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Jun 15
Fokus 2 for Mac OS X gets multi-monitor support

Didstopia has released Fokus 2, an upgrade to their productivity tool for Mac OS X. The upgrade brings with it a host of new features, including support for multiple monitors, more dimming options and massive performance tweaks and improvements.

Fokus is designed to help keep you focused on your current task by dimming all other windows except the currently active one. It also let's you choose the best (for you) brightness for background windows.

Fokus 2 requires OS X 10.9 or later. It costs US$9.99 and is available from the Didstopia Store (http://didstopia.com). A demo is available for download.

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Jun 12
Apple has posted its humorous WWDC "Backstage" video...

Apple has posted the spoof video that opened this week's Worldwide Developer Conference on YouTube.

Dubbed "Backstage," it features Saturday Night Live alumnis Bill Hader as a director tasked with producing an opening musical number for the developer event. The parody features celebrity cameos, an elevator full of Tim Cook look-a-likes, nodes to popular apps such as Angry Birds, and more.

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Jun 12
Twitter removing the character limit on Direct Messages

In a blog post (http://tinyurl.com/nbmog2s), Twitter says it will be effectively removing the character limit on Direct Messages between users sent through the social network. Previously DMs shared the same character limit as tweets which max out at 140 characters.

Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today. However, direct messages have a character limit of 10,000 starting next month.

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Jun 12
MacFamily Tree for Mac OS X grows to version 7.5

Synium Software (www.syniumsoftware.com) has launched MacFamilyTree 7.5, an upgrade of their genealogy application for Mac OS X. The new version allows you to create Family tree books, browse places of your family history in Apple Maps or access original documents through FamilySearch.

You can now create, share and print family books. Family books include all important data contained in your family tree and supplements it with informative and graphically impressive charts, statistics, and reports. Numerous templates and styles are available to help you create family books quickly.

MacFamilyTree 7.5 also supports Apple's new Photos app for access to images and videos. The app comes with full integration of FamilySearch, which is a free research service that lets you search not only billions of ancestral data sets but also original documents such as certificates, immigration and church registers...

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Jun 12
Outline 3.5 for Mac OS X and the iPad now supports iCloud Drive

Gorillized Corp. has announced Outline 3.5 (http://outline.ws/), an update to its smart digital notebook for the Mac and iPad.

It allows users to take typewritten or handwritten notes, then annotate them, store and organize together into structured notebooks. Version 3.5 brings support for iCloud Drive, a repository that provides a full access to files stored in cloud from practically any device.

Outline 3.5 for Mac costs US$14.99 and is available at the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. Outline is also available for iPad on the Apple App Store.

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Jun 11
At least two employees complained to Tim Cook about Apple's...

At least two Apple retail store workers complained directly to CEO Tim Cook that the company's policy of checking retail employees' bags as a security precaution was "embarrassing and demeaning," according to a court filing made public on Wednesday — as noted by Reuters (http://tinyurl.com/ofdvfp3).

The employee complaints, which a judge ordered unsealed, are part of a 2013 lawsuit alleging Apple should compensate employees for the time it takes to conduct the searches. One worker, whose name was blacked out of the court filing, told Cook in a 2012 message that Apple managers "are required to treat 'valued' employees as criminals."

Cook forwarded it to top retail and human resources executives with the query: "Is this true?" Reuters says the court filing doesn't include what responses the CEO received.

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Jun 11
Foxconn may build iPhone manufacturing plant in India

Foxconn Technology is in talks to manufacture iPhone in India, reports Reuters (http://tinyurl.com/ow78f26), quoting government officials. The company plans to develop 10-12 facilities in India, including factories and data centers, by 2020.

"Foxconn is sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in a month's time," Subhash Desai, Industries Minister of India's western state Maharashtra, told Reuters.

India could help Foxconn mitigate accelerating wage inflation in China, where it makes the majority of iPhones, and base production sites closer to markets where its key clients want to grow, the article says. Lower production costs could also help Foxconn keep hold of Apple orders amid intensifying competition with nimble manufacturing rivals such as Quanta Computer, adds Reuters.

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Jun 11
CPPlay for Mac OS X upgraded to version 1.1

YAWMOO (http://www.yawmoo.com ) has released CPPlay 1.1, an update to its C and C++ interpreted environment for Mac OS X Yosemite.

