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Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:24:23 PST

 



Apple Seeds Third Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 to Developers

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:56:03 PST

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second beta and a month after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. The update also comes one day after the release of a 10.13.3 Supplemental Update to address a bug that could cause apps to crash when receiving a character from the Indian language Telugu.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.

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macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3.

The update also offers support for some features that are available in iOS 11.3, like Messages on iCloud, which uploads all of your iMessages to the cloud. It will also support Business Chat, a feature coming when iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 are released to the public, and it includes improved support for eGPUs.

The macOS 10.13.4 brings the smoke cloud wallpaper that was previously only available on the iMac Pro, it replaces the "iBooks" app with the new renamed "Books" app, and it introduces a warning when opening up a 32-bit app as part of an effort to phase them out.

In the future, Apple plans to phase out 32-bit Mac apps, just like it did with 32-bit iOS apps. Apple says macOS High Sierra is the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps without compromises.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Files New Trademark Application for Classic 'Rainbow' Logo

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 03:19:34 PST

(image) Apple has applied for a new U.S. trademark for its famous multicolor logo for use on apparel, reports The Blast. The Apple filing was processed in December by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Reporting and Monitoring System (TRAM), and is now being considered for approval.

The description of the mark in the filing is of "an apple with a bite removed, with a detached leaf in green, and the apple divided into horizontal colored segments of the following colors (from top to bottom): green, yellow, orange, red, violet and blue".

According to the application, the logo will be used for headgear, namely, hats and caps. Apple already sells t-shirts with the same logo emblazoned on the front at its Apple Park Visitor Center, so the filing likely relates to a possible extension of the existing clothing line, although there's no saying whether Apple will actually use the trademark or just wants to protect it against unofficial use.

The classic multi-colored Apple logo was conceived by graphic designer Rob Janoff in 1977, but Steve Jobs axed the design when he returned to Apple in 1997 in favor of the monochromatic logo that continues to be used today.

(image) Janoff's "rainbow Apple" was actually created as a more modern, albeit playful replacement for Apple's first logo, which was designed in 1976 by Apple co-founder Ron Wayne. Sometimes referred to as Apple's "fifth Beatle", Wayne famously sold his stake in the company two weeks after it was founded.

Wayne was a fan of the ornate line-drawing style of Victorian illustrated fiction, and used Sir Isaac Newton as the company’s symbolic bellwether, an apple hanging precariously above his head. A quote from Wordsworth embellishes the baroque frame: "A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone."


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Apple Releases macOS 10.13.3 Supplemental Update With Telugu Crash Fix

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:18:43 PST

Apple today released a new version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, which comes approximately one month after the first version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, an update that offered fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities discovered in early January.

The new macOS High Sierra update can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on all compatible Macs that are already running macOS High Sierra.

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Today's update addresses a bug that causes apps like Messages to crash due to an inability to render a character in the Indian language Telugu. When sent or received, the character in question can cause an app like Messages or Safari to freeze up and become unresponsive.

There's also a separate macOS High Sierra 10.13.13 Supplemental Update for iMac Pros, which is designed to fix the Telugu bug on those machines.

Prior to today's update, the only fix in an app like Messages was to delete the entire conversation containing the buggy character. The update also impacted iOS 11.2.5, and Apple also released a new iOS 11.2.6 update to fix it.

Apple previously addressed the Telugu character bug in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4, but those updates are still in beta testing and won't be released until the spring. Apple last week promised a minor update to fix the bugs in the meantime.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Twitterrific 5 for Mac Drops to $7.99 Following Discontinuation of Twitter's Main Mac App

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:01:31 PST

Third-party Twitter client "Twitterrific" has dropped the price of the latest Mac app -- Twitterrific 5 for Mac [Direct Link] -- to $7.99, down from $19.99. The new price tag marks the lowest that Iconfactory's app has ever been on the Mac App Store, and follows a 50 percent discount to $9.99 that emerged in December 2017.

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Twitterrific's sale for Mac appeared over the weekend on February 17, the day after Twitter announced it would officially stop supporting the main Twitter for Mac app. Twitter said that it plans to focus its attention on a "great Twitter experience that's consistent across all platforms," confirming that the Mac app wasn't on the company's list of priorities. Beginning last Friday, Twitter for Mac is no longer available to download, and within the next month the company will stop supporting it completely.

