While teaching Apple’s official courses, there are constant references to Apple’s Support Articles. For those of you that have not used them, by going to search.info.apple.com you will find the Advanced Search section of the Apple website. This is an invaluable tool for researching issues with Apple devices.
During a Server Essentials course I taught in Manchester last week, one of my delegates pointed out a great dashboard widget that allows you to either enter an article number or search term and it will immediately take you to the relevant webpage.
The widget is rather appropriately named “Apple Knowledge Base Search Widget” and can be downloaded here.
Certainly something I will be using from now on!
Last month Apple announced that they were introducing a new certification for Apple Certified trainers called the “Apple Master Trainer” certification. The certification has been designed by Apple to recognise those trainers “who build their skills and knowledge around Apple technologies” and “stand out as experts.”
Throughout Europe there are a total of 700 Apple Certified Trainers, of which, 20 have been awarded this new certification, 5 of whom are from Amsys. So, we just wanted say congratulations to all the Apple trainers who have been awarded their Apple Master’s certification.
At Amsys training we have 6 Apple Certified trainers, Richard Mallion, Peter Argyle, Russell Harris, Hugo Costa, John Greenash and our newest addition to the team, Daryl McCartney.
Who are our Apple Master trainers?
Richard, is our IT Director with extensive experience within both windows and mac platforms, programming, cross platform integration, app development and much more! Richard trains the “Learn iOS 6 SDK Workshop,” he also created the popular revision tool, REVISE IT.
Pete’s been an Apple fan pretty much since Apple II. He is now the head of our training department and trains, ACA, ACSP, ACTC, Advanced Deployment, Advanced Directory Services, Advanced OS X security and our iOS Deployment & Security courses, he recently took our training to Iceland, which you can read about, here.
Russell, has been a member of the Amsys team for over 16 years now, initially starting out his Apple career in our workshop, he then became an Apple certified trainer in 2003. Russell trains ACMT, ACSP, ACTC, ACA as well as, Mac Support for PC, Advanced Deployment and Keynote and iBooks.
Hugo started as a service technician then progressed to Technical Management before joining the training team 3 years ago. Hugo now trains all of the Apple certifications, as well as Advanced Deployment, Advanced Directory Services, Advanced OS X security.
John also started out as a hardware technician at Amsys then progressing to onsite repairs/installations and service management which was followed by a role as an Apple Genius at the Regent Street store. Since returning to Amsys, John teaches the following courses, ACMT, Apple’s Support and Server Essentials courses as well as iOS Deployment and Security, iWorks and Keynote. John recently went to Saudi Arabia to train “Getting Started with OS X” which you can read about, here.
Are you new to the Mac platform and just want to have a quick guide to ‘Find Out How’ to do something?
Apple have a superb collection of online video and text tutorials.
Most of these videos are around 5 minutes or less and nicely categorised into the key areas end users need to know for finding out how to get the best out of using the Mac OS system.
If you need to know how to use Mail, iCal etc or just want to get a better understanding of the user interface or wireless networking, these little tutorials are a great way to bring you up to speed fast.
Ever have the need to move multiple items into one folder?
Simply highlight the folders or documents you wish to place inside of a folder, right click to bring up the contextual menu, and the top option will be to create a new folder with the highlighted selection!
Has anyone else found it a pain that whilst entering Mission Control, that an application’s windows are stacked on top each other and you can only clearly see the foremost window?
Well, i’ve discovered a multi-gesture to expand all windows in an Application so you can have a better look at which one to switch to!
Enter Mission Control and move the mouse cursor over an Applications’ stack of windows. Whichever one your mouse is over will now have a blue highlight. Now use either the ’Scroll Direction’ gesture upwards, (two fingers up), or the ’Show Desktop’ gesture which is to spread out your thumb and three fingers at once. (See Trackpad preferences for more info and demos of these gestures).
The Applications’ stack of windows should fan out from each other, allowing you to see more of the windows’ contents. You may also notice that the other applications and the Desktop dim at the same time. You now have a much better view of all windows you have open within an application to make your choice.
To exit this mode, simply scroll your two fingers downwards, or pinch your thumb and three fingers together. You can also just click off in one of the dimmed areas.
Nice little feature! :)
Although there are some alternatives on the market, my favourite is still Plex. I have been using it at home for a few years now.
The solution includes:
- A Mac mini server with 6TB of external storage (to hold my movies and TV shows). The Mac mini runsthe Plex media server. This handles the streaming of all content to other devices in my home.
- An Apple TV as a Plex media client. After jail-breaking my Apple TV 2, I could get SSH access and then install the Plex client. Although a Mac mini would do the job (I actually started off with a Mac mini connected to a 42-inch Samsung TV), I have found the Apple TV far more convenient as an “appliance” (and the £99 price helped as well ;)
- The final piece of the puzzle was the Plex app for iOS. The iPhone and iPad apps can connect to the Plex server (after forwarding the necessary TCP ports) and play the media anywhere with an Internet connection. The apps have a really nice user interface. It even streams over 3G (although the monthly quotas could pose a problem).
Having everything connect back to the central Plex media server means that the status of any media files are updated seamlessly across all devices, including watched / unwatched status and even the last point I reached in a film. This means that I can stop a film on my Apple TV at home, pick up the iPad and be asked if I would like to start the movie from the beginning or carry on where I left off!
