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Latest iTunes, Mavericks betas now available to developers

03/20, 8:29pm

Restores Contacts and Calendar local syncing to iTunes

Following the release of internal betas distributed to Apple and AppleCare employees on Tuesday, the company has now made its latest betas for OS X Mavericks and iTunes available to developers. As noted previously, the update to iTunes restores local management of Contacts and Calendar data for users who prefer not to use iCloud syncing. The latest Mavericks beta features improved support for 4K high-definition displays.

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Chrome Beta version 34 adds hands-free 'OK Google' voice search

02/28, 8:19am

Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future

Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.

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Google details Chrome beta JavaScript performance improvement

02/14, 11:24am

Beta browser uses concurrent compilation to avoid JavaScript latency issues

Chrome users could see an extra boost in performance, thanks to the way the most recent Chrome Beta handles JavaScript. The company detailed how beta version 33 uses "concurrent compilation" to speed up the JavaScript functions of a web page by compiling it into native machine code while it is still running, in an effort to reduce latency in the browser.

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Apple seeds fifth beta of upcoming 10.9.2 on schedule

02/06, 8:26pm

No final release date, no significant changes from previous beta

Developers can now download the fifth version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2, an upcoming maintenance release, from Software Update through their registered developer accounts, or from the Apple developer portal. The latest update has no significant changes in the release notes, but again asks developers to focus on networking, Mail, Messages, VoiceOver, VPN and graphics drivers. The new build, 13C53, comes one week after the previous release.

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Briefly: New VPN Unlimited beta, Cinemagram point and shoot update

01/31, 12:33pm

VPN Unlimited service for Mac released as beta

VPN Unlimited has announced the availability of its Mac client, launched under a open beta program. Subscribing to a VPN server can allow for access to blocked websites, Wi-Fi connection privacy, and the ability to bypass ISP restrictions. VPN Unlimited's servers are located in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Including unlimited bandwidth and connection speed, users can utilize their VPN access with up to five devices, and up to three VPN Unlimited accounts can be used on same device or computer. The client apps for both iOS and OS X offer automatic VPN setup.

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Apple updates OS X Server to 3.1 beta for developer testing

01/21, 5:58pm

Requires Mavericks 10.9.2 beta, fixes Profile Manager issue

Just days after its latest update to the forthcoming Mavericks 10.9.2 beta, Apple has also released an updated OS X Server v3.1 for developer testing. The new build, 13S4076F, is said to address a problem with the Profile Manager in which syntax errors appear in migration SQL. The new version can only run on the current beta of 10.9.2, which is also developer-only.

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Briefly: Humin app's early access pre-launch, Epicurious 4.0

01/21, 12:35pm

Social relationships-focused contacts app debuts its Early Access Program

Humin, a new social contact organizing app, has launched its Early Access Program for beta users today. The app aims to provide users with a more organic method of organizing contact information from one's standard address book and various social media accounts. Humin uses natural language for users to search for contacts by way of relationship to the user -- where they met, what job they hold, and more. Contacts appear on the app's main screen as "Recent and Suggested," and a search box lets the user find whomever they wish to get in touch with.

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iOS 7.1 beta 4 fixes messaging bug, leaves unaddressed issues

01/20, 1:34pm

Devs also begin Xcode 5.1 beta 4 testing

Apple has released the fourth betas for iOS 7.1 and Xcode 5.1, enabling developers to continue testing the software ahead of a public release. The iOS beta is said to fix a bug related to outgoing messages, however other issues from earlier betas have yet to be resolved, according to an AppleInsider report.

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Apple seeds second iOS 7.1 beta to developers [U]

12/13, 1:37pm

Public release expected soon

(Updated with additional details) Apple has seeded the second iOS 7.1 beta to developers, nearly a month after the first beta was released for testing. The company has yet to publicly detail any changes to the second release, which was spotted by 9To5Mac, though the first beta was primarily centered around bug fixes and performance enhancements.

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Apple seeds third 10.9.1 beta to developers with incremental changes

12/03, 9:57pm

More fixes for GMail integration in Mail, Smart Folders, VoiceOver

Just less than two weeks after the second OS X 10.9.1 beta was released, Apple has made a third available, this time with build number 13B40. The new release offers further advances on GMail integration in Mail and Smart Folders, both mentioned as areas of improvement in the second developer beta. Developers are still asked to focus on Mail, along with Safari, graphics drivers for various video cards and chipsets, and VoiceOver -- the same areas of attention as the previous beta.

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Apple updates Aperture, releases Safari betas to developers

11/14, 8:43pm

Safari betas, new Aperture update both focus on bug fixes

Apple has issued an update to its pro-level photo management app Aperture, bringing it up to version 3.5.1 in a free update that corrects several flaws, most notably fixing Temperature & Tint White Balance so that it works correctly. For developers, Apple is now seeding two new Safari betas - one for Lion and Mountain Lion (10.7 and 10.8 respectively) and one for OS X Mavericks (10.9). The Safari betas, which are not yet officially released, focus on viewing and annotating PDF files, along with password autofill troubleshooting.

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Ninth beta of Mavericks appears, drops 'Developer Preview' tag

10/03, 6:27pm

Name change may hint at imminent release, changes currently unknown

Apple on Thursday released an updated beta of OS X Mavericks, the forthcoming major system upgrade for OS X users. The new version, the ninth, drops the "Developer Preview" part of the name and simply refers to it as "OS X Mavericks," suggesting that pre-release work on it is drawing to a close. Mavericks (otherwise known as OS X 10.9) is widely expected to be released sometime later this month, though Apple hasn't set a formal date as of yet.

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Apple updates Xcode 5, OS X Server, Remote Desktop

07/29, 11:57pm

Continuing updates reinforce commitment to fall deadlines

In addition to the iOS 7, Apple TV and iTunes 11.1 betas issued earlier today, Apple has also updated the forthcoming Xcode 5, OS X Server and Remote Desktop betas for developers. The Xcode update (Developer Preview 4) fixes a number of crashing bugs and polishes up the interface, with OS X Server update (also at Developer Preview 4) offering much the same in the way of changes. Apple Remote Desktop 3.7 was also updated, but with no reported changes apart from a lack of any known major issues.

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Examinations reveal many more changes in iOS 7 beta 4

07/29, 9:23pm

Lots of tweaks, small and big, as refinements and polish continue

Beyond the discovery earlier today of biometric and fingerprint-sensor data buried inside the latest beta of iOS 7, researchers examining the new update have found lots of other tweaks and refinements -- everything from the return of Apple TV iTunes music buying to a subtle shift in gradient on the Mail icon, and much more. The evolution of iOS 7 reinforces early comments from veteran developers that every design element in the first beta that was publicly demonstrated at the Worldwide Developer's Conference wasn't set in stone, and that the update would evolve.

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Apple seeds sixth OS X 10.8.5 beta to developers

07/24, 6:50pm

Currently limited download options due to Dev Center downtime

Right on schedule and one week after the previous build, Apple has again made available a new beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.8.5 for developers to test. Also like last week, the new version (12F26) is just three build numbers higher than the previous one, suggesting that the company is nearing the end of testing.

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Public, press receiving invites to iWork for iCloud beta

07/18, 11:00pm

Web version brings iWork to PC, may be free of charge

MacNN readers and staffers have reported receiving invitations from Apple to try out the iWork for iCloud beta, and may expand the program to all those with an iCloud account. The online version of the three iWork apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- is not believed to be intended to replace the local Mac and iOS versions, but instead complement them with a way to use the programs from any online device -- including, for the first time, Windows computers. Our reviews of the apps found them to be superb implementations of the latest web technologies.

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Apple seeds third OS X Mavericks beta to developers

07/09, 12:45am

Latest update continues focus on bug fixes, performance

Late on Monday -- and like the iOS 7 beta released earlier in the day, arriving two weeks after the last one -- Apple has posted OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3. While it is too soon to notice any significant changes or improvements, the beta is focused on compatibility and performance issues, as well as integrating the forthcoming "iCloud Keychain" feature. The update is still dealing with a raft of known issues, including some that render it incompatible with even the last Mavericks and iOS 7 betas. Installation on production machines remains strongly discouraged.

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Apple seeds third OS X 10.8.5 beta to developers, retail workers

07/03, 6:00pm

Company maintains strict weekly schedule for updates

If it's Wednesday, there must be a new beta of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 for developers to test. Apple has issued build 12F17 -- once again only four builds higher than the previous release -- for testing by program developers and, most recently, Apple retail store workers. As has been the case with the previous betas, no known issues are listed and testers are asked to focus on Wi-Fi (including new 802.11ac testing) and the "wake From sleep" function, both of which have seen issues for some in Mountain Lion.

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Onswipe: Developer, tester interest in iOS 7 beta very high

07/03, 12:48am

App makers appear keen to redress apps to match iOS 7's 'look'

Mobile web advertising and optimizing company Onswipe is reporting that interest in the iOS 7 beta is growing at a furious pace, with three quarters of a percent of the iPhone user base already running the software in beta. The figures represents at a minimum more than two million iPhones, far higher than those running the iOS 6 beta at the same point in its development cycle. While some of that figure may be users who have pirated the (notoriously unstable and buggy) beta, most is believed to be developers who need to match their apps to iOS 7's new look.

