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May 28
PopChar X 7.1 for Mac OS X offers extended support for emojis...

Ergonis Software (www.ergonis.com) has released PopChar X 7.1, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts.

With PopChar, thousands of special characters are only a few clicks away. Version 7.1 offers improved support for emoji characters, comes with an improved installer, and offers many other enhancements and fixes. This update also introduces a new shape finder, which lets you find special characters simply by drawing their shape.

PopChar X 7 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or newer. It can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to PopChar X 7.1 is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014. Upgrade paths are available for customers who purchased their license before that date.

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May 28
IDC: tablet growth will continue to slow in 2015

Worldwide shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices are forecast to reach 221.8 million units in 2015, a decline of -3.8% from 2014, according to IDC (www.idc.com).

The new outlook follows two consecutive quarters of declining sales and represents a modest downward revision from the previous forecast of 234.5 million units and 2.1% year-over-year growth in 2015, notes the research group. While IDC expects overall sales to decline in 2015, some segments of the product category are poised to experience strong growth.

"We're seeing cellular-capable tablets and 2-in-1 devices experience important growth in certain parts of the world and we think this represents a huge opportunity for the entire tablet ecosystem," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, tablets, IDC. "Those cellular-connected devices fill multiple needs for vendors and carriers around the world; they offer a quick solution to price and margin...

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May 28
Escape Motion releases new watercolor, acrylic painting app for...

Escape Motions (http://www.escapemotions.com) has released Rebelle, a watercolor and acrylic painting application for Mac OS X. Its watercolor simulation is based on a real-world color mixing, blending, wet- diffusion, and drying.

Rebelle mimics the way natural media interacts with the canvas and itself. Users can paint, smear, re-wet dried colors, blow wet washes across the paper, tilt the paper to create water drops and runs and create countless fantastic watercolor effects. Wet tools — watercolors, acrylics or ink pen — can be combined with pastels, pencils, airbrush many other dry-media tools and effects.

Rebelle is available for US$59.99 at the Escape Motions website. A Mac App Store edition will be available soon.

| Read more »
May 28
TextExpander 5 for Mac OS X suggests new snippets

Smile (www.smilesoftware.com/) has released TextExpander 5, an update to its to typing shortcut tool for Mac OS X Yosemite.

TextExpander 5 helps you type faster by making suggestions of frequently typed phrases to abbreviate and save time. It also helps to remind you of forgotten snippets as you type. Version 5 adds support for JavaScript for Automation, and JavaScript which works in the iPad and iPhone version of TextExpander. The refreshed stats display shows you how much time TextExpander has saved you.

TextExpander costs US$44.95 at the Smile Store online. Upgrades for current TextExpander users to version 5 are $19.95.

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May 28
Rayner Software updates NetShade for Mac and iOS

Rayner Software (www.raynersw.com) has released updates to NetShade for Mac and iOS. The iOS version of NetShade updates to 3.0, and the Mac version to 6.2.

NetShade is a Proxy and VPN app for Apple platforms. With NetShade, users can connect to the Internet via one of Rayner Software's 12 servers, or via a public proxy. Proxy servers allow access to overseas Internet content, and a VPN server adds encryption for security and privacy protection. Proxy and VPN apps are commonly used when traveling, or when using a public or insecure WiFi network.

NetShade 3.0 for iOS is a major rewrite of the app. Among the many changes in this version are a new VPN backend, a unified app for iPhone and iPad clients, and a new user interface. NetShade 6.2 for Mac includes a number of bug fixes and a new client/server communications system. This update intends to improve reliability for users on slow Internet connections....

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May 27
OWC's iMac hard drive upgrades now extend to 8TB

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that iMac owners can now upgrade their iMac to 8TB of storage while maintaining correct system fan control with the OWC in-line digital thermal sensor.  

The new drive option, one of many upgrade options for the iMac from OWC, extends the iMac upgrade path and provides increased storage capacity with 23 percent lower energy consumption, according to Larry O'Connor, founder and CEO, OWC.

OWC upgrade kits (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/imacdiy/) for iMacs provide the tools and equipment required to install a new hard drive or solid state drive in the Apple all-in-one. All OWC drive upgrade kits include a 14-piece toolkit, two suction cups for outer glass removal and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Solid state drive upgrade kits include a SATA data cable and an SSD power cable.

