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Mar 10
Mobile app downloads approached eight billion in 2010

2010 saw considerable growth in the mobile applications market, and more competition is expected in 2011. Despite more proactive involvement in app store development from other platform providers, Apple’s iTunes is still the market leader after having such a successful head start, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

The research group says the iPhone interface had notched up more than 5.6 billion accumulated downloads by the end of 2010, compared to nearly 7.9 billion total downloads from all stores during that year. However, Apple is set to face more intensive competition in 2011.

“The iTunes App Store only targets iOS users; that leaves more room for other platform application stores to step up and focus on ‘non-Apple’ clientele,” says research associate Fei Feng Seet. “Android smartphone quarterly shipments now exceed Apple’s. There is still a long way to go, but...

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Mar 10
iPad 2 hits the stores Friday

Just in case you somehow missed it, the iPad 2 be available tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time at all 236 Apple retail stores in the US and through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com) beginning at 1 a.m. (Pacific).

Every customer who buys an iPad 2 at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad 2 by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store and more. The iPad 2 will also be available beginning at 5 p.m. local time at AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, Walmart and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

The iPad 2 has a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G -- compatible with the Verizon network...

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Mar 10
Apple to open up 'popup store' for SXSW

Apple will open a temporary store Friday in Austin, Texas, in the Scarbrough Building on Congress Avenue downtown, timed to the start of South by Southwest Interactive Conference and the release of the iPad 2 , reports the "American-Statesman" (http://macte.ch/al3hn).

Popup stores are a trend for retailers that want to unveil products or test a new location without committing to a permanent space. SXSW (http://sxsw.com/) features five days of presentations from experts in emerging technology, networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and a line-up of special programs "showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer."

On Wednesday, construction workers were busy retrofitting the 5,000-square-foot space in the building, at Congress and West Sixth Street, that...

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Mar 10
New Apple shop opening at Virgin Megastore Mall of the Emirates

Virgin Megastore is opening the first Apple shop in the United Arab Emirates at the Virgin Megastore, Mall of The Emirates, Dubai. The Apple shop will open on Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m.

The new Apple shop carry the full range of Apple desktops and notebooks, including the award-winning MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, along with a range of Mac-compatible software and accessories with the support of Mac Solutions Consultants.

"Since 2005, the Virgin Megastore has been one of the best places to test drive and explore Apple products in Dubai," says Nisreen Shocair, president of Virgin Megastore in the Middle East. "With the opening of the first Apple shop in the United Arab Emirates at the Virgin Megastore, we're really excited to build on this and offer our customers a first class shopping experience for everything Mac. Customers who want to learn more will be able to watch the various daily product demos showing the different types of projects you can...

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Mar 10
Apple had 83% of tablet market in 2010

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) "Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker" (http://www.idc.com), 10.1 million media tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 (4Q10) -- more than double the 4.5 million shipped in the third quarter.

Apple's share came down from 93% in 3Q10 to 73% in 4Q10, but still reflected Apple's strong leadership position. Samsung's Galaxy Tab was the primary competitor in the holiday season, beating other players to market and capturing more than 17% share, while a number of smaller regional players also participated.

"Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple's iPad and now iPad 2," says Loren Loverde, vice president, Consumer Device Trackers. "Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly...

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Mar 10
Safari, IE go down first at hacking contest

Safari and Internet Explorer were successfully hacked on the first day at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver, BC, reports "The Inquirer" (http://macte.ch/qu5pb).

"Safari goes down first at Pwn2Own!" tweeted Aaron Portnoy, manager of the security research team at Pwn2Own sponsor Tipping Point. Insecurity research company Vupen broke into the Safari browser, running on a fully patched version of Mac OS X, by successfully exploiting a zero-day flaw, says "The Inquirer."

The hack happened even though Apple issued a last-minute security patch for Safari. Apple is supposedly adding more focus on security for the upcoming Mac OS X Lion.

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Mar 10
Twelve South Compass ready for the iPad 2

Twelve South says its Compass Mobile Stand works just fine with the iPad 2, which goes on sale tomorrow.

Compass is an US$39.99 compact folding stand that's compatible with both the original iPad and the new iPad 2. Standing upright as an easel, Compass displays the Apple tablet in both portrait and landscape positions.

Work mode holds the iPad 2 at an angle for typing. In addition to retail Apple Stores, Compass is available at the Apple Online Store (http://www.apple.com) as well as the Twelve South web site (http://www.twelvesouth.com).

