Category Archives: Mac News

Working Apple 1 sells, laptop sales up, driverless Apple, Dutch Maps, frivolous suits, MNML, Singapore Apple store, Apple music trials

Working Apple-1 sold at auction by original owner for $101K in Germany — One of the last surviving Apple-1 computers in full working order has sold in Germany for a bid price of $101,325 — which was far lower than expected for the collectible. Aside from original documentation, the paperwork also included a collection of notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

Apple sees year-over-year increase in Mac laptop sales — Apple’s sold an estimated 3.4 million laptops in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, compared to an estimated 2.9 million in the previous quarter, according to TrendForce. Yet this increase is still a 15.8% decline compared to the last quarter of 2016. The figures place Apple fifth among global laptop manufacturers, notes the research group with 9% market share.

Apple’s driverless test car caught in the wild — Apple’s driverless test car, a Lexus SUV, was caught in the wild by a MacRumors reader. There’s nothing earth-shattering about catching Apple’s autonomous vehicle in the wild – it’s been done before – but it shows Project Titan leaks have dramatically slowed since Bob Mansfield took it over.

The Netherlands gain more mass transit details in Apple Maps — Apple has expanded its mass transit information to the Netherlands, with the full set of data involving stations, tracks, and other stations coming online on early Saturday morning – but live train and bus data is not yet available.

US Supreme Court ruling may shrink tide of frivolous patent lawsuits against Apple — The US Supreme Court on Monday issued a critical decision that could reduce the number of patent lawsuits tech companies like Apple face on a yearly basis.

MNML (pronounced ‘minimal’) is a minimalist macOS desktop client for Medium — John Saddington is the same developer who brought you Desk. That Mac app was voted one of the Mac App Store Best Apps of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, and MNML (NZ$44.99/US$29.99, and here’s the Store link for other countries) is off to a good start by being featured on the Mac App Store as a Best New App.

Knightsbridge Singapore Apple store cover removed, showing first glimpses of interior — The cladding surrounding the new Apple store at Singapore’s Knightsbridge shopping center has been removed, and the interior of the location has been seen for the first time.

Apple Music starts charging for three-month trials in some countries — For reasons unknown, Apple has begun charging a small fee in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland for what would ordinarily be a free three-month trial of Apple Music.

Games, more Apple wind, Photos tip, Stevie Wonder, chump meeting, iCloud forensics

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III coming to the Mac on June 8 — Feral Interactive has announced that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, the latest episode in Relic Entertainment’s real-time strategy series, will be released for macOS and Linux on Thursday, June 8.

Nongünz game blasts onto the Mac — Sindiecate Arts has released Nongünz on Steam for macOS, Windows and Linux. It’s a US$6.99 ‘gothic retro game described thus: “The game is a puzzle in itself, a secret to be discovered. Each run has you fighting through a procedurally-generated dungeon filled with hordes of monsters made from human limbs and giblets. Build up your score by executing stylish combos and spend the rewards on your expanding band of lost souls and death cultists.”

Apple’s wind farm project developer wants bigger, but fewer, turbines — Avangrid Renewables, the project developer for Apple’s Montague (Oregon) Wind Power Facility, is seeking a permit amendment for the Montague Wind Power Facility that would allow it to use a turbine model with a rotor diameter of 136 meters and generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts.

How to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra — Sometimes you may need to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra. It’s not as easy as you’d think; you can’t simply click on an album name and hit delete on your keyboard.

Stevie Wonder performs at Apple HQ to celebrate Global — Multi-platinum Grammy winning artist Stevie Wonder performed at Apple’s corporate headquarters this week, in an event recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day, focused on making technology accessible and usable for persons with disabilities.

Execs from Apple, other tech firms to talk immigration and government modernisation at White House meeting — Immigration policies, government services modernization and integration with cutting edge Silicon Valley initiatives like machine learning are on the docket for next month’s meeting of President Donald Trump’s American Technology Council, according to a report. [All I’m saying is ‘Faust’.]

Data forensics company recovers notes data Apple claims is deleted — Files deleted from Apple’s Notes app shouldn’t be recoverable after 30 days, but the security and data forensics company Elcomsoft found they could access records that were deleted months, or even more than a year, ago. That sounds pretty bad, but recovering those files requires some pretty specific elements, including knowing your iCloud login and password.

Laptop ban off, working faster, Chinese tip functions

(Image from EasyAcc)

US and EU reject expanding laptop ban to flights from Europe — US and EU officials have decided against a ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Europe. But after a four-hour meeting in Brussels to discuss the threats to aviation security, officials said other measures were still being considered.

