Reeder App Updated For The New MacBook Pro’s Retina Display
Your favorite RSS app on the Mac now comes with Retina goodness.
Silvio Rizzi has updated his popular Google RSS app, Reeder, with Retina graphics for the 2012 next-generation MacBook Pro. Version 1.1.7 of Reeder is available now as a small update in the Mac App Store. Interface elements and feed text in the app will now be displayed at the new MacBook Pro’s full, Retina resolution.
If you have a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you know the pain of using an app that hasn’t been updated with Retina graphics. Twitter for Mac is a perfect example. Non-Retina apps look pixelated and ugly. This new update for Reeder will surely please many RSS junkies like myself.
Reeder’s 1.1.7 update also addresses a small issue with sharing links to Twitter from inside the app.
You can download Reeder in the Mac App Store for $5 and learn more about the iPhone and iPad companion apps on the web.
06-30-2012 03:45 PM
VLC Media Player For Mac Updated With Retina Graphics And Many More Improvements
The guys at VideoLAN have updated their hugely popular VLC media player app with a host of improvements and Retina graphics for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. VLC has been download over 1 billion times across Mac, Windows, and Linux computers, and version 2.0.2 is out now and available for free.
As a formidable QuickTime replacement, the latest VLC media player improves video playback, adds more video output options, includes multiple bug fixes, and more for Mac users.
Besides the Retina graphics for the mid-2012 MacBook Pro, the app’s “go automatically to fullscreen” feature has been added back in version 2.0.2. There’s also support for the latest version of Growl and the ability to drag and drop items between the playlist, services, and media library.
VLC has always been the go-to video player when QuickTime can’t recognize a certain kind of file or play a video properly. Widely considered to be the Swiss Army Knife of video players for the Mac, VLC is a necessary download for anyone who deals with multiple types of video formats on a regular basis. The app can be download for free on the VideoLAN website.
There are a host of new features and improvements in this latest update, so here’s the full list of changes:
Enabled drag and drop of playlist items between the temporary playlist and the persistent media library
Various video output improvements, notably for crop, zoom, osd and menu support
Enabled import of playlist items taken from the service discovery modules to the media library or the temporary playlist
Added media key support for keyboards by other manufacturers than Apple. This fix was facilitated through a hardware donation by ZF Friedrichshafen AG manufacturing keyboards under the brand “Cherry”.
Added HiDPI / Retina Display save UI artwork
Restored the preferences’ fullscreen options, which allows the user to start videos directly in fullscreen mode
Keep Aspect Ratio when resizing is back
Added controls to manipulate the Subtitles Duration to the Track Synchronization panel
Hidden items in the sidebar are being retained for the next launch now
Fixed crash when trying to open an Audio CD by drag & drop
Improve reliability when opening DVDs or BDs by drag & drop
Fixed a crash when attaching harddrives with multiple partitions while VLC is running
Improved OSD rendering in fullscreen mode
Improved fullscreen behavior when using a smartphone remote based upon VLC’s http interface
The selected audio device is retained throughout multiple VLC sessions now
Since running the Mac OS X interface as an Extra Interface or Control Interface can lead to undefined results, the respective options will be automatically reset on the first launch, if needed.
This fixes issues with unresponsive playback controls and crashes on quit.
Updated Growl plugin supporting Growl 1.3.
Improved reliablity in detecting VIDEO_TS folders when opened through the “Open Disc” panel.
Re-implemented the “Window Decorations” option, which, if disabled, hides all the UI elements from the video output window to give you the cleanest experience possible.
Improved the window title behavior when using the dark interface mode. It correctly responds to right and double-click events now.
Miscellaneous minor interface improvements
PCs running Windows XP will use the DirectX mode by default now, like in VLC’s 1.1.x release due to a fast number of broken drivers
More accurate colorspace conversions for YUV->RGB in OpenGL
Misc fixes in the OpenGL module, on all platforms
Fixed video output on PowerPC-based Macs equipped with an ATI Radeon 7500, an ATI Radeon 9200 or a NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra.
Fixed video output of 10bit encoded contents on Intel-based Macs equipped with an Intel GMA 950 chipset running OS X 10.6 or later.
