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Overnight Recap: Apple Design Awards, Developer Betas, Siri Loves Bing

Apple Design Awards 2013

We came, we saw and for the most part, OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 appear to be a big hit with Apple fans. Pro users who have been waiting literally years for a new Mac Pro were also generally pleased with Cupertino’s sneak peek of the new hardware, and we crossed off most of the items on our own personal wish list. Now we have to endure a long, hot sunny summer before we can get our hands on all these goodies, but first let’s recap some of the other stories from Monday you might have missed.

WWDC 2013: Apple Design Award Winners Announced

With the big two-hour keynote now over, developers can get down to business at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference — but not before seeing if their application might have won a prestigious Apple Design Award for raising the bar in design, technology or innovation. This year’s winners include familiar iOS titles such as Yahoo! Weather, Letterpress and Evernote, as well as others you may not have heard of like mosaic.io, Ridiculous Fishing and Procreate, an iPad drawing app.

Apple Releases First iOS 7, OS X Mavericks Betas for Developers

As noted by MacRumors, developers can now download the first beta for iOS 7, which is currently only available for the iPhone 4 or higher as well as the fifth-generation iPod touch. The developer website is also now serving up OS X Mavericks, the latest and greatest version of the Mac operating system. Both are expected to be released to the public this fall, presumably alongside new hardware (at least in the case of iOS), and Apple plans to include iPad support in a future beta of iOS 7.

iOS 7 Favors Bing Search for Siri Over Google

As usual, Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote was a continuous volley of information spread over two hours, and it’s easy to overlook small details. In the case of Siri, one of the changes coming to iOS 7 is the inclusion of Microsoft Bing web search integration, which Eddy Cue briefly mentioned yesterday. Although Google appears to still be available from Mobile Safari, it seems Bing will be the one and only choice with Siri — yet another rejection of Mountain View’s services after both Google Maps and YouTube being kicked out of Apple’s built-in apps.

Apple Updates AirPort Utility for 802.11ac Compatibility

If you’re in the market for one of those swanky new AirPort Extreme or AirPort Time Capsule base stations announced Monday, you’ll want to first download and update AirPort Utility to the latest version 6.3 on your Mac or version 1.3 for iOS, both which now allow configuration and management of the latest 802.11ac-equipped models. Apple has also released AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.7.1 for the same models, which “resolves a rare issue that may cause the hard drive in AirPort Time Capsule or a hard drive connected via USB to become unresponsive.”

Microsoft Updates Windows Phone for Mac with Critical Bug Fix

Mac lovers who favor Microsoft’s mobile platform over the iPhone will want to download the free Windows Phone 3.0.2, now available on the Mac App Store. The update is required for those running the latest OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4, which addresses a crash “certain customers” were experiencing as well as other “general bug fixes.” Windows Phone for Mac allows owners of such handsets to sync music, photos, videos and more from OS X, so we’d say this sounds like a pretty important update.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Overnight Recap: Hulu Plus 3.0, Google on Reader, Runner’s World on Boston

Hulu Plus 3.0

The banners are up, the weekend is here and come Monday, it will be showtime once again in San Francisco as Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off for 2013. There have probably been thousands (millions?) of words written over the last few months on what the company might debut there, but come 10 a.m. PDT we’ll all know for sure. Be sure to join us for WWDC 2013 coverage here on MacLife.com!

Hulu Plus 3.0 Introduces All-New iPad UI

There have been a plethora of iOS app updates this week, but our favorite by far is Hulu Plus 3.0, which the streaming provider released on Thursday. Although the iPhone/iPod touch didn’t get much love, the iPad features an all-new user interface that allows videos to be minimized while browsing for what to watch next. A new discovery panel offers a quick peek just by tapping on the image for any episode, and a collection of “editorially curated” shows, clips and movies will give viewers plenty to watch during the lazy sunny summer ahead. The 12.3MB download is available for download now, but requires an active Hulu Plus subscription to use.

Google Tries to Blame Reader’s Demise on Mobile Lifestyles

With the death of Google Reader less than a month away, Wired attempted to get to the bottom of why the search giant really decided to put the RSS service out to pasture — and we only have ourselves to blame, apparently. “As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process,” Google Senior Director, News & Social Products Richard Gingras told Wired on Thursday. “Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.” Gingras thinks services like Google Now and its Google+ social network fill the void quite nicely, although there are an awful lot of orphaned Reader users who might disagree.

Roku Adding Redbox Instant by Verizon This Summer

Aside from Google’s YouTube, one of the biggest Roku holdouts has to be Redbox Instant by Verizon, the streaming service which launched earlier this year on mobile devices and select smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The Roku Blog announced Thursday that the wait will soon be over as Redbox Instant lands on the tiny media streaming box later this sunny summer, available on Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450), and Roku HD (model 2500) players as well as the Roku Streaming Stick. Those still clinging to kiosk-based DVD rentals, rejoice!

Runner’s World Delivers Interactive Coverage of Boston Marathon

Adobe’s Digital Publishing Blog published an in-depth look at the making of the July issue of Runner’s World magazine, which is dedicated to the Boston Marathon bombings. In addition to stories from more than 20 runners who lived to tell about their experiences, the digital issue — created with Adobe’s Digital Publishing System — includes interactive content such as a timeline that illustrates how the events unfolded that fateful day, complete with audio, video and overlays. The free Newsstand app is available now from the App Store, with the July 2013 issue ready to download for only .99.

Time Warner Cable Debuts Browser-Based Live TV

It took long enough, but Time Warner Cable is finally loosening its stranglehold on viewing cable subscription content outside the home. According to the company’s Untangled blog, TWCTV.com users can now view On Demand and Live TV from any internet connection on any Mac or PC, following the company’s recent move to unchain the iOS and Android apps. Of course, it makes sense that the mobile apps would have this feature earlier, since how many of us are actually watching streaming media on their desktops or laptops these days?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Overnight Recap: WWDC App Update, Microsoft Restructuring, AirDrop Rumors

WWDC 2013 appAre you a Vine user? If so, you’re definitely not alone, as Twitter confirmed Monday the iPhone app currently has 13 million registered users — a number likely to expand dramatically now that Android has been added to the mix. Speaking of apps, Apple’s official WWDC app has been updated for next week’s 2013 event, so let’s cut to the chase and kick off today’s recap…

Apple Updates WWDC App for 2013 Event

With anticipation running high for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference next week, Cupertino released an update to its official WWDC app on Monday. This year’s free, universal update has brought with it a lot of speculation about the future look and feel of iOS 7, as the app features a more spartan, flat look than many of Apple’s own apps. For registered developers, the app will also be a way to follow the WWDC session videos each day, which marks the first time Apple has made them available so early. WWDC 2013 kicks off next Monday, June 10 with a keynote event expected to preview iOS 7 and the next version of OS X, among other goodies.

Microsoft Weighs Restructuring as Devices and Service Company

AllThingsD reported Monday that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may be on the verge of a “significant restructuring” of the software company, with sources revealing the Windows creator may reposition itself as a “devices and services company.” The move wouldn’t be entirely surprising, since Ballmer already referred to Microsoft in a letter to shareholders last fall. ““This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses,” Ballmer wrote at the time. The report points the finger at “increasing investor pressure” as one key reason for the shift, which will include a number of executives being elevated to “more prominent roles.”

Chicago Sun-Times Trades Pro Photographers for Reporters with iPhones

Last week, The Chicago Sun-Times announced it was laying off all 28 employees in its photography staff, a sad sign of the times for old-school journalism. According to Cult of Mac, the story doesn’t end there, with reporters now being trained in “iPhone photography basics” as a replacement for the sacked photojournalists. One of them, Alex Garcia, lashed out at the news, calling the move “idiotic at worst, and hopelessly uninformed at best.” While the iPhone 5 in particular has a pretty impressive camera, we’d have to agree that this isn’t the best idea we’ve ever heard.

Rumor: AirDrop Coming to iOS 7?

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple may be again testing OS X’s Wi-Fi AirDrop feature for iOS 7, which is expected to be previewed at WWDC 2013 next week. The current implementation of AirDrop allows Mac users to wirelessly copy files between computers, and adding iOS devices to the mix would be a great way to remove a longtime pain point which has been largely filled by third-party apps such as Instashare. While AirDrop for iOS would be a great addition, it would be even better with some kind of dedicated, system-level Files app to act as a depository. We can dream, right…?

Vine Arrives on Android, Celebrates 13 Million Users

Twitter announced Monday that Vine is finally available from Google Play for Android smartphones running 4.0 and above. The release marks the end of Vine as an iPhone exclusive, although it was apparently a successful run — Twitter announced that the app has more than 13 million registered users. Vine for Android even comes with a unique zoom feature, although the current version doesn’t quite have feature parity with iPhone yet, with front-facing camera support, search, mentions and hashtags and Facebook sharing still to come.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Overnight Recap: Tweetbot for Mac 1.3, All Access on iOS, Kuler for iPhone

Adobe Kuler for iPhoneThursday wound up being a hotbed for app updates and product news, but if you were too busy to keep up on everything, we’ve managed to cap off the short work week with a handful of the best announcements. Seems like there’s something for everyone here, including Google Music fans, Tweetbot for Mac users and Creative Cloud subscribers ready for a taste of Adobe’s big update next month.

Tweetbot for Mac 1.3 Adds Media Timeline, New Tweet Detail Look

Tapbots released Tweetbot for Mac 1.3 on Thursday, which introduces the same media timeline the developer recently added to its iOS apps. To access the feature, type Command-F and then switch between timeline and media view at right. The Mac app also has a new look for tweet details, which includes retweet and favorite counts as well as profile cover image support at long last. Not enough for you? Double-clicking the title bar above profile view will now scroll back to the top, much as the application already does for timeline view. There are also a few bugs squashed with this version, so be sure to head to the Mac App Store and grab the update today.

