Apple’s December iMac Pro (NZ press release)

(Image from Apple Newsroom)

iMac Pro, the Most Powerful Mac ever, arrives this December —
Featuring Up to 18-Core Processors, 22 Teraflops of GPU Performance, Fast Storage & Advanced I/O, Apple today gave a sneak peek of iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. The all-new iMac Pro, with its gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac ever made. Featuring a stunning new space grey enclosure, iMac Pro packs incredible performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at US$4999 [cNZ$6997, currently, but with GST and shipping etc I expect it to be more like NZ$8200]
In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.
“We’re thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering. “We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love — iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there’s never been anything like it.”

Workstation-Class Performance in an iMac Design — Featuring next-generation Intel Xeon processors up to 18 cores, iMac Pro is designed to handle the most demanding pro workflows. With an all-flash architecture and all-new thermal design, iMac Pro delivers up to 80 per cent more cooling capacity in the same thin and seamless iMac® design. And with a new space grey enclosure and gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display with support for 1 billion colours, iMac Pro is as stunning as it is powerful.

The Most Advanced Graphics ever in a Mac — iMac Pro comes with the new Radeon Pro Vega GPU, the most advanced graphics ever in a Mac. Featuring a new, next-generation compute core and up to 16GB of on-package high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), iMac Pro with the Vega GPU delivers up to an amazing 11 Teraflops of single-precision compute power for real-time 3D rendering and immersive, high frame rate VR. And for half-precision computation, ideal for machine learning, iMac Pro delivers up to an incredible 22 Teraflops of performance.

Fast Storage & Advanced I/O — iMac Pro also supports up to 4TB of SSD and up to 128GB of ECC memory, and with four Thunderbolt 3 ports can connect to up to two high-performance RAID arrays and two 5K displays at the same time. For the first time ever on a Mac, iMac Pro features 10Gb Ethernet for up to 10 times faster networking.

Pricing & Availability — iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in the US in December starting at US$4999. More details can be found at [which wasn’t online yet at 7.17am NZ time].

iOS 11, App store redesign, watchOS 4 has Siri face

Apple unveils iOS 11 with P2P Apple Pay transfers, a new sound for Siri, AirPlay 2, more — The next major update for iOS is turned up to 11, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook joked while unveiling the software update. It includes a revamped Control Center with deep 3D Touch support, the ability to directly transfer money to friends with Apple Pay, a new voice for Siri, and multi-speaker support with AirPlay 2.

Apple focuses on Discovery with App Store redesign — Apple is revamping the iPhone and iPad App Store to improve discoverability, and we got our first look during the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2017 keynote on Monday.
Apple focuses on discoverability in App Store redesign
The redesigned App Store is using a tab metaphor to show product categories such as Today, Apps, and Games—and each app gets its own page. The new app pages show details about each title, and can highlight in-app purchases, which should make developers happy. The new App Store is part of iOS 11, which is shipping as a free update for the iPhone and iPad in a few months.

Apple announces watchOS 4 for Apple Watch with Siri watch face, connectivity with gym equipment — The next generation of Apple Watch software has just been unveiled in the form of watchOS 4, a major update that will include new watch faces, including one driven by the Siri personal assistant. Other additions include connectivity with gym equipment, and support for syncing multiple playlists.

WWDC is here, High Sierra, new iMacs, iMac Pro, updated MacBooks, incredible museum

Apple has previewed an iMac Pro to be available in December

Apple doling out jean jackets plus Metal, iMessage, six-colour logo pins to WWDC attendees – As part of the badge issuance at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple has been giving out custom black denim jean jackets, and an assortment of collectible pins. Developers attending the event started lining up early this morning so they wouldn’t miss out and the line to get in quickly grew to take over the block in front of the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

Apple announces support for external graphics cards, virtual reality platforms in macOS High Sierra — Coming this northern autumn as a free upgrade, Apple’s new macOS 10.13 High Sierra platform will include support for external graphics cards over Thunderbolt 3, giving systems enough power to support high-end gaming and popular virtual reality platforms. Apple Insider has a list of all the specifics.

Apple launches speedy new iMacs capable of VR content creation with USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports — Focused on professional users, Apple has just unveiled a revamped iMac lineup with faster and more capable hardware, which will allow for the creation of graphics-intensive virtual reality content with macOS High Sierra. The new 21.5-inch 4K iMac starts at US$1299 featuring Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. A non-4K model is priced at US$1099. All new iMacs are shipping today. The iMac is also getting Thunderbolt 3, and Fusion Drive standard on all 27-inch models and on high end 21.5-inch models.

Apple previews iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever built, coming in December — In a rare pre-announcement intended to appease professional users, Apple offered a sneak preview of the new iMac Pro coming in December, boasting up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 128GB of ECC memory. It will cost US$4999. [I will have more on this in a separate post.]

Apple also today updated the MacBook and MacBook Pro — They now have the long-awaited faster Kaby Lake processors, added faster SSDs to the 12-inch MacBook and introduced a new US$1299 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The MacBook now features Kaby Lake processors up to 1.3GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz and up to 50% faster SSD, and supports up to twice the memory.
The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro features Kaby Lake processors up to 3.5GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.0 GHz, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro goes up to 3.1GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz. The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes standard with more powerful discrete graphics with more video memory, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro adds a new $1,299 configuration.
Apple also updated the 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz processor.
The updated iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are available to order today on, and available to buy in Apple Stores starting from Wednesday, June 7th. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at

Incredible private Apple museum opens near Warsaw, Poland — A private Apple museum opened in the small town of Łoś near Warsaw, Poland last Saturday. The exhibition consists mostly of computers and accessories collected by Jacek Łupina. His collector’s passion started with buying an old PowerMac G4. Soon, Łupina started buying other ancient Apple computers and devices, like a Macintosh 128K and its later variants, a Lisa 2/5 with 5 MB hard disk, and a special Woz edition Apple IIGS.

iMazing Mini, high-end ’buds

‘Time Machine on iPhone’ with iMazing Mini — Time Machine on macOS is an amazingly elegant backup solution. When it comes to iPhone backups, there really hasn’t been anything like Time Machine. The team behind iMazing recognised this, and have recently released the public beta of software that brings Time Machine to iOS. iMazing Mini is available for download now, and it’s a free app. With iMazing Mini, you can take ‘snapshots’ of your devices. These are incremental backups that you can roll back to at any time.

Nike VaporMax Flyknit Apple Watch Bands have already sold out — Nike just started shipping their new Nike+ VaporMax Flyknit Apple Watch bands, but good luck getting one because they’ve already sold out. The new bands match Nike’s Day to Night VaporMax Flyknit running shoes, but until they’re back in stock you’ll have to live in a colour mismatched world.

Audeze debuts Apple store exclusive iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition — High-end earphone company Audeze this week announced a new addition to its growing product with the iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition, a custom version of its over-the-top in-ear planar magnetic headphones made exclusively for Apple. [And what’s not to love about that?!] The Audeze iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition is on sale now at Apple retail stores [which we don’t have in NZ, and they also don’t appear in the NZ online Apple Store] and through (in the US) for US$399.95.

Smart people vs Trump, WWDC tomorrow, pre-news, best monitors, OneLogin breach

America’s smartest business leaders think Trump Is wrong on Paris Accord — America’s business leaders think President Donald Trump is wrong on climate, and wrong to pull out of the Paris Accord. More importantly, they’re speaking out. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Disney’s Bob Iger, are just three top executives who have condemned the decision. The leaders of many of America’s biggest businesses have done the same.
According to Tim Cook’s letter to Apple employees, Cook discussed the matter with Trump on Tuesday, two days prior to the White House decision. The email confirms reports that Cook personally reached out to Trump in an attempt to sell him on the deal’s benefits, not only for the US but for the world.

Apple has decked out the McEnry Convention Center in San Jose for WWDC 2017 — Apple is hard at work taking care of the final details before tomorrow’s Worldwide Developer Conference, and that includes signage outside the McEnery Convention Center (shown above). Banners and street post signs are going up on and around the convention center in San Jose.
So rumours continue to percolate, and apparently this is important, although I choose not to spread the majority of them. You can follow the announcements of new hardware and software (and various sales brags) live at Apple Insider should you wish, and WWDC should kick off 10am  Monday San José time – this is Tuesday 5am NZ time or 3am Australia.
I will of course be up and blogging, as Apple sends me through NZ price and availability as it comes to hand. This will begin about 7am NZ time, so check this site tomorrow for all the latest.

