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 #1070 on 2011-04-01

Writing tools, system utilities, upcoming versions of Mac OS X, subtle security vulnerabilities, and a behind-the-scenes look at The Daily’s publishing technology — have we got an issue for you! Security editor Rich Mogull leads off with a warning about a new iOS and Mac OS X security vulnerability that affects nearly all of Apple’s products. Also, Tonya Engst gets back to her roots in writing about the upcoming release of Microsoft Word for the iPad, and Adam examines what Apple is going to do to put the iTunes subscription service rumor to rest once and for all. Then Jeff Carlson looks at Lioness, a utility from Many Tricks designed to integrate with and extend Mac OS X Lion’s new Auto Save technology — available now in demo form. Finally, Michael Cohen reviews another utility from Literature & Latte that enhances the popular word processor Scrivener for writers who really need to take a break.

TidBITS #1069 on 2011-03-28

Beware of Mac OS X 10.6.7! There are font-related problems that should cause some people to hold off on updating or downgrade to 10.6.6. Adam explains the details. Also this week, Glenn Fleishman looks at the judicial rejection of the Google Books settlement, we report on the release of iOS 4.3.1, Adam reviews Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, and we announce the release of Jeff Carlson’s “Take Control of Media on Your iPad, Second Edition.” Finally, don’t miss the second installment in Adam’s series about switching to Gmail. Notable software releases this week include LogMeIn Ignition 2.0.264, Things 1.4.5, Skype, NoteBook 3.0.9, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.2.2, Aperture 3.1.2, MarsEdit 3.2, Firefox 4, Sparrow 1.1, and Skitch 1.0.4.

TidBITS #1068 on 2011-03-21

If you’re using a passcode on your iOS device, you probably think your data is encrypted. Rich Mogull has discovered a common scenario that prevents encryption from happening, but luckily it’s easy to fix. In other news, Joe Kissell is tweeting his entire “Take Control of Your Paperless Office” book, Glenn Fleishman explains the impact of AT&T buying T-Mobile, and Michael Cohen looks at Time Warner’s iPad app for watching live TV. This issue also marks the kickoff of Adam’s four-part series about how he switched from Eudora to Gmail. Notable software releases this week include Mac OS X 10.6.7, Security Update 2011-001 (Leopard), Bento 4.0.2, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.0.9, and Yojimbo 3.0.2.

TidBITS #1067 on 2011-03-14

Coming on the heels of last week’s release of the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3, most of this week’s news follows suit. Jeff Carlson anchors the issue with a detailed look at whether an iPhone 4 with Personal Hotspot could let him buy a cheaper Wi-Fi-only iPad, Michael Cohen discovers that GarageBand for Mac can’t yet read documents created in the iPad version, and Adam notes that iOS 4.3 requires another password prompt for in-app purchases to avoid inadvertent usage by children. Michael also looks at how the latest version of GoodReader can be used for a centralized document distribution system. Finally, we’re pleased to officially welcome a few new staff members and note that our Japanese translators are all OK after last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Notable software releases this week include TechTool Pro 6, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 4 / Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 9, iTunes 10.2.1, Safari 5.0.4, Cyberduck 4.0.1, and Toast Titanium 11.

TidBITS #1066 on 2011-03-07

This week’s news revolves around the just-announced iPad 2, iOS 4.3, and new iMovie and GarageBand iOS apps. We have full coverage, complete with Jeff Carlson’s hands-on impressions of the iPad 2 from his time at Apple’s media event. Also this week, contributor Kirk McElhearn reveals a few hidden details in the just-released iTunes 10.2, Adam offers practical advice on Apple’s upcoming forced upgrade to the new MobileMe Calendar, and Glenn Fleishman can’t resist answering the question of whether Thunderbolt could maybe, possibly, conceivably drive two external monitors on a new MacBook Pro. Finally, anyone considering Windows virtualization should check out Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, Fifth Edition.” Notable software releases this week include Firefox 3.6.15, SpamSieve 2.8.5, BusyCal 1.5.2, Dragon Dictate 2.0.3, and Airfoil 4.0.2.

TidBITS #1065 on 2011-02-28

In advance of this week’s media event, Apple has unveiled new MacBook Pro models and a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. Adam first looks at the new features Apple revealed for Lion, and then turns his attention to the new MacBook Pro models, focusing on the Thunderbolt I/O technology, the new quad-core Intel CPUs, and the high-resolution FaceTime camera. Glenn Fleishman follows up with additional details about Thunderbolt and Lion. In other news, Amazon added free video streaming to the Amazon Prime membership program, we released updates to our iPad and iPhone Basics ebooks, and Adam suggests that it doesn’t make sense for Steve Jobs to return to Apple (while still doing whatever he wants behind the scenes). Notable software releases this week include FaceTime 1.0 and, well, not much else.

