Discover the hidden capabilities of Notes for Mac, iOS, and the web with Take Control of Notes by Josh Centers.
Joe and Chuck Discuss the Latest 1Password Features
1Password is new and improved in version 6, giving Joe and Chuck Joiner (of MacVoices) a perfect opportunity to tell you what’s new and improved not only in the app but also in Joe’s Second Edition of his book, which covers it. Best of all, you don’t need a password to watch the interview!
CrashPlan Discontinues Seeding and Restore-to-Door
For many years, CrashPlan offered its customers two optional (and extra-fee) services that were particularly useful for those with limited bandwidth. Seeding enabled users to load up an external hard drive with an initial full backup and send it to the company so that it would be unnecessary to wait weeks or months to have all of one’s data backed up to the cloud. Restore-to-Door was the opposite—a service whereby users could have files returned to them overnight on an external hard drive rather than wait for them to download.
I’m sorry to say that CrashPlan discontinued seeding in late 2015, and discontinued Restore-to-Door in January 2016. In both cases, a company rep told me the reason was that too few people used the services, and the company wanted to shift the responsible technician to working on other support tasks. This is bad news for people with limited bandwidth and a need for ultra-fast backup or restoration. Options for such people include switching to a competing service (such as Backblaze) or maintaining local backups in addition to cloud backups.
Dropbox has announced that it is closing its Carousel photo sharing app and service, and its Mailbox mobile email service. If you have used or have planned to use either of these services, read the Dropbox’s blog post that explains these closings and provides links for more information for users of either service.
Disable Password Requests for Free iBooks Store Downloads
It makes sense that Apple requires a password when you purchase a book from the iBooks Store using iBooks on your Mac, because it is, after all, your credit card’s balance that is at stake. But it doesn’t make as much sense if you want to download one of the store’s many free books. To skip the “Enter your Apple ID password” prompt on your Mac when you get a free book, a post by Christian Zibreg at iDownloadBlog tells you how.
Among the many free books Apple’s iBooks Store offers, you can find such titles as Apple’s official iPad User Guide for iOS 9.2, the issue of Detective Comics that features Batman’s first appearance, and some story about a guy named Scrooge and his personal issues with the holiday season.
Following the release of Jason’s update to his Crash Course book, he sat down with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices to discuss what’s new in the update. Such interviews are no new thing for Jason: he has conversed with Chuck many times in the past as, among other things, a guest on Chuck’s long-lived MacNotables podcast. MacNotables is now ten years old (an eon in podcast time), so it should come as no surprise that their conversation veered into a discussion of the venerable podcast’s decade-long run. So kick back, relax, and get the picture of what’s new in Photos and then enjoy a stroll down memory lane with Jason and Chuck.
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.
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.
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).
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.