Stock's recent rise reflects expectations for record quarter
Apple's stock finally surpassed its previous 2013 high on Friday, beating the $549.03 mark to close at $556.07. The former high mark came on January 2, reflecting a year that saw the company doing brisk business in revenues, but penalized by Wall Street for lacking any category-redefining product or service, and being slow to update existing products. The perception -- not wholly accurate -- that Apple was losing influence and marketshare also played a role.
Savings on longest-term bonds could add up to billions, say analysts
Whether by coincidence or foresight, Apple could hardly have picked a better day than April 30 to have sold its first bonds since 1996, raising $17 billion to be used towards stock buybacks and increased dividends. Apple has announced that it intends to return $100 billion to stockholders over the next few years, but opted to go into debt to do so rather than "repatriate" some $45 billion in foreign profits -- finding that historically low interest rates would cost the company dramatically less than paying the 35 percent corporate tax on the offshore earnings.
Manufacturer aims for small annual net profit following massive loss
Troubled electronics manufacturer Sharp has reportedly had its largest yearly net loss in its century-long history. The losses of 545 billion yen ($5.3 billion), which is higher than any other result in its last 100 years of doing business, with management at the company also seeing a reshuffle in another attempt to rectify its finances.
Third High Street chain to do so in seven-day period
Movie rentals company Blockbuster's United Kingdom arm has applied for bankruptcy protection after 24 years of operation. The move takes place in the same one-week period as photography chain Jessops and music retailer HMV headed into administration in the UK, unable to battle online retailers and providers of online and post-based services
Tough holiday sales, online retailers to blame for financial issues
UK retailer HMV is going into administration after a lengthy battle for custom against online retailers, shortly after photography chain Jessops did the same and closed its stores. Accountancy firm Deloitte will be operating the chain in the interim while searching for a buyer, and hopes to keep the 4,300 staff and 239 stores of the music, games, and film retailer open until a suitable plan of action has been outlined.
Administration causes loss of over 1,300 jobs
Jessops, the largest photography chain store in the United Kingdom, has closed down all of its 187 stores, two days after entering administration. More than 1,370 jobs will be lost due to the closures, with more expected to be lost at the company's head office in the future. Administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers is currently managing the firm's closure.
Sleipnir update released
FreshBooks has launched a new iPhone app that lets users access all of their accounting records from a mobile device. The mobile app includes all of the major features found in the web version, including the ability to send professional looking invoices, get paid online with PayPal, and attach expenses directly to invoices. Users can also invite staff or sub-contractors to projects and log hours directly to active projects. The FreshBooks app is a free download, while accounts range from free up to $40 per month.
MacProcess opens new social network
MoneyBag, an upcoming finance tool designed for OS X, is nearing completion and will be entering into a private beta stage next week. Developers are currently looking for anyone willing to help test the software over the next few weeks. Everyone that is selected for the private beta will receive early access to the software, as well as a free licence ($30 value) for the app when it launches in September.
Adds features to prep for Mountain Lion, more
IGG Software has updated its flagship product, the personal finance app iBank, to version 4.5 in preparation for the arrival next month of OS X Mountain Lion. The new version will incorporate two important security features from the next OS X release, sandboxing (isolating the program's processes from other system processes) and the Gatekeeper feature, which lets developers sign their apps.
Software re-engineered for current OS
Following up on a promise from December, Intuit has now released a new version of Quicken 2007 (the last full version of Quicken for Mac) that has been re-engineered to be compatible with Mac OS X 10.7. The product is now called Quicken Mac 2007 OS X Lion Compatible and sells for $15. The full version of Quicken has a number of features not found in the stripped-down Quicken Essentials for Mac, which the company began offering two years ago.
Shaderlight accurately renders lighting fixtures
iPhonso has announced that its mobile financial tool, Gekko, will be launched in the App Store on January 31. The universal app is fully customizable and allows users to follow financial news from their favorite websites. Gekko also includes a smart caching system and built-in ad blocking to help improve page load times, as well as raw financial data for every stock. Other features include Evernote, Read It Later, and Instapaper integration, as well as support for sharing content via e-mail, SMS, and Twitter. Pricing has not yet been announced.
'First step' of new effort to support Mac users
Quicken customers have reported receiving e-mails from Intuit promising a new effort to winning back disaffected Mac users, announcing a new solution to make Quicken 2007 Lion-compatible that will be delivered by "early spring" and saying that the company is expanding its Mac development team to better support Mac users, AppleInsider reports. Quicken 2007 worked in Snow Leopard but was not compatible with Lion.
Debut version on Mac App Store
Mike Yenco has updated his household finance program Finance to version 7.0, bringing it to the Mac App Store and making a number of improvement, including changes in repeating transactions and data entry, better search speed, a new advanced search, better list navigation with mouse, trackpad and arrow key support and other changes. As part of the move to the Mac App Store, the price of Finance has also been lowered.
Pluses and minuses for both
Financial programs are a deeply personal decision that can be greatly affected by a user's needs. Some people have trouble balancing a simple checkbook, while others manage complicated home-business finances or extensive portfolios. We look at two different levels of home-finance programs: the inexpensive and basic CheckBookPro, and the more full-featured Quicken substitute iBank 4. We look at each one and where the strengths and weakness of each lie and how they might work for users in other situations in our review.
Adds new report types, many bug fixes
Modeless Software yesterday updated their flagship accounting program, Liquid Ledger Personal Finance, to version 2.4 -- a significant bug-fix and improvement release that also adds two new report types, support for OS X Lion, and several other features. It adds a new Screen Mode button for viewing reports without pagination, a new Edit button for editing a report's date range, and "reload" button for refreshing report data.
Users can merge transactions, hide unused sections
Synium Software, makers of Screenium and Mac Family Tree, have updated their personal financing application, iFinance, to version 3.3 -- a free update to existing iFinance users. The update adds full-screen support in Lion, improved stock folders, support for HBCI, merging of transactions and support for formulas that can be used to enter calculated amounts. The software handles transactions, stock portfolios, budgets and more in a variety of languages and currencies.
Data files can now be stored on cloud services
Splasm Software has updated both versions of their single-window personal finance management programs, CheckBook and CheckBook Pro, to version 2.2, revamping the support for split entries and also allowing users to store the data file wherever they'd like, including on cloud storage systems like Dropbox. The updates also bring minor fixes and improvements.
Revamps transaction interface, other improvements
Moneydance 2011 final has been released, two months after their preview version in March, adding direct support for importing from Quicken Essentials for Mac, the latest version of the personal Quicken product from Intuit. The new version of Moneydance also expands multi-currency abilities, adds new report and graph types, and features a new automatic transaction categorization engine that intelligently classifies transactions by itself. There's also a re-designed interface for confirming and editing downloaded transactions.
Version 4.1 adds user interface update, CSV import
IGG Software has updated its personal finance software, releasing iBank 4.1. Major upgrades in the new version include new report templates: Forecast, Category Detail and Expense Timeline, alongside enhancements to the current Portfolio Report, which gets at-a-glance summary information. Reports are further enhanced by a daily interval option and a new Reports Set-Up Assistant. Version 4.1 adds CSV data import and contextual menus for improved batch editing.
Intuit corrects registration issues, report filter
Intuit has released the QuickBooks 2009 for Mac R8.2 patch, adding Snow Leopard support to the small-business financial software. The update also fixes a series of problems including an issue that prevented customer product codes from completing registration, along with errors that appeared during importation of IIF files with large customer lists. The release also improves stability with print previews or or application of report filters in the Vendor Phone list report.
iBank Widget, iStat Pro
PDFClerk Pro 3.8 ($45) provides tools for performing a larger number of manipulations to existing PDF documents, as well as allowing the creating of PDF documents from non PDF files. In version 3.8 the annotation reordering feature now works for all supported annotation types and positioning, sizing and rotating objects now works on all selected objects. The update also features a new fullscreen option with an optional Kiosk mode. [Download - 7.9MB]
Finance 6.0 released
Yenco has released Finance 6.0, its banking software that provides tools for keeping track of bank accounts and managing budgets. Using an account import feature, the program can import files from the earlier Finance 5.0 version. The program also includes numerous features from the company's Framework application. The update also improves the account search feature and the repeating transactions feature which enters preset transactions.
IGG announces iBiz 4
IGG has announced details on the final version of iBiz 4, an upgrade to its time-tracking, billing and project management application. A public beta became available earlier this month, after the software was originally announced in January. The software adds statements, enhanced graphics powered by Core Animation, and a new iCal sync engine for the likes of projects, events, to-do lists and invoice due-dates. Users also receive additional templates for invoices and reports.
The Tagger 1.3 ($30) is an MP3 and AAC tag editor for Mac. The software allows users to batch edit audio files, and claims to support a wider range of ID3 tags than iTunes. The softwares interface has been updated in version 1.3 and now includes a new toolbar, a simplified Tags menu, and new navigation buttons. The update also features the ability to edit tags from within the file browser and new commands for buying, opening and showing licenses. [Download - 1.7MB]
PDFClerk Pro 3.7 ($45) provides tools for performing a larger number of manipulations to existing PDF documents, as well as allowing the creation of PDF documents from non PDF files. Version 3.7 fixes a number of bugs, and adds other enhancements such as mixed editing of static and dynamic annotations and control over tab order of form fields. [Download - 7MB]
GrandTotal 1.2 ($65) is an invoicing application for Mac OS X that is designed for freelancers and small to mid sized companies. GrandTotal features a built-in editor that allows users to adjust their layout to fit a companies corporate design. Version 1.2 has added the ability to create Gross-Invoices, support for the iPhone, a status banner and the option to place mailed documents on a backdrop. The update has also improved integration with the Address Book and fixed several bugs. [Download - 9.6MB]
Cover Stream 2.5 ($15) is an iTunes controller that extends iTunes Cover Flow to the desktop. With the software a user can control their iTunes library without needing to open up the iTunes window. Users can set up key commands for controlling playback options and view all of their media in a customizable window that can be viewed as lists or Cover Flow. The new version eliminates the need to sync with iTunes, adds a track list sidebar, a new Core Animation fullscreen menu, and several other new features and bug fixes. [Download - 1.9MB]
Prospects 1.2 ($30) is a personal finance application that allows users to manage their finances with features such as account monitoring and budgeting. This version adds scheduled transactions and reminders, account reconciling, automatic learning of rules for payees and categories, interface enhancements, the ability to navigate and edit transactions using only the keyboard, transaction filtering, and also fixes numerous bugs. [Download - 5MB]
IGG shows iBiz 4 upgrade
IGG Software today announced iBiz 4, a full-version upgrade to its application for time-tracking, billing and project management as well as the upcoming release of iBank Mobile, a native iPhone application designed to complement iBank 3, its personal finance application. iBiz 4, due in the first quarter of this year, offers new animated graphs (powered by core animation) and a completely new iCal sync engine for projects, events, to-do lists, invoice due dates with alarms, and other timeline-driven aspects of project or billing management. Version 4 also features new Statements to generate an overview of all past billing activity -- users can select to generate invoices and payments from a specific date range, or select specific items to include in statements. iBiz 4 also adds new templates for statements, invoices and reports.
TV Row, Labels & Addresses
Webify 1.1 ($16) is intended for users that prepare content for internet publication. Groups of images can be simultaneously resized, flipped, scaled, or rotated, saving time over single image editing. Webify works as an image browser, with a drag-and-drop interface claimed allow for faster work. The 1.1 update now properly handles the Rotation effect on rectangular shaped images, as well as retains meta data in saved images. [Download - 1.9MB]
Maxprog updates iCash 5.0
Maxprog has launched the latest update to its personal finance and money manager software, iCash 5.0. The application is designed to control and keep track of incomes, expenses, credits, debits and bank transactions. New features include the ability to merge accounts, categories and contacts, edit multiple transactions at once, and allowing users to view scheduled transactions in the transaction panel. The recent documents window is now called file manager, listing all the files currently being worked on, and offers delete or duplicate options. Also added is a project manager to enable the deletion or re-naming of a project, along with payment summery and general ledger reports,
Billings 3 released
Marketcircle has begun shipping Billings 3, a new edition of its professional invoicing software. The program contains a variety of major changes, such as a revised interface, with options for client groups and a chronological accounts view with an inline preview. The app additionally displays icons next to clients with overdue bills, which can be clicked to send out a reminder.
Cha-Ching 2 B2 released
Midnight Apps says it has released the second beta of Cha-Ching 2, its Mac finance program. The new version mainly alters the interface, for instance adding a toolbar to the top, and status, flagged and attachment badges to the list view. The Cover Flow view is now said to be "actually useful," letting people quickly browse data based on date or tag.
Squirrel Personal Finance
Everyone makes money and spends it, but not everyone bothers to track their income and expenses. To make managing your money simple, you can choose from a variety of programs, including Intuit's standard Quicken. The problem with most of these applications is that they come loaded with so many features, few people take the time to learn them all. As a result many people ignore these programs, and those that do use them can only understand a fraction of the available options. If you find traditional budgeting programs too complicated, then you might appreciate the simplicity of Squirrel.
Dell breaks promises
Dell is being accused of breaking two promises it has made to customers, pertaining to its continued support of the Microsoft Windows XP platform, next-day repair service, and promotional financing plan. A note from the computer manufacturer's Small Business sales team reveals that its earlier plans to offer Windows XP on machine sales past Microsoft's June 30th deadline are null and void, instead stating that it would cease to offer the operating system past June 30th.
Liquid Ledger 2.2 ships
Modeless has released v2.2 of Liquid Ledger, its personal finance application. The new version is said to introduce over 35 changes, among these being transaction groups, which let users cluster various transactions together and collapse them. In this way the transactions only occupy a single row, making it simpler to browse through an account history.
SplashMoney, SplashID 4
SplashData has announced Mac OS X versions of its SplashMoney personal finance application and SplashID 4 secure password manager. Both applications synchronize with their respective mobile applications. The company also announced a standalone version of SplashMoney for Mac OS X for users that do not have a compatible mobile device. SplashMoney is personal financial manager that can securely record transactions, track account balances, generate reports and budgets, and manage finances. The tool supports most account types, including checking, savings, credit card, cash, asset, liability, and money market accounts.
Flowing Pennies 1.0 ships
Clarkwood Software has released the first incarnation of Flowing Pennies, a personal finance application. The software attempts to simplify use as much as possible; it concentrates solely on the amount of money flowing in and out of a person or family's budget, displaying all information in a single view. Adding and editing entries is handled through a simple footer bar, which also lets users specify how something was paid for.
Prospects 1.0 ships
MotiMotion has released Prospects 1.0, a new personal finance application. One of its key features is said to be "ViewPoints," which track three different categories of information when viewing an account with transactions. These panels can be positioned at the side or bottom of the window, and contain sliders, which let users quickly change the timeframe being examined.
First Look: SplashMoney
When it seems like you're broke no matter how much money you bring in, it might be a good idea to start tracking your financial transactions. Unfortunately, this simple task can appear needlessly complicated by many financial managing programs that overwhelm you with too many features. To make it easy to control your finances, SplashData made SplashMoney, a simple financial management program that helps you record your income and expenses, create budgets, while making reports and charts of your spending habits.
Liquid Ledger 2.1.2
Modeless Software today unveiled Liquid Ledger Personal Finance 2.1.2, an update to its personal accounting package that brings with it over a dozen fixes and improvements. Details on the fixes were sparse, but the developer said that it has improved multiple currency support, check printing, generating reports, as well as general usability and workflow. The update is free for existing users, available through the Check for updates feature in Liquid Ledger, while new users can download a 60-day trial. The full version of Liquid Ledger is $60 for a downloadable copy, and $80 for a physical CD.
Cognito has released a new version of MoneyWorks Datacentre, the enterprise version of the MoneyWorks family of accounting products, which includes a plug-in for Mac OS X Leopardís Quick Look feature and allows Apple's iPhone and iPod touch to communicate directly with MoneyWorks files. A Quick Look preview can be generated automatically whenever a MoneyWorks accounting file is saved, allowing the user to subsequently see a snapshot of the financials directly in the Finder in Mac OS X. As the preview is generated by a MoneyWorks report, the user can customize the information that is shown.
Synium unveils iFinance 2
Synium Software today unveiled iFinance 2, an update to its personal finance management software. After a long beta test throughout last year, the final release version offers powerful tools for cash flow management and financial analysis. iFinance features built-in diagramming, auto-categorization, and smart imports from CSV files. Colorful charts allow users to visualize current and future cashflow, by coloring bars a solid color for existing data, while projected values are faded. Synium will be at Macworld Expo to demonstrate this and other titles; iFinance 2 is available for $20.
