Clear, Pinterest, Jingu Friends, Square Wallet, Fantastical for iPhone, iDisplay, more

News:

Pay with Square at Starbucks: We already knew Starbucks was signed up to bring Square payments to 7,000 of its stores via the newly renamed “Square Wallet” app. Starbucks just confirmed in a press release that starting today it will officially begin accepting Square payments via a scanned QR.

Fantastical for iPhone: Those familiar with the Mac OS X desktop version of the Fantastical app will be pleased to know developers Flexbits have announced an iPhone version is in the works and coming soon. The Mac version is a slick, menu bar item calendar app for access to reminders and calendar functions, but also has support for iCal, BusyCal, Entourage, Outlook, iCloud, Google Calendar or Yahoo! Calendar. You can sign up to find out when it becomes available here.

New app releases:

Clear for Mac: We knew it was coming and today the Mac App Store version of the popular Clear to do app for iPhone officially makes its way to the Mac.

Jingu Friends:Originally available as a BlackBerry app with more than a million downloads since May 2011 and 3.5 million messages sent monthly, the developers of the Jingu Friends app have released an iOS version of the app today on the App Store. The app allows you to discover new people to chat with through a lounge environment that “immediately drops you into a global conversation stream where you can listen or participate.” From there you can find out more about the messaging apps participants use:

All messages posted on Jingu Friends are public, but users can take their conversations private through seamless integration into smartphone messaging apps like BBM, Hookt, WhatsApp and Kik.

Dragon’s Lair: The classic arcade game already made its way to iPhone and iPad earlier this year, and now the Mac version is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99 now.

FreshBooks for iPad: FreshBooks is coming to the iPad today with version 1.1 introducing a universal app that now supports both iPhone and iPad.

FreshBooks – The Fastest Way To Track Time, Organize Expenses & Invoice Your Clients, Anytime, Anywhere.

Updates: 

Pinterest version 2.1: Pinterest is introducing a new feature today that allows users to create up to three secret boards to share with friends and family. In a blog post, Pinterest explained how to use the new feature: “go to your profile, tap on the Boards tab, and scroll down to the bottom until you see a button that says Create a Secret Board.”

• Block or report other users
• Create up to 3 secret boards
• Edit boards from your device

Clear version 1.2: Clear for iPhone gets a big update today that brings iCloud support, the ability to share quotes on Twitter and Facebook, quick list switching, and more: Read more

Sony confirms Sound Forge Pro audio production suite for Mac

Following a string of teaser videos in recent months, Sony appears to have confirmed its Sound Forge Pro audio editing software will make its way to Mac. MacRumors pointed us to the video above, posted by FinallyOnMac, which shows the software running on a MacBook Pro.

We can see from the video above that the software has been redesigned for OS X, but we still do not know when the production suite will make its way to OS X or for how much. The PC edition of Sound Forge Pro 10 currently sells for around $375. Its obvious competition is Apple’s own Logic Pro 9 suite, which became a $199 Mac App Store app as of last year, down from the its old $499 Logic Studio offering. We are getting our hands on Sound Forge for Mac soon to give you our first impressions.

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Use Mountain Lion’s new Wi-Fi Scan utility to optimize your home wireless network

A new Wi-Fi scanner tool is in Mountain Lion’s refreshed Wi-Fi Diagnostics Utility, allowing users to easily discover Wi-Fi networks within range and view related data not available from Apple’s Wi-Fi menu bar item. Comparable to third-party Wi-Fi stumbler tool iStumbler, the scan tool provides data for BSSID, band, protocol, channel, signal strength, security, and more. It also has Active and Passive scan modes.

From the window, you can see what networks are in your area and their strength. Some maneuvering of base stations can increase coverage to the outermost areas of your house, and it is much, much easier to see slight differences in numerical signal vs. noise strength over those four waves Apple uses in its Wi-Fi menu.

Additionally, by looking at what Channel (1-13) your base station is on, compared to your neighbors (or other base stations in your house), you can often find the least used channel in your area to improve reception.

