Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

While all the articles in each mailed edition of TidBITS are available as individual articles, we also archive each edition in three forms (substitute an issue number for number):

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TidBITS #1059 on 2011-01-17

The sad news that just broke is that Steve Jobs is taking another medical leave of absence from Apple, with COO Tim Cook once again taking over day-to-day operations. This comes after last week’s major announcement that Verizon Wireless will start selling the iPhone 4 as of February 2011, and the only slightly less major announcement of the fifth edition of our best-selling ebook, Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups.” Also this week, we share details of our appearances at Macworld Expo, and for consultants attending the show, recommend a side trip to MacTech Boot Camp. So you don’t feel that you missed out, our roving correspondent Jeff Porten reports back on the most interesting products and technologies he saw at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. Finally, it was a slow week in software, with notable releases this week including only Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.9 and Typinator 4.3.

TidBITS #1058 on 2011-01-10

The big news this week is the launch of Apple’s Mac App Store as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6—Adam looks closely at what you’ll encounter when you update and points out the pros and cons for the Mac ecosystem. Also this week, Adam announces an iPad-compatible version of the TidBITS News app, reviews the useful multiple-reminder-per-day HabiTimer app, and ponders the problem of user interface design liberalism. Then check out Matt Neuburg’s coverage of the new Panorama Sheets database/spreadsheet hybrid and Lorenz Szabo’s story about returning to the Mac after nine years away, by way of the iPhone. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0.2, Apple Remote Desktop 3.4, cf/x alpha 1.2, Mac OS X 10.6.6, iWork 9.0.5, GarageBand 6.0.1, and iMovie 9.0.1.

TidBITS #1057 on 2011-01-03

Happy New Year! We’re back, hopefully refreshed and rejuvenated, with coverage of pre-break news. Glenn Fleishman leads off with a look at what Apple changed in the recently released AirPort and Time Capsule firmware updates; later on, he also explains what GadgetTrak for iOS has over Find My iPhone. Also in the iOS world, Michael Cohen examines the notable changes in iBooks 1.2. Back on the Mac, Adam both opens the covers on Dropbox 1.0.10 (which may not update itself automatically and can cause duplicate conflict files) and reports on the acquisition of the struggling Xmarks bookmark-synchronization service by LastPass, a password-management and form-filling service. Finally, note that we’re planning a major mailing list transition for this coming week! Notable software releases over the past couple of weeks include Mailsmith 2.3, VirtualBox 4.0, SpellCatcher X 10.3.7, GraphicConverter 7.0.3, iPhoto ’11 9.1.1, Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.5, Opera 11, Raskin 1.2, Airfoil 4.0, Evernote 2.0, iTunes 10.1.1, LED Cinema Display Firmware Update 1.0, “Canon (2.4.1), FujiXerox (2.1), and Lexmark (2.3.1) Printer Drivers,” Rumpus 7, Sound Studio 4.0.1, BBEdit 9.6.2, Disc Cover 3.0.1, Printopia 1.0.4, and Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.0.2 Update.

TidBITS #1056 on 2010-12-13

It’s our final TidBITS issue for 2010, and we have a great selection of articles, including Joe Kissell’s coverage of changes in CrashPlan+ 3.0 and his review of the DEVONthink To Go app. Glenn Fleishman explains what makes a good iOS app in general, a topic he spent much time considering while selecting apps for his “Five-Star Apps” print book. And Adam shares both a fun video of a group playing Christmas carols on iOS devices and a cautionary story about why keeping a clone of your hard disk mounted at all times can be dangerous. Don’t forget—all Take Control ebooks are 50 percent off through the end of the year! Notable software releases this week include Switcher Maestro 1.0, Simon 3.0.1, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.8 Update, Postbox 2.1, MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.0, Aperture 3.1.1, Mactracker 5.3, Photoshop CS5 12.0.2, Skitch 1.0.1, Photoshop Lightroom 3.3, KeyCue 5.2, and RapidWeaver 5.0.1. See you in 2011!

TidBITS #1055 on 2010-12-06

It’s the Great Holiday TidBITS Gift Guide, Charlie Brown! We’re doing something a little different this year, with some well-considered suggestions from TidBITS staffers along the theme of “bits-not-atoms.” We also have a review of a pair of unusual iPhone and iPad cases from ZeroChroma, along with a review of the Navigon MobileNavigator iPhone app. And then there’s a DealBITS drawing for cf/x alpha, an interesting image processing application. Notable software releases this week include FlickrExport 4 for iPhoto and Aperture, RapidWeaver 5.0.1, Swift Publisher 2.3.3, VMware Fusion 3.1.2, Cyberduck 3.8, EyeTV 3.5, and Google Earth 6.

TidBITS #1054 on 2010-11-29

After last week’s Thanksgiving hiatus, we have a bunch of news articles for you today, including news of the Google Voice app appearing, Apple making Find My iPhone free for some people, AT&T staff being confused about unlimited data plans, The Beatles finally coming to iTunes, a Wi-Fi router that uses an iPhone to create a mobile hotspot, and a USB 3.0-capable Drobo storage device. We’re also particularly pleased to publish Joe Kissell’s latest ebook masterpiece, “Take Control of Your Paperless Office,” and welcome a new sponsor, BeLight Software. For in-depth articles, check out Michael Cohen’s look at the RootMetrics approach to crowdsourcing cellular coverage information, and our staff coverage of what’s new for the iPad in the just-released iOS 4.2.1. Notable software releases over the last two weeks include BusyCal 1.5, GraphicConverter 7.0.2, EagleFiler 1.5, Adobe Reader/Acrobat Pro 9.4.1, Safari 5.0.3 and Safari 4.1.3, Boot Camp Software Update 3.2 for Windows, MacBook/MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.0, QuarkXPress 8.5, Typinator 4.2, PDFpen/PDFpen Pro 5.0.3, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.0.6, and Yojimbo 3.0.1.

TidBITS #1053 on 2010-11-15

We note two major updates in this issue: Mac OS X 10.6.5 and Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac 14.0.1. The former fixes a bunch of highly specific bugs that most people have never seen; the latter addresses more common problems in the initial release of Office 2011. Mac OS X 10.6.5 also breaks PGP Whole Disk Encryption, but Rich Mogull explains the problem and how to recover from it. Also this week, Adam contemplates playing ping-pong with an iPad for a paddle and trembles before the Attack of the Zombie Input Managers. And for those contemplating the Apple Battery Charger, Michael Cohen looks at how well it works and why battery charge percentages are so confusing with its batteries. Lastly, we’re pleased to announce the release of Glenn Fleishman’s “Take Control of iPhone and iPod touch Networking & Security, iOS 4 Edition” and an update to “Take Control of Wi-Fi Security,” along with the winners of last week’s DealBITS drawing for Simon (along with a discount for those who didn’t win). Notable software releases this week include iTunes 10.1, BBEdit 9.6.1, Security Update 2010-007 (Leopard and Leopard Server), 1Password 3.5.0, Coda 1.7, HP Printer Drivers v.2.5.2, and Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.6.

TidBITS #1052 on 2010-11-08

The surprise news for the week was Apple’s quiet discontinuation of the Xserve; datacenter expert Chuck Goolsbee delivers its eulogy. In iLife news, Adam covers the release of iPhoto ’11 9.1, which restores calendar functionality, and Jeff Carlson reveals 15 secrets of iMovie ’11. Lex Friedman explains how to fix a “file not found” error when syncing an iPad, Adam looks at the release of the Simon server monitoring tool, and we’re pleased to release Sharon Zardetto’s new ebook, “Take Control of Safari 5.” We also have a DealBITS discount on PDFpen and PDFpenPro from Smile, and a new DealBITS drawing for Simon. Notable software releases this week include TweetDeck 0.36.1, Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5, Data Rescue 3.1, Adobe InDesign CS5 7.0.3, Logic Express 9.1.3, PopChar X 5.1, and TwitExport 2.0.1.

TidBITS #1051 on 2010-11-01

We can finally take a bit of a breather from Apple announcements and focus on other topics. Jeff Carlson anchors this week’s issue with a review of the new Photoshop Elements 9, Rich Mogull shares the depressing news that the new Firesheep tool makes sidejacking trivially easy, and Michael E. Cohen looks at the new MobileMe Calendar and whether or not you should upgrade (also be sure to see Joe Kissell’s just-released “Take Control of MobileMe, Second Edition” for complete usage instructions!). Also this week, Matt Neuburg regrets his move to Outlook 2011 and explains how to switch back to Apple Mail, and Michael covers the new features in BBEdit 9.6. Plus, you can win a copy of Smile’s $99.95 PDFpenPro in this week’s DealBITS drawing! Notable software releases this week include iPhoto ’11 9.0.1 (which fixes the library import bug), Camino 2.0.5, Postbox 2.0.2, and Things 1.4.3.