Apple pre-released some developer-specific news — Probably because of a tight timetable tomorrow – which is exciting in itself – Apple has pre-issued two developer-specific press releases covering news that has normally formed part of the WWDC keynotes. These were about developer payouts and Swift Playgrounds.

Monitor Roundup: the best external displays to use with your Mac — Mac users looking for an external display have a variety of options ranging from budget-friendly TN panels to high-end HDR displays. We’re rounding up a list of the top monitors – some with USB-C support and some without – to use with your Mac.

OneLogin customer data exposed in ridiculously bad security breach — Password manager and single sign on company OneLogin is warning users of a security breach that could expose potentially anything encrypted through their services. Hackers managed to steal a set of Amazon Web Service keys and use those to decrypt all kinds of customer data. [People ask me why I don’t trust these one-password companies. Here’s why: someone gets that one password to the service and they get all your other passwords.]

This is late — Yes, sorry. It’s a public holiday here and I uncharacteristically slept in.

The Apocalypticon ~ Mystery red in the White House, Putin’s hints, climate, ‘iPad’, Windows 10, terror tactics, Android, spring cleaning for security

Mystery red light flickering in the White House — Internet-fuelled conspiracy theories have plagued US politics over the last year and made voters on both sides of the aisle appear to be reactionary maniacs. But conspiracy theories can also be fun. And the entirely benign saga of red lights flashing in the windows of the second-floor residence of the White House (below) is about as fun as these things get.
~ It’s flashing SOS …

Putin hints at Russian hacking of the US election — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks last year to help the presidential campaign of Donald J Trump. Putin continued to deny any state role, but his comments to reporters in Saint Petersburg were a departure from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Mr. Trump’s victory, the country had become the victim of anti-Russia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.
~ Which hints to me that Putin has realised that investigators will soon prove links. 

Australian scientists react to more Trump narrow-minded idiocy — Climate experts at The Australian National University have weighed in on what the potential global fallout would be if Trump does pull the pin. For example, Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from ANU Research School of Earth Sciences: “There is no doubt in the science. The greenhouse gases that we are putting into Earth’s atmosphere are changing our climate.”
~ Ah, what do scientists know? 

North Korea creates ‘iPad’ — Ryonghung, a North Korean technology company, recently announced a new tablet. It looks a lot like the weird, firewalled computers the country has produced in the past, with the addition of one curious new feature: The name. It’s called… the iPad.

Windows 10 tracks “too much” — Are we surprised?

Android unleashed — As an engineer at the Apple spinoff General Magic, he built some of the world’s first internet-connected portable devices. As CEO at Danger, he created the Sidekick, a smartphone that defined the category before anyone had invented the term. And then, of course, Rubin created Android, the operating system found in more than two billion phones, televisions, cars, and watches. And he has new plans … and should you want to ditch your secure, powerful iPhone for a bug-ridden, mixed-up, non-standardised and insecure platform of wannabe copyism, here’s your guide.

Tech-created inequality can be solved … by tech — The inequality of badly-run or corrupt states is boosted by the power of technology, but it’s also easier than ever to destabilise these states, thanks to technology. The question is: which future will prevail?” As technology – specifically, networked technology – makes it easier for opposition movements to form and mobilize, even under conditions of surveillance, and to topple badly run, corrupt states.

Private security company used counter-terrorist tactics against Standing Rock — A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, reports The Intercept, decrying “the fusion of public and private intelligence operations.”

Finally, something positive: how to spring clean to make your devices less vulnerable — This is from Wired.

Futurology ~ Jupiter jaunt, solar plane, resolution x3, wooden towers, ancient contraceptives and pyramid DNA

By Jupiter! Juno’s first major information dump revealed some incredible insights into our big ol’ friend, Jupiter. A few close approaches from the NASA spacecraft show that the gas giant has extremely chaotic storms and can generate aurorae in ways Earth can’t, among other oddities. In short, Jupiter is the Wild West of the solar system, and an incredible view of its rings proves just how true that is.
Jupiter is immense and this video is spectacular. The fifth planet from the sun has a diameter of 143,231 kilometres (89,000 miles) and could easily envelop every other planet (and Pluto). The gas giant also has 2.5 times the mass of all those planets combined. Even its enormous storms boggle the mind: the Great Red Spot is big enough to contain the Earth.
~ Suddenly Mars seems more attractive. 

