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05:52
Happy Independence Day!

On July 4, 1776, the United States declared its independence from Britain. Today MacTech and MacNews will be running on a limited schedule in honor of Independence Day, the Fourth of July. (Yes, it's actually tomorrow, but it's a "holiday" today.) We hope all our readers have a great day and that peace and freedom will flourish throughout the world.

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Jul 02
Apple’s Swift programming language gaining in popularity

A new programming language survey shows Apple’s Swift programming language breaking into the top 20 for the first time, while the future of Microsoft’s Visual Basic (VB) in the top rankings is now "unclear," reports The Register (http://tinyurl.com/nt76be7).

The Redmonk consultancy published a six-monthly analysis (http://tinyurl.com/o59g56w) based on Github usage and Stack Overflow discussions. JavaScript tops the list margin, followed by Java, PHP, Python, C#, C++ and Ruby (the last three are ranked fifth). Apple’s Swifthas risen from 22 to 18, making the top 20 for the first time.

The next version of Swift (version 2), Apple’s programming language, will be open source. (Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.)

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior...

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Jul 02
Tune Sweeper 4 released for Mac OS X

Wide Angle Software (https://www.wideanglesoftware.com/) has announced Tune Sweeper 4, an update to the iTunes clean-up utility for Mac OS X.

The upgrade contains a wider range of features over its predecessor to help keep iTunes music libraries clean and organized. Tune Sweeper not only keeps iTunes libraries duplicate free and free from missing files, but also fixes missing artwork and track information too. Version 4 also adds an updated interface.

Tune Sweeper 4 is priced at US$24.99. The software is compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 or higher (as well as with Windows 7 and 8).

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Jul 02
Logo Pop Free for Mac OS X revved to version 1.2

MacAppware, a division of 128bit Technologies, has released. Logo Pop Free 1.2. It's an update of the free vector-based logo design app for Mac OS X.

The upgrade has various bug fixes and enhancements. There's also a new tutorial about using the app at the MacAppware website (www.macappware.com).

Logo Pop Free requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. It's available exclusively on the Mac App Store.

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Jul 02
IK Multimedia announces 96kHz firmware update for iRig PRO and...

 IK Multimedia (www.ikmultimedia.com) has announced complementary firmware update that enables high resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio sampling for its iRig PRO and iRig HD mobile audio interfaces.

At double the original 24-bit/48kHz sample rate, it makes these ultra-compact mobile interfaces sound even more clean, nuanced and transparent, the company says. The iRig PRO is a compact audio and MIDI interface for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac or PC. The iRig HD is a compact audio interface with a quarter-in instrument input that features an input gain control knob, a multicolor LED and ultra-low-draw power consumption circuitry.

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Jul 01
Fileloupe is a new media browser for Mac OS X

Corduroy Code has released Fileloupe 1.0 (http://www.fileloupe.com), a new media browser for Mac OS X Yosemite.

It combines the features of a photo viewer, video player and document browser into a single tool. Harnessing the power of Apple's Quick Look technology, Fileloupe offers users one of the fastest ways to browse, view and share photos, videos, PDFs and documents, according to Kenny Carruthers, founder of Corduroy Code and developer of Fileloupe.

The app offers copy & paste and drag & drop support for inserting images into third-party applications. There's support for most common image formats including RAW photos.

Fileloupe has variable playback rates for video including slow-motion playback along with inverted orientation correction, track scrubbing, frame stepping and frame-to-image exporting support. It packs a PDF viewer for viewing multiple PDF documents side by side...

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Jul 01
24U offers Audit Service for existing FileMaker Solutions

24U Software (http://www.24usoftware.com/) has announced its new audit service for FileMaker solutions.

It's a service designed to help managers and business owners to make data-driven decision about further maintenance and development of their FileMaker solutions. Managers and business owners can now order 24U's advice to have their internally developed FileMaker solution audited and prepare a long-term maintenance and development plan.

The audit service consists of analysis customer's existing FileMaker solution, identifying existing and potential issues, and suggesting strategy to keep it working and make it support customer's business evolution and growth. Output of the service is a document with a short term and a long term plan addressing all discovered needs and issues.

The audit service is being offered for a flat price of US$3,777 when auditing a solution with one key user....

