We’ve got quite the Thursday lined up for you in this edition. How does faster Wi-Fi sound? Check! Live television streamed to your iOS device for free? Got it! MobileMe replacement services? Naturally! And there’s oh so much more in store for MacLife.com readers today, so let’s cue the lights and start the show for this Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Netgear Intros First Gigabit Wi-Fi Router
While we love the convenience of Wi-Fi, our desktop Macs are still jacked into Ethernet as our primary connection — mostly to enjoy the additional speed that wireless can’t hope to compete with when transferring files between systems. Netgear is hoping to change our minds,today announcing the R6300 Wi-Fi Router, the first 802.11ac dual-band gigabit model that takes full advantage of fifth-generation Wi-Fi at speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n. Netgear’s R6300 is powered by Broadcom 802.11ac chips, with speeds of up to 1300Mbps in 5GHz mode or 450Mbps in 2.4GHz mode. The router also includes AirPrint support for iOS devices and a free Netgear Genie app for Macs, PCs, iOS and Android which allows home users to control, monitor, repair and manage their network through a simple, elegant dashboard. Netgear will make the R6300 available in May starting at $199.99.
iOSLiveTV Web App Beams Live Television to Your iOS Device
The ultimate dream for cord-cutters is to have streaming access to live television from around the world, anytime we choose to call it up. According to a post on the 9to5Mac Forums, that dream is a little closer to reality thanks to a web app called iOSLiveTV, which offers “most major TV stations from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Italy on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV (via AirPlay) for free, anywhere in the world.” Sound too good to be true? The service was working like a champ earlier today on our new iPad, but some of the channels appear to be on the fritz now, showing a black box with no playback button or simply a broken playback button. This service isn’t likely to have a very long shelf life once the attorneys come calling, but enjoy it while it lasts by pointing your iOS web browser in this direction.
MacMate Wants to Be Your (Partial) MobileMe Replacement
Bummed out that MobileMe is once and for all, truly going to swim with the fishes on June 30? So were the folks at MacAce, the company billed as “the Mac ISP,” so they decided to do something about it — like create their own MobileMe replacement. MacMate offers web hosting, cloud storage and email especially for Macs, with 10GB of cloud storage for $89 per year, with an additional three months of service thrown in free of charge. MacMate includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, with paid upgrades available in 10GB increments all the way up to 100GB for $200 annually, with extra email boxes also available for $15 per year. While the service replaces some of the key functionality once offered by MobileMe — notably iDisk, iWeb hosting and IMAP email — it’s lacking others such as Gallery for photos.
JCPenney Nabs Retail Store Senior Exec from Apple
MacRumors is reporting that onetime Apple retail chief Ron Johnson has poached one of his former colleagues, who will join him at JCPenney, where the CEO is trying to reshape the company. Announced by JCPenney in a press release today, Ben Fay has left Cupertino, where he served as “a key member of Apple’s retail store design team.” Explained Johnson the company’s press release: “Ben is an incredibly creative professional with extraordinary leadership skills. Having worked with him over the last 12 years, I am delighted to see Ben step into this new role at jcp. His design influence has made the Apple stores highly regarded retail destinations around the world, and I am excited to have Ben place his own mark on jcp as we re-imagine the jcpenney store of the future.” Curiously, the move takes place just as former Dixons Retail CEO John Browett officially started with Apple, where he’ll be filling the shoes once worn by Johnson himself.
Twitter for iOS, Android Gains New Discovery, Search and Notifications
The Twitter Blog has announced updates to the micro-blogging services’ official iOS and Android apps today, promising to “make it easier to find out what’s happening on Twitter with improvements to discover, search and notifications.” The Discover tab now displays activity on the mobile clients, which appear below the newly redesigned stories. Search promises to make life more simple for mobile users, with suggestions for different spellings and related terms for each query. Last but not least, push notifications have been added to interactions, so you’ll always get a heads up when one of your tweets have been retweeted or favorited or a new follower adds you to the lineup. The iOS update is live in the App Store, so you know what to do.