LogMeIn has a nice holiday gift for iOS device owners this season: a new free app called simply LogMeIn that provides remote viewing access and control of Macs and PCs on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It’s basically what the paid version LogMeIn Ignition provides, without ads or limitations.
Along with free remote control of an unlimited number of Macs or PCs from your iOS device with LogMeIn, LogMeIn Pro also provides access to your computer’s entire file structure, where you can grab files and copy them to local storage, other computers, or to cloud-based storage via online services like Dropbox, Google Docs or any WebDav server. You can even move or copy entire folders at once, and open a variety of file types right within LogMeIn, including audio, video, image and document files.
Getting set up is a breeze, and the LogMeIn app walks you through the process. You’ll have to sign up for an account, then download a client application on the computers you want to be able to access remotely. It’s the simplest solution I’ve seen for getting remote access set up both within and outside of your own home Wi-Fi network, and testing over 3G shows it works great even on cellular connections. By default, the app uses a somewhat strange navigation system that moves the screen instead of the cursor, but you can switch to cursor mode relatively easily if the default mode isn’t working for you.
The free version of LogMeIn is probably all most people need, especially if you just want to check on a download or video rendering progress, or control a media center PC from the comfort of the couch without the added hassle of wireless mice and keyboards. But LogMeIn has wisely thrown in a Pro trial with each new sign up, and the file management features and cloud service access are mighty tempting. Also, the Pro subscription provides HD video and audio playback from PCs, with a Mac implementation of the same feature planned for the near future.
If you’ve previously purchased LogMeIn Ignition, you’re lucky; you get grandfathered in to the new Pro features automatically. This is a smart move for LogMeIn in general, though, since it should introduce many more people to the service’s remote viewing functions, which is tempting bait for the new recurring Pro subscription.
By Richard Mallion
On December 20th 1996, Apple purchased NeXT. This gave Apple maker a modern OS, but also brought one of its founders, Steve Jobs, back into the fold.
The NeXT OS went on to form the basis of Mac OS X and iOS.
Where would Apple be now if not for NeXT………
Ever wanted to be able to quickly sign a document you need to email without having to print it off, sign it and then scan it back on to the computer? Well new in Lion is the ability to add your signature directly to PDF documents.
To start the process, Open the Preview application and then select Preferences from the Preview menu. Navigate to the Signature pane.
Click Create Signature and a window will pop up asking you to hold your signature to the built in camera. Please note you must sign your name in black ink on white paper.
Click Accept and your new signature will appear in the Signature preference pane.
To use your newly created signature, go to the View menu in Preview and select ‘Show Annotations Toolbar’. Once the annotations toolbar has appeared, simply add your signature as shown below!
Apple today seeded developers with an updated version of OS X 10.7.3. The new version, comes with no documented known issues and is said to include iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari as focus areas for developer testing.
SoundHound launches free music search and discovery App for iOs and Android!
SoundHound, the revolutionary sound search company, announced the launch of a new, free version of its popular mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The SoundHound App can identify recorded music as well as songs users sing or hum.
SoundHound is instant music search and discovery:
♪ The world’s FASTEST music recognition: name tunes playing from a speaker in as little as four seconds
♪ The world’s only viable singing and humming recognition
♪ LiveLyrics (in the U.S. and Canada): see Lyrics in time with the music for music recognition and your iPod songs: you can even double tap a line of lyrics to play it!
♪ An included iPad app with beautiful, full-size lyrics and YouTube pages
♪ The ultimate SoundHound experience, ad-free with premium features including exclusive Recommended Songs!
♪ NEW: Real-time Facebook and Twitter Updates from Artists: tap a band’s name to instantly see its latest social news!
Print all pages except cover page, without knowing the document’s total page count
Have you ever needed to print all pages of a document apart from the front cover page or first couple of pages?
Worse is when you want to do this but you don’t know how many pages in total the document has.
Here’s a cheeky way to achieve this!
When sending any print job to the printer, you will get the usual OS X Print dialog asking you to select the range of pages to be printed.
Every now and then I need to print all pages, but not the first couple of cover sheets or contents pages and I don’t know how many pages in total the document has.
The problem is that the Print Dialog window asks you to fill in both a starting and end page range. If you don’t know how many pages the document has, the annoying thing is that you wont be able to find this out once you’ve selected the option to print a range as the preview window no longer displays the page numbers!
You can just enter a very large number into the end range field, but I have found an easier option, just leave the end field blank!
Just enter the starting page number and select the ‘TAB’ key. Then select the ‘DELETE’ key to remove the end page number and press the ‘ENTER’ key and you’re done!
Originally released way back in 2001, Mactracker has been around for a good ten years now. It started as a very basic application listing minor details on Apple Mac Clients its now grown into a one-stop shop for anything Apple configuration related. Covering items as varied as Apple servers and desktops, right up to iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs.
What Operating System did my Mac ship with?
What is the maximum RAM it can take?
When did Apple start and stop manufacturing my Mac?
All of these questions and more are answerable from this simple (and Free!) application.
Mactracker can display (deep breathe):
- Overview: Including Model Identifiers, Start/end manufacturing dates, Model Number, support status and weight and dimensions.
- Processor information: Including type, speed, architecture, core number and cache amount.
