Tag Archives: macOS

Apple tops Consumer, MacBook Pro anger, Magic Mouse gestures, Media giant, video updates, Railroads, Charcoal, Park goes 3D


Apple Park in Cupertino has joined the 3D pantheon within Apple Maps

Macs top Consumer Reports’ reliability surveys — In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 83,000 readers, Apple was dubbed the most reliable company when it comes to laptops and desktops, according to ZDNet.
Apple’s “broken or not working as well” percentage is 17. Other brand percentages: Samsung 27; Dell 29; HP 30; Lenovo 31; and Asus 33.

MacBook Pro anger — John Kheit reckons the Touchbar MacBook Pro is a ‘disposable embarrassment’: “It’s a joke that the new MacBook Pro with a Touchbar is called a ‘Pro’ machine. Perhaps Apple should call it the MacBook Exec or Edition. I won’t bother rehashing the many quibbles that others have already covered. Yet, once again, the punditry has failed to notice the biggest and most obvious flaw and are ranting about the wrong things. Let me rant about the right things for you. You’re welcome.
The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a failure because you cannot upgrade its storage capacity. Ever. Why? Because the SSD is a soldered-in and non-upgradable boat anchor.” And so on.

Comprehensive Guide to Magic Mouse Mac Gestures — Here is an unabridged look at what gestures you can use with the Magic Mouse, as highlighted by Apple and (I hope) improved upon by yours truly. This guide to Magic Mouse Mac gestures assumes you are running macOS Sierra with the most current model of the accessory.

Apple Transforms PR Site to a ‘Newsroom’ and redesigns executive profiles — Apple has revamped its PR site for the first time in many years. Out is a headline-oriented list of press releases and in is a Flipboard-like ‘Newsroom’ with cover photos and clickable tiles. The company also redesigned its executive profile sites, including new headshots for some of its execs.

Apple Music subscriber numbers soaring as it becomes a media giant — CEO Tim Cook hinted at this shift in Apple earnings during analyst earnings call after the Q2 results. By this time, Apple Music had 13 million subscribers.

Apple updates iMovie, Final Cut Pro — Apple has updated iMovie and Final Cut Pro, the (respectively) consumer and pro versions of its video editing software. Both upgrades are available via the Mac App Store.

Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac hits Steam platform — Feral Interactive announced this week that Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac (originally Railroad Tycoon back in the day) is now available on Steam. This isn’t a new game (it’s been available on the Mac App Store for years) but Railroads was also updated on the Mac App Store. In addition to some unspecified bug fixes, the update removes support for Apple’s Game Center and Game Ranger. It’s US$17.99 on the MAS, but only US$9.99 on Steam.

Charcoal for macOS makes it fun to turn photos into charcoal, chalk drawings — AKVIS Charcoal 1.0 is a fun standalone application and Photoshop plug-in for macOS that lets you create charcoal, chalk, and sanguine drawings from photos.
The program contains 34 ready-to-use presets. You can create your own presets saving your favourite combinations of the parameters.
The software runs on macOS 10.6 and higher and costs US$49 for a home license and a 10-day demo is available for download.

Apple Park 3D models, walkways, more show up in Apple Maps — Apple in a recent update to Apple Maps enhanced coverage of the Apple Park campus area in Cupertino, California, with the app now displaying 3D building models, walkways and other points of interest across the sprawling grounds.

Five Tip Friday ~ simple tips for macOS


1/ Change the default web browser in macOS Sierra — If you prefer another web browser to Safari (which I find excellent), you can change the macOS default. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences, then click General.
Choose your web browser from the ‘Default web browser’ pop-up menu.

2/ Set your default printer — If you have more than one printer, one thing you could do to make them slightly less annoying, though, is to choose which one to set as your default. If you print to a particular device way more often than another, it makes sense to always default to the last one you used when you choose File > Print.
Choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu at the top-left of your screen, and then click on Printers & Scanners.
You’ll see a list of your devices on the left, and you can pick which one you want as the default from the drop-down near the bottom of the window. Close the System Preferences window, and when you print something afterwards, your Mac will assume you want to use the device you set as the default.
You can click the drop-down show to temporarily switch to a different printer if you need to, but it will always revert back to the default for the next job.

