My successful signup to the Beta Program

I was very fortunate to signup for Apple's beta program last Wednesday night after being alerted that their latest OS for the Mac is being offered to the public for testing. In the four years that I owned a Mac and upgraded to their OS annually, this is the first time I experienced having the public participate for beta testing. In the past, this was only exclusive to developers who pay yearly to have their status renewed. I immediately grabbed the opportunity and signed up to the program since only the first 1 million users will be able to participate in the testing.

Email confirmation I received today

Welcome to the program

This morning, I received a notification that I got in to test drive OS X Yosemite. I got really excited because I can now take a look at Yosemite. A link is available in the email which redirected me to OS X Yosemite's Beta site. After logging in to the site, there are reminders on installing Yosemite on your Mac. First, your Mac needs to have enough memory (at least 2GB) and disk space (at least 8GB) to run the OS. You also need to have Mavericks installed on your Mac. Second, as a precaution, backup your Mac using Time Machine. You'll never know what could happen after you install Yosemite and its always a good practice to perform a backup. Then finally, you can now download and install Yosemite. You will get a redemption code then download the OS from the Mac App Store.

Since this is a beta software, you don't want to install it on your main machine. In my case, I read some articles on how to partition the hard drive on my Mac and install Yosemite there. This article from Ars Technica is just one of many articles on how to do it on your machine. The OS is a 5GB download and I'll probably just do it this weekend. I'm really looking forward to test the OS and share my findings to Apple. 


Blizzard has just released its update to Hearthstone last Tuesday bringing its latest expansion Curse of Naxxramas. The game is available to PC, Mac and iPad users.

Here's the full details of the update for the iPad. 

CURSE OF NAXXRAMAS: A HEARTHSTONE ADVENTURE

- Curse of Naxxramas offers a new single player campaign to play Hearthstone against challenging NPC adversaries. Curse of Naxxramas can be unlocked with gold or real money and can be accessed by players that have unlocked all 9 heroes. 
- Defeat 15 fearsome bosses to unlock a total of 30 new Hearthstone cards for your collection, including Legendary cards! Naxxramas cards can easily be searched for within My Collection using the search function. 
- An all-new interactive Naxxramas-themed game board awaits you within the Adventure! Discover the surprises that lurk inside the slime pools, the quivering masses of spider eggs (spoilers: It’s spiders), and more! 
- Surmount 9 diabolical Class Challenges that test your skills with each of the unique classes of Hearthstone! 
- Defeating all of the bosses within a wing unlocks the extremely challenging Heroic Mode of that wing. Defeating all of the bosses of Naxxramas on Heroic mode unlocks a new card back for your collection. 
- Five unique wings await those brave enough to venture into Naxxramas. The first wing, The Arachnid Quarter, will immediately be available to play for free for a limited time. The remaining four wings are immediately available for players to unlock with real money or gold, and will become accessible over a period of time once unlocked. 

1. The Arachnid Quarter – A web choked maze filled with many-legged minions. 
2. The Plague Quarter – Necromancers brew deadly plagues while a fungal monstrosity lies in wait.
3. The Military Quarter – Tireless undead knights perfect their deadly arts within these chambers.
4. The Construct Quarter – Abominations stitched together from the Scourge’s victims stomp through these slime soaked halls.
5. Frostwyrm Lair – Chilly abode of Sapphiron and the arch-lich Kel’thuzad himself. (A curse upon my air conditioning bill!) 

GENERAL
- Improvements were made to increase stability, especially for iPad 2 and iPad mini.
- Tooltips that appear when selecting an object by touch are now positioned in a more intuitive place.
- Marking yourself as “Busy” within the Battle.net desktop app will suppress incoming chat messages and toasts for friend requests.
- The Shop interface has been updated to include Curse of Naxxramas.
- Cards available within each wing of Naxxramas will become available in the Arena when that wing becomes available to play. 
- The order in which Deathrattle abilities resolve has been updated to be more consistent.
- Additional music tracks have been added.
- Players that appear in “Players Near Me” now appear more prominently within the Friends List.
- Overall organization of the Friends List has been improved. 
- Sounds and graphics that occur when Mass Disenchanting now take less time to complete.
- Cards can now be searched for using the artist of the card art in the Collection Manager.

CARD CHANGES
- Eaglehorn Bow now reads “Whenever a friendly Secret is revealed, gain +1 Durability”.

PRACTICE MODE
- Practice Mode is now entered through the Solo Adventures button on the main menu.
- The AI in Practice Mode is now better at Hearthstone.


Here are some screenshots as well playing the latest update on my iPad mini.


