About the Author

Scott Buscemi

@scottbuscemi

Scott can be found on Twitter @scottbuscemi.

September 6, 2013

OneNote for iPad update untethers app from PC-based OneNote program

Microsoft OneNote, the software giant’s note taking application, has been updated to version 2.1 today. With this update, the iPad app can act as a standalone and doesn’t require a PC to create new notebooks or edit sections. As noted on the OneNote blog, the functionality is now live in the iPad app, but while the iPhone app received an update today the new features aren’t available there.

New SkyDrive notebooks

Notebooks are an essential part of OneNote and play a significant role in helping you organize all of your content. Many of our customers submitted feedback requesting the ability to create new notebooks.  We’re happy to announce that OneNote for iPad now has full support for creating new SkyDrive notebooks.

On the Notebooks list, tap Create Notebook. 

Enter a name for your new notebook, then tap Create. You’re all set!

Add, rename, and delete sections

Sections are a great way to help you group your notes within a notebook. With this update, you can add, rename and delete sections.

It’s really easy to add a section on OneNote for iPad: On the sections bar, tap the plus button, enter a name for your new section, and you’re on your way.

Tap the desired section title to bring up the two options, Delete and Rename.

If you’d like to rename a section, select that option, and the section title will be automatically highlighted. Just start typing and tap Done on your keyboard to save the new name.

The update also brought a few other bug fixes and features. Microsoft OneNote for iPad and Microsoft OneNote for iPhone are free in the App Store.

Campers already lining up at Fifth Avenue Apple Store two weeks before rumored iPhone launch

Two weeks before the rumored September 20 launch of the next generation iPhone(s) and four days before the media event, eager fanboys/publicity-seekers have begun camping out in front of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York.

The tag team from SellYourMac arrived this morning, but as seen in the picture above, they were actually beat by two others who arrived yesterday. The camp-out times are getting longer and longer for some of the more prominent stores, but as an Arizonan myself – it’s going to be 104° F here today – I don’t think I’ll be following suit at my local store…

apple-ibooks-doj_620x350

The judge in the highly controversial DOJ ebooks case has delivered an injunction against Apple today, GigaOM reports.

The injunction prevents Apple from working in ‘most-favored-nation’ clauses into its contracts with publishers. MFN clauses have required publishers to sell their books at the lowest price on the iBookstore, but this injunction “forbids Apple from enforcing MFN clauses in any ebook publishing contracts for five years.”

On the other hand, the DOJ’s proposal of giving other ebook retailers the opportunity to set up shop within iOS devices without giving 30% to Apple has been denied. Just a couple of weeks ago, the DOJ submitted an email from Steve Jobs showing how Apple’s decision to force apps into using Apple’s payment system came to be.

expand full story

September 5, 2013

Best Buy (again) offering $50 iPhone 5 discount, this time ahead of new iPhones

With the iPhone announcement event just days away, it looks like Best Buy is pushing out a “deal” to offload some inventory and make room for the new iPhones. As an in-store only promotion, you can now get the 16GB iPhone 5 for $149.99. This offer has been seen a few times before, but currently the best deal for an iPhone 5 is Walmart’s $98 deal.

In addition, we recommend you wait before grabbing this ‘deal,’ as we expect the price of the iPhone 5 to drop to $99.99 retail after the new iPhone is released in a few days.

‘Ping’ brings iMessage-like functionality to email

iOS has seen its fair share of new email applications over the past few years. Most notably, Mailbox found itself overly popular and was eventually acquired by Dropbox. Now, a new mail app called Ping will take email another step forward by bringing in new features that are, by far, revolutionary.

The most notable feature is the iMessage-like responses: if you are emailing with another Ping user, it turns your email into a chat where each user can see when the other is typing and emails appear instantly.

The app also allows you to set custom notifications per contact, so you can know if you really need to dig into your mail app and respond quickly.