If you are interested in using the new Wi-Fi scanner tool, OSX Daily provided the necessary steps for quick access:
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OS X Game Center launches with few, yet notable, game titles

One of the big new features in OS X Mountain Lion is the Game Center. This Game Center is cross platform between OS X and iOS. Unfortunately, only a few compatible titles have made their way into Mac App Store for today’s launch. However, some of them are very notable. Some of our favorites include Real Racing 2, Sky Gamblers, and Cut the Rope.

Oh, and don’t forget about… Chess!

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Reminder: Mountain Lion will be free for 30 days for new Mac owners

Update 2: After a brief time online, Apple appears to have taken down the form to request a copy of Mountain Lion. You’ll still be able to request a copy at Apple’s original link following Mountain Lion’s official release.

Update: As noted by MacRumors, Apple’s form to request a free copy of Mountain Lion for new Mac owners is already live on the company’s website. After entering details about your purchase, personal details, and the serial numbers of your new Mac, Apple sends two emails —one with a password protected redemption code and another containing the password— to open it. The redemption code is not yet working in the Mac App Store.

Apple previously confirmed, when it unveiled the new Retina MacBook Pros and refreshed Mac lineups, that Mountain Lion would be available for free to those who purchased a Mac after June 11 through the Up-to-Date program. Since then, Apple has updated its website to confirm the free copy will be available to new Mac owners for 30 days from the release date, which will likely be sometime after tomorrow’s Q3 earnings call. Those who purchase a new Mac following Mountain Lion’s release will also have 30 days to claim their copy on Apple’s website.

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Apple Store overnights happening July 24. Mountain Lion launch the next day?

We’ve heard a few whispers (3 and counting) that Apple Stores both in the United States and overseas have planned overnights for Tuesday, July 24th. With OS X Mountain Lion launching “in July”, according to Apple, we believe that it is sensible to speculate that this overnight may point to a public launch the following day.

This purported launch would be July 25th, a date that we speculated when Apple announced that its Q3 2012 earnings would be announced on the 24th. For OS X Lion’s launch last year, Apple announced the July 20th release at its July 19th Q3 2011 earnings announcement. It appears that Apple may follow that same pattern this year.

This year, Mountain Lion isn’t being launched alongside hardware (last year new Minis and Airs launched with Lion) so there is less setup required and accordingly, we’re hearing that the overnights will be smaller.  One employee tells us that it is basically just a few guys running around with the master image installing it on every Mac.  Notably, some stores we’ve spoken to haven’t heard of any overnight…yet.

On the other hand, Apple often holds Tuesday overnights, so this July 24th overnight may simply be a coincidence, and Apple may not launch OS X Mountain Lion on the 25th. But, there is already under two weeks left in July, and with last year’s launch pattern prime for repetition (launch announcement during the upcoming earnings call), we’d say a July 25th launch is increasingly likely.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be a $19.99 upgrade which will hit the Mac App Store on launch day.  Developers already have what is likely the Golden Master – build number is 12A269, a 4.34 GB Mac App Store download.

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OmniPlan for iPad packs a professional punch at $50, despite limited sharing and syncing features

So, you want to manage a project and need the perfect app to aid the process. First decide whether you are a professional manager, or an amateur just seeking a better scheduling app, before jumping into this hands-on. If you are the latter, OmniPlan for iPad is definitely not the productivity app for you. With that said, this review is a little ironic for me. I am probably the most unorganized person alive. Anyway, let’s delve into the nitty gritty on this whopping $49.99 app available at the App Store.

A picture gallery is below.

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Skype 5.8 for Mac out with redesigned contact list & full 10.8 Mountain Lion support

Skype updated its Mac client today to version 5.8 to add full support for 10.8 Mountain Lion and a number of features that aim to bring the app up to par with the current Windows version. Perhaps the most notable new feature included in the update is a refined contact list that replaces the old floating menu. Accessible from the “Window” menu, the new Contacts Monitor (pictured right) provides a simplified view of your contacts in a window that can be repositioned and resized. Skype said it is meant to be much like older versions, such as Skype 2.8, that users seemed to prefer. The new contact list also has filters such as “Friends” and “Family,” and the ability to right-click to start a call or new message.

