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The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas doesn’t officially close its doors until tomorrow, but most of the buzz and excitement has already waned and life is getting back to normal for many. Over in China, the exact opposite is happening, with thousands having lined up outside Apple retail stores to grab the iPhone 4S, which went on sale at midnight local time there. In case you missed your daily dose of tech news today, read on to find out what else is making news for this Thursday, January 12, 2012.
iOS developers are increasingly moving their software offerings back to the Mac platform, thanks to the attractive lure of the Mac App Store. The most recent developer to take the plunge is Nik Software, creators of the mobile photo editing app that garnered praise as Apple’s “App of the Year” for 2011. As reported just a few days ago, Snapseed has just landed in the Mac App Store with a modest $19.99 price tag. Much like the iOS edition, Snapseed for Mac makes it easy to make basic adjustments or even creative enhancements to your JPEG, TIFF or RAW image files and takes full advantage of OS X Lion where available (Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher is required). The company pushed out a new YouTube video to show how easy it is to incorporate Snapseed into your life, and for fans of the iOS app, the Mac edition is probably a no-brainer.
The Neat Company hit Las Vegas this year as part of Showstoppers @ CES, announcing their forthcoming NeatCloud and NeatMobile products. This spring, Neat will release version 5 of their digital filing software for the Mac, which will accompany the new mobile offerings aimed at putting your documents, receipts and business cards into the cloud. NeatCloud is described as a customized cloud-based information ecosystem which “provides backup and automatically syncs with Neat's software to provide users with seamless, unfettered access to their information.” The cloud initiative works hand-in-hand with NeatMobile, which makes use of a camera-equipped iOS or Android device for capturing and storing information to Neat software. Both products will carry a subscription pricing model, but exactly how much they’ll cost remains a mystery for now.
It’s Friday the 13th in China, and that means the iPhone 4S is ready for the masses! According to MacRumors, each of Apple’s five retail stores saw “huge lines for the iPhone 4S,” with hundreds lined up more than 12 hours before the doors opened (see photo above for one such throng). Carrier China Unicom started selling the handset online at 12:01am local time, where the iPhone 4S was offered free of charge with certain contracts. Of course, some of those in line are likely planning to buy the unlocked model so they can resell it again later at a higher price as Apple and China Unicom’s stock is depleted. The more things change, the more they stay the same…
Verizon Wireless made a pretty good splash at this year’s CES show, but they saved their most interesting news for the lull as the show winds down. According to Cnet, “nearly every smartphone, wireless hotspot, tablet and netbook that Verizon offers will come with LTE guns a-blazing” -- as in 4G LTE, which the company has been rapidly expanding over the last year. The report claims that 4G LTE is a “hard requirement” moving forward, which leads to the obvious question: Does that mean Apple is getting into the 4G LTE game this year? There have been rumors that the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 models presumably coming in 2012 will come packing Verizon’s LTE antenna, and this announcement seems to slyly confirm this. The report does note one exception to the rule: handsets with push-to-talk, which is currently only available through the company’s existing CDMA 3G network.
The Skype Garage blog today announced the immediate availability of a version 5.5 beta for Mac, which is more specifically listed as version 126.96.36.1999. The new build brings an improved call user interface, changes to the way incoming video calls are accepted (you’ll now have the option to accept video calls as audio-only) and improvements in quality and stability. The beta also squashes a bug which caused the dial pad to randomly pop up when you least expected it as well. Nothing earth-shattering, but bug fixes and improvements are always welcome. Mac users can download the new 5.5 beta from the Skype website.
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