Looking to tame Apple’s Mountain Lion? Step right up, Cupertino’s latest build of OS X is ready for consumption — assuming you’re a registered developer, of course. Following WWDC’s reveals and teases, Apple has released an updated preview of its desktop and mobile operating systems, serving up Mountain Lion Preview 4 and an iOS 6 beta to developers. The rest of us will have to console ourselves with iTunes 10.6.3, which adds support for the mobile and desktop OS’ those fancy devs are getting their hands on. Don’t worry, the updated music management software will be able to make full use of Mountain Lion next month, but you’ll have to wait until this fall to sync with iOS 6. Hit the source link below to get your update.
We’re entering a world of mainstream 64-bit computing — whether we like it or not. Just weeks after Adobe started requiring 64-bit Macs for CS6, DICE’s Rendering Architect Johan Andersson has warned that some of his company’s 2013 games using the Frostbite engine will need the extra bits as a matter of course. In other words, it won’t matter if you have a quad Core i7 gaming PC of death should the software be inadequate; if you’re still running a 32-bit copy of Windows 7 come the new year, you won’t be playing. The developer points to memory as the main culprit, as going 64-bit guarantees full access to 4GB or more of RAM as well as better virtual addressing. Andersson sees it as a prime opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8, although 64-bit Vista and 7 (and presumably OS X, if and when Mac versions exist) will be dandy. Just be prepared to upgrade that Windows XP PC a lot sooner than Microsoft’s 2014 support cutoff if you’re planning to run the next Battlefield or Mirror’s Edge.
According to Wikipedia, the mountain lion, also known as the cougar, is distinguished by having the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial animal in the Western Hemisphere. Indeed, from what we’ve seen so far of Apple’s forthcoming Mac operating system, its new features will likely find favor with a broader range of Apple users than Lion.
Not everyone will embrace Mountain Lion’s additions.
Unquestionably, Apple has a vested interest in easing the path to the Mac from the iPad and iPhone, whose users have expanded to include many people accustomed to Windows PCs. Lion, the seventh major version of OS X, began the post-iPad cycle of bringing iOS conventions “back to the Mac” — revisions that fundamentally affected Mac’s core user experience. A few of these, including “natural” scrolling, full-screen apps and particularly Launchpad, rankled some Mac veterans, who needed to either unlearn old behaviors or just ignored them outright. In contrast, most of Mountain Lion’s additions focus on carrying over iOS applications and features that feel more at home on the desktop.
The crew in Ottawa is now taking square aim at Aperture, Lightroomand other similarly situated products with its new product called AfterShot Pro. Available for Linux, Macintosh and Windows, the software retails for $99 and promises to deliver a complete workflow for RAW files, including file management, batch processing and non-destructive editing capabilities. AfterShot Pro is said to be fully multithreaded and optimized for multiple cores and CPUs. A trial is available for download from the company’s website, while physical copies will begin shipping by month’s end. It’ll certainly be an uphill battle for the scrappy competitor up north, but with a product portfolio heavily leveraged in the graphics industry, it certainly seems time that Corel jumped into the fray.
Sure, OS X Lion borrowed many of its design cues from Apple’s iOS platform, but now users of jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch devices may bring much of the desktop Mac’s functionality onto their handset with Lion Ultimatum. In essence, this beta project is a theme for Dreamboard (which is required software), but it’s rather far-reaching, with a functional file manager and Finder menus, a scrollable dock and draggable windows, along with Stacks, Launchpad, Mission Control and Dashboard. There’s also a customizable lock screen that provides access to the dialer, email and messages. Even the keyboard can be modified to resemble the design of MacBook Pro or the traditional Apple Keyboard, thanks to integration with ColorKeyboard. If you’re thirsty for more, hop the break for an extended video preview, or just follow the source for the full install instructions.
Distributing your OS digitally certainly makes for an easy upgrade, but what happens when your hard disk spontaneously combusts — taking Lion’s recovery partition with it? Unless you planned ahead and rolled your own install image, you were stuck taking an arduous and painful detour back to Snow Leopard before being given the chance to re-up with Cupertino’s latest. That changes today, with the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, a utility that duplicates the OS’s recovery partition onto an external drive of your choosing — allowing you to boot directly into an installer which’ll re-download the latest jungle cat, sans sojourn to 10.6. To do so, you’ll need an external drive larger than 1GB, a machine running Lion, and the 1MB assistant we’ve linked below. Godspeed Apple fanboys, but to the rest of you — now would be a pretty good time to verify those backups are still in working order, yeah?
We’ve had a few weeks to get accustomed to iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion, but one headlining feature has been notably inaccessible since it was unveiled earlier this summer. During his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs touted iCloud as a service that will sync many of your Apple devices, for free. Macs, iPhones, iPads, and even Windows computers can synchronize documents, contacts, calendar appointments, and other data. You’ll also be able to back up your iOS devices remotely, use an Apple-hosted email account, and store your music in the cloud. Well, this week Apple finally lit up its cloud-based service for developers, letting some of us take a sneak peek at the new service.
