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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



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New iOS Versions of iMovie and GarageBand

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Along with announcing the new iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 last week, Apple also released two new apps — neither particularly surprising, but both signaling Apple’s intent to continue migrating the iLife and iWork apps to iOS.

iMovie -- The first app is a universal version of the $4.99 iMovie app, which will run both on the iPhone 4 (thank you, Retina Display) and the iPad 2. The new features in the iMovie app include:

  • Direct recording from the iPad or iPhone camera to the timeline

  • A precision editor

  • A sound effects library of 50 effects

  • Three new themes (including one tailored for CNN’s iReport) for a total of eight

  • Transition controls

  • Three audio tracks (which you can drag and edit) in addition to background audio tied to the chosen theme

  • The capability to use audio from the iTunes library on your device

  • Ken Burns effect on stills

  • Face detection and titles over stills

And, when you have completed your handheld masterpiece, you can upload it directly to CNN iReport, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook — and, oh yes, MobileMe. Or, if you prefer, you can send it via Wi-Fi and AirPlay to your Apple TV, sync it via cable to your iTunes library, and even play it directly on your HDTV via the new $39 Digital AV Adapter for iPad 2, which Apple also announced along with the iPad 2.

GarageBand -- To help you get in touch with your inner Domenico Scarlatti, Apple also announced a new GarageBand for iPad app, also for $4.99. With this new app you can play both Touch instruments (which take advantage of the multi-touch iPad capabilities) or real instruments (such as an electric guitar) that you plug into your iPad. The app even allows for audio recording with the iPad’s built-in mic. GarageBand runs on the iPad 2 as well as the original iPad.

Apple’s preview of the new app showed old GarageBand features joining new options made possible by the touchscreen, including:

  • 8 track recording

  • 250 loops that are compatible with the iLife versions on your Mac

  • Sound effects that you can apply to recorded audio

  • 10 stompbox effects

  • 3 acoustic drum kits that include snare, kick, toms, hi-hat, and cymbals, and that are touch sensitive — the sound changes depending on where you tap them

  • Drum pads for use with the classic drum machine interface

  • 3 keyboards — grand piano, organ, and synthesizer — with the latter able to access over 70 synthesizer sounds, including an “Arpeggiator” that you can use to play melodies and soundscapes with one finger

  • 9 guitar amps that you can control and switch between with finger gestures

  • Accelerometer-enabled onscreen keyboards that can detect how hard you are hitting the keys (yes, kids, a digital piano-forte replicated behind a sheet of glass)

  • Smart Instruments for guitar, keyboard, bass, or drums, that can create lines, chords, riffs, beats, and grooves for you

Once you have completed your musical masterpiece you can share it by sending the audio file via email to friends, adding it to your iTunes library, or importing it into GarageBand on your Mac for additional tweaking. (Initial reports from the event indicated that you could also send iMovie projects to the desktop, but Apple confirmed that the feature is available only for GarageBand.)

As Jobs put it in his announcement: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”

It makes us want to dance a little, too.


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Comments about New iOS Versions of iMovie and GarageBand
(Comments are closed.)

Shameer M  2011-03-05 08:08
My question relates specfically to iMovie. How do you get movies, that you shot with your camcorder or DSLR camera, onto the iPad so that you can edit them with iMovie?
Michael Cohen  2011-03-05 17:30
This answer is theoretical, since I don't have an iPad 2 at the moment: You might be able to import the movie into iPhoto on your Mac and then get it on your iPad with a sync. Or, if your camera uses an SD card or USB connector, you can use the Camera Connection Kit