TidBITS #1064 on 2011-02-21

There are weeks with themes, and then there are weeks like this, where there’s no commonality between our articles. We start with the announcement of four more locations and dates for the MacTech Boot Camp conference for consultants. Then Jeff Carlson writes about gfxCardStatus, a must-have utility for MacBook Pro owners, and Glenn Fleishman looks at the QuickMark 2D code application for the Mac. Next, we recently released version 1.4 of the TidBITS News iOS app, and Matt Neuburg uses its primary new feature to explain why adding multitasking to an app is harder than it would seem. Then Adam shares an upcoming behind-the-scenes change (a new From address for TidBITS in email) and looks into the geeky technical details behind it. Finally, Jeff Porten anchors the issue with a report from the .nxt conference on new top-level domain names—the question is, does anyone still care? Notable software releases this week include Skitch 1.0.3, Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.6, Evernote 2.0.4, CopyPaste Pro 3.0, 1Password 3.5.7, iWeb 3.0.3, and Adobe Acrobat/Reader 10.0.1.

TidBITS #1063 on 2011-02-14

Our Macworld 2011 recap continues this week with links to all the video recordings of our public presentations at the show, along with a MacVoices podcast where we ponder what Macworld Expo does right, and where it could improve. Glenn Fleishman remains in the pondering department to try to figure out why HP essentially announced that its next smartphone and tablet would be irrelevant by the time they ship. Back in the real world, Michael Cohen reviews the Mobee Magic Charger for Apple’s Magic Mouse, and Jeff Porten discovers that an iOS app turns his iPhone into a poor man’s hearing aid, or a surprisingly effective spy tool. Finally, we’re pleased to announce the second edition of Joe Kissell’s essential ebook (essential for iPad users who want to do real work, anyway!) “Take Control of Working with Your iPad.” Notable software releases this week include Flash Player 10.2, BusyCal 1.5.1, and TweetDeck 0.37.3.

TidBITS #1062 on 2011-02-07

We’re still recovering from Macworld 2011 and working on infrastructure projects of our own, but much of the news this week revolves around cellular plans, with Verizon Wireless announcing their iPhone plans and AT&T adding a smartphone mobile hotspot option (without mentioning the iPhone). Also in the news, the MozyHome Internet backup service increased pricing, GadgetTrak added snapshot capabilities to its iOS app, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. introduced the iPad-only national news publication The Daily (Adam looks at why it’s not particularly interesting). Finally, security editor Rich Mogull explains how the security world has changed since the days of Windows XP and what that means for the future of Apple’s digital security efforts. Notable software releases this week include Mailplane 2.3, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.0.7, Dragon Dictate 2.0.2, 1Password 3.5.4, Things 1.4.4, Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.10, EyeTV 3.5.1, and LaunchBar 5.0.4.

TidBITS #1061 on 2011-01-31

We’re back from Macworld 2011 in San Francisco, and while we could talk about other stuff, who wants that? So read on for our staff picks for the most interesting products we found at the show (the good, the bad, and the unnecessarily pretty), along with Adam’s in-depth look at the show as a whole and how IDG World Expo should look at improving it for the future. That should keep you busy for a while, apart from our usual ExtraBITS and a slew of notable software releases that appeared over the last week, including GraphicConverter 7.1, Skype 5.0, Dropbox 1.0.20, Airfoil 4.0.1, Transmit 4.1.5, Opera 11.0.1, iTunes 10.1.2, Drive Genius 3.1, Mellel 2.8, and BBEdit 9.6.3/TextWrangler 3.5.3.

TidBITS #1060 on 2011-01-24

As we pack for Macworld Expo, we have news of Apple’s stellar Q1 2011 financial results and an amusing mystery from Jim Matthews about how his iPhone and MacBook Pro managed to communicate, seemingly without the necessary connections. Then we get into the meat of the issue, with Adam taking a close look at Panic’s Transmit 4 file transfer software and Michael Cohen reviewing the UnityRemote, which turns an iOS device into a universal remote. Notable software releases this week include ScreenFlow 2.1.5, iMovie 9.0.2, TextWrangler 3.5.1, Postbox 2.1.2, Epson Printer Drivers v2.5.1, MacBook Air (Late 2010) Software Update 2.0, and iDVD 7.1.1.

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.

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