Ping will be launching September 18th, but you can reserve your spot today at PingApp.com. I’m betting this app will be much more successful than Apple’s Ping social network…

Ping reimagines email from the inside out with the following capabilities:

  • A smart, people-centric feed: Organize messages by people and groups of people, then everything else (subscriptions, newsletters, etc.) so messaging history with each person and group is in ongoing, contextual streams, like chat. Emails from the most important people and groups are in one feed so you can immediately see what matters most, while subscriptions, newsletters and marketing emails are automatically filtered into a separate workspace.
  • A playful, easy interface: Communicate in a natural, dynamic environment with rich media sharing (personal photos, Web photos, video), voice recording, video chat, doodling and the all bells and whistles that make chatting fun. By eschewing the formal, antiquated letter format, unnatural terms like “Best Regards” are no longer a part of conversations with your colleagues or friends.

And, for the utility-minded, Ping offers:

  • Super real-time responses: Receive emails the exact moment they come in, seconds before you would using any native mobile email app. Users can even see when another person is typing, as you would with iMessage or chat.
  • Better notifications: Stop checking your phone every time it buzzes. Assign custom notification alerts for different types of messages and contacts, and keep it in your pocket.
  • Instant access to shared media: See all recent attachments and documents within a conversation by flipping your phone to horizontal view.
  • Snooze: Hit the Couch button to save messages for later.
  • Quick search: Find friends or conversations instantly with a universal search bar.

By supporting real-time messaging, document and photo sharing, voice and video calls, and more, Ping brings it all together, eliminating the need to use multiple apps to stay in touch. Ping syncs with desktop emails so chats, documents and media are stored right in your cloud, not in a separate app that wipes out your history when you stop using it. Ping solves the fragmentation issues associated with many messaging apps because it’s an open platform and is not limited to communication within the app itself.

September 4, 2013

VMware Fusion 6 released: ready to take advantage of Haswell processors and upcoming Mavericks features

VMware has just released the immediate availability of VMware Fusion 6 and VMware Fusion 6 Professional. The new version of the virtualization software boasts over 50 new features and is prepared for the new operating systems coming from both Apple (Mavericks) and Microsoft (Windows 8.1).

  • Supports Mavericks multi-display features and even AirPlay displays
  • Enhanced dictation support
  • Run Mavericks as a guest operating system – can be installed using the recovery partition in just a couple of clicks
  • Ready for Windows 8.1
  • Built-in optimizations for the Haswell processors
  • Up to 16 virtual CPUs, 64GB of RAM, and 8TB of disk space – ready for the new Mac Pro coming soon

VMware Fusion 6 is available exclusively on the VMware Online Store for $59.99 or $49.99 for VMware Fusion 4 or 5 upgraders. A 30 day trial is available as well.

The announcement comes just days after Parallels announced the release of Parallels Desktop 9, which is currently available as an upgrade. The full version will be available tomorrow. We’ll have a full review of both apps shortly.

Generally Parallels is geared toward single users and has better performance whereas VMware is geared toward larger enterprise and folks who also work on PCs. 

September 3, 2013

Details and video of Sony’s upcoming QX lens-shaped camera leaked: two versions coming later this month

Details of the rumored smartphone-compatible, Carl Zeiss lens-weilding camera attachment from Sony, set to be announced tomorrow, have been leaked by sonyalpharumors. The promotional video above shows the features of the QX100/QX10 “lens-style cameras”.

For devices with NFC, a simple tap hooks up the camera/lens and makes it ready to share or save files right on the spot:

For added convenience, the app can be activated using NFC one-touch with compatible devices. Once pictures are taken, they are saved directly on both the phone and the camera*, and can be shared instantly via social media or other common mobile applications.

The device will take advantage of the PlayMemories Mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. The device will come with a piece to attach to a phone, however, it is also detachable as seen in the video.

The QX100 and QX10 will be available some time later this month for $500 and $250, respectively.

September 2, 2013

Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Devices & Services divisions for ~$7.1 billion

Microsoft has just announced that they are purchasing Nokia’s devices and services divisions. Nokia has been the main manufacturer of Windows Phone 8 devices, and it looks like Microsoft will be using this acquisition to further merge their software and hardware engineering and design.

In a joint statement from (outgoing) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the two executives stated, “Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio.”

This is not a complete takeover, as Nokia will still be its own entity with its own patent portfolio. However, Microsoft will be granted a “10-year license” to Nokia’s patents.

The purchase is expected to close the first quarter of 2014 and will net Nokia EUR 5.44 billion (~$7.1 billion).

