March 30, 2012

Reflection App Uses AirPlay To Mirror Your iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Screen On Your Mac

Reflection App Uses AirPlay To Mirror Your iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Screen On Your Mac

A new Mac app called Reflection allows you to wirelessly mirror your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 screen on your Mac. Using the magic of AirPlay and OS X Lion, Reflection will allow you to view your iOS device’s screen in real time on your Mac display, no setup required. Screen activity can be recorded and saved to your desktop. You can even kick back and play your favorite iOS game on your giant iMac! Now that’s awesome.

The developer of AirParrot (a similar tool that lets you mirror your Mac’s OS X screen to an Apple TV) has been working on Reflection for quite some time, and he’s continuing to work on updates for the 1.0 version that just launched to the public.

We haven’t gotten to really go hands-on with the app yet, but it looks like a sweet tool. iOS device mirroring can be great for lectures, business presentations, demonstrations, etc. It’s also an essential feature for iOS developers. Since you could theoretically play any iPhone or iPad game on your Mac, we’re sure that you guys will be coming up with all sorts of creative ways to use this nifty app.

Visit the Reflection website to learn more. A single user license costs $ 15 and a pack of 5 licenses costs $ 40. You’ll need to be running OS X Lion on your Mac and iOS 5 with AirPlay Mirroring on the iPhone 4S or iPad 2.

(via TUAW)

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Cult of Mac

Inside OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Safari 5.2 gets a simplified user interface with new sharing features

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 08:30 PM EST (05:30 PM PST)
Safari gets a minor overhaul in this summer’s release of OS X Mountain Lion, offering a cleaner, smarter user interface with a unified search and location field and new sharing features.

Safari has a history of delivering innovative new features while retaining one of the simplest user interfaces among major browsers available. In Mountain Lion, Safari removes the Google search field (and its SnapBack button) to leave one single location field.

From that single field, you can now just type the beginning of a website location, a search engine query, or reference a saved bookmark or recently visited page in your history. Safari continues to suggest alternatives as you type, but now it populates the results with potential searches recommended by Google (which remains the default search engine; Yahoo and Microsoft remain alternative options for search).

No Phishing

Also new in Mountain Lion’s Safari is textual highlighting of the host in the displayed URL (as shown below, circled in red). This helps users, particularly the less technically inclined, see what server is hosting their page among all the other code in the URL pathname.

The feature should help users notice when a phony site is being used to display what appears to be a reputable site, such as when a known fraud site like “Hardcashhijackinfo.net” hosts a malicious, phishing version of PayPal.com, advertised via email spam warning users they must log into their account following a hyperlink.

Easy Reader, Sharing

Another new simplification of the Safari window is the newly omnipresent Reader button. Click it and it enters Reader for you on the selected page. When there’s nothing to read, the button is simply greyed out.

Other button options remain the same (note that the Options button shown belongs to the optional Ad Block Safari Extension, and is not new to Mountain Lion), although the default set of buttons has changed to add a Share Sheets button.

The new Sharing button presents alternative ways (from its menu, below top) to add a page to the Reading List, Top Sites or other Bookmark folders, or email the content of the web page, all of which were previously available as menu bar options or keyboard commands, but now more conveniently accessible via the Sharing button.

Sharing also introduces new options to Message or Tweet the url. The Twitter sharing feature uses the same tweet user interface as iOS.

On page 2 of 2: Safari turns 9, Resurrecting the web

AppleInsider

Apple rejects iBook with links to Amazon’s store

This is just one specific case out of the many, many organizations and individuals publishing content on Apple’s iBookstore, but it’s an interesting call by Apple nevertheless. Seth Godin tried to publish a book of his through Apple’s iBooks, but the content was rejected by Apple’s system. Not because it was offensive in some way, but simply because it contained links to Amazon’s booksore. These weren’t even links to Godin’s books — they were simply links to reference books, but because they went out to a competing service, Apple pulled the plug.

