Review ~ Smart, protective keyboard overlays by Editors’ Keys


edkeyslogic

I’ve always been a fan of keyboard overlays. Anything that stops your keyboard getting grubby is fine by me, and splash protection is a bonus. Sneeze on your keyboard with an overlay, you can just take it off, rinse it, shake it out, and it’s dry in a few minutes. Pop it back on.
An additional benefit is the rubberised (OK, silicon) layer between your keys and the screen, on laptops when you fold them, and the suppression of noisy key-clacking.
EditorsKeys from England makes excellent keys with all of the above properties, but there’s more. They have keyboard shortcut overlays for various pro apps like Logic and Final Cut Pro X, pointing out all the handy keyboards you may be using, and definitely should be using if you want to really get to grips with editing, and to speed up your work quite dramatically.

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Key points — You see, beyond the obvious like tapping the Spacebar to stop/start play, and the delete key working as you’d expect, and Command X, C, V and Z for Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo, all those keys on your keyboard are only going to be used for typing in words when you name tracks and samples, add notes or retitle things. If you’re not editing text, why not assign functions to them?
So Apple wisely added all sorts of attributes to the other keys for when you’re not actually trying to type in words while editing movies or sound.
There are many key commands and abilities I didn’t even know in Logic and Final Cut, but now they are – quite literally – at my fingertips. These include tapping the T key for instant access to Track Header Tools. Other new faves include Area Focus, smart keys for screen sets and Move to Playhead – but there are a very many more. With an Editors Keys overlay on, you will find yourself discovering all sorts of new possibilities and soon you’ll be working faster and with more precision.

Yet another benefit is that Musical Typing (Command-K to turn your alpha-numeric keyboard into a virtual musical keyboard in case you don’t have your input musical keyboard handy, or just want to add in tome quick notes and/or beats) in Logic or GarageBand is a little more forgiving on your fingers with this thin layer of silicon padding absorbing some of the tap-shock, and perhaps as a result, I found it easier to hit beats on time.

ficut
The overlay for Final Cut Pro X (click the image for a larger view)
Some detail on the Final Cut Pro X version
Some detail on the Final Cut Pro X version

What’s great — Smart, stylish, well-made, protective and very handy. A range available for different Apple keyboards – accessory and built-in – and for different pro apps (not just the Apple ones). (Boy, would I like to try the microphones this company has for sale!)

What’s not — Can take a little getting used to if you’re a look- (rather than a touch-) typist, as although the letters are clear for normal typing, it’s a different look.

Needs — Anyone wanting stylish keyboard protection while easy learning great new skills for editing and creativity.

Editors Keys overlays for Apple Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X, US$39.85 (about NZ$55 – some of the MacBook Pro keyboard overlays are only US$29.85) plus shipping from the UK.

System — A variety of keyboards catered for, including laptop and PC.

Contact — Editors Keys.

Tuesday Talk ~ Post PC and iPad toast


macpro-inside

Steve Jobs would have turned 62 last week, and among many of the quite revolutionary things he said, in this case near the end of his time, was that the PC era was over. He imagined iPad would embody its replacement. However, Macs are still selling in large numbers, although sales aren’t growing, while iPad plateaued a couple of years back and has been sitting at the same level. In fact, all device sales have plateaued; the point is Mac sales took a whole lot longer to level out. So today, it looks like iPads haven’t replaced Macs, and although some people use them as their primary devices, they tend to accompany rather than to replace, at least for users with needs beyond the superficial.

For those who only browse, email/message and read, iPads are ideal tablets. For those wanting to do serious work, it really depends on the work. Apple’s beefy, powerful iPad Pro is really just an untethered Cintiq-style drawing device. Sure, you can also browse, email/message and read, and you can conceivably rough-out a sound or film project, but serious users will soon end up on a PC of some sort because the manipulation, although direct (via fingertips and maybe a stylus) on a tablet, still lags behind what’s possible with a keyboard and mouse/trackpad/etc.
As soon as you start adding physical input devices (apart from the Pencil) to iPads, well hell, you may as well have a Mac and be done with it.

It’s the portable Macs that have really worked for Apple. As Apple Insider points out, If you’re still wondering why Apple hasn’t updated its desktop Macs (the mini and Pro), their relative importance to Apple’s revenues certainly plays a factor. Apple sells truckloads of portable Macs, and comparatively few iMacs and even less of the overpriced, underperforming Mac Pros.
Many think the Mac Pro will soon disappear altogether, especially since it needs a monitor as a separate purchase, and Apple’s nomination for that vaunted position, in place of its own overpriced but excellent monitor, is the very troubled LD UltraFine.
This sounds doom and gloom, but the fact remains the large iMac is all-round wonderful: beautiful, powerful and with a truly excellent display. Most videographers and audio engineers are more than happy to work on these, and they’re saving money. Apple could do a lot to make these even better, if the Pro gets the heave-ho. 

