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

 

 

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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

 
 

Chapter 5 of “Take Control of Apple TV” Available

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AirPlay doesn’t normally get a lot of attention, but it’s a core technology in the Apple ecosystem of devices, providing glue that links together your Mac, iPhone or iPad, and Apple TV. Anything you can view on a Mac or iOS device, you can send via AirPlay to your Apple TV. That might be audio or video from iTunes on your Mac, a video from your iPhone, or even a game that occupies the entire screen of your iPad. Even better, you can use AirPlay to send the audio from your Apple TV to AirPlay-capable speakers — no fancy home theater system necessary!

In Chapter 5, “Master AirPlay,” of “Take Control of Apple TV,” Josh Centers runs through how to use AirPlay from the Mac, from iOS devices, and from the Apple TV itself, along with special instructions on using AirPlay to send HTML5 videos viewed in Safari directly to the Apple TV without having to mirror the entire screen. Josh also explains how to protect your Apple TV from AirPlay jokers, just in case your neighbors might want to prank you with some unseemly video at the wrong moment.

As with Chapter 4, “Discover What’s on Offer,” Chapter 3, “Control Your Apple TV” and Chapter 2, “Set Up Your Apple TV,” this AirPlay chapter is available for free, but only to TidBITS members; everyone is welcome to read Chapter 1, “Introducing Apple TV,” to see what Josh plans to cover. Please leave comments — we’re already planning tweaks based on questions readers have asked! Everyone will be able to buy the full ebook in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete, and TidBITS members can save 30 percent on this and all other Take Control titles.

Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We also hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you carefully considered, professionally written and edited articles each week (for more details, see “TidBITS Needs Your Support in 2013: Join Our Membership Program,” 17 December 2012).

 

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>