Before anyone starts yelling about censorship, keep in mind that this is Apple’s playground, and it can take its ball home whenever it wants, no matter how inane the reason. But this reason seems particularly inane — Apple can’t really be worried about one link in a ebook promoting a competitor’s sales, right? Not to mention that the book in question was a hardcover copy, and unless I’m mistaken, wasn’t even sold on Apple’s iBooks store anyway.

Apple’s staked a claim to be at the center of technology and creativity, and of course it’s done plenty to cement a spot for itself there. But education and information are a key part of creativity, and if Apple is openly choosing to shut down certain purchases on its stores just for the petty reason of trying to keep one or two sales away from a (sort of) competitor, that’s a mistake.

[via AppAdvice]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

MWC names Galaxy S II best smartphone, iPad 2 best tablet

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 06:24 PM EST (03:24 PM PST)
The Mobile World Congress on Tuesday announced the winners of the 17th Annual Global Mobile Awards, with Samsung dubbed Manufacturer of the Year for its Galaxy S II Smartphone of the Year, while Apple’s iPad 2 took home Tablet of the Year honors.

The four-day GSMA event held in Barcelona is the world’s largest mobile industry exhibition and conference, and includes talks from industry leaders, a showcase of the newest mobile devices and presentations of future technology. At the conclusion of each MWC, awards are given for the leaders in a variety of categories covering mobile apps, services and hardware.

This year, Korean electronics monolith Samsung not only left MWC as the world’s best hardware maker, but also dethroned previous smartphone champ Apple, which won Smartphone of the Year for its iPhone 4.

The win is indicative of the strong sales Android handset makers are currently enjoying around the globe, and Samsung has proven to be a leading partner for the platform.

While Apple has seen a great deal of success with the iPhone, even taking the crown as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, the proliferation of devices running Google’s Android OS has been overwhelming.

Recent statistics put Android way ahead of the pack as it gobbled up 50.9 percent of the market in 2011. In comparison, second place Apple’s iOS managed only a 23.8 percent market despite growing some 8 percent year to year.

Just as Android continues to rule the handset market, so does the iPad with its complete domination of the tablet space.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple sold 18.7 million iPad 2s to take 59.1 percent of all tablet sales for the period. The huge humber eclipses number two tablet maker Amazon, which eked out a 16.7 percent share with its new Kindle Fire.

When iPad and MacBook shipments for the 2011 holiday quarter are combined, Apple garnered 26.6 percent of the mobile PC market which is nearly triple the share of next-closest HP. The Cupertino, Calif., company pulled ahead of HP as the world’s number one PC vendor in January.

AppleInsider

Reflection app goes live, brings iOS screen mirroring to your Mac

Ever wanted to use AirPlay mirroring to show the screen of your iPad 2 or iPhone 4/4S on your Mac? Just released, Reflection ($ 14.99 for a single license, $ 39.99 for a 5 pack) offers a well-featured mirroring receiver for OS X, ideal for education and demos — and a great way to eliminate the Frankencable for iPad video capture.

I’ve been beta-testing Reflection for several weeks. I watched as David Stanfill (developer of AirParrot, which I introduced a few weeks ago on TUAW) refined and stabilized this app. With Reflection, you can project app demos to your Mac in real time. This is a great feature for any developer or teacher, or even for business folk who would like to bring along their presentations on their phone.

I first wrote about Reflection a few weeks back on TUAW, and it received quite the warm welcome — many of our readers asked when it would debut, and how they could purchase a copy. At that point, the app was just in its initial alpha release. It barely supported multiple resolutions and provided few options.

What you get today is full mirroring, including audio, with orientation updates and many video optimization features as well as pseudo-frames that make the video on your desktop look as if it’s running on an iPhone or iPad — just as it would with the Xcode iOS simulator. It’s not quite at a bulletproof release, but for day-to-day use for those of you who need these features now and are willing to deal with the occasional crash, it’s a great solution as-is.

