rather than an outright rejection."
iPhone Enterprise Beta
Apple today launched its iPhone Enterprise Beta Program, a new mini-site dedicated to bringing the iPhone to large corporate environments. The program offers "a unique opportunity for IT departments to try iPhone 2.0 software before general release," according to Apple. "If your company is selected to participate, you'll test new iPhone enterprise features within your corporate environment, then provide Apple with valuable feedback." Apple touts the latest capabilities of its iPhone which surfaced today during a town-hall meeting centered around the iPhone's software roadmap.
BBC iPlayer for iPhone
MacNN has discovered that the BBC is reportedly working on a version of its iPlayer software for the iPhone and iPod touch, which was spotted ahead of Apple's announcements at 10AM Pacific. When visiting the BBC iPlayer website through the portable devices, a small, inactive link appears in the corner of the main window, indicating that a beta version of the player software will soon be available. Details have not been released, but with the SDK event due any moment, the BBC will hopefully put an official spin on the find.
IE 8 takes on Safari
Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) beta, a test version of the company's free Web browser that will compete for dominance with Apple's Safari browser and Firefox. IE 8 features 'Activities,' or contextual services that provide quick access to a service -- such as 'look up' or 'send' -- from any Web page. Activities for example could allow a user to select the address of a restaurant and display an in-place view of the map using a favorite map service.
Parallels Server beta 2
Parallels today announced it is offering Parallels Server beta 2 for public download, after positive feedback based on private testing. Parallels Server takes advantage of hypervisor-based virtualization techniques, and supports over 50 different x86 and x64 operating systems, including Windows Server 2008. The beta also features Parallels' toolsets for enhancing, transferring, and backing up the resident virtual machines. Parallels Server beta 2 is available from download from Parallels' website.
MultiClutch gesture app
Developer Will Henderson recently unveiled a beta of MultiClutch
Omni Group updates
The Omni Group has released OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 and OmniOutliner 3.6.5. OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 is the latest beta release of the company's diagram creation software that refines AppleScript support for user data on models as well as graphics. OmniOutliner 3 is an update to the program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. OmniGraffle is priced at $80 for the standard edition and $150 for the professional version, with upgrades starting at $30. OmniOutliner is available in standard and professional versions for $40 and $70, respectively, while upgrades start from $20. OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and OmniOutliner 3.6.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Fruxx sync services
Fruux, a cross between social networking and .Mac's sync service, is currently in beta testing and looking for people to help test the service. Fruux synchronizes address book, bookmark, and calendar files with each computer someone owns, and also gives the user the ability to synchronize contact information with others. This allows users to stay in contact with friends, business partners, and family, even if the contact information changes.
Nvidia CUDA for Macs
Nvidia today announced the release of CUDA beta (12.9MB) for the Mac, a developer's kit that allows users to create derivative works for academic, commercial, or personal purposes. In addition to Nvidia's cards being used for gaming, some research firms use CUDA to do molecular modeling using parallel processing implementations, according to The Enquirer. The CUDA developers kit beta is available from Nvidia's website.
Gene Construction Kit 3.0
Textco BioSoftware today released an enhanced beta version of Gene Construction Kit (GCK 3.0), its DNA plasmid mapping software. The update features new modules for PCR Analysis, Automated Shotgun Cloning, and integrated Web Searching for performing biological related queries across numerous internet data repositories -- including KEGG, EntrezGene, PDB, PFAM, and more. Users interested in trying out Gene Construction Kit must fill out a beta test form. The beta release requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Firefox 3.0 Beta 3
Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 is available for download from Mozilla's developer FTP site, according to Brazilian enthusiast site Blog.MacMagazine. Blogger Rafael Fischmann reports that a casual browse of Mozilla's public FTP server revealed the latest beta, which sports a very Mail-inspired, but slender interface. The popular browser takes a few design cues from other Apple applications as well, with the URL field resembling that of iPhoto's search field.
Freeway 5 Public Beta 2
Softpress has released the second iteration of the Freeway 5 Public Beta featuring 'Scale And Trim' as an option alongside numerous fixes and minor enhancements. Freeway is a development tool designed to help programmers focus on design issues, rather than coding. Freeway beta P2 is available as a 30-day working preview, while download versions of Freeway 4 Pro and Freeway 4 Express are available for $200 and $70, respectively, and each includes a free upgrade to Freeway 5.
Skype for Apple TV beta
Developer Brandon Holland recently unveiled a downloadable beta version of his Apple TV Skype plugin that uses a standard USB VoIP handset to make calls through the Apple TV. The plugin is a front-end, and requires the Skype framework to be installed prior to use. Holland offers a fairly in-depth video tour of the as-of-then working features, giving users a technical demonstration of the software's capabilities.
Parallels Server beta
SWsoft today released the beta version of Parallels Server, the company's hypervisor-powered server virtualization software. Parallels Server is the first virtualization solution designed to run on Apple hardware -- including Mac Pros and Xserves -- and is the first to run multiple copies of Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard on a single Apple computer, according to the company. Parallels Server is available in private beta testing, and the company is accepting registrations for new beta testers.
Changes public beta
Skorpiostech has released a public beta of Changes, its new directory comparison and file differencing utility for Mac OS X. Changes is designed to make managing differences between files and folders fast and efficient by leveraging the power of Leopard's new Core Animation and Quick Look technologies, providing a smooth workflow that handles complicated synchronization and differencing needs. Changes beta is available for free during the testing period, and will sell for $30 upon shipping before migrating to its actual price of $40. The software requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Missing Sync for Leopard
Mark/Space released an update to The Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.2, adding Mac OS X Leopard compatibility and a few additional compatibility elements, while the company assures SyncTogether customers that they will have a working version for Leopard users soon. The Missing Sync for Palm OS is now functioning properly on Apple's new operating system, and it now works with Palm's Centro to provide two-way synchronization of data. The contact and calendar syncing has also been revamped. New users can obtain The Missing Sync for Palm OS for $40 as a download, or $50 for a CD-ROM version.