Apple also announced pricing, confirming that you’ll be able to add annual subscriptions with 10GB ($20), 20GB ($40), or 50GB ($100) of storage ‘atop your free 5GB account. We took our five gig account for a spin, creating documents in Pages, spreadsheets in Numbers, and presentations in Keynote, then accessing them from the iCloud web interface to download Microsoft Office and PDF versions. We also tried our luck at iOS data syncing and the soon-to-be-controversial Photo Stream, so jump past the break for our full iCloud hands-on.
MobileMe’s impending demise just got one step closer, folks. Apple’s updated iCloud.com to now sport an official login page with what we’re assuming is Cupertino’s rendition of a CNC-machined aluminum unibody badge. It looks like those of you rocking iOS 5 or OS X 10.7.2 and who’ve also created an iCloud account are probably already busy frolicking through email, editing contacts and slinging calendar events all from the comfort of your browser. Those services already existed under its predecessor, but it looks as if Cupertino has spruced ‘em up with fresh paint jobs. A screenshot from MacRumors also shows the addition of an iWork section, which we’d surmise means the previously siloed iWork beta now has a new place to call home. We couldn’t get past the migration step with our trusty MobileMe account (disappointing proof is after the break), but you’re more than welcome to tap the more coverage link and have a go yourself.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how much it’ll cost you to claim more than those 5GB that Apple’s tossing in gratis, the folks over at Electronista have confirmed that an extra 10GB will cost $20 per year, while an extra 20GB runs $40 / year and an extra 50GB will demand $100 per annum.
Need a miniature desktop to match that petite MacBook Air that Apple just refreshed? Well, there’s a Mac for that. The new Mac mini packs an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, Thunderbolt, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and Mac OS X Lion. Notably absent, however, is that familiar front-facing SuperDrive slot. Starting at $599 with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5, the new models include Turbo Boost 2.0, letting you crank up the speed to 3.4GHz when using processor-intensive applications. Apple also announced a $999 server version that ships with a Core i7 processor and OS X Lion Server. As with the previous generation, the mini doesn’t sacrifice on connectivity, including gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, HDMI, SDXC, audio in and out, Thunderbolt (with support for up to six devices), and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear. There’s also 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Mac mini is available for purchase online today, and in Apple retail stores tomorrow.
They say Apple updates its products like clockwork, releasing something new at the same time in the same place every year. Not so with MacBook Airs anyway. The outfit’s gone and freshened up its 13-inch and 11-inch ultraportables — the second such update in nine months. Although the industrial design hasn’t changed much since the last generation, both models step up to Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, Thunderbolt ports, backlit keyboards, and, of course, OS X Lion.
The 11.6-inch flavor starts at $999 with 64GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of memory and a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. The higher-end of the two configurations costs $1,199, with the extra two hundred dollars doubling your RAM and storage. The 13-inch Air, meanwhile, starts at $1,299, with a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 CPU. Step up to the $1,599 model and you’ll get a 256GB SSD instead. Regardless, you’re looking at Intel HD 3000 graphics across the board, along with FaceTime webcams, two USB ports (plus an SD slot on the 13-inch version), 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The two differ when it comes to resolution and battery life: the 11-incher has a 1366 x 768 panel and is rated for up to five hours of battery life, whereas the 13-inch model has a 1440 x 900 screen and promises up to seven hours of juice. As for that 1.8GHz Core i7 CPU, it’ll set you back an extra $100 on the 13-inch version, and $150 for the 11-inch version. Whichever size you choose, it’s only an option for the higher-end configuration. Hit the source link to peep the specs and buy one, if you’re so inclined.
Had some doubts that Apple was heading skyward? Those lingering concerns can now be put to rest. Apple has confirmed that it will be announcing iCloud on June 6th, what it’s calling an “upcoming cloud services offering.” That will be part of the keynote for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, known to the cool kids as WWDC. This is, of course, where everyone has come to expect new iPhones to come to light, but this year we’re thinking the focus will be more on software, and indeed Apple’s event notice indicates that the big highlights will be Mac OS X Lion and the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5. This is a decidedly non-Apple way to announce something big like iCloud, making us wonder what other surprises Steve Jobs will have for us at the event — yes, he’ll be kicking things off. As ever you can find out as it happens here, live.
Hello Cleveland! Or, you know, wherever you are. Are you ready to rock? No? Oh, well, maybe just a little jam session, then? Apogee Electronics (no, not the company that brought you all those Duke Nukem releases back in the day) has announced the new Jam device, which enables a digital connection for electric and bass guitars into iOS 4.2.1 (and greater) devices or into any Core Audio compatible apps on Mac. You can record straight into GarageBand if you like and use the built-in control knob to adjust your levels. That connectivity won’t come for free, naturally, with a $99 MSRP slapped on this one. It’ll start rocking stores in March — plenty enough time to find another new drummer.