August 31, 2009

Alright, time for a little early morning speculation, but it seems to us the music business is preparing a range of tasty treats designed to fit like lovely snugly gloves around Apple’s rumoured Cocktail music format and the industry’s attempt at the same, CMX.

We know the Beatles have a box set coming through soon (which is picking up lots of pre-release positive murmurings on music industry networks), and we think that release could easily lend itself to Cocktail. Maybe. (We do look forward to testing speculation on or around September 9).

Now Sony is planning a 2010 release of Jimi Hendrix recordings and video, including rare never seen before bootlegs, video clips and unreleased recordings.

The label this morning announced its plans, saying, “Sony Music Entertainment and Experience Hendrix have agreed to a monumental catalog licensing deal to set the stage for a worldwide campaign to make all of Jimi’s extraordinary music, including classics, never before heard archive recordings, and filmed concerts available through every type of media.”

Much as we despise the expression, “key takeaway”, the key takeaway hidden in there is the “every type of media” comment. Could this hint a Cocktail/CMX release containing all manner of legendary Hendrix content? (We also think little of the word, “content’, by the way, as it seems to us it implicitly reduces the value of creative expression to something to wrap ads around).

Cocktail/CMX are new digital music formats championed by Apple and the majors (respectively) which are designed to boost album sales by combining digital music files with video, lyric sheets, artwork, imagery and all sorts of additional digital materials. Effectively the described Jimi Hendrix collection seems well-set for release in this new format, though conceivably you’ll be able to buy the music in so-called “normal” digital formats too.

Moving along, the release explains, “Legacy Recordings, Sony’s catalog music division, will issue definitive deluxe editions of the classics released during Jimi’s all too brief career including GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inductees "Are You Experienced", "Axis: Bold As Love", "Electric Ladyland" and (outside the US) "Band of Gypsys." In addition, Legacy will also release those posthumous compilations produced by Experience Hendrix during its stewardship. Each title will also be available through major Digital Service Providers.”

So Apple should be selling it then. Adding a little grist to the Cocktail rumour-mill.

Signing off, we think it appropriate to broadcast some of the praise for the work of Hendrix contained in the press release, mainly because his work is and was that special.

"Jimi’s legacy and vision were unique and there will never be another that reaches his unparalleled genius. He was the greatest guitarist ever," said Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix. "We are confident that our new relationship with Sony Music will honor my beloved brother’s legacy and will deliver Jimi’s special ‘Message Of Love’ across the globe. We look forward to the creative partnership and ground breaking releases that this new relationship will engender to bring Jimi’s music to successive generations of fans."

"No artist has ever transformed the pop music landscape as profoundly or as permanently as Jimi Hendrix," said Adam Block, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. "We are proud to be partnering with Experience Hendrix, keeping the sound and spirit of Jimi’s music alive for future generations around the world."

Summing up, it would be no great surprise to us if the new digital album formats, Cocktail and CMX, were to be used to offer digital versions of this all new Jimi Hendrix Multimedia Experience.

Have a gratuitous Hendrix clip on the house…

August 30, 2009

August 29, 2009

Facebook 3.0 shipped this week, and developer Joe Hewitt – who made a highly-publicised plea for the removal of the entire App Store approval process in the prelude to his app making it onto the store – spent time with ReadWriteWeb to chat about what he has planned next for the Facebook 3.0 App.

Hewitt’s a developer’s developer, his previous work has included the co-creation of the Firefox web browser. He’s named three improvements he hopes to implement in a future release of the software.

The developer confirms true push notifications are scheduled for introduction in v.3.1 of the iPhone and iPod touch-friendly software, saying, “We are working on push. I plan to have it in the next major update, the 3.1. It will be the same kind of notifications you get on the website.”

Hewitt is also working to develop saved, site-wide search features within the Facebook app, though he was unable to promise this would be introduced in 3.1.

Finally, he also wants to synchronise contact lists between your Facebook friends and iPhone contact lists. Apparently what’s in the way are terms of service and privacy restrictions, rather than any technical problems. The way this may work could be that when your friends call you their Facebook avatars pop-up on the iPhone’s screen.

