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A site like MacLife.com would be remiss in not joining the celebration for Mac OS X, which is now officially an unruly teenager at the ripe young age of 13 this week. We remember well the excitement of first installing the OS, only to discover there was very little we could actually do with it prior to booting back into Mac OS 9, but in time that infant learned how to talk and walk and soon we spent all of our time there. Read on to find out more about the release of Cheetah 13 years ago!
If Monday, March 24 felt a little different and you couldn't figure out why, that may be because you overlooked giving our old friend Mac OS X a pat on the back for turning 13 years old. According to TUAW, the Unix-based operating system codenamed "Cheetah" started shipping on March 24, 2001 for what now seems like the exorbitant price of $129. Although few applications actually supported the OS at launch, Mac users were in awe of the Aqua eye candy on display, with buttons that Steve Jobs famously called "so good you'll want to lick them." It was the beginning of the end of Mac OS 9, although it would take another few years for that transition to be complete.
The Google Chrome Blog announced Monday the debut of Chrome Experiments, an initiative intended to show off just what third-party developers can do with the company's $35 Chromecast. Google's own first dabbling in interactive slideshows has now become Photowall, a website and mobile app that allows users to beam photos to a Chromecast enabled HDTV, then create a YouTube video of the resulting photo wall automatically. The app is now available from the App Store as well as an Android version on Google Play, and is free to download and use.
Nation Public Radio's All Tech Considered blog announced Monday that the broadcaster's hourly newscasts and digital streams of Morning Edition and All Things Considered shows will now be available as part of a 24-hour NPR channel via iTunes Radio, a first for Apple's fledging streaming radio service. NPR calls the collaboration a first step toward creating "Pandora for public radio," with streams from other member stations across the country promised for later in the spring. NPR also marks the first non-music offering on iTunes Radio, suggesting the service will go head-to-head with other apps like iHeartRadio which offer a full range of genres including talk radio.
Google Chrome announced via Twitter that the formerly mobile-only Google Now service has begun rolling out to Chrome browsers across every platform — assuming you have the service activated on your mobile device, that is. "Google Now on Chrome shows a subset of the Now cards you see on your mobile device, which uses your device's location," a Chrome help page explains. The move finally brings Google Now Cards to the desktop, but the search giant is doing a gradual rollout, so if you don't see it available in your Chrome browser just yet, be patient and wait for it to turn up.
Roku released version 3.0 of its free iPhone app on Monday, bringing a much-needed user-interface overhaul to the multitalented software which allows owners of the company's media streaming boxes to perform all manner of tricks. In addition to a fresh new look, the update enables search for U.S.-based Roku players with the latest 5.4 or later firmware, which can include a movie or TV show title, actors or directors. After finding what you seek, simply tap on the resulting channel and begin watching right from your Roku-connected HDTV.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter