iOS 6 code points to integration of Apple Maps on Intel-based Macs

Since Apple unveiled its new in-house Maps app for iOS 6, we have discovered bits and pieces of what it has planned for the final release this fall. Apple already showed off Yelp integration, turn-by-turn navigation, and the 3D flyover mode, and it appears to be utilizing a new Avenir typeface. Today, Techpp posted a code dump from the iOS 6 maps app courtesy of developer Cody Cooper who found some interesting evidence of potential Maps integration with OS X:

Our developer friend, Cody Cooper has now stumbled upon an interesting code dump in iOS 6 maps application which hints at the possibility of Apple Maps coming to Macs in the near future.

During his routine investigation of Maps app, Cody found some interesting bits in the file altitude_manifest.xml

In this XML file, there is a reference to a set of Intel based graphics chipsets for which certain features like Shading are disabled.

While this is not solid proof that Apple is working on a full-blown Maps app for Mac, it could hint at possible integration between core apps and features in Mountain Lion and Maps on iOS. For example, location features in iPhoto could integrate with iOS Maps. As noted in the report, the code refers to shading being disabled for older Intel chipsets, which Cooper guessed could likely not support the app’s shading features. We will do some digging, and then update you if we discover anything new. The public release of Mountain Lion is scheduled for this month. Read more

Modbook Pro: Pen-based OS X tablet returns as a converted 13-inch MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion

Almost three years before Apple launched the original iPad in 2010, a company by the name of Axiotron unveiled the first “Mac tablet” with the launch of the Modbook—a stylus-based tablet running OS X that is made from a converted MacBook Pro. Today, the Modbook is officially returning thanks to one of its original developers and designers. Former co-founder of the now-defunct Axiotron, Andreas Haas, and his new company LA-based Modbook Inc., today announced the new Modbook Pro- “the world’s most powerful and largest-screen tablet computer.”

Like past generations of the Modbook, the Modbook Pro uses the guts of one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros. The company will offer two configurations, both with a 13.3-inch, 1,280-by-800 flush-mounted display, based off the specs for the recently refreshed non-Retina MBPs running Mountain Lion:

The Modbook Pro’s configurable base system includes a 2.5GHz dual core Intel® Core™ i5 processor or 2.9GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5–inch SATA drive (up to 1TB HDD or up to 960GB SSD), an 8X SuperDrive® DVD burner, an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capability

The company is promising seven hours on a full charge from a built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (Modbook will also utilize a 60W MagSafe adapter). As for the digitizer and included stylus, Modbook will once again use Wacom tech:

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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.

Apple releases Safari 5.1.5 with minor bug fix

Apple just released Safari 5.1.5 on its website and through Software Update, and it only contains a fix for a bug “that could affect website usability” when in 32-bit mode. The update follows a larger release earlier this month with Safari 5.1.4, which included a long list of Javascript, PDF, and HTML5 related security and performance improvements. In February, Apple rolled out Safari 5.2 for Lion to developers as part of the Mountain Lion preview. That release will likely be available to the public alongside Mountain Lion this summer.

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Air Display update makes iPad a Retina monitor for Mac, enables HiDPI mode

Developer Avatron announced its “Air Display” app, which allows iPhones, iPads and Macs to act as a second or third monitor, would be implementing support for the 2048-by-1536 resolution of the new iPad’s 264-DPI Retina display. That means you will soon be able to use your third-generation iPad as a 2048-by-1536 computer monitor.

The update will also benefit the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S with “dramatically better frame rates.” In addition, the upcoming update will allow you to enable HiDPI mode in Lion or Mountain Lion, a “feature in Mac OS X that renders with double-resolution on a double-resolution screen.” The results of turning on HiDPI mode in OS X is viewable in the image to the right. Avatron explained on its blog:

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