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.
Back issues of the mailed edition of TidBITS
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We have no theme this week, but Marco Tabini anchors the issue with the suggestion that many of the changes we’re seeing in Lion are in fact aimed at significantly improving MacBook battery life and reducing desktop Mac power usage in the future. Matt Neuburg also contributes a look at Appalicious, a new application that lets you search, sort, and filter the contents of the Mac App Store, making it easy to see what’s on sale. Also this week, Jeff Carlson shares a tip about how to convince your printer that it has more toner than it claims, and Adam points at the new Shrine of Apple Web site, an online museum of Apple products. Notable software releases this week include Mailplane 2.5.1, Nisus Writer Express 3.4, Boot Camp Update 3.2 and 3.3 for Windows, Skype 188.8.131.523, Default Folder X 4.4.4, Airfoil 4.5.7, SpamSieve 2.8.7, Art Text 2.4, iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0, Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.8, Firefox 6.0.1, Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.1, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.5, and Simon 3.2.
The big news this week is of course Steve Jobs’s resignation from the CEO position at Apple. We cover all the basics, and go beyond them with two additional articles. First, Jeff Carlson has composed The Steve Jobs Resignation FAQ, with short answers to questions that those not involved with Apple might ask after seeing clueless mainstream coverage. Second, as the Web has flooded with remembrances, tributes, and speculations evoked by Jobs’s announcement, we’ve compiled a list of those that caught our attention. As we keep learning more about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, we’re continuing to share our discoveries — Adam explains how to fax in Lion, and Glenn Fleishman looks at two tremendously useful new features in Lion’s Screen Sharing. In other news, we’re pleased to publish Glenn’s “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, Second Edition,” which is an essential resource for anyone working with wireless networking on the Mac. We also welcome a new sponsor — the video tutorial company Noteboom Productions — and announce the winners of last week’s DealBITS drawing for the iTunes library syncing tool SuperSync (along with a 20-percent-discount offer). Notable software releases this week include DragThing 5.9.7, iTunes 10.4.1, Evernote 3.0, Mellel 2.9, and Typinator 4.5.
Unsurprisingly, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion remains in our thoughts this week. First, Security Editor Rich Mogull looks deeply at how Lion integrates security technologies first tested in iOS. Then, the entire TidBITS staff contributes things that bother, baffle, and boggle us about Lion, with the point being to call out those changes that make us less productive. All that comes after Adam’s coverage of 10.7.1, which targets only the most significant problems with 10.7.0. In the iOS world, Marco Tabini explains what all the fuss is about with Apple deprecating developer access to the unique ID in every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. We also have a new DealBITS drawing for the SuperSync utility that lets you synchronize iTunes libraries in numerous different scenarios. Notable software releases this week include Firefox 6.0, Dropbox 1.1.40, GraphicConverter X 7.3.1, Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.2, ScreenFlow 3.0, and Airfoil 4.5.5.
In our ongoing coverage of Lion, Adam looks at how to build an external Lion Recovery drive using Apple’s Lion Recovery Drive Assistant, and Michael Cohen walks readers through the questions necessary to find a replacement for Quicken under Lion. (Rich Mogull also has a great article on our Web site about Lion security that we didn’t have room for this week.) The other big news is Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility — Glenn Fleishman ponders what it means for Apple and other smartphone makers. Notable software releases this week include Voila Screen Capture 3.1, Mactracker 6.1, Migration Assistant Update for Mac OS X Leopard, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.2.1, TextExpander 3.3.2, BBEdit 10.0.1, and Skype 5.3.
We return to Lion this week, with an article from Matt Neuburg bemoaning Lion’s predilection for quitting unused apps and another rejoicing in the return of three popular utilities that required updates to escape the demise of Rosetta. Kirk McElhearn joins us as well to report on a serious freeze that afflicts owners of new iMacs under Lion. In other news, Apple updated the Apple TV software and announced pricing for iCloud storage, MacTech Conference 2011 announced sessions, and Wi-Fi aggregator Boingo Wireless has merged its laptop and mobile service plans. Plus, we’re pleased to welcome our latest sponsor, the Internet security firm Intego, and relaunch DealBITS with a drawing for Smile’s DiscLabel. Notable software releases this week include 1Password 3.7.2, ExpanDrive 2.3, OmniOutliner 3.10.2, EagleFiler 1.5.5, MacScan 2.9, Dragon Dictate 2.5, QuickTime 7.7 (Leopard-only), Default Folder X 4.4.3, Path Finder 5.7.6, and DEVONagent Pro 3.0.
