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iTunes 10.6 — Mirroring the added 1080p resolution capabilities of the new Apple TV (see “Apple Announces New Apple TV,” 7 March 2012), Apple has bumped up iTunes to version 10.6, enabling you to play 1080p movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store. The release also improves several aspects of iTunes Match, including matching songs, downloading and displaying album artwork, and addressing an issue that caused some songs to skip when playing from iCloud. Finally, AppleInsider notes that iTunes 10.6 now lets you choose the bit rate for down-converting audio copied to iOS devices. (Free, 126 MB new download or 81.4 MB via Software Update)
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iBooks Author 1.1 — Apple has released iBooks Author 1.1, which prepares for the imminent arrival of the third-generation iPad with support for creating books that can take advantage of the new Retina display (see “Apple Announces Third-Generation iPad,” 7 March 2012). The release also includes various unspecified performance and stability improvements. (Free from the Mac App Store, 184 MB)
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GarageBand ’11 6.0.5 — In conjunction with the update to the just-released GarageBand iOS app (see “iPhoto Joins iLife for iOS, Apple Updates Other Apps,” 7 March 2012), Apple has updated GarageBand ’11 for the Mac to version 6.0.5. It updates compatibility with GarageBand for iOS projects, fixes an issue with playing GarageBand Lesson preview videos, and corrects issues with incorrect or stuck notes in some software instruments. Additionally, the update promises improvements in general compatibility plus overall stability and performance. ($14.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update through Software Update or the Mac App Store, 47.61 MB)
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iPhoto ’11 9.2.2 — While it offers just a single change, Apple’s updated iPhoto ’11 9.2.2 will be a welcome release for many. The update enables you to delete individual photos from your iCloud Photo Stream, which should help you winnow out any mistaken photos you may have shot on your iPhone or iPad (or, perhaps, reams of screenshots saved to the Photos app by a preschooler). Previously, the only way to delete any photos from Photo Stream was to delete them all from iCloud via a reset performed in iCloud’s online account settings. ($14.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update through Software Update or the Mac App Store, 256.9 MB)
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DEVONagent Lite, Express, and Pro 3.1.2 — DEVONtechnologies has updated the three editions of its DEVONagent research-support tool (Lite, Express, and Pro), each of which enables you to extract and manage query results from multiple search engines. All three are updated with an SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) plug-in, improved French localization, and fixes to minor interface glitches. The Express edition adds a Thumbnail Gallery scanner, the capability to generate thumbnail images via Thumbshots.com, and an improved marketing default search set (which crawls through over 200 Mac- and tech-related news sites). In addition to these improvements, the Pro edition adds support for Google Chrome bookmarks and the capability to add scripts from the Toolbar subfolder to the toolbar of search and browser windows. It also eliminates use of Apple Mail as a fallback if email sending fails, improves the Support Assistant, and brings several minor fixes. For a complete list of additions, fixes, and improvements, see the release notes for the Pro edition, which cover all three versions. The Pro edition is available from both the DEVONtechnologies site and the Mac App Store, while the Lite and Express editions are available only from the Mac App Store. ($49.99/$4.99/Free, free updates, 3.2 to 26.3 MB)
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Adobe Lightroom 4.0 — After a fairly short public beta (see “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Public Beta,” 16 January 2012), Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 4.0. Halving its price to $149, this major new version of the professional photo cataloging and editing application now includes book creation capabilities via built-in templates and provides native video support with basic editing tools plus direct video uploads to Flickr and Facebook. Other new features include adjustment controls that maximize dynamic range for recovering shadow details and highlights, and a map module for a visual overview of where geotagged photos were shot. A few changes were made since the public beta, including reverse geocoding in the map module, increased maximum book size to 240 pages, updated Develop tool presets for both still images and video, and fixes for over 800 bugs. ($149 new, $79 upgrade, $79 student and teacher edition, 384 MB, release notes)
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Parallels Desktop 7.0.15055 — While not a major release from a numerical standpoint, version 7.0.15055 of the Parallels Desktop virtualization software gets you ready to explore two of 2012’s major operating system releases. The update brings experimental support for the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview as both a host and guest, as well as support for Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview. And according to the Parallels Consumer Tech Blog, the release also enables you to download and install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the Parallels Wizard, plus remotely access and control the Windows 8 virtual machine using Parallels Mobile. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade, $39.99 student edition, free update, 304 MB)
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