9to5toys 

August 28, 2009

Not entirely surprising, but Ars Technica is reporting sources from Apple’s Authorised Resellers, who have confirmed that current models of iPod have been discontinued as stocks run dry, while Apple management prepare to unleash the next generation of its family of media devices.

Stock of some models has completely disappeared, the report explains, noting this comes just over a week before the much-speculated upon but as yet unconfirmed September 9 iPod refresh.

The new range is expected to feature cameras in most models, with a recent report this week suggesting even the venerable iPod classic will gain such a feature.

Apple is also expected to announce a new socially-connected version of iTunes, including some form of Blu-ray support. Outside bets claim improvements to the Apple TV, while speculation also exists predicating the introduction of a 6-inch media playing device, like a larger iPod touch, though this is not anticipated to be the full-strength tablet Apple CEO Steve Jobs is currently focused on development of.

There has also been speculation Apple may introduce some form of ads-funded music streaming service, despite its recent granting of permission to sell the music industry supported Spotify application through the App Store.

Via: MacRumors
 

Snow Leopard is available internationally now, attracting positive reviews and seemingly delighting customers with its speedy nature.

In conjunction with the release Apple has published a selection of tech support documents detailing certain functions within the new OS, including new features, startup problems, and printing tips.

Mac OS X v10.6: About incompatible software

This advises as to which applications are known to have incompatibilities with Snow Leopard.

“Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard is designed to protect your Mac from certain incompatible software that can quit unexpectedly or cause other issues in Mac OS X v10.6.

“When you install Snow Leopard or migrate to Snow Leopard, known-incompatible software is moved to a folder named Incompatible Software on your hard drive.

“Snow Leopard also prevents known-incompatible software from opening. If you see an "Incompatible software" message, contact the software’s vendor or visit their website for a later, compatible version.”

Mac OS X v10.6: About Sync Diagnostics assistant

The Sync Diagnostics assistant lets you collect information about a sync as it occurs, and email diagnostic information about that sync to Apple. This can be useful in diagnosing and troubleshooting issues when synchronizing data with MobileMe, your iPhone, or a third-party mobile device via iSync.

Mac OS X v10.6: About the Battery menu bar extra for portable Macs

This tech support page details and describes the features of the improved battery menu in Snow Leopard, including the all-new “Replace Soon” battery replacement warning.

Mac OS X v10.6: Printer and scanner software

Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard includes software for many printer and scanner models.

This article lists software provided for printers and scanners. This software can be installed from the Mac OS X Install DVD, and updated by using Software Update (some models have software available through Software Update only).

The report also links to the full list of printer models supported in OS X.

Mac OS X v10.6: Mac 101 – Printing

A step-by-step tutorial for how to install a printer or use the new "nearby printers" feature in Snow Leopard. Also covers printing to PDF.

Mac OS X v10.6: After installing, Mac still starts up into Mac OS X v10.4 or v10.5

“After installing Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard on a Mac that already has Mac OS X v10.4 or Mac OS X v10.5 installed, the computer may continue to start up in Mac OS X v10.4 or v10.5. “This may indicate an issue with your Snow Leopard installation disc or DVD drive.”

Mac OS X v10.6: About gamma 2.2

Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard uses a gamma value of 2.2 by default. In versions of Mac OS X prior to 10.6, the default system gamma value was 1.8. Using the capabilities of ColorSync, the gamma value of 2.2 is automatically applied and seamlessly transitions your display, images and videos to the new gamma value.

Mac OS X v10.6: About Wake on Demand

With Mac OS X you can share your music, printers, files, and even your screen with other computers on your network. Previously, in order for items shared by your Mac to always be available, you had to configure your Mac to never go to sleep.

With the new Wake on Demand feature in Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard and an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule, you can see and access shared items even if that Mac is asleep. This helps you save energy and reduce costs while still ensuring full access to all your shared files and devices, even remotely across the Internet.

Mac OS X v10.6: Unable to use third-party screensaver

“When attempting to install, preview, or run a third-party screen saver in Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard on a Mac that has a 64-bit processor, you may see this alert: "You cannot use the screensaver (NAME) on this computer. Contact the developer of this screen saver for a newer version."

Boot Camp 3.0, Mac OS X 10.6: Frequently asked questions

This article contains answers to common questions about Boot Camp, including new features within Boot Camp 3, such as: Read Mac Volumes Support for advanced features on Apple Cinema displays Improved tap-to-click support Command line version of the Startup Disk Control Panel.

Mac OS X v10.6: Digital camera RAW formats supported

Learn which digital camera RAW files are supported by Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, or later.

Mac OS X v10.6: Mac 101 – The Dock, Dock Exposé, and Stacks

Learn about The Dock, Dock Exposé, Dock menus, and Stacks in Mac OS X v10.6 and later. New in Snow Leopard is Dock Exposé: When you click and hold an active application icon on the Dock, Dock Exposé shows you a thumbnail of every open window for an application, regardless of the Space your application windows reside in or minimized application windows. Just click the Window tile you would like to work on and it will instantly appear.

Mac OS X v10.6: Mac 101 – Finder and the desktop

This report describes all the changes in the Finder and Desktop. Snow Leopard’s Finder has been completely rewritten and is faster and more responsive. It also includes an enhanced icon view with live file previews, so you can thumb through a multipage document or even watch a QuickTime movie.

Snow Leopard also improves the reliability of ejecting discs and external drives

Mac OS X v10.6: Using Microsoft Exchange 2007 (EWS) accounts in Mail

Potentially one of the more important tech support notes, this article offers instructions and troubleshooting advice for adding Exchange accounts to Mail.

Installing QuickTime Player 7 on Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

Apple now offers the older version of QuickTime as an optional install for Snow Leopard, which includes the much-improved QuickTime X which comes with a new QuickTime Player.

“Should you need it, a Snow Leopard-compatible version of QuickTime Player 7 is also available for use with older media or with existing AppleScript-based workflows. QuickTime Player 7 can be used to playback formats such as QTVR, interactive QuickTime Movies, and MIDI files. Also, it supports QuickTime 7 Pro registration codes for access to QuickTime Pro functionality.”

Media formats supported by QuickTime Player in Mac OS X v10.6

This report explains all the various video and audio formats supported in the latest versions of QuickTime on Snow Leopard.

Point your RSS reader here in order to stay up-to-date with additional Snow Leopard information prowling out of Cupertino.

August 27, 2009

While Microsoft attempts to woo Apple iPhone App developers, it’s pretty clear the subject of Redmond’s paid-for passions are on an Apple gravy train, despite continued inconsistencies in App Store approvals.

The latest stats from AdMob claim the App Store economy is already worth $2.4 billion – bigger than Android or any other contender.

AdMob serves up ads within iPhone/iPod touch and Android apps. Based on a survey of 1,000 users the company released data for July today which suggests $200 million (value) in apps are downloaded every month. This means the App Store business worth around $2.4 billion a year – and the business is growing. (Expect a further shot in its arm when the fabled Apple tablet ships).

Android grabs a paltry $60 million in app sales each year at this point in its development….Why the difference? Put simply, it is because the iPhone represents 60 per cent of US smartphone usage. Not bad for a product family that’s only existed for a single digit sum of years.

The forgotten element in Apple’s App Store story is the iPod touch, owners of which download on average 18 apps each and every month (iPhone/Android users grab just ten, AdMob claims).

AdMob is also advising App developers to create free versions of their apps, as these stimulate sales of full versions. Additionally, iPod touch owners download twice as many free apps as Android/iPhone owners.

More stats:

– App Store customers are extremely likely to purchase at least one app each month.

– Fifty per cent of iPhone users and 40% of iPod touch users buy at least one app per month. Just 19% of Android users do the same.

– Over 90% of users browse through Apps on their mobile device.

– Over 50 per cent of Android and iPhone users spend over 30 minutes a day using applications.

– Users who regularly purchase paid apps spend an average of $9 on about 5 paid apps per month.

– The most-cited ways of discovering apps are browsing the Store Rankings and searching for a specific type of app.

Check out the full report here.

Via: GigaOm.

9to5google 
Apple’s next-generation iPods – including the iPod touch, nano and classic – will carry 3.2 megapixel cameras supplied by Taiwan’s, OmniVision.

As 9to5Mac reported last week, the new generation iPods are expected to be introduced at an Apple special event on September 9

Reports this morning claim OmniVision has secured CMOS image sensor (CIS) orders for the upcoming products.

Though we’ve heard, over and over again, that the new Touch and Nanos would have cameras, this is the first we’ve heard that the iPod classics would also be with-camera (let alone still exist next month).

It will supply “3.2-megapixel CIS products for the new iPod nano, iPod classic and iPod touch models which will be launched in September,”  sources claim.

The company is one of the 3.2-megapixel CIS suppliers for the iPhone 3GS and is expected to ship 18 million CIS products to Apple per quarter.

Apple is also expected to introduce a new version of iTunes, equipped with social networking features including the capacity to depatch songs played to Facebook, iLike and Last.fm. The new software is also expected to support direct import of Digital Copy movies from Blu-ray discs. Some speculate on updates to the Apple TV at the event.

Wall Street Journal technology correspondent, Walt Mossberg, is claiming that Snow Leopard will install on Macs running the previous Tiger OS without requiring installation of Leopard, contrary to Apple’s previous claims.

“For owners of Intel-based Macs who are still using the older Tiger version of the Mac OS, Apple is officially making Mac OS X Snow Leopard available only in a “boxed set” that includes other software and costs $169,” Mossberg explains.

“The reasoning is that these folks never paid the $129 back in 2007 to upgrade to Leopard. But here’s a tip: Apple concedes that the $29 Mac OS X Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140.”

If this is true – and we’re interested to test the claim – then Apple will likely attract a deluge of sales from Mac users who have until now been laid back in moving to the latest upgrade.

Snow Leopard ships tomorrow and the first batch of delighted reviews are coming in, reviews which pit the new OS firmly ahead of Microsoft’s latest attempt at an OS, Windows 7 .

The software sits at the top of the Amazon sales charts at this time, with pre-orders through all retailers at an all time high. Analysts now expect Apple to sell five million copies of the new OS within the year. We think sales are going to be far higher.

Mossberg notes a few hidden gems inside the upgrade:

– “Substitutions,” which is like the auto-correct feature in Microsoft Word, but extends the concept to Apple’s email and other programs;
– the ability for Snow Leopard to automatically reset the time zone on the Mac’s clock based on your location while traveling;
– and a new built-in function in QuickTime that allows you to record videos of actions you take on the Mac’s screen.”

Microsoft’s attempt to regain control of the OS market seems on shaky ground, with the company’s channel partners recently confessing just how impressed they are with Apple’s incremental – yet powerful – new OS.

Order yourself a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard hereand support 9to5Mac. Or take a look at thishand-picked selection of guides to the new OS, boost your knowledge.

Apple’s Chinese deal may – or may not, given the stop/start nature of negotiations so far – be reaching closure, with some reports suggesting an official announcement confirming China Unicom as carrier, perhaps as soon as this Friday.

Following months of rumour, Reuters cites an unnamed analyst who claims the deal between Apple and China Unicom for provision of the iPhone in China will be revealed this Friday. That’s a huge deal, opening up the world’s largest mobile market.

China Unicom didn’t deny the claim, but would only say the device would “undoubtedly” be discussed this Friday when the carrier announces its financial results.

The device is being manufactured by Hon Hai, and while it doesn’t offer WiFI it is capable of operating on the carrier’s WCDMA 3G network.

Previous reports have claimed China Unicom to have purchased five million iPhones for sale in China at a cost of c.$1.5 billion.