- Storage and Media: Including Hard Drive type, size and speed, and Optical drive type and speed.
- Software: Including the original and later OS’ the Mac shipped with, which Hardware tests the Mac will run and which additional Applications it shipped with.
- Memory: Including any RAM soldered permanently to the machine, the Maximum RAM and how many slots and the speed it a Mac will accept.
- Graphics: Including the Card installed, the graphics RAM and connections.
- Connections: Including the number and type of all ports on the Mac (USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt etc) as well as any Expansion slots.
- Power: Including Voltages and battery life and type (if present).
- History: Including a short historical paragraph pulled from apple-history.com.
- Notes: Including links to Apple Support Documents for the particular Mac as well as space to add your own.
Mactracker is a must have application for Apple support staff as well as those who just like to tinker.
To make life even easier there is an iOS version and a Mac OS X version, both for free!
If you don’t remember the shortcuts to type à or è, or you simply don’t want to use the dedicated keys on your Keyboard, Lion offers a way to get accented letters using standard keys.
Microsoft has released an iPad version of OneNote, you can create searchable notes with text, pictures and bullets.
I love Google Chrome as a browser. It feels intuitive, fast and, well, better than Safari which used to be my browser of choice. Default Mac behaviour is to ask if you really want to quit something, which can be a little annoying, until you quit by mistake because of a short in neural synapses. Then it saves your bacon. I have often accidentally hit ⌘ + Q when I meant to hit ⌘ + W in Chrome. It’s both frustrating and a productivity killer to close your entire browser by accident, because you then have to restart and wait for all the pages to reload. It is accidents like these that made you WISH that you were questioned for your foolish behaviour, rather than just trusted as a superior being.
On the Mac, Chrome can now warn you before quitting so that you don’t accidentally quit the browser when you’re just trying to close a single tab. To enable this feature, go to the Chrome menu in the upper-left and select Warn Before Quitting. The next time you press ⌘ + Q, a floating window will appear, instructing you to Hold ⌘Q to Quit. This way, if your hand slips and you press Q instead of W, you can go right on browsing without interruption. If you really do want to quit, hold down ⌘Q as it says and, after a second, all the windows will fade away and you can release the keys. If you want to skip this warning and quit quickly, you can just press ⌘ + Q twice.
As a side note, if you ever accidentally close a tab or window, you can use Chrome’s tab restore feature to get it back. Simply press ⌘ + shift + T, which will reopen the most recently closed tab or window. Just like the Undo command in your word processor, you can use this shortcut multiple times to repeatedly reopen closed tabs. You can also find tabs you’ve recently closed on the bottom of the New Tab page, or in the History menu.
Ahhh. The little things.
By Adam Davies
1. Packing In Too Many Features
One of the popular mistakes amateur app developers make, is to give in to the temptation of using all of the device’s built-in features in their app. Most of the major smartphones available in the market today come with cool features such as, accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, GPS and so on.
You, as a developer should first understand what you want your app to do, its unique functions and in what particular way you want it to serve your users.
At the very least, first version of your app should initially aim to meet the immediate needs of the user or the company that you are developing the app for. Focus in on the needs of your target audience while in the first stages of creating your app. You can probably think of adding more features in the later versions of your app, by doing this it will make it look like you are constantly updating your app. This itself will make it more popular to your users.
Remember, the user experience has to the most important point to you at this time. Therefore, your app should use features, which work best on that particular mobile device.
2. Creating Elaborate and Complicated UIs
The very first version of your app should use an easy-to-operate, intuitive, user interface. The UI should preferably be such that the user learns to use it quickly, without having to refer to the user manual. The UI needs to be simple, to the point and well laid out.
Users prefer apps where every aspect, including each screen, each button and each function is well defined and rendered on screen in such a way as to make their lives simple for them.
One more thing to remember here is to make your UI consistent and homogeneous throughout all the future versions of your app, so that your users need not keep adjusting to different types of UIs in the coming app updates.
3. Adding On Too Many Mobile Platforms
Developers need to resist the temptation to immediately start developing for several mobile platforms, all at once. Adding on too many features and mobile platforms to your first version will raise your initial costs sky-high. This may also turn counter-productive for you, as it may actually end up reducing the chances of the success of your app in the marketplace.
If you should think of developing an app for multiple platforms such as Apple, Android and BlackBerry, plan out your app development strategies well in advance. Think of a unique app concept that will be most appealing to your audience.
Research the several mobile platforms available to you and choose the right platforms for your app, do not rush in to include all the OS’ at one go. Instead, chalk out realistic, achievable goals for yourself and take it one at a time. Also by releasing a pilot version of your app may help you get the right feedback from your audience.
Thanks for reading,
By Richard Mallion
Apple’s multimedia foundation, QuickTime, was released to the public 20 years ago today.
I think there comes a time in every Mac Techie’s career, usually after the first year, where they ask themselves, “where am I heading?” Despite Apple only holding 5% of the market, there is in fact a huge variety of Mac careers available, and more importantly, in demand.
Right now, possibly exacerbated by the uneasy economic climate, it is a candidate dry market out there and I find myself reassuring candidates that their skills are still in demand, and reminding clients to get the candidates whilst they’re hot, if they don’t somebody else will!!