OWC hard drive upgrade kits include the OWC In-...

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May 27
Class action suit involving MacKeeper nears settlement

An Internet advertising campaign is planned to alert people to a proposed class-action settlement over MacKeeper, a security program for Macs accused of deceptive practices, reports the IDG News Service (http://tinyurl.com/ozmxorb).

ZeoBit, the developer of MacKeeper, was sued in May 2014 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Filed on behalf of Pennsylvania resident Holly Yencha, the class-action suit alleges MacKeeper was deceptively marketed and did not fully function as advertised.

Under a proposed settlement, ZeoBicwill put US$2 million into a fund to reimburse customers but admit no fault, which is customary in class-action settlements. Once the settlement has preliminary approval from the judge in the case, anyone who bought MacKeeper will be contacted by email. In case some of those email addresses are invalid, an Internet advertising campaign is planned as...

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May 27
Apple became the number one smartphone vendor in China for the...

Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users reached 336 million units, an increase of 19.3% during the first quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). And Apple became the number one smartphone vendor in China for the first time.

Smartphone growth was led by strong smartphone sales in emerging markets (excluding China); the fastest growing regions were emerging Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa. Due to these high-performing regions, the emerging markets achieved a 40 percent increase in sales during the first quarter of 2015. 

"During this quarter, local brands and Chinese vendors came out as the key winners in emerging markets," says Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "These vendors recorded an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales and saw their combined share go up from 38 percent to 47 percent during the first quarter of 2015." ...

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May 27
WD redesigns its My Passport Drives line-up

WD has introduced the new, redesigned My Passport Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives.

With the My Passport line now in its seventh generation, the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are now available in capacities up to 3TB and in four colors: black, white, wild berry, and blue. WD is also introducing a new optional accessory – the WD Grip Pack – a soft band, available in a variety of colors, which encircles the drive. It offers consumers a way to personalize their My Passport drives.

My Passport Ultra portable drives come in 3TB, 2TB, 1TB and 500GB capacities and feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption.. USB 3.0 compatibility provides fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second, while being backwardly compatible with USB 2.0. My Passport for Mac portable drives are available in capacities of 3TB, 2TB, 1TB and also feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption with USB 3.0 connectivity.

Sold separately,...

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May 27
iOS bug lets someone crash your iPhone with a text message

There's an iOS bug that lets someone crash your iPhone by sending a text message from their own iPhone containing what appears to be a single line of seemingly innocuous Arabic script, according to AppleInsider (http://tinyurl.com/oa58zch).

When a text or iMessage (but not part of a normal Messages conversation) containing the text string is received and presented in the lock screen or as a drop-down notification, iOS consumes resources trying to render the message, ultimately causing a crash. Some suggest turning off Messages previews for Notifications, though AppleInsider says its tests haven't shown this to be effective. If Messages has already crashed, however, AppleInsider has confirmed that receiving a new message, sending out a picture from Photos or sending yourself a message through Share Sheets will stop the process.

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May 27
Troi Automatisering releases Troi File Plug-in 8.0.1 for...

Troi Automatisering has released Troi File Plug-in 8.0.1 for FileMaker Pro 14. The update of the file management plug-in fixes some problems and improves several functions.

Troi File Plug-in is a very powerful tool for getting access to information outside the FileMaker Pro database. Any files or folders stored on the computer can be accessed through the functions of the plug-in.

A fully functional demo version of Troi File Plug-in 8.0.1 is available for downloading at Troi's Web site (http://www.troi.com/software/fileplugin.html).
Troi File Plug-in 8.0.1 works with FileMaker Pro 12, 13 and 14. The plug-in can also be used with runtimes from FileMaker Pro Advanced 12, 13 and 14. The plug-in is available for OS X 10.6.x or higher, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Licenses cost US$99 per user.

Troi File Plug-in 8.0.1 also...

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May 26
PDFKey Pro for OS X locks, unlocks password-protected PDF docs

Briksoftware has announced PDFKey Pro 4.3 (http://pdfkey.com) for Mac OS X and Windows. It's an upgrade of the utility that locks and unlocks password-protected PDF documents.

