Mac News Review

OS X Lion Preview, Record Apple Sales and Profits, Apple Number 3 in US, Free Paintbrush App, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.10.22

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Tech Trends

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Gives Sneak Peek of Mac OS X Lion

PR: Apple on Wednesday gave a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the world's most advanced operating system. Shipping next summer, Lion is inspired by many of iPad's software innovations. This week's sneak peek highlighted just a few of Lion's features, including the Mac App Store, a new way to discover, install and automatically update desktop apps; Launchpad, a new home for all of your Mac apps; systemwide support for full screen apps; and Mission Control, which unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps into an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere.

Mac OS X Lion on the 2010 MacBook Air
Mac OS X Lion on the 2010 MacBook Air

"Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Lion has a ton of new features, and we hope the few we had time to preview today will give users a good idea of where we are headed."

The Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to OS X, making discovering, installing, and updating Mac apps easier than ever. Like on iPad, you purchase apps using your iTunes account, and they download and install in just one step. App updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store, so it's easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store will be available for Snow Leopard within 90 days and will be included in Lion when it ships next summer.

Launchpad makes it easier than ever to find and launch any app. Similar to the Home screen on iPad, you can see all the apps on your Mac elegantly displayed just by clicking the Launchpad icon in the dock. Apps can be organized in any order or grouped into folders, and you can swipe through multiple pages of apps to find the one you want.

Lion includes systemwide support for full screen applications. With Lion, you can enter full screen mode with just one click, switch from one full screen app to another with just a swipe of the trackpad, and swipe back to the desktop to access your multiwindow applications.

Mission Control presents you with a unified view of every app and window running on your Mac, so you can instantly navigate anywhere. Mission Control also incorporates the next generation of Exposé, presenting all the windows running on your Mac grouped by application, alongside thumbnails of full screen apps, Dashboard and other Spaces.

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results: Record Sales, Highest Revenue & Earnings Ever

PR: Apple on October 18 announced financial results for its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter ended September 25, 2010. The Company posted record revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $12.21 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.53 billion, or $2.77 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.9% compared to 41.8% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 57% of the quarter's revenue.

Apple sold 3.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 27% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 91% unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.05 million iPods during the quarter, representing an 11% unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The Company also sold 4.19 million iPads during the quarter.

"We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings - both all-time records for Apple," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91% year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year."

"We're thrilled with the performance and strength of our business, generating almost $5.7 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.80."

IDC: Apple Now Number 3 in US PC Market Share

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, while Apple has still failed to crack the top six PC makers in sales globally, it's now number three in the US, slipping past Acer with a 10.6% share as opposed to Acer's 10.3% in the last quarter and now behind only HP and Dell.

However, perhaps the bigger news is Apple's astronomical year-over-year growth rate of 24.1%, far outstripping the 3.8% year-on-year industry average and more than doubling second fastest grower Toshiba's 11.6% increase. This stellar performance confounds predictions that the runaway success of Apple's iPad tablet device (iPads are not included in the PC sales and market share metrics) would cannibalize Apple's MacBook Pro sales. It hasn't happened, and it appears that the opposite effect obtains, with a halo from the iPad's market tour de force enhancing MacBook and MacBook Pro sales performance.

Top 5 PC Vendors according to IDC

"Apple's influence on the PC market continues to grow, particularly in the US, as the company's iPad has had some negative impact on the mininotebook market. But, the halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved the company into the number three position in the US market," commented Bob O'Donnell, IDC vice president for Clients and Displays.

"Continuing from trends seen in recent quarters, Desktop volume was supported by commercial purchases while consumer fatigue was evident on the Notebook side, with Mininotebook PC shipments continuing the recent trend of slowing growth." But not for Apple.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in 85 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.

Gartner: Apple Number 4 in US PC Market Share

Competing market research firm Gartner Inc. still has Apple ranked fourth (by a hair) behind Acer, with 10.5% and 10.4% shares respectively. Gartner attributes Apple's amazing performance to increased prominence in consumer consciousness and more shopper traffic associated with the iPad's successful launch, as well as iMac and Mac Pro refreshes, contributing to the growth.

PC Vendor Unit Shipments according to Gartner

"Media tablet hype around devices such as the iPad has also affected consumer notebook growth by delaying some PC purchases, especially in the US consumer market. Media tablets don't replace primary PCs, but they affect PC purchases in many ways," commented Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "At this stage, hype around media tablets has led consumers and the channels to take a 'wait and see' approach to buying a new device."

The Gartner report "Market Share Alert: Preliminary PC Market Results, Worldwide, 3Q10," is available on Gartner's website.

Mac Market Share in Enterprise to Increase by 57%; 2011 Mac Growth in Double Digits

A survey of IT administrators conducted by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance reveals that Macs will be the fastest growing systems in the enterprise through 2011. End users are seeing the value of the increased productivity of the Mac, and IT administrators are finding the tools to integrate them into their current management environment. Macs will climb from 3.3% of all systems in 2009 to 5.2% in 2011. In that same period, more than 25% of all net new systems to be added in the enterprise will be Macs.

Much of the growth in Macs will happen in organizations that already have Macs installed. The median percentage of Macs in those organizations will double from 5% to 10%. In addition 65% of the respondents had at least some Macs in their organization, and the number of organizations with a measurable proportion of Macs will grow to 70% by the end of 2011. While growth in computers overall is softening from 6.1% in 2010 to 2.9% in 2011, Macs will show 40% and 23% growth in those same years.

"Many organizations are considering more formal plans around device flexibility, responding to continued user pressure to supply and support a broader variety of hardware and software," comments to VP Distinguished Analyst, Michael Silver, of Gartner.

In a related survey conducted in January of 2010 by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance, IT administrators in sites that had Macs identified their major issues. 81% said that parity in integration and management between Macs and PCs is important to their organization. In looking more closely, file sharing among systems and security emerged as the leading concerns.

Among the issues that ranked as "very" or "extremely" important to the respondents were:

  • File Sharing between Operating Systems 79%
  • Security 79%
  • Client management (inventory, patches, compliance) 72%
  • Active Directory integration 66%
  • Cross-platform help desk and knowledge base support 60%

"With increased numbers of Macs, IT management is finding ways to get control," says T. Reid Lewis, president of Group Logic, a founding member of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance. "Solutions that extend Windows management to the Mac let organizations leverage their current administration to accommodate the Mac."

In other results from the same survey conducted in January 2010, IT administrators who had both Macs and PCs asserted that Macs are less expensive to manage, agreeing that they are easier to configure, require less time training and troubleshooting, and generate fewer help desk support calls than Windows systems.

Apple Obsoletes Another Batch of Macs

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"Here is the list of Apple products that will be considered as obsolete on December 14th.

"After that date, Apple will not provide support or spare parts for those devices."

How to Install OS X 10.5 Leopard on a PowerPC Mac from an External USB Drive

OS X Hints' contributor Ruth Gaudi reports:

"After doing a lot of research and trying out some hints, finally I could install Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on an iMac G5 1.8 GHz, and I would like to share with you the solution that I got.

"This works for PowerPC Macs that don't have a Dual Layer DVD, and you wish to install Leopard using an external USB Drive instead."

Editor's note: Another solution (assuming you have another Mac that can run the Leopard installer): Using Disk Utility, make sure that your USB drive is formatted as an APM drive or format is as one, as PowerPC Macs cannot boot from the GPM volumes that Intel Macs create by default. Install Leopard on your USB drive. Insert that drive in a built-in USB port on your PowerPC Mac. Start up or restart that Mac while holding down the Option key. Select the USB drive as your boot drive, and then use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to clone it to your Mac's hard drive. dk

Mac Text Expander Software Compared

AppStorm's Julia Altermann says:

"No matter if you are coding web pages, writing lots of text, or typing out the same replies to emails constantly, I bet you've wished more than once for a faster way to accomplish the task of typing the same content over and over. Believe it or not, there is!

"With the help of a text expander application, all you need to do is memorise a couple of quick abbreviations, and all this repetitive typing can be a thing of the past. Although TextExpander itself arguably holds the crown in this department, we wanted to put it to the test against some other competing software today.

"Read on for our head-to-head comparison of four popular text expanding applications for OS X!"

The article also looks at Presto, Typinator, and Snippets.

Editor's note: Ms. Altermann's article provides an excellent comparison of the four text expander apps covered, but why did she not include the grandaddy of all Mac OS text expanders, Ricardo Ettore's TypeIt4Me? cm

Macbuntu desktop

Macbuntu Exposè

Macbuntu switcher

Macbuntu's genie effect

Macbuntu cube

Tech Trends

Make Linux Look Like OS X with Macbuntu

If you're a Linux fan but love the look of Apple's OS X user interface, free Open Source Macbuntu can graft an OS X theme onto your Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx or 10.10 Maverick Meerkat desktop, making it look just like OS X (note: it's not compatible with Ubuntu Netbook Edition).

Check out the screen shots on the right to see how much it looks like Mac OS X.

Macbuntu v2.3 Changelog:

Added

  • Separate service scripts for 10.04 and 10.10
  • Dedicated Compiz animations for x32 & x64
  • Sound theme, Macbuntu & purple
  • Activating Docky Helpers
  • Default theme background image

Changed

  • Top panel entries, Global Menu & Application Menu versions
  • Theme and gtk icons rebuild, filling icons gaps
  • Normalizing distributor logos
  • Macbuntu-Cursors base changed to Shere Khan X
  • Disabling inactive window titlebar transparency
  • Removing dedicated fonts from the theme files (Spoils the appearance but gives the possibility to change the fonts)
  • Changing the theme name

Fixed

  • Service scripts
  • Panel background
  • Fatal error - Compiz animation for x64

Products & Services

Iomega Brings External SSD Flash Drives to Consumer and SMB Markets

PR: Iomega Corporation, an EMC company, has announced new host-powered Iomega External USB 3.0 SSD Flash Drives, rugged solid state drives utilizing the blazing fast speed of the USB 3.0 interface and the security of built-in encryption the perfect portable storage device for high-end users, creative professionals and others who demand the best in performance, security and portability.

Leveraging EMC's world class solid state expertise and implementation in enterprise network storage solutions, Iomega's new pocket-sized 1.8" external USB 3.0 SSD Flash drives will be available in early November in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities.

Encased in a sleek metal enclosure that not only looks great but delivers added protection from drops up to 10 feet, Iomega's new SSD Drives feature 256-bit hardware encryption for security, bundled antivirus and backup software, a three-year warranty and the superior performance of solid state drives that users expect in state-of-the-art storage from Iomega.

"When time is money and you need the latest technology in portable storage, Iomega's new high performance external solid state drives are the ideal solution, says Jonathan Huberman, Iomega Corporation president. "Iomega's new external USB 3.0 SSD drives are compact, rugged portable storage devices that deliver data transfer speeds considerably faster than any standard rotating disk drives, as well as the confidence that comes with a solid industrial design, hardware encryption and the complete Iomega Protection Suite to protect users important files, all of which makes Iomega's new SSD Drives the storage of choice for high-end users who demand the ultimate in performance and portability."

Anatomy of the New Iomega USB 3.0 External SSD Flash Drive

The Iomega USB 3.0 External SSD Flash Drive is a solid state drive that has no moving parts, resulting in a more durable drive with fast application loading and top transfer speeds for high definition video, digital images, graphics and music. Professional videographers, photographers and other creative professionals will find the Iomega USB 3.0 SSD Drive a perfect match for their deadlines and digital storage needs.

Utilizing the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, the Iomega External SSD Flash Drive boasts up to 10 times the speed of USB 2.0 drives. Iomega's new external SSD Drive also performs twice as fast as a 7200 RPM SATA hard drives utilizing the same USB 3.0 interface.

Cool-to-the-touch, the new Iomega SSD drives require no external power supply and are completely backward compatible with personal computers and other devices that only have USB 2.0 ports. Iomega also offers USB 3.0 adapter cards (sold separately) to insert into USB 2.0 laptop and desktop computers so users of the new Iomega SSD Drive can experience native USB 3.0 transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second.

Value Add Software Package That Saves Money and Protects Your Files

Included free of charge with Iomega's new External SSD Flash Drives is the Iomega Protection Suite, a one-stop portfolio of backup and antivirus software giving users added protection for their photos, videos, music and other files.

The Iomega Protection Suite includes:

  • v.Clone™ software, an Iomega exclusive, captures a complete virtual image of your PC including the operating system, all applications, your settings, and all your files to your Iomega hard drive. Access the cloned copy and use it seamlessly on another computer, just as if you're working from your own PC. When you reconnect, automatically sync your data to your primary PC, so that files are always up to date(*)(*).
  • A complementary 1-year subscription to Trend Micro™ Internet Security for the PC, or Trend Micro™ Smart Surfing software for Mac.
  • Iomega QuikProtect: backup software for simple scheduled file-level backup of data to hard drives and network-attached storage devices (for Windows and Mac desktops and notebooks).
  • Roxio Retrospect Express software: backup all of your data plus applications and settings (for Windows and Mac desktops and notebooks).
  • MozyHome™ Online Backup service: Convenient online backup service with 2 GB of online capacity for free (unlimited online storage for $4.95/month).
  • MozyHome Online service allows Windows and Mac users to restore their most important data from any computer with Internet access, at any location in the world.

All of the software elements in the Iomega Protection Suite are accessible via easy download to owners of the Iomega External SSD Flash Drive.

The new Iomega External SSD Flash Drive USB 3.0 will be available worldwide in early November in three capacities: 64 GB for $229, 128 GB for $399, and 256 GB for $749. (All pricing is US suggested retail.) Iomega's new External SSD Flash Drives will be available in the channel from distributors, systems integrators and others, as well as etailers and at iomega.com.

All Iomega products include a 3-year limited warranty (with registration).

Contour Introduces RollerMouse Pro2 Ergonomic Pointing Device

PR: Contour's new RollerMouse Pro2 combines ergonomics with efficiency, precision, and a modern design that reduce hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder pain due to clicking, gripping, and reaching.

Improvements of the new Pro2 are:

  • Keyboard lifters allow the user to adjust height and tilt of keyboard to a desired setting.
  • Leatherette wrist supports make Pro2 more comfortable and easier to clean.
  • Increased productivity with one touch copy, paste, and double click supported.

RollerMouse Pro2 is available for purchase or a 30 day free trial on Contour's website. Where available, Contour local representatives can come in and demo RollerMouse to corporate and institutional prospective buyers. More info at 1-800-462-6678.

Price: $199.95

WD Announces Caviar Green 3 TB Internal Hard Drives

PR: WD has announced that the company is shipping the world's largest capacity SATA hard drive. As the latest addition to its WD Caviar Green family of SATA hard drives, the new hard drives deliver up to a massive 3 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity on a single drive. WD is leading the industry in capacity for SATA hard drives by utilizing 750 GB-per-platter areal density and Advanced Format (AF) technology.

Caviar GreenWD Caviar Green drives are an eco-friendly storage solution with WD GreenPower Technology, which reduces power consumption by enabling lower operating temperatures for increased reliability and decreases acoustical noise for quiet operation. The WD Caviar Green 2.5 TB and 3 TB hard drives are designed for use as secondary external storage and next-generation PC storage in 64-bit based systems.

Drives with capacities in excess of 2.19 TB currently present barriers for some PC hardware, firmware, and software. To satisfy the new set of requirements, of which users must be aware to successfully integrate larger capacity drives, WD is bundling its WD Caviar Green 2.5 and 3 TB hard drives with an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI)-compliant Host Bus Adapter (HBA), which will enable the operating system to use a known driver with correct support for large capacity drives. For more information on solving the 2.19 TB drive barrier, see the WD information sheet at http://products.wdc.com/largecapacitydrives.

"WD remains a leader of hard drive capacity and low power innovation. With our WD Caviar Green drives, we enable energy-conscious customers to build systems with the highest capacities that deliver the optimal balance of system performance, ensured reliability and energy conservation," says Jim Morris, executive vice president and general manager of WD's client systems storage group. "Customers will be able to take advantage of this breakthrough capacity point now for secondary external storage in legacy 32-bit systems that run on Microsoft Vista or Windows 7 platforms."

WD Caviar Green 2.5 TB hard drives (model number WD25EZRSDTL) and 3 TB hard drives (model number WD30EZRSDTL) are available now in the US at select resellers and distributors. MSRP for the WD Caviar Green 2.5 TB hard drive is $189 and the 3 TB hard drive is $239. WD Caviar Green hard drives are covered by a three-year limited warranty.

Editor's note: The 2.1 TB limit is imposed by the standard drive addressing scheme, which was developed long before drives ever got this large. BIOS-based PCs and Windows XP cannot boot from such large drives. 64-bit operating systems have built-in support for drives larger than 2.1 TB. Intel-based Macs with Core 2 or newer CPUs and Snow Leopard should have no problems. dk

Software

Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software Provides Complete Recovery from Inaccessible Mac Hard Drives, iPods, Memory Sticks, and Flash Cards

Stellar PhoenixPR: Stellar Phoenix Macintosh Data Recovery v 4.1 Mac data recovery software recovers deleted, formatted, or corrupt data from Mac OS X based hard drive, USB drive, memory card, digital camera, FireWire drive, and Apple iPod. With advanced scanning techniques to recover Mac data, the software is designed for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, and 10.3.9 Panther. Now recover Mac data from formatted MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro.