3/ Move the cursor with your keyboard — If your mousing hand needs a break, or perhaps you need to move the mouse pointer one teeny-tiny pixel at a time, there’s a way to move the Mac mouse pointer with the keyboard rather than nudging the mouse or swiping your trackpad.
Turn on the Mac feature called Mouse Keys, which lets you move the Mac mouse pointer by tapping the keys on your numeric keypad or, if you don’t have a separate numeric keypad, by pressing a set of keys within the keyboard itself.
Open the Mac’s System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, select System Preferences. Click Accessibility, select Mouse & Trackpad in the left column, then check the Enable Mouse Keys checkbox. This lets you move your mouse pointer using a numeric trackpad: press the 8 key to nudge the Mac mouse up a tad. The 2 key will move the mouse down, while the 4 and 6 keys move the mouse left and right, respectively. The 7, 9, 1, and 3 keys move the Mac mouse up and to the left, up and to the right, down and to the left, and down and to the right. (There’s more on this at Here’s The Thing.)

4/ Force the Finder to restart in macOS Sierra — Represented by the blue icon with the smiling face, the macOS Sierra Finder is the home-base app for your Mac. You use it to organise and access almost everything on your Mac, including documents, images, movies, and any other files you have. However, sometimes you need to restart it if it’s acting up or if you’ve installed an app that requires a restart. To do so: in Finder, click the  menu and hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.
Click Force Quit Finder.
You can also hold down the ⌥ (option) key on your keyboard.
Click on the Finder icon in your Dock.
Choose Relaunch from the bottom of the pop-out list that appears.

5/ Search Google directly without even firing up a browser — You can use your Mac’s Spotlight to directly search using your default search engine. Type something in Spotlight that you want to search on Google, then, press Command (⌘) + B. It will open Safari with your search term…

Jobs in 93 secs, Apple News, currency transitions, recyclebot, free Portrait Painter, Singapore store, Trackpad guide


Liam the recycling robot pulls old iPhones apart so they parts can be reused

The Telegraph’s 93-second primer Steve Jobs’s Career London newspaper The Telegraph has published a quickie biography of Steve Jobs. The piece is called Who was Steve Jobs? Tech trailblazer and co-founder of the Apple empire.  It’s an in-depth piece for a newspaper article, but it’s still a short look into a person like Steve Jobs’s entire life, perfect for someone who’s curious about Steve Jobs, but hasn’t delved deep into all things Apple. Accompanying the written piece was a 93 second video that runs  through Steve Jobs’s career with slides, information, and other highlights.

Apple makes New York Magazine editor Lauren Kern ‘editor in chief’ at Apple News — Apple has reportedly recruited New York media icon Lauren Kern to serve as the first-ever “editor in chief” for Apple News, possibly hinting at greater ambitions for the app.

Apple transitions App Store pricing to local currencies in 9 new countries — Apple has been transitioning App Store pricing this week from the US dollar and euro to the local currencies of nine countries, a change that in some locales equates to a small savings thanks to favorable exchange rates. Along with Poland, Apple is switching store currency in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania over from euro pricing. At the same time, Chile, Colombia, Croatia and Peru are swapping to their local currency from the US dollar.

New Apple cartoon looks at the Liam Recycling Robot — Apple launched a new video called Earth Day 2017 – Does my iPhone believe in reincarnation? It’s part of the cartoon series the company started on Earth Day earlier in May, but this one takes a look at Liam. That’s Apple’s purpose-built recycling robot that pulls iPhones apart so the components can be reused.

Free Portrait Painter software — JixiPix is proud to give you Portrait Painter a revolutionary paint product that simulates a hand painted gallery-style portrait on fine linen or canvas. This professional painting tool will add colour, light and texture to your painting, which harmonise intelligently to produce works of art that resonates with vibrant life. To receive it, go to this page, click Add to Cart and put in your contact details.

Media photos offer deeper peek inside Apple’s first Singapore store — Images from Thursday media preview offered a detailed look inside Apple’s first store in Singapore, set to open this Saturday.

Comprehensive guide to Mac Trackpad gestures and Force Touch — If you have a Magic Trackpad 2 or a built-in Multi-Touch trackpad, you might not be making the most of it. There are several Mac trackpad gestures that you can use to really speed up your workflow, whether you’re surfing the web or moving files around in the Finder. Take a look in this comprehensive guide to Mac trackpad gestures.