PDFKey Pro removes editing and printing passwords by creating exact copies of PDF documents, but without the password. It instantly removes viewing passwords, but only if said password is provided beforehand. You can lock PDF files by creating perfect copies, but protected with either, or both, a viewing password and a password to restrict usage permissions (printing and copying) to the files.

PDFKey Pro 4.3 offers improved support for files with digital signatures, better compatibility with partially corrupted files, enhanced Mac OS X and Windows integration, and simplified usage of the integrated command line tools. It also adds German, French, Dutch and Polish localization

PDFKey Pro isn't designed to defeat DRM systems and...

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May 26
24U Releases 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3.0 for FileMaker 14

24U Software (www.24usoftware.com/) has launched 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3.0, an upgrade of the 24U SimpleFile Plug-In for managing files and folders directly from FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server.

The update adds new features, along with support for 64-bit FileMaker Pro 14 and FileMaker Server 12, 13, and 14. 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3.0 brings support for running applications from the solution, compressing and decompressing files and folders, and introduces new options for file selection dialogs.

24U SimpleFile Plug-In is available as shareware. Users can install the plug-in and try it out for the period of 14 days free of charge. After this period, 24U SimpleFile Plug-In will stop working and require a registration code.

Licenses start at US$49 per user and $499 per server. Existing customers can upgrade to the new version at 50 % off the regular prices if placing order within 14 days...

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May 26
PageMeUp for Mac OS X upped to version 1.2.1

Softobe has introduced PageMeUp 1.2.1 (http://www.softobe.com/pagemeup.html), an update to the layout editor for Mac OS X 10.9 or higher.

With PageMeUp, you create a document, choose its page format, size and background color, set the margins, bleed, custom guides, rows and columns and even apply RGB or CMYK ICC color profiles. Then you can drag, import or paste images and text onto the PageMeUp document and place/resize them on the page.

As of version 1.2.1, you can export your document to a widget. When exporting to PDF, PageMeUp now properly creates clickable text links with text-color and text-style you defined. The links on the PDF can open an URL with your default browser or send an email with your Email default application.

PageMeUp 1.2.1 costs US$9.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Graphics & Design category.

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May 26
Brattoo Propaganda Software introduces PhotoBee for Mac OS X

Brattoo Propaganda Software has introduced PhotoBee (http://brattoo.com/propaganda/) for Mac OS X. It lets you scan your iMessages for photos and movies, and then download them to keep them along with the rest of your photos.

With PhotoBee, you can select which contacts you wish to scan, as well as choose the destination to save the files. The app will scan through all your messages in iMessages and list all found photos and movies so that you can browse them and choose which ones to save.

PhotoBee requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. It costs US$7.95. A demo is available for download.

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May 26
MacPaw releases new platform for Mac app dev, distribution

MacPaw has released a new platform for app development and distribution that is an essential tool for selling apps outside Mac App Store: DevMate (http://devmate.com/).

It’s a two-fold platform designed to help developers with app distribution, collection of data, and analysis. DevMate consists of its SDK [software development kit] and its Dashboard. The SDK, DevMateKit, is designed to make it easy to integrate activations, update delivery, feedback collection, and crash report collection.

The Dashboard displays application data that gives developers a quick and complete overview of how their app is performing. According to MacPaw, developers can integrate the DevMateKit into their app to make it instantly ready for licensing, crash reporting, update delivery, tracking, and feedback collection.

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May 26
Jony Ive promoted to Chief Design Officer at Apple

With the scope of his design work having gradually expanded over the last few years, Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president for design, will now hold the title of Chief Design Officer, says Tim Cook in a company memo, as noted by 9to5Mac.com.

At the same time, Ive will hand over "day-to-day managerial responsibilities" for industrial and UI [user interface] design to execs Richard Howarth and Alan Dye on July 1.

Here's Cook's memo: "I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

"Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores...

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May 26
ChordsMaestro for Mac OS X adds support for left-handed users

Neonway has updated ChordsMaestro (http://neonway.com/apps/chordsmaestro), a music app for Mac OS X, to version 1.5.

The utility enables anyone to play and save chords of their favorite songs on seven different instruments. ChordsMaestro is designed for beginners, hobby musicians, music students, and fun to use for music lovers of all levels. The 1.5 update includes support for left-handed users, volume control, piano photos for right hand and images for flat sign representation.

