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#1439: New Macs and iPads coming, CrashPlan for Home ends, standalone Apple Watch podcasts, recent article survey results

Those looking for a new Mac or iPad will want to tune into the webcast of Apple’s special event on 30 October 2018—we have a preview of what Apple might unveil. 14 months ago, Code42 announced it would be shutting down its CrashPlan for Home service…today. Now’s the time to find an alternative if you haven’t already. Find out about the operating system upgrade plans of fellow TidBITS readers, plus survey results on NAS device use and opinions about Do Not Disturb. Finally, Julio Ojeda-Zapata examines how well Overcast and Apple’s Podcasts work for standalone podcasting playback on an Apple Watch. Notable Mac app releases this week include Microsoft Office for Mac 16.18, Things 3.7.2, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 10.2, TechTool Pro 10.1.1, Piezo 1.5.11, Farrago 1.2.2, and BusyCal 3.5 and BusyContacts 1.3.

Josh Centers 22 comments

Apple Likely to Announce New Macs and iPads at Brooklyn Event on 30 October 2018

“There’s more in the making,” says Apple’s cryptic (and customized—check them all out!) invitation to media outlets, announcing an event in Brooklyn on 30 October 2018. If you didn’t receive a custom invite, don’t worry, Apple will be streaming it for the rest of us.

Apple just released new models of the iPhone and Apple Watch, and updated the MacBook Pro line in July. So what might Tim Cook and company unveil at this event?

What are you hoping to see at the event, likely Apple’s last for several months? Let us know in the comments!

Adam Engst 38 comments

CrashPlan for Home Ends Today

Over a year ago, Code42 Software announced that it would be discontinuing its CrashPlan for Home service and software as of 22 October 2018. Joe Kissell, until that point one of CrashPlan’s most enthusiastic fans, explained the situation in “CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups” (22 August 2017). For complete details, see Code42’s FAQ.

October 22nd is now upon us, which means that if you’ve been putting off switching to another Internet backup service, you should get started on that. Our current favorite is Backblaze, and we’re not just saying that because they’re also a TidBITS sponsor. Backblaze charges $5 per month (or $50 for a year, or $95 for 2 years) per computer for an unlimited amount of data. (And if you want to sign up for Backblaze, please click through from a link in this article or a Backblaze banner so they see the value of sponsoring TidBITS. Thanks!)

Other options abound. Code42 negotiated a 50%-off deal with Carbonite, but Joe doesn’t recommend it to Mac users. Other Internet backup companies are offering switchover discounts too, such as IDrive’s $6.95 for 5 TB for the first year deal (that plan regularly costs $69.50). IDrive was Joe’s runner-up in his extensive review of the field for Wirecutter.

For optimum data security, we recommend a three-pronged backup strategy.

  1. Versioned Backups: Use Time Machine with an external hard drive to make it easy to recover an accidentally deleted or corrupted file, and to provide a restoration option when moving to a new drive or migrating to a new Mac.
  2. Bootable Duplicate: Rely on software like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper (and there are many others) to make a bootable duplicate that will help you get up and running quickly if something goes wrong with your boot drive. A duplicate is also helpful when moving to a new boot drive or Mac.
  3. Offsite Backups: Subscribe to an Internet backup service, or figure out a way of storing a backup drive in another location to ensure the safety of your backups in the event of fire, flood, or theft.

If you need help developing a backup strategy that makes sense for your particular situation or assistance with configuring and using Time Machine and the cloning apps, Joe’s Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac remains the canonical reference.

Remember, when it comes to data loss, the question is when, not if, it will happen. We all lose data—I used Time Machine twice just last week to recover older versions of graphics that I messed up while editing.

Adam Engst 7 comments

Survey Responses: Apple OS Upgrade Plans, NAS Devices, and Do Not Disturb

As you’ve likely noticed, we’ve started running a super short survey at the end of some articles to get a sense of what readers think of the topic covered. These aren’t in the slightest bit statistically significant, but they may reveal some things about those who choose to participate. And please do participate! None of the surveys will take you more than 30 seconds to complete.

Every so often, we’ll go over the results, calling out the most interesting bits. Here’s a look at three recent polls.

Apple Operating System Upgrade Plans

The most significant news for many Apple users in the last month has been the releases of iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, iOS 12 for the HomePod, and macOS 10.14 Mojave. We wrote about the process in “When and How to Upgrade to iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS 10.14 Mojave” (17 September 2018) and in the end-of-article survey, asked when users thought they would upgrade.

iOS 12

As we both recommended and expected, iOS 12 was a relatively easy upgrade decision for most people. Of the 561 respondents, 69% were either using the betas already or planned to upgrade almost immediately, and another 25% thought they’d upgrade within a couple of months. Only 5% thought they’d wait until 2019 and less than 2% said they’d never upgrade.

iOS 12 upgrade responses

watchOS 5

Of the 295 respondents who said they had an Apple Watch Series 1 or later, 65% were either using the betas or plan to upgrade right away. About 15% plan to upgrade in 2018, with a handful putting it off to 2019. Oddly, 21% of respondents said they’d never upgrade, which makes little sense. There’s essentially no reason to avoid watchOS 5 if your Apple Watch supports it (the original model does not).

watchOS 5 upgrade survey responses

tvOS 12

The Apple TV proved a little more popular than the Apple Watch, with 319 respondents. Of them, about 60% were either using the betas or plan to upgrade immediately, 16% planned to wait a few weeks, and 8% were going to put off the upgrade a little longer. The virtual sticks in the mud were again out in force with the Apple TV, with 16% of respondents saying they’d never upgrade. I remain surprised, and a little disheartened, that so many people are saying they plan to avoid upgrades like this that have no apparent downside. If you really don’t want tvOS 12, you’ll have to turn off automatic upgrades, since the Apple TV will try to update itself.

tvOS 12 upgrade survey responses

iOS 12 on HomePod

Many fewer people have HomePods, and of the 192 respondents who do, 48% said they’d upgrade immediately, and about 12% said they’d wait a bit. Weirdly, 40% said they would never upgrade, which makes no sense at all. The HomePod tries to update itself automatically and there’s no reason I can imagine why any HomePod user wouldn’t want the new software. I hope those respondents must have misunderstood the question in some way. Perhaps they were trying to suggest that they would never buy a HomePod.

macOS 10.14 Mojave: Mojave came out a week after the rest, and we specifically asked when you planned to upgrade your main Mac. Whereas we recommended quick or immediate upgrades on Apple’s other operating systems, we suggested that caution was the better part of valor with Mojave (neither Tonya nor I have yet upgraded our 27-inch iMacs to Mojave).

Nonetheless, about 44% of the 557 respondents were using the betas or planned to upgrade right away. Another 22% were going to delay only until the end of October, 19% until the end of 2018, and 11% until sometime in 2019. Fewer than 5% of respondents said they’d never upgrade. Frankly, I expected more hesitation and, given the vocal nature of the people still using old versions of macOS, more people who had no plans to upgrade ever.

Mojave upgrade survey responses

If you’d like to dive a little deeper, you can see the full results; hover over or tap any wedge in a pie chart for more detailed numbers.

And for those who reflexively responded “Never” to any of the questions above, I encourage you to read “Why You Should Upgrade (On Your Own Terms)” (4 September 2015). It’s a few years old, but still entirely relevant.

NAS Usage

Jeff Carlson wrote a great piece explaining network-attached storage (see “NAS: What You Need to Know before Buying,” 27 August 2018) and at the end, we asked readers if they used a NAS device now or were thinking about buying one, and about the uses to which they put or plan to put a NAS.

54% of 308 respondents said that they used a NAS, and of the 186 who didn’t, 82% were thinking about buying one.

