Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations

You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.

 
 

Downcast 1.0.1

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The first update to Downcast offers no new features or design tweaks to the recently released Mac podcatcher, but fixes 22 bugs and performance issues (see “Downcast Comes to Mac, but Lacks Instacast’s Polish,” 3 August 2013). Bugs fixed include iCloud-related startup crash loops, failed downloads, crashes related to saved podcast images and deleting downloads, ignored playlist priorities, bugs that prevented syncing, and an issue that prevented OPML import. Loading times for episode playback, startup time, and playlist deletion have all been improved. ($9.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update, 3.6 MB, release notes)

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>