News | iLounge

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

MS Office coming to iOS in 2013

Although Microsoft’s Office applications were rumored to be coming to the App Store this year, the company now plans on releasing Office in a native iOS version next year, according to reports. Product manager Petr Bobek told Czech site IHNED that Office 2013 would hit the market in the first quarter of next year, and that iOS would be among the included available operating systems for the productivity suite. Although the iOS Office release was apparently confirmed in a press release spotted by The Verge, a Microsoft US spokesperson claimed that the company has yet to announce retail availability for the new Office. [via The Verge]

SuperSync 5 adds advanced ITunes Match support

SuperSync, an iTunes library synchronization and management tool, has been updated to version 5.0. The latest version goes beyond allowing Mac or PC users to view, merge, and synchronize iTunes libraries over local networks or over the Internet: the newest update adds advanced iTunes Match support, helping users to get more matches, upgrade tracks to the highest bit rate possible, and remove iCloud duplicates. SuperSync 5.0 is available now with a two-computer/unlimited iOS device license for $23.

Apple releases Configurator 1.1

image

Apple has released Configurator 1.1, the latest version of its mass deployment tool for iOS devices. Configurator enables schools, businesses, and other institutions to configure up to 30 iOS devices at a time, update software, create and restore backups of settings and app data, and more. According to the release notes, version 1.1 improves reliability and ease of use when installing paid apps with Volume Purchase Program redemption codes, adds new preferences to disable the automatic removal of apps or profiles installed by the user when a configuration is reapplied and disable reapplying a configuration each time a supervised device is connected, includes small changes to the profile editor, and ensures that VPP codes are no longer marked as invalid if the App Store is unavailable. Apple Configurator 1.1 is available now as a free download from the Mac App Store.

iCloud Tabs to share Safari tabs between Mac, iOS

Apple today announced iCloud Tabs, a new feature of iCloud that will enable automatic syncing of Safari tabs between Macs running OS X Mountain Lion and iOS devices. The feature was unveiled during a demonstration of Mountain Lion, which also discussed the arrival of Notes, Reminders, and Notification Center on the Mac, as well as Dictation, Airplay Mirroring, and Game Center, all of which were unveiled in February. Apple will release OS X Mountain Lion exclusively through the Mac App Store next month for $20.

Apple releases Configurator 1.0.1

image

Apple has released Configurator 1.0.1, the latest version of its mass deployment tool for iOS devices. Originally debuted in March, Configurator enables schools, businesses, and other institutions to configure up to 30 iOS devices at a time, update software, create and restore backups of settings and app data, and more. According to the release notes, version 1.0.1 improves overall stability and performance, and address a number of issues, including those related to the import and installation of .ipa files, redemption codes, note and bookmark deletion, WPA2 passwords, and backup name editing. Apple Configurator 1.0.1 is available now as a free download from the Mac App Store. [via MDN]

Ambrosia seeks iToner 3 beta testers

Ambrosia Software has posted a brief look at iToner 3, the latest version of its iOS ring- and alert tone maker for the Mac. According to the company, iToner 3 has been completely rewritten and redesigned, and offers a number new features including compatibility with any version of iTunes, the ability to work with multiple iPhones, compatibility with the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad for notification tones, a new waveform editor, and the ability to grab audio clips directly from an iTunes library. While the company says that, should it be approved, iToner 3 will be available on the Mac App Store soon, it also said that it “could use your help”, and offers a link for those interested in beta testing. Pricing for iToner 3 has yet to be announced.

Apple Configurator enables mass iOS device deployments

image

Apple last week released its new Configurator tool, a spiritual successor to the standard iPhone Configuration Utility. According to the tool’s release notes, it allows schools, businesses, and other institutions to configure up to 30 devices at a time, update those devices to the latest version of iOS, create and restore a backup of settings and app data from one device to other devices, create and install iOS configuration profiles, and enroll devices with a Mobile Device Management solution for remote management.

It also allows for the supervision of devices, including automatic application of common configurations to devices and the importation and syncing of apps, as well as the assigning of devices to users using Open Directory or Active Directory, letting a user check out a device and have their settings and data restores, check in a device and have the data backed up for future use—possibly on another device—and the syncing of documents, among other features. Apple’s Configurator tool requires Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 or later and is a free download from the Mac App Store.