  • Deleted File Recovery: In case you want to recover your deleted files, select the option "Deleted File Recovery" listed on the software interface, this option enables you To recover your important data in case of accidental or intentional deletion.
  • Raw Recovery: if you are not aware of location of the files that have been lost/deleted or have been lost for a long period of time, use the Raw Recovery feature to recovery your lost files. Also the "Raw Recovery" feature in Mac data recovery software allows you signature based scan to recover lost files as per their file type.
  • Data Lost Due to Formatted Volume or Media: Use the Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery' option to recover data using the Mac Drive Recovery software
  • Lost data due to lost/deleted Mac Volume: Use the Mac recovery software feature 'Search Lost/Deleted Volumes' to search or locate any deleted or lost Mac volume.

Stellar Phoenix Macintosh Data Recovery software also offers signature based recovery to retrieve data from RAW Mac OS X hard drives after file system corruption.

It successfully extracts all types of lost files, including pictures, videos, songs, graphic files, application files, and more. This data recovery Mac software handles all data loss problems, including accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, file system corruption, and catalog file corruption.

The software has a simple user friendly interface which is compatible with Snow leopard and older Mac OS like Mac OS X 10.3.9 Panther, 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard, etc.

Key Features of Mac Data Recovery Do It-Yourself Software:

  • Recovers deleted documents, files, folders, music, videos, photos.
  • Supports recovery of data from lost/formatted/deleted HFS, HFS+, HFSX, HFS Wrapper, and FAT volumes
  • Mac Recovery of lost/deleted data from any internal or external storage media like hard drive, USB, Flash Drive, SATA, IDE, SCSI
  • Recovers Digital Media - Stellar Phoenix Mac Recovery Software recovers photos, audio-video files from SD, XD, MMC and other flash memory storages
  • 100% risk-free Mac file recovery: - The read only Mac data recovery software is available as free download and allows you to run scan on the media you have lost/deleted data and provides you with preview of the files/data that can be recovered.
  • Recovers data with filenames and extensions intact: Data recovery Mac tool successfully recovers files and maintains the original files names and extensions in most of the cases. In case of extreme corruption the files may be recovered in RAW format whereby the files will not have their original filenames and extensions
  • Boot DVD Support: Mac Drive Recovery Software from Stellar comes with a Boot DVD, which helps you recover your data even from a PC/Laptop whose drive may not mount or partial mount. By using the Boot DVD, you can boot your system
  • Universal Mac application compatible with both Intel and PowerPC

Note: Do not install Stellar Phoenix Macintosh Data Recovery software or save any recovered files on the drive or volume which contains deleted or lost data, as this may lead to overwriting on the deleted/lost data - and in that scenario you will lose your data permanently

Stellar Phoenix is a Universal Mac application compatible with both Intel and PowerPC.

System Requirements :

  • Processor: Intel PowerPC (G4 or later)
  • Operating System: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, and 10.3.9 Panther
  • Memory: 256 MB
  • Hard Disk: 40 MB
  • File System Supported :
  • HFS, HFS+, HFSX, HFS Wrapper and FAT

Free Paintbrush Program Similar to Microsoft Paint and MacPaint

PR: Paintbrush is a simple paint program for Mac OS X, reminiscent of Microsoft Paint and Apple's own now-defunct MacPaint. It provides users with a means to make simple images quickly, something that has been noticeably absent from the Mac for years.

When Apple released the original Macintosh in 1984, they included two applications: MacWrite and MacPaint. Twenty-five years later, every Mac still includes a basic text editor in TextEdit, but a simple paint program is a thing of the past.

Enter Paintbrush

Paintbrush can open and save to most major image formats, including BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and GIF. Full support for transparency is available for image formats that support an alpha channel (currently PNGs and GIFs). You can also paste images copied from many common Mac applications, including Microsoft Office and Apple iWork.

PaintbrushLast updated in October of 2010, Paintbrush 2 brings with it a multitude of new features.

Paintbrush is not intended to replace Adobe Photoshop or other high-end image editors. Instead, it aims to fill the need for a basic, streamlined, and Mac-native image editor. Whether you need to quickly crop a photo, add some text to an image, or just have fun doodling, Paintbrush has you covered. Sporting a simple and intuitive UI, Paintbrush will have you discovering your inner van Gogh in no time. Just pick a tool, pick a color, and go!

