ExtraBITS for 11 November 2013
This week in ExtraBITS, Federico Viticci starts tracking new keyboard shortcuts in iOS 7, Jeff Carlson weighs in on the iPad Air on the MacJury podcast, and Macworld details how Adam Engst and other experts use their Macs. In Apple news, the company has promised the return of missing features in the new iWork suite, released a report on government information requests, and announced that it’s building a new solar-powered factory in Arizona.
New Keyboard Shortcuts in iOS 7 — In iOS 7, Apple quietly added new keyboard shortcuts to some of its apps and gave developers the capability to add their own. So if you use a Bluetooth keyboard with your iOS 7 device, be sure to bookmark this list of shortcuts that Federico Viticci is working on. Since there is no official documentation from Apple, Viticci is learning them by trial and error, as well as from reader submissions, and he will update the list as he learns more.
Jeff Carlson Joins the MacJury to Evaluate the iPad Air — Our own Jeff Carlson joined host Chuck Joiner and David Chartier of Finer Things in Tech on the MacVoices podcast to discuss his first impressions of the new iPad Air, including the buying experience, device speed, and camera improvements.
Apple Promises Restored iWork Features — When Apple overhauled its iWork apps last month, power users were outraged by the loss of features like AppleScript support and custom toolbars. In a rare move, Apple has released a support document promising to restore many of these features within the next six months. If you rely on any of the capabilities Apple removed, hang tight with the previous iWork apps until the new ones catch up. Fortunately, Apple’s support document also explains how to revert documents in the new iWork format to the iWork ’09 format for use with the older software.
Apple Reports on Government Information Requests — Apple has released a detailed report on government information requests about its users. In the 7-page PDF, Apple laments not being able to legally report the number of national security requests in the United States, but says that it’s doing everything short of a lawsuit to liberate that information. Apple says that most of the requests are “device requests” related to stolen devices, which numbered 3,542 in the United States between 1 January 2013 and 30 June 2013. Apple also received 1,000–2,000 “account requests,”
covering things like iCloud, iTunes, and Game Center from U.S. law enforcement in the same period. The company mentions several times in the report that it does not profit from the personal data of its users, stores as little as possible, and encrypts everything to the best of its ability.
Apple to Open New Factory in Arizona — The state of Arizona has announced that Apple will build a new solar-powered manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona, bringing 2,000 jobs to the state. This is part of Apple’s effort to bring manufacturing back to the United States, spearheaded by the upcoming Mac Pro, which will be assembled in Texas. Apple supplier GT Advanced Technologies has announced that the Arizona facility will be used to manufacture industrial sapphire, which Apple uses to protect camera lenses and Touch ID sensors, prompting speculation
that it could be used to protect future displays instead of Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
How Adam Engst and Other Experts Use Their Macs — At Macworld, former TidBITS staff writer Lex Friedman surveyed Mac experts such as TidBITS publisher Adam Engst, Instapaper creator Marco Arment, The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, Faith Korpi of the IRL Talk podcast, and Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software about how they use their Macs. Read on for ideas about how to set up your own Mac and to learn Adam’s strong opinions about window placement.