Reflection offers AirPlay Mirroring from iOS to Mac

Reflection, a new application for Mac, promises to let users of the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 use AirPlay Mirroring to wirelessly stream their device’s content to their Macs. Features of the software include the ability to add show an iPhone or iPad frame around the streamed content, the ability to run in full-screen mode, force portrait or landscape orientation, and the ability to serve as an AirPlay audio receiver; audio is automatically sent when using Mirroring. Reflection supports OS X 10.6 or later and requires an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 for screen mirroring; it is available now as a free time-limited trial, while a full license sells for $15.

HandBrake conversion utility updated to 0.9.6

image

Popular video conversion utility HandBrake has been updated to version 0.9.6. The update brings with it a number of bug fixes and improvements, including audio gain control, improved support for OS X Lion, improved handling of DVD subtitles without Stop Display commands, HE-AAC encoding support, and improved average frame rate detection. HandBrake 0.9.6 is available now as a free download for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Apple bringing AirPlay Mirroring, Messages to OS X

Apple this morning announced OS X Mountain Lion, the next release of its desktop operating system for its Mac computers. Among the new features debuted by Apple this morning—many of which were based on existing iOS apps, including Notes, Reminders, and Game Center—is AirPlay Mirroring. As the name suggests, the feature will allow users to mirror their Mac’s screen on a HDTV using an Apple TV, making it easy for users to share web pages, videos, lessons, and presentations with others. In addition, the company announced a beta version of Messages for OS X. This iChat replacement mimics the Messages app on iOS, allowing users to send iMessages across both iOS and Mac devices. The app also integrates support for AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts, as well as FaceTime, removing the need for a separate, standalone app. The beta version of Messages is available now as a free download for users of OS X Lion 10.7.3 or later; OS X Mountain Lion is currently available in preview form to registered Mac developers and is slated to ship in late summer.

AirParrot streams Mac displays to Apple TV

image

Mac developer David Stanfill has released AirParrot, a new OS X application that allows users to stream their Mac display to their Apple TV over AirPlay. The application allows users to stream any connected display to the Apple TV in real-time, and offers underscan and video quality adjustments, as well as an option to show or hide the mouse cursor; audio streaming is not currently supported. AirParrot requires OS X 10.6 or later and sells for $10. [via TUAW]

Parallels Mobile adds Host Mac Remote Control + more

Parallels has updated the iOS companion application for its recently released Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac adding support for remote control of the Parallels host Mac in the same manner as remotely controlling virtual machines. The new version also adds audio support, allowing users to play back music and audio remotely from the host Mac or other virtual machine, and iOS clipboard support for copying and pasting text between the iOS device and the remote computer. Additional improvements in the update include better support for external displays and keyboards, the ability to limit connections to Wi-Fi only, and a number of general stability, performance and usability improvements. Parallels Mobile is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is currently available from the App Store for an introductory price of $5, reduced from the normal price of $20. The app requires Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac or later; remote control of the host Mac requires Parallels Desktop 7.

iMovie ‘11 update adds import from iMovie for iOS

Apple has released an update to iMovie ‘11 for Mac OS X adding support for opening projects imported from iMovie for iOS. Originally debuted with the launch of the iPhone 4 last year, iMovie for iOS was more recently updated to a universal app to add support for the iPad 2. Although iMovie projects could be exported via iTunes and used with the iOS version of iMovie on other devices, one significant limitation has been the inability of these project files to be imported and used in the desktop version of iMovie. In addition to adding support for iMovie for iOS project, iMovie 9.0.4 for Mac OS X also fixes issues related to audio adjustments and performance issues when working with large quantities of video clips or large iPhoto libraries. The iMovie 9.0.4 update requires iMovie ‘11 and can be downloaded directly from Apple Support or via the Mac OS X Software Update tool.

Update (07/18/2011): Apple has posted a support article detailing how to import projects from iMovie for iOS to iMovie ‘11.

iPhoneGeotag applies stored iOS location data to iPhoto

Following last week’s discovery that iOS 4 devices have been keeping location records, AppleScript developer Peter Burkimsher has released a utility to make use of this data for geotagging photos. iPhoneGeotag is an open-source AppleScript for Mac iPhoto users that reads the location data file from an iOS device backup and uses matching timestamps to apply geotag information to a user’s iPhoto library. The script is open-source under the Apache 2.0 license and can be freely viewed and modified; location data is not transmitted outside of the user’s own computer and the script does not even require an Internet connection. iPhoneGeotag is free and can be downloaded from the developer’s site.