CPPlay allows developers to enter code and immediately see the results, much like Apple's Swift Playground feature in Xcode. Its environment allows customization of the window layout, with available views that include the Source Code view to create, edit and remove source code files; the Web view to browse the web for tutorials and other documentation without ever leaving CPPlay; the Console view for standard input/output; the Notes view for taking notes about their project; and the OpenGL view for viewing any drawing or animation they create with CPPlay.

CPPlay 1.1 requires Mac OS X Yosemite and costs US$6.99. It's available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Developer Tools

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Jun 11
PDF Checkpoint 1.7.9 simplifies PDF color conversion

Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has released PDF Checkpoint 1.7.9, a maintenance update to its PDF preflight and conversion solution.

The software automatically preflights, exports as images, splits and optimizes multiple Adobe PDF files. It can also convert the color of PDF document elements, downsample resolution and compress images. The new version recognizes color profiles in user's ColorSync folder, as well as in subfolders of all designated ICC profile locations.

PDF Checkpoint can be purchased on the Mac App Store and Zevrix website for US$39.95. The update is free to licensed users. A demo is available for download. PDF Checkpoint requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.

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Jun 10
Apple tweaks policy for building, running apps on devices

9to5Mac.com notes that Apple has changed its policy regarding permissions required to build and run apps on devices.

Until now, Apple required users to pay US$99/year to become a member of Apple’s Developer Program in order to run code on physical iPhone and iPads. As part of the new Developer Program (https://developer.apple.com), this is no longer necessary. Apps can be tested on devices, no purchase necessary.

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Jun 10
Sony makes PlayStation Vue TV service available for the iPad

Sony has launched its PlayStation Vue TV service for the iPad. The PlayStation Vue Mobile app — free at the Apple App Store — lets you enjoy live TV, catch up on TV and on-demand programming on your Apple tablet. It's available for those with an active PlayStation Vue subscription with an established home location originating through a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3.

The Vue service — costing from US$50 to $70 per month, depending on the channel bundle — is only available in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia for now. Also, while it includes access to over 50 channels, some shows and networks are blocked on the iPad due to licensing issues.

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Jun 10
iOS 9 code hints at vastly improved iPhone cameras

Code hidden within iOS 9 files hints that the front-facing camera in upcoming iPhones could sport flash support and support for a FaceTime camera with 1080p video capture. (That's up from the current 720p camera on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.)

The coding also suggests support for capturing 240fps video at 720p using the front facing FaceTime camera. Other additions to iOS 9 discovered in the code include support for a front-facing camera flash and the ability to capture panoramic selfie photos using the front camera.

"CAMCaptureCapabilities" files in iOS 9 discovered by developer Hamza Sood (http://tinyurl.com/pyzxzhf) —as noted by MacRumors (http://tinyurl.com/nf8vv7b) — have file names like "[CAMCaptureCapabilities isFront1080p120Supported]," which seems to refer to the front-facing camera on the iPhone. At the...

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Jun 10
Rob Papen rolls out Reason RE release

Rob Papen Soundware has announced VECTO, a sound-shaping vector synthesizer for Swedish music software application, interfaces, and technology standards specialist Propellerhead Software’s Reason.

It allows users to draw in VECTOR paths to shape the resultant sound in a variety of ways. It comes with professionally- programmed presets and a range of oscillator waveforms.

VECTO can be purchased and directly downloaded for US$99 from the Propellerhead Shop (http://tinyurl.com/nb9sab2). A demo is available for download.

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Jun 10
Bundle for MS Office for the Mac revved to version 4.0

Theme Inn (http://www.themeinn.com) has announced Bundle for MS Office 4.0, the latest update to their Mac OS X application.

Featuring over 1,600 items with a variety of designs, from letters and brochures to greeting cards and books, Bundle for MS Office contains five collections of customizable designs. Version 4.0 introduces a number of new templates, redesigned interface, and an option to download only selected content rather than the 6GB app in its entirety.

Bundle for MS Office 4 requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later and Microsoft Office for Mac. It costs US$39.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

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Jun 10
Apple using a fleet of vehicles to collect street-level imagery...

