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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Always Show Recipient In iChat

In iChat under Snow Leopard, choosing View > Always Show Recipient Bar puts a buddy's status message and color at the top of any iChat window. It can also be used to select among multiple open iChat logins you have to send a message to that buddy, or to select among multiple accounts you have registered in Address Book for that buddy.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

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):

Previous 25 issues | Next 25 issues
 

TidBITS #1082 on 2011-06-27

We focus on new and upcoming releases this week, with details on the just-released Mac OS X 10.6.8, Final Cut Pro X, and Firefox 5.0, and more answers to questions about the MobileMe-to-iCloud transition. In honor of the recent Bloomsday, Michael Cohen shares his recollections of the early days of the electronic book, Jeff Porten reports on teen privacy and data retention issues from the CFP 2011 conference, and Marshall Clow explains how he managed to recover from disk corruption on a MacBook Pro without a SuperDrive. Notable software releases this week include Security Update 2011-004 (Leopard/Leopard Server); ClamXav 2.2; 1Password 3.6; Flash Player 10.3.181.26; PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.4; Microsoft Office 2011 14.1.2, 2008 12.3.0, and 2004 11.6.4; Acrobat Pro 10.1, 9.4.5, and 8.3; Evernote 2.2.1; and Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.12.

TidBITS #1081 on 2011-06-20

The questions continue to come in regarding Apple’s transitions — Glenn Fleishman has the collection of what we’d all like to know about the upcoming move from MobileMe to iCloud. Mark Anbinder covers the quiet addition of unlocked iPhones to the U.S. online Apple Store; Jeff Porten reports on the “Do Not Track” header debate at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference; and William Porter contributes a cautionary tale about accidentally putting an SD card into the SuperDrive slot of an iMac. But the bulk of this week’s hefty issue comes from Joe Kissell, who looks in detail at the new Nisus Writer Pro 2.0, a significant update that brings the powerful word processor back into contention for serious writers. Notable software releases this week include MailMate 1.2, QuickSilver ß60, Kindle for Mac 1.5.1, Fantastical 1.0.1, Default Folder X 4.4.1, AirPort Utility 5.5.3, iMac Graphic FW Update 2.0, and Typinator 4.4.

TidBITS #1080 on 2011-06-13

WWDC is done, and since we won’t see Lion until July and iCloud has just started to embrace us in its foggy mass, it’s time to start asking questions and put Apple’s announcements in perspective. Glenn Fleishman looks at the effect bandwidth caps may have on iCloud usage, and teams with Joe Kissell to list out questions we have regarding Lion’s purported reliance on the Mac App Store (no DVDs?). Glenn also suggests that many of Lion’s new features are meant to support not so much the exact interface of iOS, but the intent of iOS’s approach in moving on from the classic desktop interface. In other news, the iBookstore has finally come to iTunes, Guy Kawasaki will be keynoting MacTech Conference 2011, and Amazon has unveiled the Mac Downloads Store. Finally, Rich Mogull contributes a detailed explanation of just what “cloud computing” really entails — hint, it’s not simply that something is on the Internet.

TidBITS #1079 on 2011-06-06

We’re back from our Memorial Day hiatus last week with a double-sized issue, thanks to Apple’s numerous keynote announcements at this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Adam looks at what these announcements and Apple’s public numbers say about the company’s place in the industry, and we cover the basics of what Apple revealed about Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud. (It was a tough day at the keyboards for all of us!) Security news also pushes its way into this issue, with an important Flash Player update you should download, along with more on the increasingly serious MacDefender situation. Last, but by no means least, we’re extremely pleased to bring you three important new Take Control books: Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac” and “Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, Second Edition,” and Michael Cohen’s “Take Control of TextExpander.” Notable software releases in the last two weeks include Growl 1.2.2, Data Rescue 3.2, Logic Pro 9.1.4 and Logic Express 9.1.4, Moneydance 2011, Fantastical 1.0, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.1, Sparrow 1.2, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.4.1.

TidBITS #1078 on 2011-05-23

We have a cornucopia of articles this week, anchored by Jeff Carlson’s report on using the iPhone app Cyclemeter to track a 42-mile bike ride in the rain. Adam returns to the topic of iOS developers being threatened with patent infringement letters with news of Apple Legal’s response, and he also shares a subtle change in Mac OS X 10.6.7’s Finder sidebar that could have you questioning your sanity. On the perceptual side, Michael Cohen explores how being told to “Get over it” makes him feel in the rumored Rosetta transition with Lion, and Adam disassembles his laptop bag to figure out why it feels so heavy, even going so far as to share a spreadsheet of its entire contents. Notable software releases this week include Dolly Drive 1.2, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.3, ProKit 7.0, Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.7, and Mailplane 2.4.

TidBITS #1077 on 2011-05-16

The big news last week was Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, which we can only hope will result in a better interface for the Mac version of the Internet telephony program. In other news, the online password service LastPass acknowledged what might have been a security breach, and a number of small iOS developers were threatened with patent infringement letters from a company called Lodsys. Adam has all the details. Plus, we’re pleased to announce both a new TidBITS sponsor — Dolly Drive — and the release of our latest book, “Take Control of Scrivener 2,” which covers Literature & Latte’s award-winning tool for writers. Notable software releases this week include Sandvox 2.0, iPhoto 9.1.3, Corel Painter 12, Mactracker 6.0.1, Snapz Pro X 2.3.0, and Acorn 3.0.1.