TidBITS #1050 on 2010-10-25

It’s official—the next big cat will be Mac OS X Lion, due in the middle of 2011. Adam describes how Apple is updating Mac OS X with lessons learned from iOS, which may or may not be to your liking. Other big news from Apple’s media event last week include the release of iLife ’11, new models of the MacBook Air (the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models also received a speed bump, but didn’t warrant mention at Apple’s event), and a beta release of FaceTime for the Mac. Along with full coverage of those events, Jeff Carlson and Michael report on Apple’s record-setting Q4 financials, Jeff reveals how to restore the timeline to iMovie ’11, and Glenn Fleishman looks at Yojimbo 3.0 and its associated iPad app. Notable software releases this week include Cyberduck 3.7, Firefox 3.6.11, Aperture 3.1 and ProKit Update 6.0, and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3 and 10.5 Update 8.

TidBITS #1049 on 2010-10-18

We have three bits of interesting news this week: an Apple exchange program for certain Mac Pro video cards, the announcement that Verizon Wireless will be selling the iPad bundled with the MiFi mobile broadband Wi-Fi hotspot, and the release of the Incognito extension to Safari to let you surf the Web a bit more anonymously. But our main feature this week is an in-depth look from Michael E. Cohen and Adam Engst at how to create an iTunes media server that would enable a family to share the same set of media files. Finally, be sure to visit our Web site to read about Apple's latest financial results, which came out too late to be included in this week's issue. Notable software releases this week include MacGourmet 3.0.1, LaunchBar 5.0.3, Postbox 2.0.1, Microsoft Office 2008 12.2.7/Office 2004 11.6.1, Logic Pro/Express 9.1.2, FotoMagico 3.6, Dragon Dictate 2.0.1, SpamSieve 2.8.4, MacBook/MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.4, and PDFpen/PDFpenPro 5.0.2.

TidBITS #1048 on 2010-10-11

As we start to wrap our heads around what's new in Microsoft Office 2011, Matt Neuburg is the first to weigh in, with a look at Outlook 2011 from the perspective of an Entourage user who doesn't rely on an Exchange server. Also this week, Michael E. Cohen helps out with news coverage of the DroboPro FS storage device and two iPad apps that add PDF annotation capabilities. Michael also looks deeply at what Apple meant with its recent email announcing the end of .Mac HomePage-created Web pages. Finally, Glenn Fleishman offers a solution to unwanted App Store and In-App purchases. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Acrobat/Reader 9.4 and 8.2.5, TweetDeck 0.35.3, MenuMeters 1.4, and Growl 1.2.1.

TidBITS #1047 on 2010-10-04

What's an appropriate age to introduce a kid to social media services? Andy Affleck ponders the question as his 10-year-old pesters him for a Facebook account. Also this week, Adam explores the dark underside of URL shortening services - though they may offer attractive features like click counting, they simply can't be trusted with any link that's critical to your business. For iPhone and iPod touch users, we have a pair of new ebooks: "Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition" for those new to the iPhone and "Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition" for anyone trying to create a coherent mobile email strategy. Finally, along with notable software releases like Premiere Elements 9.0, Photoshop Elements 9.0, GraphicConverter 7.0, Eudora OSE 1.0, Postbox 2, and Thunderbird 3.1.4, we have a more-detailed look at StuffIt Deluxe 2011, the latest version of the longstanding compression and archiving program.

TidBITS #1046 on 2010-09-27

We weren't expecting it, but between a surprise release of iTunes 10.0.1 very late last week and Kirk McElhearn's editorial about whether iTunes deserves to be called bloated, iTunes looms large in this issue. In other news, version 1.3 of the Dropbox iOS app adds some useful features for Glenn Fleishman, and Adam looks in depth at AppTamer, a new utility from St. Clair Software that promises to improve overall performance, quiet laptop fans, and improve battery life, all by stopping applications from executing unnecessarily in the background. Finally, if you're a PDFpen user, or are looking for help with PDF manipulation software, check out our latest ebook, Michael E. Cohen's "Take Control of PDFpen 5." Notable software releases this week include NoMoreiTunes 1.51, Adobe Flash Player, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.0.4, Security Update 2010-006, TinkerTool 4.2, Mailplane 2.2, and Pro Applications Update 2010-02.

