More diverse Emoji characters likely coming with OS X 10.10.3

While the highlight of the OS X 10.10.3 pre-release seed yesterday was the iPhoto replacement app simply called Photos, the beta version of the OS X software update also contains changes to how and which Emoji characters are presented.

First, the new Emoji picker found in the OS X 10.10.3 beta has been redesigned with a new window that allows you to scroll through each category of Emoji characters. The new design is similar to some third-party Emoji keyboards for iOS 8 including Emoji++ as sections no longer require choosing between various pages of characters.

Next, it appears Apple is preparing to include more diverse Emoji characters in the next OS X release as various place holders have been spotted on the beta’s current character picker. Read more

Apple releases OS X 10.10.3 pre-release seed to testers with all-new Photos app

Photos for Mac iCloud Photo Library

Apple is rolling out the first pre-release seed of OS X 10.10.3 to testers and developers today including the all-new Photos app with support for iCloud Photo Library beta. Previously, iCloud Photo Library was only available for desktop users through iCloud.com using a web app. The new Photos app replaces iPhoto while Aperture is also no longer being developed. Apple first announced the new Photos app at WWDC 2014 and later added that development would no longer continue on either iPhoto or Aperture. Adobe released a tool last fall to help Aperture users migrate photos to their pro app Lightroom. Read more

Apple pushes pre-release OS X 10.10.2 (14C106a) preview to testers

OS X 10.10.2 beta

After several preview releases to testers, Apple has pushed yet another OS X 10.10.2 build to pre-release Yosemite testers through the Updates section of the Mac App Store. Previous builds of the Mac operating system focused on improving bugs with WiFi, Mail, and VoiceOver, and this pre-release seed is no exception. We’ll update our coverage with what we find in the latest pre-release seed. Read more

Dropbox will no longer support OS X 10.5 or older starting May 18th

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Dropbox has announced through an email to users on older versions of OS X that it will soon be discontinuing support for computers running Leopard or other older versions of the operating system. Users still running anything older than OS X 10.6 will need to upgrade in order to continue using future versions of the Dropbox app.

Users who don’t upgrade will still be able to use the web-based Dropbox manager, but will be automatically signed out of the Mac app. From that point forward, they will not be able to login back into the Mac client until they are on a newer version of OS X.

The changes will go into effect on May 18th, so users still have plenty of time to upgrade their software (or hardware, if necessary). The full email is included below:

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Apple seeds new OS X 10.10.2 beta with build number 14C99d to developers

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Apple has released a new beta version of OS X 10.10.2 to developers through the App Store’s software update mechanism and the Mac Developer Center. The update, which has a build number of 14C99d (compared to 14C94b in the previous release) is not yet available to AppleSeed users.

The 10.10.2 update will include fixes for common Wi-Fi problems, issues with the built-in Mail app, VoiceOver, and more. With only one week passing between pre-release builds, it seems the patch is getting closer to completion, and could be expected for public release soon.

OS X Yosemite Spotlight search ignores Mail content setting posing potential security risk

OS X Yosemite Mail

Apple’s Mac operating system is generally considered to be secure, but German security researchers have discovered what appears to be an oversight in how OS X 10.10 Yosemite’s overhauled search feature, Spotlight, handles remote content loading in messages through the default Mail app.

As Ars Technica reports, Spotlight search on OS X Yosemite appears to be overriding Mail’s security feature that prevents content stored on remote servers like images from being loaded which spammers can use to track personal information including IP address and more. Read more

Apple to widen pre-release iOS testing by roping in retail employees

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Apple will begin providing select retail store employees access to upcoming versions of iOS in order to widen its pre-release testing program, according to multiple sources. The program will begin in the near-future with an upcoming iOS release, perhaps version 8.2, which is slated to be released alongside the Apple Watch

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Apple’s next major Mac revealed: the radically new 12-inch MacBook Air

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Apple is preparing an all-new MacBook Air for 2015 with a radically new design that jettisons standards such as full-sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors, and SD card slots in favor of a markedly thinner and lighter body with a higher-resolution display. Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine, and our exclusive artist renditions of the revamped MacBook Air provide the first close look at Apple’s first major step in mobile Mac computing since the Retina MacBook Pro launch in 2012.

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Mac Pro monitor review: The best 4K & UHD monitors for Mac

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So Apple didn’t release a 4K (or 5K) standalone Retina display alongside the new 5K iMac, but you can’t hold off any longer on a shiny new display for your Mac Pro. I found myself in the same predicament not too long ago and decided to put a number of displays to the test in recent months. 4K might offer 4x the resolution of your standard 1080p display, but for the short time they’ve been around, they’ve also cost about 4x as much as the alternatives. The good news: There are a few Mac Pro compatible 4K displays (and UHD alternatives) finally starting to hit more reasonable price points just as recent OS X updates fix some issues early adopters first had with the higher resolution displays.

I’ve been testing Mac Pro compatible displays from Dell, Sharp, Samsung, LG, and others that are officially supported by Apple, and put together a list of my thoughts and top picks for those planning on picking up a new Mac Pro this holiday season. Despite my tests being done mostly on a new, stock Mac Pro, these picks stand for Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook users as well.

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Apple announces iTunes Best of 2014: apps, music, movies, TV shows and books

best-of-2014

Apple has announced its favorite apps, music, movies, TV shows and books of the year, with Elevate – Brain Training declared iPhone App of the Year while number puzzle game Threes! won iPhone Game of the Year.

For the iPad, ‘desktop-class’ image editor Pixelmator took the top slot, with the gorgeous Monument Valley winning best game. Both Threes! and Monument Valley previously won Apple Design Awards at WWDC back in June …  Read more