NAS survey responses

The uses to which respondents put NAS devices were unsurprising. The most popular was network backup, at 84%, followed by LAN-based file sharing at 76% (47% want to access those files remotely), and 68% of respondents use the NAS as a media server. A handful of people—less than 6%—use their NAS as a Web or email server.

A number of other uses got single votes: VPN server, DNS server, wiki, coastal redundancy, vCard/vCal server, and chat server. Here are the full results.

Do Not Disturb

In iOS 12, Apple enhanced the Do Not Disturb feature, and I explained the changes in “Inside iOS 12: Do Not Disturb Learns to Turn Itself Off” (19 September 2018). In the survey associated with that article, I asked a few questions to determine how readers use Do Not Disturb. Here are the full results.

I was pleased to see that 80% of the 155 respondents use Do Not Disturb regularly—it’s an extremely helpful feature. 60% of readers have set Do Not Disturb schedules, so their iOS devices don’t bother them at certain times. That implies that a fair percentage of respondents in our survey use Do Not Disturb manually, and 49% of the respondents thought that iOS 12’s enhancements would encourage them to use Do Not Disturb manually more often.

Do Not Disturb survey responses

For the last question in the survey, I threw in one regarding something I was curious about, even though I barely touched on it in the article: Do Not Disturb While Driving. I was somewhat surprised to see that only 31% of the respondents said they used Do Not Disturb While Driving to prevent text messages and other notifications from coming in while in the car.

Do Not Disturb While Driving survey responses

Although I think the feature is important, and I recommend it to everyone, it’s possible that many TidBITS readers either feel that they have sufficient self-control to avoid looking at their iPhones while driving or simply don’t communicate enough by text for it to feel necessary. At least I hope that’s it—don’t text and drive, folks!

That’s it for this week, but I’ll look at the results of some additional surveys soon. Thanks to everyone who took a few seconds to respond, and we hope that more of you will participate in future polls.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 2 comments

Overcast and Apple’s Podcasts Make the Apple Watch a Decent Podcast Player

Using the Apple Watch as a standalone, iPod-style podcast player makes sense: Load episode files into its internal storage, leave the iPhone behind, and hit play on the Apple Watch to start listening through AirPods or other Bluetooth earbuds. This approach appeals to athletes and those who prefer not to carry an iPhone at all times.

Until recently, though, copying podcast files to the Apple Watch could only be accomplished using obscure third-party apps with rough edges and reliability problems (see “Five Apps That Play Podcasts Directly from Your Apple Watch,” 9 April 2018).

Now, thanks to capabilities exposed in watchOS 5, better podcast apps have arrived. Apple has released an Apple Watch version of its Podcasts iOS app, which enables transferring podcasts from phone to watch and turns the Apple Watch into a decent standalone podcast player. Podcasts works with Apple Watch versions all the way back to the Series 1 but excludes the original Apple Watch, which cannot run watchOS 5.

The popular (and free) Overcast podcast app for iOS now also has a sibling app on the Apple Watch. Developer Marco Arment is revisiting the Apple Watch after an initial foray he deemed so unsatisfactory that he aborted it back in August 2017. With watchOS 5, he thinks he can more reliably transfer podcast files to the Apple Watch and properly execute playback there.

Each app also functions as a remote control for its companion iPhone app so you can control playback of iPhone-stored episodes without pulling out your iPhone.

Apple’s Podcasts takes watch-based podcast playback one step further, enabling cloud-based podcast streaming on Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 models. This feature requires an Internet connection via Wi-Fi or cellular while eliminating the need for the companion iPhone to be involved. You can even summon such content by name using Siri commands.


If you use Apple’s Podcasts on your iPhone, your subscriptions automatically appear in the Apple Watch version of the app. This includes downloaded episodes, which sync to the watch.

If you want to fine-tune this syncing behavior, go into the Watch app on your iPhone, select Podcasts, and switch from Listen Now to Custom. A toggle for each subscribed podcast appears; flip the ones you want, ignore the rest. Syncing will then proceed selectively, based on the new settings.

