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.
Apple turned on the update hose last week, spraying out updates to many of the company's software products. Jeff Carlson reports on Mac OS X 10.4.8, Aperture 1.5, iTunes 7.0.1, Final Cut Pro 5.1.2, Logic Express 7.2.3 and Logic Pro 7.2.3, plus lesser updates to Final Cut Studio and the programs in the iLife '06 and iWork '06 suites. For your reading pleasure while Apple's updates download, Jonathan Sousa provides a primer on getting started with MySQL, Adam looks at the release of StuffIt Deluxe 11 and explains how to keep tabs on your friends with iChat, and Glenn Fleishman notes the release of Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0.
The autumn harvest from Apple's programmers came in last week, as Apple updated almost their entire software product line. Although each major application saw revisions, most Mac users will be interested in Mac OS X 10.4.8, a bug-fix update that spans several areas of the operating system. Notable changes include security enhancements, improved connections using the Apple USB Modem, support for the EAP-FAST protocol to improve wireless network authentication security, better compatibility with third-party USB hubs, better performance on some broadband networks, and improved camera RAW supportShow full article
Apple has released a maintenance update for iTunes 7 that deals with a variety of issues in the initial release. According to Apple, iTunes 7.0.1 "addresses stability and performance issues with Cover Flow, CD importing, iPod syncing, and more." Windows users were apparently hit harder with iTunes 7.0, so we hope this release solves those issues as wellShow full article
At last week's Photokina photographic conference in Cologne, Germany, Apple unveiled Aperture 1.5, a significant update to its professional photo-management toolShow full article
Apple's high-end video and audio applications got a boost this week with a pair of updates. The Pro Applications Update 2006-02 fixes some unspecified problems with the underlying frameworks and shared components of Final Cut Studio 5.1, Final Cut Pro 5.1, Motion 2.1, Soundtrack Pro 1.1, DVD Studio Pro 4.1, LiveType 2.1, Compressor 2.1, Apple Qmaster 2.1, and Final Cut Express HD 3.5Show full article
Smith Micro Software, which purchased Allume Systems (previously known as Aladdin Systems) last year, has released StuffIt Deluxe 11, the latest version of the compression program that has been a part of the Macintosh landscape since 1986Show full article
Instant messaging from Microsoft received a significant Mac-centric upgrade last week with the release of Messenger for Mac 6.0. The latest version is a universal binary, offers Spotlight searching of transcripts, and interoperates with Yahoo's Messenger serviceShow full article
Let's say you desperately need to chat with a friend in another time zone as soon as he's awake or at work. Leaving voice mail or email is fine, but what if your friend doesn't think to check voicemail or read email first thing? Assuming he uses iChat sufficiently to log in automatically, you may be able to rely on a little-known feature of iChat: single-use, per-person alerts. Select your friend's name in your Buddy List, choose Buddies > Get Info (Command-I), and in the Info window, choose Actions from the Show pop-up menu at the topShow full article
For many Macintosh users, the relational database is first and last encountered through recent versions of FileMaker Pro. While Windows users have long utilized Microsoft Access, there has never been an equivalent product included in the Mac version of Microsoft OfficeShow full article
New Ebook Helps Dreamweaver Users Get Started -- Dreamweaver may be the dream tool of the pros, but it can be a nightmare for newcomers and casual Web designersShow full article
Bluetooth and Mighty Mouse on Mac Pro -- Kirk McElhearn shares his tale of woe getting the add-on Bluetooth module working in his Mac Pro. (7 messages) Any good deals on .Mac renewals? This is the time of year when early adopters signed up for Apple's .Mac service at its introduction, which means it's time to renewShow full article