Apple Celebrates 5th iPhone Anniversary; VLC with Retina Support

Apple Celebrates 5th iPhone Anniversary; VLC with Retina Support; BlueStacks App Player for Mac; MobileMe Closes; Chrome for Mac Fix Issued

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First of, on June 29th, Apple celebrated the fifth anniversary of iPhone public launch. The first iPhone was unveiled by Apple co-founder and late Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and was released on June 29, 2007.

The 5th generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S, was announced on October 4, 2011, and released 10 days later.

Jobs' during the introduction of the iPhone stated:

"Today, we're introducing three revolutionary products. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough internet communications device. These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."

The iPhone will be remembered as revolutionary as phones progress.

iPhone Original Version June 29 2007iPhone 4S

In other Apple news,

Apple has now closed "MobileMe" syncing service today, to focus on providing services by iCloud.

Apple has also removed the iDisk and MobileMe Gallery apps from the App Store. If you haven't already, it is the high time to make the switch from MobileMe to its successor iCloud.

Apple during the iOS 5 launch at the last years' WWDC had announced that it would close its MobileMe service that provided Apple subscribers with amongst other services email, file storage and calendar facilities. However, it remained open for existing subscribers until today providing them with the option to export their information to iCloud, or download a local backup if they prefer.

From today, if you try to login to MobileMe, users are greeted with a "Closed" page. However, to help those who have not yet moved to iCloud, Apple is allowing them moving their data to iCloud right from the MobileMe homepage.

MobileMe Close Migrate to iCloud

Find my iPhone - while also available in iCloud - will remain accessible for limited time through the MobileMe portal for users who have not updated to iCloud due to their devices being too old to run iOS 5 or OS X Lion, and iDisk and Gallery files can still be retrieved for a limited time.

With iCloud not offering feature parity to MobileMe, users can also download their images and files still, while iWeb Sites are no longer on offer with iCloud.

Those making a switch from MobileMe to iCloud, will get Apple's introductory offer of 20GB of free storage until September on iCloud, which will drop back to 5GB of storage (original offer) after the 30th of September.

VLC the popular media player has just pushed an updated version 2.0.2 with the addition of Retina display support. "About a month after passing the 1,000,000,000th download, we are going to release VLC 2.0.2 today," the company stated.

VLC Media Player Now with Retina Display Support

VLC 2.0.2 adds further refinements to the new Mac interface. We improved the video playback experience by enhancing the crop features and restoring the highly desired "go automatically to fullscreen" feature. Additionally, the aspect ratio is respected like in the 1.1.x releases. The Retina Display (HiDPI) on the new MacBook Pro is natively supported, too.

Furthermore, you can drag & drop items between the playlist, services and media library. Growl 1.3 is supported for notifications as well (disabled by default). Playing a video in a window without any further UI elements is supported again, too.

Finally, we removed the font cache. VLC for Mac will never ask you to wait for it, but it will still find all your fonts!

This update also includes video output improvements for a vast number of PowerPC-based Macs equipped with an ATI Radeon 7500, an ATI Radeon 9200 or a NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra as well as Intel-based Macs with an Intel GMA 950.

Additional changes and additions include better support for compressed file formats and H.264 webcam output.

Audacity, the free, cross platform audio editing tool has also been released. For Mac users, there is now compatibility with VoiceOver screen reader.

You can find out more and download free copies of the programs by visiting to the VLC and Audacity pages.

Chrome Freezes New MacBook Air

Also, Shortly after the release of Sandy Bridge-powered Macbook Airs at the WWDC earlier this month, users on Apple's support communities, complained their machines crashed to the point of kernel panic -- and frequently freezes.

The culprit of the grey screens of death is Google's Chrome browser, particularly "Chrome GPU acceleration," when used on the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip.

What Google calls a "resource leak" is actually a very strange thing. Chrome is a Userland level application -- general applications that have to work through the "system space" / "system level" applications in order to reach the kernel, or brain of the operating system that handles hardware interaction via drivers. However, browsers using hardware acceleration tend to sidestep this, since they use graphics cards to increase rendering and processing for interactive HTML5 browser graphics and animation, and even video.

Google acknowledges the MacBook Air issue stating:

"We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.

The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.

While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome's GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware," Google stated.

Following the statement above, Google provided an auto-update patch that temporarily disables GPU acceleration on Mac hardware with the HD 4000 Intel graphics chip.

"Dev channel has been updated to 21.0.1180.15 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome Frame platforms

This version fixes a small sync problem (Issue: 134715) and contains a fix for Mac hardware with the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs), in order to prevent a resource leak which is causing a kernel panic on that hardware. This is a temporary change while we work on fixing the root cause of the issue," Google stated.

BlueStacks App Player for Mac OS

Finally, at day 2 of the Google I/O 2012 conference in San Francisco, Android virtualization software maker BlueStacks launched the alpha version of its BlueStacks App Player for Mac OS and celebrated it with a mock wedding between the Mac and Android, as the two exchanged vows and were married.

This alpha build is still very early in its life, and it currently only supports 17 Android apps, including the venerable Angry Birds, Evernote, and more. Like the Windows version of the Android App Player, more apps will eventually make their way to the Mac.

Download BlueStacks App Player for Mac here.