Unlock the full adventure

Practice mode

Curse of Naxxramas

Unlocked cards after defeating Anub' Rekhan

Battle against Grand Widow Faerlina
Hearthstone is available for free on your PC, Mac or iPad. Click on the button below to download the game on your iPad. Enjoy!



My Barbarian King now has additional summoned units

Clash of Clans has just released a major update this week for battle improvements, balancing and content. I upgraded right away not only because I can't play it but because I wanted to try out the changes they have released, I am a fan of this game.

Here's the complete release notes for Clash of Clans.

New upgrades:
- PEKKA level 5, Jump Spell level 3, Hidden Tesla level 8 and Bomb level 6

Epic Battle Rebalancing
- Heroes have undergone massive rework: readjusted strengths, smarter defending and stronger abilities to name a few
- Jump Speel and Valkyries overhauled to amazing effectiveness
- Inferno Tower multi-mode retargeting now slowed down
- Troops work together to break through similar wall pieces

Interface Improvements
- Tap ongoing Clan War attacks to watch the battle as it happens! (I would love to try this out)
- Re-arm traps and reload defenses easily by tapping your Town Hall
- Clan mail messages can now be twice as long
- Copy your current village layout to your Clan War base with one button (Another update I would love to try)

And here are some screenshots as well taken from my iPad mini


My base. The view is zoomed out compared before that its so close to the middle of your village. The Townhall now has the option to re-arm your traps.

Updated view in the Settings. News tab contains the release updates.


A different view of the Settings

Follow COC on social media




I was able to come across this section in the Mac App Store last week after WWDC. It's a curated list of recommended applications for Development on your Mac. I got very interested in coding again after the WWDC Keynote and the presentation about Swift. I have XCode already and decided to download the free applications on this list. Here are the free Mac apps that I have downloaded and should help you as well on your development. Their descriptions were taken from their respective Mac App Store pages.

1. Dash - Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use. Some of the documentation available for the application include iOS, OS X, .Net Framework, Android, Corona, CSS, Java, SQLite and many more. The full list is available on their page here


2. Skala Preview - Skala Preview is the fastest way to send pixel perfect, colour perfect design previews from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad. The application sends lossless, colour accurate image previews to any iOS device. Previews are pixel perfect. Colours are identical to how the final app or website will look on the device. You can preview designs on an iPhone, iPod or iPad in portrait or landscape orientation, and on devices with Retina and non-Retina displays. This application requires the companion app Skala View which is universal for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad usage.


3. TextWrangler - TextWrangler is a powerful, general-purpose text editor crafted in Bare Bones Software's best traditions. For anyone who works in text, this award-winning application provides a clean, intelligent interface to a rich set of features for editing, searching and manipulation of text with high performance. TextWrangler's best-of-class features include grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, code folding, FTP and SFTP open an save, AppleScript, Max OS X Unix scripting support and much more.

4. Prepo - This application allows you to change icons to make it look good for your iOS and Mac apps. It supports the most popular image formats (including .jpg, .png, .gif, .tiff, .psd, .pdf, .bmp, .tga and OpenEXR image) and retina compatible.

You can check out the other applications as well from the image. They are absolutely for the hardcore programmers or for those who are willing to pay for them. The free applications are a good way to start and recommended for individuals like me who are beginning to learn iOS or Mac programming.

In celebration of Philippine Independence, Google's search page has a doodle showing the Bayanihan spirit of the Filipinos. Independence Day is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on June 12 commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 (Source: Wikipedia). We are celebrating the 116th anniversary of our freedom from Spanish colonial rule. To all the Filipinos everywhere, "Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino", Happy Independence!



My base

I found myself playing a lot of Boom Beach again after carefully planning the upgrades on my island and the latest release for the game. The major update was just released last week together with the fix for Clash of Clans. Here's the complete release notes of the game.

Undersea adventure
- Hunt for treasure under the waves with a brand new Submarine!
- Find dive locations on your map, and send the Submarine to retrieve sunken treasure

Shock and Awe
- Give attackers a jolt with Shock Launcher, a new high-level defensive building
- Enemy troops in the area of effect will be temporarily stunned. Stop rushing Warriors in their tracks!