Paintbrush has always been, and will always be, completely free (That's both free as in gratis and free as in libre: the full source is distributed under an open-source license.) This makes it simple for anyone to contribute a patch for a desired feature or their pet bug. Just make sure you've already let us know before you put too much time into it: there's always a chance that we're already working on it.

PaintbrushNew in version 2.1.0:

  • An updated and streamlined new UI
  • Transparent selection and marching ants for the selection tool - Automatically remove the background color in selections for pixel-perfect positioning
  • A completely rewritten Text tool for pinpoint-accurate insertion
  • Four all-new tools: Airbrush, Rounded Rectangle, Eyedropper, and Zoom

Image resizing, canvas resizing, and cropping

  • Color accuracy: All-new internal image storage means far better color accuracy
  • Transparent selection:
  • Speed: In addition to full 64-bit support, various tools have gotten speed boosts, including the massively improved Fill tool
  • Many bug fixes

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or later (version 1.2 works with OS X 10.4 Tiger)

System Support: PPC/Intel

Freeware

Panda Security Launches Panda Antivirus for Mac

PR: Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, has announced the launch of Panda Antivirus for Mac. This new solution delivers comprehensive protection against malware affecting Mac OS and Mac OS X; it also prevents Mac users from transmitting malware to other users of Windows and Linux operating systems.

Panda Antivirus for Mac scans files and email, detecting and eliminating or blocking many types of threats, including viruses, Trojans, spyware, keyloggers, adware, hacking tools, botnets, dialers, scareware, and other threats that have traditionally targeted Windows users.

"We are approaching a tipping point where it will soon be financially viable for cybercriminals to target their efforts at Mac users," says Ivan Fermon, senior vice president of product management, Panda Security. "When Apple reaches 15 percent marketshare worldwide, which Panda expects will happen very soon, we predict that hackers will begin to aggressively target attacks against this platform. The rapid increase in use of Apple-powered devices - iPhones, iPods, iPads - is also making the Mac platform a much more attractive target."

The solution includes two scan engines: an on-access scanner, or resident protection, that protects the computer at all times and alerts the user to any security incident; and an on-demand scanner that lets users scan the complete system or specific components at any time. Panda Antivirus for Mac can also scan Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod devices, ensuring that those devices are not used to transmit infections between other similar devices or Mac computers.

Immediate Need for Mac Security

"We receive an average of 55,000 new threats every day at PandaLabs. Hackers are always looking to profit from their activity, which is why there are so many different examples of malware," said Luis Corrons, technical director, PandaLabs. "Until recently, Apple users were not an attractive target for hackers because the number of potential victims was so small compared to Windows. But now the market is changing and with Apple's global reach, the numbers are becoming more financially appealing for cybercriminals."

Currently, Panda is aware of approximately 5,000 strains of malware that specifically affect Apple systems, with around 500 new samples appearing every month. In addition, PandaLabs has catalogued approximately 170,000 cross-platform macro viruses, which are additional sources of vulnerability for Mac users. Many web and e-mail based threats, such as phishing scams and scareware, are platform-neutral, relying on human trust rather than malicious code to achieve their criminal ends. More vulnerabilities in Mac operating systems are also emerging; in 2009, 34 vulnerabilities were reported in the Mac OS, a figure which as risen to 175 so far this year.

Panda Antivirus for Macintosh is available for download from Panda Security's website at $49.95 for a one-year license, including updates, upgrades, and online technical support. The software will be available in six languages at launch: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese.

A free trial version is available for download.

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is a provider of cloud-based security solutions, with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the World. Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology. This innovative security model can automatically analyze and classify thousands of new malware samples every day, guaranteeing corporate customers and home users the most effective protection against Internet threats with minimum impact on system performance. Panda Security has 56 offices throughout the globe with US headquarters in Florida and European headquarters in Spain.

Panda Security collaborates with Special Olympics, WWF and Invest for Children as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

Editor's note: For the current state of malware, see these Wikipedia articles covering Windows, Linux, and Macintosh. The Register notes, "The vast majority of malware - more than 99 per cent - targets Windows PCs, according to a new survey by German antivirus firm G-Data." (emphasis added)

From Wikipedia: "There has not yet been a widespread Linux malware threat of the type that Microsoft Windows software faces" and "Mac OS X enjoys a near-absence of the types of malware and spyware that affect Microsoft Windows users." If you share your Mac's hard drive or iPod with a Windows PC or run Windows on your Mac, you definitely want protection from Windows malware. dk

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