Some interesting tidbits from the announcement:

  • “At closing, approximately 32,000 people are expected to transfer to Microsoft, including 4,700 people in Finland and 18,300 employees directly involved in manufacturing, assembly and packaging of products worldwide.”
  • “Microsoft is acquiring Nokia’s Smart Devices business unit, including the Lumia brand and products.”

Print

As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup.

  • Qooqi for your cables (Kickstarter project) – All of my cables like to fall off my desk and into oblivion. I’ve tried small, adhesive cord holders in the past, but usually the cords tug on the holder so much that peel off. Qooqi, on the other hand, uses what they call “nano pad tad technology” which sounds a lot like the microsuction of my favorite NanoTek Stand dock.I personally backed this project and it has already exceeded its $10k goal. Expect the Qooqi to ship out in December. expand full story

August 29, 2013

An exploit publicly announced yesterday (picture of source page available here – won’t force a crash) shows how a string of Arabic characters can crash applications in OS X 10.8 and iOS 6. The upcoming Apple operating systems, iOS 7 and OS X 10.9, have fixed the bug, but Apple was supposedly notified about this bug six months ago and still has not issued a fix for the current public operating systems.

Jailbreakers are already working to patch the bug over until Apple releases a full fix:

This bug does not work on any other operating systems and does not allow anyone else to access your computer remotely because of it, but being a recipient (or even sender) of these characters may make your Messages app unusable, cause Safari/Chrome to crash, or not allow for scanning of SSIDs (if the string is broadcasted as a Wifi network name). expand full story

Right after releasing its new remote access application Access, Parallels has just announced Parallels Desktop 9 for the Mac. The updated application will support Mavericks and the upcoming Windows Blue/8.1 update and boasts many speed boosts.

Performance improvements with Parallels Desktop 9 are notable – “40 percent improvement in disk performance; virtual machine startup and shutdown are now up to 25 percent faster; and customers can suspend their virtual machines in up to 20 percent less time than before. 3D  graphics and web-browsing were also made noticeably speedier with up to 15 percent improvements for both.”

The company has also brought Power Nap to Windows applications. They’ve also introduced synced cloud services between virtual machines, which means you only have one version on your computer and all virtual machines access the same cloud files.

Pricing

PD 7 or 8 customers will be able to grab this update for $49.99 starting today (download link will be sent immediately). The full version will be available September 5 and remains $79.99 with students paying just $39.99. In addition, the software will come with a free 6-month subscription to Parallels Access ($39.99 value).

We’ll have a complete review of Parallels Desktop 9 when the full version is released on September 5. Press release below: expand full story

August 28, 2013

AppleCare+ could be making its way to Europe shortly

A US exclusive warranty, AppleCare+ has been available for the iPhone and iPad to provide for accidental damage claims and general warranty protection. Now, the iGen blog is reporting [English] that AppleCare+ is making its way to Europe soon.

iGen’s source did not give any information about the pricing or availability, although the blog believes it will be just under €100 (plus the per-incident fee, which is $49 in the US).

August 27, 2013

For years, there have been iPad applications that allow remote access to your Mac from anywhere in the world. Parallels Mobile, for example, was launched back in 2011 and allowed you to view your Mac and Windows virtual machines on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (and later discontinued). But these apps have always been a huge turn-off for the majority of users, since OS X isn’t built for touch screens. Trying to press small buttons, editing text, scrolling through pages and other flukes have made it impossible to use your Mac from an iOS device for an extended amount of time.

But now, Parallels has solved all of these problems and more with the new Parallels Access, their new service that makes it a breeze to connect to your Mac from an iPad and access all of your files and applications in a way that makes all of your apps feel like iOS apps – it “applifies” your Windows/Mac apps.

expand full story

Judge in e-book case ‘doesn’t want to intrude much on how Apple does business’

Judge Cote, who is overseeing the e-books case involving the DOJ and Apple, said today that she does not want to “intrudce much on how Apple does business”, according to an AP article. This is the same judge that found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise prices.

As noted by ATD things morning, Apple recently submitted a court filing calling the latest proposed fixes for its damage to the industry as “broadside masquerading as a brief”. In addition, the company accuses the DOJ of working to give Amazon a competitive advantage. Just four days ago, the DOJ claimed the company’s IAP policies were directly motivated by competition from Amazon.

