Marianne Schultz

Marianne has been writing about technology professionally since 2008. She owns more gadgets and Apple products than just about anyone else she knows and is drafted to do tech support for nearly everyone she meets. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.



Apple Announces iPhone 5s With 'Touch ID' Fingerprint Sensor

At its media event today, Apple introduced the new iPhone 5s. In line with expectations, the iPhone 5s will be the same size and design and the current iPhone 5 but will feature improved specifications and will be available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.Internally, the iPhone 5s will feature a 64-bit A7 processor that will be up to twice as fast at CPU tasks. Another significant new feature is a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.Built into the home button, Touch ID uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. Setting up Touch ID to recognize your fingerprint is easy, and every time you use it, it gets better. The Touch ID sensor recognizes the touch of a finger so the sensor is only activated when needed, preserving battery life. All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s; it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud. Touch ID can also be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the iTunes Store®, App Store or iBooks Store.iOS developers will not get access to the users' fingerprint as a means of authentication, according to AllThingsD, which spoke to Apple SVP Phil Schiller. He declined to comment on whether that sort of access may come in the

Apple Offers Sneak Peek of Completely Redesigned Mac Pro

At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple offered a sneak peek of its next-generation Mac Pro, a line of desktop computers that has not received a significant update in several years. The preview began with a teaser video showcasing the radically redesigned tubular tower.The next generation Mac Pro is architected around an ingenious unified thermal core that allows the desktop to efficiently share its entire thermal capacity across all the processors. The result is a pro desktop with breakthrough performance packed into a design that is one-eighth the volume of the current Mac Pro. Next generation Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 core configurations deliver double the floating point performance. With two AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, the all-new Mac Pro is up to 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro and delivers up to an amazing 7 teraflops of compute power. The new Mac Pro also features PCIe-based flash storage that is up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives and includes the latest four-channel ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866 MHz to deliver up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth. With all that power, the new Mac Pro lets you seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background.New generation Intel Xeon processors, ECC memory, and new PCIe flash storage will debut in the new Mac Pro. External expansion will be available via six Thunderbolt 2 ports and graphics will be handled by dual workstation AMD FirePro GPUs with support for up to three 4K displays. Compared to the previous Mac Pro, the

Apple Announces OS X 'Mavericks' with Tabbed Finder, Safari Redesign, Maps and iBooks

At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple announced the next version of its Mac operating system, dubbed "Mavericks" after a surfing area north of Half Moon Bay in California. Mavericks will feature many new Finder features including tabs, full-screen capability, tagging, and independent handling of multiple displays. Tagging items allows users to categorize and search for files more easily. With multiple displays, Finder will display a menu bar in each to allow easier control of all apps. Mission Control has also been modified to allow easy transfer of apps between displays, and Mavericks can display apps through a connected Apple TV. A new feature called Timer Coalescing will reduce CPU activity by smoothing out active processes and idle time while another new feature, Compressed Memory, will compress inactive memory to make free space available to running apps. Safari gets a revised Top Sites page and a sidebar with direct bookmark and Reading List access. Also visible in the sidebar are links shared by friends through social networks. The browser's memory and energy usage has also been improved in Mavericks. Keychain moves to iCloud in Mavericks to enable cross-device synchronization of passwords for use within Safari and other apps. Keychain will be able to suggest strong passwords and will remember credit card information to make online shopping easier. Notifications also get an overhaul with the ability to respond to iMessages or even decline Facetime calls right from the notification banner. After waking from sleep, notification banners for alerts

Apple Announces iTunes Radio, Ad-Supported, Free for iTunes Match Subscribers

Apple announced iTunes Radio today, a new internet radio service that is built into the Music app in iOS 7. The new feature offers music discovery through featured and genre stations provided by Apple or through the creation of new stations based on a specific artist or song.iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.iTunes Radio keeps track of all of the songs listened to for easy access later for purchasing or repeat listening. iTunes Radio will also be available on Mac and PC through iTunes and Apple TV. iTunes Radio will be available in the fall for free with ads while iTunes Match subscribers get an ad-free experience. The service will be available starting in the US only at

The Iconfactory Releases Twitterrific 5 for iOS with Redesigned Interface

The Iconfactory, the developer of Twitterrific and Flare for Mac, has released a major update of its Twitter client for iOS. Twitterrific 5 debuted the App Store tonight and features a completely redesigned interface, themes and font customization, cross-device synchronization, and more. As in previous versions, Twitterrific offers all of the basic Twitter client functions like timeline browsing, access to mentions and direct messages, search, and list access. New features include two themes, Light and Dark, that can be switched manually or done automatically at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm every day. Twitterrific 5 also offers five font choices and nine font sizes, as well as control over line spacing. Cross-device synchronization is available through Apple's iCloud service or Tweet Marker. Unlike previous versions, Twitterrific now does not include advertising and offers multiple account support without the need for an upgrade via in-app purchase, though the app is no longer a free download. Twitterrific 5 is available now and costs $2.99, which is a special introductory price in celebration of its launch. [Direct Link] A review and video of Twitterrific 5 are available at our sister site, AppShopper.

Apple Updates iBooks Author with New Templates and Remote Update Feature

At an event packed with several hardware announcements, Apple's iBooks Author application for Mac also got an update today adding new templates and the ability for authors to use their own fonts and add mathematical expressions and multi-touch widgets. Authors can also publish updates to their ebooks through iBooks Author. Users will be notified of available book updates through the iBooks iOS app. iBooks Author was first released in the Mac App Store in January and allows users to create electronic textbooks or books of any other kind for publishing in Apple's iBookstore. The app is free and requires a Mac running OS X 10.7.2 or later. The updated iBooks Author will be available for download starting today through the Mac App Store [App Store].

Apple Announces Lighter, Thinner iMac Models with Fusion Drive

Apple today updated its iMac lineup, dramatically reducing the thickness of the desktop machines and adding a brand new Fusion Drive that combines flash storage and a traditional disk-based hard drive to maximize both speed and capacity. The iMac will come with both 21.5-inch and 27-inch displays, and includes a new fully laminated design to improve optical quality and a new anti-reflective coating.Redesigned from the inside out, the new iMac packs high-performance technology into an aluminum and glass enclosure with up to 40 percent less volume than its predecessor and an edge that measures just 5 mm thin. Built with an unprecedented level of fit and finish, the new iMac delivers an amazing desktop experience in a gorgeous design. The new iMac also features a completely reengineered display that reduces reflection by 75 percent while maintaining brilliant color and contrast. In the new design, the cover glass is fully laminated to the LCD and an anti-reflective coating is applied using a high-precision plasma deposition process. Every iMac display is individually color calibrated using an advanced spectroradiometer.The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299 in the US, and includes a with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB hard drive. The 21.5" model should begin shipping in November. The 27-inch iMac starts with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB hard drive starting at $1,799 and shipping in

Apple Announces Fourth-Generation iPad with Lightning Connector, New A6X Chip

Apple today announced an update to its full-size iPad, upgrading its processor with a faster A6X chip and implementing the new Lightning connector that debuted with the iPhone 5. The new processor delivers up to two times the CPU and graphics performance of the prior chip, while maintaining 10 hours of battery life and the same design as the prior iPad. The new iPad now supports many new international LTE carriers, as well. The fourth-generation iPad comes in black and white with the same pricing and storage configurations as the third-generation iPad models, starting at $499 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi models and $629 for the 16 GB cellular models. Pre-orders for the new iPad begin on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The Wi-Fi configurations will begin shipping November 2, with the LTE configurations following two weeks later in the US, and then following in other

Apple Announces Updated iBooks App With Continuous Scrolling

At today's media event, Apple announced an update to its iBooks app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The updated iBooks app will feature a new continuous scrolling option, support for more than 40 languages including Korean and Japanese, and the ability to share passages from books via Facebook and Twitter.The new version of iBooks will be available later today as a free download through the App Store. [Direct Link]

Apple Announces iPhone 5 with 4-Inch Display

As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 5 at today's media event. The latest model of Apple's flagship iOS device features a glass and aluminum enclosure that's 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 and weighs in 20% lighter than these previous models at 112 grams. It has a 4-inch 1136 x 640 pixel (326 pixels per inch) Retina Display giving it the same width as the iPhone 4S but a taller form factor. The display features in-cell technology that was previously rumored that allows the display to be even thinner since the touch sensors are integrated into the display itself instead of requiring a separate layer. Also as expected, the new iPhone features LTE connectivity using a single chip for voice and data and a dynamic antenna that can switch connections as needed. LTE connectivity will be compatible with all of the major cellular networks in the US plus others in Europe and around the world. The iPhone 5 also gets improved Wi-Fi connectivity with dual-channel 802.11(n) capability. The new iPhone will have an A6 processor that's twice as fast as the previous A5 processor, and is 22% smaller and more efficient. Regarding battery life, the iPhone 5 will offer 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time or browsing or 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing or 225 hours of standby time. The iPhone 5's rear-facing camera doesn't get a resolution bump, keeping an 8-megapixel sensor, though the sensor is thinner and the lens cover is sapphire crystal. The camera function gets a new dynamic low-light mode and faster photo capture. The front-facing Facetime camera will offer 720p HD

Apple Announces September 19th Release Date for iOS 6

At today's media event, Apple announced that iOS 6, which had announced in June at the company's WWDC keynote event, will be available on September 19th.iOS 6 will offer several new features. Siri will be enhanced to provide movie information, sports scores, and the ability to post to Facebook and Twitter. The new Passbook app will hold tickets, passes, and payment cards for participating businesses. Safari will have a full-screen mode for better browsing and iCloud tabs to save your open tabs and offer immediate access to them on your other iOS devices and your computer.Maps app will provide turn-by-turn directions and a new 3D flyover feature to show a more realistic view of buildings and land features. Facebook will be integrated into iOS 6, with the ability to post Photo Stream pictures straight to the social networking service  and status updates through Siri.iOS 6 will be available as a free download for the 4S, 4, 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2 and 4th generation iPod Touch. The iPhone 5 will ship with iOS

Apple Announces Major iTunes Update Coming Next Month [Update: Version 10.7 Released Today]

Apple announced a new version of iTunes at today's media event featuring a "dramatically simpler" interface with an edge-to-edge design. We created iTunes because we love music and we’re going back to our roots with an incredibly clean design that keeps your music at the forefront,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The new iTunes works seamlessly with iCloud, always keeping your entire library at your fingertips, and we’re adding great new features that make listening to your music more fun.The updated media application will show albums in a grid interface with song listings unfolding below the album cover art when clicked. Searching is improved, showing inline results as you type and the MiniPlayer has been redesigned to show a miniature version of the album cover art and album and song information and playback controls. The updated iTunes will also get iCloud integration to show all your media content saved in Apple's cloud storage service and save your position in movies or TV shows automatically so that you can pick up where you left off on another device. The new version of iTunes will be available in late October. Update: A new version of iTunes, version 10.7, has been released. It "adds support for iOS 6 running on compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models. This update also adds support for the latest iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Apple Announces EarPods Earphones

Apple today announced a new model of earphones, dubbed EarPods, to be shipped with the iPhone 5, the fifth-generation iPod touch, and the updated iPod nano. EarPods will also be available as a stand-alone accessory purchase starting today and priced at $29. The new earphones feature a revised design to better fit a wider range of ear shapes and sizes and direct audio straight into the ear canal. The EarPods will still have a 3-button remote to control volume and playback on compatible iOS devices and

South Korean Court Declares Samsung and Apple Violated Each Other's Patents, Halts Product Sales of Older Devices

The Wall Street Journal reports that a panel of three judges in a South Korean court rendered a split decision against Apple and Samsung, stating that the companies violated each other's patents. The court assessed fines and damages against both technology manufacturers, requiring Apple to pay approximately $17,650 to Samsung for each of two violated patents and cease sales of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in South Korea, while Samsung must pay approximately $22,000 to Apple and stop selling its older Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy SII, and Galaxy Nexus smartphones as well as the 7-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablet devices. The lawsuit filed by Samsung and the countersuit filed by Apple in South Korea focus on the same patents at issue in the high-profile case currently in process in a U.S. District Court in which Apple claims that Samsung infringed upon Apple's patents and trade dress while Samsung claims that Apple owes licensing fees for using 3G technology covered by its patents. Interestingly, the South Korean court stated that Apple and Samsung smartphones were dissimilar enough that there would be "no possibility" for consumers to confuse the products of the two companies. In the U.S., both Apple and Samsung have completed their presentations to the jury and the most recent update on the case earlier this week indicated that Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, and Samsung's CEO, Kwon Oh Hyun, would meet and discuss the issues in a last-ditch effort for resolution for the jury began its deliberations.

'UX Write' for iOS Promises Powerful Word Processing for Long Documents

UX Write [App Store], a new iOS word processing app by UX Productivity, aims to compete with Apple's own Pages, Dataviz's >Documents to Go and other heavy-hitting word processing apps currently available in the App Store. UX Write touts several features to streamline the writing process for long and complex documents, including unique cursor and text selection controls, extra punctuation keys on the iPad, and powerful style formatting tools. The full list of features is as follows:- Styles: Separate content from presentation, and easily achieve consistent formatting throughout your whole document. - Outline editor: Easily navigate and rearrange sections - Automatic numbering and cross-references: for all headings, figures, and tables - Automatic text reflow: Document layout and text size is adjusted to suit your screen size and orientation, for an improved reading and editing experience - Extended keyboard (iPad only): Extra keys for punctuation and formatting, plus swipe gestures for cursor movement and text selection - Painless file synchronisation: Full integration with Dropbox and WebDAV. Documents are kept in sync automatically. - Printing and PDF export - Built on the latest web technologies: HTML5, CSS3, and WebKitA demo video showcases UX Write's major features: UX Write faces tough competition in the App Store. At this time, UX Write can only create and edit HTML files though the ability to work with Microsoft Word and LaTeX files is coming in the future. At $14.99, it is currently more expensive than Pages and Documents to Go that

Apple Announces iOS 6 with Siri Improvements, Facebook Integration, New Maps App, Passbook for Fall Release

At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple announced the next version of its operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. iOS 6 will feature new functionality for Siri, Facebook integration, a revamped Maps app, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and more. iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software. “We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app. In iOS 6, Siri will gain new capabilities to provide sports scores and schedules, make restaurant reservations via OpenTable, find local movie listings and even launch apps. Siri will also debut in new languages including Spanish, Italian, and French. Facebook integration will be much like the current Twitter integration in iOS 5 with a system-wide log-in and the ability to quickly post from within apps. Contacts can be updated automatically using information obtained through Facebook. Third-party developers will be able to add this functionality easily with a public API. A new Do Not Disturb mode allows users to schedule when notifications should not cause any sounds or visual alerts. The iPhone's Phone app will get new options to reply with a text message or prompt a reminder to return a call later when an incoming call arrives.

