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 #1102 on 2011-11-07

Looking to write a novel during November’s National Novel Writing Month event? Try Scrivener’s free NaNoWriMo trial, and get more help from our heavily discounted “Take Control of Scrivener 2.” Also this week, Matt Neuburg reminds Lion users that TinkerTool can reverse some of Apple’s annoying changes, Rich Mogull shares the story of how he accidentally deleted all his iCloud data and was forced to figure out a non-trivial restoration method, and we have a DealBITS drawing for Tom Bihn’s latest Apple-focused laptop bag. Finally, Adam pores through release dates to determine just how long Apple supports Macs and iOS devices with new system software — you might be surprised at the results. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Editor, Premiere Elements 10 Editor, Sandvox 2.2, and Aperture 3.2.1.

TidBITS #1101 on 2011-10-31

We’re dancing around updates from Apple this week, with coverage of the speed-bumped MacBook Pro models and a variety of lightly described firmware updates. Then Michael Cohen explains the confusion surrounding the recent Apple TV software updates, and Jeff Carlson points out how Lion’s new Auto Save makes duplicating documents harder and potentially troublesome. Finally, Michael anchors the issue with a lengthy look at how we make our Take Control EPUB files in Pages. Notable software releases this week include iPhoto ’11 9.2.1, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.6, TextExpander 3.3.4, and KeyCue 6.0.

TidBITS #1100 on 2011-10-24

iCloud, iOS 5, and the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature prominently in this week’s issue. With all the consternation iCloud has caused, we’re particularly pleased to have published Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of iCloud,” already on its way to being one of our most popular books. Kirk McElhearn explains how Wi-Fi syncing and iCloud backups work, once you have the combination of iOS 5 and iTunes 10.5, and Rich Mogull examines how Siri may be the first real competition that Internet search engines have faced so far. Also this week, Jeff Carlson and Michael Cohen report on yet another stellar quarter of financial results for Apple, and Glenn Fleishman writes about the innovative Lytro light-field camera, which goes on sale in 2012. Notable software releases include Fetch 5.7 and Fantastical 1.1.

TidBITS #1099 on 2011-10-17

Last week brought the release of the iPhone 4S, iCloud, iOS 5, Mac OS X 10.7.2, and a slew of smaller releases, and like everyone else we’ve been struggling to wrap our heads around it all. To start, Glenn Fleishman reports on the record sales of the iPhone 4S, Michael Cohen looks at what iCloud means to BusyCal users, and Adam notes that you can buy AppleCare+ for the iPhone after purchase (for a while). But then we bring in the big guns with Jeff Carlson sharing our favorite hidden and overlooked features in iOS 5 and Matt Neuburg running down the major changes in Mac OS X 10.7.2. Matt also contributes a thought-provoking look at what we users can expect from iOS apps once developers start taking advantage of iOS 5’s new capabilities. Notable software releases this week include iPhoto ’11 9.2, Aperture 3.2, Safari 5.1.1 (Snow Leopard), Security Update 2011-006 (Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server), Lion Recovery Update, GraphicConverter 7.4, and Sparrow 1.4.

TidBITS #1098 on 2011-10-11

The day before Steve Jobs died last week, Apple held a special media event to unveil the iPhone 4S. Also discussed that day were release dates for iOS 5 and iCloud, minor updates to the iPod touch and iPod nano, and a slew of statistics about the state of Apple’s business. We have all the details for you, along with additional information about Sprint’s unlimited data plan and what the iPhone 4S’s dual-standard GSM/CDMA support means for users (not much), plus a look at the release of BBEdit 10.1.

TidBITS #1097 on 2011-10-10

Apple co-founder, former CEO, and chairman Steve Jobs has passed away at age 56, and although the event was not entirely unexpected, it hit the technology community and the outside world hard. We’re devoting this special issue of TidBITS entirely to Steve Jobs, starting with Jeff Carlson’s news coverage and a large collection of links to other Jobs-related content from around the Internet. We also have thoughts on Jobs’s legacy from TidBITS staffers Mark H. Anbinder and Rich Mogull, and from guest contributor Angus Wong. Finally, TidBITS publisher Adam Engst explores the question of why Steve Jobs’s death has been so unsettling for so many people. Look for your regular issue of TidBITS shortly.

TidBITS #1096 on 2011-10-03

The big news this week is Amazon’s announcement of the new Kindle Fire tablet, which Glenn Fleishman believes is the first viable tablet from a company other than Apple. But is it competition for the iPad? Also this week, Adam reviews the impressive group photo sharing site ZangZing, Tonya tells how the Fujitsu ScanSnap is simplifying her life as the mother of a 7th grader, and we welcome as our latest TidBITS sponsor the Mac and iOS app developer Global Delight. Last, but not least, we’ve published the new “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac,” Joe Kissell’s definitive guide to backups. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5 and Camera Raw 6.5, Firefox 7.0, PopChar X 5.3, and Teleport 1.1.

TidBITS #1095 on 2011-09-26

We range from the theoretical to the practical this week, with Glenn Fleishman floating a proposal for why some otherwise smart people seem incapable of using computers effectively, before we move on to Michael Cohen’s story of helping a friend upgrade to a new iMac — hint, it wasn’t simple, but probably not for the reasons you’d expect. Also this week, Glenn covers the announcement that OverDrive will start making Kindle-format ebooks available for libraries to lend, Joe Kissell looks at the CrashPlan Mobile iOS app that provides access to your backed-up data on CrashPlan Central, and we publish followup information about personal finance programs that could replace Quicken. Notable software releases this week include Thunderbolt Software and Display Updates, and Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1.

TidBITS #1094 on 2011-09-19

Parallels Desktop versus VMware Fusion. Which is best? And what about VirtualBox? Joe Kissell provides an overview of the increasingly mature field of virtualization on the Mac — read on for his sensible thoughts on the matter. Also this week, Glenn Fleishman looks at the new role played by the Apple ID (yes, you probably have one) in Lion, and Jeff Carlson shares his impressions of Printopia, which does more than just letting you print from your iOS device to any Mac-connected printer. Finally, we’re pleased to announce a book that anyone who has ever said bad words about Spotlight’s search results needs to read: Sharon Zardetto’s “Take Control of Spotlight for Finding Anything on Your Mac.” Notable software releases this week include DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.3, Camino 2.0.9, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.1.3/2008 12.1.3/2004 11.6.5, VMware Fusion 4, and a trio of firmware updates for recent models of the Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air.

TidBITS #1093 on 2011-09-12

For those still using Eudora, Adam has finally finished his detailed look at how to convert email from Eudora to, well, something else (that’s part of the question). He also warns about how Lion’s Versions technology can fail silently if you’re saving on a network volume or a USB flash drive not formatted as HFS+ (which is probably most of them). Also this week, if you’re having problems with hibernation mode in a MacBook using an OWC solid-state drive, OWC now has a firmware updater you can use to fix the problems. Notable software releases this week include 1Password 3.9 and 3.8.5, Security Update 2011-005, Firefox 6.0.2, and Parallels Desktop 7.

TidBITS #1092 on 2011-09-05

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, 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.

TidBITS #1091 on 2011-08-29

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.

TidBITS #1090 on 2011-08-22

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.

TidBITS #1089 on 2011-08-15

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.

TidBITS #1088 on 2011-08-08

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.

TidBITS #1087 on 2011-08-01

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.

TidBITS #1086 on 2011-07-25

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.

TidBITS #1085 on 2011-07-18

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.

TidBITS #1084 on 2011-07-11

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.

TidBITS #1083 on 2011-07-04

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.

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; 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.

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