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Mar 10
Six iPad 2 cases available from WaterField Designs

WaterField Designs (http://www.sfbags.com) has announced new custom-sized iPad 2 cases: the Smart Case (pictured) Slip Case, Ultimate SleeveCase and Suede Jacket.

For carrying the iPad 2 with the Apple Cover or another slim case, WaterField offers the EXO SleeveCase. For toting the iPad along with the wireless keyboard and accessories, WaterField Designs recommends the iPad Wallet.

"We have re-designed our iPad line creating new custom sizes for the lighter, thinner iPad 2," says WaterField Designs owner, Gary Waterfield. "The EXO and iPad Wallet remain great choices for carrying the iPad 2 within another case and the iPad 2 with its mobile accessories."

The Smart Case (US$59) has an Ultrasued, scratch-free liner with an impact-resistant, screen-protecting insert and is enveloped by a water-resistant exterior. The Slip Case ($29) has a water-resistant fabric exterior that surrounds a plush...

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Mar 10
NXE announces Recline iPhone 4 case

NXE (http://www.nxeproducts.com) has announced the Recline protective case with a dual-orientation and flip-out kickstand. It's available for AT&T and Verizon iPhones for US$29.99.

The flip-out kickstand on the back that allows the case to sit upright -- either horizontally for the optimal viewing of a movie, photos or games, or vertically for video calling interaction. The Recline also features a soft internal lining, while still allowing the user full access to all external buttons, controls and input/output ports.

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Mar 10
XtremeMac unveils iPad 2 cases

XtremeMac (http://www.XtremeMac.com) has announced a line of new cases for the iPad 2. They'll arrive this spring.

The Tuffwrap Shine is a form-fitting case for the new iPad 2. Made of soft durable materials, the Tuffwrap Shine offers full protection and better grip support without adding any bulk and providing full access to all controls. Trend right colors include honeysuckle pink (Patone’s color of the year), black and clear, each with a high-gloss finish that provides a touch of style.

The Microshield for iPad 2 is thin hard plastic case designed to protect against scratches, dust and dirt.  The thin, impact-resistant case gives users full access to all controls while providing a soft touch surface and added grip. These cases are available in a frosted finish, in black, blue or purple.

XtremeMac’s Thin Sleeve is a coverage case that fits both the iPad and iPad 2. The exterior and soft...

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Mar 10
FileMaker launches new podcast series

FileMaker Inc. has announced “Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad,” a new podcast and Facebook Fan Page.

Aimed at iPad and iPhone users interested in database solutions for business, both the podcast series and fan page feature real companies and business owners who are managing their data on-the-go using Apple’s iOS devices. Hosted by Molly Connolly of Thorsen Consulting and Matt Navarre of MSN Media, the first three podcasts are available today on iTunes.

FileMaker plans to add new episodes, so stay tuned to the Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad on iTunes. You can go to FileMaker’s new “Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad” Facebook Fan page for more info.

The site offers customer stories, YouTube videos offering how-to advice and more. Visitors can also see screens with examples of how to mobilize inventory management, contacts, and events.

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Mar 10
Wrapsol introduces screen protection for the iPad 2

Wrapsol has announced the availability of Wrapsol ultra and fingerprint-fighting Wrapsol clean screen protector lines for the Apple iPad 2.

Using the company’s patent-pending adhesive films, they're designed to protect the screen of the Apple tablet. Wrapsol for iPad 2 is fully compatible with Apple’s SmartCovers and is available for pre-order at http://www.wrapsol.com for US$29.95. Shipping is expected to begin next week.

Wrapsol ultra and clean screen protectors for the iPad 2 are applied with three steps: align the film, tack it down, smooth it on. Purportedly, the proprietary adhesive formula actively releases air bubbles over time for the smoothest application possible, and delivers a high level of protection against impact damage, scratches, cracks, dents, dings and scuffs from foreign objects, abrasive grit or damaging surfaces.

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Mar 10
iWeb Themes Park releases new templates

iWeb Themes Park (http://www.iwebthemespark.com) has introduced new iWeb themes for iWeb, the web creation component of the iLife suite. The new themes are Break Dance, Hunting Club, Lighted, Perspective and Writing.

To use iWeb themes from iWeb Themes Park you'll need a Mac with iWeb from iLife '08 or later. The iWeb Themes Box of 105 themes is priced at US$47.77. Ten iWeb themes in a Combo Package can be purchased for $29.99.

