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Get up-to-date advice and information about using cloud services and
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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.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

iOS 10 Adds Unsecured Hotspot Warning

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.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)

MyMac’s Review of “Take Control of Preview”

Elisa Pacelli of MyMac.com reviewed Take 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.

Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

Joe and Chuck in a Parallels Universe

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.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Tip: Control Object Layering in Preview

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.

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

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.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

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.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Maintaining Your Mac Erratum

The “RAM Usage Meanings” sidebar on p. 103 of Maintaining Your Mac needs updating, because OS X no longer labels RAM as “Active” or “Inactive.” I’ll address this, along with a number of other minor changes, in version 1.1 of this book, which I plan to release as a free update in mid-2016.

Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

Glenn Cuts Us All Some Slack on MacVoices

It’s rare when an author shows up with two books to discuss on MacVoices, but Glenn (who can sometimes talk twice as fast as normal humans) was up to the task, helping to lead Chuck Joiner through both the basics of Slack and some of its administrative features in his discussion of his latest duology, Take Control of Slack Basics and Take Control of Slack Admin.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Should You Upgrade to PDFpen 8?

I’m happy to see Smile continuing to improve PDFpen. Here’s a look at what’s new:

  • PDFpen catches up with Acrobat to give you the ability to preview and extract file attachments, which are files that are attached to a PDF through an annotation. In PDFpen Pro, you can also now add these attachments. (Apple’s Preview does not support this feature.)

  • Instead of being a note or comment, or a graphic, annotations can now be recorded audio.

  • You can export a PDF to Microsoft Word format locally (in PDFpen 7, it is converted online), and in PDFpen Pro 8 the same is true when you export a PDF to Microsoft Excel format.

  • There are a few new features for working with forms. You can now create and use a certificate for a trusted digital signature, a topic that looks like it will need to be teased out considerably in the next edition of this book to describe usefully. Plus PDFpen Pro has more widget styles for certain form elements and a new sidebar for setting the tab order in a form.

  • Finally, there’s a tool for measuring precise distances on a PDF and there’s the ability to combine multiple PDF documents into a single portfolio.

If any of the above features makes you smile, because it’s exactly what you need, then upgrade away! Or, if you want to support Smile in their efforts to keep PDFpen a modern and useful app that goes the extra mile to support people with specific professional needs, then go ahead and upgrade. PDFpen 8 works with 10.10 Yosemite and later.

For more about what’s new in version 8, and upgrade directions, see the PDFpen & PDFpen Pro version 8 blog post on Smile’s site.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)