Apple has confirmed (http://maps.apple.com/vehicles/) what's been suspected: that the company has been using a fleet of vehicles to collect street-level imagery for its Maps app for Mac OS X and iOS.

"Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps," Apple says "Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates. We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication."

A new Transit view in an upcoming Maps update includes directions for public transportation like buses, trains, subways, and ferries. Maps can even survey the entrances and exits of a station so you can find the quickest way in and out. Transit in Maps will launch with support for many of the world’s most traveled cities (Baltimore, Berlin,...

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Jun 10
Cisdem launches DataRecovery 3 for Mac OS X

Cisdem (www.cisdem.com) has updated DataRecovery to Version 3.0, offering more powerful features to help in recovering all kinds of file formats and at a much faster recovering speed.

Cisdem Data Recovery is Mac data recovery software that can recover your deleted, formatted, lost and inaccessible data from Mac, USB drive, external hard drive, mobile phone, digital camera, iPod, MP3/ MP4 player, and other storage media. It has four data recovery options (Document Recovery, Media Recovery, Archive File Recovery, Universal Recovery).

One of the biggest improvements of Cisdem DataRecovery 3 for Mac is on the interface, according to Brandon Hancock, manager of DataRecovery project for Cisdem. The app has also been fine-tuned and offers improved stability and faster scanning speed.

After the Data Recovery 3 upgrade, Cisdem DataRecovery now supports file formats up to 280+. The supported file formats have...

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Jun 09
Excel Software releases AppProtect 4

Excel Software (www.excelsoftware.com) has released AppProtect 4.0, an update of the protection software for Mac OS X and Windows.

It applies protection with a human controlled or automated online activation process to a compiled application in minutes without programming, according to the folks at Excel. It supports MAX MSP 5, 6 or 7 music applications or Unity games. AppProtect works with OfficeProtect to generate a protected application from an Excel spreadsheet.

AppProtect can be used to protect a standard Mac OS X application (.app), Windows executable (.exe) or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xlsm).  A single user license is US$295 on either Mac OS X (10.7 or later) Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1) or Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

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Jun 09
Cadillac announces CarPlay integration for 2016 models

Cadillac’s 2016 model year products will feature enhanced connectivity and control, including the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These additions are part of a broader enhancement of CUE, Cadillac’s user experience, with new features and a faster, streamlined operation.

Apple CarPlay will debut in 2016 Cadillac models featuring CUE’s 8-in multi-touch screen except the SRX Crossover, a model that will move to an all-new generation in early 2016. Android Auto is expected to be phased into 2016 production at a later date. The 2016 model year will begin this summer.

"Cadillac’s product transformation includes continuing upgrades to connectivity and in-car technology," says David Leone, executive chief engineer, Cadillac. “In 2015 Cadillac became the first luxury brand to feature broad use of wireless charging and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, and now in 2016 we’re moving quickly to enhance phone integration and overall system performance."

Cadillac CUE...

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Jun 09
Apple announces 2015 Apple Design winners

Apple has announced the 2015 Apple Design Award winners at this week's Worldwide Developer Conference. The award goes to developers whose iOS and OS X apps "combined design and technology in powerful ways."

The iOS and Mac winners are:

• Shadowmatic by TRIADA Studio
• Metamorphabet by Vectorpark.com
• Robinhood by Robinhood Markets, Inc.
• Fantastical by Flexibits Inc.
• Affinity Designer by Serif Labs
• Crossy Road by Hipster Whale
• Workflow by DeskConnect, Inc.
• Does not Commute by Mediocre AB
• Vain Glory by Super Evil Megacorp
• Pacemaker by Pacemaker Music AB

Student winners are:

• Elementary Minute by Klemens Strasser
• jump-O by ByteBrushers

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Jun 09
Output Factory for Adobe InDesign adds new variable file name...

Zevrix Solutions (http://zevrix.com) has announced Output Factory 1.5.26, a feature update to its output automation solution for Adobe InDesign.

Output Factory automates printing, exporting, preflighting and file delivery from InDesign. The software offers batch processing, export as single pages, variable file names, layer versioning, PDF preflight, FTP file delivery, output history and more. Version 1.5.26 lets users insert the current workflow name into the variable name of exported output files.