Work faster on Mac — Although Macs have improved immensely since 1989, some things about using them haven’t changed much. So, many of the tips, techniques, and shortcuts discussed in Dr Macintosh way back when are still valid today and appear in Working Smarter for Mac Users.

Apple orders Chinese social networks to stop ‘tip’ functions that break App Store rules — Apple is reportedly cracking down on social networks in China providing payment services between users, ordering the creators of popular messaging apps to disable ‘tip’ functions in order to comply with App Store rules, in what may be a move by Apple to try and increase revenue from in-app purchases.

WannaCry, Accessbility Day, sign overlay, education sessions site, hidden wallpaper

The Sign Overlay gives you access to sign language symbols while protecting your Mac keyboard

How to avoid the WannaCrypt virus if you run Windows on a Mac — If you’re only an occasional user of Windows on a Mac, make sure you don’t get hit by the current worms.
WannaCrypt may be exclusively a problem for Windows users, but the worm/virus combination could hit a Mac user with a Boot Camp partition or Windows virtual machines in VMware Fusion, Parallels, or other software. If you fit that bill and haven’t booted your Windows system since mid-March or you didn’t receive or install Microsoft’s vital security update (MS17-010) released at that time, read on.

Apple highlights Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18 with Designed for everyone video series — Apple has a long history of working to make open accessibility a key feature of its hardware products and software development platforms. For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple has posted a series of seven videos to YouTube showing how real people make use of Mac, iOS and Apple Watch accessibility features from Switch Control to Siri to VoiceOver. Each tells the story of specific individual in about two minutes.

Editors Keys sign language keyboard overlay — These covers work with all US, European, UK and Rest of World keyboards. They are designed to not slip or slide and have a smooth feel that is soft and comfortable to the touch and will not restrict typing while presenting keys you need and protecting your keyboard from dust, sneezes and minor spills. The Editors Keys range of keyboard covers also safeguard your keyboard from dirt, spills and wear and tear, allowing you to protect your investment in your notebook computer. The Sign Language cover costs US$29and fits the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar 2016+, 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
 and the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Apple launches dedicated site for first Today at Apple sessions — Apple has introduced a dedicated website for Today at Apple, its education and entertainment sessions at retail, which are getting underway this week.
The site,, lets people see available events and sign up for them (so it’s only for countries that have Apple stores). Options are automatically filtered by location, and visitors can further filter by date and category, such as “Music” or “Photo & Video.”

There are great alternative desktop wallpapers on your Mac — Here’s how to find them. These images are all 3200 pixels by 2000 pixels, so should work nicely for most resolutions.

Mac-using astrophysicist, security tightened, Apple Park, beyond WWDC, Touch Bar award, Folx downloader and torrent manager giveaway

(Image from Vanderbilt News)

Interview with Astrophysicist Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann on the Mac Observer — Dr Kelly Holley-Bockelmann is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. Her research specialty is black holes and gravitational waves and she uses a Mac and supercomputers to study how black holes generate ripples in the fabric of spacetime and deepen our astronomical understanding and perspective. Kelly, her students and associates are also devoted Mac users, and she tells John Martellero why.

Apple squashed 30 security holes in macOS Sierra with the release of macOS 10.12.5 — The company’s security notes indicate the update addressed a wide variety of issues in its Mac operating system, many of which are serious. Flaws would have allowed the bad guys to capture network credentials, gain root control of your Mac or read data stored in memory that is supposed to be protected.

Apple Park toured, execs reminisce about Steve Jobs’s devotion to and vision of the project — During a tour given to a Wired journalist in May called One More Thing: Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (Or Just Insane) New Mothership, Apple’s Design head Jony Ive and the architects responsible for the project spoke about the philosophy of Apple Park’s design, Steve Jobs’ influence on the project down to minute details, and the massive engineering effort needed to complete the project.

Apple goes ‘Beyond WWDC’ with Third Party Events — Apple has posted some of the third party events (which it has not done before) that take place during its own World Wide Developer Conference. The Apple Developer Connection has a new Beyond WWDC list that includes events like AltConf 2017, The Talk Show with John Gruber Live, CocoaConf Next Door, Layers, the App Camp for Girls benefit with James Dempsey and the Breakpoints. and Jim Dalrymple’s Beard Bash.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar wins a Display Industry Award — It may be controversial, but the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has won a Display Industry Award from the Society for Information Display (SID), a professional organisation focused on the display industry. The awards are granted to “display products that incorporate the most significant technological advances and/or outstanding features.”

Speedifier lets you control video speed in Safari — Speedifier is a Mac app that lets you control video speed in Safari for HTML5 videos. You can use the extension on any website. Speedifier was developed by Arno Appenzeller, a part-time Mac and iOS indie developer from Germany.

Folx 5 PRO download and torrent manager for Mac (10 copies to win) — If you do you do a lot of downloading of files or get content from torrents, you probably know how crazy things can get, just about everything shows up in your Downloads folder, whether it is video, music, photo or app content, and if it’s a fast torrent, you may not have much control over your download and upload speeds. Apple World Today has Folx 5 PRO (US$19.95), a powerful download and torrent manager from Eltima Software. Check out the review, then enter to win one of ten licenses for Folx 5 PRO.

macOS 10.12.5, Kaby Lake leaker, car pontifications, AAC wins out, TrackX for Final Cut

macOS 10.12.5 fixes problems with USB headphones, Windows 10 & more — Apple has issued macOS 10.12.5, making various bug and security fixes while laying the groundwork for later Mac releases.
The code solves problems with stutteriing audio from USB headphones, and allows “media-free” installation of the Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp, according to official release notes. The 10.12.5 update can be installed via the Mac App Store.

Leaker claims Intel launching powerful ‘Core i9 Skylake X,’ ‘Kaby Lake X’ processors in June — Intel may be preparing to add a new tier of processor to its lineup, with an image suggesting a new high-end Core i9 with six processors using the Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X architectures are set to be unveiled by the chip producer starting in June – but if they will see the light of day in an Apple desktop is not clear.
The post on the Anandtech forums by user ‘Sweepr’ indicates there will be four Core i9 processors, two each in the i9-7900 and i9-7800 ranges, along with two Core i7 chips. The highlight of the list is the Core i9-7920X, which will have 12 cores and 24 threads, and 16.5 megabytes of L3 cache, but clock speeds for the chip were not revealed.

Analysts pontificate on cars, transportation as part of Apple’s long-term future — Noted Apple analysts Neil Cybart and Horace Dediu sat down with UBS’ Steven Milunovich to discuss Apple’s future –and a big topic of conversation was on Apple’s intent in the automotive and transportation spaces.

AAC, which Apple likes, is now the preferred standard for music, video downloads — The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a division of the state-funded German research institution that bankrolled the MP3’s development in the late ’80s, has officially halted its licensing program for “certain MP3 related patents and software,” effectively making the MP3 music format free for developer use. Apparently, the last of the patents expired, which is why it is no longer licensing the format.
Fraunhofer also helped develop AAC, which is more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality and is the de facto standard in streaming audio and TV.

TrackX is powerful Final Cut Pro X plug-in, though it has a learning curve — Coremelt’s US$99 TrackX is a powerful third party plug-in for Final Cut Pro X.  Track X provides some very helpful tutorials: there’s no integrated tracker in FCPX, and TrackX fills that need for those who want to be able to track.

Corning Gorilla Glass gets Apple investment, Lattice Data acquired

Apple awards glassmaker Corning US$200M to grow made in USA jobs with Advanced Manufacturing Fund — Apple has invested into Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning with the first award for $200 million from the Advanced Manufacturing Fund investment pool, to support “revolutionary glass production methods.”
Apple notes that the partnership between it and Corning has generated and sustained 1000 jobs, with 400 in Harrodsburg, Kentucky alone. Also likely contributing to the award is Corning’s acquisition of enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the US.

Apple acquires AI company, Lattice Data — Apple has scooped up Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information for about $200 million, according to TechCrunch.
The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago, and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company, the article adds. Lattice was born out of the Stanford research project DeepDive, a framework for statistical inference. DeepDive is used to extract sophisticated relationships between entities and make inferences about facts involving those entities.

Speed now please, MacPaw gets Mac collection, Siri at home, Sonnet USB-C, Hover Camera Passport

(Image from MacNN)

With Mac and PC designs mature, computational power is sexier — The designs of desktop and laptop PCs and Macs have reached a plateau. There’s not much more to be done. But user hunger for computational power never ceases. While Apple has traditionally focused on design, it may be time for Apple to, instead, dwell on sheer computational power, an enduring addiction for everyone.

