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Extract Directly from Time Machine

Normally you use Time Machine to restore lost data in a file like this: within the Time Machine interface, you go back to the time the file was not yet messed up, and you restore it to replace the file you have now.

You can also elect to keep both, but the restored file takes the name and place of the current one. So, if you have made changes since the backup took place that you would like to keep, they are lost, or you have to mess around a bit to merge changes, rename files, and trash the unwanted one.

As an alternative, you can browse the Time Machine backup volume directly in the Finder like any normal disk, navigate through the chronological backup hierarchy, and find the file which contains the lost content.

Once you've found it, you can open it and the current version of the file side-by-side, and copy information from Time Machine's version of the file into the current one, without losing any content you put in it since the backup was made.

Submitted by
Eolake Stobblehouse

 
 

Gmail for iPhone 2.1 Improves Message Navigation

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If you’re like me, when reading email on an iPhone, you spend a lot of time moving between messages, which generally entails either tapping a tiny arrow or switching back and forth between a list of messages and the actual content. That’s no longer necessary in the recently released version 2.1 of the free Gmail app for iPhone or iPod touch (but not iPad), in which you can now swipe left and right to move between messages while reading.

Like many gestural interfaces, this approach is simple and sensible, but what it isn’t is obvious, until you’ve learned that it exists at all. In this particular case, all that it takes is being told, but other gestural and small-screen interfaces often need more explication.

For instance, there’s another new feature in version 2.1 of the Gmail app that is again simple and sensible, but not necessarily obvious. When you select a message in the list by tapping its checkbox, that puts you in an edit mode in which you can continue to select additional messages and then tap one of the three buttons at the top to archive or delete the selected messages, or (if you tap the down-pointing arrow) move them, label them, report them as spam, or mark them as unread.


To give credit where it’s due, Google did provide clear directions for using these features in both a blog post and in release notes for the app, but most people don’t read the Official Gmail Blog, and many people don’t read the release notes for apps when updating a bunch of them en masse (I know I don’t).

So, two points. First, gestural interfaces are good, because they can be both easy and powerful while occupying no precious screen real estate on mobile devices. Swiping between messages is a step in the right direction, but it would be nice to see more experimentation in this field, as in the Mailbox iPhone app (see “Mailbox for iPhone Eases Email Triage but Lacks Key Features,” 22 February 2013).

Second, developers need to keep user education in mind, and should build in-app hints for otherwise hidden gesture-based features, such as swiping between messages, pull to search, and swiping in lists to delete. Otherwise, we users must resort to “playing” apps like games to discover what they can do, with the price of failure being inefficient usage patterns.

 

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Comments about Gmail for iPhone 2.1 Improves Message Navigation

Dennis B. Swaney  2013-04-08 19:56
GMail.ipa 2.1.0 at full screen without having to tap on a 2X button works just fine on my iPad.
Rich Shipley  2013-04-08 21:19
Yes, but the swiping gestures mentioned are not there on the iPad.