Mac Siri, iTunes faster, iTunes house call, Quip vs Excel, Alien Skin film look


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Leaked screens show Siri in Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.12 with always-on ‘Hey Siri’ — New images published on Wednesday appear to support rumours that Apple will finally bring Siri to the Mac in the next major version of OS X, premiering at WWDC 2016 in June. A Dock icon shows the familiar Siri waveform (2nd from left, image above), while a Menu Bar icon simply uses the word “Siri,” according to MacRumors, which said it obtained the images from a reliable source on Apple’s software plans. One or both icons could potentially be placeholders, changing before the next OS X upgrade releases in the fall, or even Apple’s WWDC keynote. [‘Siri’ … not ‘Hal’.]

Apple’s iTunes 12.4 update provides unexpected speed boost, fixes deletion bug — The iTunes 12.4 update appears to have improved the speed of Apple’s jukebox software on Mac, even though Apple isn’t actively promoting that fact, according to user comments on Reddit and Twitter, and first-hand experience by AppleInsider. Meanwhile MacObserver details the notable changes [this latest version comes with the OS 10.11.5 update free via the Mac App Store.]

Apple Engineers make a house call for iTunes bug — The guy who got the interent in a tiz over iTunes deleting his personal music library has a follow up: Apple engineers paid him a personal visit to troubleshoot the problem. What they discovered was the lost music wasn’t user error, there is a hard-to-track bug in iTunes.

Quip takes another swing at Excel with enhanced spreadsheet features — Quip, a Silicon Valley startup that’s taking on the giants of the productivity software market, announced a major update to its spreadsheet capabilities overnight that’s aimed at bringing its service more in line with Microsoft Excel.

Alien Skin Exposure X review: film emulation app offers new organising tools — With digital photography now nearly an obsession, it’s surprising the extent to which so many shooters — including those who came of age in the digital era — miss the look of film. Not the suspense of anticipating the quality of a 36-picture roll, or the risk of blowing an entire shoot with a tiny mistake, or the time and chemistry required for developing and printing. What’s missing to contemporary shutterbugs is film’s atmospheric aura. Alien Skin’s Exposure X (US$149) is available as a standalone photo filter or plug-in to Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

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