TidBITS #1076 on 2011-05-09

The big news this week is Apple’s release of new iMac models, and Adam has all the details. He also indulges his annoyance with the relative cost of SMS text messages by reviewing the free Textie iOS app and service that allows text messages to be sent for free. Finally, as the “summer” release date for Mac OS X Lion approaches, Matt Neuburg explains how to figure out if you rely on PowerPC applications that may not be supported under Lion, if speculation about Rosetta’s demise are accurate. Notable software releases this week include Skype 5.1.60.947, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4 and MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1, Mac OS X 10.6.7 for iMac (Early 2011) and iMac EFI Update 1.6, Neat Image 7.0, Photoshop CS5 12.0.4, Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.4, and iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8.

TidBITS #1075 on 2011-05-02

Apple is by no means perfect, and this week sees not one, not two, but three situations in which the company is addressing problems. Most notable is the Q&A that Apple released to explain the controversy and bugs related to the iPhone storing location information, but more important is the Snow Leopard Font Update, which resolves the font-related bugs introduced in Mac OS X 10.6.7. And the longest standing problem is the company’s 10-month inability to produce the white iPhone 4, which is at long last available. Also this week, two-security related stories hit the headlines, with a “crimekit” being released to target Mac OS X, and the MACDefender scareware app masquerading as an anti-virus program — Adam has all the details. Finally, Lex Friedman bids TidBITS farewell after accepting a full-time staff writer job at Macworld. Notable software releases this week include Firefox 4.0.1, MacGourmet 3.1, Microsoft Office 2008 12.2.9 / 2004 11.6.3, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.4, Mactracker 6.0, Quicksilver β59, Mailsmith 2.3.1, Evernote 2.1, iPhoto 9.1.2, and iMac Hard Drive Firmware Update 1.0.

TidBITS #1074 on 2011-04-25

After 10 days speaking and vacationing in the Denver/Boulder area, we’re back in the saddle and ready to ride. Adam used the trip as an excuse to test the Mophie Juice Pack Air battery-powered iPhone case, which was a big help for ensuring that the iPhone 4 didn’t run out of power during long GPS navigation sessions. Also this week, Jeff Carlson reports on Apple’s latest record-breaking financial quarter and offers an excerpt about using the iPad as a remote control from his recent “Take Control of Media on Your iPad, Second Edition” book. Also, Joe Kissell shares the results of his experiment with tweeting the entire contents of “Take Control of Your Paperless Office.” Notable software releases this week include TextExpander 3.3 and iTunes 10.2.2.

TidBITS #1073 on 2011-04-18

Adam wraps up his multi-part examination of Google’s Gmail this week with a look at Mailplane — which gives Gmail’s Web-based interface many of the features of a desktop application — and with coverage of the Boomerang service for scheduling Gmail message delivery and reminding users when correspondents haven’t replied. Also this week, Security Editor Rich Mogull explains why a security breach at a relatively unknown firm forced Apple to update Mac OS X, iOS, and Safari. Lastly, Lex Friedman relays details about the forthcoming Final Cut Pro X that Apple revealed at the FCPUG SuperMeet at NAB. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Flash Player 10.2.159.1, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 SP1 (14.1), PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.2.4, and PopChar X 5.2.

TidBITS #1072 on 2011-04-11

Adam is on an explanation jag this week, leading off with coverage of how a recent update to the iBooks app enables it to open EPUB files from apps like Safari, Mail, and Dropbox. Then he turns his attention to how to add Google’s Browse By Name feature to Google Chrome and Safari. And in his ongoing series about Gmail, he looks at the most useful Gmail Labs extensions to Google’s Web-based email service. In other news, the MacTech Boot Camp conferences are fast approaching (TidBITS readers can save $200 on registration!), and we’re pleased to announce a pair of Take Control ebooks about GarageBand ’11. Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter 7.2, Boot Camp 3.2 Update for MacBook Pro (early 2011), and ChronoSync 4.2 and ChronoAgent 1.2.

TidBITS #1071 on 2011-04-04

In addition to Jeff Carlson’s review of the Stump iPad stand, we look at three major products this week, none of which is entirely successful. Glenn Fleishman leads off with coverage of Amazon’s rather limited Cloud Drive online storage service and Cloud Player online music player. Then guest contributor Lukas Mathis delves into what’s wrong with Skype 5, a major upgrade from the previous Skype 2.8 for the Mac that has caused much consternation among users. And finally, Adam reviews Firefox 4, a fine upgrade to the popular Web browser that is nonetheless unlikely to attract users of other browsers. Notable software releases this week include Dropbox 1.0.28, Mac OS X v10.6.7 Supplemental Update for 13-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010), and GarageBand 6.0.2.

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 5.1.0.914, 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.

Previous 25 issues | Next 25 issues