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Jul 01
Conversion software for 25 languages launched

Translate Your World, developers of across-language communication software, has announced the availability of its new software that enables users to converse in real-time across 25 different languages.

Just go to a webpage and talk.  The words of each speaker are instantly translated into the other language to appear as subtitles or be heard as attractive synthesized computer voice. You can try it for free at http://www.TranslateYourWorld.com .

Technically, Translate Your World is a mission control center that unites side-software by the competing giants of technology including Microsoft, Google, Nuance, SDL, ReadSpeaker, SIMS, Yandex, Systran, Android, Baidu, WebRTC, VoIP, and more while empowering the world to bridge the language barrier, says Sue Reager, the company’s CEO, who speaks 10 languages and commutes between Silicon Valley and Atlanta.  Translate Your World provides...

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Jul 01
Output Factory Server for Adobe InDesign now supports CC 2015

Zevrix Solutions has released Output Factory Server 1.2.1, a compatibility update to its output workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign.

Output Factory Server automates printing and exporting from InDesign by processing files from hot folders. The software offloads output tasks to a central system leaving operator workstations free from the output process. Version 1.2.1 makes Output Factory Server compatible with the 2015 release of InDesign CC featured as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Output Factory Server can be purchased from the Zevrix web site (www.zevrix.com) for a reduced price of US$299.95 until July 31 (it's $699.95 afterwards), as well as from authorized resellers. A demo is available for download. BatchOutput Server users can upgrade for $350. Output Factory Server requires Mac OS X 10.6-10.10 and works with Adobe InDesign CS3-CC 2015.

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Jul 01
PipelineFX’s Qube! now available in one-month installments

PipelineFX has added a subscription licensing option to Qube! render farm management software for visual effects. This new option can be limited to a single one-month installment.

"Sometimes an upfront investment or a long-term commitment is all that holds companies back from bringing efficiency to their farms," says Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX. "Subscription licensing is a simple way to get them there, on their own terms and through a package that doesn’t make them give up the power and support that Qube! is known for."

Subscription is available now online to existing PipelineFX customers at pipelinefx.com. Pricing is US$15/month per worker license for commercial customers and $10.50/month for education customers.

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Jul 01
CS Odessa releases USA Mapping Solution for ConceptDraw Pro 10

CS Odessa (www.conceptdraw.com) has announced a new addition to ConceptDraw Solution Park designed to assist individuals who are looking for county outlines to be represented in maps they draw.

The collection of library objects, templates, and example drawings for ConceptDraw Pro are designed to make short work of drawing maps that contain county information. The United States Mapping Solution is available for users of ConceptDraw Pro 10 and ConceptDraw Office 3, via ConceptDraw Solution Park.

ConceptDraw Pro retails for US$199 per end user license. ConceptDraw Office 3 includes ConceptDraw MindMap 8, ConceptDraw Project 7, ConceptDraw Pro 10, and the ConceptDraw Solution Park. It retails for $499.

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Jun 30
Apple releases iTunes 12.2 for the Mac, Windows

Apple has released iTunes 12.2 for the Mac,adding support for its new Apple Music service. According to the update description in the Mac App Store — where you can obtain the update in the, well, Updates section, the upgrade includes the following Apple Music features:

° For You music recommendations;

° Radio, including Beats 1;

° New, which highlights new music curated by Apple’s music editors;

° My Music, where you find your purchased music, imported songs, and selections you’ve picked in Apple Music;

° Connect, the venue for artists to reach out to fans.

iTunes 12.2 requires Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later.

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Jun 30
GigSky offers cellular data plans for iPad travelers with Apple...

GigSky, a global mobile network designed for travelers, will offer cellular data plans for iPad travelers with Apple SIM in more than 90 countries and territories.

With Apple SIM installed, iPad customers can view and select these short-term data plans directly on their Apple tablet, avoiding the hassle of buying a local SIM when they travel. US and UK customers have the added benefit of choosing from these short-term data plans at home.

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular models in the US and UK come with Apple SIM pre-installed. Apple SIM is also available at select Apple Retail Stores for individual purchase. 

iPad users can choose a GigSky data plan upon arrival right from their iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 with Apple SIM installed, and easily connect to family and friends, stay in touch and share their travel, says Ravi Rishy-Maharaj, founder and CEO of GigSky. Apple SIM will also be available for individual purchase at Apple Retail Stores in 10...

