Chrome 56 adds support for FLAC codec, “Not Secure” HTTP warning, web Bluetooth & more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2017

Chrome 56 for Mac and other platforms has entered Google’s beta channel. When released to the general public, the browser will bring native support for the FLAC audio codec within the browser and other perks. This should come in handy because macOS does not support the FLAC file format out of the box so users often must use a third-party converter or video player to play these files. With Chrome 56, Mac users will be able to play FLAC-encoded audio files embedded in web pages or local files drag and dropped onto the browser window. Read More

 

How to customize the “About This Mac” section of a Mac

By Joaquim Barbosa on Jan 13, 2017

The “About This Mac” window contains information relating to your computer specifications and OS version, and is useful for quickly checking any of those details. However, it’s a little impersonal, and often (on a Hackintosh), incorrect. If, like me, you enjoy customising your machine to your own personal taste then this guide should help somewhat, by jazzing up the “About This Mac” section. Read More

 

How to convert music tracks to Audiobook in iTunes

By Steffen Reich on Jan 12, 2017

Venturing into the depths of iTunes is no longer an activity for the faint-hearted, as Apple’s gold mine is famously becoming more convoluted with every update. It is by no means impossible to keep up with the changes, but staying on top of every small cosmetic shift does pose a decent challenge today.

As somebody very fond of the spoken word on iTunes, I can attest that this general rule holds true for audiobooks as well. So as I was fiddling around with some old school CDs the other day and trying to move audio files within my iTunes library to the Audiobooks tab, I noticed my old methods were already outdated again. If you’re not up to speed on iTunes (12.5.4), here’s a refresher on how to get your talking book to properly identify as Audiobooks inside the application, followed by an encore for CD enthusiasts with regard to joining tracks during import.

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Senior Director of Design for Mac lineup leaves Apple for engineering role at Tesla

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 11, 2017

Apple was trying “very hard” (in Elon Musk’s own words) to recruit top talent from Tesla.

Now that its Project Titan has shifted gear from building an electric vehicle to developing an autonomous driving software, some of the engineers associated with the initiative have departed for Tesla.

Just as we’ve discovered that Swift creator Chris Lattner was leaving the iPhone maker to take a position as Vice President of Autopilot Software at Tesla, Electrek.co is reporting that the guy who designed many of Apple’s iconic Macs will now be building Tesla vehicles. Read More

 

How to move emails from one inbox to another in your Mac’s Mail app

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 10, 2017

The Mail app in macOS is a multi-email handler and supports a wide variety of email platforms. That said, it you wanted to move some of your emails from one of your email account inboxes to another, you could.

This is a handy feature to know if you sent or received an email via the wrong account and wanted to keep your emails organized under the correct email inbox, so we’ll show you how it can be done in this tutorial. Read More

 

Mac tip: change the behavior of Control, Option, Command and Caps Lock keys

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2017

macOS Sierra provides an enhanced keyboard remapping feature that allows you to change the behavior of the special modifier keys on your Mac’s keyboard, such as Caps Lock (⇪), Control (⌃), Option (⌥) and Command (⌘).

For example, you could remap the Caps Lock key to trigger the Escape command.

This feature is especially useful if you’re familiar with a keyboard layout different from your current keyboard or are an experienced touch typists who finds some of the default modifier key actions a bit awkward to use. In this tutorial, you’ll learn about remapping the Mac’s modifier keys to non-default actions. Read More

 

The W3 Stand turns your Apple Watch into a vintage Macintosh

By Cody Lee on Jan 5, 2017

If you have an Apple Watch and an affinity for vintage computer hardware, you’re going to love the W3 Stand from Elago. It’s a short, stumpy stand that’s built to make your Apple Watch look like an old-school Macintosh.

The stand is made of scratch-resistant silicone, and it conveniently holds your Apple Watch horizontally in Nightstand Mode. This allows you to view the current time, date, charging status and Calendar events at a glance. Read More

 

Intel announces Kaby Lake processors for Macs and more

By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2017

Intel on Tuesday officially announced its full 7th generation Intel Core processor line, known by many as Kaby Lake, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There are over 40 new performance-class processors in the family, which are based on Intel’s 14nm+ process technology, that offer more speed, productivity and security than previous generations. Read More

 

AirBar gives your MacBook Air a touchscreen display

By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2017

You’ll soon be able to give your MacBook Air a touchscreen display, courtesy of AirBar. Neonode on Tuesday unveiled a Mac version of its laptop dongle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that will allow you to navigate macOS via touch.

The AirBar magnetically attaches to the bottom of your 13.3-inch MacBook Air display and connects via USB. It uses Neonode’s patented zForce AIR technology to emit an invisible light field that can sense touches from fingers, gloves, and even a paintbrush. Read More

 

Consumer Reports reportedly stands by its controversial MacBook Pro battery findings

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

As you probably heard, the influential consumer organization Consumer Reports is not recommending Apple’s new MacBook Pro due to inconsistent battery performance. Apple’s marketing honcho Phill Schiller responded by saying that the product-testing magazine’s test results don’t match the company’s own data. 9to5Mac reached out to Consumer Reports to learn more about their findings, here’s what the magazine had to say. Read More

 

How to check if your Mac supports Auto Unlock

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2016

macOS Sierra debuted a new feature called Auto Unlock that lets you get into your Mac without typing your account password simply by wearing a passcode-protected Apple Watch. With Auto Unlock, you just wake up your Mac and if it senses you’re nearby and wearing your watch, it’ll log you in automatically. Yes, it just works!