Output Factory can be purchased from the Zevrix website for US$169.95 (there's a "lite" version for $120 and a server version for $700). A demo is available for download. BatchOutput users can upgrade to Output Factory for $85. Output Factory requires Mac OS X 10.6-10.10 and Adobe InDesign CS3-CC 2014.

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Jun 09
Point in Space announces FileMaker Pro 14 hosting on FileMaker...

Point In Space Internet Solutions has announced availability of FileMaker Pro 14 database hosting on FileMaker Server 14.

"FileMaker Pro 14 provides many updates to the FileMaker product, including new scripting, design and performance features" says John May, Point In Space's President.  "By hosting on FileMaker Server 14, all of these new features are available to our clients."

Point In Space is offering FileMaker Pro 14 hosting, available immediately, at the same price as their other FileMaker accounts. Current Point In Space customers should contact the company directly regarding details on migrating from previous FileMaker versions. Go to http://www.pointinspace.com/filemakerpro14hosting/ for more info.

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Jun 08
OWC announces USB-C Dock

Other World Computing has announced the OWC USB-C Dock. Available for immediate pre-order, it provides a complete connectivity solution for the 2015 Apple MacBook and other computers that utilize USB-C ports.

Available in silver, space gray, and gold, the OWC USB-C Dock provides 11 ports and enables everyday peripheral connectivity.  Users will be able to charge devices, connect a display, add external storage, import photos from an SD card, utilize wired Gigabit Ethernet connections, connect their favorite audio accessories, and even power their MacBook, all through a single USB Type-C cable.

Included with every OWC USB-C Dock is an 80 watt power adapter capable of powering not only the new MacBook but also all of the USB peripherals users will directly attach. As an added benefit, users can keep the original Apple MacBook 29 watt power supply in their bag for when they're on the go.

The OWC USB-C Dock is currently available for pre-order at...

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Jun 08
Apple Pay expands benefits, heads to the UK

Apple says Apple Pay is making everyday payments even better by adding support for rewards programs and store-issued credit and debit cards with iOS 9. It's also heading to the United Kingdom.

Apple Pay in the US is expanding merchant acceptance to over one million locations next month and bringing support for Discover this fall. With this addition, the payment system will accept credit and debit cards across all major card networks, issued by the most popular banks, representing 98% of all credit card purchase volume in the US, says Jennifer Bailey, Apple's vice president of Internet Services,

With the addition of Apple Pay, the Passbook app in iOS has become much more than simply a place for keeping coupons, gift cards, boarding passes and tickets. So, starting this fall with iOS 9, it's been renamed Wallet, bringing additional options at checkout with Apple Pay support for rewards and store-issued credit and debit cards.

To get the most out of purchases,...

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Jun 08
Apple launches News app for the iPhone and iPad

Apple has unveiled an all-new News app that will be available with iOS 9 this fall for the iPhone and iPad. It combines the layout of a magazine with the immediacy and customization of digital media, according to Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of product marketing, who demoed the app at today's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote.

News follows over a million topics and pulls relevant stories based on your specific interests that can be shared or saved for later — without compromising your privacy, she says. It's powered by the new custom-designed Apple News Format.
 
News collects all the stories you want to read in one place, in a customized newsfeed called For You. Readers can see the publisher channels and topics they’re following in Favorites, and to discover new content, Explore makes suggestions based on what you’ve already read. The more you read, the more personalized the News app becomes, refining the selection of stories delivered to your...

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Jun 08
Apple unveils Apple Music; available June 30

Apple has introduced Apple Music, an app that the company says "combines the best ways to enjoy music — all in one place." It's a streaming music service, a worldwide live radio station from Apple broadcasting 24 hours a day and a tool for music fans to connect with their favorite artists.

Apple Music combines the largest and most diverse collection of music on the planet with the expertise of world-class music experts who have programmed playlists for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, Apple TV and Android phones, says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. It will be available starting on June 30 in over 100 countries.

Starting with the music you already know — whether from the iTunes Store or ripped CDs — your music now lives in one place alongside the Apple Music catalog with over 30 million songs. You can stream any song, album or playlist you choose — or let Apple Music do the work for you. 

Curation is the soul...

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