Sync settings for Podcasts on Apple WatchApple Watch apps have to be simple by necessity, given limited on-screen real estate, and the Podcasts app is no exception. You are greeted with just two buttons: On iPhone and Library. (A third button, Now Playing, appears when playback of a podcast is in progress.) Below these buttons is an additional interface flourish—a carousel of podcast logos that flips with vertical finger swipes.

Let’s look at these interface elements, starting with On iPhone. This is where you turn your Apple Watch into a remote control for your iPhone. Tap play on your watch and the episode audio will emanate from your phone.

You can browse for On iPhone content in four ways.

  • Listen Now, corresponding to the feature of the same name in Podcasts for iOS, displays new and unplayed episodes from subscribed podcasts, as well as manually downloaded episodes from unsubscribed podcasts.
  • Shows lists your subscribed podcasts; tap one for a list of that show’s episodes.
  • Episodes gives you a single, scrolling list of episodes from all your shows, displayed in reverse chronological order.
  • Stations shows any podcasts you’ve bundled together on your iPhone to create a kind of specialized playlist with this radio-style name. For instance, I have a My News station that aggregates several of my favorite news-themed podcasts and plays episodes from all of them chronologically as if it were a single show.

Browsing podcasts on the Apple Watch.

When you play an episode, the aforementioned third button—Now Playing—appears on the main menu, and at the top of the On iPhone menu. Tap either for a play window with a play/pause button, a round volume indicator you can adjust with the Digital Crown, a button to speed up or slow down playback, and buttons to skip forward and backward.

Next up is Library, which holds episodes synced to the watch, as well as those that you can stream directly from the Internet. As with the On iPhone options, episodes are listed by show and also in a reverse-chronological episode list. When you play an episode, a Now Playing button appears on the main menu—but, oddly, not in the Library menu.

On my Apple Watch Series 4 without cellular access, I found it difficult to distinguish between downloaded episodes and those that were only available for streaming. I repeatedly got a warning that I needed Wi-Fi or cellular to access a particular episode, meaning it was not stored locally. The episode played fine when I was back on Wi-Fi, but this raised the question of how and where to find my synced episodes.

Finally, we come to the carousel of podcast logos. It’s a lovely touch since it provides a highly visual way to flip through your subscribed podcasts. When you tap one of the album covers, the newest episode of the corresponding podcast begins playing.

Unfortunately, I was at times again unable to play episodes when away from Wi-Fi. So, again, where are my synced audio files? Certain podcast logos showed little cloud icons, which supposedly indicates they are available only for streaming, but episodes without those icons wouldn’t play away from Wi-Fi either.

Siri integration is a welcome bonus because it gives you access to the entirety of the iTunes podcast catalog from your Apple Watch—assuming you already know what you want, since there is no way to peruse the catalog visually. You can use Siri to subscribe to podcasts and to play episodes of podcasts to which you’re subscribed.


I was intrigued about Overcast for watchOS since I’ve used the iPhone version intermittently over the years, and it’s one of the most popular podcast apps.

After you’ve installed Overcast for iOS and set up your subscriptions, you’re ready to install the watchOS version via your iPhone’s Watch app and fine-tune a few settings. As with Apple’s Podcasts, Overcast is designed to auto-sync episode files from phone to watch—and you can decide how many episodes (10, 20, or 50) will sync. Additionally, you can use toggles to select which shows and playlists will sync, and which won’t.

The auto-sync setting in Overcast.

Overcast on the Apple Watch provides three screens: one that lists playlists and podcasts either on your iPhone or synced to the Apple Watch, one that lists episodes available to play in the currently selected show, and a play screen.

Overcast on the Apple Watch.I particularly appreciated Overcast’s initial screen, which makes it crystal-clear where an episode file resides. At the top, it has icons of a phone and a watch. Tap the phone icon, and you are in On Your iPhone remote-control mode. Tap the watch icon, and you are in On Your Watch, working with files copied to the watch. This toggle eliminates the ambiguity that can make Podcasts confounding.