“Plaintiffs devote much of their brief to seeking to justify an injunction directed at Apple’s unilateral dealings with Amazon (and other e-book retailers) in its App Store, an issue that the plaintiffs did not pursue at trial. Plaintiffs are seeking a remedy that would give Amazon significant competitive advantage over Apple — an advantage it is neither entitled to nor deserves.”

The damages trial for the case is scheduled for May, 2014.

New norm? iTunes Store purchasing issue affecting 20% of users this morning [update: back up]

Apple has updated its System Status page to show that 20% of users have been unable to make purchases since 6am this morning. Sadly, this outage is starting to become the norm as just last week the iTunes Store and other iCloud services were experiencing issues for certain users. In addition, Apple released new versions of iOS 7iTunes 11, and iTunes 11.1 beta to fix issues with iTunes in the Cloud that would not display purchases properly for some users.

Last week, Apple also sent out a botched update to Find my iPhone that left non-developers unable to log in to the app for several hours.

Downtime and server issues are to be expected with any large system – even Google.com went offline for just two minutes a couple of weeks ago – but there seems to be a growing amount of downtime reported on the System Status page. Nevertheless, it is good to see Apple being transparent with the issues.

We’ll update this page once the iTunes Store becomes fully functional again.

Update: The iTunes Store issues were resolved at 9:26 AM this morning, three and half hours after the problems began.

August 26, 2013

Controversial Blackboard Mobile Learn app updated with new design in time for fall semester

The unpopular Blackboard Mobile Learn app has been redesigned using feedback received from users. The application that can either be licensed by a school or purchased for $1.99 per year or $5.99 for life by the student has received terrible ratings over the years, but the new design looks much cleaner and, in a way, ready for iOS 7.

Blackboard is a learning management system used by schools of all sizes. The app allows students to check grades, receive push notifications when things are posted to the system, and attach files right from Dropbox. However, the additional cost to the student, slow interface, previous Wifi-only restriction, and other app policies and restrictions caused the app to receive low ratings and put the app and company in bad light.

Here’s the changelog for the new version:

What’s New in Version 4.0

Inspired by your feedback, we’ve completely redesigned the app. This update makes using the app and reading content easier than ever. Some of the sweet new features include:

-You can now “favorite” an area of a course for easy access later on
-More support for Rich Content Styles like Bold, Underline, Italics, and Hyperlinks
-New layout for Discussions that show you the history of each reply

Previously, the app seemed to focus on skeuomorphic metaphors rather than actual features and easy navigation.

The app is available in the App Store. If you use Blackboard, let us know what you think of the new design and whether or not it’ll convince you to use the app more often.

August 25, 2013

Print

As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup.

  • eleMount: Premium Car & Camera Mount for iPhone & iPad (Kickstarter project) – These aluminum mounts with polyurethane pads are sleek and versatile. The project exceeded its goal extremely quickly and expects to have these shipped out in December. d5235a575f0ccfffb848799e401787b0_large expand full story

August 24, 2013

A quality control employee at Pegatron posted the picture above to her Weibo profile (gone now), appearing to show a large amount of iPhone 5Cs in testing mode, as noted by Nowhereelse/Engadget. The following quote was attached to the image:

“The low-end iPhone 5C to be launched for Chinese consumers in September doesn’t look much different than the Xiaomi Phone 2, right?”

It’s odd that the manufacturer does not have a better setup for testing the devices, but Engadget notes that this kind of testing setup has been seen before during factory tours.

The phone looks the same as other leaked components and mockups, and we expect it to be announced by Apple at their September 10th event. expand full story

August 23, 2013

1Password 4 for Mac screenshots and upgrade details [Gallery]

This morning, AgileBits has shared some screenshots of their upcoming 1Password 4 for Mac software. The password management app has been in beta for awhile now undergoing dozens of new builds, and the company has announced that it is on track to launch this fall.

Some details that were released this morning:

  • 1Password 4 will be a free upgrade for all MAS customers
  • 1Password 4 for Mac will be a free upgrade to all website customers who purchased on or after January 1, 2013
  • The browser extension is now native Cocoa and is the same for every browser
  • Many features have come “Back to the Mac” from their iOS application – iCloud sync, favorites, and multi-site logins
  • Custom fields can be added to most items

Here are some screenshots of the app at work:

Powered by WordPress.com VIP