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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 2 April 2013

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iCloud security and Core Data syncing dominated our attention last week, broken up by news that T-Mobile will finally begin selling the iPhone — in an unusual no-contract sales arrangement.

The Verge Examines Apple’s Cloud Security -- Should security practices be kept secret? The Verge’s Tim Carmody suggests that Apple’s legendary secretiveness could result in worse security than if the company were more transparent about how it protects customer data. He closes with, “All the evidence suggests that much like Apple Maps or MobileMe, iCloud simply isn’t at the level of polish and performance we’ve come to expect from Apple. Security is just a symptom.”

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The Reality of iCloud Core Data Syncing -- The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger talked to a bunch of developers in writing this extensive article about frustrations with iCloud’s Core Data syncing features, which are necessary for apps that need to do database-style syncing via iCloud (as opposed to document-style syncing, which works fine). Syncing is hard, but Apple needs to get it right if developers — and users — are to rely on iCloud integration.

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Rich Siegel Explains the Issues with iCloud Core Data Syncing -- Developer frustrations with iCloud Core Data syncing have been much in the news of late, but for those who are wondering — at a technical level — what the fuss is all about, Rich Siegel of Bare Bones Software lays out what is involved with iCloud data syncing, and where developers are experiencing problems.

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T-Mobile to Sell iPhone Starting 12 April 2013 -- Macworld’s Dan Moren tracks down the picky details surrounding T-Mobile’s announcement that it will start selling the iPhone (the 4, 4S, and 5) in the United States on 12 April 2013. Notable facts about T-Mobile’s move include unsubsidized hardware for down payments plus monthly charges, a $50 per month unlimited plan (for talk, text, and data, with a 500 MB cap on 4G data, which includes tethering), and simultaneous voice and data (offered by AT&T currently, but not Verizon or Sprint).

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