Posts tagged Mac
NASA continues to post amazing photos of our special 3rd rock and now you can download two of the most popular here on AlliOSNews. The first is the famous Blue Marble, a shot of Earth that shows the stunning detail and haunting beauty of our planet. If you think the image looks familiar, it should. It is the same image Apple used as the default wallpaper in the iPhone, iPhone 3/3GS. Now you can get it for your Mac, Windows PC or your iPhone or iPad here.
The second image is new and is nicknamed Black Marble. It is a view of North America at night. The city lights of the country are clearly visible with just a hint of the sun’s reflected light on the edge of the Earth disk.
Both images are available now to download in the Wallpaper section here on AlliOSNews. Both images are 2048×2048 in size so they can take a little time to download if you are on a slow connection.
Apple has released an update to the trio of apps that make up the iWork suite that brings improved support for Microsoft Office and iWork apps for Mac. The three apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, all were bumped up to version 1.7 today with the improvements focusing on making the integration and support between the apps and their Mac counterparts more seamless and with better feature support. Apple has also heard from those who use Microsoft Office apps – Word, Excel and Powerpoint – and has improved the compatibility between those apps and the iWork apps.
• Use Change Tracking to track changes to body text in a document
• Accept and reject individual changes as you review a document
• Import Pages and Microsoft Word documents with change tracking and continue to track changes to body text
• Preserve tracked changes in documents exported in Microsoft Word or Pages format
• Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Pages for Mac
• Add reflections to shapes
• Lock and unlock objects
• Hide and unhide rows and columns
• Import and export Numbers for Mac spreadsheets with filters, and turn filters on and off
• Preserve rich text in tables when importing and exporting
• Add reflections to shapes
• Lock and unlock objects
• Import and export all Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote for Mac slide sizes
• Import and export presentation themes, complete with master slides and preset styles
• Play back all Keynote action builds including Move, Rotate, Scale, and Opacity
• Add new slide transitions including Shimmer and Sparkle
• Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Keynote for Mac
• Add reflections to shapes
• New print layouts include options to print with presenter notes, with builds, and without backgrounds
• Lock and unlock objects
At the same time as the iOS version were released, Apple also released updates to the Mac versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynotes so they can support these new iOS versions.
These updates are free for those who already have the apps. For those looking to move to iWork, each app is $9.99 for iOS and $19.99 for the Mac versions. The iOS versions are universal apps so they work on both your iPhone and iPad
The release of iTunes 11 marks a major upgrade for the media, entertainment and app store application from Apple. This update has been anticipated for weeks now as Apple delayed the release by a month and that users have complained about the archaic menus and navigation of iTunes for several years now – me included. Apple seemed to be pushing iOS and OS X further and further from a look-and-feel perspective yet iTunes was… iTunes. Boring, not very user friendly and certainly not moving forward.
That has changed with iTunes 11. It is the first iTunes release that feels completely new since I would argue release 7. The navigation is simple and easy. The new App Store is fast with a look-and-feel of the iTunes stores on your iPhone and iPad. This release feels fresh and having used it for a few hours now, it is well worth the upgrade.
When you install iTunes 11 or upgrade to it and start the app for the first time you will have a tutorial page that highlights the new navigation of the app. Here you have arrows pointing to where you can find your music, movies and other media
as well as how to access the iTunes Store. There is also an option to go to the Apple website and watch tutorial videos on how to navigate and use iTunes 11. If you are new to it then you may benefit from watching. That said, the navigation throughout iTunes is natural. Things are where they seem they should be and I’ve not been stumped so far on trying to find some obsure setting or feature within iTunes after this update. If anything, it is easier.
Once you are past the tutorial page you are brought to your music library of all of your albums. If you click on an album then all of the songs for it are displayed in a drop-down page from the album. Here you can select a song to play as well as give it star rating. You can also create a Playlist from this drop-down page or go to the artists iTunes Store page. No more double-clicks or right-clicks to navigate around. It’s all right there in view.
Apple has seeded a new beta for members of their developer network today. The OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 seed is now available for download, quickly behind the release of 10.8.2 just a few weeks ago.
The release notes for the build a rather sparse but there are four areas of focus for this build:
- Graphics Drivers
Rarely do I post rumours around Apple because, frankly, they are rumours. But this one seems to have a lot of weight behind it and it to exciting to pass up.
Several sites are reporting that Apple is going to be introducing Siri and iOS 6 style mapping in the next release of OS X, presumably 10.9 (not sure what the big cat name is just yet). This would further bring the iOS and OS X platforms closer together, building on the launchpad in OS X that is like the iPad navigation and the reverse scrolling just to name a couple.
It could also be the marker of what is to come under the reign of Jony Ive now that he is in charge of User Interfaces at Apple. There are plenty of reasons to assume that there will be UI changes in iOS 6.1 and 7 but I think it is equally reasonable to assume there will be changes in OS X both from a feature perspective as well as some UI tweaks.
One thing that is not mentioned in the rumour is a porting of iBooks to OS X. I have to agree with Rene Ritchie over at iMore:
Now lets just hope someone at Apple is also working on getting iBooks ported over to the Mac. Because, damn.
Here’s to hoping Rene, here’s to hoping…
Yesterday the team at Tapbots released their long awaited Twitter app, Tweetbots for Mac. Building on the success of Tweetbots for iOS, the Mac version brings a rich experience to Mac users that is one of the most complete Twitter apps for the desktop available. The list of features is nothing short of impressive and if you have used Tweetbot on your iPhone or iPad, using it will feel very natural.
The list of features is impressive:
- Multiple Timelines. Quickly switch between your lists as your main timeline.
- Multiple Windows and Columns. Display timelines from different accounts side by side.
- Notification Center Support.
- Beautiful Retina graphics.
- Mute filters lets you block messages from users without unfollowing them. You can also mute hashtags and specific keywords.
- Sync timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters between your Mac, iPhone and iPad via iCloud.
- Support for multiple services like Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp and Droplr.
- Save drafts, add locations and POI’s, attach photos/videos, manage your lists, and much more.
There are some real nuggets in there that you need to take note of. First, full Notification Center Support. That means that just like the integrated Twitter functionality in Mountain Lion, Tweetbot can take full advantage of it.
Second, full Retina display support and iCloud support. Now you can sync your timeline position, direct message read status and mute filters between your Mac, iPhone and iPad.
As I said, it is the most complete Twitter app available for Mac.
Over the past three months I have been involved in a self experiment: Can I move away from the Dock in OS X to a more iPad-like experience by using Launchpad, something built into OS X in Lion and Mountain Lion.
I documented the first two months starting in August and today I’m wrapping up the series to let you know if I will stick with Launchpad or go back to the Dock.
The first and most obvious question: Am I sticking with Launchpad now that the experiment is completed?
The single biggest difference between OS X and an iPad is there is an accessible file system under the surface. You don’t have that in iOS so you are either leveraging cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox, etc. or using iTunes to sync various bits of content. This works most of the time but it is hard to teach someone who has used a file system for as long as I have a new way of doing things. I’m trying – desperately – but there are times where navigating to a folder is quicker for me than trying to figure out which app to launch to access something in a cloud-based storage.
For many of us who use Mac’s in the corporate world, we are often called away from our desks for this meeting or that meeting or simply a run to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon. One feature that Windows PC users have that Mac’s don’t is the ability to simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Enter to lock their PCs. This gives the impression, especially to new Mac users, that it is less secure.
Fortunately this is not the case. Your Mac can be as secure as any PC when it comes to unauthorized logins to your Mac and, just like a Windows PC, you can immediately lock your Mac so others cannot login not by a key combination but a quick and simple swipe of your trackpad. It’s called Hot Corners and it has been in OS X for a long time but it is not something that is enabled by default. By setting up Hot Corners you can perform a wide range of tasks from pulling up Mission Control to starting your screensaver to locking your Mac all by swiping to a corner of your display. It’s quick and efficient and in this How To I’ll show you exactly where to go and what to do on your Mac to set Hot Corners up.
One of the nice features of iTunes is that when you connect up your iPhone or iPad you can see what is actually consuming the storage space on the device thanks to a graphical display on the Info page of your device in iTunes. It is a quick and easy way to see if perhaps you have a lot of your space consumed with say television episodes which is preventing you from installing Infinity Blade II!
Did you know however that this same type of visual indicator is available on your Mac? Well there is and it is part of Mountain Lion (and Lion) so there is no app to download or purchase. The tricky bit is finding it as Apple has buried this a little in the OS.
To start, go to the Apple menu on the Menu bar at the top of your display and click on “About This Mac” This will bring up
a dialog box that tells you what version of OS X you are running, your processor and memory capacities. At the bottom of the dialog box you will see a More Info… button, click that to open up a more detailed sheet about your Mac. Across the top of this screen is a menu and the third option is Storage. Click it and you will see a graphical representation of what is consuming storage on your Mac.
Like on your iPhone or iPad, this tool is a great way to see where all your storage is being consumed quickly and easily so you can make adjustments as necessarily. In my case, over half of my hard disk usage is consumed with videos – Movies & Television episodes. To save space it may make sense for me to move those to an external hard disk.
While the focus of this How To was on this specific page in About This Mac, I encourage you to click around the various menus of information on this great little built-in app. You can find a wealth of information out about your Mac such as its serial number, the amount of RAM you have installed in each of the memory slots, etc. You can also run various system reports to get more granular detail about your Mac should you want or need it.
A few weeks ago I posted about how I was transitioning from using the Dock on my Mac to using LaunchPad to open and use my apps like I do on my iPad. At the same time I made that change I also switched from Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac to the iWork apps from Apple. Hey, why not make two big changes at once? So far both changes are going smoothly.
One of the discoveries I have made about Pages is the ability to constantly show the various paragraph, font and list styles via the Styles Drawer. While both Pages and Word for Mac offer the ability to quickly and easily change the styles for these various items via their respective menus, Apple took it one step further by creating a slide-out sheet that allows you to simply click a style to change it in your Pages document. I find this far faster, especially if you are creating a document that requires multiple paragraph or font styles.
So what is this Styles Drawer I’m talking about? In this How To I’ll show you how to turn it on in Pages.
To start, start Pages on your Mac as you would normally. Just below the Toolbar you will see your the styles toolbar to
adjust your paragraph, font and other styling settings. In the left-hand corner of this toolbar, next to the Paragraph Style button, you will see a round, blue icon with a paragraph symbol in it. Click that blue icon and out slides a sheet next to your document in Pages. This is the Styles Drawer. Now you can chose your paragraph style, your font style and your list style all by simply clicking the one you want to use instead of having to dive through the various buttons on the toolbar.
Keep in mind as well that you can add custom styles to the drawer by using the Plus icon at the bottom of the drawer. Just type something in a particular style you want to reuse then tap the Plus icon, name it and it becomes available from that point forward.
Unfortunately the only way to get the Style Drawer to appear is if you are using Pages outside of the full screen mode. Personally I’m not to heartbroken over this as I rarely use Pages in full screen mode but if you do, this is something to keep in mind.
If you have not used Pages before, it is part of the iWork suite of applications produced by Apple. Pages, along with Keynote (for presentations) and Numbers (for spreadsheets) are all $19.99 each and are available in the Mac App Store. Within each application you can open and safe files in the various Microsoft Office formats so you can easily share them with non-Mac users.