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TidBITS: Apple News for the Rest of Us



The oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet, TidBITS brings you the Apple Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and iPod news, reviews, tips, and commentary that matters. Join us each week for audio versions of award-winning coverage from



Published: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:05:03 EDT

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:05:03 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 TidBITS Publishing Inc.
 



GraphicConverter 10.4

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:03:14 EDT

Adds support for 32-bit per channel HDR images and a couple of new batch processes. ($39.95 new, free update, 125 MB)

 

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HoudahGeo 5.1.8

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:03:04 EDT

Improves performance when loading a large Apple Photos library. ($39 new, free update, 21.7 MB)

 

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PopChar X 7.7

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:03:36 EDT

Final maintenance update before release of version 8 later this year resolves a number of bugs. (€29.99 new, free update, 4.6 MB)

 

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Default Folder X 5.1.4

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:03:27 EDT

Brings a number of improvements and bug fixes to the Open/Save dialog enhancement utility. ($34.95 new, free update, 6.4 MB)

 

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Why Take Control Was Labeled “Not Secure” Briefly

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:54:43 EDT

For a few days recently, Google Chrome users were warned “Your connection is not private” when loading the Take Control Web site. Luckily, that statement was far more extreme than the reality, since Google was instead punishing a top-level certificate authority for bad behavior. Nonetheless, we had to switch to a new certificate authority quickly. Adam Engst tells the story.

 

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iTunes 12.6

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:48:04 EDT

Adds support for watching iTunes movie rentals on any of your Apple devices. (Free, 269 MB)

 

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Apple Replaces iPad Air 2 with New 9.7-inch iPad

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:51:07 EDT

Apple has quietly released a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad to replace the aging iPad Air 2. The company also doubled the storage space for the iPad mini 4 and dropped the iPad mini 2.

 

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External Link: Apple to Release Clips, a Free Social Photo and Video App

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:06:36 EDT

Apple has announced that it will soon release Clips, a new social-focused photography and video app. The free Clips app will take square photos and videos that are ideal for most social networks, and it will offer fun features like titles, filters, and overlays. Apple gave Lauren Goode of the Verge early access, and she has written a full review. It’s unclear why Apple is making Clips separate from the Camera app — perhaps the company plans to field test new features in Clips before migrating the most popular to Camera? Or perhaps it’s meant as a precursor to an augmented reality app? Or maybe it’s just the latest incarnation of Photo Booth? We hope more becomes clear when Clips ships in April 2017.

 

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External Link: Large Electronics Banned on Some International Flights to the U.S. and UK

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:52:22 EDT

The United States and United Kingdom have banned nearly all electronics larger than a phone from flights originating from several African and Middle Eastern countries. The ban will include carry-on laptops, tablets, electronic book readers, and cameras, but those devices will still be allowed in checked baggage. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told the BBC that the ban was based on “evaluated intelligence,” likely related to reports that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula is trying to build bombs with little or no metal content to target commercial aircraft.

 

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Apple Introduces (PRODUCT)RED iPhones, Doubles iPhone SE Storage

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:39:49 EDT

Apple has announced some minor updates, including a new iPhone 7 color, doubled iPhone SE storage tiers, and new colors for iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 20 March 2017

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:31:58 EDT

Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office 2016 15.32, Fantastical 2.3.4, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 8.3.3, ChronoSync 4.7.5, and ClamXav 2.12.1.

 

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ExtraBITS for 20 March 2017

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:31:54 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, the iMessage App Store has stagnated after a promising start, LG has fixed the interference problems in the UltraFine 5K Display, and Google has been caught slipping ads into Google Home responses.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




27 Conferences for Mac and iOS Professionals in 2017

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:58:18 EDT

If you make your living in the Apple world as a consultant, developer, designer, or tech, there are a wide variety of conferences you can attend to hone your skills, learn new topics, network with your fellow wizards, and open your mind to new ways of thinking. Here’s our list for 2017. Be sure to let us know if you run across any others.

 

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An Ideal iPad Case for Little Kids

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:57:31 EDT

Looking for a solution to protect an iPad or other tablet from a small child? Chinese manufacturers have developed an inexpensive case that’s ideal for little hands.

 

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ClamXav 2.12.1

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 22:32:29 EDT

Improves overall reliability and enhances handling of Gmail mailboxes in Apple Mail. ($29.95 new, free update, 19.1 MB)

 

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Microsoft Office 2016 15.32

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 18:01:26 EDT

Adds support for the Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro to Outlook. ($149.99 new, free update)

 

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External Link: iMessage App Store Growth Slowing After Initial Surge

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:04:37 EDT

Analytics firm Sensor Tower has found that while the iMessage App Store that Apple introduced in iOS 10 got off to a strong start, it’s now stagnating. The good news: nearly 5000 apps now boast iMessage compatibility. However, that growth has slowed significantly, from 116 percent between September and the end of October to just 9 percent between January and February. The slowdown doesn’t surprise us, as we’ve found most iMessage apps slow, hard to use, and largely pointless. Are you using any iMessage apps regularly? If so, tell us about them in the comments.