Synium unveils Screenium
Synium recently unveiled a beta test for Screenium, its new motion screen-capture application, and also issued a beta for iFinance 2, an update to its personal financial management software. Screenium allows users to record their activities with full internal application and external source audio, enabling them to create video-based tutorials and "screencasts". Screenium captures all mouse movements, clicks, and drags, while also recording all application and operating system sounds. Users can also simultaneously record verbal instructions, so that they don't have to assemble everything in post production. Screenium is currently being offered as a preview version, but will be available for $20 when the app is finalized.
Super Get Info
FinanceToGo 1.6 ($45) personal and small business finance manager application for Mac OS X. The update features: better recognition of different dates, small buttons added to the transactions dialog to indicate you can create accounts or categories from there, fast transaction entry pane added, pie charts now default to the first sub-level that actually shows more than one sub-item (no more 100% pies with only one piece). [Download - 4.7MB]
- Power Manager 3.7.1 ($30) helps schools, businesses, and homes save energy by automating their Macs. The new release includes improved support for logging the
scheduler's activity and interaction with client applications. Syslog
support is important for administrators wanting a more detailed
understanding of Power Manager's activities. [Download - 3.3MB]
- Super Get Info 1.3.1 ($20) file and folder info utility. Super Get Info 1.3.1 is now compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and also includes changes to address reported issues. An alternative to the "Get Info" command provided by the Mac OS X Finder. Using an easily navigated tabbed interface, or the 'sgi' command-line tool, Super Get Info allows the user to view and edit the Mac OS type and creator codes for a given file. Super Get Info 1.3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. The Super Get Info 1.3.1 update is available free of charge to all registered customers. [Download - 800KB]
- BBEdit 8.7.2 ($125) professional-strength HTML and text editor for the Macintosh. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers. The BBEdit 8.7.2 update is a regular maintenance release to this award-winning HTML and text editor. The BBEdit 8.7.2 update is available free of charge to all registered BBEdit 8.5 (and higher) customers [Download - 15.4MB]
- CheckUp Preview 0.9.5 Preview 2 ($30) tools to monitor the behavior and health of a Mac computer. It's a powerful and intelligent monitoring application for any Mac with PowerPC or Intel Processors. CheckUp is designed to monitor the usage of CPU, Memory, Disk Drives and Network Adapters and alert you when a certain resource exceeds a certain value. You can create usage reports and displays detailed information about all running processes. You can delete or terminate these. [Download - form]
Leopard Mac sales
Adding to the already swelling analyst enthusiasm over Apple's current and future financial prospects, ChangeWave is predicting that Leopard is making consumers more likely to buy Macs now and in the near future, leading to optimistic sales forecasts. "Apple computer sales continue to show strong consumer momentum. Not only is Apple maintaining the highest satisfaction levels among all manufacturers, but consumer purchases over the next 90 days look exceptionally robust." According to the company's survey data, nearly one-in-four respondents (24 percent) say that the release of Apple's new Leopard operating system makes them more likely to buy a Mac in the future.
Warner Music Profit Drop
Warner Music Group on Thursday reported a major drop in profits for its last financial quarter that it largely attributes to online music. Although the company noted that its purely download-based music income increased by 25 percent to $130 million, the company's overall profit dropped about 58 percent and resulted in just $5 million versus $12 million the year before. This income would have been worse still had the company not taken advantage of a settlement with Bertelsmann over a Napster legal dispute.
Apple should buy AMD
Apple should buy AMD, according to a report that outlines the ten reasons to do so. Financial analysis website Seeking Alpha has created a top ten list of reasons that it thinks Apple should buy processor manufacturer AMD. The report argues that Apple's best features, such as its system architecture, operating system, and applications will compliment AMD's multi-core CPUs and energy saving technology. The new AMD Spider chip that combines the processor and graphics chipset would be a benefit, and with Apple's unique position, they could still sell to AMD's current customers and it would not compete with either of the companies' customer bases. Intel would gain a more balanced competitor, and he says that Apple's solid financial situation could speed up AMD/ATI's technology innovation process.