ChordsMaestro 1.5 costs US$9.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Music category. It requires Mac OS X 10.7 or or higher.

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May 26
Quincy for Mac OS X released

RoGame Software (http://www.rogame.com) has released Quincy for Mac OS X. It's a music composition tool with editing and playback capabilities, plus MIDI integration into sequencers and DAWs alike.

Quincy is a tool for the creation of image-based, interactive, live music. Compositions can be looped and react to mouse input during play. Quincy's core engine is a full implementation of Conway's Game of Life, capable of generating all possible Life variants including HighLife and Seeds. It comes with a Life editor, a large library of patterns, color mixer, features an adjustable grid size, random cell insertion and many display options.

Quincy requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later. It costs US$35.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the music and education categories. Educational discounts are available. To celebrate this first release, Quincy is on sale through the App Store...

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May 26
New Accelsior S PCIe Card Brings 6Gb/s speeds to any system...

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced the Accelsior S, a new PCIe card with direct mount support for a 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s SSD. It enables PC, Mac Pro tower and Thunderbolt interface expansion chassis users to add additional storage.  

Utilizing the PCIe architecture, the Accelsior S card offers both storage expansion and 6Gb/s speeds up to 550MB/s -- more than double the performance of SATA 3Gb/s. When equipped with the Accelsior S PCIe card and an SSD, Mac Pro tower and PC users can launch, capture, render and process I/O-intensive apps without long wait times, says Larry O’Connor, founder and CEO, Other World Computing.  The Accelsior S PCIe card is also extremely easy to install--no drivers or software are required, he adds.

OWC’s new Accelsior S PCIe Card is available for US$57.75. For more information go to http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDACL6G.S...

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May 25
Remember our soldiers on Memorial Day

MacNews and MacTech will be running a limited update schedule today in honor of Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, is a day to remember those who have died in our nation's service. Remember our soldiers, past and present, and have a safe and wonderful holiday.

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May 22
iNotepad for OS X lets you write and manage multiple texts

Apimac has released iNotepad, a new app for Mac OS X that let you write and manage hundreds (or even thousands) of texts in one single document. With iNotepad, you have everything in one place.

You can write texts and format them as you like, enhance them with images and export them into various standard file formats. iNotepad features tools for organizing options, tag view, and more. You can find what you are looking for with basic or advanced search.

iNotepad is available today from the Apimac web site (www.apimac.com) at a cost of IS$24.99. Early adopters can get a 30% discount providing the coupon code "EARLYDSCNT877100" during the purchasing procedure. Owners of Apimac Notepad 9.9 are entitled a discount when purchasing the new app.

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May 22
ArtHandler for Mac OS X gets new export functionality, more

Martin Walk has announced ArtHandler 1.4 (http://arthandlerapp.com), a new version of the artist's record book application for Mac OS X.

ArtHandler is built for artists who need to remember titles, dimensions and dates of their artworks. It archives images of each artwork and makes them accessible for future use. Version 1.4 brings export functionality and the possibility to set a default artist's name for all newly added artworks.

ArtHandler 1.4 costs US$14.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the  Graphics & Design category. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later.

| Read more »
May 22
Construction Estimator 1.1 released for OS X -

MICOM Software (http://www.micomsoftware.com) has introduced Construction Estimator 1.1, an update of the estimating program developed exclusively for Mac OS X.

Designed for professional contractors, homeowners and students alike, it can help users estimate materials and the cost of just about any project. Just press the button next to the function that you want to estimate, answer a few questions and the quantities and cost totals are displayed.

Construction Estimator 1.1 costs US$6.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. It requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

| Read more »
May 22
FreeFileSync for Mac OS X revved to version 7

FreeFileSync (http://www.freefilesync.org) has released version 7 of its free, open source file synchronization utility for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The new release runs under all modern versions of these operating systems, including Yosemite and Windows 10.

Version 7 supports media transfer protocol (MTP), making it easy for users to synchronize files and folders between their PCs and their iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet, digital camera, and other MTP devices. In addition to transferring image files, FreeFileSync's MTP support facilitates transfer of music files stored on digital audio players, text files stored on personal digital assistants (PDAs), and files on any device that supports the new MTP protocol.

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