Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



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Open Files with Finder's App Switcher

Say you're in the Finder looking at a file and you want to open it with an application that's already running but which doesn't own that particular document. How? Switch to that app and choose File > Open? Too many steps. Choose Open With from the file's contextual menu? Takes too long, and the app might not be listed. Drag the file to the Dock and drop it onto the app's icon? The icon might be hard to find; worse, you might miss.

In Leopard there's a new solution: use the Command-Tab switcher. Yes, the Command-Tab switcher accepts drag-and-drop! The gesture required is a bit tricky. Start dragging the file in the Finder: move the file, but don't let up on the mouse button. With your other hand, press Command-Tab to summon the switcher, and don't let up on the Command key. Drag the file onto the application's icon in the switcher and let go of the mouse. (Now you can let go of the Command key too.) Extra tip: If you switch to the app beforehand, its icon in the Command-Tab switcher will be easy to find; it will be first (or second).

Visit Take Control of Customizing Leopard


Apple Yanks Crass "Baby Shaker" iPhone App

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Following a day-long eruption of protest on Twitter and in blogs, on Wednesday afternoon Apple removed an app from the App Store that allowed iPhone and iPod touch users to shake a picture of a baby to stop it from crying. The Baby Shaker app, which was posted for sale for 99 cents on Monday, is just another head-scratching example of apps approved by Apple for inclusion in the App Store when other seemingly innocuous apps are held for months, or rejected.

The app can no longer be found in the App Store, but curious readers can find a screen shot in CNET coverage and even a video on YouTube. The app, published by Sikalosoft, which also offers an image mosaic creator app called Dice Mosaic, featured shaded line drawings and lifelike recordings of a baby's cry. The app's listing encouraged users to "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!"

Apple later apologized for allowing the Baby Shaker app through.

Adam was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on the topic; reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane focused on the risks that Apple runs in acting as a gatekeeper for the App Store. Similar situations could crop up, as apps continue to be developed that fall on one side or another of any controversial issue. It will be interesting to see how Apple deals with such situations, or if the company eventually moves to a "common carrier" approach in which the App Store is open to all comers.


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