Apple's iTunes multimedia application has been updated to version 11.0.3, the highlight of which is a redesigned and improved MiniPlayer that now includes rich album artwork and a progress bar. Songs view also brings album artwork into the fold, and now multi-disc albums appear as a single album rather than taking up multiple entries in your library. Here's the rundown list of what's included in the update.
This version of iTunes comes with several new features and improvements, including:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.
- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.
- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.
This update also provides performance improvements when searching and sorting large iTunes libraries.
Read More | Apple
Google has pushed out a new update for Google Glass Explorers, the early testers and purchasers of the ambitious wearable tech. Most notable in the XE5 update is the addition of Google+ functionality in Glass, specifically allowing you to comment on, and +1 entries on Google's social network. You can also receive incoming Google Hangout invitations. Here's a full rundown of the changes:
- Change to sync policy: require power + WiFi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
As you can see, Google is steadily improving the Glass experience, even as it's just in the beta Explorer stage. With a year-or-so before it hits mass market, the company has a lot of time to refine the technology to get it ready for the meanstream. They'll need to, in order to quiet the jokes.
Apple is set to show off OS X 10.9 at WWDC 2013 (which sold out in less than two minutes this year) and the current rumors point to the inclusion of a tabbed Finder and iOS-style multitasking that will allow background apps to pause, freeing system resources up for the apps you are using at the time. Additionally, the Mission Control complaint that users with multiple monitors have been complaining about since the release of OS X 10.7 Lion will finally be addressed--if you have multiple monitors, you'll be able to have a space open on each one.
Other rumor mill nuggets point to both Siri and Apple Maps making their OS X debuts as well. We'll know more on June 10 when WWDC kicks off!
Read More | 9to5Mac
Twitter has updated the official Twitter for Mac app for the first time since June 2011, surprising many Mac users in the process, many of whom thought the app was essentially dead. Instead, along with the listed new features and improvements, Twitter's Ben Sandofsky has also announced that the will be working on Twitter for Mac full-time, and that there are more cool updates to come.
P.S. I'm taking a break from iOS to work on Twitter for Mac full time.— Ben Sandofsky (@sandofsky) April 25, 2013
Here are the changes you'll find in todays Twitter for Mac 2.2 release:
- Photos: It’s easier than ever to share photos. Simply click the camera icon in the lower-left corner of the Tweet compose box, and choose a photo to share. If you prefer, you can still drag and drop photos from the desktop.
- Retina display support: Now Twitter is even more vibrant and detailed on the highest resolution Mac notebooks. With this update, Tweets will be clearer and sharper, creating a more vivid experience.
- 14 more languages: In addition to English, Twitter for Mac now supports Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Turkish.
Read More | Twitter for Mac
Just before today's Apple Q2 2013 earnings call, the company released a new beta version of OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion to developers. Build 12E36 is now available to download through the Mac App Store if you're a developer, with focus areas on Wi-Fi, graphics drivers, and Safari.
It looks like Microsoft is set to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, a mainstay of the Windows OS that was removed in Windows 8. According to a report from The Verge, the new Windows 8.1 Start button will not include the traditional Start button functionality, but will rather be a method of taking you back to the Start screen. In addition to the Start button making a reappearance (in name, at least,) Microsoft is also said to be including a feature that will allow users to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start screen altogether.
Read More | The Verge
Facebook Home is now available for download on Google Play, as promised last week at the Facebook Home announcement event. If you're the owner of an HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, or Samsung Galaxy Note II, you are good to go and can download and apply Facebook's launcher right away. You can also pick up the HTC First, which ships with Facebook Home built right in. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 will also be capable of running Facebook Home.
As a reminder, Facebook Home is a replacement lock screen, home screen, and chat experience for compatible Android smartphones, bringing pictures feeds to the forefront, and the new Chat Heads feature that will allow you to stay manage Facebook messages in a much more efficient way.
Read More | Facebook Home
EA has announced this morning that SimCity will be coming to the Mac on June 11 by way of its Origin digital download service. While OS X users will have had to wait over two months since the release of SimCity for PC, they will have been spared all of the ridiculous drama that unfolded when the game launched and crushed EA servers, making it unplayable by those who paid for it for almost two weeks. Also of note, the Mac version was written entirely for OS X, so it's a native game.
Any Mac users looking forward to SimCity on OS X?
Read More | EA
"It's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy, and all of our care, and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it." - Tim Cook, Apple CEO
The same statement rings true for Google. If others are reaping the rewards, and little to nothing is left for oneself, then what's the point? If a product does not meet the expectations set before it, then developing for it doesn't make much sense. If any given product is not self-sustainable, then it is not cost effective and eventually becomes a burden to the maker--even if users appear to enjoy using it. Make no mistake about it, Google is in the business of making money, and everything else is secondary (including good will.)
Google's co-founder and now recently-minted CEO, Larry Page, bought Android in 2005. He also brought along Andy Rubin, one of its creators, over to Google, who recently renounced his post as Senior Vice President of mobile Digital Content. Basically, the guy who was leading Android. It has been said that Sergey Brin, the other tandem co-founder, was not enthusiastic about the purchase. Former Google CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, now Chairman at Google had a similar reaction. These somewhat pessimistic receptions were also shared by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering. However, he recanted these thoughts at Google I/O 2010.
The Google Play Store is getting a fresh coat of paint beginning today with the release of the official 4.0 update. What's so great about Google Play 4.0? Well, for starters, the images are larger, making it easier to see what exactly your about to download. Content grouping has also been improved, providing better recommendations of other items you might be interested in, and the checkout process also sees a slight overhaul as well. Google Play 4.0 starts worldwide rollout today, and may take a couple of weeks before hitting your particular device. It'll run on any smartphone or tablet running Android 2.2 or later.
Read More | Android Blog