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

AOL Corporate disables meeting management via iPhones due to Apple iOS 6.1 bug

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AOL has informed its corporate employees that it has temporarily disabled the ability to manage meetings via mobile devices due to a bug with Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch iOS 6.1 operating system. We received an internal email from a source detailing the announcement from AOL CIO Michael Freker.

Below is a statement from Freker to 9to5Mac that details the situation:

AOL’s corporate Enterprise Messaging Operations team has been monitoring a rapidly increasing and unusually large volume of traffic across our enterprise mail environment originating from iOS devices running the new iOS 6.1 update. We have researched this problem and appears to be connected to a recently identified issue that seems to cause these iOS devices to continuously loop while synchronizing a recurring calendar meeting invitation. Similar problems have been reported by a number of sources to several media outlets across the Web in the past few days. While our team continues to work productively and rapidly with Apple and Microsoft to resolve the issue, it has been necessary to temporarily disable the ability to accept or manage calendar meetings using mobile devices to ensure that we maintain the integrity of our corporate enterprise messaging platform. Since this change is limited to managing calendar invitations, by disabling them temporarily we allow our employees to continue to experience the excellent productivity these devices bring to our enterprise until this issue is resolved.

The iOS 6.1 bug causes a “continuous loop” when meetings are attempted to be managed. This leads to a degraded iOS device performance and battery life experience. AOL is working with Microsoft and Apple to resolve the issue.

Issues with iOS 6.1’s Exchange support has also been highlighted on Microsoft’s forums. “I had a user upgrade to 6.1 and immediately after he finished, his [iPhone/iPad] started causing excessive logging on the exchange server,” one of the postings reads. ZDNet also notes the issue with iOS 6.1 and Exchange servers.

Earlier this week, Apple seeded iOS 6.1.1 to registered developers. The iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch software update adds enhancements to Maps for Japan. It is unclear if that update fixes the enterprise-related issues. Earlier today, Vodafone informed customers that an iOS 6.1 bug can cause performance issues for iPhone 4S users.

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Staples advertises Apple TV for $49, is the office retail giant going to sell Apple products?

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Here’s an interesting find sent by a tipster. Staples, the biggest office retailer in the United States, has a page showing an Apple TV with a list price of $49.99. While that price is very low, we were not able to add it to our cart or check out because the following page said “out of stock” (screenshots below). Staples also recommended a $24.99 Apple Lightning charge and sync cable when you visit the page. In fact, there is a bunch of Apple’s products sitting on “Mockup Pages” section.

What’s going on here?

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Apple removes Java applet plugin from OS X, continuing push for plugin-free web

Further pushing toward the idea of a plugin-free internet, Apple has issued an update to Java for OS X that removes the Java applet plugin. Attempting to use a Java applet through any OS X web browser will now prompt users to download the latest version directly from Java maker Oracle.

This is not the first time Apple has stopped shipping a specific browser plugin with their computers. With OS X Lion, users discovered that their Macs no longer came with Adobe’s oft-derided Flash Player plugin due to its instability and security issues. Apple has long held browser plugins in contempt, especially following the success of iOS, which hasn’t supported browser plugins at all in the past six years.

Just about every Mac Trojan/vulnerability over recent months and years has been related to outdated Java code. This move should close off those attack vectors.

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Apperian launches first administrative remote control solution for iOS [Video]

Apperian just launched “Remote Control for iOS”, a feature for its Enterprise App Services Environment that it called “the first and only solution that empowers IT departments to remotely view and interact with employee’s iOS devices as if the device was directly in front of them.” The solution works from anywhere, even over cellular networks, provides per-app privacy settings for end users, and it allows admins to control iOS devices through a web browser with no additional coding or software necessary:

Mobile devices go anywhere and everywhere – so there’s no need to be on the same local network or use a VPN to use Remote Control. An administrator can remotely control a device that is behind a home router, firewall or captive network with no additional configuration. It even works over cellular network, so you can provide support to a user no matter where they are.

A video demo of the feature is above, while the company’s full press release is below:
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Google Chairman talks Maps and Apple

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sat down for an AllThingsD talk last night with Walt Mossberg. Among other topics, they not-surprisingly discussed Android and his thoughts on Apple. Much of the talk centered around Schmidt’s thoughts on the Android-Apple platform fight, which he called “the defining fight in the industry today.” He also noted there is a “huge race specifically between Apple and the Android platform for additional features,” and he commented on Apple’s Maps situation:

The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.

At the 17:30 mark, Schmidt began to talk about Apple’s new Maps app controversy: “Apple should have kept with our maps”… Read more

Parallels 8 virtualization software announced, available September 4, free upgrade to recent Parallels 7 customers

Parallels just announced the availability of its next generation of virtualization software for the Mac. Although details are scant at this point, it is safe to assume it is optimized for Mountain Lion and Windows 8.

Notable: If you purchase/purchased Parallels 7 after July 25 (Mountain Lion’s release date), you are eligible for a free copy of Parallels 8. Not too shabby.

Buy a FULL or UPGRADE version of Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac TODAY and you will receive an upgrade to our next version at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

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