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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 25 August 2014

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Parallels Desktop 10 -- Offering experimental support for Apple’s upcoming OS X Yosemite, Parallels Desktop has been updated to version 10 with promises of speed enhancements up to 48 percent, up to 10 percent less memory used by virtual machines, and up to 30 percent extended battery life. Along with being able to run the public beta of Yosemite in a virtual machine (yay!), Parallels Desktop 10 enables you to take advantage of many of Yosemite’s announced features, including iCloud Drive, iMessages, and SMS text sharing, at least to the extent that they work now. You’ll also be able to share files, text, or Web pages from Windows using Internet accounts configured on your Mac. The virtualization software also improves how it stores files on your Mac, with real-time optimization automatically compacting the virtual disk and a Disk Space Wizard that enables you to review and clean up space used by Parallels Desktop and your virtual machines. Additionally, Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition has been updated to version 10 with support for enforcing USB device policies and encrypting virtual machines using FileVault.

If you have a license for either Parallels Desktop 8 or 9, you can upgrade to version 10 now for $49.99. If you’re new to Parallels, you’ll have to wait until 26 August 2014 to purchase the full retail version of Parallels Desktop 10 for $79.99 (which is when we suspect a free trial will also be made available). If you purchased and activated a license for Parallels Desktop 9 on or after 1 August 2014, you’re eligible for a free upgrade. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade, $39.99 educational)

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Final Cut Pro X 10.1.3 -- Apple has released Final Cut Pro X 10.1.3, which improves the reliability of burning a Blu-ray disc or creating a Blu-ray disk image. (Apple also released Compressor 4.1.3 and Motion 5.1.2, with each receiving this sole change.) Final Cut Pro X now also retains color corrections pasted between clips when sharing, correctly imports XML round-trips when using gap clips, retains effects applied to clips in the Browser in prior versions of the app, improves reliability of automatic library backups, and improves stability when skimming large files in the Browser. ($299.99 new, free update, 2.28 GB, release notes, 10.9.2+)

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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 6.3.2 -- Paving the way for a smooth transition to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Smile has released version 6.3.2 of PDFpen and PDFpenPro with fixes for a potential crash that resulted from Yosemite’s Unicode decoding and a code signing issue that caused validation problems on both Yosemite and the upcoming 10.9.5 Mavericks. The update also provides a fix for documents that can’t be opened due to an issue with date string handling and squashes a bug that caused page links to be discarded during a save. Note that the Mac App Store editions of PDFpen and PDFpenPro still lag behind at version 6.3.1 as of this writing. ($59.95/$99.95 new with a 20 percent discount for TidBITS members, free updates, 52.0/52.8 MB, release notes, 10.7+)

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PopChar X 6.6 -- Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 6.6 with support for Unicode 7.0, which integrates 2,834 new characters (including symbols such as the Russian ruble and nearly 250 emoji symbols). The font discovery utility also improves the Scripts and Symbols layout to better match definitions in the Unicode standard, and adds a Show in Unicode Context features that enables you to discover similar characters within the Unicode table. The update also quickens the speed of displaying the character table and various unspecified housekeeping tasks, improves visibility of the PopChar icon against the dark menu background of OS X Yosemite, fixes several cosmetic issues related to Yosemite, and squashes a bug that resulted in a misplaced magnifier after scrolling operations. (€29.99 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 3.8 MB, release notes, 10.5.8+)

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