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Apple seeds second OS X 10.8.5 beta build to developers, retail staff

06/26, 5:54pm

Weekly updates of Mountain Lion continue, focus on improvements

The weekly updates of the next minor update to OS X Mountain Lion continue, with the second beta of OS X 10.8.5 being distributed to developers and Apple retail staff through the Mac Developer Center and the Mac App Store for those with developer or employee accounts. The release again focuses on bug fixes rather than new features, though there is some speculation that the forthcoming release could be the last for Mountain Lion as the company focuses on OS X Mavericks (10.9), the second Developer Preview of which was sent out on Tuesday.

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Apple TV gains iTunes Radio support, new features in v5.4 beta

06/17, 10:34pm

Conference Room shows off increasing use of Apple TV for business

Though not explicitly mentioned during the Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote, the Apple TV will also be receiving an update to its differently-numbered iOS software in the near future -- one that supports iTunes Radio and offers a few minor new features. The first beta, which is referred to as iOS 5.4 (notably skipping 5.3 entirely), doesn't yet make any severe design changes but does add support for the forthcoming iTunes Radio, allowing developers a chance to test the service.

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Icons from iOS 7 briefly appear in 'rough draft' form with grid

06/14, 9:20pm

Illustration of iOS 7 on iPad, iPad mini also discovered on Apple's site

For a brief period on Friday, a set of what appears to have been "unfinished" or "rough draft" icons for iOS 7 appeared on a mobile version of the page promoting the new beta instead of the icons that are actually included in the current beta. This is not the first time discrepancies between the current iOS 7 icons and alternative versions have been noticed: the presentation during the WWDC keynote on Monday also featured some that are not quite the same as in the beta given to developers. Also discovered at the bottom of the Apple page was a picture of iOS 7 running on the iPad and iPad mini.

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Apple seeds sixth 10.8.4 beta to developers for testing

05/08, 7:00pm

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.

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Apple seeds third beta of 10.8.4 to developers, no new changes

04/18, 12:05am

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.

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First beta of OS X 10.8.4 made available to developers

04/01, 8:23pm

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.

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Apple seeds new build of OS X 10.8.3 with no known issues

01/08, 6:21pm

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.

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Apple seeds new 10.8.3 build just days after previous one

12/20, 5:53pm

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.

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Apple releases new OS X 10.8.2 beta to developers

09/06, 1:36am

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.

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Apple seeds 10.8.1 beta to developers

08/10, 10:39pm

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.

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Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta tops half million downloads

03/29, 6:00am

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.

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Apple updates unreleased 10.7.2 and iCloud betas

08/23, 2:45am

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.

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New Chrome beta includes Print Preview, Lion support

08/11, 9:15pm

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.

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iOS 4.2 Beta 2 adds YouTube upload features

09/29, 12:10am

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.

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MobileMe beta adds Outlook support for Windows users

07/16, 6:00pm

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.

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Briefly: Transmit limited beta test, Best Camera for iPhone

12/22, 8:25pm

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.

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First Look: Google's Chrome browser for Mac

12/08, 5:55pm

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.

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Space-In-Time disk space monitoring app enters beta

05/29, 5:20pm

Space-In-Time released

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.

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Playfirst announces three new game titles

05/29, 5:05pm

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.

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iPhone 2.2 adds App ratings upon deletion

10/27, 5:55pm

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.

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Windows 7 Beta delayed until mid-December

09/12, 12:20pm

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.

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Apple prepares iPhone Apps beta program

07/23, 1:05pm

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."

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OpenOffice 3.0b2 adds international formatting, more

07/16, 4:15pm

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.

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PC Tools releases iAntiVirus beta for Mac

06/28, 2:25pm

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.

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app4mac: Sequence beta announced

06/25, 9:20am

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.

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Hypercube moves web widgets to desktop

06/16, 12:40pm

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.

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Flickr client for Mac allows editing, uploading, more

05/19, 9:50pm

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.

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VMware Fusion 2 beta adds multi displays, more

05/06, 1:00am

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.

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New SDK beta opens background processes?

04/25, 4:50pm

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.

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Handwriting recognition for jailbroken iPhones

04/17, 9:55pm

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.

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iPhone v2.0 allows saving images to Photo Album

04/14, 7:00pm

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.

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