Apple seeds new OS X 10.9.3 beta build (13D55) to developers

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Apple has just seeded a new build (13D55) of OS X Mavericks to developers. The update is currently showing for users on the beta from the Dev Center and doesn’t seem to be showing up yet for members of the recently-reopened AppleSeed program. This release is expected to include improved USB syncing in iTunes and enhanced support for 4k monitors on newer MacBook Pros.

Typically Apple increases the frequency of beta builds as it gets closer to the public release of a piece of software. The previous OS X build was released one week ago, indicating that Apple is possibly preparing to release 10.9.3 in the very near future. The full release notes for this build are below, and once again point developers to areas such as graphics and audio drivers, Safari, Mail, and iTunes USB syncing of contacts and calendars as key areas to test.

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Apple acquires beta testing platform TestFlight through Burstly purchase

TestFlight App

Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular beta testing platform Test Flight, TechCrunch reported (now confirmed by Recode). TestFlight recently pulled its SDK as well as Android support  prompting speculation that big changes were on the horizon. Some speculated that an Apple acquisition could behind it all and would make sense considering the fragmented beta testing experience for app developers. While neither company has commented publicly confirming the acquisition, we were pointed to hints of the acquisition just before TechCrunch reported the rumor as likely and later updated its reporting to note that the acquisition had already occurred… Read more

Apple seeds OS X 10.9.1 beta build 13B35 to developers, includes release notes; Safari 6.1.1 seed also updated

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Apple has just released an update for the developer seed of OS X 10.9.1. The new version has a build number of 13B35 and includes fixes for the Mail app, VoiceOver, Safari, and VPN server support. The presence of the release notes indicate that the update is nearing completion and will be available to the public soon.

This update comes just a few weeks after updates to the Mail and iBooks software were released to resolve issues with those apps. Despite the Mail app having been updated to resolve Gmail-related issues, many users are still experiencing problems. The 10.9.1 appears to contain fixes for the remaining bugs.

Apple has also issued a new beta version of Safari 6.1.1 for Lion and Mountain Lion users. This version of Safari is curiously absent from the Mavericks beta that was seeded today.

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iWork for iCloud apps add promised collaboration features, folders, more

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Back at Apple’s October 22nd iPad Air event, the company also unveiled an update to its iWork for iCloud online productivity suite beta that included new real-time collaboration features, easier sharing, and more. The ability to collaborate went live initially, but today Apple is rolling a handful of other new features to the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote iWork for iCloud apps.

New features going live today include a new list to view all collaborators currently working on a project, as well as “cursors and selections” for each person editing a document, presentation, or spreadsheet. Apple also notes that you can now “Instantly jump to a collaborator’s cursor by clicking their name in the collaborator list.”

In addition, all apps today receive new folders to organize files, the ability to print from the Tools menu, and the Keynote app gets right-click to skip slides.

You can check out the new features in the Numbers, Pages, and Keynote app on iCloud.com now. Full list of what’s new below: Read more

Nearly two years after launch, Siri seems to exit ‘beta’ with iOS 7

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With the iPhone 4S launch nearly two years ago, Apple introduced the Siri voice control system to its customers. At launch, Siri was a gimmicky feature at best, being released with bugs, a highly-computerized voice, sluggish content loading, and unreliable servers. In addition, Siri of 2011 was short on user compatibility, only launching with knowledge of English, French, and German. Apple certainly did not deny the early issues with Siri: the company launched the product in “beta,” a tag that has remained on the software ever since.

Since 2011, Apple has been slowly improving the service. In early 2012, Siri gained support for Japanese, and with iOS 6 in late 2012, the service added support for several new languages and capabilities. With iOS 7, Siri has been given a redesigned user-interface, new functionality, and all-new voices. Many of the server errors and lengthy processing time issues that riddled the product in its early days have now disappeared; and it seems that Apple agrees. With the upcoming launch of iOS 7, it appears that Apple will finally be taking Siri out of “beta.”

Late this past week, Apple updated its Siri webpages to drop all references to the product being in beta. Prior to this past week, the bottom of the Siri informational page read:

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Apple releases OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 7

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A couple of weeks following the previous seed, Apple has released OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 7 to registered developers. The update is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store. If you find anything new, you can let us know at tips@9to5mac.com. We’ll be updating this post as changes are discovered. A new Apple Remote Desktop 3.7 seed has also been issued.

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Apple releases OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 6

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Apple has seeded the sixth Developer Preview of the upcoming OS X Mavericks. The new preview is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store. This preview comes a few weeks after Developer Preview 5. Preview 5 added iBooks to Mavericks.

Also available today for developers are updated Remote Desktop apps, an updated SDK, and a new Safari 6.1 seed for OS X Mountain Lion.

Mavericks will be available for the general public this fall. We will be updating this post as changes in the new preview are discovered.

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Apple cracking down on retail employee usage, sharing, and discussion of iOS 7 beta

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According to several Apple Retail employees, Apple management is cracking down on employee usage of the current iOS 7 betas. These people say that store managers and Apple’s Human Resources representatives are contacting employees that are discovered to be using the iOS 7 beta. Apple would like to make sure that these employees obtained the iOS 7 beta via official Developer channels, not third-party websites.

However, the larger concern is that some Apple managers feel that Apple Retail employees are purchasing developer accounts and distributing the iOS 7 beta to colleagues. Apple Human Resources, we’re told, has reminded employees of the official iOS Development rules via the RetailMe internal app. These rules, which employees agree to when they become an Apple retail employee, state that employees cannot install an iOS beta unless they are a registered member of the developer program:

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Hack brings Russian subscription TV service ‘UnliMovie.tv’ to Apple TV, no jailbreak required

Russian blog iGuides.ru points us to a new hack for Apple TV users that brings Russian subscription TV & movie service Unlimovie.tv to the device with no jailbreak required. The service, which is currently in beta, requires users to manually change the DNS on their device (easily accessible from within Settings) in order to access its digital TV service directly through Apple’s own Trailers app.

It isn’t the first hack of its kind: Just a couple weeks back, one of our favorite media servers, Plex, arrived on Apple TV without a jailbreak through what appeared to be a similar hack of the stock Trailers app.

The Unlimovie.tv service is currently in beta, allowing users to access a number of Russian digital TV channels for free, but the creators plan to officially launch the service in September through its paid subscriptions. That is, of course, if Apple doesn’t put an end to it in the meantime. Read more

From beta 1 to release: how each major iOS version has transformed

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Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

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