Report: Apple in talks to acquire Imagination Technologies, likely to start developing its own mobile GPUs [Updated]
Update: In a statement to CNBC, Apple has confirmed it is not planning to make an offer for Imagination Technologies. It did however hold some talks with the company about undisclosed topics.
ArsTechnica is reporting that Apple is in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire Imagination Technologies, makes of the PowerVR mobile GPU designs Apple licenses for its A9 and A9X SoCs. The company declined comment about any such acquisition of course. Apple began using Imagination Technologies GPUs since the Apple A4 chip. Rumors have been bubbling in recent years that Apple will eventually start designing its own mobile GPUs, in the same way it designs custom CPU silicon today. An acquisition of Imagination Technologies would be a clear signal the company is moving in that direction.
Apple is launching a new Mac Pro Repair Extension Program to address complaints of video related issues with select models of its latest high-end desktop offering, 9to5Mac has learned. We obtained the notice (pictured below) that Apple this week sent out to its authorized service providers detailing the new program and those eligible for repairs or replacements.
Adobe is out today with its latest iOS-first app for mobile creatives. Adobe Post joins the free suite of other easy-to-use mobile apps for sharing that includes the Slate and Voice iPad apps. Where Voice lets you combine recorded storytelling with visuals and Slate lets anyone create magazine-quality stories from iPad, Adobe Post makes creating good-looking, sharable graphics from the iPhone as easy as picking the right image, font, and words.
Buying a Mac is designed to be easy. Apple has a handful of different models, each generally available in good, better, and best configurations. You’re supposed to start with the specific Mac model that fits your needs, pick a configuration that has the price and features you want, and walk away happy with your purchase. (Better yet, do your research online and save money after ordering from Amazon, or use the product guides off to the bottom right of this page.)
One thing Apple tends to downplay are tech specs — important numbers and acronyms that nonetheless confuse many people. Look carefully on Apple’s web site and you’ll find that there’s a Tech Specs page for every Mac Apple sells; they’re the keys to making an informed Mac purchase that will be right for your current and future needs. My latest How-To is here to walk you through each of Apple’s specs with clear explanations, so you can understand what you’re about to buy. This Part 1 discusses the “big 5” Mac specs you need to know about, and Part 2 tackles the rest…
Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints and a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States, another class-action lawsuit has been filed north of the border against Apple Canada over the same GPU issues affecting some 15-inch and 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro models equipped with an AMD graphics chip.
Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints, Apple has been named a defendant in a new class-action lawsuit filed against the Cupertino-based company in the United States District Court for Northern California over system failures and graphical issues affecting 2011 MacBook Pros.
The class-action lawsuit was filed by Kentucky-based law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason on behalf of plaintiffs Zachary Book, Donald Cowart, and John Manners, a trio of individuals that accuse Apple of failing to rectify the graphical issues that have affected both 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2011.
Following rumors of a possible Mac mini refresh earlier this year and references on Apple’s own website, a new report says Apple could introduce an update to the product as early as next month. MacRumors cites a source that has provided accurate tips in the past claiming the new Mac mini could launch alongside new iPads and OS X Yosemite expected at an event in October.
First shown at WWDC to demonstrate Metal (Apple’s new graphics API), Epic Zen Garden is now available in the App Store to download and try out on your newly-updated iOS 8 device. Although this is more of a tech demo than a fully-fledged game, you can still get some enjoyment out of raking the sand or playing with the fish in the pond. There are several different areas to explore which show off the power of the GPU in your iOS device. It does look good.
Apple has updated its Investor Relations website with a modern design. The site features the clean lines and thin fonts now standard with Apple’s new design direction. The homepage of the portal currently features the Istanbul Apple Store, but otherwise the site seems the same in terms of content.
The visual redesign is a massive shift for the investor site, which felt largely abandoned until today. The site now shows off Apple’s stock price with a large chart, in the iOS 7 ‘flat’ style.
Amusingly, as with the rest of Apple’s website, the main navigation toolbar along the top of the page sticks out as old-fashioned, retaining its glossy appearance.
The Pixelmator team is relentless, releasing significant updates to the application every few months. Version 3.2 (codenamed ‘Sandstone’) is no exception and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store now. Codenamed Sandstone, this iteration adds a majorly-revamped Repair Tool, 16-bit channel editing for all Macs (not just the Mac Pro) alongside a whole bucket of other improvements.
The Repair Tool now uses color-correction to match repaired areas seamlessly. It also has clever smarts that mean you don’t have to precisely select an object anymore, the software will remove the whole object automatically. Pixelmator will also try its best to infer the structure of the background area, for a more natural final edit.
The Repair Tool now has three different options, Quick, Standard and Advanced. Quick is meant for small blemishes, whereas Standard and Advanced tackle the removal of larger objects from a scene. It’s not exactly clear under what circumstances you are supposed to change mode, so I chose ‘Advanced’ every time in my testing and the results were fantastic. It’s sort of like magic. You can see an example of what this is capable of after the break …
NYOP Mac software bundle: Few bucks gets RapidWeaver, Tuneup, Snapheal Pro, Crossover, PDF Converter and much more
StackSocial and 9to5Toys Specials are offering another Name Your Own Price Mac Bundle with 10 Mac apps regularly priced at $655. This bundle has some incredibly solid apps, and currently less than $5 will unlock all of the apps. In addition, 10% of your purchase will go to a charity of your choice including Child’s Play, World Wildlife Foundation, or Creative Commons. Also, if you are on the leaderboard at any time, you are entered to win a MacBook Air. The price will go up as more people buy so it is best to get in early.
Some of the notable apps in the bundle are photo editing software Snapheal Pro (Reg. $40), simple website builder RapidWeaver 5 (Reg. $79), Windows software utility CrossOver 13 For Mac, iTunes organizer TuneUp and screen capture software Voila ($30). You can see a full list of the apps in the bundle below, as well as more Mac deals on 9to5Toys Specials and in our daily app deal round-ups.
Pixelmator have released the latest version of their app today, version 3.1. As usual, it is available exclusively in the Mac App Store for $29.99. Codenamed Marble, this update brings several enhancements to the image editor including specific Mac Pro optimizations such as 16-bit image support.
Primarily, Pixelmator 3.1 optimises for the new Mac Pro’s hardware. Apple has used Pixelmator before to tout the Mac Pro’s performance benefits, and the developers are clearly keen to push this further still.
The “exclusive” support for the new Mac Pro enables the simultaneous use of both GPU’s for even faster composition and rendering. In fact, the app can compute the autosave data whilst the image is being rendered. This translates to significant speed improvements across the app.
Adobe today announced a pretty solid Black Friday deal. Adobe initially launched the Photoshop Photography Program in September to support the needs and workflow of photographers who use CS3 or later. Now, for a limited time, Adobe it is extending this offer to ALL photographers for $9.99/month as an annual subscription – valid from Nov. 20 (9:00 a.m. PST) through Dec. 2, 2013 (11:59 p.m. PST) on Adobe.com…
Pixelmator 3.0 FX released: adds layer styles, ‘Liquify’ warping tools, Mac Pro and Mavericks optimizations
Today, the team behind Pixelmator has released the latest version of their app, version 3.0 FX. As before, the app is available on the Mac App Store for $29.99. The update brings a slew of changes to the already popular image editor, especially considering version 2.2 was only released a few weeks ago. 9to5Mac has had access to a preview copy of the update for a few days … so read on for a full walkthrough of the changes.
The headline feature for Pixelmator 3.0 is the addition of layer styles. Layer styles apply effects such as strokes, fills, shadows and reflections to the entire layer in very few clicks. More importantly, these changes are non-destructive — they affect the layer, not the canvas pixels themselves. This means layer effects can be undone and manipulated without changing the underlying image data. In fact, layer styles can even be copied to the clipboard and duplicated across layers.
Yesterday’s unveiling of the all-new Mac Pro at Apple’s WWDC keynote certainly made up for the fact that we didn’t see any updates to Apple’s pro apps like we we’re hoping. However, you might have missed Phil Schiller’s rather quick confirmation that a new version of Final Cut Pro X is indeed coming later this year:
NVIDIA announced a new series of notebook GPU’s today branded as the 700M series. Introduced today are five new graphics cards in total, and NVIDIA said they would be available in a long list of laptops over the next few months. The five new graphics cards include two options aimed at the “mainstream segment”, the 720M and the 735M, while the remaining three, the 740M, 745M, and 750M, will be “for the performance segment” of the market.
The graphics cards are being touted by NVIDIA to “maximize performance and experience,” but they also more power efficient than their predecessors. Because the 700M Series is notebook-only, expect these to be less powerful than a desktop version of the 700 Series that may be announced sometime in the future.
Helping our new 700M chips reach such lofty levels of performance is GPU Boost 2.0, a GPU innovation that extracts every ounce of available computing power from the graphics processor. Before GPU Boost, GPUs were held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed chips and power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle GPUs, leaving spare performance on the table when playing games.GPU Boost resolves this problem by monitoring power usage and temperatures, enabling the GPU to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.
While the press release from NVIDIA said the new GPUs will be available in nearly every notebook maker other than Apple, it is possible these GPUs will be seen in the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display sports a NVIDIA 650M GPU, as does the high-end 21-inch iMac model, so an upgrade to the 700M series only makes sense.
The full press release is available below.
New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs Squeeze Every Drop Of Performance Out Of Notebooks, Automatically
Monday, April 1, 2013
NVIDIA today announced five new notebook GPUs which deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximize a consumer’s notebook performance and experience.
With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:
New NVIDIA GPU Boost™ 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximize graphics performance.
NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.
GeForce® Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.
“There is an elegant simplicity to NVIDIA’s GeForce 700M notebook technologies,” said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. “You use your notebook how you want, and GeForce makes your experience awesome.”
Incorporating all three of these technologies, the new lineup of NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs includes GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 745M, and GeForce GT 740M GPUs for the performance segment, as a well as GeForce GT 735M and GeForce GT 720M GPUs for the mainstream segment.
NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs are available today. Every leading notebook manufacturer will be introducing notebooks with GPU Boost 2.0 technology, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.
More information about the GeForce 700M family of notebook GPUs is available at www.GeForce.com.
Today only, Amazon’s Goldbox deal is Adobe Photoshop Elements or Premiere for $47/each or $69.99 for the combo. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for these photo and video editing applications from Adobe which are available in both boxed and downloadable formats for Mac and PC.
Want to brush up on Premiere? Here’s a great tutorial
- Sony Bloggie Duo 1080p HD Digital Camcorder Bundle for $130 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Adobe Photoshop Touch updated to version 1.2 (9to5mac.com)
On the Photoshop Blog, Adobe today said it passed 500,000 downloads with its free Photoshop CS6 Beta software.
- As soon as it was announced, Photoshop CS6 beta was a worldwide Trending Topic
- Our sneak peek video playlist on YouTube has received nearly 3 million views
- The Photoshop CS6 beta videos have already received half a million views
Oh, and Adobe also previews Illustrator CS6.
When Apple launched the new iPad on Friday, it did so with a new dual-core A5x processor and quad-core graphics inside. During the product’s unveiling, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller talked about the new chip noting that it provides four times the performance of Tegra 3. Nvidia was quick to question the slide displayed by Apple onstage (pictured right), which did not provide any specific benchmark data. We now finally have some solid benchmark tests courtesy of Laptop Mag that provide us new insight.
For the benchmark tests, Laptop Mag used an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which is powered by Tegra 3, and put it up against the new iPad in GLBenchmark 2.1, Geekbench, and browsers’ benchmarks with Sunspider and Peacekeeper. In its last test (video above), the publication did a side-by-side subjective gaming performance test to try to spot any noticeable differences between the same title running on both devices. Here is what the publication found:
With the launch of the new iPad just hours away, there will be a flood of new iPad owners looking for apps that boast the device’s 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution Retina display. To make it easier, Apple posted a new section on iTunes that lists Retina-ready apps recently updated to take advantage of the new display. The section currently consists of about 24 apps, some of which include “Tweetbot,” “Skitch,” “Infinity Blade II,” and “Sky Gamblers.” However, there are surely countless devs submitting updates to their apps right now. Go past the break for the full list of apps.
The Twitter iOS app was just updated to version 4.1.2 with the only new feature being high-resolution graphics for the new iPad’s Retina display. The update is available in the App Store now (iTunes link).
The United States Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application today (via PatentlyApple) detailing new 3D GUI concepts and touch-free, motion sensing gestures that would allow you to simply wave your hand over a device equipped with proximity sensors. This follows a patent application published in July that explores similar 3D gestures and user-interfaces, and another in September detailing 3D display and imaging technology that could lead to Kinect-like gestures on future Apple products.
The image to the right (larger version is below) shows a 3D UI environment consisting of two sidewalls, a back wall, a floor, and a ceiling. As you can see, 2D objects are posted to the back and sidewalls, while 3D objects rest on the floor of the environment. The patent mentions a “snap to” feature that appears to allow objects to move from one surface to another by changing the orientation of the 3D environment. In other words, the user’s perspective of the UI, which PatentlyApple said could be imagined as the “view from an imaginary camera viewfinder,” would change when rotation of the device is detected by its gyro sensor or accelerometer:
From the Toys Section:
Amazon offers Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for Windows and Mac, model no. 65064073, for $149.99. With free shipping, that’s tied with our October mention of a downloaded version and the lowest total price we could find by $130. This photo editing software is designed for use with RAW files.