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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

 
 

ExtraBITS for 1 July 2013

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We’re in the midst of the summer doldrums, so we have only a couple of ExtraBITS for you this week: a free iPhone repair kit and some thoughts on how Apple’s tight integration will make iOS 7 a tough look to copy.

Liberate Your iPhone With a Free Repair Kit from iFixit -- To celebrate Independence Day in the United States, the folks at iFixit are offering free “iPhone Liberation Kits” from 1 July until 5 July. The kits, which are being offered for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, include all the tools needed to replace Apple’s proprietary pentalobe screws with standard Phillips screws. iFixit offered free shipping to the first 1,776 people who ordered, but they quickly sold those, so now you’ll have to pay $5 shipping per order.

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Apple’s Integration Makes iOS 7 Hard to Imitate -- Since the debut of the iPhone, everyone from competing smartphone makers to Web developers has wanted to copy its onscreen aesthetics. But developer Marco Arment argues that the forthcoming iOS 7 leverages Apple’s hardware in such a way as to make it tough to copy. Specifically, he notes that since much of iOS 7’s interface is dependent on the powerful graphics processors and high-resolution screens in iOS devices, it will be difficult to imitate on competing platforms with weaker specs.

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