Tag - Utilities
Behind every product Apple ever releases at WWDC, there are shortcuts. Little steps you can take to speed up how you work with them: methods to do things faster, to skip steps you don't need. They never get mentioned, except for now: our favorite tips are now in the new MacNN Pointers: Work Smarter with Shortcuts e-book, now available on Kindle and iBooks.
Back before we were all so hip and called everything an app, there were software applications, and there were utilities. An application was serious stuff that did serious work, and a utility was something that did just the one little-but-useful function. You could guess what happened next: the applications took on these functions, and utilities added the ability to do more serious work. This is where we are with GraphicConverter 10, which is the little utility that could -- and did.
You will never read a Hands On review that does not include the price. Of course you won't, but usually price is the least significant part: whether something is expensive or not, good software and hardware is worth anything because it is so very, very useful and you use it so very, very much. TextExpander 6 is very, very good. Yet this might as well be a Hands On review of the price, and the software's shift to subscription.
The library of Pointers e-books just keeps on growing: now there's a guide to those little extras that transform your Mac, iPhone and iPad. They're the little utilities Apple include, and they're the small applications that have earned a place in the hearts of so many of us. In every case, they are lesser-known, little written about, and yet also genuinely change everything. Now Pointers: Work Better with Utilities shows you what you've missed out on.
Nobody can teach you how to write and nobody can tell you the best way to do it, but that doesn't stop everybody trying. Including us. Blame editor Charles Martin, though, as he set out last week to show how you can use Apple hardware and a lot of software to create your own writing best practices but then specifically asked me to disagree.
Nobody writes the way you do. Just looking at the end result, at the words you choose to use and the sequence you write them in, plus the very topics that you decide to cover or explore, that is inevitably and distinctively you and nobody else. Then, the ways you get to that end result is probably unique: you'd think there are only so many ways of getting words down on Macs or iOS, but you'd be surprisingly wrong there.
This is a rubbish smackdown. Where's the drama? Where's the bit where one of these backup utilities gets voted off the island? Here's the thing, though: over the last month or so, we've reviewed three very powerful applications that broadly do the same thing. They all back up your data to external hard disks, and they all create ways that you can startup your Mac again even if your internal drive dies on you. Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper, and ChronoSync are surely the leading applications in this, and they are certainly needed. We just wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't pitch them against each other to help you pick one.
Senators, Internet companies and citizens aren't the only groups issuing letters to the Federal Communications Commission over proposed changes to net neutrality. CEOs of major telecommunication companies have stepped in, issuing a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC commissioners, asking that changes in policy stay away from the concept of possible reclassification of broadband as public utilities.
Controls+, an app for OS X, is available at an introductory sale price since its launch at the beginning of the month. Priced at 80 percent off until Friday, Controls+ offers the features of iOS 7's Control Center, which includes quick access to commonly used utilities via a menubar icon. Controls+ presently includes brightness controls, a flashlight mode (white screen), screen saver locking, iTunes controls, and a timer. Its user interface emulates the visual aesthetic of iOS 7, with a compact drop-down menu for accessing all features. Currently available for download for $1, Controls+ can be purchased on iTunes.
Stellar Data Recovery, makers of Stellar Phoenix and other utility tools for Mac, has updated its Stellar Drive Toolbox to version 2.0, offering 12 "vastly improved utilities that have been made 30 percent more efficient, as well as a new bonus tool, says the company. The various tools in the kit include utilities to handle disk defragmenting, drive cloning, a raw data editor and others, now including a bonus "Data Encryptor" that lets users secure selected files.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.59 ( + 1.55 )
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu