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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)

Joe Unflips Bits with Chuck Joiner on MacVoices

Joe sits down with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices to explain some of the common misconceptions that people have about technology, why this Take Control book doesn’t have “Take Control” in the title, and how the book came to be written. The discussion includes visual aids, reveals the astonishing fact that there isn’t a hamster in your Mac, demonstrates what you can do with two thumbs, and treats us to Joe’s performance of a famous line from “Hamlet.”

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Changes to Plex Authentication on Apple TV

When we published “Take Control of Apple TV, Second Edition,” the Plex app still required you to enter your username and password to sign in to your Plex account. Thankfully, Plex has now been updated to use browser authentication instead, so you don’t have to type or dictate your credentials with the Siri Remote. When prompted, visit http://plex.tv/link and enter the code on your TV screen.

Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

Using Apple Pencil with Keynote for iOS

In case you were wondering, the Apple Pencil, which is compatible with the iPad Pro (both 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models), works with Keynote on iOS. When you construct slides, however, the Pencil merely works much as your finger would if your finger had a precise point — because Keynote offers no freeform drawing option, you can’t sketch items on slides. Nonetheless you can use the Pencil, as you would your finger, to manipulate objects.

Where the Pencil does comes in handy is when you use your iPad to present slides: with the Pencil you can use the markup tools to draw on a slide that is being presented. To reveal and choose the markup tools when you give a Keynote presentation from your iPad, press and hold briefly on the current slide.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Charles Talks OS X Server 5 with Chuck Joiner

Yes, Server 5 is alive, and so is Charles’ book about it, which means it is time for Charles to explain to Chuck Joiner of MacVoices what has changed, what hasn’t, and the pros and cons of running your own server. This far-ranging conversation has much to offer your inner sysop.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Now Playing on MacVoices: The Josh and Chuck Show, Season 2

Apple has new gear for the biggest screen in your home, and that means a new edition of Josh’s Apple TV book and a MacVoices interview. So pop some popcorn, put your feet up, and tune in to watch Josh and Chuck Joiner chat about all the new features found in the fourth-generation Apple TV, including apps and Siri. And, if you have an Apple TV you can watch the interview right on that system (the “Master AirPlay” chapter in the book tells you how)!

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Joe Passes the Word about Passwords on MacVoices

Joe and Chuck Joiner of MacVoices sit down for a wide-ranging chat about the new edition of this book and the state of passwords in this age of multi-factor authentication, password entropy, and password managers. They discuss all the myriad ways you can improve your personal online security without having to create and memorize a new password like R>preVckEf7*fh% every few weeks.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

About Night Shift in iOS 9.3

In iOS 9.3, Apple has added a new feature, called Night Shift, which reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your device’s screen. Many studies have indicated that exposure to blue light tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime, possibly both causing a variety of health problems and making it harder to fall asleep—see this Harvard Health Letter for more.

A new button in Control Center lets you manually enable Night Shift, but if you visit Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift, you can automate when Night Shift turns on and off, and adjust the intensity of the effect. You can enter a set time, or, if you have Location Services enabled, you can set Night Shift to turn on at sunset and back off again at sunrise.

For more coverage, see the TidBITS article iOS 9.3 Works the Night Shift, Protects Notes, and More.

Note that Night Shift isn’t available on all devices that can run iOS 9.3. It requires an iPhone 5s or better, an iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, an iPad mini 2 or later, or a sixth-generation iPod touch.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

iOS 9.3 Adds Mid-cycle Features to iOS 9

Apple has added several features to its mid-cycle iOS update in iOS 9.3. The update adds Wi-Fi calling for Verizon Wireless customers, a new Night Shift mode to prevent your screen from keeping you up at night, Touch ID and password protection for notes, PDF syncing in iBooks, and more. you can read all about it in the TidBITS article iOS 9.3 Works the Night Shift, Protects Notes, and More.

Most users will want to install iOS 9.3 right away, because it also addresses a critical iMessage vulnerability that could let bad actors steal images sent over iMessage. Note, however, that a few users of older iOS devices, such as the iPad 2, have reported problems with installing the update, so if your device is long in the tooth, you may want to wait a week or so until Apple has a chance to investigate and resolve the issue.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)