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apple tv

Our giveaway is now closed, but keep your eyes peeled for our next giveaways!

OS X Mavericks has a number of great new features, from tabs in Finder to new apps to better notifications. It looks like it’s going to be quite the great 10th release of OS X, and we’re definitely looking forward to it. But one of its headline features is something that you can actually get today thanks to the app we’re giving away this week: AirParrot.

See, in Mountain Lion you can use AirPlay to push your desktop to your Apple TV if you have a recent Mac, and Mavericks extends that by letting you use your TV as a full second display. But if you’re serious about using your TV as an extra screen for your Mac, AirParrot offers all of that and more for any Mac running Snow Leopard or later, or PCs running XP or later.

AirParrot lets you stream your desktop to your Apple TV in full HD, as a copy of your desktop or as a full second screen. Or, you can use it to stream just one app to the TV, while you’re using the other apps on your Mac’s screen. It’s packed with all the features and settings you’d need, including options to overscan, hide the cursor, change the streaming quality, and more, unlike OS X’ default one-size-fits-all AirPlay.

All of that normally costs $9.99, but we’ve got 10 copies to giveaway to our readers this week. Just leave a comment below letting us know why you want to use AirParrot, and we’ll randomly pick 10 winners at the end of the week. Or, for an extra entry, you can share our giveaway on your favorite social networks and share the link to your social network post in a second comment below.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’re closing our giveaway on Wednesday, June 19th!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

AirPlay Mirroring was one useful new feature Mountain Lion added to Mac OS. AirPlay Mirroring allows sending the screen of your Mac to display on a TV connected through an Apple TV. The usefulness for presentations is obvious, but I’ve found it most useful as a way to share a video to the room. While iTunes allows sending to an Apple TV, its limited in usefulness. AirPlay Mirroring let’s anything that can be displayed on your Mac to appear on an Apple TV. Instead of huddling around your MacBook display or the monitor on your iMac, everyone can watch it on the larger television screen your Apple TV connects to.

It’s not a perfect solution as the quality isn’t always great with stutters and pauses in the video a common problem. It also ties up your Mac when the display is mirrored. This works fine when watching short videos off YouTube or other online sites, but sometimes you don’t want to give up your computer for an hour or more to watch a longer video or move. Perhaps your roommate or significant other wants to watch a movie, but you’d just as soon catch up on email or finish a presentation.

Beamer offers a solution. It promises to send a video file to your Apple TV without having to completely give your Mac over to showing video. You can play any video from your Mac on your Apple TV. Since it’s an application the video can play while you continue doing other things. Let’s see how well it meets the promise.

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Although you may not realize it (and the transition is extremely subtle), Apple is becoming more and more game-orientated and it’s pretty clear to see why. In 2010 (the latest year for which I could find accurate figures for), revenues in the games industry totalled a massive $60 billion, with a market capitalization of around $100 to $105 billion. This is a pretty big market – and Apple certainly wants a slice of it.

On the App Store, there are currently around 116,000 apps in the “Games” category (as of mid June 2012) and on average, around 90 new games are submitted each day. The average game costs around $1.05 (with Apple taking 40% commission of course) and the App Store can turn relatively unkown game makers into worldwide superstars (just look at the success of Angry Birds or Doodle Jump, to name but two examples).

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“I finally cracked it,” Steve Jobs famously said to biographer Walter Isaacson in reference to an Apple-made television set. The elegant set-top box known as the Apple TV has been labeled as a hobby since its conception, and many are guessing that a full-fledged television by Apple would finally elevate their endeavors in television from this hobby status.

But what part of the television experience did Steve believe they “cracked”? Was it just integrating the iTunes Store and TV show subscriptions in a way that could directly challenge the cable package paradigm? Or maybe more exciting to imagine, did he have plans to revolutionize the way that we interact with the television?

Let’s look at some of the possible ways that Apple could let us interact with the big screens in our living rooms.

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In what was arguably the most anticipated technology announcement of 2012 so far, Apple has today announced a new iPad with a retina display matching the iPhone 4 display, a new Apple TV with 1080p support and an update to iOS, version 5.1, which will bring Japanese support to Siri, Apple’s own voice-commanded personal assistant.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO since August 2011, took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco just after 10:00 am local time and, after rattling off a few sales figures for Apple devices, began with the presentation that tech journalists and members of the public had been waiting for. There had been frantic rumours circulating around in the tech world about what new features the iPad 3/HD/2S would sport, and now was the time for Cook to put the lid on them all.

Read on for a complete roundup of all the announcements from today’s keynote.
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This review should, in hindsight, be more of an obituary. As you are probably aware, Apple is planning to ditch Front Row from its latest release of Mac OS X, Lion. Why is anyone’s guess, but the fact that the last update for it was released in November 2009, I think we could all see it coming.

In comparison to other applications, Front Row is very basic and only offers a limited number of functions. Apple may want people to switch to the Apple TV, a small digital media receiver which did borrow heavily from Front Row, or maybe it ditched Front Row because of the rise of other, third-party media applications.

Boxee is one of these. Although the whole app and its interface had larger TVs in mind, it can still be used on desktops without too much trouble. Boxee has been around for a little while now – the public beta was released in January 2010 – however the application is still in its beta stage of development. It does boast a neat interface and some handy in-built features so even if you don’t have a large TV, you can still gain some use out of it on your computer.

Boxee is, in my opinion, the final nail in the coffin for Front Row. Read on to find out why.
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