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iMessage spam getting you down? We tell you how to report it to Apple. While Apple busies itself shutting out iMessage spam, Apple subsidiary FileMaker is shutting down its popular consumer database, Bento. Adam Engst advises you on how to save your Bento data, and he also offers a sneak peak of the upcoming MacTech Conference 2013. Josh Centers takes a look at three items this week: Google’s new Chromecast TV peripheral, the Mac version of the podcatcher Downcast, and his latest entrant for FunBITS, the Lumosity app and Web site, which promises to make you smarter. Finally, we have yet another chapter in Jeff Carlson’s “Take Control of Your Digital Photos” for you, complete with step-by-step instructions for searching and creating smart albums. Notable software releases this week include OpenOffice 4.0, Growl 2.1, Airfoil 4.8, Typinator 5.6, ReadKit 2.2.1, and Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9.

Adam Engst 49 comments

FileMaker Closes the Lid on Bento

Despite selling over one million units, FileMaker Inc. has announced that it is discontinuing its personal database product Bento. Adam Engst delves into the details, and suggests that the moral of the story is that we users must constantly be vigilant when relying on an app or service to make sure we have an exit strategy.

Adam Engst No comments

Chapter 7 of “Take Control of Your Digital Photos” Available

If you’ve been following along with Jeff Carlson’s advice in our streamed ebook, “Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” you’re shooting smarter, assigning metadata at import, and applying keywords and other metadata later on. Now it’s time to take advantage of that work, and learn how you can locate images nearly instantly. In this chapter, Jeff provides step-by-step instructions in the four photo-management apps on how to search for specific metadata — such as keywords and ratings, and even camera-generated data — to track down shots. Then he explains how to encapsulate such searches into smart albums whose contents change based on criteria you specify.

Josh Centers 15 comments

Testing Google’s Chromecast for Apple Users

At a mere $35, Google’s new Chromecast is a tempting alternative to the Apple TV, but how does it stack up for Apple users, including educators and business professionals? Josh Centers put it through its paces, and even tried a game to see how it compares to the Apple TV.

TidBITS Staff No comments

ExtraBITS for 5 August 2013

Android’s critics often talk about how fragmented its ecosystem is, but the developers of the OpenSignal app have finally given the fragmentation life with a variety of visualizations. In Apple news, the Obama administration has saved older iOS devices from a Samsung-initiated import ban, and Apple is giving away free content in its Apple Store app. We also bring you the story of the classic educational game The Oregon Trail, Josh Centers appeared on MacVoices to tell the story of how he joined TidBITS, your Xerox WorkCentre copier could be mixing up its numbers, and Amazon has found a clever workaround for Apple’s in-app purchasing restrictions.