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Today's the day: Developers started lining up around the block at Moscone West on Sunday for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference kicking off today, which should give us all a good look at what iOS 8 and the next version of Mac OS X have in store for us. We'll be back later today with full coverage of the event, but for now here's a little taste to start off the weekend recap...
The night before an Apple event is sure to turn up some new tasty morsel, and just like clockwork, one has appeared. Cult of Mac is reporting that an anonymous Reddit user has posted a series of blurry screenshots claiming to be the next version of OS X (presumably 10.10), which were allegedly taken somewhere on the Apple campus in Cupertino. Lending some credibility to the photos taken on March 24, the poster has since removed them for reasons unknown. The shots reveal several more iOS-style flourishes on the Mac operating system, including a Control Center, a more unified look for Safari and a revamped Dock that eliminates the controversial shelf appearance. We'll know in a few hours if these are the real deal, as the WWDC 2014 keynote kicks off at 10AM PST Monday.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Motorola Mobility plans to shutter its smartphone factory in Fort Worth, Texas by the end of the year ahead of Google unloading the company to Lenovo. Opened in May 2013, the facility employed 3,800 workers at its peak, a number since reduced to around 700 after Motorola's lavishly promoted Moto X handset failed to catch fire with the public, selling a mere 900,000 units worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics. The customizable Android smartphone has since been followed by even cheaper models Moto G and Moto E, which cost a mere $219 and $129 unlocked and contract-free, respectively.
Apple's latest MacBooks with solid-state storage are indeed fast and portable, but the only thing they lack is oodles of storage capacity. Transcend aims to do something about that with the JetDrive Lite, storage expansion cards for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. With 95MB/s read and 60MB/s write speeds and a flush profile that virtually disappears into the notebook, JetDrive Lite provides either 64GB or 128GB of removable storage custom-made for 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook models manufactured since late 2010. U.S. customers can grab theirs at Amazon, B&H Photo or NewEgg.
Long before the internet connected computer owners around the globe, Macintosh Users Groups around the United States assembled in clubs to see the latest new technology and talk shop with like-minded pals. One of the longest running such groups is Boulder, Colorado's COMUG (Colorado Macintosh Users Group), who recently announced the end of monthly meetings with a celebration at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on June 12. Originally launched as an Apple II club, COMUG has spent more than three decades meeting every second Thursday, but is ending "partly because it is no longer needed" thanks to the internet. The final meeting will honor Boulder resident and 14-year club leader Jay Nelson, and COMUG will live on as an online discussion forum.
Mobile banking is becoming all the rage these days, and one of the biggest financial institutions in the United States has managed to stay ahead of the curve. Forrester Research recently released the results of an evaluation of the five largest retail banks, and Chase managed to score 69 out of 100 for first place in U.S. mobile banking functionality for the third straight year for its Chase Mobile apps. The search firm praised Chase Mobile's strong transactional features, wide range of payment and transfer options and the bank's ability to "guide customers to information for other channels and finding ATMs and branches," which currently numbers 20,000 and 5,600, respectively.
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(Image courtesy of The Verge)