27-inch iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive can’t yet do Boot Camp, early adopters frustrated

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As customers begin receiving the new iMac this month, business-end users and gamers may find one issue when booting up their new machine. As reader Michael Verde first shared with us, the built-to-order 27-inch iMac configuration with a 3TB Fusion Drive (an extra $400) will not allow any Boot Camp use. This essentially cuts off access to a full Windows experience that some Mac users may want to benefit from. Many might consider this a bummer, as a sizable amount of users turn to Boot Camp to access necessary Windows programs or just simply enjoy Windows paired with Mac hardware.

Apple highlighted the issue on both its iMac configuration and Fusion Drive explanation page. “Boot Camp Assistant is not supported at this time on 3TB hard drive configurations,” Apple said in buried text. “At this time,” could mean the feature is enabled down the road in a software update, but it is non-existent as of now.

There are virtualization solutions, such as Parelles and VM Ware, that provide a Windows experience, but they do not offer a full experience that many may want. Boot Camp users include gamers who want to run games at full settings and business users looking to use specific business apps in a full Windows environment.

Right now it is not clear what the cause is, or if it has anything to do with Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology, but it seems that Boot Camp is limited to hard drive with less than 2TB of space (PC World has a good explanation for this). Announced in October and shipping in the new Mac Mini and iMacs, the top Fusion Drive configuration provides 128GB of flash storage coupled with 3TB of HDD space. The cheaper configuration, 128GB Flash Storage + 1TB HDD, supports Boot Camp. So, we have to wonder: what is holding back the more expensive configuration? We reached out to Apple for comment.

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USA Today survey: 42 percent of Windows upgraders plan on switching to Apple

Internet software firm Avast conducted a USAToday survey of Windows users to determine the number of people willing to upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating system, and the findings churned out some surprising responses.

According to USAToday, which noted the survey polled users of Avast’s anti-virus PC software on Oct. 25, the day before Windows 8 launched, nearly half of Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP users intend to switch to an Apple product rather than upgrade to Windows 8.

“Many households already have multiple PCs, and people are keeping their computers longer,” explained Avast’s Director of Strategy Jonathan Penn. “More people are going to the iPad as their second or third computing device.”

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Parallels 8 updated with USB 3.0 support, Windows 8 tablet gestures, more

Parallels introduced a big update today for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. It includes new features for Windows 8 users, full USB 3.0 support, and improved Retina display settings. On top of support for Windows 8 tablet gestures, Parallels is including a Windows 8 tile that allows users to access shared Mac apps. According to Parallels, the update also includes faster USB 3.0 performance, an increased limit for virtual machines running large apps, and “Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode”:

Now Mac users can enjoy new features including Windows 8 tablet gestures and use a Windows 8 interface tile to access shared Mac apps.  These updates, plus the already deep Parallels Desktop 8 integration of Mac OS X and Windows 8, enable people to also use Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature in Windows applications, add Windows apps to Launchpad and the Mac Dock, enjoy brilliant Retina display resolution for Windows apps and more – making Parallels Desktop 8 an ideal way to run Windows 8 on a Mac without rebooting. Read more

Parallels warns Mac users to not upgrade to Windows 8

Parallels for Mac virtualization software has been getting major updates this year with the recent release of version 8, making it even easier to run Mac and Windows apps side by side. In version 7, it made it a lot easier to upgrade and buy copies of Windows directly from within the app, and we even had a Windows 8 developer preview up and running. Unfortunately, with today’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, Parallel’s is warning Mac users that the app is not ready to update to the new OS.

In a support document on the company’s website, it issued a “critical and urgent Windows 8 service advisory” telling customers it should wait before upgrading from an existing installation of Windows to Windows 8: Read more

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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Amazon releases Cloud Drive desktop app for Mac and Windows

Amazon just launched its Cloud Drive app for Mac and Windows.

The Amazon Cloud service unveiled last year, but now users can play with the desktop app counterpart, rather than their browser, to manage files in the cloud. Folders and files can transfer in the background, but the service does not support syncing or a native desktop browsing client like Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and SugarSync.

Cloud Drive offers all customers 5GB of free online storage with unlimited access from any computer. Additional storage plans start at 20GB and extend to 1,000 GB. Unlimited music space is currently available with any paid Cloud Drive storage plan for the duration of an existing plan term. Click here to start installing the free Mac app now.

