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Mar 12
Tablet growth slowing to single digits in the coming years

Following the first year-over-year decline in worldwide tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), the IDC research group (www.idc.com) has scaled back its five year forecast for the product category.

Worldwide shipments are expected to reach 234.5 million units in 2015, a modest year-over-year increase of 2.1% from 2014. Although the outlook has been tempered, IDC still expects low but positive growth for the market in the years to come as demand in the commercial sector increases, and as Microsoft slowly gains a foothold.

"Despite the growing popularity of phablets, there still remains a portion of the market that wants to use a larger device so they can tailor their experience to the appropriate screen size," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "Meanwhile, an increasing number of vendors behind small tablets are reducing prices and adopting features like...

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Mar 12
Fanurio 3.1 released for the Mac

Fanurio Time Tracking (http://www.fanuriotimetracking.com) has announced Fanurio 3.1, a new version of its cross-platform desktop application.

It allows you to track time, manage projects, and invoice their clients, so that they can get paid for their work. Version 3.1 adds new features and improvements, including an import module for iBiz, the time-tracking and billing solution developed by IGG Software that's been discontinued.

Fanurio 3.1 is available from the Fanurio online store for US$59. New users can download a free 15-day trial with all the functionality of the paid version. It runs on Mac OS X 10.5 and higher.

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Mar 11
Flint app for the iPhone now supports American Express, Discover...

You can now use your Flint app for the iPhone to process American Express and Discover card payments in addition to Visa and MasterCard. The free app lets you accept credit card payments on your Apple smartphone.

The transaction fees to process AMEX and Discover cards are the same as Visa and Mastercard. Plus, accepting all major credit types brings you more flexibility and sales. Per transaction fees are 1.95% for debit cards and 2.95% for credit cards, same for card scan, manual entry, invoices or online payments.

Flint's technology securely scans the card number off the credit card. The app doesn't take a photo of the entire card or save an image on the phone. It supports keyed number entry as a backup option.

With the Flint app, you can create, send and track invoices to your customers from the mobile app or online merchant portal. Your customers will receive an emailed invoice with a "Pay Now" link they can use to pay online with a credit card. Reminders...

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Mar 11
Twelve South announces HiRise for the Apple Watch

Twelve South presents its first accessory for the most anticipated timepiece ever. Introducing HiRise for Apple Watch, a stand that showcases the watch while it charges.

Designed to work with the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, this metal stand holds the smartwatch at an elevated height and angle that lets you interact with it while it charges. Available in silver or black, the stand can be used with any style Apple Watch band, including closed loop metal bands.

The HiRise for Apple Watch costs US$49.99 and will ship in May. More info can be found at www.twelvesouth.com.

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Mar 11
Sonnet expands Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion chassis product...

Sonnet (www.sonnettech.com) has announced the Echo Express SE I, the latest addition to the Echo Express line of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion systems.

Like the other members of the Echo Express family, the SE I enables the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express (PCIe) cards — originally designed for use in desktop computers — with any Mac or Windows computer with a Thunderbolt port. The new single-slot model supports nearly every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card on the market, including double-width cards (PCIe card plus daughter card). 

The Echo Express SE I features Thunderbolt 2 technology and incorporates support for the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables video streaming to a 4K video monitor. It's available now for US$349. The updated Echo Express SEL (part is available now for $329.

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Mar 11
PhatWare releases WritePad Handwriting Recognition SDK 5.0

PhatWare Corp. (www.phatware.com) has announced its WritePad Software Development Kit (SDK), a new version of the multiplatform, multilingual handwriting recognition.

Version 5.0 enables third-party app developers to leverage state-of-the-art handwriting recognition software for Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. WritePad SDK now supports 12 languages in a single library, features improved recognition quality, and support for iOS 8.

WritePad SDK includes handwriting recognition engine static libraries for all supported CPUs, dictionaries for all supported languages, API header files, documentation, and sample code in Objective-C, allowing integration with new or existing iOS applications or devices.

WritePad SDK evaluation is free, while commercial redistribution is royalty-based. For more information about the WritePad SDK and to request an SDK evaluation and commercial pricing, please...