Reworked Digital TV module for Windows. DVB-T and DVB-C work again
Fixes for RAR compressed files
Fixed DirectShow crashes on exit
Improved PulseAudio input latency
Fixes for HTTP access through a proxy
v4l2 webcam outputting H264 can now be used directly (use –v4l2-chroma=h264)
Fixed Subtitle auto-detection in subfolders
IE http proxy is no longer used by VLC on Windows
Accepts more extensions for DVD images
Fixed crash in VC1 packetizer
Fixed crashes in AAC decoder on channels changes, notably in ISDB streams
Fixed compilation with multiple FFmpeg and libav versions
Fixed G726 support
Fixes for MKV segments and MKV title display
Fixed some mp4, voc, midi and au crashes
Fixed Real .ram and .ra files support
Fixed DVB channel file support
Fixes for alac, vorbis, DTS, VC-1 and Dirac in mp4
Fix for MPEG audio encoding. Use Layer2 for the FOURCCs “mp2 ” and “mp2a”
Fixed JPEG generation when doing snapshots
Audio filters and output
Limitation of the Spatializer output volume
Fixed DirectSound device selection
Correct PulseAudio volume control
Fixed Directsound volume initialization
Volume level is no longer applied to the file output
Fixed sampling rate for the JACK output
Fixes for stdin/stdout and for different locale issues
Fixed preferences for audio devices on Windows
Fixed various crashes
Fixed multiple issues in the Open Disc dialog
Fixed playlist search and selector behavior
Miscellaneous fixes in preferences, buttons, EPG, playlist and customize dialog
Fixed tags and file names display
Fixed mousewheel on Windows
Fixes for key events and focus loss
Fixed display of some buttons
Fixed listing of files in the Open interface
Why Do Photos Taken With The iPhone 4S Look Like Rubbish On The Retina MacBook Pro?
The new Retina MacBook Pro is the most pixel-loaded Apple device yet, with more than five million of the little blighters spread over 220 pixels per inch. That’s a lot of tiny dots, but believe it or not, it only translates to a mere five megapixels. And since the iPhone has had a 5 megapixel camera since 2010, pictures taken on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S should be able to take full advantage of the Retina MacBook Pro’s 2880 x 1800 resolution display.
So why is it that photos taken with an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S look so crappy on a Retina MacBook Pro? That’s what Instapaper developer Marco Arment wants to know, and so do we. We have a theory though.
Over at his blog, Marco Arment writes:
As part of my 2012 computer-setup shuffle, I also replaced my laptop with a Retina MacBook Pro, and the first thing it screams for is a high-resolution desktop wallpaper. Great, I thought, I’ll just use one of my photos. (On my desktop, I use a solid gray background, but on my laptop, I like to have a bit of fun. And it would be a crime to put a solid gray background on that screen.)
Almost nothing I’ve shot since 2010 is usable.
The Rebel photos look decent. The 5D Mark II photos look great. But photos from the iPhone 4, and even from the 4S, don’t hold up. They look fine on a 3.5-inch screen, but they look terrible on my big desktop monitor and abysmal on the Retina MacBook Pro.
I’m no expert, but my guess is that this has nothing to do with mere megapixels. In fact, across the board, the quality of a digital photograph has less to do with how many pixels it is made up of and more to do with the quality and size of the camera sensor.
Here’s the deal. In digital photography, there’s usually a direct correlation between the size of a camera sensor and how light sensitive it is. That’s why SLR cameras are so big. There’s ways around the size limitation though. If a camera sensor doesn’t have enough light hitting it to take a clear picture, what you can do is up the ISO and make it more sensitive to light. But there’s a drawback: when you do that, you also introduce more noise into the image.
Because of the size of the device, the camera sensor in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S has to be pretty tiny, and it’s consequently not as light-sensitive as a larger sensor. Apple compensates for this smaller sensor in various clever ways, but one of the big ways it compensates is by automatically and aggressively adjusting the ISO of every picture you take.
My guess is that this is the problem Marco Arment is running into. His iPhone pictures look great on a 3.5 or even 9.7-inch display, but the amount of noise being introduced by the automatic ISO adjustment is much, much more noticeable at 15-inches.
The good news is that Apple’s smartphone cameras just keep on getting better, and I would think that the iPhone 5 will continue that trend. Maybe by October, Apple’s iPhone cameras will finally catch up with the incredible display technology of the Retina MacBook Pro.
Apple Really Doesn’t Want To Repair Your Moist Retina MacBook Pro
Over the years, Apple has increasingly put more and more moisture sensors inside their laptops: little stickers that tell Apple Geniuses when a device has been exposed to liquid, useful for denying you warranty coverage for the iPhone you dropped in the toilet, or the MacBook you spilled a beer on top of.
No surprise, then, that the Retina MacBook Pro has moisture sensors inside the chassis, but what is more surprising is how many it has: ten in total, two more than the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
I suppose it makes sense: the Retina MacBook Pro is an expensive piece of kit, and Apple doesn’t want to have to replace any more than they need to. You may want to watch out for your drool hitting the keyboard when you first check out that Retina display, though: Apple’s not going to fix that.
Where To Find Great Wallpapers For Your New MacBook Pro’s Retina Display [Gallery]
Apple’s new MacBook Pro features a stunning 2880×1800 Retina display that makes any other screen look like pixelated junk. Because the next-gen 2012 MacBook Pro packs so many pixels in an insane resolution on a 15-inch display, it can be difficult to find great wallpapers that are optimized correctly. Luckily, we’ve collected the best resources on the internet to help you find the most beautiful wallpapers possible.
The very best wallpaper resource on the internet right now is a site called InterfaceLIFT. There’s already a Retina MacBook Pro thread with over 200 2880×1800 wallpapers, and you can download each individually for free or pay $2 to download the whole collection at once. Here are a few of our favorites (again, there are way more to choose from):
NASA has some great ultra hi-res space wallpapers available that we’ve already highlighted. See our original post to download each one in its full Retina glory.
You can usually find some gems on Dribble. Search “retina macbook pro” or something along those lines and you’ll find new stuff as it’s made available.
Lastly, you can always download Apple’s own hi-res wallpapers that are coming in OS X Mountain Lion later this month.
gfxCardStatus Allows Easy Control of MacBook Pro Graphics Cards
gfxCardStatus allows users to control which graphics card is enabled -- integrated or discrete -- on MacBook Pro models with multiple graphics cards. By more precisely controlling when each graphics card is enabled, users can improve system performance or battery life. gfxCardStatus is a menu bar application for OS X that allows MacBook Pro owners to view which GPU is in use at a glance, and switch between them on-demand.
Ars Technica has much more, including the fact that the Retina MacBook Pro can be pushed to nearly 10 hours of battery life with some minor battery saving techniques:
I was consistently able to get between 8 and 8.5 hours of continuous use from the Retina MacBook Pro when running integrated graphics only. Turning down screen brightness to just two "dots," a technique I often use to maximize battery life when using a MacBook Air during conferences, caused OS X to report potential battery life as high as 10 hours. I simply didn't have the stamina to test that claim, but I did make one nine-hour run with OS X reporting a nine percent remaining battery capacity.
gfxCardStatus is a free download from creator Cody Krieger's website.
Shipping times for Retina display MacBook Pro improve to 2-3 weeks
Apple has begun catching up with demand for its popular new MacBook Pro with Retina display, as estimated shipping times have improved to two-to-three weeks.
Shipping times advertised at Apple's online store for both models of the 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro were shortened this week, and as of Friday, both the 2.3 gigahertz and 2.6 gigahertz models ship within two-to-three weeks.
The latest shipping estimate from the Apple Store is a slight improvement from the three-to-four weeks that were previously advertised. It's also the shortest estimated shipping time seen since mid-June.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was announced last month, and was heralded by Apple as "the most beautiful computer we have ever made." It takes design cues from the MacBook Air by ditching the optical disc drive and relying solely on flash memory, allowing it to have a thinner design while maintaining long battery life.
The standout feature of the new MacBook Pro is its 2,880-by-1,880-pixel Retina display that features 220 pixels-per-inch on the 15.4-inch screen. The new design also cuts glare by 75 percent by removing the glass cover found in previous models.