Apple Announces Dictation, iCloud Tabs, and 'Power Nap' Features in OS X Mountain Lion, Available in July for $19.99

At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple announced a release timeframe and pricing for Mountain Lion, the next version of the Mac operating system which was previewed earlier this year. Executives also gave a preview of some new features including dictation, iCloud Tabs, and Power Nap. Mountain Lion will be released in July through the Mac App Store for $19.99 and all Macs purchased starting today can receive an upgrade for free. The new dictation feature will be integrated throughout the operating system to allow dictation anywhere to enter text. Dictation was previously rumored in May when resource files in Safari listed keyboard shortcuts that pointed to dictation functions. iCloud Tabs, a new feature in Safari on the Mac, was also demonstrated. iCloud Tabs will show all tabs open in Safari on all other iOS devices and Macs logged in to the same iCloud account. Safari also gains a unified search and address bar to streamline its interface. Power Nap is a new feature that will carry out functions while a Mac is charging and sleeping. New emails will be downloaded, Time Machine will automatically run, app updates will be applied and other actions will be carried out with Power Nap, which will be available on the new ultra-thin MacBook Pro that was announced today and second-generation and later MacBook Airs. Apple first previewed Mountain Lion in February, highlighting many features already present in iOS, including Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Game Center and more at that

CES 2012: Behringer's $30,000 iNuke Boom Speaker on Display

Behringer is on hand at CES 2012, displaying its enormous iNuke Boom iPhone speaker dock that was announced last month. The over-the-top accessory is 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall and weighs over 700 pounds. Billed as the loudest iPhone speaker dock, the 10,000-watt speaker can indeed put out overwhelming sound. A dock with a 30-pin connector on the top allows direct connection of an iPhone or iPod touch. The speaker also has Bluetooth to play audio wirelessly from an iPhone, iPod touch or other device. The iNuke requires so much electricity to run that its power switch is designed to power it on in stages to avoid blowing the fuse of the outlet that it's connected to. This short video recorded by Behringer shows the power switch on the back of the speaker along with the volume control and the iNuke Mode switch that boosts output. Priced at $29,999, the iNuke is out of reach for the average consumer. However, the high price tag at least includes a white glove delivery service for placement and set-up in your home. The iNuke is in production now and will be available for purchase in the 3rd quarter of

CES 2012: Swivl Motion Tracking Stand and Magisto Automated Video Editing App

Several Apple-related apps and accessories are being previewed at CES 2012. Here are a couple of the more interesting ones we've run across. Swivl Swivl is a motion tracking mount for your iPhone. We previously covered the announcement of the product back in November. The motorized mount registers the movement of the remote control (which you can attach to your body) both vertically and horizontally. Using infrared and RF sensors, the mount actively moves the iPhone to keep its camera centered on the subject. It could be used for activities such as video blogging and FaceTime. See it in action: Swivl will cost $159 and is available for pre-order now and will ship in one to two months. Magisto Magisto is a new video app that debuted in the App Store this week that features automated editing of your raw video recordings. Magisto analyzes your videos to enhance them with music, effects, and transitions. The end result can then be shared with your friends. Users can record a new video in the app or choose existing videos in the Camera Roll for processing. After specifying a title and soundtrack and uploading the video to Magisto's servers, the company's software will automatically select the most interesting clips and apply transitions and effects to create a polished final video. Magisto is free and requires iOS 4.0 or higher. [App Store] The company plans to later introduce a premium version that offers HD video and more

'Find My Friends' Debuts in App Store Ahead of iOS 5 Release

Apple's Find My Friends app, which was announced last week when the iPhone 4S was unveiled, is now live in the App Store [link opens iTunes]. Find My Friends requires iOS 5, which is scheduled for release today. Find My Friends allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Install this free app on your iOS 5 device and sign in with the Apple ID you use with iCloud. Adding a friend is easy – just send a request to see their location. Once your friend accepts using the Find My Friends app, you will then be able to see that friend's location on a list or on a map.Find My Friends is a universal app compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. As previously mentioned, it requires iOS 5 and is therefore limited to the models capable of running the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, which include the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 3rd- and 4th-generation iPod touch, and the iPad and iPad 2. Apple's new Cards app, which was also announced last week, will be released today as