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apple

All systems are go, people. Apple has announced the official dates for their annual Worldwide Developers Conference and internet forums and Twitter feeds are already alive with predictions about what exactly is going to be announced. WWDC ’12 (with a slightly cryptic tagline It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for) will take place on June 11 – 15th in the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, a favourite venue for Apple several years running.
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Apple has removed the free trials for two of its most popular software packages, the photo editing program Aperture and the office suite iWork, from its website as of yesterday and instead redirects users to the Mac App Store, where they have the choice to buy the product at full price.
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Apple has pushed two critical security updates to Java for Mac OS X this week in order to patch up some critical security loopholes found in the previous release of Java, version 1.6.0_29. The updates, which were released on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, are available via Software Update for Snow Leopard users running OS X 10.6.8 and Lion users running OS 10.7.3.

The updates were released after a Russian antivirus company, Doctor Web, discovered that Macs were vulnerable to the BackDoor.Flashback trojan, which saves an executable file on your Mac’s hard drive then downloads malicious code from a remote server.

The trojan has affected an estimated 600,000 Macs worldwide, with the majority located in the United States (around 55%), Canada (around 20%) and the UK (around 13%). An analyst at Doctor Web also reported that 274 of these infected computers were based in Cupertino, California – the same city as Apple’s headquarters meaning that some of Apple’s own computers may have been affected.

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Unveiled alongside that Superbowl Commercial all the way back in 1984, the Macintosh was to become Apple’s main focus and through the years saw host to such iconic designs as the MacBook, iMac and, more recently, the MacBook Air. However, while the Mac is undoubtedly close to all our hearts here at Mac.AppStorm, there’s been a perception as of late that Apple are letting things slide with regard to their computers, in large part due to the phenomenal success of iOS. As the argument goes, in a huge profit driven company like Apple it’s the bottom line that counts and last year saw more iOS devices sold in one year than the entire lifetime of the Mac.

Don’t be too quick to write off the future prospects of the Mac just yet though, while portable devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod are all very important to Infinite Loop, Mac sales are strong and increasing market share significantly. Indeed, Apple are finding that there’s more demand than ever for their computers and I’d like to make the argument that the Mac’s strongest years are quite possibly ahead of it, with Apple set to increase their efforts and ensure that the Mac becomes yet more popular still.

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This week’s news isn’t quite as populated as last week’s because, as you all know, Mountain Lion made its first developer preview debut last week. However, there was some special news during the week including the Growl developers’ response to Apple’s latest operating system. You see, Growl was once a great notification system on the Mac, but now it seems that Mountain Lion’s Notification Center — which was conveniently ported from iOS — has replaced the small app.

This may come as a disappointment to some since Growl worked so well and had lots of customization, but the developers have responded in a blog post from last weekend assuring that the service is not dead and that the developers are in the process of investigating other options for Growl’s purpose in Mountain Lion. This is great news for the many users out there who’ve been devoted to Growl. Hopefully they will be able to integrate Growl into Notification Center or something in a way.

Check after the break for the rest of this week’s news. (more…)

Despite operating within the profit-driven world of consumer technology, Apple has often maintained a distinctly rebellious public persona. Launched by two former telephone hackers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (in addition to Ronald Wayne), Apple forged their own path by ignoring the status quo and offering such innovations as the first widespread GUI and desktop publishing software which was easy for anyone to use.

As Apple lost a series of running battles with Microsoft over market share and the company faced a number of vicissitudes, Apple embraced their underdog status and turned their near destruction into a rallying cry. Never had a technology company made financial disaster seem so cool and owning an Apple computer could feel like being part of an exclusive club. However, as Steve Jobs and co guided Apple back from the brink to renewed success, there is a perception that perhaps they lost something of their free-thinking spirit along the way, that Apple have become part of the establishment which they once so gleefully ignored.

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Last Thursday, Apple caught us all a bit off guard with the announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, the next major version of OS X. Now that I’ve had a few days to sit down and take a look at it, I can confidently say that this is no small upgrade. Mountain Lion is a huge leap forward in the unification of iOS and OS X (Apple has officially dropped “Mac” from the name), bringing over many much-loved features including iMessages, Notification Center, AirPlay Mirror, and a whole host of new applications.

Follow along as we dive in and take a look at all of the great new features, updates and tweaks of your next operating system.

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If you saw our post earlier, then you know that Apple dropped a bomb on us with a sneak preview of the upcoming Mountain Lion update to OS X. James touched briefly on the handful of new features that Apple announced, all of which are exciting and intend to bring an even more iOS-like experience to your Mac. However, because I’m particularly interested in communication, I’m going to go a little bit more in depth with one particular feature of OS X Mountain Lion: Messages.

Messages is the new Mac app that replaces iChat, and the beta is available for download today. I’ve been toying with it all morning, and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it. Hit the jump to see what it’s all about.

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Acrylic Software is known for their beautiful and useful apps for the Mac and iOS. We got a chance to speak with Dustin MacDonald, the company’s Founder, Designer & Engineer. In our interview, we touched on a number of topics ranging from the history of Acrylic Software to their view on the Mac App Store and the interoperability between Mac OS X and iOS.

Enjoy the interview!

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Audio recording and editing on the Mac can seem like an pretty daunting task. Many of the available tools are extremely powerful, but as a result, too complex for the average user. Piezo, the little brother of Audio Hijack Pro, a favorite among podcasters and broadcasters, hopes to change that by focusing solely on recording audio from any application on your Mac, forgoing any addition features. With its extremely simple interface, invaluable utility, and affordable price tag, can it be the David to the audio recording Goliaths? Read on.

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