Apple's top-of-the-linenotebook also features two high-speed Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0 connections, a dedicated HDMI port, and a built-in SD card reader. The 2.3-gigahertz model with 256 gigabytes of flash storage has a suggested price of $2,199, while the 2.6 gigahertz model with 512 gigabytes of flash storage runs $2,799.
Retina MacBook Pro shows up in EPEAT Registry
Apple’s products are back on the EPEAT’s registry with a Gold standard, but the Retina MacBook pro notably was at question.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company announced earlier this week that it planned to forgo the environmental rating system. The decision allegedly came after the EPEAT took up an issue with the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display and repairability factor, which iFixit detailed in a widely reported analysis last month.
After Apple dropped the EPEAT standard, the city of San Francisco said it planned to stop purchases of some Apple products, and then Politico revealed federal officials were also thinking twice before procuring Apple’s computers.
The hullabaloo apparently caused the folks in Cupertino to second guess their plan of action, as Senior Vice President of Hardware Bob Mansfield suddenly issued a statement on Apple’s environmental page today regarding the contention. He said the company made a mistake and would concede by returning to EPEAT.
Now, a few hours later, the EPEAT’s registry has 40 Apple products listed, including the Retina MacBook Pro. However, its IEEE 1680-2009 Criteria Category Summary (screenshot below) is a bit perplexing, especially considering the reasons reported as to why Apple pulled its products in the first place.
Apple received the full amount of points in the “Product longevity/life cycle extension” category, but it scored zero points in both “Materials selection” and “Energy conservation.” The final amount of points awarded came to 21 out of 27, which still garnered the notebook a Gold standard rating.
The results are interesting, because Apple should have lost in the ”Product longevity/life cycle extension” category if the MacBook Pro truly is the “least repairable laptop.” It seems EPEAT still takes issue with the notebook’s super high-resolution display, though, due to the points missed in the other categories.
One certainly has to wonder what occurred behind the scenes when Apple rescinded and went back to the EPEAT standard.
Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro page also reflects the EPEAT status, below:
iFixit tears down the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display, an ‘engineering marvel’
They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:
The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.
The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:
* The Retina display is a hair over 7 mm at its thickest point and just over 3 mm at its thinnest, only a fraction of a millimeter thinner than the regular MacBook Pro.
* The display hinges have cables routed *through* them, without any means to remove the cables. So instead of routing cables underneath cable retainers (as in the non-Retina MacBook Pro), you just have to replace the cables and hinges together.
* The FaceTime HD camera interfaces with the rest of the computer via a Vimicro VC0358 USB camera interface IC.
* Underneath the top layer we find a series of films and sheets that manipulate light before sending it to the user’s eye.
* A strip of 48 LEDs at the bottom of the display assembly provides all the light your Retina display needs.
* The bottom edge of the case has two features that we found pretty neat: a laser engraved internal use code and a nifty arrangement of round indentations.
Retina MacBook Pro Shipping Estimates Improving to 1-2 Weeks
Just a little over a week since shipping estimates for new Retina MacBook Pro orders through Apple's online store saw their first improvement from 3-4 weeks to 2-3 weeks, timeframes have again been reduced. As with the previous improvement, the change has first appeared in Apple's Asia-Pacific markets, which have seen shipping estimates drop to 1-2 weeks.
Shipping estimates in Apple's other main distribution regions of the Americas and Europe/Middle East/Africa are holding steady at 2-3 weeks for the time being, but they will almost certainly see similar drops to the 1-2 week timeframe in the very near future.
Shipping estimates for the Retina MacBook Pro peaked at 3-4 weeks roughly 36 hours after the models were unveiled at last month's Worldwide Developers Conference, with estimates remaining at that level until last week's drop to 2-3 weeks. Availability at other online and brick-and-mortar retailers is also improving, in many cases beating Apple's online store estimates for stock models, but the company's online store is the primary source for customized orders.
Update: Estimates in Apple's online stores in the Americas have also moved to 1-2 weeks.
Update 2: Apple's European stores have now also seen improvement to 1-2 weeks.
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