I would describe there as being three main types of technical Mac careers: engineering, in-house support and video (to include broadcast and post production) Often however, these can switch and be synonymous between all three; you are free to change your mind and alter your path too, don’t forget!
Being a Mac engineer encapsulates bench to field to solutions consultant; which is usually in that order too. A typical bench engineer is someone junior, going in entry level to get hands on experience, learning about the hardware, software and the nitty gritty workings of the computer. This is advanced to the next level by onsite visits and face to face interaction with the customer, including exposure to servers and larger networks. The solutions consultant role is the top-level engineer who pretty much has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything, not just Mac either! These kinds of roles suit the hands on, the ones who react pragmatically to challenges and problems.
Salaries and Quals:
Field engineer ACTC - anywhere between £22,000 – £35,000
Solutions consultant ACSA - £35,000 – £50,000 (they often include commission too, pushing OTE up to £70k)
In-house support covers remote and desk side support analysts, Systems Administrators and IT Managers. A great entry level role for techies is the 1st line support role on a busy help desk; you learn not only the OS of the Mac but also server software (Active Directory and Open Directory) to work with permissions, user accounts but often don’t get to grips with the hardware. You do get more senior roles that advance onto the 2nd line and you find that it is a great technical knowledge strengthener.
After around five years working on the 1st and 2nd line, techies find themselves itching to get involved with the infrastructure and seek to go onto the 3rd line, which is where they become Systems Administrators.
These do basically what it says on the tin: administer the systems.
Use of the Terminal and Command Line is also a heavy requirement. This will include further cross platform knowledge, but will require a strong Mac knowledge. Many find that the next logical step will then be into management, and I would have to agree, as although you still remain technical, you become involved with even more skills.
Salaries and Quals:
IT Manager ACSA , ITIL, Prince2 – £40,000 – £60,000
Video (Broadcast/Post Production)
If you’re lucky enough to land a junior engineer role in this field, hold onto it and work from there, but it is more common for either an engineer or an in-house support person to find their careers leading naturally into video.
Video is like the combination of engineer and in-house because you could be visiting a range of studios and working with an array of large storage networks with many, many racks, or setting up and administering Xsans, Ubuntu Servers and other SANs. It is strange to not see a Mac in a visual effects or Post Production agency and as a result, the people with the Mac skills are the most sought after.
Yet, there are a lot of other skills you need to have, like a real, in-depth knowledge of Scripting (Shell, Bash, Python) and a competency with suitable video unique applications (Smoke, Avaya etc.) The job titles in this field differ between Engineer, Senior Engineer, Systems Administrator and Manager and the salaries are below.
Salaries and Quals:
Junior Post Production Engineer – starting at £18,000 up to £23,000
Post Production Engineer – £24,000 – £35,000
Senior Post Production Engineer Xsan Administrator – £35,000 – £45,000
Systems Administrator – £45,000 – £55,000
Just to reiterate, career paths are not set in stone, and this is just a guideline if you ever get stuck or confused. All careers can lead to management or even directorship if you work hard enough! Not to mention, you can start up your own company too!
By Sarah Garrett
We need a Helpdesk Manager! An amazing chance to work with Apple’s Largest UK Service Provider & Europes #1 Training Centre Call 02086609999
By Richard Mallion
Apple is giving yet another popular game away using its Facebook page — this time, it’s Disney’s Where’s my Water up for grabs. To grab your free copy of the great water-guiding physics puzzler, just head over to Apple’s App Store Facebook page, become a fan, and you’ll get a free promo code to download the game on an iOS device of your choice.
How to quickly close an application AND all it’s open windows.In Lion, Resume now allows Applications to resume any windows and documents left open when the Application is quit.
For those of you like me that wish to quickly quit an application and also quit all open windows, you can quit the application using the ‘Command+Option+Q’ keys so that when you reopen the application there won’t be any open windows!
Certainly a tip i’ve been using myself! :)
By Richard Mallion
Final Cut Pro 10.0.2 has been posted by Apple. It’s a small bug fix for those having problems with title fonts and start times on compound clips. The latest version is now 10.0.2 and includes these changes:
- Fixes an issue where a title may revert to the default font after restarting Final Cut Pro X
- Resolves an issue that could cause files recorded with certain third-party mobile devices to play back incorrectly
- Addresses a stability issue caused by changing the start time on a Compound Clip
By Richard Mallion
Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Update 1, released Tuesday, updates the software to version 1.6.0_29, and offers Mac OS X Lion users improved reliability, security, and compatibility.
For Snow Leopard users running 10.6.8, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 6 is the update to turn to. It also updates Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_29, and delivers similar improvements to that of the Lion version.
The patch addresses several vulnerabilities in Java 1.6.0_26, including one that allows an untrusted Java applet to execute code outside the Java sandbox. You can read more about the security content on Sun’s website, or Apple’s knowledge base article on the update.
You can download these updates via Software Update on your Mac and Apple’s Support Downloads website.
By Richard Mallion
Adobe has reportedly briefed its employees on the company’s plans to abandon development of Flash player for mobile browsers in a blow to Google Android and Research in Motion PlayBook tablets.
Adobe’s partners will reportedly receive an email briefing them on the fact that it is “stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile,” the report continued. The company will instead focus its efforts on mobile applications, desktop content “in and out of browser,” and investments in HTML5.