SuperSync 4.0 brings new GUI, Smart Playlist export

image

SuperSync, a iTunes library synchronization and management tool, has been updated to version 4.0. SuperSync allows users to view, merge, and synchronize iTunes libraries over local networks or over the Internet, among other features. Version 4.0 offers users a brand new interface that allows for easier navigation of multiple libraries, improved networking speeds, a duplicate inspector that lets users compare tracks that are or may be duplicates, an iTunes import feature for importing music from another library or from a backup, Smart Playlist export, and built-in Internet search. SuperSync 4.0 is a free upgrade for all current users while new licenses range from $29 for a two-license pack to $49 for a ten-license pack; it is available now for Mac OS X and Windows.

Handbrake updated to 0.9.5, adds iPad, iPhone 4 presets

image

Popular open-source DVD to MPEG-4 converter Handbrake has been updated to version 0.9.5, its first update in over a year. The new version offers a long list of improvements, including new presets for the iPad, iPhone 4, and second-generation Apple TV, support for SSA subtitles, automatic discovery of VLC in the Applications folder (necessary for ripping encrypted DVDs), AC3 encoding support, universal audio downmix support, a peak framerate option, and more. Notably, 0.9.5 drops support for legacy PowerPC-based Macs; a complete list of changes is available here. Handbrake 0.9.5 is available now as a free download for Mac OS X 10.5 or later, Windows 2000 or later, and Linux.

Fix for FaceTime Mac / iPhone 4 call failure problem discovered

Following Apple’s release of the beta version of FaceTime video calling software for the Mac, a number of iLounge readers reported problems using their Macs to call certain iPhone 4 users, even when those iPhones were on Wi-Fi networks and capable of making outgoing FaceTime calls. After testing with iPhone 4, iPod touch, and Mac hardware, it turns out that a simple but pesky bug is to blame for the problem: the Mac FaceTime application’s handling of telephone numbers with periods, as in 212.555.1212 versus the more traditional use of dashes in 212-555-1212.

image

Unlike the iPod touch 4G and iPhone 4, which automatically translate your Contacts’ phone numbers in the 212.555.1212 format into 2125551212 for calling purposes, the beta Mac FaceTime software appears to improperly treat the periods as additional characters when trying to initiate calls, resulting in an instant statement by the FaceTime software that the person you’re trying to reach is not available. Yet the same person will remain reachable at the same number using a different FaceTime device such as an iPhone 4 or an iPod touch 4G, and will also be capable of calling you.

Until Apple updates the Mac FaceTime software to properly handle telephone numbers entered with periods as separators, use the Mac’s Address Book application to swap the periods in phone numbers for more conventional dashes, which FaceTime for the Mac handles without complaint. Calls that previously seemed impossible due to instant rejection will suddenly go through without complaint.

AirPlayer enables iOS to Mac video streaming

Erica Sadun of TUAW has released what is described as an “extremely alpha” version of AirPlayer, a new Mac application designed to allow for video streaming from an iOS 4.2 device to a Mac. According to Sadun’s post announcing the software, the application was made by reverse engineering AirPlay, and creates and advertises a custom Bonjour AirPlay service that pretends to be an Apple TV. The post notes that users do not need a jailbroken device to use the software; it is unclear what Mac system software and specs are required for it to run. AirPlayer version 0.01 is available now as a free download from Erica Sadun’s personal website.

AirPrint Hacktivator expands iOS printing functionality

image

Netputing has released version 1.7 of its AirPrint Hacktivator for Mac OS X, a free utility that allows printing from an iOS device to any shared printer over Wi-Fi. According to the utility’s release notes, the new version was rewritten to modify only one file, which is backed up prior to installation. After installing the software and turning it on, users simply need to remove and add back the printers they would like to share with their iOS devices. AirPrint Hacktivator for Mac OS X is available now as a free download from Netputing’s website.

Apple releases FaceTime for Mac, 19 million mobile users

image

During its Back to the Mac special event today, Apple announced the release of FaceTime for the Mac. Currently in Beta, the new standalone application allows Mac users running OS X 10.6.4 or later to FaceTime video chat with iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users. The software integrates with the Mac’s built-in Address Book, and automatically rotates the image on the Mac end when an iPhone or iPod touch user rotates their device on the other end of a call. Notably, the screen aspect ratios of the iPhone and iPod touch are different than those of some Macs, leading to black bars on certain Mac models when performing full screen FaceTime chats.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said during the event that there are now over 19 million mobile FaceTime users, meaning that the company has sold at least 19 million iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G units. In addition to the new software, Apple also announced downloads of over 7 billion apps from the App Store, before announcing a new App Store for Mac which the company plans to launch within 90 days. FaceTime for the Mac Beta is available now as a free download from Apple’s website.

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.