Free Swift book, eye strain, TechTool Pro 9.5, Live Home, SoftRaid, Quark Express, USB-C free


Apple puts free Swift curriculum on iBooks, plans courses at US schools — Apple on Wednesday released App Development with Swift, a free course available through the iBooks Store. The iBooks course is a full-year endeavor geared towards helping people “design fully functional apps, gaining critical job skills in software development and information technology,” according to Apple.
Swift is Apple’s open-source programming language that works across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. [You can read this on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Download it once, for example to your Mac, it appears on iPad and vice versa signed into the same iCloud account. Stop on page 54 on your Mac, it opens on page 54 on your iPad. Bookmark and/or highlight a line on iPhone, it comes across intact on the other devices … but all iBooks do this.]

How to help ease eye fatigue from the online life — Many of us spend an enormous amount of time on our digital devices. In fact, The Vision Council reports that nine out of 10 adults spend more than two hours a day using a digital device and that one in 10 people spends a whopping three-fourths of their waking hours doing so– so here are five tips to help you combat digital eye strain.

New In TechTool Pro 9.5 — While regularly backing up your files is the best solution to safeguarding your data, sometimes things go wrong between backups. Techtool Pro 9.5 has an entirely new data recovery system to help you do just that, as well as improved tests and speedups and buggies. Upgrading from TechTool Pro 9 is only US$20.

Live Home 3D Pro for Mac US$24.99 — Live Home 3D Pro for Mac allows you to design residential buildings from the ground up. Sheds, living rooms, homes, or even a skyscraper, according to the company that makes it. Mac Observer has a deal on it for US$24.99.

SoftRAID 5.6 with Easy Setup released for macOS — OWC Holdings, a division of OWC, has launched SoftRAID 5.6, an upgrade of the RAID software featuring SoftRAID Easy Setup­. The feature is designed to make it easy to create a RAID system (redundant array of independent disks) from scratch to keep your files protected against disk failure and achieve faster data access.

QuarkXPress 2017 expands layout tech, brings non-destructive image editing — Quark has launched QuarkXPress 2017, the latest edition of its design and publishing suite for the Mac, with a heavy focus on publishing for multiple platforms including iOS.

Intel making Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free for manufacturers in 2018— Thunderbolt has never seen a great deal of market penetration, but that may be about to change with Intel natively integrating Thunderbolt 3 [a fully-featured USB-C] into future CPU models and making the protocol royalty-free to chipmakers in 2018.

Inclusion and Diversity, Kaby rumours, Nokia role, Groups


Apple HR head Denise Young Smith takes up new role as VP for ‘Inclusion and Diversity’ — Apple’s human resources leader – Denise Young Smith – has taken up a new role within the company as its VP for Inclusion and Diversity, according to her LinkedIn profile. The profile still lists her as in charge of HR as well, and in fact the new title isn’t reflected on Apple’s executive bios page. Apple is likely to correct the information in the near future.

More rumours Macs will get Kaby Like — Apple plans to announce upgraded Mac notebooks with Kaby Lake processors at WWDC 2017, a ‘report’ [rumour] claims. Regular readers will know we’ve been expecting Apple to migrate to the new chip, but Intel has only just begun shipping suitable processors, hence the delay.
At the high end, Kaby Lake MacBook Pro models will be able to handle anything the most demanding user wants to throw at them. They will also like it that the Touchbar on the MacBook Pro is a real productivity boost.

Nokia predicted to play an important role in Apple’s datacenters after patent dispute settlement — In the terms of their new patent dispute resolution, Nokia revealed it will be providing network infrastructure products to Apple – a partnership that one Wall Street analysts could see Nokia significantly grow its IP router business by supplying Apple’s datacenters.

GroupsPro for macOS simplifies the creation, organization of groups of contacts — Demodi’s GroupsPro 1.0 is a contacts and groups organiser that makes it easy to create and organise groups of contacts and create mailing lists. And it allows users to manage their contacts, contact groups, and create mailing lists for mass emails too.

Working Apple 1 sells, laptop sales up, driverless Apple, Dutch Maps, frivolous suits, MNML, Singapore Apple store, Apple music trials


Working Apple-1 sold at auction by original owner for $101K in Germany — One of the last surviving Apple-1 computers in full working order has sold in Germany for a bid price of $101,325 — which was far lower than expected for the collectible. Aside from original documentation, the paperwork also included a collection of notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

Apple sees year-over-year increase in Mac laptop sales — Apple’s sold an estimated 3.4 million laptops in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, compared to an estimated 2.9 million in the previous quarter, according to TrendForce. Yet this increase is still a 15.8% decline compared to the last quarter of 2016. The figures place Apple fifth among global laptop manufacturers, notes the research group with 9% market share.

Apple’s driverless test car caught in the wild — Apple’s driverless test car, a Lexus SUV, was caught in the wild by a MacRumors reader. There’s nothing earth-shattering about catching Apple’s autonomous vehicle in the wild – it’s been done before – but it shows Project Titan leaks have dramatically slowed since Bob Mansfield took it over.

The Netherlands gain more mass transit details in Apple Maps — Apple has expanded its mass transit information to the Netherlands, with the full set of data involving stations, tracks, and other stations coming online on early Saturday morning – but live train and bus data is not yet available.

US Supreme Court ruling may shrink tide of frivolous patent lawsuits against Apple — The US Supreme Court on Monday issued a critical decision that could reduce the number of patent lawsuits tech companies like Apple face on a yearly basis.

MNML (pronounced ‘minimal’) is a minimalist macOS desktop client for Medium — John Saddington is the same developer who brought you Desk. That Mac app was voted one of the Mac App Store Best Apps of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, and MNML (NZ$44.99/US$29.99, and here’s the Store link for other countries) is off to a good start by being featured on the Mac App Store as a Best New App.

Knightsbridge Singapore Apple store cover removed, showing first glimpses of interior — The cladding surrounding the new Apple store at Singapore’s Knightsbridge shopping center has been removed, and the interior of the location has been seen for the first time.

Apple Music starts charging for three-month trials in some countries — For reasons unknown, Apple has begun charging a small fee in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland for what would ordinarily be a free three-month trial of Apple Music.

Games, more Apple wind, Photos tip, Stevie Wonder, chump meeting, iCloud forensics


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III coming to the Mac on June 8 — Feral Interactive has announced that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, the latest episode in Relic Entertainment’s real-time strategy series, will be released for macOS and Linux on Thursday, June 8.

Nongünz game blasts onto the Mac — Sindiecate Arts has released Nongünz on Steam for macOS, Windows and Linux. It’s a US$6.99 ‘gothic retro game described thus: “The game is a puzzle in itself, a secret to be discovered. Each run has you fighting through a procedurally-generated dungeon filled with hordes of monsters made from human limbs and giblets. Build up your score by executing stylish combos and spend the rewards on your expanding band of lost souls and death cultists.”

Apple’s wind farm project developer wants bigger, but fewer, turbines — Avangrid Renewables, the project developer for Apple’s Montague (Oregon) Wind Power Facility, is seeking a permit amendment for the Montague Wind Power Facility that would allow it to use a turbine model with a rotor diameter of 136 meters and generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts.

How to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra — Sometimes you may need to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra. It’s not as easy as you’d think; you can’t simply click on an album name and hit delete on your keyboard.

Stevie Wonder performs at Apple HQ to celebrate Global — Multi-platinum Grammy winning artist Stevie Wonder performed at Apple’s corporate headquarters this week, in an event recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day, focused on making technology accessible and usable for persons with disabilities.

Execs from Apple, other tech firms to talk immigration and government modernisation at White House meeting — Immigration policies, government services modernization and integration with cutting edge Silicon Valley initiatives like machine learning are on the docket for next month’s meeting of President Donald Trump’s American Technology Council, according to a report. [All I’m saying is ‘Faust’.]

Data forensics company recovers notes data Apple claims is deleted — Files deleted from Apple’s Notes app shouldn’t be recoverable after 30 days, but the security and data forensics company Elcomsoft found they could access records that were deleted months, or even more than a year, ago. That sounds pretty bad, but recovering those files requires some pretty specific elements, including knowing your iCloud login and password.

Laptop ban off, working faster, Chinese tip functions


(Image from EasyAcc)

US and EU reject expanding laptop ban to flights from Europe — US and EU officials have decided against a ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Europe. But after a four-hour meeting in Brussels to discuss the threats to aviation security, officials said other measures were still being considered.

Work faster on Mac — Although Macs have improved immensely since 1989, some things about using them haven’t changed much. So, many of the tips, techniques, and shortcuts discussed in Dr Macintosh way back when are still valid today and appear in Working Smarter for Mac Users.

Apple orders Chinese social networks to stop ‘tip’ functions that break App Store rules — Apple is reportedly cracking down on social networks in China providing payment services between users, ordering the creators of popular messaging apps to disable ‘tip’ functions in order to comply with App Store rules, in what may be a move by Apple to try and increase revenue from in-app purchases.

WannaCry, Accessbility Day, sign overlay, education sessions site, hidden wallpaper


The Sign Overlay gives you access to sign language symbols while protecting your Mac keyboard

How to avoid the WannaCrypt virus if you run Windows on a Mac — If you’re only an occasional user of Windows on a Mac, make sure you don’t get hit by the current worms.
WannaCrypt may be exclusively a problem for Windows users, but the worm/virus combination could hit a Mac user with a Boot Camp partition or Windows virtual machines in VMware Fusion, Parallels, or other software. If you fit that bill and haven’t booted your Windows system since mid-March or you didn’t receive or install Microsoft’s vital security update (MS17-010) released at that time, read on.

Apple highlights Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18 with Designed for everyone video series — Apple has a long history of working to make open accessibility a key feature of its hardware products and software development platforms. For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple has posted a series of seven videos to YouTube showing how real people make use of Mac, iOS and Apple Watch accessibility features from Switch Control to Siri to VoiceOver. Each tells the story of specific individual in about two minutes.

Editors Keys sign language keyboard overlay — These covers work with all US, European, UK and Rest of World keyboards. They are designed to not slip or slide and have a smooth feel that is soft and comfortable to the touch and will not restrict typing while presenting keys you need and protecting your keyboard from dust, sneezes and minor spills. The Editors Keys range of keyboard covers also safeguard your keyboard from dirt, spills and wear and tear, allowing you to protect your investment in your notebook computer. The Sign Language cover costs US$29and fits the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar 2016+, 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
 and the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Apple launches dedicated site for first Today at Apple sessions — Apple has introduced a dedicated website for Today at Apple, its education and entertainment sessions at retail, which are getting underway this week.
The site, apple.com/today, lets people see available events and sign up for them (so it’s only for countries that have Apple stores). Options are automatically filtered by location, and visitors can further filter by date and category, such as “Music” or “Photo & Video.”

There are great alternative desktop wallpapers on your Mac — Here’s how to find them. These images are all 3200 pixels by 2000 pixels, so should work nicely for most resolutions.

Mac-using astrophysicist, security tightened, Apple Park, beyond WWDC, Touch Bar award, Folx downloader and torrent manager giveaway


(Image from Vanderbilt News)

Interview with Astrophysicist Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann on the Mac Observer — Dr Kelly Holley-Bockelmann is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. Her research specialty is black holes and gravitational waves and she uses a Mac and supercomputers to study how black holes generate ripples in the fabric of spacetime and deepen our astronomical understanding and perspective. Kelly, her students and associates are also devoted Mac users, and she tells John Martellero why.

Apple squashed 30 security holes in macOS Sierra with the release of macOS 10.12.5 — The company’s security notes indicate the update addressed a wide variety of issues in its Mac operating system, many of which are serious. Flaws would have allowed the bad guys to capture network credentials, gain root control of your Mac or read data stored in memory that is supposed to be protected.

Apple Park toured, execs reminisce about Steve Jobs’s devotion to and vision of the project — During a tour given to a Wired journalist in May called One More Thing: Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (Or Just Insane) New Mothership, Apple’s Design head Jony Ive and the architects responsible for the project spoke about the philosophy of Apple Park’s design, Steve Jobs’ influence on the project down to minute details, and the massive engineering effort needed to complete the project.

Apple goes ‘Beyond WWDC’ with Third Party Events — Apple has posted some of the third party events (which it has not done before) that take place during its own World Wide Developer Conference. The Apple Developer Connection has a new Beyond WWDC list that includes events like AltConf 2017, The Talk Show with John Gruber Live, CocoaConf Next Door, Layers, the App Camp for Girls benefit with James Dempsey and the Breakpoints. and Jim Dalrymple’s Beard Bash.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar wins a Display Industry Award — It may be controversial, but the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has won a Display Industry Award from the Society for Information Display (SID), a professional organisation focused on the display industry. The awards are granted to “display products that incorporate the most significant technological advances and/or outstanding features.”

Speedifier lets you control video speed in Safari — Speedifier is a Mac app that lets you control video speed in Safari for HTML5 videos. You can use the extension on any website. Speedifier was developed by Arno Appenzeller, a part-time Mac and iOS indie developer from Germany.

Folx 5 PRO download and torrent manager for Mac (10 copies to win) — If you do you do a lot of downloading of files or get content from torrents, you probably know how crazy things can get, just about everything shows up in your Downloads folder, whether it is video, music, photo or app content, and if it’s a fast torrent, you may not have much control over your download and upload speeds. Apple World Today has Folx 5 PRO (US$19.95), a powerful download and torrent manager from Eltima Software. Check out the review, then enter to win one of ten licenses for Folx 5 PRO.