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Mar 11
MacClean is new 'cleaner app' for Mac OS X

iMobie (http://www.imobie.com/) has released MacClean, a new and free cleaner app made to keep Mac computers running "right and light."

The utility is designed to allow you to free up disk space, enhance your browsing experience, and more. MacClean is compatible with all generations of Mac OS X and all models of Mac computer ever made, according to Frank Kong, the founder and CEO of iMobie.

Whether users want to remove junk files from Safari, Firefox or Google chrome, MacClean offers a one-stop solution without heading over to various browsers to clean cookies, history, caches and more one by one, he adds. The app also helps users remove useless files from their Mac, Kong says.

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Mar 11
GraphicConverter for Mac OS X revved to version 9.6

Lemke Software has rolled out GraphicConverter 9.6, a powerful update to its image utility for OS X that offers the ability to export in almost 80 different formats.

GraphicConverter is a universal image editing program that features image conversion from more than 200 graphic file formats. Version 9.6 includes several new and updated features such as imports from various photo editing programs.

GraphicConverter 9.6 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$39.95 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Photography category. It can also be directly purchased online from the Lemkesoft website (http://www.lemkesoft.com/). GraphicConverter 9.6 is a free update for all customers of version 9.x. Upgrades from older versions of GraphicConverter are available for $25.95 (USD).

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Mar 11
BatchOutput for Microsoft Word update addresses issues with...

Zevrix Solutions has announced BatchOutput DOC 2.3.4, a maintenance update to its output automation solution for Microsoft Word.

BatchOutput automates printing and exporting of multiple documents to PDF, and allows to carry out powerful professional PDF production directly from Word eliminating the need for time consuming post-processing. The new version addresses some issues that prevented BatchOutput DOC from working after installation of the recently released Microsoft Office 2016 Preview.

BatchOutput DOC can be purchased for US$39.95 from the Zevrix Solutions website (www.zevrix.com), as well as from authorized resellers and Mac App Store. A demo is available for download. The update is free for users of version 2 and $20 from version 1. BatchOutput DOC requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher and Microsoft Word 2008 and 2011.

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Mar 10
Micromat revamps Techtool Pro 8 for Mac OS X

Micromat (www.micromat.com) has announced a new version of Techtool Pro. The company calls the new version Techtool Pro 8 and says the new version offers a number of significant new features.

"Techtool Pro 8 is a major leap forward compared to our prior versions," says Jeff Baudin, president of Micromat. "Version 8 brings us to the level of ASD (Apple Service Diagnostics). Added with Techtool's legacy battery of tests and repair functions, it takes us quite a bit further." 

Of the new features included in version 8, he says the most significant is the component tests. Depending on the model of Macintosh, it can now check up to 150 new components, sensors and voltage levels "of which we previously could not test," Baudin says.

What's more, Micromat has integrated its Protogo product into this version of Techtool. Protogo allows users to create bootable diagnostic devices out of external hard drives...

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Mar 10
Creative Pro User Group Network announces Las Vegas SuperMeet

The Creative Pro User Group (CPUG) Network says the 14th Annual Las Vegas SuperMeet will take place on Tuesday, April 14, in the Royale Ballroom at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada.

The SuperMeet promises to be the single largest gathering of Final Cut Pro, Adobe, Avid and DaVinci Resolve editors, gurus, digital filmmakers and content creators during the 2015 NAB Show. Early bird tickets are on sale for US$10 ($7 for students) through March 11.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the "SuperMeet Digital Showcase," featuring over 30 software and hardware developers. Presentations will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m.

The SuperMeet agenda hasn't been announced and will not until shortly before the event. However, it will feature user-driven presentations from Blackmagic Design, Adobe, Ripple Training, iZotope, Genarts, HP, Other World Computing and more.

Those who would like to attend the 2015 NAB Show can register for a free exhibits-only pass...

| Read more »
Mar 10
Landscape and Garden Solution comes to ConceptDraw Pro

CS Odessa (http://www.conceptdraw.com) has announced the Landscape and Garden Solution, a new Solution for ConceptDraw Pro 10. The Solution contains professionally-drawn samples of garden elements to allow users to visualize your landscape plans using templates and libraries.