Google Play Music All Access (Officially) Headed to iOS

The Verge reported Thursday that the subscription-based Google Play Music All Access will be arriving on iOS “in about one month’s time,” which would mark the first occasion Google has officially supported its Music service with a native app. Senior Vice President for Android, Chrome and Google Apps Sundar Pichai announced the news while onstage for the D11 conference, which comes only two weeks after Google debuted All Access as part of its exhaustive I/O developer keynote. Does Mountain View have a shot at dethroning competitors like Spotify or Rdio? Official iOS support definitely couldn’t hurt their chances.

Adobe Releases Kuler for iPhone App Ahead of Creative Cloud Update

Adobe Creative Cloud won’t get its big release until June 17, but the company is laying the groundwork for that day with Thursday’s release of Adobe Kuler for iPhone. Previewed at Adobe MAX earlier this month, the app allows designers to capture interesting colors using the iPhone camera, which can then be synced back to the new Kuler website or imported into Adobe Illustrator CC. The best part is, the app is absolutely free, so jump on over to the App Store and get a taste of what the new Creative Cloud is all about.

Microsoft Spills Details on Windows 8.1

On Thursday, Microsoft finally came clean on some of the upcoming changes users can expect with Windows 8.1, which will be available as a public preview on June 26. The next version will be all about personalization, including the ability to change colors or entire backgrounds for the Start screen, which can include motion. The update will also bring welcome enhancements to search, Windows Store apps and cloud connectivity, changes to PC settings and Internet Explorer as well as better mouse and keyboard options. And yes, that pesky Start button will return, although in typical Microsoft fashion, it won’t function as it did in previous versions, but only open the Start screen. Oh well, maybe they’ll get it eventually…

iStopMotion for iPad 2.1 Adds WebDAV, Push Notification Support

Boinx Software continues to add extra value to its iStopMotion for iPad app, which allows users to create stop-motion animation movies right on a tablet. This week’s version 2.1 update adds a pair of welcome improvements, including WebDAV server support aimed at teachers collect their student’s animations in one central place, as well as the ability to receive push notifications for news such as new accessories available, or whenever a new video is posted to the Theater. The update is free for existing users, or .99 for everyone else on the App Store.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Weekend Recap: AT&T’s New Fee, Pandora Radio, QuickTime Trailer Downloads

AT&T logoAmericans are headed back to work after the extended Memorial Day weekend, which was a bit lean on tech news, as you might imagine. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t scrounged up a handful of items to kick off the short work week, including Apple’s mysterious removal of QuickTime trailer downloads and details on a new fee AT&T Wireless customers may be scratching their head over.

AT&T Adds 61¢/Month Administrative Fee

Electronista is reporting that AT&T Wireless has added an extra 61 cents per month fee to customers’ bills as of May 1, an “administrative fee” expected to add as much as 0 million to their bank account each year. Worse yet, the fee is actually per line and not per account, so families will be whacked accordingly depending on how many phones they have. The only good news here is that this fee is actually less than other carriers, with Verizon Wireless at 77 cents per user and Sprint at per line (T-Mobile bundles the fee with other regulatory charges). So what’s it all for? AT&T claims the dough will “cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance” and that the charge is “consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers” — none of which is likely to make anyone feel any better about the hit to their wallet.

Pandora for iPhone Adds Facebook Sharing, Lyrics

The rumor mill may be focused on Apple’s mythical “iRadio” service, but Pandora Radio doesn’t appear to worried about the threat. The app’s most recent version 4.3 update adds the ability to connect with Facebook to share what you’re listening to and help friends discover new music. Ready to sing along with a tune? Tap on the album artwork and you’ll now get additional information such as lyrics and artist info. Last but not least, an enhanced track menu makes it easy to create new stations or share, purchase or bookmark the music you’re listening to. The 16.9MB update is now available from the App Store.

Download Options Start to Vanish from Apple QuickTime Trailers Website

As noted by MacRumors on Friday, it seems that Apple has started the process of removing downloads from its QuickTime Trailers website. The move apparently began around May 22, which is when the latest trailer for Pixar’s Monsters University was uploaded — and unlike previous versions, has no option to download. Older trailers appear to be unaffected by this move for now, but if there’s a title you’d really like to have, it might be a good idea to grab it while you can.

Saturday Evening Post Now Available on Newsstand

The Saturday Evening Post is one of those publications many of us have probably heard of but never actually read, while others might be surprised to discover it’s even still being published at all. According to TechCrunch, the magazine has now landed on Apple’s Newsstand as a free app with single issues available for .99 each or as single issue subscription for .99 each; a one-year, six-issue subscription is the best deal at .99. Billed as “the trusted voice of American culture,” The Post may be most legendary for its cover artwork, the work of artist Norman Rockwell, who contributed a whopping 323 original covers to the publication over 47 years.

Google, Microsoft Working Together on YouTube for Windows Phone

The Verge reported Friday that one high-profile legal tussle may actually wind up having a happy ending. According to sources, Google and Microsoft will be working together on an official YouTube app for Windows Phone, following a recent cease and desist notice from the search giant over Microsoft’s failure to utilize the proper YouTube API (i.e., ads). “Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks,” Google noted in a brief statement last week — a move that could bode well for Windows Phone getting some much-needed Google love in the future.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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