On 16 October 2014, Apple released OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and as has become our tradition, we published not one, not two, but three Take Control books about the new operating system the same day, assuming you interpret “same day” as “before we went to bed.” The first two are straightforward and useful, and the third has more real-world, practical advice for the modern Mac user than anything we’ve published recently:
- “Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite,” by Joe Kissell
- “Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course,” by Scholle McFarland
- “Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course,” also by Joe Kissell
We’ll explain more about what’s in these books below, but if you just want to grab them now and save with a bundle discount, click a link here to put them right in the cart:
- Yosemite Basics bundle: Save $5 (20 percent off) on “Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite” and “Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course.” You pay $20, list price is $25.
- Yosemite Sharing bundle: Save $10.50 (30 percent off) on the first two titles plus “Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course.” You pay $24.50, list is $35.
So, what’s in each book and why are we excited about them?
Do you want to upgrade to Yosemite with confidence? The first and best guide to upgrading, now in its eighth major installment, is Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite.” The series has helped tens of thousands of Mac users since 2003, and gives you the benefit of Joe’s years of installation experience. You’ll ensure that your hardware and software are ready for Yosemite, protect against problems with a bootable duplicate, eliminate digital clutter, prepare your Mac, and decide on your best installation method, no matter what version of Mac OS X you’re upgrading from, all the way back to 10.4 Tiger. Then you’ll find full installation directions plus advice on over a dozen things to do immediately after installation and troubleshooting techniques. Joe also explains upgrading from the Yosemite public beta and “upgrades” that involve moving your data to a new Mac from an old Mac or Windows PC. It’s 152 pages and costs $15.
The next two books are in our new Take Control Crash Course series, which brings you the first-rate content you expect from us in shorter chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Because so many Take Control readers provide tech support to others, each concise chapter has sharing buttons and practical tweet-tips, making it easy to freely share a few pages with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who really need the information. Take Control Crash Courses feature a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF while retaining a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobipocket versions. I’ll explain more about what we’re trying to achieve with the Take Control Crash Course series in a future article.
For now, though read “Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course,” to get more out of your Mac as you go about your everyday activities. Written by former Macworld editor Scholle McFarland, this book introduces Yosemite’s new interface and discusses new features like iCloud Drive, Handoff, iPhone voice/SMS relay, and Notification Center’s Today view. You’ll learn about key changes in core Apple apps with chapters about Safari, Mail, Messages, and Calendar. You’ll also find answers to questions brought on by recent additions to OS X, such as how to control notifications, tips for using Finder tags, and working with tabbed Finder windows. The book closes with two under-the-hood topics: setting up a new user account (for a child, guest, or troubleshooting) and troubleshooting (with techniques including Safe Boot and OS X Recovery). It’s 77 pages and costs $10.
Beyond what’s new in Yosemite is the larger problem facing most of us — how to work effectively in today’s ecosystem of devices, services, and collaborators. Frankly, sharing with other people and devices is messy, because everyone wants something different. That’s why “Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course” may be our most important book of the year, and why we are so grateful to Joe Kissell for taking on the challenge of describing how to share nearly anything you can think of in nearly every imaginable situation. Here are just a few of the gems in this book:
- How iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream are entirely different
- How to share photos fleetingly, privately, permanently, or with your fridge
- The best ways to sync a project’s worth of files with others
- Services to provide ubiquitous access to your own files across devices
- Quick ways to make a file available for download by anyone
- How to share calendars with others, whether or not they use iCloud
- A brief tutorial on enabling Family Sharing
- Tweaky workarounds for contact sharing, which is surprisingly difficult
- How to rip a DVD to your MacBook Air using an older Mac’s SuperDrive
- How to turn your iPhone or Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot
- Ways of watching your uncle work remotely, as you help him with iTunes
- Approaches to syncing Web browser bookmarks and tabs with multiple devices
- How to securely share a collection of passwords with someone else
The list of essential but often frustrating modern tasks goes on and on, and the solutions go way beyond what Apple offers, so “Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course” does too. Non-Apple products mentioned include 1Password, Airfoil, BitTorrent Sync, Cargo Lifter, CloudyTabs, Dropbox, Exchange, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Instagram, iPhoto Library Manager, Outlook, Pandora, PhotoCard, Printopia, Reflector, Rdio, Spotify, Syncmate, Syncphotos, Transporter, Twitter, Xmarks, and more. Plus, thanks to the new Take Control Crash Course format, you can jump right to the chapter that answers your question, without having to read through lots of other information. It’s 87 pages and $10.
If you’re wondering what’s happened to “iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course,” Josh Centers continues to burn the midnight oil working on it. We moved it to the back burner to concentrate on the Yosemite books because some iOS 8 features were still becoming functional over the last few weeks. With Yosemite and iOS 8.1 now out, this book is our next priority.