August 29, 2013

Right after releasing its new remote access application Access, Parallels has just announced Parallels Desktop 9 for the Mac. The updated application will support Mavericks and the upcoming Windows Blue/8.1 update and boasts many speed boosts.

Performance improvements with Parallels Desktop 9 are notable – “40 percent improvement in disk performance; virtual machine startup and shutdown are now up to 25 percent faster; and customers can suspend their virtual machines in up to 20 percent less time than before. 3D  graphics and web-browsing were also made noticeably speedier with up to 15 percent improvements for both.”

The company has also brought Power Nap to Windows applications. They’ve also introduced synced cloud services between virtual machines, which means you only have one version on your computer and all virtual machines access the same cloud files.

Pricing

PD 7 or 8 customers will be able to grab this update for $49.99 starting today (download link will be sent immediately). The full version will be available September 5 and remains $79.99 with students paying just $39.99. In addition, the software will come with a free 6-month subscription to Parallels Access ($39.99 value).

We’ll have a complete review of Parallels Desktop 9 when the full version is released on September 5. Press release below: expand full story

From time to time, I find myself needing to send some files from my Mac to my iPhone, or from my phone to my computer. This is especially true with things like screenshots for reviews. In the past I have used Photo Streams or email to get the images from my phone to my Mac, but both of those are a little more annoying than they need to be.

Using a Photo Stream requires me to open iPhoto on my Mac, which means it will probably take forever just to grab a few images. For email I have to select all the images from my Camera Roll and either mail them five-at-a-time from the photos app, or copy them, switch to Mail, paste them into a message (which somehow bypasses the absurd five-image limit on in-line sharing in the Photos app) and then address the message to myself and wait for it to send, then wait for it to arrive on my computer.

There are also a ton of apps that allow you to connect to your phone through a web browser to transfer files, but those require the app to be running on your phone, and for the app to be in a specific mode to receive the files. It’s not seamless and it’s not as effective as it could be.

This is not a good workflow. That’s where DeskConnect comes in. DeskConnect is an pair of apps for iOS and Mac that avoids all of the unpleasantness of connecting the two devices and allows you to seamlessly send files from one to the other.

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9to5toys 

A couple of big new games are landing today for Mac users. We told you about BioShock Infinite earlier this month, the third instalment in the popular 2K/Irrational Games series that originally launched in March to rave reviews on consoles. Mac gaming heavyweights Aspyr have been working on porting the game to Mac since its initial release, and today the game is finally going on sale through Aspyr’s GameAgent store and other retailers. Aspyr sent over a beta of the title last week, and we’ve had nothing but positive first impressions from our time with the game since. The other big Mac title launching today, SimCity, might have had some major issues in its beta, but we’re happy to report you won’t run into similar performance problems with BioShock Infinite.

As usual, the title will support SteamPlay, allowing users to purchase the game once and play on both PC and Mac through Steam. It’s also available on the Mac App Store. However, Aspyr’s own distribution service, GameAgent, is offering some pretty enticing pre-order bonuses if you pick up the title through themexpand full story

Flickr appears to be making a play for the Instagram market with the latest update to its free iOS app adding new filters with live previews and instant editing tools which include the ability to crop photos, adjust colors and add vignettes.

It’s a little late to the party, with Instagram having already expanded into video in a big way after witnessing the popularity of Vine, and of course filters and square crops are built into the revamped Camera app in iOS 7 …  expand full story

August 28, 2013

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