AirParrot ($ 9.99 for a single license, $ 29.99 for a 5 pack), the app that mirrors your OS X desktop to Apple TV, has also undergone major changes since I first wrote it up. In the latest release (approximately version 1.2.1), you can now use your Apple TV as an separate external monitor, not just for mirroring desktops. AirParrot also now supports audio mirroring and perceptual smoothing. These are great feature bumps to an already useful app.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Is Apple Missing The Boat On NFC?

Is Apple Missing The Boat On NFC?

One of the big trends at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has been announcements regarding NFC. While NFC has been supported in a handful of Android phones and BlackBerry models, till now there haven’t been many real-world applications for it. With several announcements around NFC, the technology’s time may be finally be coming.

Despite rumors, Apple has never shown an interest in adopting NFC in the iPhone or iPad.  Could Apple’s lack of NFC support could stick out like a sore thumb despite the fact that it managed to upstage every company at MWC with yesterday’s iPad 3 event announcement.

The idea of NFC as the basis for a smartphone-based digital wallet has been floating around the tech world for a while now but has never materialized as a mainstream product. One reason for that is that NFC as a piece of hardware and short range communications protocol is only part of the e-wallet equation.

Creating an e-wallet and mobile payment solution requires a lot more than NFC chips being included in mobile devices along with NFC support in mobile OSes. It also requires buy-in from and integration with banking and credit card companies, reader devices from merchant processing firms, and it requires that retailers upgrade their various electronic payment readers to support NFC.

That’s a lot of stars that need to align for NFC to have a chance of widespread implementation. Till now there have been a number of small, typically local, test initiatives by finance companies, but no wide scale or global initiatives. That may be one reason Apple has been pretty quiet on the NFC front. The company might be waiting for there to be signs that the technology had matured into a viable product.

With several NFC announcements at MWC, that time may be coming with more trials in the U.S. and some global partnerships forming to support and promote the technology around the world. Here’s a sample of the announcements that came flooding out of Barcelona earlier this week:

  • Three Big Plastic Issuers Take Step Toward Mobile Wallets
  • VeriFone announces NFC POS solution for mobile network operators
  • Visa Announces Mobile Payments Provisioning Service
  • Santander unveils first NFC wallet to offer both Visa and MasterCard payments
  • Intel and Visa Join Forces to Boost Mobile Payments
  • LG unveils two more NFC phones

It’s also worth noting that NFC isn’t limited to mobile payments. The short range technology has other applications including digital flyers, the ability to exchange information between devices, and even the ability to serve as a digital key to a device (something Apple was once rumored to be exploring for future Macs and iOS devices).

Some of these features extend the functionality of NFC beyond smartphones to other devices like tablets, computers, and home and office electronics. While the e-wallet scenario might not seem like a huge miss on Apple’s part given the timing of the iPhone 4S launch, but not including some NFC support in the iPad 3 or in iOS 5 (or 5.1) might be a different story.  On the other hand, this does offer third-party vendors a chance to innovate around both the iPhone like DeviceFidelity is doing with its  In2Pay iCaisse4, which has been certified for mobile payments by MasterCard.

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Cult of Mac

Apple denies sale of ebook containing links to Amazon

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 05:20 PM EST (02:20 PM PST)
Entrepreneur and prolific author Seth Godin has accused Apple of blocking sales of ebooks containing links to Amazon’s online store after recently finding that his own short manifesto had been refused.

In a Wednesday post on website PaidContent , Godin writes that Apple has chosen to not carry his new ebook “Stop Stealing Dreams” in the iBookstore due to number of links in the bibliography that direct readers to Amazon’s competing marketplace.

Godin quotes a note he received from Apple as to why the ebook was rejected: ““Multiple links to Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

The issue could be cross-promotion as Godin apparently includes his Amazon Affiliate ID with the links in question, allowing the author to receive a small cut of any potential sales, though this matter was not reported as part of Apple’s response.

The allegations of content rejection based on the inclusion of out-of-store links have raised the question of whether the practice is actually commercially motivated censorship. Some websites have taken to the story and are airing concerns that Apple’s alleged actions might also be adopted by larger online bookstores.

Godin writes:

I think that Amazon and Apple and B&N need to take a deep breath and make a decision on principle: what’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace. If it’s legal, they ought to let people read it if they choose to. A small bookstore doesn’t have that obligation, but if they’re seeking to be the one and only, if they have a big share of the market, then they do, particularly if they’re integrating the device into the store. I also think that if any of these companies publish a book, they ought to think really hard before they refuse to let the others sell it.


It is difficult to assess whether Apple is indeed creating a walled marketplace as the iBookstore has yet to reach a marketshare close to its competitors.

Adding a wrinkle to the sale of ebooks are the pages of content available online in open formats, Godin’s newest book included.

Perhaps most troubling to writers are the somewhat vague guidelines as to what will disqualify a book from being sold in the iBookstore. In Godin’s case it was a multitude of links, though no stipulation exists as to how many can be included before a book is rejected or if the removal of said links will then qualify the book for sale.

In an attempt to grow its library and corner the education market, Apple released iBooks Author in January to help streamline the process of publishing an ebook through the iBookstore.

The iPad maker’s new system was met with some controversy as it seemed licensing rights seemed to restrict the commercial distribution of content created with the new iBooks Author app. The issue was later clarified, however, and Apple revised the agreement to reflect a restriction only applicable to the .ibooks format.

AppleInsider

‘MLB At Bat’ 2012 App For iPhone And iPad Now Available In The App Store

‘MLB At Bat’ 2012 App For iPhone And iPad Now Available In The App Store

With baseball season nearly upon us, now is the time to download MLB’s brand new iOS app. MLB.com At Bat went live in the App Store for free this morning with some great features and better pricing options.

Instead of having to pay $ 30 for the separate iPhone and iPad apps like last year, MLB is offering a free, universal download with a season-long in-app subscription for $ 14.99, and there’s more options available.

You can pay only $ 2.99 to use the app on a month by month basis. If you have a MLB.TV Premium subscription for 124.99/season or $ 24.99/month, you unlock the app’s full potential. That also means you can watch live games from all your devices, including your Mac and Apple TV.

‘MLB At Bat’ 2012 App For iPhone And iPad Now Available In The App Store

There are a few differences between the Premium options mentioned above and the $ 14.99/season or $ 2.99/month in-app purchases. Non-Premium subscribers are limited to one TV broadcast per day and game highlights as they happen. Access to radio broadcasts and GameDay features remain the same across the board.

MLB At Bat gives you access to live game broadcasts, radio, GameDay play-by-play, scoreboards, news articles, stats, and more. Download the app for free in the App Store. Spring Training games kick off March 3rd!

(via Fox News)

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Cult of Mac

TUAW TV Live: T-minus one week and counting

On today’s episode of TUAW TV Live, we’ll be talking about next week’s announcement of the next-generation iPad, showing off some apps, and all-in-all just having some fun. Next week at this time, we’ll hopefully have all the details — but what’s so fun about that? Speculation is much more exciting.

Below, you’ll find a Ustream livestream viewer and a chat tool. The chat tool allows you to participate by asking questions or making comments.

If you’re driving somewhere and would like to watch TUAW TV Live while you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t — keep your eyes on the road! However, if someone else is doing the driving, you can watch the show on your iPhone and join the chat by downloading the free Ustream App. It’s a universal app and is wonderful on an iPad, both for viewing and participating in the chat.

We’ll start at about 5 PM ET, so if you’re seeing a prerecorded show, be sure to refresh your browser until you see the live stream. For those of you who are not able to join us for the live edition, you’ll be able to view it later this evening on our TUAW Video YouTube channel and as part of the TUAW TV Live podcast viewable in iTunes or on any of your Apple devices.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog