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Google planning to release AirPlay alternative

Google AirPlay alternative


Rumor has it that Google is about to take on Apple's AirPlay with an open version of its own. So, it appears that DNLA and Miracast functionality is not enough for the Mountain View web search giant. No wonder, as both features are somewhat of a bag of hurt and have received lackluster reviews. 

Google will attempt to get other venders to adopt its open streaming alternative and, perhaps, have the same huge success that AirPlay is having with customers. Apple has had vendors like Denon, Panasonic, JBL, Pioneer, Philips, Yamaha, Logitiech, iHome and Bower & Wilkins, to name a few, that have integrated AirPlay functionality into consumer products.

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Read More | Gigaom

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Apple TV 5.1 update brings Shared Photo Stream support, AirPlay improvements, more

Apple TV 5.1 update

Hot on the heels of the most successful iPhone release of all time, Apple has just released iOS 5.1 for the Apple TV, bringing with it new features that make it compatible with iOS 6 devices. Like what? Well, for starters, the device now supports the new Shared Photo Stream that you'll find in iOS 6 and iPhoto in Mountain Lion. There are also AirPlay feature additions and enhancements, new slideshow screensavers, the ability to reorder app icons on the main menu, and more. Hit the break for the full rundown, and hit up the settings area on your Apple TV to grab the update.

Click to continue reading Apple TV 5.1 update brings Shared Photo Stream support, AirPlay improvements, more


Amazon Instant Video now available for iPad

Amazon Instant Video iPad

Today Amazon has released its long-awaited Instant Video iPad app on Apple's App Store. If you're an Amazon Prime member, this means that you have access to the entire Prime Instant Video catalog, but anyone can access purchased content on-demand as well. We've been playing with it this morning, and it works just as you'd expect it to, with badges indicating which pieces of content are available for free to Prime members.

One nice bonus is that the app supports AirPlay, essentially bringing Amazon Instant Video to your Apple TV. Sure, it's not built-in like Netflix or the newly-added Hulu Plus, but it still allows you to enjoy Amazon's streaming catalog on your television if you own an Apple TV. You can download the free Amazon Instant Video app now.


10 features that make Mountain Lion a steal at $19.99

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, PC / Laptop, Software

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion has been out for a couple of days, available for just $19.99 on the Mac App Store. Judging by our server logs, many of you have already upgraded to the latest Apple OS. For those still on the fence about what exactly you're getting for your Jackson, we figured we'd explain the top user-facing features of OS X 10.8. Sure, Apple is touting that Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features, but redesigned scroll bars are hardly anything to get excited about. Here are the Mountain Lion features that prove that $19.99 is a steal.

Click to continue reading 10 features that make Mountain Lion a steal at $19.99


Ask Andru: How do I prepare my Mac for Mountain Lion?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, PC / Laptop, Software

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple is set to release it's next major operating system update, known os OS X Mountain Lion, later this month. In this edition of Ask Andru, Tracy writes in and asks if there is anything she should do to prepare her Mac computers for the Mountain Lion installation. I share some tips on what we can all do to ensure a smooth upgrade experience to Mac OS 10.8.

Question: I hear that Apple will be releasing a new version of OS X shortly. Is there anything I need to do in order to prepare for it to ensure that I can run it? Will it be expensive?

You're correct! Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion just five months ago, and it will be available in under two weeks. Mountain Lion will sell exclusively on the Mac App Store for $19.99 (so, not expensive at all!) and will include some nice features, including AirPlay Mirroring from your Mac, tighter iCloud integration, Twitter and Facebook built-in at the system level, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, a new Messages app that will let you send and receive iMessages from the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. In total, there are over 200 new features that Apple is introducing in Mountain Lion.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: How do I prepare my Mac for Mountain Lion?


The Retina MacBook Pro can power four displays at once

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Displays, PC / Laptop

Retina macbook pro external displays

Here's another fun tidbit about the MacBook Pro with Retina display--it can power four displays at once. In addition to its own display, you can connect two displays to the two Thunderbolt ports, and a third external display to the HDMI port. One thing we haven't tried, though, is also connecting to a fourth external display using AirPlay mirroring. First, we just don't have that many displays at our disposal, and second, we just aren't that ridiculous.

Read More | OWC

Apple TV 5.0.1 software update now available

Apple TV 5.0.1

Apple has just released Apple TV software version 5.0.1, which looks to solve a few niggles that we've actually been complaining about lately. Owners of the second and third generation Apple TV can get the updates right away by heading into the software update area under Settings. What's changed? Well, iTunes TV and movie previews are now high definition, AirPlay is fixed for iOS apps, Home Sharing connections should no longer be as fickle as they've been lately, and Netflix integration gets tightened up a bit. You can pick up an Apple TV for $99.


Ask Andru: How can I make my iPad louder?

In today's Ask Andru column, we get a question about an issue with the iPad that we've actually experienced ourselves for years. Ever since the release of the original iPad, it's been painfully obvious that the speaker on the Apple tablet isn't exactly up to snuff. It's fine if you're somewhere quiet, but go somewhere that has any ambient noise, and all of a sudden it's a challenge to enjoy any audio-based entertainment. So, on to the submitted question:

I love my new iPad, but I wish it were louder. It seems that everything about the new iPad is high-quality, with the exception of the speaker! Is there any way I can get more volume out of this thing?

I hear you! As I said earlier, the low volume issue has been around since the very first iPad. When the iPad 2 was released, the speaker grille was larger, and many assumed that this meant that the device would be louder. Unfortunately, despite the visual cue, the iPad 2 suffered from the same issue, and the new third-generation model (see our new iPad review) seems to have the exact same speaker as its predecessor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the frustration.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: How can I make my iPad louder?


New iPad (3rd generation) review

New iPad review

The new iPad. When the third-generation Apple slate was announced, it gained a few new features, but lost a number. Hey, you can't blame Apple for simplifying things, right? Really, though, the new iPad is anything but a simple machine.

When Apple announced the new iPad, the company focused on a few key features that set the third-generation model apart from the iPad 2. The iPad product line is such a runaway success, that we felt it would be more appropriate to focus our review on the things that've changed or been added. After all, the iPad 2 is still a capable tablet, and Apple's still selling it, now at a discounted $399 for the 16 GB model, while the new iPad starts at $499 (although you can get it for less on Amazon.) So let's focus on what the new iPad (3rd generation) brings to the table, and if it's worth your attention. We're talking about things like the Retina display, 4G LTE, A5X SoC processor with quad-core graphics, and dictation. Is that stuff enough to warrant your attention? Let us take you through our iPad (3rd generation) review, and get these questions answered, shall we?

Click to continue reading New iPad (3rd generation) review


OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview now available for download

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, PC / Laptop, Software

Mountain Lion 12A128p download

This morning Apple announced OS X Mountain Lion, and alongside the announcement they've also made available the first Mountain Lion Developer Preview. Anyone with a Developer Account can log into Apple's Dev portal to download the first build (12A128p) of OS X 10.8, which will be available to all later this summer.

Read More | Mac Developer Portal

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