While Twitter guided users to the social network's desktop website for the "full Twitter experience on Mac," Twitterrific is now a cheaper alternative for those looking for an app to browse Twitter on a Mac. Twitterrific presents Tweets as they were originally seen on the social network, in a chronological order that filters out other extraneous content, like which Tweets your followers like.

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Twitterrific 5 also syncs your timelines across devices (including iPhone and iPad), supports mute filters, has multiple font and text size options, integrates with the Voice Over accessibility feature, and more.
Re-imagined from the ground up to be the Mac's most friendly, powerful and modern Twitter client. Twitterrific makes Twitter fun.

Twitterrific feels right at home on the Mac. Support for Notification Center, Retina displays, built-in sharing, beautiful animations, full-screen mode & more.
With the new $7.99 price tag, Twitterrific has also undercut Tweetbot's $9.99 price on the Mac App Store [Direct Link]. Thanks to ongoing updates and developer support, both Twitterrific and Tweetbot have been better received on the iTunes and Mac App Stores with 4-star ratings, compared to Twitter for Mac's 1-star rating at the time of its removal.


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How to Add, Remove, and Rearrange Menu Bar Icons in macOS

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:53:57 PST

The macOS menu bar is a great place for quickly accessing system and application functions using menu extras or "menulets", but it can get cluttered pretty quickly as more and more icons vie for a space there. If the corner of your Mac's screen is fast becoming an eyesore, here are some quick and simple actions you can perform to bring order to the chaos, plus a few additional tips for making the most of Apple's menu bar extras. How to Rearrange Icons in the Menu Bar Plenty of menu bar icons offer useful shortcuts to app and system functions, and may take up permanent residence on your screen. But left to their own devices, the arrangement of said icons is likely to become haphazard. Fortunately, re-organizing them is simple, once you know how to do it. Hold down the Command (⌘) key. Hover your mouse cursor over the icon you want to move. Holding down the left mouse button, drag the icon into your preferred position on the menu bar. Other icons will step aside to make space for it. Let go of the left mouse button. Note that the Notifications icon in macOS is designed to sit in the far right corner of the menu bar and cannot be moved elsewhere. How to Remove System Icons From the Menu Bar Icons linked to system controls can be easily removed from the menu bar in the following way: Hold down the Command (⌘) key. Hover your mouse cursor over the icon you want to remove. Holding down the left mouse button, drag the icon out of the menu bar and onto the desktop. Let go of the left mouse button. If the icon doesn't vanish with a "whoosh" sound, then it was likely put there by a third-party app you or another user installed. In that case, look for an option in the associated app's settings such as "Show in Menu Bar" and uncheck it. How to Add System Icons to the Menu Bar If you removed a system icon from the menu bar and would like it back, or if you'd like to add a fresh one, you can find options in the associated preference panes. For example, to reinstate the AirPlay icon in the menu bar: Click the apple symbol in the far left of the menu bar and select System Preferences.... Select the Display preference pane. At the bottom of the pane, check the box to "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available". Similar menu bar options relating to Sound volume, Bluetooth, Siri, Time Machine, and Accessibility status can be found in their respective preference panes. In addition to Wi-Fi status (listed below), the Network pane will also offer "menulet" options for things like modems and VPNs if you have them set up, while menu bar icons related to keyboard, battery, user account, and date/time are located less obviously in the following preference pane menus and tabs: Keyboard -> Input Sources -> Show Input menu in menu bar. Energy Saver -> Show battery status in menu bar. Network -> Wi-Fi -> Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar. Users & Groups -> Login Options -> Show fast user switching menu as Full Name / Account Name / Icon. Date & Time -> Clock -> Show date and time in menu bar. Menu Bar Extras For one reason or another, some menulet options remain hidden in System Preferences by default. Interested users can find the full collection in the System folder: Open a Finder window, from the menu bar select Go -> Go to Folder..., and then navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras. Some of the extras in this folder are pretty obscure, but one or two might come in handy – like Eject if you use an optical drive, or Ink if you connect a graphics tablet to your Mac, for example. Just double-click any that look useful and they'll be added to the menu bar. They can be removed just as easily using the Command (⌘) key method described above. Finally, users looking for a more comprehensive method of managing menu bar icons should consider third-party app Bartender 3 ($15).Related Roundup: macOS High SierraDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Feral Announces 'Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia' Coming to Mac

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:01:33 PST

Feral Interactive today announced that epic historical strategy game Thrones of Britannia will be released for macOS "shortly after" the upcoming Windows release on April 19.

Originally developed by Creative Assembly, the game is the first in the new Total War Saga series of standalone titles inspired by great turning points in history.

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Thrones of Britannia is set in the British Isles in 878 AD, as Anglo-Saxons, Gaelic clans and Viking settlers vie for supremacy. Players will command one of ten factions, each with a unique branching narrative, and make decisions that reshape history in unexpected ways.

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Combining huge real-time battles with engrossing turn-based strategy, Thrones of Britannia challenges players to build and defend a kingdom. Players will forge alliances, manage settlements, raise armies and embark on a campaign of conquest from the snowbound highlands of Gaelic Scotland to the green fields of Anglo-Saxon Kent.
Focusing on a specific historical flashpoint, Thrones diverges from typical Total War fare, and is expected to feature some changes to the series' standard game mechanics, including variations in building construction and military training to better reflect geographical differences.

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No specific release date or system requirements are available yet, but today's announcement is a good indicator that Feral is aiming to keep pace with new cross-platform releases. Thrones of Britannia can be pre-ordered now for $35.99/£26.99 from the Feral Store or Steam.

Tag: Feral

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Twitter Discontinues Twitter for Mac App

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:30:21 PST

Twitter today announced that it plans to stop supporting the Twitter for Mac app in order to focus its attention on a "great Twitter experience that's consistent across all platforms.

Starting today, the Twitter for Mac app is no longer available for download, and in 30 days, Twitter plans to stop supporting it all together.

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Twitter says to get a "full Twitter experience on Mac," customers should visit Twitter on the web.


In recent months, Twitter has also been streamlining its apps. The discontinuation of the official Mac app follows Twitter's decision to remove the Twitter for Apple Watch app last September.

Twitter for Mac users who are looking for a desktop app experience rather than a web interface can use a third-party app such as Tweetbot or Twitterrific.
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'Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration' Coming to Mac This Spring

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 05:02:38 PST

Just over two years after "Rise of the Tomb Raider" first launched as an Xbox console exclusive in late 2015, Feral Interactive today announced that it will bring the definitive edition of the game to macOS and Linux this spring. Called "Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration," the Mac game will be a port of the same title that launched for PS4 in late 2016, bundling the base game with all special add-on and DLC pack content.

"Rise of the Tomb Raider" is a sequel to the series reboot "Tomb Raider" from 2013, letting players control Lara Croft in a new adventure as she seeks an artifact rumored to grant immortality and believed to be located in the lost city of Kitezh. Players control Lara through what developer Crystal Dynamics refers to as "guerrilla combat," configuring Lara's loadout with new tools and weapons, including customizable items like poisoned arrows and explosive shotgun shells.

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Downloadable content found in the 20 Year Celebration edition includes add-ons like Blood Ties and Baba Yaga, two standalone stories that place Lara at home in Croft Manor and in the Siberian wilderness, respectively. There are also a pair of horde mode levels set in the same locations, called Lara's Nightmare and Cold Darkness Awakened, where players fight off waves of infected enemies.

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Other modes and add-on content includes:
Endurance Mode: Two players team up to survive the dangerous forest while plundering crypts for relics.
Extreme Survivor Challenge: In the hardest difficulty setting for the main campaign, players overcome difficult limits of save points, resources, ammunition, and health.
5 Classic Skins: Nostalgic skins from Tomb Raider history: Croft Manor, Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider II Bomber Jacket, Chronicles Catsuit, and Angel of Darkness.
12 Outfits: Ancient Vanguard (Byzantine-era chain mail), Apex Predator (bear fur, animal claws, and warpaint), Shadowrunner (tactical vest and watch cap), and the reimagined Antarctica outfit inspired by Tomb Raider III.
Expedition Cards: Players use cards in Expedition Mode to boost their score, modify their abilities, and apply cosmetic effects like Big Head Enemies.
Feral Interactive has not yet announced specific Mac system requirements, a launch date, or how much the game will be, but said this information "will be revealed closer to release" in the spring. Currently, the PS4 version of "Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration" is priced around $30.