The first batch of iPhones will appear in China Unicom 3G stalls at Carrefour and some large retail outlets run by China Unicom in September, said Zhou Youmeng, vice general manager of China Unicom, speaking earlier this month.

electrek 

August 26, 2009

With two days left until Snow Leopard hits the streets, major publications are starting to release their Snow Leopard reviews. 

For what it is worth, I’ve been running Snow Leoaprd through the last few builds.  It just feels SNAPPIER™.

The net effect for most people will be the same as a point update coupled with a faster machine.  A real deal for $25.

I don’t think we are going to see the true benefit of Apple’s two years of work for another few months when new hardware is released.

Here are other slightly longer and more thought out reviews:

ComputerworldEngadget | Gizmodo | Macworld | CNET | MossbergNYTimes | SunTimes

Videos below 

 

http://www.cnet.com/av/video/flv/universalPlayer/universalSmall.swf

Update: Nack has now said that Photoshop CS3 is compatible – at the very least.

Adobe has confirmed that its applications are for the most part compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, while also warning it has not tested the new OS with previous generations of its professionally-priced Creative Suite products.

John Nack’s blog reveals, “Apple and Adobe have worked closely together (as always with new OS releases) to test compatibility.

"As for Adobe Creative Suite 4 , everything is good with the exception of auto-updates to Flash panels (which I guarantee you’re not using) and Adobe Drive/Version Cue (which doesn’t work at the moment on 10.6). CS3 & earlier haven’t been tested.”

Adobe Creative Suite CS3 Design Premium is a relatively recent release which caused some of Nack’s readers to question the company’s testing methods. Answering these complaints, Nack states: “I’d frankly be shocked if people at Adobe & Apple really hadn’t tested CS3 on 10.6. I *think* it’s just some corporate conservatism at work here, and Adobe doesn’t want to over-promise anything. As I say, though, I’ll try to find out more.”

However, Adobe’s tech support briefing warns: “You may therefore experience a variety of installation, stability, and reliability issues for which there is no resolution. Older versions of our creative software will not be updated to support Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6).”

The company does however promise available trial versions of its software will be compatible with Snow Leopard.

Adobe recently confirmed future versions of the Creative Suite will run only on Intel-based Macs.

UPDATE: John Nack has now updated his original blog, saying "No one said anything about CS3 being ‘not supported’ on Snow Leopard. The plan, however, is not to take resources away from other efforts (e.g. porting Photoshop to Cocoa) in order to modify 2.5-year-old software in response to changes Apple makes in the OS foundation."

We do note the problem when allocating resources at one of the world’s biggest software developers, but we also note the commitment in Adobe’s tech support briefing which said when we looked, "Older versions of our creative software will not be updated to support Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6)." This suggests if Snow Leopard causes any unexpected problems, Adobe at this time doesn’t plan to address them. We’ve a feeling a lot of creative shops running older Macs and older installations of Adobe’s creative apps will be somewhat frustrated at this, as they have been each time Adobe has been recalcitrant in similar matters in the past.

Reports of the demise of the Apple iPod have been greatly exaggerated, new research published last night shows – meanwhile, at the other end of the Apple product matrix, it looks like the iPhone 3GS has sold out in Ireland.

New research from FTN Equity Capital Markets analyst Bill Fearnley Jr. suggests most retailers saw iPod sales exceed their expectations in July. This claim’s based on a survey of US retailers, 27 per cent of which said iPod sales were above expectation in July. These sales have been enhanced by Apple’s back to school offer, which has been driving students to part with the cash for a Mac, getting a free iPod as part of the deal.

Speculation the iPod classic may be retired seems negated on the news that 62 per cent of retailers said it, or the iPod touch, were the best-selling iPod products in July.

An NPD report contested these new figures, claiming iPod sales were down 17 per cent year-over-year in July. However, it is worth pointing out the latest figures reflect actual sales by retailers, rather than spreadsheet-based analyst speculation.

