Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

Apple Announces iPhone 6 Models and NFC-Based Electronic Payment System

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

iphone6-modelsApple’s event today was chock full of good stuff and the first announcement out of the gate was about the new iPhone 6 models. As rumored, the next generation of Apple’s game-changing mobile phone will come in two screen sizes: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. Both models are thinner than the iPhone 5s, featuring Retina HD displays that curve around the left and right sides of each device.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The iPhone is the most loved smartphone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry and we are making it much better in every way. Only Apple can combine the best hardware, software and services at this unprecedented level and we think customers are going to love it.”

Both devices feature Apple’s new A8 64-bit chip that offers a 20% boost in processing speed and a 50% increase in graphics processing. Apple’s motion processing M8 chip has also gotten an upgrade to estimate distance traveled and elevation changes with the addition of an internal barometer. The camera has a new sensor and a new feature called Focus Pixels that allows faster autofocusing and improved tone mapping and noise reduction. Panoramic photos will be up to 43 megapixels in size. Video capture capabilities have improved to 60 frames per second and up to 240 frames per second in slow motion.

The new iPhones feature new gestures to aid in one-handed use, including a new double-touch of the home button that slides everything down on the screen to allow easy access to the buttons at the top. Also, the sleep/wake button has been relocated to the right side. Despite the new chip and larger screen, both new iPhone models will have better battery life for most tasks compared to the iPhone 5s.

Both models also feature Near-Field Communications (NFC) and a dedicated chip dubbed “Secure Element” for secure electronic payments with credit and debit cards offered by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express to support Apple Pay, which was also announced today. Several major banks are on board, including Bank of America, Chase, and others. Major retailers have also signed on, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Subway, and Walgreens.

Apple Pay will be available only with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starting next month and will require a free update to iOS 8. When it’s released in 2015, Apple Pay will also work with the Apple Watch.

The iPhone 6 will be available starting on September 19 with the 16GB model priced at $199, a 64GB model at $299, and a 128GB model at $399, all with a 2-year contract. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for the 16GB model, $399 for the 64GB model, and $499 for the 128GB model, all with a 2-year contract. Pre-orders will be available starting September 12.

As with the Apple Watch, Jared Nelson from our sister site TouchArcade.com got some hands-on time with both iPhone 6 models, which you can check out in the video embedded below.

What iPhone 6 model will you get? From Jared’s video, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t look ridiculously large compared to the iPhone 5s. This combined with the new double-tap gesture on the home button to slide the app view down to make buttons at the top of the screen easier to access with one hand, could push me to the larger model. Which iPhone 6 model are you going to get?

Apple to Live Stream September 9 iPhone Announcement Event

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

9-9-14 event screenshot

In case you hadn’t already heard, Apple will be holding a press event on September 9 where the company is expected to announce the next iPhone models and perhaps even unveil a new wearable device along with the release date of iOS 8. This afternoon, Apple announced that the event will be streamed live through its website and on a special channel on its Apple TV devices. The event will take place at 9:00 am PDT next Tuesday at the Flint Center at De Anza College in Cupertino and you can tune into www.apple.com/live to catch the juicy details as the event unfolds. Prior to the event, you’ll find a countdown timer and even a handy little shortcut to add the event to your calendar on that page.

So far, the rumors flying around indicate that Apple will announce two iPhone models with larger screens – one with a 4.7-inch screen and a second with a 5.5-inch screen. The announcement of a wearable device, dubbed the iWatch by the press, is also expected though reports state that this device won’t actually be available to purchase for several months. If you want an overview of all of these rumors, check out the iPhone 6 Roundup page and the iWatch Roundup page over at our sister site, MacRumors.com.

As an Apple fan, I am definitely looking forward to this event and I do plan to upgrade to whatever new iPhone Apple announces to appease the ever-hungry technology addict that lives within me. If both models have the same features, I’ll probably go for the 4.7-inch model since with small hands, the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5s is almost a stretch for me already and going much larger will negate its utility for me. I say that now but I make no promises since I could easily be seduced by the larger model. Which model iPhone do you think you’ll get? Tell us in the comments.