The announcement can largely be seen as a win for Apple and a loss for Android tablets and the Playbook. Competitors to the iPad and iPhone had originally touted Adobe Flash as a major selling point for their devices over Apple’s mobile offerings, which have eschewed Flash. RIM had highlighted in videos the fact that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was Flash-capable.
The end of mobile Flash could also be seen as a vindication of Apple’s decision to steer clear of it. Steve Jobs famously called out Adobe for its struggles with Flash.
Reports doing the rounds are that we may see Apple working on Siri for iPhone 4. Electronista have confirmed rumours that there has indeed been some early testing of the iPhone 4 running Siri on a test build of iOS 5. Information at this point is vague, but it looks like the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod Touch are both capable of running the voice command system.
Although it is completely speculation at this point, it would seem that Apple would likely not push for Siri on iPhone 4 as it is a huge selling feature of the 4S model. It is unlikely that a better camera and faster processor would have the same draw.
Other speculation, however, reports that Siri has been limited to the 4S during Apple’s beta testing of the load on Apple’s servers, and that it may indeed find it way to the iPhone 4. It is thought that the iPod Touch may harm the Siri experience due to its inferior microphone.
It would only be prudent to ask Siri these questions for yourself!
By John Greenash.
Airdrop is a new feature built into OS X Lion to easily facilitate the transfer of data between two computers wirelessly without any configuration necessary.
How often do you find yourself sitting in the office and needing to share a file with a colleague?
Do you ask your colleague to turn on personal file sharing and copy it to their drop box?
Do you connect to a file server then email them the path to the location?
Or do you pull out your trusty USB stick and manually take the file over to them?
With Airdrop, all the above is no longer necessary.
- Simply open a Finder window,
- select Airdrop from the left hand menu
- and instantly see any user’s in range who also have Airdrop open.
- Drag the file to their icon and it will prompt them to accept.
- Once they do, close down the menu and carry on working.
The great thing about Airdrop is you don’t even need to be connected to the same wireless network. In fact, you don’t need to be connected to any network at all for this to work.
Airdrop will only work with Mac computers running Mac OS X Lion and the following hardware
- MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
- iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)
To view how to enable Airdrop via Ethernet on unsupported Mac’s, view Richard’s previous Blog post.
By Richard Mallion
iOS 5 has a rather nice keyboard feature where you can assign phrases to shortcuts. Really useful if you repeatly type a long sentence such as an address.
As an example their is a default short cut of “omw” which when typed gets replaced with “On my Way!”.
Its very easy to add your own shortcuts:
1. Goto the keyboard preference under general preferences.
2. At the very bottom you will find the “Shortcuts”
3. Here you can view existing shortcuts or create new shortcuts.
The Pegasus R4 and R6 RAID units from Promise which are connected to the Mac via Thunderbolt are reported to be intermittently disconnecting, a number of users have said that the drives randomly disconnect, both Promise and Apple are said to be looking the issue.
A couple of users have said the the problems appear to be caused by phone interference, this can be replicated by holding the phone close to the Thunderbolt cable, as calls are received the drives disconnect. One user reported to have cured the problem by wrapping the cable with tin foil.
By Peter Argyle
Apple today released EFI firmware updates for a number of Macs that added or made more reliable Lion’s internet recovery mode as well as other minor fixes.
The list of machines include:
- iMac (Early 2011)
- Mac Mini (mid 2011)
- MacBook Air (mid 2011)
- MacBook Pro (early 2011)
By Richard Mallion
Apple has posted the video from their on-campus event last week, celebrating the life of Steve Jobs.
The video can be view from Apple’s website at “Celebrating Steve“
Apple today announced it has sold over four million of its new iPhone 4S, just three days after its launch on October 14.
In addition, more than 25 million customers are already using iOS 5, in the first five days of its release, and more than 20 million customers have signed up for iCloud.
Adobe Reader for iOS was launched launched Monday, a universal app for iPhone and iPad.. The app allows users to view PDF files from email, on the Web, or in any application supporting iOS’s “Open In” function.
Among the features:
View PDF files
- Quickly open PDF files from email , the Web or any application that supports “Open In…”
- View PDF Portfolios, PDF Packages, annotations and drawing markups
- Read text annotations such as Sticky Notes
Access encrypted PDF files
- Open and view password-protected PDF files
- Access files secured by Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management, which helps protect sensitive documents
- Supports the highest grade of PDF encryption, up to AES256
Interact with PDF files
- Search text to find specific information
- Use bookmarks to jump directly to a section in your PDF file
- Select single page or continuous scroll modes
- Easily zoom in on text or images for a closer view
- Quickly navigate through large files using thumbnails
- Select and copy text from a PDF file to the clipboard
- Print wirelessly with AirPrint
- Share PDF files with other applications using “Open In…”
- Email PDF documents as attachments
By Richard Mallion
With the Lion 10.7.2 update you can now remove purchases from your Purchased history in the Mac App Store. Click the Purchased button at the top of the store then move your cursor over an app from your purchase list. You’ll see a small X appear at the far right. Click it to delete the app from your purchase history. Deleting a currently-installed app from your purchase history won’t delete it from your computer.
By Richard Mallion
Apple on Wednesday released Find My Friends and AirPort Utility on the App Store.