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How to AirPlay Audio From Your Mac to HomePod

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 13:13:07 PST

To play music from third-party music services like Spotify to your HomePod, you don't need an iOS device -- a Mac will work too. You can send any audio playing on your Mac right to your HomePod, and not just audio from iTunes. To AirPlay from Mac to HomePod, your Mac and your HomePod need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Make Sure Volume is Enabled in Menu Bar It's easiest to AirPlay sound to the HomePod from a Mac using the menu bar on your Mac, but to do that, you need to make sure your audio settings are readily accessible. By default, audio settings aren't available on the menu bar, so you'll need to fix that. Open up System Preferences. Choose Sound. Select the "Output" tab. Check the "Show volume in menu bar" box. While it's easiest to use the menu bar, you can actually AirPlay to the HomePod using the Sound section of System Preferences. To do so, double click on the HomePod, which should be named after the room that it's in. Selecting HomePod as an Audio Output Device from the Menu Bar Once sound controls are accessible from the menu bar, it's simple to route the sound from your Mac to the HomePod. Click on the volume button in the menu bar. Under the "Output Device" list, choose the HomePod, which is labeled as the room that it's in. Mine is Office 2, because I have two AirPlay devices in my office. With the HomePod selected as the audio output device, all audio from your Mac will be sent to the HomePod. You can't pick and choose -- every sound from your Mac will be played on the HomePod instead of on your Mac's speakers. When using the HomePod this way, as an external speaker for the Mac, there's no option to use Siri to do things like skip songs. tYou'll need to control playback on your Mac, but you can use the physical controls on the HomePod to adjust volume. AirPlaying from iTunes For the most part, you need to use the audio output settings to AirPlay music from a third-party service to the Mac, but if you're playing content from iTunes, you can use the built-in iTunes AirPlay controls. Open iTunes. Play a song from Apple Music or your music library. In iTunes, click on the icon. Select the HomePod icon. Because you can play Apple Music and iCloud Music Library content directly on the HomePod, there's probably not much need to AirPlay from iTunes to the HomePod, but the option is there if you need it.Related Roundup: HomePodBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Goes to Court With French Tax Activist Group That Paints Company as The Empire From Star Wars

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 08:41:49 PST

Last month, Apple sued French tax activist group "Attac" for occupying its flagship Parisian store during a protest of what Attac called "wide-scale tax evasion." Today, Apple has asked the court in Paris to ban the group from its French stores and prevent any further stunts from happening. In response to the court filing, Attac today mobilized in front of the court in further protest, sporting a Star Wars theme that equates Apple to The Empire and Tim Cook to Emperor Palpatine (via The Guardian and MacGeneration). Image via @attac_fr The court will rule later in February on the case, and Apple is said to hope for a full ban to prevent any Attac members entering or being near its Apple retail locations. Apple said the group "vandalizes" its stores and potentially "endangers" staff and customers. One protest in November 2017 saw Attac write "Apple pay your taxes" on a window at Apple Aix-en-Provence. Following Apple's claims, the group said its protests are "good natured." At the height of the Christmas shopping period last December, about 100 Attac volunteers arrived at Apple’s Paris store at Place de l’Opéra. Some danced the conga, others unfurled a huge banner saying “We’ll stop when Apple pays” and some brandished huge cardboard cheques in reference to the European commission ruling in August 2016 that the iPhone maker must reimburse the Irish state a record €13bn (£11.5bn) to make up for what it considered to be unpaid taxes over a number of years. In the case filing, Apple said that it has "a long tradition of supporting individuals and groups that peacefully express their opinions," but the company believes the vandalism of its stores and potential danger to its customers are steps too far. In addition to the ban, Apple France has asked the court to fine the activist group 150,000 EUR, and 3,000 EUR in commercial damages "if they break the ban." Images via @attac_fr and @Soltrumbo An Attac spokesperson denied the vandalism reports from 2017 and said the group "simply went into Apple shops in a festive and good-natured way with music and theatre." Attac’s lawyer Julien Pignon told France Info: “These demands are totally out of proportion with regard to the superior principle of freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate which is guaranteed by French law and the European convention on human rights.” Attac's ire is focused on tax avoidance claims lodged at Apple over the past few years. In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($15.46 billion) in back taxes dating between 2003 and 2014, which it reportedly avoided with the help of sweetheart tax deals from Ireland. Now, Apple will begin paying the back taxes owed to Ireland around March, expected to continue through September. The French court is expected to announce its decision on the case on Friday, February 23. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: FranceDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