 

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Fantastical 2.3.4

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 12:33:32 EDT

Adds support for Google’s new login requirements and improves performance for very large calendars. ($49.99 new, free update, 14.0 MB)

 

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External Link: LG Fixes UltraFine 5K Display Wi-Fi Interference Problems

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 12:01:36 EDT

We’ve previously reported on the LG UltraFine 5K Display suffering from interference issues when positioned near a Wi-Fi router. The company promised to improve radio shielding in the monitors, and MacRumors has confirmed that newer units no longer suffer from interference. If you’re buying a new LG UltraFine 5K Display, note that units with serial numbers starting with 702 or 703 feature the upgraded shielding. Owners of older units can contact LG for a repair, which LG says will take 7–10 business days.

 

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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 8.3.3

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 06:33:41 EDT

Resolves a couple of crashes, plus revamps scribble behavior. ($74.95/$124.95 new, free update, 70.4/71 MB)

 

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ChronoSync 4.7.5

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:33:15 EDT

Fixes a couple of bugs related to the ChronoSync Scheduler. ($49.99 new, free update, 41.2 MB)

 

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External Link: Google Home Caught Sneaking Ads into Responses

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:47:13 EDT

File this one under the “That’s just wrong” category. Google Home, the search giant’s smart speaker, has been caught slipping ads for the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie into its virtual assistant responses. On Twitter, user Bryson Meunier posted a video showing Google Home promoting the movie when he asked what his day was going to be like. Google insists that it wasn’t an ad, but a way to call out “timely content.” It seems as though the ads have stopped running — we strongly hope the backlash has quelled similar future experimentation on Google’s part. Smart speakers and virtual assistants are stupid enough as it stands; they won’t succeed if they’re both clueless and venal.

 

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Nine Accessories for Charging Apple Devices

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:44:46 EDT

Keeping your personal collection of Apple devices charged can be a pain in the posterior, but a host of third-party accessories makes this chore more convenient. Some even solve several charging problems at once. Julio Ojeda-Zapata took a variety of these accessories for a spin.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 13 March 2017

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:47:56 EDT

Notable software releases this week include 1Password 6.6.2, Hazel 4.0.9, Lightroom CC 2015.9 and Lightroom 6.9, and ChronoSync 4.7.4.

 

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ExtraBITS for 13 March 2017

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:47:40 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, Jamf’s enterprise survey reveals gains for macOS and iOS, Apple says that it has patched most of the vulnerabilities revealed in a recent WikiLeaks dump, a judge has ruled that you cannot be compelled to unlock your devices with Touch ID, and we learn that Steve Jobs initially thought the Genius Bar was an idiotic idea.

 

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External Link: Apple Gaining Ground in the Enterprise

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:34:56 EDT

Apple may be slipping in the education market, but the company is doing well in the enterprise. In a survey of 300 IT professionals, managers, and executives in large commercial organizations, Apple device management firm Jamf found that 91 percent of respondents use macOS and 99 percent use iOS. Jamf says, “Apple is gaining ground in the enterprise because employees prefer devices they use in their personal lives.” It’s hard to know quite what to make of Jamf’s findings since the fact that one department in a multinational conglomerate might rely on the Mac doesn’t necessarily mean that the company “uses” macOS in a significant way. Nevertheless, given Apple’s recent partnership with IBM and other enterprise initiatives, it’s good to see indications of growth.

 

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How to Identify High-Performance GPU Apps on the MacBook Pro

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:35:50 EDT

Is your MacBook Pro with Touch Bar getting less battery life per charge than you think it should? The culprit could be applications that are forcing it to use the high-performance graphics processor. Here’s how to tell which GPU is in use and which applications to close to switch to the integrated processor.

 

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How to Set Up and Use Airline Boarding Passes in Wallet

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:50:20 EDT

If you’re still printing boarding passes on paper because you think that using your iPhone would be too hard, think again. Airline apps and Apple’s Wallet app have improved significantly over the years, and the process is now easier than fussing with printed boarding passes. Adam Engst walks you through it.

 

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1Password 6.6.2

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 18:51:35 EST

Enables 1Password Watchtower by default and fixes a number of bugs. ($64.99 new or $2.99/$4.99 monthly subscription, free update, 47.4 MB)

 

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Thinking about Tom Negrino

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:12:57 EST

The veteran Mac writer Tom Negrino may be dead of an intentional barbiturate overdose by the time you read this, an act he has chosen after years of fighting terminal cancer. The Apple world will be poorer without Tom in it, and we will miss his humor, skill, professionalism, and courage.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.