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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 30 April 2012

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.1 — Microsoft has released Office for Mac 2011 14.2.1, a redo of its recently released Service Pack 2 (see “Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.0,” 12 April 2012) that includes the same improvements and tweaks of that previous version. According to the Office for Mac blog, the 14.2.0 update was pulled because of “issues that affected a small percentage of users.” Many of those issues, centered largely on a variety of problems with Outlook
as well as crashes with Word and Excel, are detailed on this forum at MacInTouch. For the time being, we recommend caution in applying this update. (Free update as a download or through Microsoft AutoUpdate, 110 MB, release notes)

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Pear Note 3.0 — Useful Fruit Software has released Pear Note 3, a major update to the company’s multimedia note-taking application. While it drops support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the new release adds support for Auto Save and Versions in 10.7 Lion, as well as full-screen mode. Pear Note 3 also adds 720p HD video recording capabilities in Lion, assuming a compatible video camera. It now integrates with Ecamm’s Call Recorder for Skype app, enabling you to synchronize your note taking with a recorded Skype call’s timeline. Finally, the companion Pear Note for iPad app has also been updated to version 1.0.4, offering additional compatibility with Pear Note 3 and updating to Retina display-savvy graphics. ($39.99 new from Useful Fruit Software and the Mac App Store, 3.3 MB, release notes)

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Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.5 — Bombich Software has released Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.5, addressing a variety of issues. The popular donationware disk cloning and backup utility migrates entries in its private keychain to a new keychain that complies with the Gatekeeper security feature in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Should a system dialog ask you to grant access to a keychain item, be sure to click Allow. The update also reverts to running a scheduled task automatically upon waking your Mac if the task’s run time occurred during sleep (which was built into the app in versions before 3.4.4). You can contact the Bombich Software Help Desk for guidance on a hidden setting that
automatically skips tasks missed during sleep. Other fixes include more-consistent Growl notifications in 10.7 Lion, ensuring the last choice in the preset configurations menu is retained, and correctly rescheduling tasks configured to run weekly or monthly. (Free update, 6.5 MB, release notes)

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Send to Kindle for Mac 1.0 — Amazon has released Send to Kindle for Mac 1.0, which enables you to transfer documents and images to your Kindle reader or Kindle app on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The Send to Kindle app offers three ways to transfer files: drag-and-drop onto the app’s Dock icon or main window; select one or more files in the Finder and choose Services > Send to Kindle from the contextual menu; or choose the Send to Kindle virtual printer when printing from any Mac app to send a PDF. You can send only a limited selection of file types, including PDF, Microsoft Word (.doc and
.docx), text documents (.txt and .rtf), and the usual grab bag of image files (for a complete rundown, see this Amazon help page). Additionally, Adam Engst notes that it quietly supports Mobipocket ebook files as well (see “How to Download EPUB, PDF, and Mobipocket to the Kindle Fire,” 22 April 2012), but EPUB is not supported at all. Document files are sent to your Kindle or Kindle app over Wi-Fi, though you can choose to use Amazon’s Whispernet service for a fee of $0.15 per megabyte within the United States ($0.99 per megabyte when traveling internationally). The Send to Kindle
app is also available in a Windows version. (Free, 8.1 MB)

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Firefox 12.0 — If you’ve just restarted Firefox on your Mac, you may have noticed that the Web browser updated itself to the new version 12 without any action on your part. This automatic update has been commonplace for Firefox on the Mac since the introduction of version 4 (remember that Mozilla now increments Firefox’s major version number for every bug fix release, so version 12 would be roughly 4.8 in a sensible system), but Windows users had to hurdle the User Access Control (UAC) prompt in order to give Firefox elevated filesystem
privileges for installation of any new update (according to Ars Technica). Firefox 12 adds the silent update capability for Windows users, though an initial UAC approval is still required. Meanwhile, back to what you likely care about, the Mac version of Firefox 12 gains little, most notably centered on search results from Find in Page and security fixes. It now also downloads URLs pasted into the Download Manager window. Mozilla touts 85 improvements to Firefox’s developer tools, including the addition of Find
and Jump to Line commands in the Scratchpad and taking away the requirement to reload a page to view messages in the Web Console. (Free, 30.1 MB, release notes)

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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.8 — Smile has updated both PDFpen and PDFpenPro to version 5.8, which brings support for iCloud folders to the PDF-manipulation applications. While support for accessing PDF files in iCloud was added previously (see “PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.7,” 25 January 2012), this update improves sharing of iCloud folders between the Mac app and PDFpen for iPad (now updated to version 1.1). You can now create new folders, rename folders, and
move documents via drag-and-drop. The update also fixes some OCR issues, drops support for 32-bit Intel processors, and offers other unnamed minor fixes and improvements. Smile also has updated to version 1.1 the PDFpen Cloud Access Mac utility (available from the Mac App Store for $0.99). It’s required for iCloud access for those who purchased either PDFpen or PDFpenPro directly from Smile instead of through the Mac App Store, since only applications sold through the Mac App Store can tie into iCloud. ($59.95/$99.95 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, 43.3 MB)

In addition to improved iCloud folder management, PDFpen for iPad 1.1 has been optimized for the Retina display and enables page rotation. It’s available from the App Store for an introductory price of $9.99 until 1 May 2012 (after which the price increases to $14.99).

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Bookle 1.0.5 — Taking a brief break from his Keyboard Maestro development, Peter Lewis of Stairways Software has pushed out a minor 1.0.5 update to Bookle, the EPUB reader he developed in collaboration with us. The changes include a first stab at full control over EPUB display, as evidenced by the addition of 20 pixel margins on the left and right sides of the text, one of our most-requested tweaks. (We’re hoping to use this capability to give readers greater control over book display.) Also new is the addition of Command-Delete as a keyboard shortcut for Delete Book, and Command-Option-Delete to delete the current book
without a confirmation prompt. Alas, Peter forgot to update the version number and date in the About box, so if you need to verify that you have 1.0.5, select the app in the Finder, press Command-I, and look in the Get Info window. The update is available via the App Store app. ($9.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update, 2.69 MB)

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