This Week in App News

This week has been yet another busy one in the world of app news so without further ado, let’s get started!

Happy reading!

Tweetbot for Mac alpha gets pulled due to API changes, Beta released to existing users

Due to Twitter’s new API (application programming interface) rules, which were implemented on August 16th, Tapbots have had to pull the alpha version of Tweetbot for Mac owing to a cap implemented on the number of user tokens available for third-party Twitter clients. In a blog post, the developers explained how third-party Twitter clients, such as Tweetbot for Mac, now have a cap of 100,000 user “tokens” and once a user has downloaded the app and authorised themselves using Twitter, one of those tokens disappears. The cap has meant that Tapbots have stopped public alpha/beta testing thanks to the cap on tokens, however have stressed that the final version will still go on sale when it’s ready.

Tweetbot Beta

The beta version does have plenty of bug fixes however you can’t add new or delete existing Twitter accounts.

There is, however, a little light at the end of the tunnel. On Friday the first official Beta version of Tweetbot was released, which featured plenty of bug fixes along with the ability to copy tweets on the timeline and improved keyboard shortcuts and multi-column swiping (the full change log is available via their Beta blog post. The beta is, however, thanks to those pesky API rules only available to users who have already authorised their Twitter account to use Tweetbot (i.e. if you were already using the alpha then you can upgrade to the beta). You also cannot add any new or delete any existing Twitter accounts from the application (at least until the full version comes around, anyway).

You can download the beta version (0.8.0) directly from Tapbots’ website by clicking here (6.1 MB download size).

Mozilla releases Firefox 15 with a decidedly Chrome-like feature

It seems like the browser wars are now hotting up as Mozilla released Firefox 15 on Tuesday, and this time they’re playing dirty. The big feature of this new version is silent updating, just like Chrome, eliminating that annoying Firefox update window every time a new version is ready to be installed. The new version also included a fix to add on memory leaking (meaning that the app runs more efficiently) and a couple of other performance boosts, such as enhancements to WebGL.

Monthly Browser

As of August 2012, Firefox now sits in third position behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

It seems like Firefox has got a bit of work to keep up its reputation. As of August 2012, Firefox was in third place in worldwide browser usage after Chrome and Internet Explorer and whereas Chrome’s usage has increased steadily since its release, Firefox’s has remained pretty stable around the 28% mark. It does, however, remain more popular in certain countries (Germany, for example, where its usage is at 47% as of August 2012, compared to 26% for Internet Explorer and 16% for Chrome).

Parallels Desktop 8 unleashed with retina and dictation support

In the time since we told you last week about VMware’s new version of Fusion, version 5, Parallels has released the next big update to their emulation software for OS X, Parallels Desktop. The new version 8 makes it that bit easier to run Windows on your Mac (and, in my opinion, much more convenient than under Boot Camp) and lets you use Mountain Lion’s dictation feature under Windows, adding Windows apps to the Launchpad and opening any website in Internet Explorer on your Mac.

Parallels Desktop 8

Parallels Desktop 8 brings along support for Dictation under Mountain Lion along with a claimed 30% performance enhancement.

Parallels Desktop 8 also features full retina display support and a claimed 30 percent improvement in performance, though this has yet to be verified. Existing users of Parallels will, like VMWare Fusion 5, have to pay for the privilege of owing this version (upgrade pricing starts from $49.99, with the full version being priced at $80 and students paying a mere $40) however if you purchased your copy of Parallels after July 25th, then Parallels will upgrade it for free!

Head over to the official Parallels website for more information on this new version, which is due to be released on Tuesday (you can upgrade now, by the way!)

GIMP 2.8.2 released, and this time it’s native

GIMP has been updated to version 2.8.2 and this release is finally worth shouting about for OS X users. It marks the end of the app’s requirement to run under X11 in OS X and has finally transformed the open-source image editor into a native, self-contained Mac app, with no need to even have X11 installed. The download weighs in at around 74 MB and can be grabbed from GIMP’s official website (click on the link for a direct link).

GIMP logo

GIMP 2.8.2 brought along a full native, self-contained app for OS X.

GIMP is a popular open-source image editor and has been a staple feature of many Linux distributions for many years now. Until this version, the app was simply a port of its Linux counterpart and required X11 to emulate and run it. Users can now simply download the application from their official website, open it up as a disk image and drag it into their Applications folder – a much simpler process. Version 2.8.2, however, only brings along the usual bug fixes and has no new features compared to previous versions.

Heard Anything Else?

If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!