Each template is available for $11.99 or $12.99. Using the coupon code “iWebThemesTrio” 3 iWeb Themes of Your choice can be obtained with $12.99 discount. Four iWeb Themes are free for everyone.

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Mar 10
iPresentee expands iWeb templates for Business collection

iPresentee (http://www.ipresentee.com) has released iWeb Themes for Business 8.0 to be used with Apple's website building application.

iWeb Themes for Business includes five new themes: Bakery, Herbs, Hair Stylist, Movie and Clothes. Designed for casual and business use, the new release extends iPresentee's iWeb themes collection up to 115 themes. All themes incorporate a series of layered images that are customizable, replaceable, or removable.

The themes require Mac OS X 10.4.3 or higher and iWeb 2.0 (iLife '08) or later. Each iWeb Theme for Business is available for US$10. The set of five new iWeb Themes for Business 8.0 may be purchased for $30. The iWeb Suite Bundle may be purchased for $70.

Bundle includes 75 iWeb Themes, 40 iWeb Themes for Business, 15 iWeb Intros, 75 iWeb Animations and 181 Keynote 3D Stuff objects. Samples and more information about iWeb Themes for Business 7.0...

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Mar 10
Flashcards for Mac updated, gets price reduction

Independent software developer Christian Kienle has released Flashcards 3.4 (http://christian-kienle.de/Flashcards/) for Mac OS X (10.6 and higher). The new version boasts some refinements and performance improvements.

Flashcards is a flash card application with an iTunes-like user interface. You can organize your cards in decks, folders and smart decks. Decks can be exported and saved in any place on your hard disk. Each card has a progress indicator so that you see your overall performance at a glance.

Smart decks allow you to specify a set of rules that determine which cards the deck will contain. For example, you could have a smart deck that always contains cards you recently studied and answered wrong.

Flashcards comes with a formula editor. The formula editor lets you create graphical formulas by typing in a LaTeX style text. For example, you can then...

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Mar 10
Lagente releases PinPoint 3.6 for Mac

Lagente Software has releases PinPoint 3.6.1 (http://www.lagentesoft.com), an update of their mouse enhancement tool for Mac OS X. It's available at the Mac App Store for US$2.99.

Used by screencast professionals and presenters to help their audience locate the mouse on screen, PinPoint provides the user with a series of animated graphics that are displayed around the mouse pointer. It's designed to help audiences follow along with presentations and demos and also serves to help the visually disabled use their computers more effectively.

PinPoint provides the user with a series of animated graphics that are displayed around the mouse pointer. Many shapes, behaviors and animations are available, including a Full Screen Crosshair mode, and pointers with visual click indicators.

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Mar 10
Codeminion releases Phantasmat Collector's Edition on the...

Codeminion has released Phantasmat Collector's Edition 1.11 (http://phantasmat.com/), the latest version of their horror-adventure game on the Mac App Store. It costs US$19.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Here's how the game is described: "Combining compelling plot with hidden-object and match-3 mechanics, this game follows up with beautifully hand drawn art and AAA production values. The game immerses the player in the dark story of a sunken city and mysterious hotel still inhabited by its former citizens. Phantasmat marks the evolution of the adventure-horror genre in casual games."

The Collector's Edition features extra game content such as an additional hour of gameplay incorporated into the Epilogue. Players also get access to development materials, like concept art, character profiles and the official soundtrack by Rob Westwood. There are over 100 locations and puzzles.

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Mar 10
Vitamin-R update for Mac OS X is more customizable

Publicspace.net has announced Vitamin-R 1.54 (http://www.publicspace.net/Vitamin-R/index.html), an update of its Mac OS X compatible productivity tool for creative professionals. The new version allows customers to tailor the product's workflow to suit their own requirements and preferences.

Vitamin-R is a collection of tools and techniques for managing attention and maintaining motivation. According to the folks at publicspace.net, it complements the task capturing and organizing features of modern to-do list managers by forcing you to concentrate fully on one task a time and keeping distractions at bay. It breaks down large, vaguely defined tasks into a series of short "time slices" of between 10 and 30 minutes, each with specific and actionable objectives.

Vitamin-R provides you with the "Now & Later Board," complete with FastType magic, to give...

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Mar 10
Unblunder for Mac OS X gets maintenance update

Yazsoft has released Unblunder 1.0.2 (http://yazsoft.com/products/unblunder/), an update of its recovery solution for Mac OS X. It's a maintenance update with some performance tweaks and bug fixes.

