- Firefox 3.0.3 from Mozilla updates the popular Web browser to fix a number of bugs, including some "Mac-specific issues" that aren't further described. A number of fixes focus on improved security and stability. 3.0.3 follows hard on the heels of 3.0.2, fixing a problem that prevented users from saving or retrieving passwords. (Free, 17.2 MB)
- iPDA 4.2 from ZappTek is an update to the company's software for syncing documents, email, RSS feeds, and a variety of other data to normal iPods. New to this version is support for the 4G iPod nano's contact grouping, improved Entourage contact processing, and improved RSS feed processing. Needless to say, iPDA does not support the iPhone or iPod touch, both of which can already do what iPDA brings to other iPod models. ($19.95 new, free updates for 4.0 owners or $10 to upgrade from an earlier version, 1.1 MB)
- Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 2 from Apple improves the security, performance, and compatibility for Java SE 6, J2SE 5.0, and J2SE 1.4.2 on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. This update requires Mac OS X 10.5.4 or later. Released simultaneously, Java for Mac OS X 10.4, Release 7 improves reliability and compatibility for Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 and Java 1.4 on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later. (Free, 136.4/79.7 MB)
- ShareTool 1.2.3 from Yazsoft enables two computers to connect remotely and securely for Bonjour networking. With ShareTool, you can access resources that typically only work over a local network connection, like iTunes sharing, over the Internet. To prevent snooping, the software utilizes SSH encryption. Version 1.2.3 overhauls the interface, exposes more information about the connection, logs connection attempts, and fixes a variety of minor problems. ($20 single user, free upgrade, 9 MB)
- WireTap Anywhere 1.0.2 from Ambrosia Software updates the recently released audio software with a variety of bug fixes and enhancements. Additional down-mixing capabilities, performance optimizations, and software source muting features are among the changes. ($129 new, free update, 9.7 MB)
- NoteBook 3.0 from Circus Ponies is a major upgrade of the information management software. Notable additions include diagramming and sketching capabilities, PDF annotation tools, handwriting recognition features, the capability to open multiple pages at once, and a redesigned interface. ($49.95 new, $19.95 upgrade, 14.77 MB)
- Art Text 2 from BeLight Software is a major upgrade of the graphics and text editing program. High on the list of changes is the addition of a template gallery with over 200 new templates, more than 120 new vector icons, and a collection of nearly 200 texture samples. Additionally, the interface has been redesigned, there is support for multiple layers, two gradient fill options have been added, and you can now control stroke properties for every outline. ($39.95 new, free upgrade for purchase since 01-Jul-08 or $19.95 otherwise, 36.3 MB)
- PageSpinner 5.1 from Optima System is a relatively minor update to the Web development package. Changes include cosmetic improvements to match Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, an option to auto-check HTML and PHP syntax on save, and a variety of other interface enhancements and bug fixes. ($29.95 new, free update, 4.9 MB)
- PDFpen 4.0 and PDFpenPro 4.0 from SmileOnMyMac get a major update with the addition of OCR (optical character recognition) when running on an Intel-based Mac with a 1.8 GHz or faster CPU. The new versions of these PDF editing tools also come with an improved user interface featuring a document sidebar, improved file compatibility, Microsoft Word document import, additional document markup capabilities (including underline and strikethrough), save as TIFF, and the capability to print notes and comments. PDFpenPro can also create and edit document tables of contents. ($49.95/$99.95 new, $25 update, 10.8/11.0 MB)
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).
Published in TidBITS 947.
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- Sound Different with Apple Soundtrack
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- Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk/29-Sep-08
TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 29-Sep-08
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Special thanks to Jason Burum, David Nuss, Jane F. James, and Lawrence
Thomas for their generous support!