Apple testing iOS 6.1 with new map search tools

Alongside its public release of iOS 6.0.1 earlier today, Apple doled out a beta version of iOS 6.1 to developers as well.

Before you get too excited, the software so far appears to be light on new, user-facing features. Instead, one of the key improvements is new back-end technology that will let developers better use the company's homegrown maps inside their own applications.

To provide a frame of reference, it took Apple about four months to release iOS 5.1 after it released iOS 5.0.1. That update brought a reworked camera application on the … Read more

Firefox's Social API debuts with Facebook Messenger

Mozilla's Social API has activated in Firefox Beta today with its first partner, Facebook Messenger. The innovation has the potential to forever alter how browsers interact with social-networking sites, but the project is still in its infancy.

The Social API (turn it on here: Firefox Beta or Firefox Aurora) looks at the problem of how to integrate modern social networking into the browser, Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox Engineering, said during a phone conversation with CNET. "People don't use social like they use other parts of the Web. It's not task based; it's … Read more

Synology adds TV recording and more to its NAS with DSM 4.1 operating system

After more than a month in beta state, Synology's final latest version, version 4.1, of the DiskStation Manager operating system for its NAS server, was released today.

Synology is one of a few NAS vendors that regularly releases new versions of the operating system, which improves and adds features to its existing NAS servers. DSM has been by far the most advanced operating system for network-attached storage servers, which offers not just a vast amount of features and ease of use, but also the most robust user interface that resembles a native operating system. Like all NAS operating systems, DSM is accessed via a Web interface using a connected computer.

DSM is one of the main reasons Synology NAS servers, such as the DS1511+, or the DS412+, have been the best on the market, for both home and small business environments.… Read more

MemShrink targets add-ons in Firefox beta

A plethora of changes land in Firefox for Android 15 beta, as its desktop counterpart moves its memory management improvements up a notch.

Firefox 15 beta for Windows (download), Mac (download), and Linux (download), brings the memory management improvements developed in Mozilla's MemShrink project one step closer to the stable version of the browser, this time focusing on long browser sessions and how add-ons affect Firefox. Nicholas Nethercote, a developer at Mozilla, wrote on his blog that Firefox 15 beta is likely to be "drastically" faster than Firefox 14, in some cases.

The changes in the beta … Read more

Apple doles out third iOS 6 beta to developers

Apple has given developers yet another update to iOS 6 ahead of its public release later this year.

This third beta comes 21 days after Apple's last update. Apple provided developers an early taste of the software at its annual developers conference in early June. Several more betas are expected ahead of a release to the general public, which Apple said will come in the fall.

Per MacRumors, the new update comes devoid of a changes list. Developers seeing the over-the-air update on their iOS device simply get the message that it contains "bug fixes and improvements."… Read more

Synology's DiskStation Manager 4.1 OS goes beta

Synology announced today that version 4.1 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system (firmware) for DiskStation NAS servers, such as the DS1511+ or the DS712+, is now in beta state. This means the final update will be available in a month or so.

DSM has been one of the main reasons why Synology NAS servers are the best among network-attached storage devices, thanks to its vast amount of features and robust and easy-to-use interface.

The new version offers some major additional features to the already feature-rich OS, including a Video Station and mobile apps for Windows Phone 7. The … Read more

Apple targets sites selling access to iOS 6 beta, report says

Is Apple taking aim at sites that sell access to its iOS 6 beta to non-developers?

Apple-tracking blog MacStories reported yesterday that a host of Web sites known for selling access to Apple's iOS beta are no longer online. After trying to contact many of the site's owners, the publication's e-mails bounced back. Finally, the publication was able to connect with one site owner who said that his hosting provider took his site down after Apple filed a copyright-infringement claim.

That followed a claim made by David, CEO of Web hosting provider Fused who goes by his … Read more

What to do when Messages beta is not functioning

Since installing the beta version of Messages (on day one), I have quite enjoyed its capability to sync with my iOS device messages as well as Google Chat, AIM, and other Jabber accounts. Today though, Messages did not open as expected.

At first I thought it had something to do with the beta version running out. Recently, Apple took down the capability to download Messages, so perhaps disabling the beta version was part of the plan all along. But, that doesn't really make sense without a clear replacement intact.

With Mountain Lion still being tested, I needed to find … Read more

Chrome for Android: Speed, and sync

The bottom line: Chrome for Android provides the missing mobile piece for Chrome addicts. Watch out for that brain freeze, though: it's only for Ice Cream Sandwich and above.

Review: Google sure took its sweet time getting its redonkulously popular browser onto its well-received mobile operating system, but there's finally a version of Chrome for Android. It comes with a number of caveats, the biggest being that there's a really good chance that you're not going to have a compatible device for a while.

Installation Chrome for Android installs like any other Android app, and is … Read more

One upside to Nokia's shake-up: An end to its lame ads

Perhaps one silver lining to Nokia's massive shakeup is an end to its poorly thought out "smartphone beta test" campaign for the company's flagship Lumia 900 smartphone.

You've probably seen one. Following the Lumia 900's launch in April, the commercials were everywhere.

They were also ineffective and likely hamstrung the phone's potential. The ads did little to highlight what made the Lumia 900 unique: its fresh look, powerful camera, competitive price, and the still little-used Windows Phone operating system.

It's no surprise that after a strong start, sales of the Lumia 900 fizzled, … Read more