Adobe on Thursday released its Photoshop CS6 beta with a new, faster and more modern user interface, re-engineered design tools and content-aware patching. “Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “We couldn’t wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows.” The download is roughly 1GB and comes with “all the features in Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended.” PC users are required to have a 2GHz or faster processor with at least 1GB of RAM, while Mac users who have a multicore Intel processor and 1GB of RAM should be fine. The Photoshop CS6 beta is available as a free download from Adobe’s website and the release version is expected to launch in the first half of 2012. Read on for Adobe’s press release. More →
The popular third-party software keyboard Swype has been updated to support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Swype is an app that uses word prediction in combination with swiping motions to allow users to quickly write emails, text messages, tweets and anything else that requires text input. The software is still not available in the Android Market, unfortunately, and it must be downloaded from the company’s website. Though the software is currently in beta stages for Android 4.0, users have yet to report any major issues. More →
Google on Tuesday announced the first beta release of its Chrome Web browser for Android-powered smartphones and tablets. The firm’s native Web browser is certainly among the better mobile Web browsers on the market, but with Chrome, Google is focused on aligning its mobile browsing experience more closely with its desktop browser. “Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Chrome and Apps, wrote in a post on the company’s blog. Chrome for Android is available immediately as a free download in the Android Market and it is compatible with smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 or later. An introductory video from Google follows below. More →
Gamefly announced on Tuesday that its “Unlimited PC Play” beta client is now available for free for all Gamefly members. We first heard about Gamefly’s intentions to launch a PC client earlier this year, allowing subscribers to read news, check out reviews and play hundreds of PC games from dozens of top publishers. “We are thrilled to finally be able to open up the beta so anyone interested in video games can start using the client, and we are hard at work expanding our catalog of PC titles for our users to play for free in the Unlimited PC Play section,” GameFly co-founder and SVP of Business Development and Content Sean Spector said. “Casual to hardcore gamers can enjoy titles like Assassin’s Creed, Deus Ex or Saints Row 2, to Earthworm Jim, Jewel Quest or World of Goo at no additional cost to their GameFly subscription.” Gamefly’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Apple’s iTunes Match service was supposed to be released to the public by the end of October and while we’re still not sure why the service has been delayed, Apple just released a new beta build of iTunes that allows developers to continue testing the service. Apple’s release notes are as follows:
iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2 is now available and includes a number of important stability and performance improvements. iTunes Match is also now available for testing on Apple TV.
iTunes Match stores your music library in iCloud and allows you to enjoy your collection from anywhere, any time, on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, computer and now your Apple TV.
The new build, iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2, is available for download immediately from within Apple’s developer portal. Once released, iTunes Match will allow users to mirror their iTunes libraries in iCloud for $25 per year.
During the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Google’s Android boss Andy Rubin said his company’s upcoming music store “will have a little twist.” Rubin confirmed Google “won’t just be selling 99 cent tracks,” which suggests it might take a subscription-based approach, or even offer ad-based free listening as Spotify does. Google Music beta already allows users to store up to 20,000 in the cloud. Reportedly, Google is only close to sealing a deal with EMI snd has not yet signed each of the other major record labels. Rubin explained that Google’s image as a search engine may have contributed to a stall in the deals. “Google is in the very very early phases of adding consumer products to our portfolio,” Rubin said during AsiaD. “The media industry didn’t see us as that. They saw us a search company.” Reports surfaced on Tuesday that suggested Google will launch its music store this quarter, but a separate story from The New York Times has said it could launch in the coming weeks. More →
Apple’s Siri and Nuance-powered “Assistant” voice control feature expected to launch with iOS 5 has hardly been a secret, and now MacRumors has commissioned a video mock-up of the service based on what we know so far. The video shows, for example, that a user might be able to hold down the home button to activate the application and speak a command, not unlike Apple’s simple voice controls today. Assistant should step today’s capabilities up quite a bit, however. The service will likely scour your phone’s contents or the web to deliver results, and it may even be capable of replying to you; in the MacRumors video, Assistant asks the user if he would like to text a contact’s mobile or work number. We expect to hear more about Assistant during Apple’s iPhone event on October 4th. Read on for the full video. More →
Apple released iTunes 10.5 beta 9 to developers on Friday. Apple said the new release includes a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. The update is required for developers currently testing Apple’s iTunes Match beta. Additionally, Apple reiterated that iCloud libraries will be deleted at the end of the beta period. Apple said known issues include:
- The scan & match feature is not yet complete. Some songs may not match (even if they is available in the iTunes Store) and will be uploaded to iCloud. Other songs may match to a different version of the same song on the iTunes Store.
- You can only add music to iCloud from one computer at a time.
- After updating to iOS 5 beta 7, your music may fail to play. If this happens, turn off iTunes Match in Settings > Music, then turn it back on.
Read on for the full release notes from Apple. More →
Earlier reports of a redesigned iPhone 5 with a larger display and an elongated home button gained momentum on Wednesday when a new iPhone icon was discovered by 9to5 Mac. The icon was found within official Apple software — the latest Photo Stream beta for developers — and it clearly shows a phone that deviates sharply from the current iPhone 4. The display appears to encompass more of the phones face and the home button is most certainly not round, as it has been on each of the previous four iPhone models. This is just an icon we’re looking at, of course, but it could be a safe bet that Apple’s forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone will resemble the design seen above. A closeup of the iPhone 5 icon follows below. More →
Research In Motion announced on Friday that BlackBerry App World 3.0 is now available for download from the BlackBerry Beta Zone. The updated app store offers a number of improvements, including the ability to search for applications directly from the new home screen. Users will be able to sort search results by name, price, rating, release date, best match and most popular. RIM also added quick access to “Games” and “Themes” subcategories directly on the new home screen. “Spotlight banners” will showcase hot new applications that RIM wants to highlight, too. Finally, users can choose to share new applications via Facebook, Twitter, BBM, SMS or email. More →
Apple’s official iCloud.com website is now live for developers as part of a new beta phase of the service. The website is complete with web applications for Calendar, Contacts, Mail, iCloud for Pages, iWork and Find My iPhone. It also currently has a look and feel very reminiscent of iOS, which we like. We already know that Apple will offer iOS users 5GB of free iCloud storage, but the Cupertino-based company also revealed the official pricing for those who want a bit more storage. Users can sign up for an additional 10GB of storage (15GB total) for $20 per year, 20GB of additional storage for $40 per year, or 50GB of added storage for $100 per year.
Google’s latest social networking effort may finally be the winner the Internet giant has so desperately been looking for. The invite-only beta service launched late last month and as per the company’s statements made during its earnings call on Thursday, it has already amassed more than 10 million users in just over two weeks. According to user statistics supplied by third-party social monitors SocialStatistics and FindPeopleOnPlus, the overwhelming majority of people using Google+ so far are male. FindPeopleOnPlus tracks nearly a million Google+ profiles and it shows that about three quarters of Plus users are male. SocialStatistics uses a significantly smaller sample of about 30,000 user profiles, but it suggests that 87% of Google+ profiles belong to men. There’s no question that Google+ is the talk of the Web right now, but those looking for a network with a decent sized female population should probably look elsewhere — mySpace, perhaps? More →