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

 
 

Apple, Motorola ROKR Put iTunes in Your Phone

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As part of last week's press event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs shared the stage with Cingular Wireless COO Ralph de la Vega to announce the availability of the long-rumored iTunes cell phone, the new Motorola ROKR E1. The first cell phone with iTunes support, the ROKR (pronounced "rocker") is immediately available in the U.S. exclusively from Cingular Wireless for $250 with a two-year service commitment.

<http://www.makemedance.com/>
<http://onlinestorez.cingular.com/cell-phone- service/itunes_ROKR.html>

The new phone comes with iTunes software built in, and includes stereo headphones and a USB cable. iTunes software for the owner's Mac or Windows computer will be available, as always, as a free download from Apple's Web site, but will not be included in the box with the phone. It doesn't appear that you can purchase songs from the iTunes Music Store directly through the phone, which isn't surprising given the difficulty of navigating the 2-million-song iTunes Music Store from a cell phone interface.

<http://www.apple.com/itunes/>

The phone sports a color display, but is otherwise comparable in features to the iPod shuffle, supporting up to 100 songs with shuffle playback and random autofill features. According to an early review in the New York Times, the 100-song limit is firm, even though you could probably store more music on the phone's 512 MB memory card.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/technology/ circuits/08pogue.html>

In addition, the phone, sporting a "brick" rather than "flip" (folding clamshell) design, includes stereo speakers and a built-in camera. It automatically pauses the music if a call comes in, and the user can switch between phone and music with the touch of a button that bears the familiar iTunes musical notes icon. Motorola says the phone is "Bluetooth capable for voice calls," which we hope will allow wireless synching of contact info, if not music.

The ROKR is now starting to become available in Canada and the United Kingdom; it will appear in France, Italy, and Hong Kong in late September; in Australia, Singapore, and the Philippines by early October; and in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and other markets later in the year.

 

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