These include topiary, flowers, water features, pathways and plots, hedges and recreational equipment. The Landscape and Garden solution is designed for any green-fingered gardener wondering how to design a garden. It contains 14 libraries containing 420 vector graphics shapes.

The Landscape and Gardens Solution is an add-on for ConceptDraw Pro 10, available in the Solution Park for US$49. ConceptDraw Pro is compatible with Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It retails for $199. ConceptDraw Pro 10 is included in ConceptDraw Office 3, which retails for $499.

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Mar 10
Red Giant Universe gets more visual effects and transitions

Red Giant has updated and expanded the Red Giant Universe to version 1.4, adding more visual effects options.

Version 1.4 introduces eight new tools to Universe, growing the library to include 89 visual effects and transitions. The update also offers new host support for FXHome HitFilm 3 Pro, allowing users to work across multiple host apps – Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Apple Motion, Sony Vegas and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve – with the same effects.

Editors and motion graphics artists can run all 89 Red Giant effects on the GPU for lightning-fast rendering, often even producing results in real-time. Existing Red Giant Universe users can download version 1.4’s new tools and updates from the Red Giant website. For new users, Universe is available in a variety of options. Go to www.redgiant.com/store/universe/pricing for more...

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Mar 10
Anchorium 1.0 introduced for Mac OS X

SitePenalise (https://www.sitepenalise.fr ) has introduced Anchorium 1.0, a free SEO app for Mac OS X.

The key in strengthening the position of websites is understanding how search engine bots analyzes them. Anchorium is designed to demystify the world of search engine optimization by looking at and analyzing inbound linking on websites.

Like many of the search engine bots, Anchorium looks at and analyzes inbound linking on websites. However, engines like Google and Yahoo don't reveal their findings. This means that Anchorium will help website owners understand how the web pages are linked together, which is important in how Google determines how much power and exposure a website receives, according to the folks at SitePenalize.

Anchorium aims to help anyone with a website be searched and be found, they add. It explains in plain English what is happening within the infrastructure of...

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Mar 10
Marriott announces Apple Pay support

Marriott International will become the first global hospitality company to offer Apple Pay. The phased introduction this summer in the U.S. will include brands in locations, such as The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Renaissance Hotels, and Marriott Hotels.

Guests using Apple Pay at check-in will simply bring their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch near the contactless reader at the front desk. When their device responds with a subtle vibration and beep, the payment information has been securely captured. There will be no need to provide a credit card upon check-in.

"Approximately 75% of our guests travel with one or more mobile devices, and it is even higher among 25-35 year olds – a group that will make up a much larger proportion of our guests over the next three years," says George Corbin, senior vice president, Marriott Digital. "Millions of customers already use Marriott Mobile to quickly book a hotel, check-in, or check out. Now, Apple Pay can make it virtually...

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Mar 10
Apple releases Security Update 2015-002 for the Mac

Apple has released Security Update 2015-002 for the Mac. It patches the FREAK security flaw on Mac OS X 10.8 and higher.

"FREAK" (Factoring Attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys) that leaves devices vulnerable to hacking when they visit hundreds of thousands of supposedly secure Web sites, including Whitehouse.gov, NSA.gov and FBI.gov., reports the Washington Post. You can install Security Update 2015-002 on OS X Yosemite by choosing Apple menu > App Store, then selecting the Updates tab.

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Mar 10
LaCie announces hard drive targeted to Apple's new MacBook

LaCie (www.lacie.com) has announced what it says is the world's first external hard drive with USB–C technology. The new LaCie Porsche Design Mobile drive supports USB–C devices including the MacBook that Apple introduced yesterday.

The drive's USB 3.0 interface delivers up to 100 MB/s. The LaCie Mobile Drive also features an enclosure made from 3 mm–thick solid aluminum.

The drive was designed especially for Mac users. It features the same aluminum finish as the latest MacBook. Plus, it's Time Machine compatible, so Mac users can use the LaCie Mobile Drive to back up files using built-in software. Thanks to the included adapter cable, it's even compatible with standard USB 3.0 (Type–A) or USB 2.0 ports.

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions. Pricing and availability haven't been announced.