Ukrainian dev MacPaw is new host of 40-piece Apple hardware museum formerly at Tekserve in NYC — App developer MacPaw has been revealed as the purchaser of all of the Tekserve Apple musuem collection, and has put it all on display at the company’s office at Kyiv in Ukraine. MacPaw is the developer behind app subscription service Setapp. Other software by the company includes encryption utility Hider 2, CleanMyMac 3, and duplicate file manager Gemini 2.

Siri needs time — Apple is losing the home, one competing virtual assistant at a time. These disembodied aides have become a big part of our daily lives. Cupertino’s competitors recognize that fact. This is why we saw Amazon Alexa and then Google’s assistant enter our living rooms. Now Cortana is set to arrive in our homes, courtesy of the Microsoft Invoke. When will Apple provide a full-fledged Siri device that we don’t have to take out of our pockets or raise our wrists to use?
Amazon has Echo, Google has Home, Apple reportedly has its own voice controlled assistant in the works, and now Microsoft is getting in on the game. Microsoft’s device is called Invoke, and it uses the company’s Cortana voice interface coupled with Harman Kardon speakers.

Sonnet previews the Mac compatible Echo Express SE III — Sonnet Technologies has announced the launch of the Echo Express SE III, the newest member of the company’s Echo Express family of Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express (PCIe) expansion systems. With full support for Thunderbolt 3 (aka USB-C), the Echo Express SE III is a compact desktop device that enables the use of up to three high-performance PCIe cards with Macs equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports. The Echo Express SE III is expected to be available May 22 at a suggested retail price of US$499.

The Amazing Hover Camera Passport reviewed by Apple World Today — There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of drones available for those who want to capture images taken from the air. The Hover Camera Passport (US$499.95) is something different; think of it as a camera that happens to fly autonomously or under your control rather than a ‘normal’ drone.

Past 800 billion, MacStadium, sleep tracker, hiding apps, Microsoft Visual Studio, Mafia 3, keyboard shortcuts

The game Mafia 3 will be available from tomorrow, but needs a pretty high-end Mac

Apple becomes first US firm to cross $800B market cap threshold — After achieving a market capitalisation above $800 billion in after-hours trading on Monday, Apple on Tuesday became the first US company in history to cross that market value border on a closing basis.

MacStadium, a Mac hosting company, announces growth capital investment — MacStadium, a Mac hosting authority and only provider of Mac Pro private cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (“IaaS”), has received a growth equity investment led by Summit Partners, with participation from Noro-Moseley Partners. With operations in Atlanta, Georgia, Las Vegas, Nevada and Dublin, Ireland, the company has deployed more than 10,000 Mac minis and Mac Pros and serves more than 2500 customers.

Apple just bought a sleep tracking company — Apple is, at last, getting into the sleep tracking business. 9to5Mac reported that Apple purchased Beddit, a firm that makes sleep-tracking hardware and apps for Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch.
Sleep tracking is one area of health data that Apple has heretofore shied away from. Apple Watch, for instance, doesn’t track your sleep out of the box, in keeping with Apple’s position that Apple Watch is designed to be charged at night.

Working smarter with Mac windows by playing Hide and Show —  Many work with a dozen or more apps running at any time, and most of them have more than one open window or tab. So, at any moment there are at least a dozen windows. So managing windows efficiently makes it a lot easier, and the easiest way to eliminate everything except what you’re working on is to hide everything except what you’re working on.
There are a couple of ways you can do it: the Hide and Hide Others commands in the Application menu (the one bearing the app’s name).

Microsoft launches Visual Studio 2017 for macOS — Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2017 for Mac. It’s a new member of the Visual Studio family, enabling developers on macOS (10.11 and higher) to build apps for mobile, web, and cloud with Xamarin and .NET Core, as well as games with Unity.

Mafia 3 blasts onto the Mac tomorrow — Aspyr has confirmed the final release date for Mafia 3’s Mac version. It’s coming tomorrow, )northern May 11th), and will support Apple’s Metal API (application programming interface).
Metal is a core graphics technology that gives apps near-direct access to the GPU [graphics processing unit]. This means faster and more efficient rendering performance across the system. Metal bypasses the OpenGL framework — which on macOS is slooow, dragging high-end Mac apps and games down in comparison to their Windows counterparts. Apple must ensure that Metal doesn’t lose its momentum.

Keyboard shortcuts are faster than reaching for the mouse — This is another skill recommended in the first chapter of Dr Macintosh (1989) and still he still recommends it to this day [as do I]. That skill is reducing your dependence on the mouse/trackpad.