For the War Effort
- Your efforts to fight the Blackguard are now rewarded daily! More Victory Points give you a bigger reward
- Added a special victory reward for raiding the top 3 players on the global leaderboard

Information Warfare
- An all-new daily report in the Enemy Activity pane shows the number of times your home base was scouted, attacked and raided by the enemy
- Victory reward of an enemy base is now visible as a map popup after the island has been scouted
- Player opponent's Victory Points are now visible when scouting
- Mine damage is now displayed when scouting

Chill Out
- A mysterious cold spell has swept across the archipelago, and ice now covers all islands in the Northern region of the map
- Ice Power Stones only appear on frozen islands
- Island graphics improved and optimized

Visual upgrades
- New Rocket Launcher graphics
- New graphics and visual tweaks for Boom Cannon and Cannon
- Machine gun graphics and effect tweaks
- Rockets from rocket launcher and gunboat barrage now weave in-flight

Here are some screenshots as well from my iPad mini





Comixology has some free comics to give away this coming Summer season. Dubbed as Comixology Summer Reading List, they will be giving away 20 free comics for 20 days. The giveaway started last May 26 and will last until June 14. Check out the comics they have given so far below.





Be sure to check out their Tumblr page for the upcoming freebies until June and download their application from the App Store for your Apple devices.




To my mom and all the moms everywhere, 

Happy Mother's Day! :)

1Password, my favorite password manager for my Apple devices, has just received a massive update this week. All of its applications for the Mac, iPhone and iPad have received the update. You can view the release notes of the application for the details but for this post, I'll share some pictures of the before and after changes on my iPhone. I just love the flat look of the application and its also aligned to the design of iOS 7 software.





What are you looking at? Download Injustice and play now!

One of my favourite game on the iPad mini has been updated this week. I just love playing Injustice because of challenges and new characters introduced to the game. It's regularly updated and supported by the game's developer. The latest release is its biggest yet with the introduction of online battle and new gold character cards. I downloaded the update last night and tried the online battle early today. I encountered some connection problems but it could just be attributed to our slow network here. Nevertheless, the online game is flawless and brings the usual excitement that I experience while playing it. Not only can I play against AI, I can now challenge other real players on the net. The new gold character cards are a welcome addition as well. You can check out the screenshots of the characters below that I took from the game. The user interface of Injustice was also updated and I find it very appealing. This is absolutely a solid update for players of Injustice. If you haven't downloaded the game yet, its free on the App Store. Go grab it now!


The new look of the game

My cards

Choose your battle

My match












I downloaded the IFTTT application when it was released on the iPhone but I never really used it before. I am aware of its potential in automating tasks but I can't find a Recipe before that I can efficiently use. Originally a web application, IFTTT (short for "IF This Then That") is a service that enables users to connect different web applications (e.g. Facebook, Evernote, Weather, Dropbox, etc.) together through simple conditional statements known as "Recipes". IFTTT was developed by Linden Tibbets and launched in 2010. IFTTT was then released on the iPhone in July 2013. (Source: Wikipedia)

Rediscovering the application over the weekend because of my uncle, I started browsing on the available Recipes that I can use. The first Recipe I used was the one suggested by my uncle which post Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures. Since I also use Facebook a lot, I used the Recipes sharing links and status updates on Facebook then posted to Twitter automatically. Finally, as I was checking the IFTTT application on my iPad mini, I came across a possible Recipe between Instagram and Twitter. I created the Recipe myself and what it does is tweet photos that I liked on Instagram. I just shared the Recipe on IFTTT's website for the consumption of other users. 


There are a lot of useful Recipes on IFTTT which involve weather, sending emails and use of locations just to name a few. IFTTT is such a powerful application which could save you a couple of steps to the usual tasks you perform. IFTTT is available on the web and works natively on the iPhone and iPad. The application on the iOS devices is free and you can download it here


Here's the Recipe I mentioned earlier and shared on IFTTT's site. 


IFTTT Recipe: Tweet liked photos in Instagram connects instagram to twitter

I was chatting with a friend last night when I curiously browsed on Facebook Messenger's stickers. It has been a long time since I checked it and the stickers I found last night are very interesting. I wrote an article about it when the stickers were first introduced to the application last year. The stickers render properly on Facebook's website for your messages. Here are the stickers I have downloaded from the Facebook Messenger app.





Here are some additional stickers I found interesting from Facebook as well. Be sure to check them out and download them for your use.

- Peabody & Sherman
- Disney's Frozen
- Candy Crush
- Despicable Me 2


The biggest update yet to this favorite game of mine from Supercell has just been released last week. Clan War is now live after a number of teasers, demos and FAQ have been shared by Supercell. Our clan participated in the Clan War over the weekend and we're very fortunate to win our first match. Here are some screenshots of what's new in the update.


Contents of what's new in the update

Let's start a war!

The updated Clan Castle which can now store war loots from the Clan War

My war base (not an original)

Our clan's map (doing good on the first few hours of the war)

Copyright © 2012 My Macintosh and Me.