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Mar 10
WD delivers 3.5-inch HDD for datacenters

WD (http://www.wdc.com/en/) has introduced new datacenter hard drives that the company says deliver to today's modern datacenter architects the lowest power consumption of any high-capacity 3.5-inch hard drive available today.

The WD Re+ hard drive family is the newest component of WD's tiered portfolio of high-capacity datacenter storage devices. Further expanding that portfolio will be 6TV capacities for WD's WD Re and WD Se datacenter product lines.

The SATA 6 Gb/s WD Re+ hard drive family features a five-platter platform, which renders an optimal mix of low power consumption, high capacity, 24 x 7 x 365-reliability and affordability, says Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of storage technology at WD. Vibration tolerance and Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) are also key considerations in these applications.

WD Re+ hard drives deliver 1.2m hours MTTF, enhanced RAFF technology to increase...

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Mar 09
iMovie for Mac upgraded to version 10.0.7

Apple has upgraded iMovie for Mac to version 10.0.7. It's available at the Mac App Store.

The upgrade adds support for Photos for Yosemite, the app that will replace both iPhoto and Aperture. With the Photos integration in iMovie, iMovie users can browse Moments, Collections, Favorites, and Albums that have been stored in Photos, using the Photos app to insert content into video projects. Also, in iMovie 10.0.7:

° Play/Pause, Prev/Next and Full Screen buttons are always displayed below the Viewer for easier navigation;

° Record Voiceover button available below the Viewer for easier access to controls when adding narration;

° Support has been added for the Sony XAVC-S format;

° Stability and compatibility issues have been addressed.

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Mar 09
Apple releases Xcode 6.2

Along with iOS 8.2, Apple has released Xcode 6.2. Xcode is Apple's integrated development environment (IDE) tool.

The update for the app development environment includes iOS 8.2 support, and WatchKit support for developing Apple Watch apps. Xcode includes software development kits for Mac OS X and iOS. It’s a free download at the Mac App Store.

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Mar 09
Apple introduces ResearchKit

Apple has announced ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps.

World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. Users decide if they want to participate in a study and how their data is shared. Apple never sees the data, says Williams.

"iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research," he adds. "ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways...

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Mar 09
HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the...

Apple and HBO have announced that HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever.

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch every episode of every season of the best of HBO’s original programming, as well as the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials for US$14.99 a month.

What's more Apple has cut the price of the Apple TV box from US$99 to $69. The company has sold more than 25 units of the set-top box so far.

"HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO," says Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO, HBO. "With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately. Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription."

| Read more »
Mar 09
Apple Watch available in nine countries on April 24

The Apple Watch will be available on Friday, April 24, to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.

It introduces "revolutionary" technologies such as the Digital Crown, a way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly access relevant controls. The Taptic Engine "discreetly" delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.

The Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard, according to Cook. It can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face.

The Apple Watch goes beyond telling time with specialized functions on the watch...

| Read more »
Mar 09
Apple updates the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air

Apple has updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the all-new Force Touch trackpad, fifth generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Graphics 6100 for two times faster flash and longer battery life.

Apple has also updated the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air with fifth generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, and added up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features the all-new Force Touch trackpad that brings a new dimension of interactivity to the Mac, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. The new trackpad features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive and uniform feel.

You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called...

| Read more »
Mar 09
Apple unveils new MacBook

Apple has unveiled the all-new MacBook, a new line of notebooks that weighs just two pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It boasts a 12-inch Retina display that is the thinnest ever on a Mac, an Apple-designed full-size keyboard which is thinner and more responsive than its predecessor, a new Force Touch trackpad, and a compact USB-C port.

"Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook, and at just two pounds and 13.1 mm, it’s the thinnest and lightest Mac ever," says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Every component of the MacBook reveals a new innovation. From its fanless design, ultra-thin Retina display and full-size keyboard that’s 34 percent thinner, to its all-new Force Touch trackpad, versatile USB-C port and breakthrough terraced battery design, the new MacBook is the future of the notebook."

Measuring just 13.1 mm at its thickest point, the new MacBook design is 24% than the 11-inch MacBook Air. With a new precision-...

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