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



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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.


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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