One of the main reasons we switch from Blockbuster Online to Netflix here at our home is the Netflix Watch Instantly functionality that is set to come to the Xbox 360 with the New Xbox Experience Fall dashboard update. However, if you don’t have a 360, or you just want more variety in your Watch Instantly lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know that the functionality is finally gonna hit OS X by the end of this year, after being available only on Windows for almost two years. By our estimation, that means sometime in the next three months, and that excites us. Apparently, the holdup was based the fact that the DRM used on Windows boxes wasn’t compatible with OS X, and since Apple doesn’t license out their FairPlay DRM to third-parties, Netflix had to roll their own. From Netflix:
And, for all of you Mac users (of which I am one) we’ve been busy working getting a solution that will allow you to watch instantly on your Mac. So hang in there - we’ll have something for you by the end of the year.
Good news all around.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Now that Wii is encouraging interactive gaming, look for more ways to get involved in video games with motion control. Aptus is working on a new line of Mini-Motion USB controllers for both PC and Mac in the shapes of cars, balls, racers, and skateboards. Each of them will be available for $19.99. The company says that the games, which will include those with action, strategy, puzzle, reality, racing, and sports, will be streamed directly from an included disc. Look for the first ones to appear in Q4 2008.
Read More | Everything USB
Running Windows in OS X is still cool, even if software like Parallels, VMware Fusion, and Boot Camp have been around for a while. Now though, Fusion has hit 2.0, which is a nice milestone. Performance improvements, better multi-monitor support, and more robust Unity features (that’s the feature that lets you “erase” the Windows desktop, so that your Windows programs appear right next to your OS X ones) make this a worthy upgrade. Here are the details:
- More Seamless with Unity 2.0: Application Sharing, Link Handling, Mirrored Folders, Driverless Printing, True Multiple Display Support, and Custom Keyboard Mapping
- Safer Windows on Mac experience with AutoProtect automated snapshots and a 12-month complimentary subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus security software for Windows XP and Vista
- More Power with DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 2 3D graphics, 1080p HD video playback, Multiple Snapshots, 4-way vSMP, and Better Linux Support (Unity & Easy Install)
- More Mac-like, More Mac-friendly with all new Welcome Screen, Virtual Machine Library and Virtual Machine Settings, Cover Flow and Quick Look integration, and Apple Help
- Mac OS X Leopard Server now is supported in a virtual machine on Mac hardware
If you already have a copy of Fusion 1.x running, you’ll be happy to know that this is a free upgrade. Otherwise, you can pick up Fusion 2.0 for $79.
Read More | Fusion product page
Time to fire up Software Update yet again, as Apple has just pushed out the latest update to Leopard, 10.5.5. There’s a lot here, but being the email warriors that we are, seeing all the Mail.app improvements makes us just a tad bit exited. We are also into the MobileMe fixes as well. Gotta love the cloud. In any event, hit the jump to get the full list of updates. If you don’t care, then you can just be assured by this nugget from Apple:
The 10.5.5 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.
Yeah, didn’t do it for you either? Didn’t think so.
Read More | Mac OS X 10.5.5 release notes
We know that Apple‘s MobileMe service has been off to a rocky start, but we are just glad that the company realizes it as well. Since the launch, people have had trouble with syncing, have lost email, and have discovered that this whole “push” thing wasn’t really as “pushy” as Apple made it out to be when they gave us a look at the product back at MacWorld.
Originally, Apple gave all subscribers a 30-day extension to compensate for all the issues, as well as a written apology. Since then, things have gotten a little better, but are still in no way seamless. Because of this, Apple has just decided to grant another extension, and this one is twice as long as the original. If you were a MobileMe subscriber as of 12:00 AM PDT on August 19, you get an additional 60 days tacked on to the end of your subscription. Even better, if you were taking a free trial of the service as of that time, you get 60 days added on to your trial. Apparently, Apple doesn’t want you to not sign up due to the kinks they are trying to work out. Good for them.
Hit the Read link below for the full details on the extension, and the eligibility requirements around it.
Read More | MobileMe extension details
So, you know that Spore game we have all been waiting for, for, like, ever? Well, according to EA and Maxis, Will Wright’s next gaming masterpiece is finally ready for prime time, as they have announce that the game has gone gold. What does that mean? To put it simply, it’s done. In the can. The game will hit store shelves on September 5 here in North America, as well as Asia Pacific. For those in Europe, September 7 is the date for you.
We know, this is a long ways away from Q4 2006, when the game was supposed to launch, but when it comes to Spore, we will take what we can get. If you need to see what the game is all about, check out the video above from E3 from the EA keynote. You will find Will Wright talking about Spore, and just how amazing the game will be.
For those of you on Nintendo DS, Spore Creatures is yours to be had on September 7.
Read More | Spore Goes Gold
A quick update for all you Logitech Harmony users out there on OS X, as the company has released a new version of their software for the Mac platform. The download weighs in at 29 MB, and is officially titles Logitech Harmony Remote Software 7.5. If you are using a Harmony remote with OS X, then this is obviously a recommended update.
Read More | Logitech Harmony Mac 7.5
At Computex 2008 in Taipei, Taiwan, AverMedia shows off their new digital TV Tuner solution for the Mac. It looks like a competent solution, and it’s great to see more TV tuner hardware that’s OSX compatible.
Look for it by the end of 2008. Pricing is likely to be on par with the other Volar series, which is around $100.
So, word on the street now is that Apple will be unveiling Mac OS X
10.6 in a mere five days at WWDC. Based on the fact that Steve Jobs said that they wanted to get back on track to releasing just about yearly, I started asking people if they thought the successor to Leopard would show up next week, and they all scoffed as if I were some sort of lunatic. Well, now with the reports that TUAW and Ars have receive, it appears that my hunch was correct. Oh, and what will the successor be named? We all know Apple likes to stick with the cats for OS X, and it appears that this time it is going to be “Snow Leopard.” You see, this release is all about tightening up speed, stability, and security - not so much about dazzling new features like Time Machine. See? They want to take Leopard, and make it white as snow. That’s almost as cute as an iPod nano…
We look to Monday to see what Steve brings us.
Read More | TUAW
Apple has just released the latest batch of stability, compatibility, and security updates for OS X Leopard, all wrapped up in the 10.5.3 update. On my Mac Pro, the update is clocking in at 420 MB, so it’s a hefty one. That is understandable though, because there are quite a few fixes in this one. Some that stand out to us include things like improved Time Capsule reliability, screen sharing fixes, and a few Spaces improvements. We’ve got the full list for you after the break, if you are interested. Otherwise, fire up Software Update to get the latest and greatest.