When you’re in On Your iPhone mode, you get a full accounting of what is on the iPhone. The only episodes displayed on the Apple Watch, however, are those downloaded to the iPhone. Overcast on the Apple Watch cannot stream episodes from the Internet, unlike Podcasts. When you’re in On Your Watch mode, you also see only those shows with episodes synced to the watch.

Navigation with Overcast is more flexible and intuitive than in Podcasts. In addition to tapping (to navigate into a playlist or show, or to play an episode), Overcast supports leftward and rightward swiping between its three screens. From the main screen, swipe left once to move to the currently selected episode and a second time to get to the play screen. Podcasts allows only rightward swipes, as the equivalent of a back button.

Overcast’s play screen shows a play button, a progress bar, a round volume indicator that you control with the Digital Crown, and buttons to skip forward or backward by particular amounts of time. If you’re playing an episode that resides on the Apple Watch, a watch icon appears at the lower left.

Overcast, though thoughtfully designed, didn’t always work well for me. I ran into performance hiccups, such as play buttons that would not work or responded sluggishly, unwanted episodes appearing unexpectedly on the screen, and so on.

Phone-to-watch syncing was sometimes flaky, as well. Podcasts are supposed to sync in the background, typically overnight when the watch is charging, but I frequently couldn’t get every show designated for syncing to do so, even after leaving the Apple Watch and iPhone idle for hours. There’s a workaround: episodes in the iPhone app have a manual send-to-watch option that works nicely, though not always as quickly as I would like.

Finally, I sometimes found it hard to keep Overcast in On Your Watch mode. I’d be playing a locally synced podcast and then pause to do something else. When I returned to the app, the play screen still displayed the episode, but it was the version from my iPhone, and I had to navigate back to the watch version. This isn’t a big deal, but it’s a little annoying.

Limitations and Potential

The Apple Watch versions of Podcasts and Overcast, though a boon for podcast addicts, have other shortcomings.

Neither displays episode descriptions, which can make it difficult to figure out what an episode is about. Neither lets you scrub audio with a fingertip, so you have to mash the forward and backward buttons repeatedly. Neither lets you browse podcast catalogs, though that wouldn’t be ideal on such a diminutive screen.

Despite their limitations, these podcast apps point to something powerful: a smartwatch that is increasingly independent of its companion smartphone. Another recent indication of this evolution is the Audible app, released by the Amazon-owned audiobook publisher, which now allows transfer of audio files to the watch for standalone playback much like Podcasts and Overcast do.

What about other leading iOS podcast apps with Apple Watch apps? Pocket Casts (my current favorite) and Castro come to mind. While neither has announced support for standalone Apple Watch playback, I have to imagine that’s on the roadmap.

Pocket Casts does have sophisticated phone-remote capabilities that are keeping me loyal, at least part of the time. Its Apple Watch app shows me newly released episodes of all my subscribed podcasts, and I can tap any listing to begin playback on my iPhone. Unplayed, partially played, and starred episodes are displayed on separate watch screens. Even filtering capabilities can be accessed on the Apple Watch as well as on the iPhone.

Castro is less appealing at the moment, permitting watch playback of an iPhone-hosted episode only if it has been added to the iPhone app’s queue, and providing no watch functionality beyond that.

For standalone Apple Watch playback, meanwhile, Podcasts and Overcast are both fantastic choices. Podcasts could use a bit of interface refinement to distinguish between local and remote episodes, and Overcast would benefit from some bug fixes and performance improvements.

But, with impeccable pedigrees and interfaces that already go a long way to making the Apple Watch a kick-ass podcast player, these two apps are definitely worth a look.


