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

 
 

ExtraBITS for 7 November 2011

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To continue your technology reading for this week, we have a bunch of interesting links, including thoughts about sandboxing in the Mac App Store, Macworld Expo’s name change, MacTech’s benchmarking of Parallels Desktop 7 and VMware Fusion 4, upcoming fixes in iOS 5.0.1, and Amazon’s addition of ebook lending for Kindle device owners in the company’s Prime program.

Sandbox or Catbox? -- Apple has postponed the announced date when all Mac App Store applications must be sandboxed, from November 2011 to March 2012. Maybe that’s because sandboxing isn’t working either for Apple or for developers. Developer Wil Shipley ruminates on why requiring application sandboxing is the wrong strategy for Apple.

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Macworld Expo Becomes Macworld|iWorld -- Macworld (the publication, not the conference) covers the name change for Macworld (the conference, not the publication), talking with Macworld|iWorld’s vice president and general manager, Paul Kent. Along with the name change come some format changes, with more focus on music, art, and film. Training sessions, now called Tech Talks, now come at the lower price of $75. All in all, the changes appear to be the most significant since Apple pulled out several years ago.

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MacTech Updates Virtualization Benchmarks -- Although performance is only one of many criteria involved with choosing a virtualization program, MacTech’s latest virtualization benchmarks clearly give the nod to Parallels Desktop 7 over VMware Fusion 4, a fact that should interest gamers and those doing CPU-intensive tasks in Windows. But do remember what Joe Kissell noted recently, “The fact that a Porsche can go faster than a pickup truck doesn’t mean it’s better; it’s only better if you’re planning on driving faster than the pickup’s top speed, and you value speed more than cargo capacity.”

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iOS 5.0.1 to Fix Caching and Battery Life Bugs -- Earlier, we referred you to a blog post by Marco Arment showing that iOS 5 could delete the contents of an app’s caches folder and temporary folder behind the app’s back, thus leaving the app with no safe place to store data. Now, MacRumors reports that the release notes for the beta of iOS 5.0.1 say that it “introduces a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations.” This should fix the problem Marco described. iOS 5 will also bring multitasking gestures to the original iPad, and is said to address the battery life issues.

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Amazon Gives Free Ebook Loans to Primed Kindle Owners -- Amazon keeps ladling on benefits for its Prime subscription, which launched years ago to provide free two-day shipping in the United States for $79 per year and later added video streaming from a subset of Amazon’s film and television catalog. The latest update brings free ebook loans from a selection of thousands of titles, allowing up to one loan per month with no due date. The offer is available only to owners of Kindle hardware, not Kindle apps.

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