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

 

 

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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

Waveboard 1.0

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Although we've stopped using Google Wave (see "Why Google Wave Needs a Major Overhaul," 11 March 2010), those who haven't given up on Google's flawed next-generation Internet communication and collaboration service would do well to check out the first official release of Dirk Holtwick's Google Wave client Waveboard for the Mac (there's also an iPhone version). Based on WebKit, Waveboard is essentially an enhanced Web browser that's dedicated to Google Wave. Useful enhancements include various notification methods that alert you to changes in your waves, integration with Google Gears for drag-and-drop file uploads, Mac-like keyboard shortcuts, and more. The base version of Waveboard is free, but the €12 Waveboard Pro adds more-detailed notifications and the capability to save and print waves. For a description of Waveboard's capabilities, see "Catch a Google Wave with Waveboard," 30 October 2009. (Free/€12 new, 4.9 MB)

 

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