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Jun 30
Apple releases GarageBand 10.1 for the Mac, Security Updates

Apple has updated GarageBand, its music creation software for the Mac, to version 10.1. It adds 10 new EDM (electronic dance music) and hip hop drummers, 20 new electronic drum kits, 100 new EDM and Hip Hop synthesizer patches, new Morph Pad Smart Control, and 1,000 new loops to support all those new genres.

GarageBand 10.1 is available at the Mac App Store. It's free for existing users and those who've bought a recent Mac. It's US$4.99 for others.

Apple has also posted Security Update 2015-005 Mavericks and Security Update 2015-005 Mountain Lion. They're part of OS X 10.10.4, but have been released as standalone updates for the older versions of OS X. The download installers are available at the Mac App Store.

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Jun 30
Tropical Software rolls out iAddressX 3.6 for OS X

Tropical Software has rolled out iAddressX 3.6, an update of the Mac OS X (10.7 or higher) utility.

You can use iAddressX to navigate contacts from a small icon in the system menu, and to initiate various tasks including printing of Dymo labels, dialing regular and Skype calls, sending SMS messages to Skype pals or friend's cell phones, and more. Version 3.6.0 adds an option to show Contacts by Group as a sub-menu, or in the main menu (it's recommended that you enable Contacts by Group if you have many Groups).

It boasts a major rewrite of many parts of the code that was originally designed for OS X 10.5 Leopard and older. iAddressX was a Mac OS X Preference Pane. With version 3.6, it's now an app installed as a status item in the menu bar

A demo is available for download. For a short introductory period, iAddressX will be available for US$19.95 from the Tropical Software web site (...

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Jun 30
VidConvert for Mac OS X gets revamped user interface, more

Reggie Ashworth has unveiled VidConvert 1.6 (http://www.reggieashworth.com/vidconvert), a Yosemite (and El Capitan) update to his video converter for Mac OS X.

VidConvert will convert just about any type of video into one of the popular formats of today. It allows you to create videos for your iPhone or iPad, for your Mac or TV, or formats such as DivX and MPEG.

VidConverter 1.6 includes a new icon and refreshed user interface, conversion optimizations for faster operation, bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements.

It requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later. VidConvert 1.6 costs US$7.99 for a single user license. A demo that lets you create three-minute samples is available. Older versions with pre-Lion support are available.

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Jun 30
.com Solutions launches FmPro Migrator Platinum Edition 7.47

.com Solutions has launched FmPro Migrator Platinum Edition 7.47 (www.fmpromigrator.com) with 30 improvements for simplifying the transition from FileMaker Pro to a PHP web application.

According to .com Solutions, FileMaker WebDirect to PHP Conversion benefits using FmPro Migrator Platinum Edition include: scaling up beyond 100 concurrent users, owning your application source code, avoiding monthly/annual billing, reusing existing business logic, keeping the existing graphical user interface, and cross platform/device compatibility.

FmPro Migrator Platinum Edition is priced at US$$600 per developer. Users can build an unlimited number of web applications having up to 250 forms/reports/layouts with FmPro Migrator during the term of the license key.

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Jun 30
Apple releases Mac OS X 10.10.4 with Mail, Photos improvements,...

Apple has released Mac OS X 10.10.4, which includes improvements for Photos and Mail. It also fixes several bugs (including the "discoveryd" service).

According to Apple, the update:

° Improves networking reliability;

° Improves Migration Assistant reliability;

° Addresses an issue that prevented certain monitors from functioning properly;

° Improves the reliability of upgrading iPhoto and Aperture libraries to Photos;

° Improves reliability when syncing photos and videos to the iCloud Photo Library;

° Addresses and issue that causes Photos to quit unexpectedly after importing some Leica DNG files;

° Resolves an issue that could delay outgoing email messages in Mail;

° Fixes an issue where a website could prevent the user from navigating away by presenting repeated JavaScript alerts in Safari.

You can obtain OS X 10.10.4 at the Mac App Store.

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Jun 30
Apple Music launches, iOS 8.4 available

Apple Music, Apple's music streaming service, has launched for iOS and Mac OS X devices in over 100 countries. Android is next, and Apple anticipates attracting 100 million paying subscribers.

Apple says Apple Music “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, according to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. 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, he adds. You can stream any...