Find My Friends is a free download designed for iOS devicesB. It requires iOS 5 and an iCloud account, which can be created free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Find My Friends allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Adding a friend is easy — just send a request to see their location. Once your friend accepts using the Find My Friends app, you will then be able to see that friend’s location on a list or on a map.
Users can choose to share their location for a limited period of time with a group of friends. Apple said the software can be used to keep track of traveling companions when on vacation, or to see if your children are home from school, or to find friends you’re meeting for dinner.
Features of the application, as listed by Apple, include:
- Easily locate friends and family
- Temporary sharing option
- Simple privacy controls
- Parental restrictions
- Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Also now available is AirPort Utility, also for iOS 5 devices. The application allows users to manage their Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations.
AirPort Utility lets users make changes to an AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule directly from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
With AirPort Utility, users can:
- See a graphical overview of your Wi-Fi network
- Get information about your connected Wi-Fi devices
- view and change network and Wi-Fi settings
- restart or restore a base station, or update the firmware on a base station when available
- View or update passwords for your network, base stations or disks
- Easily access network information such as IP address, DNS servers, and router addresses
- Manage DHCP reservations and port mappings
- View status or error messages for your base stations
By Richard Mallion
Apple’s on Wednesday released an update to its Lion operating system in the form of Mac OS X 10.7.2, bringing support for Apple’s new cloud-based service “iCloud, which includes services like syncing, Back to My Mac, and Find My Mac.
Mac OS X 10.7.2 is now available via Software Update. It is labeled version 11C74, and is a 435.5MB download.
Apple has said that the 10.7.2 update is recommended for all users of OS X Lion, and includes general operating system fixes designed to improve the stability, compatibility,security of their Mac and improved reliability with Active Directory.
Features of iCloud on Mac OS X include:
- iCloud stores your email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and Safari Reading list and automatically pushes them to all your devices.
- Back to My Mac provides remote access to your Mac from another Mac anywhere on the Internet.
- Find My Mac helps find a missing Mac by locating it on a map and allows you to remotely lock the Mac or wipe all its data.
By Richard Mallion
European Union regulations require cell phone vendors to include micro USB connectors as a means of standardizing charging options for cell phones, a necessary move to cut down on the plethora of mutually incompatible charging options that have proliferated through the mobile phone industry. Rather than alter the iPhone itself, Apple has instead begun offering a micro USB adapter that connects via the existing 30-pin dock connector.
It will be available on October 14.
The adapter will allow you to sync and charge any iPhone (except the original 2007 model) via a micro USB cable connected to your computer, and you can charge your iPhone from a charger with a micro USB connection.
By Richard Mallion
Apple has now confirmed that it will be bringing Siri voice control to its new iPhone 4S. It will let you use natural language to perform tasks like asking for a weather forecast or getting directions, setting an alarm or making a calendar appointment, and searching Wikipedia or Wolfram Alpha for information (among many other possibilities). Described as a “humble personal assistant,” Siri will work in English (including the UK and Australia), French and German for now, and it’ll work with all built-in apps and over both 3G and WiFi. It’ll also be a beta to start with, and Apple promises that it “gets better” as it learns your voice.
Apple has announced the next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S. Although externally it appears identical to the iPhone 4, internally it’s seen many changes. It includes the same dual-core A5 processor that debuted in the iPad 2. Its graphics processor, which is also dual-core, provides up to 7 times the graphical performance of the iPhone 4′s A4 chip.
The iPhone 4S has improved battery life over its predecessor, and it now allows for 8 hours 3G talktime, 14 hours 2G talktime, and 6 hours of 3G web browsing.
The iPhone 4S’s wireless system has also been tweaked; the handset will now intelligently switch between antennas for optimal performance. This not only improves signal reliability, it also doubles the theoretical maximum speed from 7.2 Mbps on the iPhone 4 to 14.4 Mbps on the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S is also now a true “world phone” with integrated chipsets for both GSM and CDMA networks. This will simplify Apple’s product lineup and consumer buying decisions, as there will be only one “model” of iPhone 4S that should work on virtually any carrier in the world.
The iPhone 4S has a much-improved 8 megapixel camera that can shoot up to 3264 x 2448 images. Its backside-illuminated sensor allows it to capture 73 percent more light per pixel than the iPhone 4, and a five-element lens leads to photos that are up to 30 percent sharper than those on the iPhone 4. A new signal processor enables face detection and 26 percent better white balance. The camera also works much faster than on previous models; Apple claims it takes only 1.1 seconds to take the first photo, with subsequent shots having a delay of only half a second. The improved camera also features true 1080p HD video recording and video stabilization, a first for the iPhone.
Like the iPad 2, the iPhone 4 can now mirror its screen via AirPlay or a cable connected to the dock.
Perhaps the most anticipated feature of the iPhone 4S is its support for Siri, an “intelligent assistant” that enables recognition of voice queries and commands.
The iPhone 4S is available in capacities ranging from 16 all the way up to 64 GB.
Apple has announced that its next-generation mobile OS, iOS 5, will launch to the public on October 12. It will be a free upgrade for the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touches.
Below is a summary of the goodness you can expect from iOS 5 but for full details please visit Apple’s web site .