VLC 3.0 Update Adds Cross-Platform 4K and 8K Hardware Decoding, HDR10, Chromecast Support, and More

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 04:14:51 PST

VideoLAN on Friday released VLC 3.0 "Vetinari", a major update to the popular media player that is rolling out across all platforms, including macOS, iOS, and tvOS.

Version 3 includes a huge number of new features and improvements to the app, including automatic hardware decoding for 4K and 8K playback, support for 10-bit HDR, 360-degree video and 3D audio, and Chromecast streaming with support for non-native formats.

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VLC now works with Blu-Ray Java menus and features network browsing support for local network and NAS drives, including those with SMB, FTP, SFTP, NFS filesystems. The iOS app has also been optimized for iPhone X displays, while on Mac, Chromecast streaming to supported devices can be found in the menu bar under Playback -> Renderer.

Among many other changes and improvements in VLC Vetinari, further standout features include: a redesigned and resizable fullscreen controller; a new status bar icon which displays metadata and play controls; support for keyboard blacklight dimming during fullscreen video playback; significant performance improvements in playlist handling; and a simplified preferences window. Check the online changelog for the complete list of updates.

VLC 3.0 is a free downloaded for Mac from the VideoLan website. (Note that version 3.0.0 of VLC removes support for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and requires Mac systems to run OS X 10.7 Lion or later.) VLC 3.0.0 is already available on the tvOS App Store, but the iPhone and iPad update still appears to be rolling out as of writing.

Tag: VLC

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Apple Seeds New Version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 Beta 2 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:33:50 PST

Apple seeded the second beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 to developers earlier this week, but it appears an updated version of the second beta was just released this afternoon.

The original beta had a build number of 17E150f, while the new update available today from the Developer Center lists a build number of 17E150g. It's not clear why Apple has released an updated version of beta 2, but the new beta is also available for public beta testers.

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Registered developers can download the beta from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta 2 didn't introduce any major new features, but it did change "iBooks" to "Books" to mirror changes made in iOS 11.3.

The update includes bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, and it offers support for some features that are also available in iOS 11.3, like Messages on iCloud, which uploads all of your iMessages to the cloud. It will also support Business Chat, a feature coming when iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 are released to the public.

macOS 10.13.4 also includes the smoke cloud wallpaper that was previously only available on the iMac Pro, and it introduces a warning when opening up a 32-bit app as part of an effort to phase them out.

In the future, Apple plans to phase out 32-bit Mac apps, just like it did with 32-bit iOS apps. Apple says macOS High Sierra is the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps without compromises.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Review: Plugable's New 480GB Thunderbolt 3 SSD Offers Super Fast Transfer Speeds

