Wallpapers for our Mac, iPhone and iPad are what in many ways give our devices a personal touch. The challenge though is finding a wallpaper that fits us as individuals. That is where uDesktop NEXT comes to the rescue. uDesktop NEXT is a Mac app that allows you to find wallpapers for your Mac – including Retina sized ones – your iPhone and iPad in a wide range of categories. Better still, the app makes finding these wallpapers easy and making them your wallpaper is a snap. uDesktop NEXT is one of the better wallpaper apps for Mac we have reviewed here at AlliOSNews both for its ease of use as well as the thousands of wallpapers, most of which are unique to the app, that are downloadable for free from within it.
Finder in OS X is a powerful tool for finding files and folders on your Mac. By default, Finder is going to open up Documents when you start it which may work for most but for me, didn’t work at all. Why? I’m a Dropbox user. Having the Finder Default Folder on Documents meant that I was always at least one click away from Dropbox when I was looking for a file. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but as we all know, one extra click when you are in a rush is not a good thing.
Apple has made it quite easy however to change the Finder default folder in OS X so you can customise it to work best for
you. To start, open up Finder on your Mac. Next, open up the Preferences for Finder by either going to Finder>Preferences on the Menu bar or by tapping Command+, on your keyboard. Once the Preferences are open, make sure you are on the first tab, the General tab.
Notice in the middle of the General settings for Finder there is a drop-down menu titled “New Finder windows show:”. This is the setting we are interested in for this How To. Use the menu to select the folder you want to have Finder open each time you start a new Finder window. You can chose any device or folder on your Mac and if you don’t see it listed, simply go to the bottom of the menu, select More and use Finder to find the location where you want it to start going forward.
Once you have selected the folder you want as the Finder default, just close the Preferences setting and close the Finder window you opened. Open up Finder again and you should be at your new default folder.
For more How To’s for both iOS and OS X, be sure to check out the AlliOSNews How To page for links to our over 100 tips & tricks.
For those who are new to OS X, Finder is the application that is most analogous to Explorer in the Windows world. It allows you to see files and folder, open them, delete them, move them, etc. In each Finder window there is a sidebar where you will see a range of locations on your Mac that you can quickly access. In this How To we are going to show you how to add a folder to the Finder sidebar so you can quickly access a folder of your choice. This can save you time and clicks as you navigate the files on your Mac.
In its most basic form, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has been around since 1995 and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get news from site and blogs that you follow. NewsBar is a universal iOS app and a separate Mac app that brings these quick snippets of news to your device or desktop in an elegant and organised way. Critically the app supports iCloud synchronisation so once an article is viewed on one device, it is marked read on all of the others. This completely eliminates the user from having to sort out what has and what has not been read. NewsBar has become the RSS reader for us here at AlliOSNews for it’s simplicity, elegance and iOS-OS X cross support.
The NewsBar app in the App Store is a universal app and is $3.99 while the Mac version is $4.99. You will have to purchase both if you want to synchronise your RSS feeds across both your iOS devices and your Mac. The iOS version supports iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iPad Mini while the OS X version requires OS X 10.7 (Snow Leopard) or greater.
Apple has released Mavericks Developer Preview 5 to the Apple Developer community and with it, bring iBooks to the Mac for the first time. The new preview comes two weeks after Preview 4 and as with any OS in development, brings a raft of improvements and changes.
Mavericks Developer Preview 5 has a significant eye catcher with iBooks now in the build. If you remember, iBooks for Mac was announced at WWDC 2013 and allows users to synchronise their book reading across all their devices – iPhone, iPad
and Mac for example. To this point, iBooks for Mac was still theoretical but not it is ready for testing by developers.
The new preview continues to be tweaks for stability and performance improvements and according to our not-to-be-named developer, “feels very complete at this point.” It should be noted though that Mavericks Developer Preview 5 is still beta so if you are a developer and wish to download it, be wise. Don’t use it on your main production Mac just yet.
The update also includes a new beta version of iPhoto for testing.
As before, there is no set date for the release of OS X Mavericks to the general public or a pricing structure for the upgrade once it is available. The general thought is that it will be available in the September-October timeframe with the release of the newest iPhone, iPad and iOS 7. At that time it is possible we could see a Macbook Pro update.
To get Preview 5 you must be a member of the Apple Developer community. More information can be found here & membership is $99 per year.
In related news, Apple also seeded OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 to developers at the same time as the Mavericks Developer Preview 5. The update represents the 8th beta in that cycle and all indications are it will be the last Mountain Lion update prior to the release of Mavericks. According to our developer the beta is “rock solid” and he wouldn’t be surprised if it was released in August.