Another new feature for Skype 5.8 on Mac previously only available to Windows users is access to group screen sharing. The feature is for premium subscribers, but it supports up to groups of 10 with only one member of the group required to have a premium subscription. You will also now be able to share your video feed simultaneously while screen-sharing with multiple users.

A few other updates we noticed in the latest release:

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Apple announces Mountain Lion ships in July for $19.99

After giving a demonstration for some of the new features in Mountain Lion today, Apple confirmed during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote that Mountain Lion would ship in July for just $19.99. That price is good for Lion and Snow Leopard users who want to upgrade all their personal Macs. Apple also noted it would be free for all developers attending WWDC. Apple will ship a developer preview today.

Stay tuned to our live blog for the latest updates.

Reflection and AirParrot apps bring Windows screen mirroring to Apple TV, iOS mirroring to PCs

We told you about Mac OS X apps AirParrot and Reflection in the past. Developed by app makers Squirrels, AirParrot allows you to mirror your Mac’s screen on an Apple TV-connected TV, while Reflection provides mirroring of iOS devices to any Mac display. The developers have since followed up with updates to both of the apps bringing many requested features such as audio and Mountain Lion support, but they released PC versions of both apps today that allow you to mirror your iOS device to a Windows machine or a PC’s screen to an Apple TV.

As for the Windows version of Reflection, it will release with all the same features as the OS X client, including: screen recording, audio support, frame colors, full screen mode, multiple device mirroring, and more. The first release of the AirParrot PC app will just provide basic screen mirroring features initially due to roadblocks during development. Head developer David Stanfill, who is also the founder of Napkin Studio, told us about the difficulties of bringing the AirPlay mirroring functionality to PCs and provided us with screenshots of the apps below:

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Updated OS X Mountain Lion Preview 3, 10.7.4, Xcode builds seeded to developers

Apple has released software updates to both of their already acknowledged, unreleased Mac OS X updates: Mountain Lion and Lion 10.7.4. The OS X Mountain Lion is a not a full new Developer Preview, but is simply an update to the already released Developer Preview 3. Changes are currently unknown, but please send in anything you find to tips@9to5mac.com. The update weighs in at 1.45GB on a MacBook Air, but that may vary on other machines. Similiarly, Apple released a few minor developer preview updates during the OS X Lion beta period.

In addition, Apple has seeded a new build of 10.7.4 to developers. The build number is 11E53, and this is notable as this is only a single build shift from last week’s release of 10.7.4 build 11E52. A slow down in build number changes often means an imminent release of whatever OS X update is being tested. Augmenting this possibility is that Apple has added the 10.7.4 change log to the installer application for the beta. Apple says the build has no known issues but asks developers to focus their testing on graphics, iCal, Mail, Printing, and Time Machine.

Apple has also released Developer Preview 4 of Xcode 4.4. The Xcode preview requires either OS X Mountain Lion or OS X Lion.

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Samsung denies organizing anti-Apple ‘Wake Up’ campaign

Samsung just officially denied any involvement with the “Wake Up” protest held outside of an Australian Apple Store earlier this week.

According to SlashGear, the company stepped forth today and rebuffed any ties to the affair: ”Samsung Electronics Australia has nothing to do with the ‘Wake-Up Campaign’.”

For currently unknown reasons, a puzzling demonstration with anti-Apple cues occurred outside an Apple Store in Sydney April 22. A black bus boasted the phrase “WAKE UP” and a slew of paid picketers with coordinating signs paraded along George Street while chanting, “Wake up!”

The staged fuss accompanied a series of billboards posted around the city, as well as “WAKE UP” written on the bottom of Bondi Ice Bergs’ pool, and a baffling website at wake-up-australia.com.au that features a focal point countdown. The URL is registered to ad agency New Dialogue, which underwent rebranding and now goes by the name “Tongue.”  

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