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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates through 19-Oct-09

Acorn 2.1 from Flying Meat is a maintenance update to the simple image editor. Changes include support for AppleScript, a new Hex Color Picker, a refreshed interface, JSTalk support, 64-bit support, and raw image support. Also there’s now an option to view rulers alongside your images, layers can be organized into hierarchical groups, and individual windows can be given their own layer when taking screenshots. Finally, various editing tools have been added including Dodge, Burn, Clone, Smudge, Perspective Transform, and a Clouds filter. ($49.95 new, free update, 8.1 MB)

Nisus Writer Pro 1.4 from Nisus Software is a feature update to the increasingly powerful word processor. The latest version adds several built-in commands to replace macros that come with the reference manager Bookends. These menus enable you to scan documents, insert citations, locate references, and switch to Bookends without leaving the program. ($79 new, free update, 151 MB)

Phone Amego 1.0.8 from Sustainable Softworks is a maintenance update to the software that enables users to control a Bluetooth mobile phone (including the iPhone) from a Mac. The latest version adds improved and expanded Google Voice login options, the capability to choose various numbers for a single contact in the Call window, support for landline phones using the Apple USB modem, the option to select a dial device from the Call window, and the capability to distinguish Google Voice calls from other incoming calls. ($20, free update, 1 MB)

Snapz Pro X 2.2.1 from Ambrosia Software is a minor update to the popular still image and video screen capture utility. The update fixes a hotkey conflict with Japanese character input in Snow Leopard, addresses a console warning that erroneously appears when putting the display or computer to sleep, and reinstates recording support for PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Also, performance has been improved when saving QuickTime movies, and several other minor unspecified bugs have been fixed. ($69, free update, 11 MB)

Performance Update 1.0 from Apple “addresses intermittent hard drive related pauses reported by a small number of customers.” The update is for Intel-based Macs (mostly laptop models, with a few iMac and Mac mini models thrown in), and is available via Software Update or from the Apple Support Downloads page. Installation steps can be found on Apple’s Web site. (Free, 300 KB)

Airfoil 3.4 from Rogue Amoeba is a significant update to the wireless audio distribution tool. The latest version improves hijacking capabilities for applications with audio sub-processes – including Google Chrome and Dashboard – by combining them into a single group. Hijacking in QuickTime Player, Safari, and other WebKit applications is now instantaneous and no longer requires that the application be restarted. Also, the Instant Hijack component has been improved, fixing several rare but serious Snow Leopard compatibility issues. Lastly, a new Radio Tuner window has been added for those using Griffin Technology’s Radio
USB radio with Airfoil. ($25, free update, 10.1 MB)

Cocktail 4.5.2 from Maintain is a maintenance and stability update to the general-purpose maintenance utility. The latest version addresses a number of problems including a bug that led to high CPU usage on 32-bit Macs, an issue that caused Cocktail to sometimes incorrectly report problems with disk utility, compatibility issues with QuickTime X, and a number of other minor unspecified bugs. ($14.95, free update, 2.0 MB)

Evernote for Mac 1.5 from Evernote is a maintenance update to the note-taking and snippet-collecting utility. The latest version adds the capability to view Ink notes created with the Windows client, optional access to Evernote’s beta program via Software Update, and localizations for the French, German, Italian, and Spanish languages. Also, your email address is now shown in the Account Info window, and several bugs have been fixed, including one that addresses a problem with the Safari toolbar button knocking other buttons off the toolbar and another that prevented words surrounded by punctuation from being located by search. (Free, 15.8 MB)

Logic Pro 9.0.2 from Apple is a stability and maintenance update to the company’s flagship audio recording program. Changes include the capability for Flex Markers to align and snap to MIDI notes, proper punch-in recording behavior with Replace Mode, an added option for latency measurement in the I/O plug-in, and the TDM plug-ins now work correctly. The full release notes are available on Apple’s Web site. The update is available via Software Update or the Apple Support Downloads page. ($499 new, free update, 183 MB)

iMovie ’09 8.0.5 from Apple is a compatibility update for Apple’s video editing program, a component of iLife ’09. In addition to improving support for importing video captured using the latest iPod nano, this version introduces support for iFrame, a video format employing H.264 video and AAC audio compression. (Sanyo introduced the first two cameras this week that record in the iFrame format: the Sanyo VPC-HD2000A and the Sanyo VPC-FH1A.) What’s notable about iFrame is the capability to edit the footage natively in iMovie; footage recorded to memory or to hard disks using the widely adopted AVCHD must first be transcoded to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) before editing. iFrame promises to
reduce the time it takes to start editing and also reduce the amount of disk space used by the video. iMovie ’09 8.0.5 also fixes an issue with resizing the application window during playback. (Free update, 35.56 MB)

SuperDuper 2.6.2 from Shirt Pocket Software updates the backup and disk cloning utility with several new features and improvements. Changes include enhanced performance, a new Backup on Connect feature that kicks off a backup when the destination volume appears, a new Eject After Copy feature, and support for sparse bundle disk images. A full list of changes can be found within program by selecting Help > Revision History. The update supports both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 or later. ($27.95 new, free update, 2.8 MB)

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3 from Bombich Software is a maintenance update to the long-standing backup and disk cloning utility. Changes include support for HFS+ filesystem compression, enhanced Finder and Disk Utility compatibility in Snow Leopard, and improved performance when backing up multiple files with extended attributes. Also, several issues have been addressed, including a bug that caused the program to incorrectly report an inability to delete a conflicting report on a target when using the “Archive modified and deleted items” option, a bug that caused the Time Machine database to be included when using the “Backup everything” cloning method in file-level mode, and a bug that prevented the
source and target menus from being updated if a disk disappeared in the midst of a backup task. A full list of changes is available on Bombich Software’s Web site. (Free, 3.2 MB)

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