You get all kinds of notifications on your iOS device: new email, texts, friend requests, and more. With Notification Center, you can keep track of them all in one convenient location. Just swipe down from the top of any screen to enter Notification Center. Choose which notifications you want to see. Even see a stock ticker and the current weather. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what you’re doing. And the Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe. Notification Center is the best way to stay on top of your life’s breaking news.
Read all about it. All in one place. iOS 5 organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in Newsstand: a folder that lets you access your favorite publications quickly and easily. There’s also a new place on the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. And you can get to it straight from Newsstand. New purchases go directly to your Newsstand folder. Then, as new issues become available, Newsstand automatically updates them in the background — complete with the latest covers. It’s kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door. Only better.
Next time you think to yourself, “Don’t forget to…,” just pull out your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and jot it down. Reminders lets you organize your life in to-do lists — complete with due dates and locations. Say you need to remember to pick up milk during your next grocery trip. Since Reminders can be location based, you’ll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.
iOS 5 makes it even easier to tweet from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Sign in once in Settings, and suddenly you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest. You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from.
Since your iPhone is always with you, it’s often the best way to capture those unexpected moments. That’s why you’ll love the new camera features in iOS 5. You can open the Camera app right from the Lock screen. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly. Then press the volume-up button to snap your photo in the nick of time. If you have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud, your photos automatically download to all your other devices.
iOS 5 brings even more web-browsing features to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Safari Reader displays web articles sans ads or clutter so you can read without distractions. Reading List lets you save interesting articles to peruse later, while iCloud keeps your list updated across all your devices. On iPad, tabbed browsing helps you keep track of multiple web pages and switch between them with ease. And iOS 5 improves Safari performance on all your iOS devices.
With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Activate and set up your device wirelessly, right out of the box. Download free iOS software updates directly on your device. Do more with your apps — like editing your photos or adding new email folders — on your device, without the need for a Mac or PC. And back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.
Wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes. So you always have your movies, TV shows, home videos, and photo albums everywhere you want them.
One of the most popular features of OS X has been Apple’s built in Time Machine software. This innovative software easily allowed users to make complete backup’s of their operating system in case of hard drive failure or if they had accidentally deleted a file.
The only problem with this has been remembering to plug in your external drive so that it could perform the backup. Granted, you could use Apple’s Time Capsule which will backup whenever you are in range of it but even this only works in one location, not ideal if you spend large amounts of time travelling away from home or the office.
Allow me to set the scene, you leave your backup device at home while you go abroad for a business meeting. Your only copy of the important presentation you will be delivering the following day is on your computer. You accidentally delete the document. No backup in sight, no time to recreate the document…
In the past this would have been a disaster situation, causing an immense amount of hair pulling and stress but not now, for in Mac OS X Lion, we have a new local backup feature in Time Machine.
Local Backups essentially mean that when your selected backup device is not connected or not in range, your computer keeps a local Time Machine backup on your system. There is no configuration for this and it is enabled on your Mac by default. By simply clicking on the Time Machine icon in the dock, we can easily go back in time and retrieve a file from our local backups.
It’s not going to help if your hard drive fails on the road but on the off chance the above scenario becomes a reality, you will be glad it exists..
for more info on data backups click here
Publicly announced by Intel in 2009 (under the codename ‘Lightpeak’) and introduced into the Mac line up by Apple in early 2011, Thunderbolt is set to be the next generation interface of choice, especially for Professional Mac Users. Featuring the ability to send a video stream, network data and device data simultaneously, and up to theoretical speeds of 10 Gb/s per channel (with the standard implementation carrying 2 channels) you are looking at superior speeds over both USB and FireWire.
How does this compare with my existing devices?
To put it in a sheer speed perspective, USB 2.0 comes in at 480 Mbps, FireWire 800 at 800 Mbps, USB 3.0 at 5 Gbps, and one Thunderbolt channel at 10 Gbps. So to replace your existing kit with Thunderbolt interfaced kit would provide you with up to 20x speed increase on USB 2.0, up to 12x speed increase on FireWire 800, and even up to 4x faster then USB 3.0.
Do you really need these increased speeds? For the average basic home user, I would guess probably not. But for the professional Mac user, specialist or server this new interface will allow you to daisy chain up to two displays and up to 6 other devices (external Hard Drives, Video Capture cards etc). To top it off, Thunderbolt’s speed is faster then the speed of any of todays Hard Drives (in standard configuration) finally providing a way to access a Hard Drive without being slowed by the interface you are using. If anything, the Hard Drive speeds will be the slowest link in the chain! Additionally, mostly due to this ability to daisy chain devices, you can use one Thunderbolt connector as your sole connection to your Mac (barring the power lead of course!). Great examples of this are in Apple’s own Thunderbolt display, featuring 3 USB 2.0 sockets, 1 FireWire 800 socket, Ethernet networking and even another Thunderbolt port! Another example is the newly announced Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock, featuring the same ports as the Apple Thunderbolt Display but without the display.
Are there any devices out yet that will work with Thunderbolt?
Plenty already! – and more on the way. Almost the entire Mac line up now ships with a thunderbolt port. The last remaining Thunderbolt-less Mac (the Mac Pro) is due an upgrade in the next 3-4 months.
