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About Wi-Fi Assist in iOS 9

In iOS 9, Apple introduced a new feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which is available on any cellular-capable device and is enabled by default. The idea behind it is that if the device’s Wi-Fi signal is unreliable, then it automatically switches to a cellular data connection, instead of trying to work with the wonky Wi-Fi connection. There are some limits on Wi-Fi Assist in order to prevent it from using too much data: audio and video won’t stream, background downloads are paused, and email attachments will not download.

Despite those limits, many users have experienced high cellular data usage with Wi-Fi Assist enabled. If you have a problem with chewing through too much cellular data—or worry that you might—unless you have a specific need for Wi-Fi Assist, I highly recommend disabling it in Settings > Cellular. You’ll find the Wi-Fi Assist switch way at the bottom of the Cellular screen.

Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

Jeff Provides a Closeup of the 2nd Edition on MacVoices

Jeff talks about the new edition of his book with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices, framing the discussion with a portrait of how the digital photo landscape has changed following the replacement of Apple’s Aperture and iPhoto apps with its new Photos app. He then focuses on issues of mobile access to photos, competing online services, data privacy, and long-term storage solutions for digital photographers.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Track Changes Support Changed in Pages for iCloud

In the previous versions of Pages for iCloud, if you attempted to edit a Pages document that had tracked changes, Pages offered you two options: either accept all the tracked changes, or create a duplicate of the document with all tracked changes accepted. Now that Pages for iCloud is no longer in beta, you no longer have those options. Instead, you can open a document with tracked changes and view the change tracking — however, you cannot edit the document; neither can you accept the changes, nor create a duplicate with the changes accepted. So, if your workflow relies upon the ability to open and edit a change-tracked document in your browser (after accepting changes), be warned: change-tracked documents in Pages for iCloud are now view-only on that platform (though, of course, you can still edit them in Pages on iOS and Mac).

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Pages Updates for Mac, iOS, and iCloud

As Agen Schmitz noted in his TidBITS Watchlist article, “Pages 5.6, Numbers 3.6, and Keynote 6.6 for Mac,” 16 October 2015, Pages has been updated on all three platforms: Mac, iOS, and iCloud. Among the many enhancements are support for Split View in El Capitan, support for Force Touch on Macs and 3D Touch on iOS, the ability to revert to previous versions on both iOS and iCloud, and the ability to open documents created with Pages ’08 and Pages ’06. Also of interest is the removal of the “Beta” status for the iCloud version of Pages. Apple supplies a list of enhancements on its “What’s new in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote” page.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Scholle Talks about El Capitan with Chuck Joiner

El Capitan has marched into town, and with it Scholle’s Crash Course about it. Naturally, Chuck Joiner wants to know what both Apple and Scholle have wrought. Watch and listen as Chuck and Scholle discuss the new features in the OS, the nature of Crash Course books, and how El Capitan and iOS 9 have become better partners than ever.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

EPUB Templates Now Provide Pop-Over Support, Improved Import

iBooks Author 2.4 has been released by Apple, and it includes enhancements to its recently introduced EPUB (or, as Apple consistently insists on misspelling it, “ePub”) templates. The notable enhancement is that EPUBs produced by iBooks Author can now employ Pop-Over widgets. In addition, the release note says that EPUB templates in 2.4 also include unspecified “minor usability improvements.”

Apple followed up the release notes provided in Software Update with an email to users of iTunes Connect that describes import improvements in iBooks Author:

With the latest version of iBooks Author, we have improved the import function for Pages and Microsoft Word documents. For best results, you should use section breaks between chapters when you write your book in Pages or Microsoft Word.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

OS X Server 5 Is Alive!

If you’ve been running Yosemite Server (OS X Server version 4), you may have received an App Store notice about a free upgrade to OS X Server 5. According to Apple, OS X Server 5 is “operating system independent,” meaning that it can run on both 10.10.5 Yosemite (and later) and 10.11 El Capitan. Charles, nonetheless, says that while OS X Server 5 does run on Yosemite, he doesn’t really recommend doing so. He also notes that OS X Server 4 won’t run on El Capitan.

So, bottom line, if you plan to upgrade your server Mac to El Capitan, get the OS X Server upgrade at that time—not before. Also, we recommend that you wait until people like Charles test Server 5 and report back.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

El Capitan to Arrive on September 30

Apple’s El Capitan Preview page now states that OS X 10.11 El Capitan will ship on September 30. That’s about three weeks earlier than most of us had predicted! But it’ll be fantastic for everyone to be able to get their hands on the new operating system sooner rather than later.

Accordingly, we plan to release version 1.1 of Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan on September 30 too. Version 1.1 will be roughly double the length of version 1.0, and will include complete, step-by-step instructions for downloading, installing, and configuring El Capitan once it ships. The expanded version of the book will be free to everyone who purchased version 1.0.

The moment El Capitan becomes available to the public, we’ll download and install it on as many Macs as we can, to verify that everything in the book is still correct—Apple occasionally makes small, last-minute changes—and to add a few final details such as the URL for the download page in the App Store. Then we’ll zip through our production and distribution steps. In past years, this whole process has typically taken a few hours, but we feel it’s worth it to make the book as accurate as possible. So, on September 30, if you want to download El Capitan as soon as it appears on the App Store, go ahead—but I suggest quitting the installer as soon as it opens and hanging on for just a bit until you can read my final recommendations.

Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

MyMac Review Lauds Take Control of Audio Hijack

Although we at Take Control Books are confident that we produce high quality helpful technology guides, it’s always nice to get outside validation. Such is the case with Elisa Pacelli’s recent review of Kirk’s guide to Audio Hijack Pro. In addition to writing for the venerable (20 years!) Mac-oriented site MyMac.com, Pacelli is also a co-host on the podcast 3 Geeky Ladies, so you can bet she’s familiar with the issues you can encounter when recording and editing audio. That makes it particularly gratifying to hear that she finds the book “a must have companion resource” to the Audio Hijack Pro software. We’re chuffed to read that we’re not alone in thinking Kirk’s book “witty and easy to read” and money “well spent.”

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)