Slack has finally added one of its most requested features: threads! Updated versions of Slack for all platforms and the Web now allow you to start a thread in reply to any message. Threads are shown in both a channel-specific sidebar in the Web and desktop apps, and in a pane in the mobile apps. You can also view threads in which you’re a participant in a new All Threads/New Threads view reachable from the sidebar. I wrote a TidBITS article explaining the feature and how best to use it.
At this writing, we have no plans to update this book. The addition of threading didn’t change other features in the ecosystem.
macOS 10.12 Sierra has been plagued with PDF problems. First, there were problems with PDFs created using ScanSnap scanners, but those issues turned out to be relatively mild and Apple addressed them in the 10.12.1 update.
Unfortunately, 10.12.2 Sierra ushered in even more troubling issues with PDFs. Developers have reported a number of PDFKit problems, most notably the OCR text layer being deleted when manipulated by apps using PDFKit, including Preview. The main takeaway is that you shouldn’t use Preview to edit PDFs until these issues are resolved, hopefully in 10.12.3. In the meantime, if you have to edit a PDF, either work only on a copy, just in case, or consider investing in Smile’s PDFpen, which annotates and edits PDFs independent of Apple’s PDFKit.
[Fixed? In the release notes for the 10.12.3 Sierra update, which were made available on January 23rd, Apple says that the update “fixes an issue that prevented the searching of scanned PDF documents in Preview.” Other PDF-related problems appear to remain in Preview, so continue to work with caution even after you install this update. See Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.3, iOS 10.2.1, tvOS 10.1.1, and watchOS 3.1.1, in TidBITS, for more information. —Tonya, 1/24/2017]
Apple TV, slowly but surely, continues to gain features and capabilities, this time with its new TV app and Single Sign-on capability. Josh and Chuck Joiner of MacVoices discuss the state of streaming TV, Apple TV’s place in this dynamic and highly contested market, and what’s new in the latest edition of his book. Adjust your rabbit ears, sit back, and enjoy.
Jeff and Joe on Serial Collaboration and Apple Watch
Jeff Carlson and Joe Kissell spend some time with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices describing what’s new in their co-authored Crash Course about Apple Watch and how the current edition came about. Learn what special Watch features float each of their boats and more in this timely interview.
October 2, 2016 — Both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra have appeared since the last update of this book, but the portions related to Wi-Fi and networking have changed very, very little. We have no current plans to update the book.
Apple added a fairly severe warning about using an unencrypted network connection in iOS 10. Select a network that doesn’t have any network security enabled, and iOS displays “Security Recommendation” in the main Wi-Fi view, and then explains further in a details screen, which includes a link to follow to get even more information. The warning suggests that “you” update the network to WPA2 Personal security, but it shows up for public hotspots, including Apple Stores, not just ones you ostensibly control. The warning is well intentioned but the message poorly considered.
There are a few other very minor changes. Apple changed the icons used in AirPlay for some destinations in iOS 10. And a new release of Airfoil appeared since our last update that gives it a different appearance, but the features we discuss remain the same.
Elisa Pacelli of MyMac.com reviewedTake Control of Preview, saying “Once again, TidBITS hits it out of the park with their latest book.” Pacelli offers a summary of Take Control of Preview and shares a few of her favorite parts. “Some tips can literally be life changing,” she said.
Joe spends some quality time with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices to discuss Joe’s new book. Joe begins by describing why, at the moment anyway, Parallels is his choice for running Windows, Linux, and other OSes on his Mac, including beta versions of new macOS releases. The discussion goes on to cover what is new in Parallels 12, security issues, using external drives, and how to wrangle your other peripherals with guest operating systems on your Mac.
When you add text boxes and shapes to an image, they’re added in layers corresponding to the order in which you created them. For example, a rectangle created after a text box will obscure the text if you position it over the text, which may not be desirable. Other graphics apps tend to have Bring Forward and Send Backward commands to rearrange objects, but Preview lacks any such controls. Here’s the workaround: Option-drag the bottom shape to create a duplicate, which is newer and thus will appear on top of any other object. After making and positioning the duplicate, you can delete the original object.
PDFpen 2.5 for iPad & iPhone Adds Support for Digital Signatures and Audio Notes
The recent update of PDFpen for iPad & iPhone to version 2.5 adds support for validating digital signing certificates, as well as the ability to play and record audio annotations and to view PDF file attachments, all features that were introduced with PDFpen and PDFpenPro 8 on the Mac. In addition, the updated iOS app now supports the Apple Pencil.
The 34.5 MB update is available for download from the App Store on your iOS device.
Confused About Digital Signing? You Won’t Be After This MacVoices Interview!
In my interview with Chuck Joiner about the latest edition of my PDFpen book on MacVoices, we discussed in detail one of PDFpen 8’s new features: support for digital signing certificates, which allow you to guarantee the authenticity of a document. But we didn’t just talk about certificates: PDF portfolios, file attachments, and audio annotations are all newly supported PDF features in PDFpen 8, and we talked about all of them. So, if you have 42 minutes to spare, tune in and learn what else PDFs can do in addition to presenting print-ready documents on screen.