Gloom and doom? I don’t think so. It’s easy for me to sound sour in these columns, but around the time Apple releases a great new iPhone, we could also be getting Kaby Lake MacBook Pros, awesome new iMacs and an iPad revision. To me, that’s good times and lots to look forward to. I won’t be missing the Mac Pro, and most  pro users have abandoned these long ago anyway, for cheaper faster PCs. They might be pleased to come back to Mac just for the superior operating system.

Original iPhones still in use, Australian rebound, extra storage, Cloud


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Original iPhone, 3G, 3GS still in active use, 2016 web traffic report reveals — Older iPhones are still in use despite their age, according to a report on mobile Internet usage, with the original iPhone 3G, and 3GS all highlighted in traffic monitoring research for 2016 that compares the use of Apple devices against other manufacturers in the smartphone market.

Australian smartphone market bounces back as Apple drives 14% year-over-year growth — Following six straight quarters of year-over-year decline, the Australian mobile phone market returned to growth as it shipped 2.93 million mobile phones in quarter four of 2016, as compared to 2.84 million the same time the previous year representing a 3.2% year-over-year growth.

SanDisk offers 256GB of extra storage for iPhones and iPads — Western Digital Corporation has increased the capacity of its line of iOS mobile flash drives with the introduction of its 256GB SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive and 256GB SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick. The former is a mobile storage device designed to help people quickly and easily free up space on their iPhone and iPad.

Apple & SAP to deliver Cloud Platform SDK for iOS on March 30 — Enterprise software giant SAP on Monday announced that its upcoming Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, developed in cooperation with Apple, will officially be released on March 30.

British Number 2, MailConverter, VPN, managing downloads


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(Image from Superbrands)

Apple is number two on the Top 20 [British] Business Superbrands for 2017 — Apple came in ninth on the Top 20 Business Superbrands for 2017 list, a survey of marketing experts and thousands of British business professionals. British Airways claimed the top spot. BA outperformed nearly 1500 others in the sixteenth annual poll, with Apple retaining second spot. Rounding out the top 10 are PayPal, Google, Microsoft, Visa, Virgin Atlantic, MasterCard, and BP.

Mail Converter is a useful email migration tool for macOS — Switching from one Mac email app to another: Stellar Data Recovery’s Mail Converter is an all-in-one email migration utility for macOS (10.7 and higher) that lets you migrate your emails from one platform to another.
Stellar Mail Converter is available as try-before-you-buy software from Stellar Data Recovery online. This version will show you the preview of converted mails. To access all features, you pay for the full version atUS$49.99 (about NZ$70).

Last chance to get an AWT deal on a VPNSecure lifetime subscription — One of the most popular deals over the past several months has been for a lifetime subscription to VPNSecure for just US$39. All good things must come to an end, and that’s the sad situation we have here today. Don’t miss a chance to get this killer deal (US$450 value) for less than a tenth of its regular price.

How to manage downloads in macOS Sierra’s Safari — In macOS Sierra’s Safari web browser, you can choose where downloaded files are deposited. By default they’re located in your Downloads folder.

Mobile over consoles, trip progress, iTunes Remote, dev course, bug quashed, Siri metronome, terminating subscriptions


(Image from NOE)
(Image from NOE)

Mobile games generated more than twice as much as home console games last year — Mobile app data and insights company, App Annie, and the International Data Corporation (IDC) research group have unveiled a special joint report entitled, Gaming Spotlight, 2016 Review. The report analyses the mobile video games market in 2016 from several vantage points and puts it in a broader, global gaming industry context. Spending on iOS games was significantly higher than the Google Play total.

App automatically notifies people of your trip progress — I’m Coming is a GPS-based app that automatically sends updates to people letting them know how far away you are. If you’re driving across country to visit your family, I’m Coming notifies the people you designate on your progress, meaning no texts to and from you are required while you’re driving.
Your family doesn’t have to bug you or wait for you to let them know where you are. Or, you’re driving across town for an important meeting. Same thing, rather than (illegal) texts in the middle of city driving, I’m Coming will notify your peers. This app was developed by Don Kimenker – long-term Mac fans might remember him as the publisher of MacAddict magazine. The app is a free download, but some features require an in-app purchase of US$2.99.

iTunes Remote app gets two-factor authentication support — Apple released a new update for the iPhone and iPad iTunes Remote app on Thursday that adds two-factor authentication support when signing in to Home Sharing. The 4.3.1 update enhances security when remote controlling iTunes on our Macs because who decides which songs we listen to is seriously important.

Stanford’s ‘Developing iOS 10 Apps with Swift’ is free on iTunes U — iTunes U pushed a version of Developing iOS 10 Apps with Swift. The free iOS tutorial series from the Stanford School of Engineering has been updated for iOS 10 and the current version of Swift. Reader Rick Allen turned me onto this release, calling it, “a great and free resource,” which seems like a great reason to pass it on. Reviews on iTunes are overwhelmingly good, too.

Apple: iOS 10.2.1 fixes bug causing some iPhones to experience — Apple says an iOS point update (10.2.1) that was released last month includes a bug fix for an issue causing iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus device owners to experience unexpected shutdowns.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple says that the iOS 10.2.1 update has resulted in an 80% reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6s and a 70% reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6.

Turn Siri into a metronome — Drummer Richy Ramirez posted a video to Instagram where he used Siri as his metronome. Actually, he used her as both metronome and backing track. It’s clever and entertaining.

How to cancel an App Store subscription using your iPad or iPhone — If you’ve subscribed to a service such as Netflix or Spotify through the App Store, and are now looking to terminate your subscription, it takes just a few simple steps to cancel. AppleInsider shows you how.

Futurology ~ EVE Online exoplanets, genetic hacksaw, 3D laser display, biodegradable med-drone, maths improvement, catastrophic equality


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The hunt for the next exoplanet could be in the hands of EVE Online Players — NASA confirmed it has spotted seven exoplanets that have Earth-like qualities orbiting TRAPPIST-1, and the makers of the popular massively multiplayer game EVE Online announced a crowdsourcing effort to get players to identify exoplanets while they explore virtual space.
~ Virtually virtuous. 

Scientists create genetic hacksaw — When folks talk about the gene-editing tool CRISPR, they’re usually talking about CRISPR-Cas9, a combination of DNA and enzymes that together act like scissors to cut and paste genes. CRISPR-Cas9 has already been hailed a potential game changer in the fight against cancer, crop pathogens, and environmental problems.
But some researchers think a lesser-known flavour of the technology might be the answer to the world’s growing superbug problem. Meet CRISPR-Cas3.
~ It’s actually a small enzyme really good at precisely targeting specific sequences of DNA.

A new 3D display uses lasers and bubbles to create images you can walk around — Researchers really want to make good three-dimensional displays but it’s so much harder than you might think—most attempts so far have been literally smoke (light projected and scattered on some medium) and mirrors (optical illusions).
But a Japanese team has released an interesting but rudimentary proof-of-concept for their own so-called ‘volumetric display’, using lasers projected in a liquid column. Ultimately, the team hopes to create an updatable 3D projection visible from all angles to put on display in a museum or aquarium.
~ Or, how about this … Beer! 

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Drone delivers medicine then biodegrades — The idea behind the Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions drone is a cardboard glider that carries almost a kilogram (about two pounds) of cargo.
Star Simpson’s team designed and built Apsara with funding from Darpa, which challenged them to develop a single-use delivery vehicle for emergency scenarios. But with a twist: the drones had to not only carry a small payload and land where you told them, once on the ground, they had to disappear.
~ It’s made from cardboard and paper tape. Now, imagine if you could eat it as well …

Ten tips to improve your maths — Mental maths isn’t as difficult as it might sound, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to make seemingly impossible calculations using nothing but your beautiful brain. You just need to remember a few simple rules.
~ The writer clearly hasn’t met me.

Catastrophes improve equality —  Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state collapse and catastrophic epidemics. Hundreds of millions perished in their wake, and by the time these crises had passed, the gap between rich and poor had shrunk.
~ Call me old fashioned, but it seems wildly unfair to me that the greedy rich alone don’t suffer from the catastrophes largely caused by their own greed. Why do the poor have to suffer so dramatically to get some kind of equality back? 

Five Tip Friday ~ macOS Safari


quikws

1/ Quick website search in macOS Sierra’s Safari — In macOS Sierra’s Safari, you can enable Quick Website Search thanks to many websites offering their own integrated engine for searching within sites.
Safari provides shortcuts to these searches in some cases, allowing you to search said sites directly from the Smart Search Field. To see which sites your Safari installation currently supports for this feature, click on the Manage Websites button.
However, some sites don’t support this feature. Open Safari’s preferences from the Safari menu, then Search > Quick Website Search > Manage Website. From here, you can list which sites to exclude.

2/ Managing tabs — In Safari, you can create and open multiple tabbed windows so you can load more than one search result at a time, for example, or load a link alongside the link you are currently looking at. You can rearrange how they’re ordered, close them, or save a group of tabs as a bookmark that you can reopen all at once.
To add a new tab, press Command+T or click the plus sign at the far right of the Tab bar, or click a link with the scrollwheel if you have a scroll wheel mouse (yes, it clicks as well asa scrolls), or hold down the Control key on your keyboard, click a link on a page and choose Open In New Tab from the pop-out menu that appears .
To close a tab, move your cursor over the tab above the main web page window, and click the little X that appears on the left.

3/ To jump from tab to tab — Press Command+Shift+→ (right arrow) or Command+Shift+<– (left arrow – these keys are at bottom right of all Mac keyboards.

4/ Rearrange tabs — You can drag and drop a tab to the left or right of another tab to rearrange their order.
To move a tab to a new window. drag it underneath the Tab bar, then let go of your mouse button. Or you can right-click a tab and choose Move Tab to New Window.

5/ Save tabs as bookmarks — You can save every open tabbed window as a bookmark. Right-click any tab (or hold down that Control key and normal-click; or click the Bookmarks menu) and choose Add Bookmark for These Tabs.
You can also save the articles of every currently loaded tabbed window in the Reading List. Right-click any tab (or click the Bookmarks menu) and choose Add These Tabs to Reading List.

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Extra: Pin and Unpin tabs — Pinning a website puts the site’s icon in the top left section of the Tab bar (indicated above), allowing you to pull up the site with a click.
Pinned tabs are persistent across all Safari windows, even when you quit the web browser. Pinned tabs sync content across windows, including video. If you right click on a pinned tab, you can close all unpinned tabs. Here’s how to pin a tab: from the View menu, select Show Tab Bar.
Navigate to one of your favourite web sites, such as (ahem) AppleWorld.Today.
Right-click or control-click the tab bar, and select Pin Tab from the pop-up menu that appears. The current web site will be added to the pinned list, which is located at the far left edge of the tab bar.
To remove a pinned web site, make sure the tab bar is visible and right-click or command-click in the pin for the web site you wish to remove.
Select Unpin Tab from the pop-up menu.

79% iOS 10, Instagram app, Apple Watch battery life


(Image from Digital Trends)
(Image from Digital Trends)

iOS 10 now installed on 79% of Apple’s mobile devices — A little over 5 months after the update’s release, iOS 10 had made it onto 79% of iOS devices, according to official Apple statistics shared with developers.

Instagram’s iPhone app adds support for uploading multiple photos & videos in one post — Facebook’s Instagram on Wednesday announced support for uploading up to 10 photos and videos in a single post, potentially radically changing how people use the social network.

How to make your Apple Watch battery last longer — For some heavy Apple Watch users constantly checking their wrists, Apple’s wearable device may not quite provide the 18-hour battery life the company advertises. For Apple Watch addicts, AppleInsider offers a handful of simple things you can do to squeeze some extra time out of your battery.

Condemning Trump, Jobs’ anniversary, Patcher ransomeware, free password manager


Steve Jobs was born 24th February 1955 (image from KRW).
Steve Jobs was born 24th February 1955 (image from KRW).

Apple condemns Trump withdrawal of transgender bathroom use protections — Apple on Wednesday issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s recent withdrawal of federal protections for transgender students, condemning the action as an effort that sets back human rights initiatives.
“Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination,” Apple said. “We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”

Steve Jobs was born this day in 1955 — That’s 24th February (I’m in New Zealand, so we’re a day ahead of most places).

New ransomware program for macOS dubbed ‘Patcher’ discovered — A new file-encrypting ransomware program for macOS is being distributed through BitTorrent websites, and users who fall victim to it won’t be able to recover their files, even if they pay, reports Macworld. ‘Patcher’ is actually OSX/Filecoder.E and masquerades as a cracking tool for commercial software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Microsoft Office for Mac and is being distributed as a BitTorrent download. [In other words, it’s downloaded by those who want to ‘crack’ commercial software so they can use it without paying.]

B-Eng giving away a free Password Manager tool for macOS — B-Eng has introduced Password Manager, a free new password managing tool for macOS. It lets your organize passwords in groups with individual lists for each group, the creation of templates for both groups and entries and protection with either a master password or fingerprint for Macs that support Touch ID.