TidBITS #1045 on 2010-09-20

Practicality reigns in this issue, with an article from Sharon Zardetto about how to use Keyboard Viewer to access special characters and Matt Neuburg's review of Fake, a Web browser that can be used in an Automator-like fashion to automate actions on a Web page. Also, Adam examines EPUBReader, a Firefox add-on that makes it easy to take a quick look at an EPUB file, and Glenn Fleishman shares details about a pair of iPad apps that take RSS feed reading to a new graphical level. Finally, we have a new Take Control ebook for you: Kirk McElhearn's "Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ." Notable software releases this week include Dialectic 1.7, Transmit 4.1.1, MarsEdit 3.1, Savescreenie 2.0, and 1Password 3.4.1.

TidBITS #1044 on 2010-09-13

We're all about digital photography and iOS this week. Tonya Engst leads off with a look at iOS 4.1, what it provides, and how well it works; and Adam Engst examines Apple's loosening of iOS development restrictions and more-transparent App Store review guidelines. Guest writer Jeff Lynch explains how photographers can ensure that digital portfolios look their best on an iPad. Finally, Charles Maurer contributes a detailed editorial - okay, a detailed rant - about what's wrong with today's digital cameras (hint, it's not a lack of features). We're also pleased to welcome our latest sponsor, The Data Rescue Center, and announce a discount on Raskin for those who didn't win in last week's DealBITS drawing. Notable software releases this week include Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.4, Firefox 3.6.9, PDFpen/PDFpenPro 5.0.1, Safari 5.0.2/4.1.2, iWeb 3.0.2, and Cyberduck 3.6.1.

TidBITS #1043 on 2010-09-06

Apple's media event last week provided most of the fodder for this week's issue, since Steve Jobs introduced a revised set of iPods (including a new iPod touch and a multi-touch iPod nano), previewed the upcoming iOS 4.1 and 4.2, pulled back the curtain on the second-generation Apple TV, and launched iTunes 10 with its integrated Ping social networking service. We have complete coverage, along with a DealBITS drawing for Raskin, an alternative computer interface based on the pioneering work of the late Jef Raskin. Notable software releases this week include Radioshift 1.6, Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.7, Fission 1.6.9, Things 1.4.1, BLT 1.0.4, Lightroom 3.2, SpamSieve 2.8.3, and Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.3.

TidBITS #1042 on 2010-08-30

No trends this week - just a lot of interesting news, starting off with Lex Friedman's coverage of the Netflix iPad app's newfound capability to stream Watch Instantly movies to the iPhone and iPod touch too. Glenn Fleishman looks at how you can now place calls using Google Voice in Gmail and how Virgin Mobile has upped the mobile broadband ante with an unlimited cellular data plan that works with the popular MiFi portable Wi-Fi gateway. Glenn also gives the blow-by-blow description of how we were forced to move all our Web services to a Rackspace Cloud Server last week. Then Adam examines the iWork 9.0.4 update, which isn't interesting other than the way it adds EPUB export to Pages, and Tonya runs through all the things you can try doing to speed up an iPhone 3G under iOS 4. Notable software releases this week include MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.9, Camino 2.0.4, Security Update 2010-005, GraphicConverter 6.7.4, and Freeway 5.5.

TidBITS #1041 on 2010-08-23

On the Mac side this week, Adam reviews the Matias Tactile Pro 3 keyboard and offers some old but little-known tips for finding files more easily in Mac OS X. We're also joined by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, who shares why he so enjoys recording TV to his Mac with EyeTV tuners from Elgato. Meanwhile, in iOS land, Glenn Fleishman covers the renaming of the Barnes & Noble eReader iOS app to Nook, and Adam explains why we had to leave iPad users out in the cold with our recent iOS 4-savvy update to the TidBITS News app. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Acrobat/Reader 9.3.4 and 8.2.4, Pear Note 2.0.1, TextExpander 3.1.1, Typinator 4.1, Interarchy 10.0.2, Snow Leopard Graphics Update, and Keyboard Maestro 4.3.2.

TidBITS #1040 on 2010-08-16

iOS security reigns in this issue, with Glenn Fleishman covering Apple's security-related iOS updates, describing how using encrypted iOS backups actually reduces security slightly, and explaining how to update a changed Wi-Fi network password in an iOS device. Beyond that, security editor Rich Mogull runs down the security challenges that Apple faces with iOS and the advantages that the company enjoys. For a change of pace, Lex Friedman looks at some essential Safari Extensions, we announce the release of Sharon Zardetto's authoritative "Take Control of Fonts in Snow Leopard" ebook, and Adam describes how we've moved some legacy services. Notable software releases this week include VMware Fusion 3.1.1, Things 1.3.5, and Office 2004/2008 Security Updates.

