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TidBITS Watchlist for 1 April 2015

Pixelmator 3.3.2 -- The Pixelmator Team has released version 3.3 (nicknamed SamanthaFox) of its eponymous image editing app with support for the Force Touch trackpads in Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (see “Force Touch Trackpad Makes MacBooks More Compelling,” 20 March 2015). The drawing tools in the image manipulation app are now pressure-sensitive for Force Touch users, providing varying levels of haptic feedback for each tool. ($29.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update, 42.9 MB, release notes, 10.9.5+)

Microsoft Office 2011 14.5 -- Microsoft has updated Microsoft Office 2011 to version 14.5. Along with a number of security improvements, Microsoft Word can now read and export files in Markdown and Fountain formats (for more on Fountain, see “Formatting Screenplays with Fountain,” 5 March 2015). Similarly, all three of the main Office apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) can now open their corresponding iWork file formats (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote). Also, Office 2011 now supports the upcoming HoloLens augmented-reality headset (see “Windows Goes Universal… and Holographic,” 23 January 2015). Microsoft says that once the HoloLens is available, you will be able to interact with holographic representations of your documents as if they were real objects. (Free update from the Microsoft Download Center or through Microsoft AutoUpdate, 4.11 GB, release notes, 10.5.8+)

Minecraft 1.9 -- Microsoft has issued its first release of the Minecraft 3D construction game since its acquisition from Mojang (see “FunBITS: A Minecraft Crash Course,” 19 September 2014), finally introducing the Herobrine character to the game (previously, source code did not allow for any entity to act as Herobrine, though the iconic evil character is popular in fan-created fiction). However, Microsoft’s version of Herobrine is far more benign and gives a nod to a popular piece of Microsoft heritage — Clippy the Office Assistant. Replacing Herobrine’s dark pixelated visage with Clippy’s trademark googly eyes, curved smile, and timely “helpful interjections,” Microsoft hopes that the ubiquitous character will help new players quickly learn some of the more advanced aspects of the game (from redstone crafting to ender dragon summoning). Minecraft 1.9 switches from the exploit-ridden Java to Microsoft Silverlight, while adding support for sending screenshots directly to Microsoft Office applications, support for using Skype to communicate with other players, and a special Redmond biome. ($26.95, 1.2 GB, release notes, 10.6.8+)

BBEdit 11.4.1 -- Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 11.4.1 with initial support for communicating with the beta version of BBEdit for Apple Watch (available soon in the App Store). Despite forgoing a release of an iOS-specific edition of BBEdit, Bare Bones Software’s Rich Siegel states drily in the release notes that this was the “perfect time to get in on the ground floor of a new technology, even one that doesn’t seem naturally suited for text editing.” Due to the lack of a virtual keyboard, BBEdit for Apple Watch will rely primarily on Siri for text input (limited to Markdown in the initial release), although Bare Bones expects advanced users to supplement Siri with long and short Morse code taps — the company has extended its “UniMorse Code” beyond letters and numbers to support the full Unicode character set. Along with a UniMorse Code cheat sheet, Bare Bones will be posting a series of videos on how to speak the correct terminology for specific characters and coding snippets to train users in this verbal version of Markdown (akin to “learning the proper wording construction and flow of pronunciation for spells while at Hogwarts,” according to the release notes). ($49.99, 11.2 MB, release notes 10.8.5+)


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Comments about TidBITS Watchlist for 1 April 2015
(Comments are closed.)

Eolake Stobblehouse   2015-04-02 10:07
Ah, finally a reason to really learn to use BBEdit! I can't wait to sit in the commuter train every day, programming and designing web sites on my gold watch! (Other commuters will just have to get used to the spoken commands just like we've gotten used to cell phones.)
(Yes, I'll spring for gold. If you have the best watch in the world, it should look the part. Besides, there is $87 worth of gold in that thing!)