After last week’s massive Lion-focused issue, we’re chilling out with some alternative topics. Adam reports on the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update (and version 1.1 of the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update), which promises to fix the printing and audio problems that Apple introduced in 10.6.8. Then he looks in depth at BBEdit 10, a massive upgrade to the powerful text editor that adds sharing of application support files via Dropbox, spruces up the project window and HTML markup interfaces, adds EPUB editing, and much more. We also pick up again with Jeff Porten’s reporting from The Amazing Meeting — this time focusing on some interviews he did with popular podcasters. Notable software releases this week include Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.1, ClamXav 2.2.1, and Transmit 4.1.7.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has arrived, and Apple also took the opportunity to release new MacBook Air and Mac mini models, along with the new Thunderbolt Display and a slew of software updates. We’re devoting pretty much the entire issue to Lion and Apple’s new hardware, along with Michael Cohen’s report on Apple’s record-breaking Q3 2011 financial results and a quick note about an iOS security update. After the basics, we also go in depth, with Glenn Fleishman reporting on which Mac models work with AirDrop, Adam explaining how to deal with Lion’s hidden Library folder, and the entire staff collaborating to share our favorite hidden features in Lion. Of course, for all the details about Lion, check out our “Take Control of Upgrading to Lion” and “Take Control of Using Lion,” which provide over 300 pages of essential tips, tricks, and advice. Notable software releases this week include Safari 5.1 and 5.0.6, Windows Migration Assistant for OS X Lion 1.0, Server Admin Tools 10.7, iTunes 10.4, Java for OS X Lion, iWork 9.1, Apple Remote Desktop 3.5 Admin, SuperDuper 2.6.4, Things 1.5.0, MenuMeters 1.5, Cyberduck 4.1, Sparrow 1.3.1, Fantastical 1.0.3, and SpamSieve 2.8.6.
With no sign of Lion last week, our issue ranges far and wide, starting with news of a security-related iOS update and new international data plans from AT&T. Then Adam explores how Apple seems to be pushing iCloud as merely a fancy syncing cable, rather than as an enabler of collaborative computing, and he also reviews the recently released Keyboard Maestro 5.0, which adds program logic to the popular macro utility. Finally, we step a bit outside our normal beat with a report from roving correspondent Jeff Porten about The Amazing Meeting 2011, a skeptics conference focused on promoting critical thinking skills. Notable software releases this week include Aperture 3.1.3, iDVD 7.1.2, iWeb 3.0.4, Snapz Pro X 2.3.1, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.2, GarageBand ’11 6.0.4, iPhoto ’11 9.1.5, TypeIt4Me 5.2, Sandvox 2.1, iBank 4.2.4, Firefox 5.0.1, BusyCal 1.5.4, Transmit 4.1.6, and Skype 5.2.
As Mac OS X Lion’s sometime-in-July release date comes ever closer, we’re focused on upgrades and transitions. Glenn Fleishman leads off with a brief bit about Intuit’s email to Quicken users about Lion incompatibilities, Michael Cohen provides a way of determining roughly how long it will take to download Lion from the Mac App Store, Steve Sande offers some options for iWeb users who currently host their sites on MobileMe, and Adam editorializes about how Apple’s recent quality failures point toward needing a well-designed public beta program. Plus, Jeff Carlson looks at how iMovie ’11 can now import from iMovie for iOS. Finally, Jeff Porten contributes a final report from the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference. Notable software releases this week include Airfoil 4.5, GraphicConverter X 7.3, KeyCue 5.3, Opera 11.50, Postbox 2.5, and EagleFiler 1.5.4.
Lion is coming! But it’s not too early to prepare, with Joe Kissell’s just-released “Take Control of Upgrading to Lion,” along with a pre-order discount on Matt Neuburg’s “Take Control of Using Lion.” Lion’s approach doesn’t mean everyone will stop using Snow Leopard, and those using 10.6.8 would do well to check out Adam’s article with solutions to problems with printing and audio, along with incompatibilities with Parallels Desktop and PGP Desktop. In other news, Michael Cohen covers the release of the CrashPlan PRO service for businesses, and Glenn Fleishman clarifies that iTunes Match will create DRM-free copies of matched tracks. On the feature side, Jeff Porten reports from the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference about the Arab Spring; Michael Cohen reviews the Sleeptracker watch; and Rich Mogull paints a picture of the future where our electronic devices are entirely replaceable. Notable software releases this week include Thunderbolt Firmware Update and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 5 / Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 10.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 184.108.40.2067, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 220.127.116.114, 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.
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.