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Jun 30
Apple will replace Mac laptop batteries that don't retain...

Apple is now replacing non-removable laptop batteries that retain less than 80% of their original charge under the AppleCare Protection Plan. The change applies to the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

In a support document (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204054), Apple says: "Your Apple One Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. If you purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan for your Mac notebook with a non-removable battery, Apple will replace the notebook battery at no charge if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity. If you don't have coverage, you can have the battery replaced for a fee."

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Jun 30
Registration is open for annual Apple Camp for kids

Registration is now open for Apple's annual Apple Camp (http://www.applersvp.com) three-day workshops where kids ages 8 to 12 can "bring their imaginations to life" with apps such as iMovie and iBooks.

According to Apple, they'll learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. Kids will storyboard ideas, shoot video, create an original soundtrack in GarageBand on an iPad, and then edit it all together in iMovie on a Mac.

Campers will also create their own interactive books. They'll draw illustrations using an iPad, then add sound effects and Multi-Touch features using iBooks Author on a Mac.

Each workshop ends with the Apple Camp Showcase so campers can share their finished projects. Space is limited so you should sign up today.

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Jun 30
Typinator 6.6 for Mac OS X handles smart substitutions even...

With the release of version 6.6, Ergonis Software (www.ergonis.com) celebrates the 10th anniversary of Typinator, their text expander. Along with this release, Ergonis Software has published two new Typinator sets for easy access to the symbols in the new Apple Color Emoji font introduced in OS X Yosemite 10.10.3.

To celebrate the anniversary, Ergonis Software is offering a 25% discount on new purchases before July 15. The offer is good for all Ergonis products, including PopChar and KeyCue.

Typinator 6.6 works with the Pinyin input methods for Chinese and uses less memory when idle. It also includes other enhancements and offers improved compatibility with third-party products like 4th Dimension and MatLab.

The Emoji 3.0 set contains all skin tone variants of all applicable Emoji symbols. In addition to skin tones, the new version contains more consistent names and shows the standard Unicode names...

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Jun 30
InPreflight for Adobe InDesign now supports Creative Cloud 2015

Zevrix Solutions has launched InPreflight Pro 2.11.17, a compatibility update to its document preparation solution for Adobe InDesign.

InPreflight is an all-in-one solution to check InDesign documents for errors, automatically collect multiple files for output and ship them to final destination. The new version makes InPreflight compatible with the 2015 release of InDesign CC featured as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

InPreflight Pro can be purchased from the Zevrix website (www.zevrix.com) for US$99.95 (there's a "lite" version for $39.95). A demo is available for download. The 2.11.17 update is free for licensed users of version 2, and $50 from earlier versions. InPreflight requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher and Adobe InDesign CS3-CC 2015.

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Jun 29
Autodesk announces Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U

Autodesk has announced the new Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U course. Developed by educators and industry experts across the globe, the Autodesk Design Academy (http://academy.autodesk.com) provides hundreds of standards-aligned class projects to support design-based disciplines, while using Autodesk’s 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

iTunes U is the world’s largest catalog of free education content. The Autodesk Design Academy features a growing collection of lessons, projects and courses that help educators support students as they develop technical skills.

A key component of the Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U course is the use of Autodesk Fusion 360, which brings CAD, CAM and CAE together in the cloud. Autodesk is also launching the Autodesk Design Academy Multi-Touch book, which includes Autodesk SketchBook Express, bringing digital art and concept sketching to life...

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Jun 29
Soundtrap announces online collaborative music recording studio

Soundtrap has launched what it says is the first online music and audio recording studio where users can find and collaborate with people from all over the world on a multitude of devices across iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Mac OS X,and Windows platforms.

It lets users record a tune or podcast by accessing a browser across multiple platforms.  Coming out of beta, Soundtrap has also announced US$1 million in seed funding and the commercial availability of its platform. 

Soundtrap is currently in use in 150 U.S. schools and the platform has grown from 20,000 to 120,000 users in 175 countries in just five months, according to CEO Per Emanuelsson. He adds that the platform was developed using only HTML5 technologies and it is fully cloud-based for all devices.

It's written in the Google DART language and utilizes the audio APIs Web Audio, Web MIDI and Web RTC. To use Soundtrap, users simply open a browser and log on.  They can choose from over 50 virtual instruments...

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