Auto Unlock imposes certain hardware pre-requisites in terms of modern Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chipsets. Here’s how you can quickly check if your Mac supports Auto Unlock. Read More

 

Video converter Handbrake exits beta after 13 years

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 27, 2016

In a better-late-than-never move, the free cross-platform video converter Handbrake has finally hit version 1.0. The app had been languishing in beta for more than thirteen years. Handbrake 1.0, a free download for Mac, Windows, Ubuntu and other platforms, lets you convert videos easily from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. With subtitle support, capable transcoding engine and built-in presets for devices like Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, Handbrake makes it easy to optimize videos for your specific hardware. Read More

 

Spotify for Mac gains Touch Bar shortcuts

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2016

Spotify for Mac was updated this morning with support for Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro models, German outlet Giga.de reported. A few handy music-playback controls are now available in Spotify’s Mac app directly from the Touch Bar, including common controls such as transport and search, as well as persistent Now Playing buttons like play, pause, shuffle, repeat and the volume slider. Read More

 

Consumer Reports won’t recommend new MacBook Pros over inconsistent battery life

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2016

Consumer Reports will not be recommending Apple’s latest MacBook Pro models due to inconsistent battery performance, the magazine said Thursday. After conducting a battery of tests, Consumer Reports discovered that battery life across all new Pros varied “dramatically” from one test to another.

On the other hand (as I note in this article), the battery woes might be caused by a software issue in Safari for Mac because Chrome (a notorious battery hog) fared far better in the tests.

Be that as it may, Apple’s latest notebooks received low rating and failed to earn Consumer Report’s recommendation “after battery life issues surfaced during testing”. As a result, the new MacBook Pro is the first Apple notebook that did not receive a Consumer Reports recommendation, said the magazine. Read More

 

Email client Spark for Mac adds a bunch of new productivity features in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2016

Less than a month ago, Ukrainian developer Readdle launched Spark for Mac with Touch Bar support and many advanced features to help you achieve Inbox Zero Nirvana. Last evening, the app received a bunch of new features in the new 1.1 update. You can now assign a different color to each email account so it’s easier to distinguish in the account list. Multiple messages can now be marked as spam at once, IMAP folders can be created directly from the sidebar, contacts now sync with your address book and more. Read More

 

Report offers insight into Apple’s internal Mac struggles

By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2016

Following comments made by Tim Cook regarding the importance of the Mac, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman today issued a far-reaching report that offers insight into Apple’s internal struggle with its laptop and desktop lines.

In the scoop, Gurman says that employees he’s interviewed feel like the Mac is getting far less attention these days. They also say it’s lost clout with Jony Ive’s design team, and lacks a clear direction from senior management. Read More

 

Apple launches beta 2 of iOS 10.2.1 and macOS Sierra 10.12.3

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 20, 2016

Apple on Tuesday seeded to members of the Apple Developer Program a second beta of iOS 10.2 and a second beta of what would become the third major update to macOS Sierra. iOS 10.2.1 beta 2 (build 14D15) and macOS Sierra 10.12.3 beta 2 (build 16D17a) are now available to install over-the-air via Settings → General → Software Update on iOS devices and under the Mac App Store’s Updates tab on the Mac. Read More

 

Apple starts accepting orders for LG’s 27″ UltraFine 5K Display, ships in 2-4 weeks

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 20, 2016

LG’s UltraFine 5K Display, the external ultra high-resolution display Apple didn’t want to make, is now available to order through Apple.com. The display can be ordered with Apple’s in-store pickup option (availability of in-store pickup may vary from one store to another). First orders were scheduled to deliver on December 27 or 28, with in-store pickup availability on December 29. However, estimated delivery times quickly slipped to 2-4 weeks. Read More

 

Duet Display update brings Touch Bar to your iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 20, 2016

Duet Display, an app from ex-Apple engineers that turns your iPad into an extra display for your Mac or Windows PC, was updated today on the App Store with an interesting new feature that adds a Touch Bar to your tablet. Simply use Duet Display’s free of charge iOS app to connect to Duet Display running on a Mac with Sierra 10.12.2 or later and enable the new feature in Duet’s menu bar settings. Read More

 

Tim Cook: we have great desktops in our roadmap

By Cody Lee on Dec 19, 2016

Apple has “great desktops” in its roadmap, CEO Tim Cook said in a recent posting to an employee message board. TechCrunch has the transcript, where Cook fields a question regarding whether or not Mac desktops are still strategic for Apple.

The comments come after the company’s MacBook Pro event this October, where iMacs and Minis were noticeably absent. It’s been over 430 days since Apple updated the former, and nearly 800 days for the latter. The Mac Pro is 3+ years old. Read More

 
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