Additionally there are a number of external devices available that are compatible with thunderbolt including:
- Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display
- The Promise Pegasus R4 and R6 RAID systems
- The LaCie Little Big Disk
- The Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D
Foe more information check out:
By Richard Mallion
Apple has updated its malwaredefinitions to address a PDF trojan that gained widespread attention last week. While reports indicated that the trojan’s damage was limited to installing a backdoor in users’ systems, Apple has moved quickly to counter the threat, updating its malware definitions for Snow Leopard and Lion systems to allow them to recognize the trojan. Your Mac’s malware definitions should update automatically.
You can easily check when your definitions where last updated by checking the contents of this file:
For those who purchased Apple Remote Desktop the old fashioned way , on CD, may find that the installer will not let you install the software on a Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) computer. It reports that Mac OS X 10.6 is required.
Here is a quick solution:
- 1. Copy the Apple Remote Desktop Installer from the Installation disc to the desktop.
- 2. Hold the Control key and click on the Installer icon.
- 3. In the contextual menu that appears, choose Show Package Contents.
- 4. In the package contents, navigate to Contents/Installers.
- 5. Control-click on RemoteDesktopAdmin.pkg and choose Show Package Contents.
- 6. In the package contents, double-click the Archive.pax.gz file to expand it.
- 7. In the expanded archive, navigate to Archive/Applications/ and drag Remote Desktop to your Applications folder.
- 8. Immediately run Software Update to update Remote Desktop to the latest version.
Apple on Tuesday issued a major update for its recently refreshed Final Cut Pro X video editing software, adding features like Xsan and Rich XML support after users expressed dissatisfaction with the newly rebuilt software.
The free update to version 10.0.1 was revealed by Apple in a special page devoted to it its official website. The page highlights new features in the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, including media stems export, Rich XML support, and projects and events on Xsan.
The full list of features of the new update, which is available free to those who have already purchased Final Cut Pro X, are described by Apple:
- Media Stems Export: Traditional, track-based editing systems require you to constantly rearrange and disable tracks to export audio and video stems. With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, flexible metadata removes the burden of track management. Use the new Roles tag to label clips — dialogue, effects, music, and more — then export a single multitrack file or separate stems based on your tags. You can even apply Roles to video clips and graphics for a powerful new way to deliver separate files for versioning and localization.
- Rich XML Support: Now you can import and export Final Cut Pro X project and Event information via a rich XML format. XML interchange enables a wide range of third-party workflows, including high-end visual effects, color grading, and media asset management. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, Square Box System’s CatDV, and many other third-party applications will offer XML-based workflows with Final Cut Pro X.
- Projects and Events on Xsan: Create and edit your Final Cut Pro X projects and Events on Xsan. Ideal for multi-user workflows, you can import media through Final Cut Pro X and place it directly on the SAN. Multiple users can access the same source media, and each editor can create separate projects and Events on the SAN. Users can then edit from any system attached to the SAN, making it easy to move between computers and continue working.
- Custom Starting Timecode: Set the start time of your project to a custom timecode value to accommodate color bars and tone, or to meet broadcast delivery specifications.
- Full-screen view in Lion: Use every inch of your display when working in Final Cut Pro X. And easily navigate to other applications with a swipe.
- One-step Transitions on Connected Clips: Add a transition to a connected clip or between multiple connected clips without manually creating a secondary storyline.
- GPU-accelerated export: Harness the power of the GPU on your graphics card to speed up foreground export.
- New Theme: Tribute: Access the new Tribute theme, with four animated titles and a matching transition.
- Camera Import SDK: Camera manufacturers can use the Camera Import SDK to write plug-ins for importing media from a wide range of cameras. For example, Sony is updating their XDCAM EX plug-in to support native import directly into Final Cut Pro X.
Apple has released a Thunderbolt Display firmware update for the new displays they started shipping just last week.
The Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update 1.0 improves the stability of the Apple Thunderbolt Display. The update weighs in at just 923 KB and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or OS X Lion 10.7.1 or later.
By Russell Harris.
Now, most of the new Lion features I love, but the one feature which can sometimes be inconvenient, is the new Window Restore feature. If you would like applications to NOT restore old open windows from your previous login session, this next Terminal command will specify which application to ignore this feature. I’ve used QuickTime in my example, but just replace the name “QuickTimePlayerX” in the command below with your preferred application:
defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false
I hope these little tips come in handy and maybe i’ll see you soon on a Training course. :)
By Richard Mallion
AirDrop is my favourite feature is Lion. It allows you to easily send and receive files wirelessly over a network just by dragging and dropping. It’s a great addition to Lion, but it’s not supported on all Macs (some 2008 model MacBook, MacBook Pros, some Mac Pro’s and Mini’s, etc)
You can enable AirDrop with Ethernet and enable AirDrop support on unsupported Macs running OS X 10.7+ by using the following defaults write command in the Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1
By Russell Harris.
Lion’s new iCal App has a great new interface, but new Events still have a
default duration set to 1 hour. I find that I set many events to half an hour, so can I make this the default?
Well, i’m sorry to say that the interface wont let you do this, so we’re off into the command line if you dare follow me!
If you open the ‘Terminal’ Application from inside /Applications/Utilities, and enter, (or you can copy and paste), the following :
defaults write com.apple.iCal 'Default duration in minutes for new event' 30
(The ’30’ at the end is the duration in minutes, so you can tailor this to your own needs).