iTunes Extras on Apple TV


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Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV, HD Extras to Macs
Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs. Apple also announced the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 (and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall).

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.

[Boot up the Apple TV, go to Movies, and the HD movies have Extras. Apple also has a banner for it – above.]

Skitch: multi-purpose editing tool for doodling on any document
Skitch is one of those apps you’re not quite sure what to make of. Part of the Evernote family, you can doodle all over photos and then share them with your friends. Skitch is truly a multi-purpose tool that lets you markup virtually any document.

Hands-on with Capo and Capo touch
Love playing songs on your stringed instrument of choice but hate the process of learning them? Check out Capo, the Mac and iOS tool for quickly learning just about any song from your library.

Nike’s app and football
Nike is launching a brand new app called Nike Football (or Nike Soccer in the US), that will act as a hub for all things Nike Football from exclusive content and Q&A sessions with athletes to the latest product launches for the company’s line of football products. Nike is also including some social features that let users organise their own pick-up games, trash talk among friends and teammates, and more.

Life after Aperture, iPhoto


Life after Aperture & iPhoto

Yes, they’re going. The next OS (Yosemite) gets rid of both,  and since iPhoto has been the included image management application on the Mac for years, it’s actively used by millions of customers. Although Aperture never made as many inroads into the professional community as Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom, it was still the Apple-supplied pro option [and I love it for looking after my genealogical image collection].

Both programs are being replaced by Apple’s upcoming Photos for OS X application, which at this point is still a mystery: Will it incorporate the advanced features of Aperture, will it be a stripped-down limited clone of the Photos app under iOS 8, or will it be something in-between?

No matter what’s to come, you can start to take steps now, thanks to Macworld,  to prepare for your transition – whether that means switching to Photos or migrating to another third-party photo application. (Regardless of your decision, make sure you have good working backups of your photos!)

itrnsSonico Mobile releases iTranslate for Mac with 80+ languages

Sonico Mobile, makers of popular apps such as iTranslate and iTranslate Voice for iOS today released iTranslate for Mac, bringing the features of the corresponding iOS app to the Mac.

iTranslate for Mac sits right in your menu bar, so translations are always just a click away, no matter what app you’re working in. Simply input text, and the app will quickly process it and provide you the translated output. It’s just as easy to use as the iOS version.

The app has over 80 languages built in as well as a dictionary, so you can get meanings for translated words. Users will also appreciate voice output feature, which makes it easy to listen to the pronunciation of your translation.

Finally, the app has support for reading non-Latin characters, with Romanization for Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, and more.

iTranslate for Mac is on sale for a limited time at 50% off introductory price, so for NZ$6.49 in the Mac App Store. [I bought it.]

The App Store’s 6th anniversary by the numbers

Apple is celebrating the 6th anniversary of the App Store, so let’s look at the most recent numbers Apple announced regarding App Store statistics. During the WWDC keynote on June 2nd, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that the App Store then featured more than 1.2 million apps and counting. App Store customers have downloaded apps more than 75 billion times since the digital store debuted on July 10, 2008, and Apple also noted its platform is home to more than 9 million developers with registered accounts through the Developer Program, a number which was up 47% from the previous year.

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps to 16 new countries

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion to: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.

Countries that already have access to the Volume Purchase Program include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Environmental


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Apple issues 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report

Apple has updated its Environmental Initiatives website and has issued its 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report. The update fulfills a promise from Earth Day in which Apple said that it would more frequently update consumers on its environmental progress and the report highlights significant advances in clean energy usage

Apple has pushed its attention to new levels with the hire of former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson last year. 9to5Mac has more information.

Diversity at Apple

At this week’s Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg reporters that Apple will release diversity data on its workforce. Cook did not specify when this data release would come, but it’s the first confirmation from Apple that the company is planning to release such data. A CNN report from March detailed Apple as one of the several technology giants that have objected to releasing the information.

Diversity reports, such as one Facebook released on its workforce a couple of weeks ago, typically detail demographics in terms of ethnicity and gender. Apple has been criticised for having both a mostly male executive team and board of directors, but Cook has added Angela Ahrendts to the executive team and has been seeking new board members in recent months (and there’s Lisa Jackson , as above). Recently Apple appointed Denise Young Smith as the new head of Human Resources.

[Um-hm … what do you see in the picture, above?]

Cue and Cook at Sun Valley

As expected (due their appearances on the guest list) Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue were in attendance at this week’s Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. The WSJ’s Doug MacMillan shared the above photo of Cook walking around the Sun Valley resort. The Information’s Jessica Lessin spotted Cue, and the executive provided a witty response to Lessin’s question about TV deals.

iTunes U 2.0 has iPad-based course creation, student discussions 

Apple has issued a significant update to its iTunes U application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The application focuses on enhancements for both teachers and students, and the application was first announced by Apple last week alongside the new Back to School retail initiatives.

Apple’s official press release appears here.