Solar plane to circumnavigate the Earth — A Russian tycoon and his Renova Group plan a record-breaking effort to send a plane around the world nonstop using only the power of the sun. If all goes well, a single pilot will fly for five days straight at altitudes of up to 10 miles, about a third higher than commercial airliners.
~ If he flew at a lower altitude, wouldn’t it be a shorter trip?

New tech could triple screen resolutions — A research team at the University of Central Florida has developed a new surface that allows the tuning of individual subpixels on a display. The breakthrough might mean the potential display resolutions on LCD TVs could triple, virtually overnight.
~ All hail embossed nanosurfaces.


Wooden skyscraper — Chicago’s John Hancock Center was built in 1965 and required 5 million pounds of aluminium. Five years later, engineers constructed the Sears Tower, a 1,400 foot skyscraper that used more than 176 million pounds of steel. An ambitious new proposal promises to introduce a new material to Chicago’s skyline, and to skyscrapers around the world: wood.
Architects are exploring a new kind of high-rise structure built entirely from timber. The River Beech Tower is a spindly, beechwood building whose 80 stories cut a blonde silhouette against Chicago’s dark, glassy horizon.
~ Do they have borer over there?

Ancient Chinese contraception proves ‘perfect’ — Researchers at UC Berkeley found a birth control that was hormone-free, 100% natural, resulted in no side effects, didn’t harm either eggs nor sperm, could be used in the long-term or short-term, and, perhaps the best part of all, could be used either before or after conception, and it came from ancient Chinese folk medicine
Two plant compounds block fertilization at very, very low concentrations – about 10 times lower than levels of levonorgestrel in Plan B – they could be a new generation of emergency contraceptive.
~ They work as swim encumbrance. Seriously!

Ancient Egyptian DNA reveals … They left behind intricate coffins, massive pyramids and gorgeous hieroglyphs, a pictorial writing code cracked in 1799. But there was one persistent hole in ancient Egyptian identity: their chromosomes. A study led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Tubingen in Germany managed to plug some of those genetic gaps.
Ancient Egyptians were closely related to people who lived along the eastern Mediterranean and shared genetic material with residents of the Turkish peninsula at the time and Europe.
The major finding was that “for 1300 years, we see complete genetic continuity.” Despite repeated conquests of Egypt, by Alexander the Great, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Assyrians and more, ancient Egyptians showed little genetic change.
~ They also didn’t find much sub-Saharan African ancestry.

Five Tip Friday ~ A Mac Medley for Finder, Contacts, Safari and iTunes

1/ How to Force Quit an unresponsive app in macOS Sierra — Of course, try quitting it in the normal way first by choosing Quit from the app’s menu in the menu bar, or press Command (⌘) and while it’s held down, the Q key, or click-and-hold on the app’s icon in the Dock and choose Quit from the pop-out menu that appears.
But if a Mac app acts up and you have to stop it running, you may have to force it to quit so you can relaunch it. Here’s how you use Force Quit in macOS Sierra:
Choose Force Quit from the Apple () menu, or press Command-Option-Esccape (Esc at top left of your keyboard) all together.  (This is similar to pressing Control-Alt-Delete on a PC.)
Select the app in the Force Quit window, then click Force Quit.

2/ Automatically select the best email account in macOS Sierra — You can have Mail in macOS Sierra automatically select the best email account for a new message based on who the email is addressed to and what mailbox you selected when our began composing your new email.
With Mail up and running, click Mail, then Preferences from the top menus.
Click on the Composing tab.
There is a drop-down next to Send new messages from. Choose that to view your options.

3/ Archive information out of the Contacts program — In Apple’s Contacts app, Choose File > Export > Export vCard. This works for any individual card you have selected, but also for entire groups if you select one on the left, or All Contacts for all of them.
Once you’ve selected File > Export > Export vCard, your Mac will ask you where you’d like to save it, and you’re done! This’ll create a .vcf file in your chosen location, and if at any point you’d like to bring back those people, just double-click on the file to reimport their cards.

