Apple starts new campaign to push businesses to convert tools to iPad apps

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Apple has replaced its iPad in Business apps website with a new site that is much simpler and more direct. The new page highlights multiple specific use cases for which a business could use an iPad, then presents specific applications to complete those tasks. The old website was more cluttered and less specific. The iPhone version of Apple’s business apps website still showcases the older format…

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Apple expands Mac accessory line to over 4,700 US Radio Shacks

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Radio Shack, a US retailler with over 4,700 US locations, has expanded its lineup of Apple products online and in stores. While Radio Shack has long carried iOS devices and accessories including Apple’s Wireless Keyboard, the retail chain is now offering Mac specific accessories including Wired keyboards, Mice/Trackpads, Magsafe power adapters, video adapter/cables and more.  The additions were first noticed by MacRumors.

The move follows Apple’s addition of Staples to it’s stable earlier this year and the combined total of new places to find these items near 6,500 locations in the US. That’s a significant number of new physical locations for Apple customers to find products needed in a pinch.

As 9to5Toys.com points out, RadioShack is also offering $10 in store credit when you purchase $30 worth of pre-tax merchandise making many Radio Shack Apple products the lowest prices we could find them.

Review: LiveSurface Context adds photorealistic previewing to Adobe Illustrator

Designers typically present and visualize their ideas by photographing and Photoshopping or by printing and constructing mock-ups using paper and glue. Both of these are often time-consuming and take designers away from their main focus—designing. LiveSurface is a unique new image library of more than 350 specially constructed image templates that contain 3D surfaces. The pre-built images dramatically shorten the time it takes to create realistic representations of a design idea.

Design can be a tough sell to clients who often don’t know what they want until they see it, and designers often work in the void of the Illustrator Artboard and wait to test their designs on real-world surfaces and materials until later in the design process.

Joshua Distler, Apple alum and creator of LiveSurface, gave us a demo of Context, LiveSurface’s next-generation design tool. Context, now in beta, is a Mac desktop application that integrates with Adobe Illustrator via a plug-in. The application works with Illustrator to allow designers to visualize and present their ideas with just a few clicks… Read more

Square announces POS ‘Business in a Box’ hardware package for iPad starting at $299 [video]

Mobile digital payment company Square announced today on its blog that it will begin selling a “Business in a Box” solution that will act as a full point-of-sale system for iPad-toting business owners. The hardware package starts at $299 and includes two Square Readers, a Heckler Design WindFall iPad Stand, and an APG Vasario 1616 Cash Drawer (as pictured above). For an extra $300, bringing the total price of the package to $599, Square will throw in a Star Micronics TSP143L Receipt Printer. We were able to find all the pieces of the package online (minus the free Square readers) for around $480, although that’s before any taxes or shipping costs.

Neighborhood merchants are increasingly adopting Square Register for its simple interface, smart analytics, continuous updates, and low processing fees. With Business in a Box for Square Register, merchants can now simplify their countertop with an affordable and comprehensive package that includes two Square Readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer, and an optional receipt printer. All work wirelessly with Square Register.

Business owners can learn more about the “Business in a Box” package here. Video of how Almond Surfboards use Square register above.
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Microsoft raises prices on Microsoft Office for Mac, no one notices

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According to Computerworld, Microsoft raised its pricing on Office for Mac 2011 during its Office 365 event last month by as much as 17 percent and stopped selling multi-license packages of the application suite. The move is likely to drive customers to its Office 365 program for PC/Mac that is $99 a year for a family.

The move puts Office for Mac 2011 on the same pricing schedule as the new Office 2013 for Windows. The price increases and the disappearance of the multi-license bundles also makes Microsoft’s Office 365, a software-by-subscription deal the company has aggressively pushed, more competitive with traditional “perpetual” licenses.

It’s not clear when Microsoft raised prices. The oldest search engine cache Computerworld found with the new prices was Feb. 2, so the company boosted them before then, likely on Jan. 29, the day it launched Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft did not mention the changes to Office for Mac in its press releases that day, or otherwise publicize the move on its Mac-specific website.

Indeed, Apple now offers Office for Student/Professional for $140/230Amazon still says it is $119 but notes that Office 2011 is an older version and the newer version that includes a key card is $139 marked down to $131 with a new SKU. You can still buy the multi-user packs at significant discount, but those likely are only while supplies last. Read more