Apple Announces iOS 8 and Mac OS X ‘Yosemite’

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

desktop_ios8_iconAt the keynote event for its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference today, Apple announced and previewed the next versions of the operating systems for its mobile devices and Macintosh computers. Both iOS 8 and Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite will be released to the public this fall and will be free of charge.

iOS 8 gets several major upgrades in basic functionality with changes to Siri, Spotlight search, and notifications. Siri can be invoked hands-free with the phrase “Hey, Siri” and will be able to offer song recognition and make purchases from the iTunes store. Spotlight will be able to search the App Store and provide information at a glance from sources like Wikipedia.

Notifications will be more interactive with actions possible without leaving the current app. For example, the notification for a new text message can be dragged downward and replied to immediately without needing to go the Messages app.

Apple is also offering developers more features that will allow them to share data between apps, show data on the lock screen within widgets, and and they will be able to use TouchID to protect apps (to unlock an app like Intuit’s Mint, for example).

Yosemite for Mac will feature a more streamlined interface, updates to Safari, Finder, and Mail, and even greater integration with iOS with Handoff, which lets users pick up editing a document easily when switching between an iOS device and a Mac. Sending files between Macs and iOS devices with AirDrop will also be possible with Yosemite.

iCloud Drive will store files in the cloud and synchronize automatically with users able to access files via Macs and iOS devices.

There are many more changes and new features and you can check out Apple’s press releases for iOS 8 and Yosemite if you want more details and marketing speak. I’m very excited for iOS 8 and the upgrades to Siri and notifications. What are you looking forward to most?

Unlock Your Mac by Knocking on Your iPhone with ‘Knock’

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

knock-ios-iconAre you tired of entering your password to unlock your Mac? Or do you even forego setting up a password for your Mac to avoid the hassle of unlocking it? If you’re like me and tend to carry your iPhone with you everywhere, developer Knock Software released today a unique solution to unlock your Mac using a simple gesture and your iPhone and doesn’t require you to touch your keyboard.

With Knock installed on your iPhone, along with the free companion app for your Mac, all you need to do is knock twice on your iPhone to unlock your Mac. Sounds crazy easy, right? It is and it does work. Here’s a cute promo video for it:

How does it work? The answer is through the magic of Bluetooth Low Energy, a Bluetooth protocol present in Apple’s newest Macs and iOS devices. Through Bluetooth and the Knock app, your Mac will recognize when your iPhone is nearby. When you knock on your iPhone, this signals to Knock to unlock your Mac and it enters your password on your behalf. It works even if your iPhone itself is locked and is in your purse or pocket.

Setting up Knock is easy and the apps will walk you through the process which takes a minute or two. Once you’ve got it set up, Knock will remain active in your Mac’s menu bar to detect your iPhone and enter your password when you knock on it.

Click to enlarge

Knock is similar to Keycard, a Mac app I reviewed that pairs with your iPhone via Bluetooth and automatically locks it when you (and your iPhone) get out of Bluetooth range and unlocks it when you get back to your Mac. However, Knock is different in one key way – you have to prompt it intentionally, whereas Keycard relies only on the proximity of your iPhone to your Mac, which could result in unintentional locking or unlocking.

To use Knock you’ll need both a newer Mac and iOS device that have a Bluetooth 4.0 radio. For guidance on which Macs will work, check out Knock Software’s FAQ.

You can get the Knock app for your Mac for free straight from Knock Software’s site and you can get the iPhone app, which costs $3.99, from the App Store through the link below.

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    Knock – unlock your Mac...

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    Knock to unlock. Faster and safer than typing a password, for iOS and Mac. PLEASE CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR MAC IS COMPATIBLE BEFORE PURCHASING. Compatible Macs are listed in the screenshot below. You...

