My Menubar: Bartender

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 3rd, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Apps, Mac, Mavericks, Review, Software, Software

Have you ever caught a glimpse of another user’s Mac and wondered what that one (or more), unrecognized icon in their menubar was for? I’d like to introduce a new segment where we explore just that, interesting tools or application extensions that live in your menubar. It’s part review and part demystification, where we introduce some new programs as well as buried OS X system menu items you may not have seen before. If you want to know why I think this might be an interesting software niche to explore, check out my current menubar;

menubar_sample

 

How many of those can you recognize? I’m sure there are a few, like the Wi-Fi icon and Spotlight, and hopefully we’ll clue you in on the rest eventually. There’s even a few that I don’t have running at the moment. As you can imagine, before I upgraded to a 27″ iMac, I had a few problems managing this many menubar items without running into some issues. Most frequent was when an app had enough menus to collide with the growing number of little icons encroaching from the right side of the screen. This would either result in the app’s menus being obscured, or the menubar items on the left end disappearing making them inaccessible. What’s a menubar item hoarder to do?!

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Review: TotalFinder still bests Mavericks improvements

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 06:47
Category: Apple, Apps, Desktop Mac, Features, Mac, Opinion, Review, Software, Software

totalfinderOne constant in the universe has been complaints from OS X users about how little the Finder has advanced over the years. If you compare the Finder of OS 9 to that of Mountain Lion (10.8), there really aren’t any groundbreaking changes. A few Finder “replacements” have attempted to rectify this, but they are separate programs running alongside the OS X Finder. Programs like PathFinder and Forklift attempt to pile on a bunch of features on top of normal Finder-like functionality, which are useful, but unless you are willing to perform some technical voodoo on OS X, to force the system to use another program rather than the Finder, you end up bouncing between two different “Finders” because some things will only use the normal Finder. As appealing as some of these alternates are, I get annoyed having bounce between two programs.

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Apple releases iOS 7.1 beta 4 to developers

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014, 09:33
Category: Announcement, Apple, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Software

ios_xcodeDidn’t they just release beta 3 like two weeks ago? Time flies I guess. According to reports, a bug that caused messages (not clear if this refers to Mail messages, or text/iMessages) to show a failure notice immediately after sending appears to be fixed. There also appear to be problems with the Bluetooth stack since 32-bit apps do not seem to function properly on 64-bit devices such as Apple’s all-new iPad Air and the iPhone 5s. The iOS beta has been released alongside Xcode 5.1 beta 4 which supposedly  received a significant number of updates. Among those, Interface Builder has gotten a number of tweaks and performance improvements, including a decrease in CPU usage and system memory utilization when drawing storyboards on Mac OS X 10.8. If you aren’t a developer, this may look like gibberish, but what you should take away is that Apple still seems to be on-track to release iOS 7.1 (and Xcode 5.1) in March as scheduled.

iTunes Connect available again

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013, 09:32
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, Holiday, iOS, iPhone, iTunes, Mac, Software

Apple-iTunes-Connect-Mobile-AppDevelopers were (probably) happy last Friday when iTunes Connect went back online. iTunes Connect is the tool that developers use to upload apps, change text and pricing, and monitor their sales in the AppStore. Back in November, Apple sent out emails to developers notifying them of the holiday downtime, affecting both Mac and iOS software.

“iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013.

During that time, iTunes Connect will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit any apps or In-App Purchases. Processing of any Newsstand Atom feeds will be delayed until after December 27. Sales and Trends reports via the Autoingestion tool will be available but may also be delayed.”

The email went on to mention several other activities that would be postponed until Dec. 27th. So, you can expect a few app updates rolling out this week.

 

Final Cut Pro X updated to 10.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 19th, 2013, 09:30
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Features, Mac, Pro Apps, Software

finalcutxlogoThat didn’t take long. Even with the shipping of the new Mac Pros delayed until the 30th, Apple has gone ahead and updated Final Cut Pro X with a whole list of new features and advancements, naturally including compatibility with the new Mac Pro’s hardware which should give the software a huge boost. Among it’s other notable features, the 10.1 update adds support for video monitoring at resolutions up to 4K via Thunderbolt 2 and HDMI on select Mac computers. Now you’ll have to buy new monitors too! The list of changes is huge, but here they are thanks to MacRumors who found the complete list when I couldn’t. (more…)

OS X 10.9.1 update drops

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 17th, 2013, 21:36
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Desktop Mac, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, Software

maverickslogoThis one slipped by me. The App Store app on my Mac didn’t even register it. Anyway, lo and behold, 10.9.1 is out. Apple continues to add additional fixes to Mail for handling Gmail accounts. This one adds support for custom settings in Gmail. Here’s the complete change log;

  • Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
  • Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
  • Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar

Run to your local Apple download site, or open up the App Store app and hope it sees the update. Also, I recommend closing all apps and repairing file permissions both before and after applying the update. Happy Gmailing!

Apple updates iPhoto with version 9.5.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 03:29
Category: App Store, Apple, iLife, Mac, photos, Software

newiphotoiconThis one is a pretty minor update, but important if you print a lot of photos from the app. The update fixes an issue that the company says could cause print previews to render incorrectly. The release notes also offer stability and performance improvements. The download is about 55MB and a free update to all current users. iPhoto for OS X costs $15 from the App Store, but is free for those who own iPhoto ’11 or who’ve purchased a new Mac recently.

1Password for Mac updated to version 4.1 with new features

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 09:18
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac, Mavericks, privacy, security, Software

product-1password-4-for-macEveryone’s favorite password keeper (well mine anyway), 1Password, has been updated to version 4.1 and includes some great feature updates. The Agilebits blog introduces the update and gives a quick rundown of some of the key updates;

“1Password 4.1 for Mac is now available for our website customers, and it is waiting for review for Mac App Store customers. “4.1″ may look like a small update, but it packs some great big stuff [...]“

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Apple giving away some musical Holiday cheer

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013, 09:48
Category: App Store, Apple, Holiday, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, music

IMG_5114I ran across this little item over at TUAW, who gave me the heads up that Apple is giving away an album of Christmas songs to download from the iTunes Store. You may not have spied this yourself because Apple is only making it available through the Apple Store app on the iPhone and iPad. Simply open the app and scroll down the main page until you see the festive icon and entry for “Holiday Cheer”. Hitting the Download button will take you over to the iTunes Store app to redeem your coupon code, and within a minute, your new music will be on your device. The songs in the album are;

  1. Ave Maria by Il Volo
  2. Children Go Where I Send Thee by Nick Lowe
  3. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire) by Kool & The Gang
  4. Duck the Halls by The Robertsons
  5. The First Noel (feat. The Clark Sisters) by Mary J. Blige
  6. Joy to the World by Celtic Woman
  7. Silent Night (feat. Reba McEntire & Trisha Yearwood) by Kelly Clarkson
  8. What Child Is This? (feat. Commissioned) by Marvin Sapp

The music will be available for download until December 31. Enjoy!

OS X 10.9.1 on the horizon? Apple seeds build 13B40 to developers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, 12:33
Category: Apple, Developer, Mac, Mavericks, Software

maverickslogoOn Tuesday, Apple dropped the latest build of OS X 10.9.1 to developers for testing. Apple is asking developers to focus on Mail, Safari, Graphics Drivers and VoiceOver. The OS update appears to focus on the Mail app with more Gmail fixes in the works. Here are the posted improvements for the update:

  • Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
  • Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
  • Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar