This Week In App News

With WWDC coming up tomorrow, I’m sure I can speak for every reader here that we’ll all excited to hear what Apple is going to announce! Kevin over at iPhone AppStorm will be live blogging the main announcement on their Twitter account and we here at Mac AppStorm will bring you full news coverage and some more in-depth analysis afterwards.

In other Apple news this week…

Leaked MacBook Pro 13.3″ specs suggest no retina display

A leaked photo of the MacBook Pro 13.3″ label posted to the Chinese forum Weiphone claims to reveal the upcoming specs on the new line of MacBook Pros – and it’s nothing worth shouting about. According to the photo (which looks pretty authentic), the only boost is the addition of Intel’s new range of Ivy Bridge processors (2.5 GHz) along with a new Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 3.0. The display remains the same as the previous range – 1,280 x 800 pixels.

MBP 13.3

Although nothing has been confirmed at the moment, it does put a spanner in the works for those who were hoping that Apple were going to equip their entire MacBook Pro range with retina displays as standard. The image, according to the poster on the forum, came from “a friend inside Apple”, and may suggest that Apple may be either equipping the 15 inch MacBook Pro model with a retina display or it comes as an optional extra on the 13-inch model (where the end customer will pay more).

Of course, we’ll know nothing definite until tomorrow, but it definitely suggests that at least a partial refresh of the MacBook Pro line is in the works.

First retina-graphics app hits the Mac App Store

As if to disprove the possible non-existence of retina-display Macs mentioned above, yesterday the updated version of FolderWatch was approved which, among other things, boasted “retina graphics”, hinting at what might be coming up tomorrow.

FolderWatch Retina

Although this seemed like the definite sign that retina-display Macs are going to be announced tomorrow, the developer, Brothers Roloff, calmed down the hype slightly. He posted on Twitter:

By “retina graphics”, we’re simply referring to HiDPI (a.k.a. @2x graphics). We don’t know what Apple will show at WWDC.

HiDPI, or high dots-per-inch, has been around since OS X Lion however Apple has never made the feature accessible for users. The recent high quality icons seen in Lion and the various Developer Previews of Mountain Lion are also designed for HiDPI screens, so it may be that Apple decides to market these kind of screens as “retina-displays” instead.

We’ll of course get the final answer tomorrow, though!

Growl 1.4 goes live with new tabbed design

Although Growl might be cast into the pages of the history books come tomorrow with the release of Mountain Lion and its new notifications system, this didn’t stop the developers pushing out the 1.4 update, which brought an overhaul to the Applications tab as well as a few other improvements.

Growl 1.4

The new version of Growl, version 1.4, with a redesigned application tab.

Setting up new notifications and tweaking apps slightly is now a lot easier in the new version and the preferences menu has been shuffled around slightly as well. The update is available via the Mac App Store and a changelog is available on Growl’s blog.

Adobe Flash update now brings silent updates in preparation for Mountain Lion

Adobe has released a major update to its Flash Player on Mac, version 11.3, which (among other things) patches a number of critical weaknesses (such as “memory corruption”, “integer and stack overflows” and “security bypass bugs”) and brings silent updates to OS X in preparation for Mountain Lion, something which I very much welcome seeing as every time I install a Flash update, I have to shut down my browser – quite an annoying task.

Adobe Flash 11.3

The new Flash Player for OS X, with silent updates in preperation for Mountain Lion

The silent update feature has been around on the Windows version since the end of March and there were signs that it was coming to the Mac version in an early beta release back last month. There are currently no signs that Flash will make its way into the Mac App Store (and it’s no surprise why) and with the upcoming Gatekeeper feature in Mountain Lion, users may not even have a chance to download the plugin at all on the highest setting, seeing as it blocks all non-App Store programs from being installed on the user’s Mac.

The update is available either via manual download from Adobe’s website or via the Flash Player pane in your System Preferences.

Macs making more of a presence in the office environment

And finally, it seems like Macs are becoming more of a common feature in the office environment outside design studios and software development companies, mainly driven by the increase in usage of iPads in the business world. Although the enterprise market is still almost entirely dominated by Windows (around 95% versus OS X’s 5%), more business are tending towards the alternative solution.


Macs are slowly but surely becoming a more popular sight in the office environment

Macs have traditionally not been seen as an ideal business computer in the past, mostly owing to their price and incompability with Windows-based systems but given the massive rise in cross-platform apps and easier networking and integration with Windows-based systems, the future does look a lot rosier.

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!