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:47:33 PST

Plugable, a company that offers a range of hubs, docking stations, storage solutions, and other accessories for Mac and Windows machines this week launched a new external NVME SSD that offers 480GB and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for incredibly fast transfer speeds. The Plugable TBT3-NVME480 SSD is designed for Thunderbolt machines like Apple's latest line of MacBook Pro models, and it offers transfer speeds of up to 2400MB/s read and 1200MB/s write. Design Design wise, the palm-sized Plugable Thunderbolt 3 SSD is unremarkable. It's made from a solid black brushed aluminum with a ridged design at the sides, and a single LED light on the front that lets you know when it's connected and receiving power. There's an integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable at the top, and a rather large and highly visible printed Pluable logo, which cheapens the look of the device just a bit. It's smaller than an iPhone X and similar in size to a deck of cards, so it's portable enough to stick in a bag or even a pocket if so desired. As with most SSDs, your MacBook provides power to the SSD, so there's no extra power cable to deal with. With continual usage, I've noticed that Plugable's SSD can get fairly warm, but that's not unusual and it does not appear to impact performance. It's worth noting that the TBT3-NVME480 SSD comes with an 18-month warranty that can be extended to 36 months through registration, so if it fails during that time period, Plugable will replace it for you. Transfer Speeds As mentioned above, Plugable says the TBT3-NVME480 SSD is able to reach maximum read speeds of 2400MB/s and maximum write speeds of 1200MB/s thanks to Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and its use of NVMe technology. In Blackmagic disk speed tests with a 2016 MacBook Pro, my actual results varied a bit. With the test that uses 5GB file sizes to test transfer speeds, read speeds topped out at about 2025MB/s, while write speeds were just about at Plugable's promised 1200MB/s. You should see faster transfer speeds near the maximum with smaller file sizes. In practice, it took just about three minutes to transfer a 57GB file from my MacBook Pro to the Plugable SSD. Comparatively, that same transfer with a standard hard drive took 17 minutes. Transfer speeds will, in practice, differ based on the other peripherals you have plugged into your Mac and your Mac's workload. When using this drive with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, make sure to plug it into the left side of the machine. The Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right side of the 13-inch MacBook Pro have reduced PCI Express bandwidth and Plugable says transfer speeds could be slower in this situation. Compatibility Plugable's TBT3-NVME480 SSD is compatible only with Thunderbolt 3 machines, and it is not backwards compatible with Macs and Windows PCs that use USB-C or USB-A. That means you're not going to be able to plug this into an older machine to facilitate file transfers - it's exclusively for use with Thunderbolt 3. For Apple's Macs, that means it works with the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models, 2017 iMac models, and all iMac Pro models. macOS Sierra and later is required. The SSD also works with Windows machines that support Thunderbolt 3 and have Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 installed. It is not compatible with Boot Camp Windows installations, unfortunately. On Macs, the TBT3-NVME480 SSD works as soon as it's plugged into a free Thunderbolt 3 port (it's exFAT formatted), while on Windows, you'll need to go through an authentication process. Windows users will also need to make sure the latest TB3 and BIOS firmware updates are installed. Bottom Line At $400 for 480GB of storage, the Plugable BT3-NVME480 SSD isn't cheap, but it's[...]



Media Watchdog Advises Journalists in China to Avoid Using iCloud Accounts, Citing Privacy Fears

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 04:49:19 PST

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RWB/RSF) has urged journalists using iCloud in China to migrate away from Apple's cloud service this month, before control of their data is handed over to a Chinese company (via Hong Kong Free Press).

Beginning February 28, Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), which is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China.

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The firm is set to manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year. The operational change was agreed between Apple and the Chinese government, bringing the tech giant into compliance with the country's new cloud computing regulations.

Apple says the partnership with GCBD will improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services and products, and has assured iCloud customers that no backdoors had been created into any of its systems. However, press freedom advocates fear that user data will become accessible to the Chinese state as a result of the switch. Earlier this week, RWB/RSF explicitly criticized Apple's "readiness to accommodate China's authoritarian regime".
"Apple promises that it will never give governments a backdoor to content, but there is no way of being sure about this," Head of RSF's East Asia bureau Cédric Alviani said.

"Knowing the Chinese government's determination and the extent of the means of pressure at its disposal, it will end up getting its way sooner or later, if it hasn't already."
Last month, Apple contacted and advised customers in China to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers. Customers who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD were also given the option to terminate their account before the February 28 switch.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China

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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 49 With Bug Fixes and Feature Improvements

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 10:03:53 PST

(image) Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced almost two years ago in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 49 includes bug fixes and feature improvements for Service Workers, Fetch, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, CSS, Rendering, SVG, JavaScript, Web Inspector, Media, Storage, Security, and Accessibility.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.
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Apple's Planned Flagship Store in Melbourne, Australia Faces Backlash From City Council Over its Design

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 05:37:43 PST

In December, Apple announced its plans to open a new flagship retail location at the Federation Square shopping center in Melbourne, Australia in 2020. Since that announcement, many locals have come out against the store and the demolition of the existing Yarra building, arguing that the public space in Federation Square should stay that way and not be "given up" to a corporation. This week, Apple's planned store has faced new backlash in regards to its design, coming from the Melbourne City Council (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). During a city council meeting on Tuesday it was reported that Apple's design proposal for the location was "overwhelmingly" rejected by the community through about 800 public submissions disliking the look of the store. Image via Federation Square's website. Melbourne councillors then "unanimously backed" a motion to lobby the government for a new store design and public consultation on the project, and now await to see if the government will accept or reject its proposal. Councillor Nicholas Reece was said to have described the proposed store as a "Pizza Hut pagoda." If the Government rejects the council's proposal, then the administration will encourage Upper House MPs to disallow the planning scheme amendment enabling the project. Councillor Leppert said the council lacked the power to block the development from going ahead. "This is one of the strongest positions we have taken," he said. "It reminds me of a Pizza Hut pagoda and I just think it's like something that's rolled off an Apple Store production line," Cr Reece said. Apple last month said the Federation Square location "respects the original vision for the plaza, with a bespoke design concept and extensive landscaping bringing increased opportunities for the community to enjoy this renowned cultural hub." Despite uniting against the design of the store, Melbourne councillors are reportedly divided regarding further commercial development in Federation Square. Councillor Reece mentioned "with the right design," Apple's appearance in the area "could be a good thing." As pointed out by ABC in December, before becoming favored by the community today, Federation Square itself was a "controversial piece of architecture" when it was first built in 2002, "with many people dismissing it as ugly and strange."Tags: Australia, Apple retailDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



'Bridge Constructor Portal' Launches on Mac App Store for $9.99

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 09:35:08 PST

Headup Games today announced that its Portal spin-off game "Bridge Constructor Portal" is now officially available for players to buy on the Mac App Store for $9.99 [Direct Link]. The game first launched on December 20 on the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and Steam.

The Mac App Store version of the game is priced to match the other $9.99 desktop version on Steam, coming in at $5 more than the iPhone/iPad app's $4.99 price tag [Direct Link].

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Bridge Constructor Portal is a fusion of the Bridge Constructor and Portal franchises, tasking players with building bridges to connect pathways in order to safely traverse large pits and avoid falling to their death. These puzzles are blended with Portal's Aperture Laboratories setting, items, and characters. Elements from Portal include the companion cube, repulsion and propulsion gels from Portal 2, and GLaDOS's narration through all of the player's successes and failures.
As a new employee in the Aperture Science test lab, it's your job to build bridges, ramps, slides, and other constructions in 60 test chambers and get the Bendies safely across the finish line in their vehicles.

Make use of the many Portal gadgets, like portals, propulsion gel, repulsion gel, aerial faith plates, cubes, and more to bypass the sentry turrets, acid pools and laser barriers, solve switch puzzles, and make it through the test chambers unscathed.
Now that the game is available across mobile and desktop devices, Headup Games, ClockStone Software, and Valve are looking toward its release on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One "very soon." You can visit the Mac App Store today to download Bridge Constructor Portal [Direct Link], and it can also be downloaded for Apple computers through Steam.

Tag: Valve

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Discord Desktop Apps Gain Deep Spotify Integration, Including Real-Time 'Listen Along' Feature

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 07:53:45 PST

Gaming-focused chat platform Discord today announced a new integration with Spotify that will allow users to connect their Spotify accounts to Discord in order to showcase what they're listening to. Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to "Listen Along" to songs and full playlists together with fellow Premium members directly within their Discord server, which syncs up tracks so that each user is hearing everything at the same time. Non-Premium members will have the ability to display a currently listening to track in their Discord profile, so when friends click on the profile they can discover new music with a "Play on Spotify" button. Discord confirmed to MacRumors that the Spotify update will be available for both the Mac and PC apps, as well as in web browsers, and all of the Spotify integrations will go live on Discord today. On iOS, Discord users will be able to see what their friends are listening to, but shared listening will only be available on the desktop apps. “This is the next natural step to highlight the importance of music as an integral part of the gaming experience,” said Mikael Ericsson, Product Director, Platform & Partner Experience at Spotify. “Starting today, we’re really excited to offer Spotify Premium and Discord users the ability to listen together as a group or highlight what they’re jamming out to while enjoying their favorite games.” Today's updates are set to become more enhanced additions to existing features already available in Discord. For example, the chat app previously included syncing with Spotify to show when members of a server were using the music streaming service, but today's announcement is a far deeper integration between the two companies with specific track listings that show song, album, and time in the song. There have also been bots in Discord that perform a somewhat similar function to Listen Along, allowing server mods to create channels where users can add songs to a playlist -- with audio usually sourced from YouTube music videos -- and let multiple people join in the channel to listen in real time and edit what's coming up next. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VYAJpykiX9k" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> For those who haven't downloaded it yet, Discord is a free app for Mac, PC, iOS, and Android that lets its users join servers that are typically aimed at discussing a specific game and organizing events around the game. The Mac app is available to download on the company's website and the iOS app is free on the App Store [Direct Link].Tags: Spotify, DiscordDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple to Open New Retail Store in Vienna, Austria on February 24

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 23:15:17 PST

Apple will open a retail store in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Saturday, February 24 according to a new webpage for the store published recently on Apple's site.

The new three-story Vienna Apple Store is located on Kärntner Straße, a famous shopping street in central Vienna, and for the last several months, Apple has been renovating the location.

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Kärntner Straße is near Stephansplatz, a square located at the center of Vienna that's home to the Stephansdom cathedral, which is known as one of the tallest churches in the world. The street is home to dozens of well-known retailers, like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and more.

Apple's building is located on a corner and has been outfitted with modern-looking glass panels that replace the former metalwork that was in place. The Vienna location will adopt the new store layout that's been rolling out around the world, with dedicated areas that include the Genius Grove, The Forum, and The Avenue, aka various parts of the store dedicated to support, classes, and shopping.

Rumors of a new Apple Store in Vienna first began circulating in August of 2016, when it was reported that Apple was close to inking a deal for a flagship retail property that was formerly occupied by fashion company Esprit. Apple began posting job listings for the store a year ago in February of 2017.

Ahead of the store's opening on February 24 at 9:30 a.m. local time, Apple will allow customers to make Genius Bar appointments and sign up for Today at Apple classes.

(Thanks, Michael!)

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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AppleCare+ for Mac Now Available in Australia and New Zealand

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:53:05 PST

AppleCare+ for Mac, previously limited to the United States and Japan, is available to purchase in Australia and New Zealand starting today. AppleCare+ extends a Mac's in-warranty hardware coverage to up to three years from its original purchase date, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of AU$149 or NZ$169 for screen or external enclosure damage, or AU$429 or NZ$499 for any other damage. AppleCare+ for Mac also includes 24/7 priority access to software support by chat or phone. It replaces the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac, which was essentially the same as AppleCare+, but didn't include accidental damage coverage like Apple has long offered for devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The plan itself also has an upfront cost, which varies based on the type of Mac: Australia Mac mini: $119 iMac and iMac Pro: $199 12-inch MacBook: $299 MacBook Air: $299 Mac Pro: $299 13-inch MacBook Pro: $329 15-inch MacBook Pro: $449New Zealand Mac mini: $149 iMac and iMac Pro: $249 12-inch MacBook: $349 MacBook Air: $349 Mac Pro: $349 13-inch MacBook Pro: $379 15-inch MacBook Pro: $539AppleCare+ for Mac benefits are in addition to any legal rights provided by consumer law in Australia and New Zealand. Apple offers warranty coverage on most Mac parts for up to 24 months after its limited one-year warranty period, under consumer law in each country, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors last month. AppleCare+ can be purchased alongside a new Mac on Apple's website in Australia and New Zealand, at Apple retail stores in Australia, and at select Apple Authorized Resellers or Service Providers. It can also be added within 60 days of a Mac's purchase date, pending an inspection or diagnostic test. Customers with a Mac purchased between December 1, 2017 and January 30, 2018 must contact Apple Support to purchase AppleCare+ for Mac, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple today and obtained by MacRumors.Tags: Australia, New Zealand, AppleCareDiscuss this article in our forums [...]