4/ Check for malicious extensions in Safari — If you find that your browser is still acting weird, you may need to look to see if the adware you picked up added an unwanted extension to Safari.
Safari extensions are software programs you can install to customise the way your browser works. For example, extensions can show news headlines in a bar below the toolbar, change the appearance of web content, or add buttons to the Safari toolbar.
In order to provide these features, extensions may access the content of the webpages you visit. It’s good practice to check which extensions you have installed and make sure you are familiar with what they do.
To check, open the program, then click on Safari > Preferences from the menus at the top. Choose the Extensions tab at the top, and you’ll see the list of what’s been installed. If you see something in your own list you’re unfamiliar with, you can either disable it by deselecting the checkbox I’ve indicated above or remove it completely using the Uninstall button.

5/ Open a playlist in a new window in iTunes 12.6 on macOS Sierra —  With the release of iTunes 12.6 on macOS Sierra, Apple restored the ability [YAY!] to open a playlist in a new window. Why this feature was ever removed shall forever remain a mystery. But here’s how you can open a playlist in a new window.
Launch iTunes.
Control-click or right-click on the playlist you want to open and select Open in New Window. That’s it.

Swift Playgrounds 1.5, Network Speed Tester, Apple Insider app

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds 1.5 will teach kids how to write code for Lego, drones & robots — Apple has just revealed that with a version
1.5 update on June 5 (the beginning of WWDC 2017) Swift Playgrounds will include new material teaching people how to write programming for drones, robots, and similar electronics.
Apple is working with several electronics makers to incorporate the content, namely Lego, Parrot, Sphero, Ubtech, Wonder Workshop, and Skoog. In-app projects will, for example, guide users through using Sphero’s Sprk+ robot in a real-world version of Pong.

Network Speed Tester apps released for all Apple devices — Lakehorn AG has introduced its full suite of Network Speed Tester apps for all Apple devices. It lets users measure and visualise network and WiFi performance between Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs on the same network.
Network Speed Tester apps require macOS 10.10 , iOS 9.0, and tvOS 9.0 or higher. Network Speed Tester for Mac is a US$3.99 download (NZ$5.99) available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utility category. The client app for iOS/tvOS is a free download worldwide. The server app for iOS/tvOS is a US$1.99/NZ$2.99 download.

AppleInsider’s official iOS app redesigned from the ground up with support for 3D Touch, podcasts, videos & more — The official AppleInsider app for iPhone and iPad has reached a milestone version 3.0 release, packing in new features such as 3D Touch support, split view and slide over, easy access to our growing video library and access to the popular AI podcast. It’s available for free with ad support, or ad-free with an optional subscription plan priced at US83¢ per month.

Cooks calls on Trump, Laurene Jobs, LG Ultrafine, Thunderbolt 3-to-PCI Express, dev payouts, flowchart app, Safari Tech Preview

(Image from The Atlantic)

Apple’s Tim Cook asks President Trump to keep US in Paris climate accord — Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly among a number of corporate and political leaders trying to persuade US President Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, which he has often vowed to do. [Cook sway over Trump: nil.]

Laurene Powell Jobs discusses immigration, education in interview — Lauren Powell Jobs, widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, sat down for a rare interview at the Code Conference on Wednesday to discuss philanthropic initiatives tied to her foundation, the Emerson Collective, immigration, education, the intersection of media and tech and more.

Video review of LG’s UltraFine 5K Thunderbolt 3 display, 6 months later — Six months after it launched, how does LG’s UltraFine 5K Thunderbolt 3 display hold up? AppleInsider revisits the premium monitor intended for Apple’s USB-C MacBook Pros in this video review.

Sonnet launches new Thunderbolt 3-to-PCI Express (PCIe) expansion chassis — Sonnet Technologies has announced the eGFX Breakaway Box, a Thunderbolt 3-to-PCI Express (PCIe) expansion chassis with a single slot for connecting any size Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card, including high-performance graphics (GPU) cards to a Thunderbolt 3-equipped computer.

Apple’s developer payouts top US$70 billion — Developers selling apps through Apple’s App Store have been paid over US$70 billion since it first launched in 2008. Apple shared that detail only a couple days ahead of its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off on Monday, June 5th.

Pagico Interactive Flowchart App for Mac: US$19.99 — Mac Observer has a deal Pagico 8.7 for Mac, software that helps turn tasks, notes, and projects into interactive flowcharts. Version 8.7 added 14 new features to the software. You can get it through for US$19.99, less than half retail.