The install is easy, as seen in the gallery below. There are a few ways to get a file or folder into Amazon’s Cloud once the app is installed: Just drag and drop to the new Cloud icon (looks similar to iCloud) in the Menu bar, or right-click/control-click on files and folders to see a new menu item that allows uploading.

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Apple subsidiary FileMaker releases new version of its flagship product, makes iOS version free

Apple subsidiary FileMaker has announced a new version of their flagship software product, FileMaker 12, with new database creation tools and themes. The Mac version of FileMaker 12 gain improved 64 bit support as well as wide area network support, enhance support for large databases, and add fast file and multimedia-content streaming. Database and project creation are now easier and faster with new and more intuitive themes on the Mac. The most important addition to the product is its more streamlined interface for creating interfaces that run on iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. Additionally, a new iOS device application is available for free. The app takes many features from the desktop product but is mostly used to run Mac-created databases. The Mac and iOS apps work in tandem.

The full press release is after the break.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview out of the gate: Demoed on 82-inch touchscreen supporting 10 simultaneous users

Microsoft issued the Windows 8 Consumer Preview today for everyone to download and try. Demonstrating the operating system’s ability to scale from the smartphone screen all the way to high-end PCs and beyond, the Redmond, Wash.-headquartered software giant showcased Windows 8 on a monstrous 82-inch display that is capable of detecting up to 100 simultaneous touch events or 10 simultaneous users.

Unfortunately, AnandTech, which reported the story, does not have a video online yet. However, I think it is safe to take Microsoft’s word. Now, if the operating system only ran Apple’s Keynote, the ninja PC-plus-Windows 8 combo coupled with a huge projector-based display would make for an impressive keynote rig.

By the way, we would love to hear impressions from our tech-savvy readers that have managed to dual-boot Windows 8 Consumer Preview alongside OS X using Boot Camp (go here for the FAQ detailing system requirements).

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview product demonstration video is right below the fold.

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VLC 2.0 arriving with all-new UI, native full screen in Lion, Blu-ray support, more

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VideoLAN, the organization behind the open-source cross-platform VLC media player, is geared to launch VLC 2.0—a total rewrite of the program with new capabilities and an all-new user interface on the Mac platform. Available on Mac OS X, Windows and a variety of Linux/Unix platforms, VLC 2.0 [changelog] includes enhancements such as a native full screen mode in Lion, a redesigned subtitle manager, support for multiple video files inside RAR archives and enhanced video output modes. The Mac version will also support unprotected Blu-ray media, and Windows users will get to enjoy a 64-bit version.

The developers also added support for VLC’s lua-based extensions, letting users get information about movies from Allociné, post to Twitter, fetch subtitles automatically, and so forth. No disc burning features are included because “there are more suited apps for that.” One of the developers on the project Felix Kühne published a series of screenshots (more available on Flickr) highlighting the new Mac interface, credited to designer Damien Erambert. According to Kühne:

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Whited00r brings newer features to legacy iOS devices

In recent years, as newer iOS devices begin to shine, the older ones start to be left in the dust due to newer iOS features. Luckily, a new custom firmware called Whited00r brings some of these features to older devices such as the iPhone 2G/3G and older iPods. The firmware does not call for a jailbreak, but instead it is based off iOS 3.1.3 to bring you some of the latest features.

Whited00r added features like multitasking, app folders, reminders, improved home screen, video recording, and faster speed. What about iCloud? Whited00r used Dropbox syncing throughout the operating system to sync files with other devices. Whited00r also used a custom Newsstand to deliver news. (via TechCrunch)

The install process is very straightforward:

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Review: Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

(We’re offering a $10 discount/free Parallels MacBook Air contest this week)

If you are not new to Parallels, you will already be familiar with its ability to run Windows in a virtual machine within OS X. You might also be familiar with its Coherence view mode that allows you to run Windows and Mac OS applications side by side, rather than a full-blown Windows 7 in a separate window. However, Parallels Desktop 7 takes it to the next level with some of the deepest Windows/OS X integration yet.

The name of the game for the new Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac is definitely OS X Lion integration. Pretty much every new UI feature incorporated into Lion has been integrated into Parallels, and thus Windows 7. We put the new version to the test with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 developer preview on last year’s iMac with 4GB of RAM.

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