TidBITS #1039 on 2010-08-09

For those overwhelmed by the industry's focus on the iPhone and iPad, this week's issue should be a refreshing dose of Web- and Mac-oriented content. To start, iCal looms large, with Matt Neuburg making the switch from Remember? with the help of two geeky freeware tools, and Mark Anbinder covering another iCal-related utility, Today, which shows upcoming events in a floating window. Plus, Lex Friedman reviews the GadgetTrak 3 theft-recovery software, and we welcome as sponsors the Mac-focused Useful Fruit Software and Econ Technologies. On the Web side of things, Glenn Fleishman covers the shuttering of Google Wave and Adam examines Smith Micro's new SendStuffNow file-sharing service. Notable software releases this week include Pear Note 2.0, ScreenFlow 2.1.2, Interarchy 10.0.1, and Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.3.

TidBITS #1038 on 2010-08-02

The big news this week is Apple's release of new models of the iMac and Mac Pro, a new 27-inch Cinema Display, the new Magic Trackpad, and the new Apple Battery Charger. Jeff Carlson and Doug McLean run down the details of all of these new devices for you. Doug also covers Safari 5.0.1 and the new Safari Extension Gallery; Jeff explains how a bad battery in a Magic Trackpad is cause for... well, not much; and Glenn Fleishman examines how the latest DMCA exemption ruling from the Librarian of Congress renders iPhone jailbreaking legal (but not easy). Most notably, Joe Kissell contributes a detailed review and comparison of a pair of portable document scanners: the ScanSnap S1300 and the Doxie. Finally, don't forget that the Take Control 50-percent-off sale ends Tuesday! Notable software releases this week include Snapz Pro X 2.2.3, Retrospect 8.2, and BBEdit 9.5.1.

TidBITS #1037 on 2010-07-26

Our big news this week is a 50-percent-off Take Control ebook sale to celebrate the unveiling of the new Take Control account management system. In between dealing with technical issues related to that launch, we found time to examine the noteworthy releases of Skype 2.0.1 and iBooks 1.1.2 for iOS. Also this week, Glenn Fleishman wrote about Apple donating the MacPaint and QuickDraw source code to the Computer History Museum, Chris Pepper contributed a warning about how using a Bluetooth keyboard with an iOS device can have unexpected results, and a punchy Jeff Carlson turned Apple's record-setting Q3 2010 financial results into a quiz. The issue is anchored by a pair of articles by Matt Neuburg and Adam, looking first at how iOS handles document mapping and how this causes headaches for people trying to serve Internet-based files to iOS device users. Finally, don't miss the DealBITS discount on PDF Shrink! Other notable software releases this week include 1Password 3.3, Wiki Server Update 1.0, Firefox 3.6.8, and iTunes 9.2.1.

TidBITS #1036 on 2010-07-19

Apple's iPhone 4 antenna troubles dominated the news this week, and Jeff Carlson did yeoman's duty in covering both the iOS 4.0.1 update that fixes the iPhone's signal strength algorithm and Apple's press conference about the issue. Also, Rich Mogull delves into his past in the rescue and emergency services community to explain why the iPhone 4 antenna has two separate problems, one common to all mobile phones and the other unique to the iPhone. Changing gears, Adam warns about how the iOS caches iTunes account passwords, which could result in inadvertent purchases, and also relays news of the upcoming MacTech Conference for IT professionals and developers - register soon while there's still space! Lastly, we're giving away copies of Apago's PDF Shrink in DealBITS this week, so be sure to enter if you need to compress PDFs for more efficient transmission. Notable software releases this week include ChronoSync 4.1 and ChronoAgent 1.1, Panorama 6.0.0 build 92277, and AppleJack 1.6.

TidBITS #1035 on 2010-07-12

It was a thankfully slow summer week here, and this issue's articles revolve around a variety of electronic devices, anchored by Charles Maurer's illuminating discussion of how not to buy a digital camera. Glenn Fleishman compares the costs of Virgin Mobile's new contract-free MiFi with the approaches of Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, and with AT&T's iPhone tethering and iPad plans. Doug McLean examines the results of a Princeton University study testing the usability of the Kindle in academia. And Adam reviews the iPad Recliner, an adjustable stand for the iPad. Notable software releases this week include BusyCal 1.3.2 and PDFpen/PDFpenPro 4.7.

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