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View Extra Audio Details in Snow Leopard

In Snow Leopard, Option-clicking the Volume icon in the menu bar displays a list of sound input and output devices. Choose one to switch to it; it's much easier than using the Sound preference pane. Also, hold Shift and click the icon to set the system volume, which is separate from the general output volume.

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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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