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.
With the smoke having cleared from Apple’s WWDC keynote, Glenn Fleishman looks deeply at Apple’s claims about the 802.11ac technology featured in the new AirPort base stations and MacBook Air models. Is it as fast as Apple says? One thing has gotten faster for Apple developers: app sales and transfers, which are finally possible in the App Store. Could you control your electronics by dancing through your house? It may soon be possible, as researchers have invented a way to use existing Wi-Fi signals for gesture control. That is, unless there’s a patent involved. The patent system has gotten so out of hand that even lawyers from firms that work for Apple have been implicated in patent lawsuits against the company. While there’s little you can do to fix the patent system, you can relocate folders inside your Dropbox folder to another disk — Camera Uploads is the poster child here — and Jeff Carlson shows you how. To fill up that Camera Uploads folder, check out Analog Camera; Josh Centers reviews the clever, gesture-based photography app for the iPhone. Also new for the iPhone is Duolingo, an app and Web service that turns language learning into a game, and Chris Armstrong has all the details in our latest installment of FunBITS. Notable software releases this week include LaunchBar 5.5.1, Keyboard Maestro 6.0.1, Mellel 3.2, and AirPort Utility 6.3 for Mac.
In a welcome move, Apple has at long last made it possible for apps to be transferred between developers without loss of reviews, rankings, or customers. This preserves much of the value of an app for acquisition.Show full article
Ever wanted to lower the volume from your stereo or change the channel on the TV merely by waving at it? With WiSee, a proof-of-concept technology from researchers at the University of Washington, whole-home gestural recognition without cameras or special sensors has become a reality. It’s not a product yet, but its capability to sense gestures by analyzing disruptions in Wi-Fi signals is tremendously intriguing.Show full article
If you can read English and write in either Dutch or Japanese, we need your help in translating TidBITS!Show full article
Lawyers patent-trolling their own clients is the latest evidence that the U.S. patent system has gotten out of control. But perhaps help is on the way.Show full article
Prompted by Joe Kissell’s new “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Second Edition,” Adam Engst ponders what has changed such that backups don’t seem to have the same urgency as in the past. Could it be Time Machine’s ubiquity? The rise of cloud services? Or just different problems to worry about?Show full article
Jeff Carlson wanted to use Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature for automatically copying photos from iOS devices, cameras, and memory cards, but doing so would fill up his 256 GB SSD with image files. Instead, he created a symbolic link (symlink) in Mac OS X to relocate the Camera Uploads folder to a separate volume.Show full article
Does the iPhone need yet another photo filter app? Realmac Software’s Analog Camera makes a persuasive argument for why it should take over from similar apps.Show full article
By all the hype, you’d think that the still-in-progress 802.11ac standard will boost Wi-Fi to well over 1 Gbps. It’s rather unlikely in practice. Rather, it will make dead zones come alive and improve performance over current networks.Show full article
Preparing for a trip to Spain, Chris Armstrong has equipped himself with the Duolingo Web and iPhone apps to brush up on his Spanish. But is it effective?Show full article
Notable software releases this week include LaunchBar 5.5.1, Keyboard Maestro 6.0.1, Mellel 3.2, and AirPort Utility 6.3 for Mac.Show full article
It’s time for ExtraBITS: WWDC Edition! With all of Apple’s announcements, many new features didn’t get much play. Macworld’s Serenity Caldwell lists 27 you might have missed. You probably did see iOS 7’s awesome-looking Weather app, but Apple might not have been first to the idea. One of the subtle new features in iOS 7 is a male voice for Siri in the United States, but why now? Apple also handed out the latest round of Apple Design Awards, which include some incredible apps you’ll love. However, some folks don’t think iOS 7 is worthy of a design award, citing disjointed icons as one of the reasons, but it turns out that there’s an explanation. In all the hype about iOS 7, you might have missed a feature in iOS 6 that can protect your device from prying eyes — Rene Ritchie of iMore explains how to make the most of it. And finally, Microsoft has quietly released Office for the iPhone, but should you care?Show full article