Also worth a mention is the likely positive impact of Apple’s anticipated September 9 iPod and iTunes upgrades…

Moving to the iPhone and US retailers continue to struggle to meet demand, though supplies are improving. It is not just in the US the product’s in short supply, news this morning from Ireland claims O2 Ireland is experiencing shortages of the product, with customers reportedly waiting weeks to get their hands on the device. Supplies aren’t expected to improve until next month.

An O2 Ireland spokesman said: “Quite simply there has been huge demand for the iPhone 3G S since it launched, so we continue to work with Apple to secure regular flows of stock into the country.”

Microsoft is big, really big, and because it is so big it has lots of ‘friends’, some of which it calls ‘Channel Partners’. And many of those Channel Partner ‘friends’ seem pretty impressed…by Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard (which ships Friday, folks).

Vista wasn’t so much a view as a disaster, with consumer and business users preferring to stay safe with Windows XP. And while Windows 7 promises more, there’s work ahead for Redmond, observed on of the company’s friends..

"Performance in Windows Vista was a disaster, but in spite of that, Microsoft had 64-bit support and multicore processor support," said Ron Herardian, president of Global System Services. "With Snow Leopard, Apple intends to far exceed the performance of Windows 7 on 64-bit and multicore hardware, and that’s a major strategic advantage."

Gary Dailey, president of Daystar Technology, an Atlanta-based solution provider that sells PCs and Macs, says the performance boost Snow Leopard offers won’t go unnoticed by Microsoft or its partners. "There’s just so much under the covers with Snow Leopard. Apple realizes it has a very mature OS but is still choosing to enhance it, while Microsoft is still trying to get past the Vista experience," he told Channel Web.

The Channel Web report also has the usual statements saying Apple has raised the bar on competition, noting one of Microsoft’s friends who said, “Competition is exactly what Microsoft needs and responds to best.”

Is it really? Let’s take a look at the Zune, which grabbed 2 per cent of the US MP3 player market in June (NPD claims) as compared to Apple’s, erm, Seventy-three per cent (73%).

Microsoft’s anti-Apple MP3 player plans have been through myriad forms. Recall, if you will, the company’s ‘Plays for Sure’ branding (which didn’t) and its host of other attempts to grab a larger slice of the music player crown. Well, now Redmond is attempting to lure iPhone developers to the Zune HD by the simple expedient of paying them cold hard cash…

“One developer of a popular iPhone application for reading Twitter messages says Microsoft recently approached him about re-creating the software to run on Zune, with Microsoft footing the bill for development costs,” reports BusinessWeek. (BTW, the dev declined).

It’s no longer about the device, but the service, Microsoft now claims, according to the report. "The business is entertainment," says Brian Seitz, group marketing manager with Microsoft Zune. "The mobile device or the MP3 player is just one screen that can use the service. To erase the iPod is not what the vision was. The business is the service."

Interesting Microsoft is attempting to make a business out of a service providing media, music and other downloads at a time the music and media industries are wondering just how to create a viable business plan for themselves, but why digress?

Anyway – the new Zune HD is coming and the company’s pinning its hopes on the device. Which hasn’t particularly impressed Needham & Co analyst, Charlie Wolf (one of the better analysts, BTW, who presciently predicted the extent of the iPod-driven switch to Mac once Apple shipped Boot Camp).

His advice to Microsoft? "If I were Microsoft, I’d just drop it.”

Sure, Microsoft is considering opening its Zune marketplace doors to users of other devices, and sure it hopes to boost its place in the mobile devices market with Windows Mobile and Windows 7, but as both reports show, the company really is chasing the tail of its competition.

By the way, if you are one of the many Windows users planning the switch to Mac, you may find Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition a really helpful thing.

9to5toys 

August 25, 2009

Contrary to some far-fetched reports from last week, it looks like the retail version of Snow Leopard will be 10A432 – the one which has been circulating on the torrents for awhile now.   A Twitter and Tumblr user named Pedro10 has posted more retail packaging and installation reports including the build number 10A432.  More picts below.

Pedro10 via Applesfera via MacRumors

Mashable has spotted a little image manipulation magic in the packaging for Apple’s imminently-released Snow Leopard OS….the cat on the cover isn’t as savage as the feline you’ll load into your machine, it seems.

As the story goes, the Snow Leopard you’ll see on screen appears on your desktop you’ll see just a little blood on its teeth, while the same cat on the cover has had the tell-tale traces removed.

It’s interesting that Apple’s pulled a punch depicting just how feral its WIndows 7-devouring OS is. And it is.

Parallels has introduced an all-in-one solution for Windows users seeing sense and making the switch to Mac, Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition.

The software makes the move to Mac easy, helping PC users make the move without losing the applications and data they already have on their Windows systems. It also includes learning resources – including two hours of video tutorials – for new Mac OS X users.

Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition includes Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac, so when a user has transferred their data they can boot up straight into Parallels Desktop to access their Windows apps and data, and learn the new platform in their own time.

Parallels has also developed a "plug and click" system that moves the entire PC (licensed operating system, applications, files and data) to the new Mac. This includes the Parallels High Speed USB Transfer Cable that connects the two machines and the Enhanced Parallels Transporter: simple, wizard-driven software that walks the user through the move in a few easy clicks.

"The growth in switching is partially due to the ease-of-use and cool capabilities of the Mac," said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels.

"However, users don’t want to lose the data they have accumulated and the applications they are already familiar with. Building on our proven track record of Mac innovation, we have addressed this concern and made learning the new operating system even simpler through interactive on-demand tutorials. These are combined with intelligent moving tools and our industry-leading Parallels Desktop for Mac, which offers the greatest performance and stability for running Windows seamlessly on Mac."

Parallels Desktop 4.0 Switch to Mac Edition is available from today at Apple stores, at Apple.com and through other preferred retail partners in English, German and French. It costs $99.99.

9to5google 

We’ve come across this useful Wiki page detailing numerous applications, both independently-developed and otherwise, which offers advice as to whether the apps are compatible with Snow Leopard.

While we’re aware the page has existed for a while now, we thought it probably a good time to remind readers of its existence.

As it is a Wiki, you can contribute to the data on the page should you come across a new app that does/doesn’t work, or should you be a developer checking for erroneous information.

Go see. And while you do, it may be worth taking a look at some of the available books detailing how to make the best out of the new OS, scheduled to begin shipping worldwide from this Friday.

August 24, 2009

Nokia broke out its top secret laptop computer plans today.  We don’t know about you but we were expecting a little more than this new "Booklet 3G".  It’s hard to still be considered an innovative company when they come out with stuff like this:

Espoo, Finland – After more than 25 years as a pioneer and leader in the mobile industry, Nokia will bring its rich mobility heritage and knowledge to the PC world with the new, Windows based, Nokia Booklet 3G.

They are about 3 years late on the Netbook scene as well as a year past the 10+ Hour battery life "revolution".  There also looks to be plenty of space around that 10-inch glass screen, making it a bit of a "clunker" when it comes to netbook size.  Most major netbooks have had 3G capabilities for awhile too.  

Take a garden variety Eee 1005HA.  10.5 hours battery life, 10.1 inch screen.  $375

This isn’t a low end netbook, mind you.  There is some good stuff inside which will put it at the high end of the highly competitive netbook arena:

The mini-laptop also comes with an HDMI port for HD video out, a front facing camera for video calling, integrated Bluetooth and an easily accessible SD card reader. Other premium features include the 10-inch glass HD ready display and integrated A-GPS which, working with the Ovi Maps gadget, can pinpoint your position in seconds and open up access for a truly personal maps experience. The Nokia Booklet 3G also brings a number of other rich Ovi experiences to life, whether its access and playback of millions of tracks through the Nokia Music Store, or using Ovi Suite to sync seamlessly from your Nokia smartphone, to your mini-laptop, to the cloud.

If it is priced anywhere north of $350, it won’t sell.  Otherwise it will fit in an already muddied field dominated by ASUS, HP, Dell and Acer.  Oh, and why not run Maemo Linux like the much more interesting N900?  Microsoft just made Office for Nokia Symbian phones, coincidentally.

Snow Leopard is now officially coming August 28th, though it had been anticipated for awhile because of webpage slips and tracking information on Amazon shipments.  Apple has now posted a press release (below) and changed its homepage …slightly. 

Buy Snow Leopard here and support 9to5mac.

CUPERTINO, California—August 24, 2009—Apple® today announced that Mac OS® X v10.6 Snow Leopard™ will go on sale Friday, August 28 at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple’s online store is now accepting pre-orders. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard® users for $29.

“Snow Leopard builds on our most successful operating system ever and we’re happy to get it to users earlier than expected,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “For just $29, Leopard users get a smooth upgrade to the world’s most advanced operating system and the only system with built in Exchange support.”

 

To create Snow Leopard, Apple engineers refined 90 percent of the more than 1,000 projects that make up Mac OS X. Users will notice refinements including a more responsive Finder™; Mail that loads messages up to twice as fast;* Time Machine® with an up to 80 percent faster initial backup;* a Dock with Exposé® integration; QuickTime® X with a redesigned player that allows users to easily view, record, trim and share video; and a 64-bit version of Safari® 4 that is up to 50 percent** faster and resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins. Snow Leopard is half the size of the previous version and frees up to 7GB of drive space once installed.

For the first time, system applications including Finder, Mail, iCal®, iChat® and Safari are 64-bit and Snow Leopard’s support for 64-bit processors makes use of large amounts of RAM, increases performance and improves security while remaining compatible with 32-bit applications. Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) provides a revolutionary new way for software developers to write applications that take advantage of multicore processors. OpenCL, a C-based open standard, allows developers to tap the incredible power of the graphics processing unit for tasks that go beyond graphics.

Snow Leopard is the only desktop operating system with built in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and it allows you to use Mac OS X Mail, Address Book and iCal to send and receive email, create and respond to meeting invitations, and search and manage contacts with global address lists. Exchange information works seamlessly within Snow Leopard so users can also take advantage of OS X only features such as fast Spotlight® searches and Quick Look previews.

Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard, the next major release of the world’s easiest to use server operating system, will also go on sale Friday, August 28. Snow Leopard Server includes innovative new features such as Podcast Producer 2 and Mobile Access Server and is priced more affordably than ever at $499 with unlimited client licenses. More information and full system requirements for Snow Leopard Server can be found at www.apple.com/server/macosx/.

Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard on August 28 at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers, and online pre-orders can be made through Apple’s online store (www.apple.com) starting today. The Snow Leopard single user license will be available for a suggested retail price of $29 (US) and the Snow Leopard Family Pack, a single household, five-user license, will be available for a suggested price of $49 (US). For Tiger® users with an Intel-based Mac®, the Mac Box Set includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife® ’09 and iWork® ’09 and will be available for a suggested price of $169 (US) and a Family Pack is available for a suggested price of $229 (US).

The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller between June 8, 2009 and the end of the program on December 26, 2009, for a product plus shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US). Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 90 days of purchase or by December 26, 2009, whichever comes first. For more information please visit www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate. Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1GB of RAM and is designed to run on any Mac computer with an Intel processor. Full system requirements can be found at www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html.

electrek 

August 22, 2009

A few readers have mentioned that their Snow Leopard shipments have been locked in and are still expected to arrive on August 28th.  They can no longer make changes to the order.

"My snow leopard disc went to "PREPARED FOR SHIPMENT" today… can’t modify or cancel it anymore :-)"

The Apple Store still has an email reminder for Snow Leopard.  Amazon, the only retailer taking pre-orders, prices are still as follows:

10.6 Snow Leopard: $29
Family Pack (5-User): $49
Box Set (SL, iLife, iWork):$169
Box Set Family Pack (5U):$229
Snow Leopard Server  $499

 

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