Apple Releases OS X Mavericks Today as a Free Download

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

mac os mavericks iconAt its media event today, Apple announced that OS X Mavericks, the latest version of the Mac operating system first previewed at WWDC in June., will be available for download today in the Mac App Store for free. 

Mavericks is an incredible release, which introduces significant new apps and features, while also improving the performance and battery life of your Mac,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We want every Mac user to experience the latest features, the most advanced technologies, and the strongest security. We believe the best way to do this is to begin a new era of personal computing software where OS upgrades are free.

Mavericks includes multiple features to improve battery life on Apple’s line of mobile computers as well as enhanced graphics handling, Finder capabilities, multi-monitor support, and more.

iBooks and Maps will come to the Mac in Mavericks and other existing apps have been redesigned and offer integration with iOS devices.

Previous versions of Apple’s Macintosh operating systems were priced at $29 in recent years and the change to $0 for Mavericks is a significant one for Apple. For additional information on the technical specs for Mavericks and compatible computer models, see this page.

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    With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac, introduces Finder Tabs and Tags, enhances multidisplay support, and includes an all-new version of Safari. The...

Apple to Hold Media Event on October 22

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Apple_oct_invite

Image courtesy of AllThingsD

As reported today by AllThingsD, Apple sent invitations to selected media outlets for an event to be held at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on October 22 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

The invitation states “We still have a lot to cover” and it’s widely expected that Apple will unveil new iPad models at this event. Mavericks, the next version of the Macintosh operating system that Apple first revealed in June should also get an official release date at the event and more information about the new Mac Pro models might be provided as well.

For an overview of all of the relevant rumors and everything known to date, check out these round-ups over at our sister site, MacRumors:

Realmac Software Releases ‘Ember’ for Mac

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

ember for mac iconRealmac Software, one of the developers of the popular list app Clear for iPhone and Mac, has released Ember for Mac. Ember is a digital scrapbooking app that lets you save, organize, and share images from the web or just about any other source. Ember is the new version of LittleSnapper, an app with similar functionality that originally debuted in the Mac App Store in early 2011.

If you were a LittleSnapper user, you can import that library right into Ember so you won’t lose anything you’d collected or worked on before. You can save images from the web or another application from your Mac. Realmac offers extensions for Chrome and Safari to make saving images to Ember even easier without leaving your web browser. You can even save screenshots and Ember will automatically recognize and sort those captured on your iPhone or iPad.

You can tag and group your saved images into Collections for easier reference later and you can even do basic editing to annotate, rotate, and crop saved images. Say you’re looking for a perfect outfit for a special occasion and you’ve come across several possibilities online – with Ember you can save images of all of them, add notes on where you found them or accessories you have in mind, and group them into a single category to keep them all in one place. Think of Ember as similar to Pinterest but more powerful and less public (unless you choose to share your collected images via Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other built-in sharing options).

Here’s a promotional video showing Ember in action:

I got a chance to check out Ember before its release and it’s dead simple to save images and tag and organize them. I don’t consider myself a fashionista but I do come across clothing and shoes (mostly boots, which are my weakness) online that I’d like to save and Ember is perfect for this. My only wish is for some sort of cloud synchronization to save your Ember library between multiple Macs automatically, though I imagine this could get unwieldy when large images are involved.

Ember is available now in the Mac App Store for $49.99. If you’re a designer or creative professional or simply into digital scrapbooking, Ember is a great way to save and organize your digital images.

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    *** Mac App Store Best of 2013 *** “Ember is powerful, sexy, smart, and worth every penny.” — MacStories “An uncomplicated app that’s a joy to use” — GigaOm “Ember is an extremely...

Apple Releases ‘Logic Pro X’ and ‘MainStage 3′ for Mac

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

logic pro xApple announced this morning the release of Logic Pro X, the next major version of its profesional audio recording and editing Mac app. Apple also released Logic Pro X companion apps MainStage 3 for Mac and Logic Remote for iPad today.

Logic Pro X lets users create music using a wide range of virtual instruments included with the app or audio imported from other sources or live recordings. Notably, Logic Pro X includes a new Drummer feature that acts a virtual player to automatically add percussion to your music. Another new feature is Flex Pitch that lets users fix out-of-tune vocals.

Logic Pro X is our most powerful version yet, with advanced tools and a modern new interface designed to streamline the process of creating professional quality music,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Musicians are going to love creative new features like Drummer, Flex Pitch, Track Stacks and the Arpeggiator.

Companion app MainStage 3 turns your Mac into a digital rig for live music performances, acting as a control system for connected instruments and virtual instruments and previously-recorded tracks and effects. The new Logic Remote iPad app lets users play Logic Pro X instruments remotely and perform basic project editing and mixing tasks.


logic pro x mac and ipad

Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 are both available in the Mac App Store now for $199.99 and $29.99, respectively. Logic Remote for iPad is also available now in the App Store and is free to download.

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    Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that’s designed to get creative...

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    MainStage 3 lets you take your Mac to the stage with a full-screen interface optimized for live performance, flexible hardware control, and a massive collection of plug-ins and sounds that are fully...

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    Logic Remote is an iPad companion app for Logic Pro X, MainStage 3 and GarageBand on the Mac. Designed to take full advantage of Multi-Touch on iPad, Logic Remote offers new ways to record, mix, and...

‘The Elements’ Interactive Ebook Debuts for Mac

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Elements: A Visual Exploration, an interactive periodic table reference app based on the hardcover book by Theodore Gray, debuted for the iPad in 2010 to much acclaim and Touch Press has just released a version of the app for the Mac. The Elements hit the Mac App Store today and is available for $28.99.

The iPad version currently costs $13.99 and has been downloaded more than 850,000 times to date. The new Mac edition includes the same content but also features “live video demonstrations and experiments” according to the description.

Here’s a promotional video for the newly-available Mac version:

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    The Elements

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    The Elements is a special OS X edition of the highly acclaimed award-winning iPad app now downloaded over 850,000 times. It is based on the best-selling book by Theodore Gray, Popular Science...

‘Chatology’ for Mac Lets You Search Your Messaging History Easily

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

If you’ve ever tried to search Messages or iChat on your Mac to look for a link or picture a friend shared with you, you’ve probably ended up empty-handed and frustrated. Fortunately, there’s now an alternative to the nearly-useless search feature within Apple’s Messages app. Flexibitis, the developer of the excellent Fantastical for iPhone and Mac, has just released Chatology, a Mac app explicitly for searching your messaging history quickly and easily.

Chatology accesses the saved chat logs on your Mac so you can search for specific words or look for images and links. You can search your entire chat history or narrow the search timeframe down to today, or the last week, month, or year. Chatology can even be set to open automatically when you press ⌘F to initiate a search within Messages.

We made Chatology because we were so frustrated searching for our messages,” said Michael Simmons, Co-Founder of Flexibits. “There were no solutions to fix this so we created one, and we think all Messages and iChat users are going to love Chatology as much as we do.

Here’s a video showing how Chatology works:

Chatology isn’t available in the Mac App Store and can only be downloaded directly from the Flexibits Store here. A free download is available that lets you use Chatology without restrictions for 14 days. If you want to buy it outright or after the trial period is over, it will cost you $19.99. You’ll need Mac OS X 10.7 or higher to use Chatology.

If you’re not already familiar with the other apps made by Flexibits, check out Fantastical for iPhone (my review) or the Mac version. I use both versions of Fantastical every single day and I’ve found that Flexibits makes great software.

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    *** Fantastical 2 for iPhone (iOS 7 only) is coming soon and will be a separate purchase. If you use iOS 6, this is your last chance to get Fantastical 1 at a special price before it’s gone! *** ...

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    Presenting the calendar app you'll actually enjoy using. Type in that you have "Lunch with John on Friday at 1pm" and Fantastical will schedule it! Or type in that you need to...