The Yazsoft says Unblunder was developed specifically to help protect against accidental data loss by offering Mac OS X a "Recently Deleted" feature, giving you time to recover files before they're gone forever. It uses Mac OS X's UNIX underpinnings to hang on to files after the Trash has been emptied.

When started, it runs quietly in the background and stays out of your way, according to the folks at Yazsoft. For optimal file recovery and peace of mind, Unblunder needs to be running before an accident happens.

By default, trashed files over 250 MB in size linger for five minutes and smaller files are kept for a day. Of course, you can tweak all these settings to...

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Mar 10
'YML' looks at the iPad 2 launch, iOS update

The new "Your Mac Life" episode looks at the iPad 2 launch, the iOS update and more.

You can listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm (Pacific). Live video is on Your Mac Life! You can watch the show live at http://yml.macosg.com/ -- or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov .

You can join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show -- on the live video site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

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Mar 09
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for March 9

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/).

Steton Technology Group has announced Steton 360 mobileEl, a free app for iPads and iPhones that gives decision makers on-the-go access to customizable business intelligence dashboards and reports. Steton 360 mobileEl is an extension to Steton 360 Enterprise Edition, Steton's Web-hosted business intelligence solution. It provides a way for managers to explore and analyze data in real-time. When used with Steton 360 Enterprise Edition, the application gives executives, managers and key workers information on how the organization is complying with quality, safety, regulatory and brand standards.

PollMate 1.0 for iOS is a new quantitative research tool. The free app allows anyone with a question to target people with answers. It uses Apple's Push Notification...

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Mar 09
Apple updates software for the Apple TV

Apple has updated the software for the US$99, streaming-only Apple TV to version 4.2 It adds support for AirPlay in iOS 4.3, support for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound when playing Netflix videos and the ability to access MLB.TV and NBA League Pass Broadband content

There are also new slideshow themes; you can view photos with the new Scrapbook, Photo Mobile, and Holiday Mobile slideshow themes. Apple TV 4.2 also improves the on-screen keyboard, letting you search and enter names and passwords more easily, according to Apple.

You can update the Apple TV software via iTunes.

| Read more »
Mar 09
Apple updates Safari to version 5.0.4

Apple has released version 5.0.4 of its Safari web browser. The new version offers:

° Improved stability for webpages with multiple instances of plug-in content;

° Improved compatibility with webpages with image reflections and transition effects;

° Improved compatibility with VoiceOver on webpages with text input areas and lists with selectable items;

° Improved stability when using VoiceOver;

° A fix for an issue that could cause some webpages to print with incorrect layouts;

° A fix for an issue that could cause content to display incorrectly on webpages with plug-ins;

° A fix for an issue that could cause a Screen Saver to appear while video is playing in Safari.

You can obtain the update via the Software Updates component of the Mac OS X Systems Preferences app.

| Read more »
Mar 09
Apple releases iOS 4.3

Apple has released iOS 4.3. The update is available via Apple’s iTunes application.

New features include: faster Safari mobile browsing performance with the Nitro JavaScript engine; iTunes Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay; the choice of using the iPad side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute the audio; and the Personal Hotspot feature for sharing an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.

The Nitro JavaScript engine that Apple pioneered on the desktop is now built into WebKit, the technology at the heart of Safari, and purportedly more than doubles the performance of JavaScript execution using just-in-time compilation. With the Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari works faster to support the interactivity of complex sites you visit on a daily basis.

New iTunes Home Sharing allows iOS 4.3 users to play music, movies and TV shows on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch from their iTunes library on a Mac or PC over a local Wi-Fi network. With a tap...

| Read more »
Mar 09
OWC announces 16GB RAM update for new MacBook Pros

OWC announces 16GB RAM update for new MacBook Pros
Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz 8GB memory modules that provide 12GB and 16GB memory configurations for the 2011 MacBook Pro models. With these OWC Upgrades, new MacBook Pro model owners can add up to twice the factory maximum installed memory.

Available configuration options are:

° OWC 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory Module -- US$59.99 (or $46.99 after OWC offered factory memory trade-in rebate.) This replaces an existing 2GB module for 6GB of total memory.

° OWC 8GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory Upgrade Kit (2 x 4GB) -- $112.99 (or $86.99 after OWC offered factory memory trade-in rebate.) This replaces both existing 2GB modules for 8GB of total memory. Up to $113 less vs. factory 8GB option.

° OWC 12GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory Upgrade Kit (8GB + 4GB) -- $879.99 (or $853.99 after OWC offered factory...

| Read more »
 
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