Microsoft Office for Mac 16.18 Agen Schmitz 4 comments

Microsoft Office for Mac 16.18

Microsoft has released version 16.18 of Office for Mac—now officially called Office 2019 for Mac for the standalone release (Office 365 remains the name for the subscription option). When you insert an image, both Word and PowerPoint now suggest captions that can be read by people with vision impairments, and PowerPoint adds animation triggers that enable you to start an animation effect when you click on a shape or object. Excel gets a new Ideas button that looks for patterns in your data and returns interesting visuals about them in a task pane, and it also gains an improved AutoComplete menu that lets you choose from argument options. ($149.99 for one-time purchase, $99.99/$69.99 annual subscription options, free update through Microsoft AutoUpdate, release notes, macOS 10.10+)

Things 3.7.2 Agen Schmitz No comments

Things 3.7.2

After introducing support for macOS 10.14 Mojave and Dark mode in version 3.7, Cultured Code has issued Things 3.7.2 with bug fixes. The updated task manager fixes an issue with the appearance of popup menu rows and some confirmation alerts after switching between Light and Dark mode, and it resolves some glitches in dialogs when Things was in Dark mode while Mojave was in Light mode. The new version also tweaks the algorithm for increasing contrast of calendar colors against the background, implements scrolling to reveal active controls while editing long to-dos that go offscreen, improves how colors are used for text selections when a window becomes inactive, and resolves an issue with Things consuming too much CPU power when in the background. ($49.99 new from the Mac App Store, 14.8 MB, release notes, macOS 10.11+)

PDFpen and PDFpenPro 10.2 Agen Schmitz No comments

PDFpen and PDFpenPro 10.2

Smile has released version 10.2 of PDFpen and PDFpenPro with support for Dark mode in macOS 10.14 Mojave. The PDF editing and manipulation apps also smooth scrolling through PDFs, improve the speed of drawing thumbnails, and increase maximum zoom to 1600%. ($74.95/$124.95 new with a 20% discount for TidBITS members, $30 upgrade, 71.4/118 MB, macOS 10.12+)

TechTool Pro 10.1.1 Agen Schmitz 1 comment

TechTool Pro 10.1.1

Micromat released TechTool Pro 10 earlier this year with improved disk repair, support for iCloud Drive, and testing of iOS battery performance. This major upgrade for the hard drive and system repair-and-maintenance tool now supports testing and repair of MS-DOS (FAT32) and ExFAT formatted volumes, enabling you to test and repair memory cards and thumb drives. With iCloud Drive support, TechTool Pro will send test results to any iOS device logged in to the same iCloud account with the TechTool Pro Remote iOS app. The release can also test the battery performance of an iOS device connected to your Mac.

This month, Micromat issued version 10.1.1 to resolve a Battery Check test crash during application launch, improve detection of iOS devices for the Battery Check test, update the Sensors Test and Processor Check tool to support 2018 models of the MacBook Pro, add a Mount/Unmount Volume button to the Volume Structures test, and fix a bug related to rebuilding a unmounted volume.

TechTool Pro 10 costs $129.99, and users with a license from TechTool Pro 9 can upgrade for $29.99. Micromat also offers upgrade pricing for licenses from TechTool Pro 8 ($49.99) and TechTool Pro 7 and earlier ($59.99). Officially, TechTool Pro 10 is compatible with macOS 10.10 Yosemite through 10.13 High Sierra, but a post in Micromat’s Knowledge Base notes that the company is working on an update that will be fully compatible with 10.14 Mojave. ($129 new, free update, 180.4 MB, release notes, macOS 10.10+)

Piezo 1.5.11 Agen Schmitz No comments

Piezo 1.5.11

Rogue Amoeba has released Piezo 1.5.11, updating its included Audio Capture Engine (ACE) to version 9.1.2 for compatibility with macOS 10.14 Mojave and to fix capturing audio from Voice Memos and other apps that have been ported from iOS to macOS. The simple audio recording app also improves error reporting when attempting to capture audio from apps which require the ACE component, ensures Piezo’s source selector behaves better with sources requiring ACE, and updates VoiceOver to work around a change Apple made in Mojave (menu items will now properly reflect the most recent action taken). ($19 new with a 20% discount for TidBITS members, free update, 7.3 MB, release notes, macOS 10.11+)

Farrago 1.2.2 Agen Schmitz No comments

Farrago 1.2.2

Rogue Amoeba has issued version 1.2.2 of Farrago, improving playback and eliminating glitches when seeking in the Inspector area. The soundboard application now immediately updates the user interface when a MIDI device connects or disconnects, resolves a crashing bug that could be caused by simulated hotkey presses, and updates VoiceOver to work around a change Apple made in macOS 10.14 Mojave. Farrago now requires a minimum of 10.11 El Capitan. ($39 new with a 20% discount for TidBITS members, free update, 14.8 MB, release notes, macOS 10.11+)

BusyCal 3.5 and BusyContacts 1.3 Agen Schmitz No comments

BusyCal 3.5 and BusyContacts 1.3

BusyMac has released BusyCal 3.5 and BusyContacts 1.3, with both adding support for Dark mode in macOS 10.14 Mojave and improving auto-discovery of CalDAV and Exchange accounts.

BusyCal 3.5 now enables you to create new calendars for a group by right-clicking on a Calendar Group, adds an option to Send Email with Attachment to attach the .ics file when an attendee’s email address is right-clicked, improves handling of the EST timezone from Exchange, resolves an issue with the location pin not showing the “route” option on the map, and fixes a bug that could drop keystrokes when entering a calendar title.

BusyContacts 1.3 no longer supports contacts from LinkedIn and Facebook due to macOS 10.14 Mojave removing system-level support for these services. The update also fixes a bug that disabled the Duplicate and Delete Card menu options, resolves an auto-save issue that could cause syncing delays, and eliminates a bug that could cause cards to be duplicated on IceWarp servers. ($49.99 new for BusyCal from BusyMac or the Mac App Store, free update, 17.5 MB, release notes, macOS 10.11+; $49.99 new for BusyContacts from BusyMac or the Mac App Store, free update, 11.2 MB, release notes, macOS 10.11+)


Adobe Is Bringing “Real Photoshop” to the iPad Josh Centers 2 comments

Adobe Is Bringing “Real Photoshop” to the iPad

Adobe has announced that what it is calling “real Photoshop”—a nearly full-featured version of Photoshop CC—is coming to the iPad sometime in 2019. The Verge tested a development copy and reports that while the current version doesn’t have every tool available in the desktop version of Photoshop, it’s very close, and even offers a few exclusive features. Still to come is Cloud PSD—a new file format that will let multiple users across various platforms work on the same document at the same time, much like Google Docs. What’s your take? Will Photoshop on the iPad change your workflow in an important way?

How Kids Are Circumventing iOS 12’s Screen Time Limits Josh Centers No comments

How Kids Are Circumventing iOS 12’s Screen Time Limits

In iOS 12, Apple introduced Screen Time, which—among other uses—is supposed to help you regulate your kids’ device usage. But children are resourceful, have a lot of time on their hands, and are highly motivated, so it should come as no surprise that they’re already finding ways to work around Screen Time. The Next Web documents a few of the ways they’re bypassing time- and app-based limits:

  • Resetting the time and date to trick Screen Time into thinking it’s a new day.
  • Deleting locked-out games and re-downloading them from the App Store.
  • Sending YouTube videos to themselves in iMessage and then watching the videos from Messages.

The moral of the story, of course, is that technological solutions can go only so far when it comes to good parenting. Screen Time, and parental controls in general, are a resource, not a crutch.

Americans Can Now Download Their Apple Data Josh Centers 5 comments

Americans Can Now Download Their Apple Data

For months now, as Kirk McElhearn documented in “How to Download all Your Apple Data” (31 May 2018), Europeans have been able to download all of the data Apple has on them. The company has now opened that feature up to US residents from its privacy portal. However, as TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker explains, don’t be surprised there isn’t much of interest, since Apple collects much of its user data anonymously.

Instructions for getting a copy of your data.