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Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 07:40 pm PT (10:40 pm ET)

Briefly: ProKit update; PlayStation phone; Display of the Year awards

Apple issued on Tuesday ProKit 7.0 with fixes for a number of minor issues. Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play PlayStation phone is set to challenge the gaming appeal of the iPhone when it launches on May 26. Also, Apple won Display of the Year awards for the iPhone and iPad at this week's Society for Information Display conference in Los Angeles, Calif.

ProKit 7.0 and RAW Compatibility

The 15.7MB download for Apple's professional application interface software requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or later and is recommended for users of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, iPhoto, Aperture, Final Cut Express, Logic Pro, MainStage, Logic Express and iAd Producer.

The update resolves several minor issues, including:
  • Improved support for PopOver style tooltips.
  • Improved support for Font Smoothing.
  • Addresses an issue with an unwanted gap between a menu and submenu.
  • Fixes leaks and improves stability for the color picker and timecode interface in Final Cut Pro and Motion.
  • Improved compatibility when importing assets from older versions of Soundtrack Pro.
  • Fixes an issue with the scrubber appearance in Logic Express and Logic Pro.
  • Addresses AppKit related crashes in Motion.


Also on Tuesday, Apple released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility 3.7, adding additional RAW support to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 for Mac OS X 10.5.8 and Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. The 6.62MB update provides RAW compatibility for the following cameras: Fujifilm FinePix X100, Nikon D5100, Olympus E-PL2, Olympus XZ-1, Samsung GX-1S.

PlayStation Phone

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will go on sale on May 26, with pre-orders starting this Thursday, Wired reports. The smartphone will launch on the Verizon Wireless network for $200 with a two-year contract.

Details of the PlayStation phone emerged last year when sites published leaked photos and videos. The device was formally announced in February at the Mobile World Congress.

According to the report, the smartphone will run Android 2.3 on a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, while sporting a front facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing clear. Control options on the device will include a slide-out gaming pad with PlayStation keys, a touch joystick and a D-pad.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play PlayStation Phone | Credit: Charlie Sorrel


The Xperia Play will reportedly ship with seven free games: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3, Madden NFL 11, Crash Bandicoot, Bruce Lee DRagon Warrior, STar Battalion and Tetris. Verizon will offer 50 additional games on its mobile app store.

Earlier this year, Sony announced plans for an Android-compatible PlayStation Suite that will bring games and other content to Google's mobile platform. Sony is also slated to release its next-generation portable gaming system, which has taken cues from Apple's iOS, in time for the 2011 holiday season.

For its part, Apple has made substantial inroads into the gaming market. CEO Steve Jobs revealed last year that the iPod touch had become "the number one portable game player in the world." Guinness World Records recently awarded the iPhone 4 the title of "Fastest-Selling Portable Gaming System."

Display of the Year

Apple's iPhone 4 won the Display of the Year Gold Award from The Society for Information Display on Monday, while the iPad display won the Display Application of the Year Gold Award, The Loop reports.

Apple made a splash last year with the 326 pixel per inch iPhone 4 display. Dubbed the Retina Display, the device's screen sported four times as many pixels as previous iPhones in the same amount of space. "Once you use a Retina Display, you can't go back," Jobs said.

iPhone 4


The display features a resolution of 960 by 640 pixels with an 800-to-1 contrast ratio. The LCD screen also utilizes IPS technology to improve viewing angles. According to SID, Apple "set a new benchmark for mobile display resolution, low power consumption and image quality" with the iPhone 4.

Apple's iPad was awarded SID's Display Application of the Year award because it "marks a new era of tablet computing, transforming the way people communicate, consume and create content, play games and learn." SID cited the combination of the multi-touch interface, excellent battery life and enhanced viewing angles via IPS technology as reasons for the award.

"The iPad’s fully customized design leverages the existing amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (a-Si TFT) infrastructure in an innovative, ultra-thin product with the unique LCD and an innovative power-management system that achieves maximum power efficiency – 10 hours of battery life for WiFi web surfing and 9 hours for 3G web surfing," the society said.

iPad


The iPad features a 9.7-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology, a 178-degree viewing angle and a 1024x768 pixel resolution display at 132 pixels per inch.

Despite initial skepticism from analysts, Apple went on to sell 7.5 million units of the iPad in just six months. In March, Apple launched the iPad 2 to record lines, selling out within hours.