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 #1110 on 2012-01-23

Apple’s special event last week may have been targeted at the education market, but the new iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and iTunes U apps — and how they’re being seen by both those who create books and those who read them — dominate this week’s issue of TidBITS. Adam covers the basics of Apple’s announcements, and also looks at why much of the consternation is happening because people are missing that Apple is aiming everything at the education market. Michael Cohen also weighs in with commentary about why iBooks Author will be a big deal in education, but taking the opposite view is physics teacher Steve McCabe, who argues that iBooks textbooks offer a warmed-up take on twenty-year-old ideas. In our own publishing news, it may not be an enhanced iBooks textbook, but Glenn Fleishman’s new “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion” still has all the help you need to choose and use the right method of screen sharing for your needs. And speaking of Glenn, he also runs down the latest changes in AT&T’s data plans for iPhones and iPads. Notable software releases this week include iTunes 10.5.3, Typinator 5, QuarkXPress 9.2, and Default Folder X 4.4.8.

TidBITS #1109 on 2012-01-16

We’re getting ready for next week’s Macworld Expo, er… Macworld | iWorld, so if you’re going, be sure to check out the TidBITS Events list for where we’ll be. In other news this week, Adam weighs in on the SOPA/PIPA issue with a perspective that hasn’t seen much play — that of what it’s like to be a small publisher whose work is used without permission. Adam also reviews Third Rail Mobility’s Slim Case System (a battery-powered case for the iPhone 4 and 4S), and Glenn Fleishman proposes some fixes for preventing unexpected sounds from iPhones during performances. Also, our latest ebook is Kirk McElhearn’s “Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ, Second Edition!” Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter X 7.6, BBEdit 10.1.1, and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Public Beta.

TidBITS #1108 on 2012-01-09

With little happening in the way of actual news this week, we focus on the practical, leading off with Adam’s examination of Lumin, a simple iOS app that turns your iPhone into an illuminated magnifier. Then Michael Cohen looks at Snapseed, a photo-enhancement app that displays some innovative interface techniques. Moving into the Mac and networking worlds, guest contributor Marshall Clow explains how to set up a simple blog with the Markdown- and Dropbox-driven service Calepin, and Matt Neuburg shares how he used iTunes Match to gain access to a subset of his music on all his devices.

TidBITS #1107 on 2012-01-02

Happy New Year! There was a surprising amount of news over the holiday break, and Glenn Fleishman was quick off the mark to cover Intuit’s plans to release a Lion-compatible version of Quicken 2007, GadgetTrak’s new CameraTrace service for tracing stolen cameras, LogMeIn’s new remote-access app for iOS, GoDaddy’s dropping of support for the Stop Online Piracy Act, and Apple’s addition of a “Complete My Season” option for iTunes Store-purchased TV shows. Glenn also collected the top 10 most-read TidBITS stories of 2011, Adam followed up on the success of our TidBITS membership program and wrote the most popular story of the year about Google’s “Let It Snow” Easter egg, and Michael Cohen tracked down how iCloud’s Photo Stream interacts with multiple iPhoto libraries. Notable software releases since our last issue include Piezo 1.1 and iTunes 10.5.2.

TidBITS #1106 on 2011-12-12

We need your help! Become a TidBITS member today and help keep TidBITS going! Details about our new TidBITS membership program are in this issue, along with Adam’s instructions for getting Snow Leopard’s iCal to talk with iCloud and his review of Rogue Amoeba’s new Piezo audio recording app for the Mac. You’ll also find Tonya’s look at what’s new in iBooks 1.5 for iOS and Mark Anbinder’s coverage of the new version of the TweetDeck Twitter client, which no longer relies on Adobe AIR. Notable software releases this week include SOHO Labels 6, Aperture 3.2.2, TextExpander 3.4, and Keynote 5.1.1. Finally, note that this is our final email issue of TidBITS for 2011; look for your next issue on 2 January 2012, and in the meantime, our best wishes for a relaxing holiday break!

TidBITS #1105 on 2011-12-05

We find ourselves in the middle of a pair of controversies this week. First, an iPhone app that promises (and delivers) tethering for a one-time $14.99 fee is approved in the App Store and becomes an instant hit, but Apple quickly pulls it, citing a weak excuse. And then there’s the hullabaloo about Siri supposedly toeing an anti-abortion line with responses to particular queries; Adam explains why it’s unreasonable to attribute Apple corporate policy to anything Siri says. Also this week, Jeff Carlson looks at several iOS apps that work by listening to the world outside, and Adam shares his surprisingly smooth experience getting his iCloud calendars to sync with Macs that can’t run Lion, thanks to BusyCal. Finally, we’re pleased to announce not one, but two new ebooks covering iOS 5: Tonya Engst’s “Take Control of Your iPad” and Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Third Edition.” Notable software releases this week include Cyberduck 4.2, MarsEdit 3.4.1, Camino 2.1, and Safari 5.1.2.

TidBITS #1104 on 2011-11-28

If you’re worrying about what will happen to your photos in MobileMe Gallery come June 2012, there’s a new migration option — to the photo sharing site ZangZing that Adam has been using heavily. Also this week, Matt Neuburg explains Appalicious’s morphing into Appcuity in time for finding Mac App Store deals during the holiday shopping season, and Glenn Fleishman looks at how Amazon’s Kindle Fire provides a more coherent interface for finding and playing purchased media than Apple’s iOS apps. Finally, Adam explains how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 is teaching children to lie about their ages online, often with the help of their parents. Notable software releases this week include Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.2 and Nisus Writer Express 3.4.1, VMware Fusion 4.1.1, SpamSieve 2.8.8, and MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 (Snow Leopard).

TidBITS #1103 on 2011-11-14

It’s the week of small but important updates from Apple. Adam looks at iOS 5.0.1, which aims — only somewhat successfully — to address battery life problems created in iOS 5, and he also covers the release of iTunes 10.5.1 and the squirrelly iTunes Match, along with a firmware update to 802.11n AirPort base stations that is proving troublesome for some users. Jeff Carlson joins in with a look at the 2.0 version of the Apple Store iOS app, which lets U.S. users pay for products without interacting with a salesperson. In other news, Adam looks at Adobe’s halting of development of Flash for mobile platforms, Glenn Fleishman walks us through a recalcitrant upgrade to Lion, and guest contributor Dennis Wurster explains how Square makes it possible for anyone to take credit cards for large and small payments alike. Notable software releases this week include Postbox 3, DEVONthink Personal, Pro, and Pro Office 2.3.1, Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Update 1 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 6, Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.9, and MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.5. Lastly, we’re taking next week’s email issue off for the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States; look for our next issue on 28 November 2011!

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.

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