Safari Technology Preview 31 released for macOS Sierra — Safari Technology Preview 31 has been released to macOS Sierra. Safari Technology Preview is an experimental version of Safari wherein Apple tests Webkit features and improvements before pushing them to the public Safari browser. Think of it as beta testing, similar to how Apple has beta releases of iOS and macOS before releasing them to the public.
The full release notes can be found at You can freely download the latest release of Safari Technology Preview. If you already have it installed, you can update it from the Mac App Store’s Updates tab.

iOS 11 wishes, iPhone security, WWDC app, iPad in India, Microsoft Planner, Wacom for iPad, Eve HomeKit

Will iOS 11 have Augmented Reality features?

What might be in iOS 11? Apple will almost certainly preview iOS 11 at next week’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Lots of new features are expected, and Dennis Sellers hopes for an Automator, Augmented Reality features, a Dark theme, FaceTime conference and more. [I just want it to be faster and more secure.]

Apple brilliantly personifies iPhone security — There are three new Why Switch videos on YouTube. Contacts is clever and does a pretty good job of conveying that it’s easy to move your contacts to iPhone from “your phone.” Smooth makes a good case that video is smoother on iPhone. But Security, now that one is brilliant. It personifies iPhone’s inherent security advantage over (the unnamed) Android in a funny, concise, and elegant way. It’s easy to understand, and I think it’s entertaining. You can watch it below.

Apple’s WWDC app updated with session info, streaming video section, more — To ready attendees for the 2017 WWDC, Apple has updated its companion app for iOS and tvOS, with details for some – but not all – of the sessions to be held.

iPad has 5.3% of India’s market share; Apple is fifth among the country’s tablet makers — Apple maintained its fifth-place position among tablet manufacturers in India despite shipments declining by 38.2% compared to the previous quarter, according to the IDC research group. iPad has 5.3% of India’s tablet marketshare.

Microsoft launches previously web-based Planner productivity app for iPhone and iPad — Microsoft has added another app to its collection of Office productivity tools for iOS, with a native version of Planner allowing users of the existing web app version to manage existing tasks and collaborate with other team members from their iPhone, without accessing the tool through a browser window.

Wacom intros Bamboo Sketch smart stylus for iPhones and iPads — Not everyone who needs a stylus wants an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, so Wacom has introduced the new US$79.95 Bamboo Sketch stylus that provides pressure sensitivity for writing and sketching on any compatible iPhone or iPad. At this point, it appears that those devices include anything newer than an iPhone 6 and what Wacom refers to as “older iPad generations.”

Elgato intros Eve Degree temperature and humidity sensor with Apple HomeKit support — Accessory maker Elgato on Wednesday launched the Eve Degree, a compact temperature and humidity sensor integrated with Apple’s HomeKit.

More hints of new Macs, Swift Publisher, Carpool Karaoke, Brawlerz Nitro

Swift Publisher promises page layout for a one-off fee

Russian regulatory filings point to five new Macs, four new iOS devices coming soon — Data gleaned from regulatory filings in Russia suggest that Apple is on the cusp of announcing up to five new Mac models and four new iOS devices soon, and possibly as soon as WWDC. [We will know Tuesday June 6th, NZ time.]

Swift Publisher 5: Powerful and easy desktop publishing at a fair price — The 1990s seemed to be the heyday of desktop publishing software, with everything from high-end Mac apps like PageMaker and Quark XPress to less expensive and capable apps from a number of developers. Today, it seems like most desktop publishing apps are either too complex and costly for most casual users, or don’t have the ability to do “real” layout work.
Swift Publisher 5from BeLight Software (US$19.99 for a single license) is a pleasant exception to the rule, supplying power to do a lot of pro-level desktop publishing while keeping the price down and being easy to use.

Apple’s Carpool Karaoke spinoff set for Aug. 8 debut on Apple Music — Apple has announced an August 8 debut for Carpool Karaoke: The Series which will be available exclusively to Apple Music subscribers. [Gosh.]

Brawlerz Nitro is a new arena combat game for macOS — Bail Enemy Jet! has rolled out Brawlerz Nitro 1.0, a US$14.99 arena combat game for macOS (and Windows and Linux).
Brawlerz Nitro puts players in charge of insane nitrous-infused vehicles equipped with weapons and explosives. Experience team combat with deathmatch and soccer game modes in high detailed combat arenas. It has colourful art and support for split screen in both offline and online game modes. It’s available on Steam for NZ$17.99.