Apple quietly released an update to their photo editing application Aperture for Mac that addresses some key defects around memory card reading and importing. The update addresses two primary issues related to memory cards:
• Addresses an issue that could cause Aperture to quit unexpectedly when deleting items from a camera or memory card after import
• Memory cards are now ejected correctly when using the Delete Items option after import
For many photographers, these were significant issues as many put their cards directly into their Macs for retrieval of photos from their DSLRs. For those who connect their iPhone or iPad directly to their Mac via USB or wireless, this was a non-issue.
The Release Notes also point to other improvements made in the application for stability improvements.
For those not familiar with Aperture, it is the professional grade photo editing application from Apple and provides users a much wider range of editing options over that of the more well known iPhoto.
Aperture is $79.99 and available directly from within the Mac App Store.
Another week – albeit a little later than normal – and another beta release of OS X 10.8.4 to developers. Yesterday Apple released the sixth beta to developers of the next update to Mountain Lion with the continued focus being on WiFi, Graphics Drivers and Safari. These have been the same focus areas as the previous releases.
The new 12E55 build however does contain a new wrinkle. It also includes Windows File Sharing, something that has not been included in the previous builds of OS X 10.8.4.
There is no word on when OS X 10.8.4 will be released to the general public. If 10.8.3 was any indication, it could be a while. That release had 13 beta build before it was released. There is no reason to think this release won’t have a similar number of builds before it is put out there for general consumption.
The timing could also be interesting for Apple. WWDC is only a few weeks away now and the general feeling amongst the Apple faithful is that OS X 10.9 will be announced along with iOS 7. It sets up a scenario where OS X 10.8.4 could be released on or around WWDC as the next “big cat” release is announced.
Fun and games.
If you are a part of the Apple Developer Network for OS X you have access to this beta through the program.
The popular note taking application & service Evernote has released an update for iOS and Mac OS X that brings several new features, the highlight of which is Reminders.
The new update, which is available now in the App Store and the Mac App Store, now allows for users to add a reminder to any note to help with task management. The idea is to keep reminders associated with notes in one app rather than
having to set reminders to do tasks in another app such as Reminders.
The other big feature in this update is support for XAuth which allows you to view all of the applications that have access to your Evernote account. This is done via Evernote Web Settings on your account.
The full Release Notes cover other updates:
Reminders: Never forget important and in-progress notes
• Adding a reminder pins the note to the top of your note list
• Add a due date to receive in-app and email notifications
• Mark notes as Done when you complete them
Enhanced security with XAuth
• View all applications that access your account from Evernote Web Settings
Business: toggle between personal and business tags in the tag view
Numerous bug fixes, including:
• Fix for an issue causing certain large notes to duplicate on sync
• Fix for several offline search issues
Evernote is a free app in both the App Store and the Mac App Store. It is an iOS Universal app for both iPhone and iPad. Premium services are available which include the ability to view notes offline, larger file transfers and file sizes plus searching within attached PDFs, Office documents and iWork documents. Premium services are $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year and can be purchased via an in-app purchase.
The once dead now resurrected Twitter for Mac has just received a significant update and is available in the Mac App Store. The new update brings support for Notification Center. According to the Release Notes:
Notification Center integration: receive notifications when someone mentions you or when you receive a
Direct Message. You can configure this from the app’s Preferences window.
This is the second significant update it Twitter for Mac has received in the last few weeks after being literally left for dead. I’m glad to see the updates although the app still has a ways to go in many ways.
Other updates included in this release:
* Fix for Growl notifications not working in Lion and Mountain Lion
* Fix for bug that prevented un-favoriting tweets
* Fix for missing account switcher in composer
* Fix for error message when posting a tweet with a pasted image
* Fix for enlarged avatar when dragging a tweet into an email
* Fixes for crashes and various other bugs
Twitter for Mac is a free update and a free app and is available in the Mac App Store
Apple continues the weekly update of the beta builds of the next version of Mountain Lion, OS X 10.8.4. The 7th consecutive beta in as many weeks is Build 12E52 and is available to those in the Developer Network via a download on the site or via the App Store for registered Macs.
As has been the case with previous beta builds of 10.8.4, developers are asked to focus on wireless connectivity, graphics drivers and Safari in their testing. This is the fourth beta after code was discovered pointing to 802.11ac development for
Mac, hinting at a refresh of the platform possibly as early as WWDC.
If you are not a member of the Apple Developer Network, joining is $100 per year for Mac development and an additional $100 per year for iOS development.
There is no word on when 10.8.4 will be released to the general public but it is clear that Apple, like 10.8.3 before it, want to have plenty of beta cycles under their belt before releasing it. 10.8.3 had a total of 13 betas before it was released.
For more information, check out the Developer Network site.