OS X Yosemite Public Beta 2 and new iTunes 12 build now available

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2014

Apple has just released the second version of the OS X Yosemite Public Beta and a new beta build of the thoroughly overhauled iTunes 12 for Yosemite.

The second public Yosemite beta arrives after the first public beta was made available at the end of last month and is basically the same as OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 6 seeded to Apple’s registered developers last week.

Both updates are available to download through the Mac App Store for those who’ve applied for the OS X Beta ProgramRead More

 

Quick tip: clean up your Downloads folder to regain storage space on your Mac

By Sébastien Page on Aug 20, 2014

Sometimes, the most simple and obvious tips are the best. Everybody knows about them because they’re usually based on good old common sense, yet, we usually forget about them. One such tip is to periodically clean up the Downloads folder of your Mac, which, depending on your setup and habits, could quickly go out of control.

The Downloads folder is the default location where any file you download from the internet is saved. Downloading the PDF of your bank statement? It’s downloaded to the Downloads folder. Downloading a song from an unofficial source? It’s most likely going to the Downloads folder. Read More

 

Parallels Desktop 10 is out with OS X Yosemite support, better battery life, and more

By Cody Lee on Aug 20, 2014

Parallels this morning announced the launch of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, the highly anticipated update for its popular virtual environment software. The new version is available now as an upgrade for existing users, and will launch on August 26th for new customers.

For those unfamiliar with it, Parallels Desktop makes it extremely easy to install and run alternate operating systems on your Mac such as Windows or Linux. And today’s update adds in [experimental] support for OS X Yosemite, better battery life, and other improvements… Read More

 

You can now take a Flyover tour of Yosemite National Park in Apple Maps

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2014

Conveniently, Apple’s added a 3D Flyover view of the Yosemite National Park in California and Wellington in New Zealand to its Maps service, available across Mac and iOS devices. The latest addition allows you to check out Yosemite’s landmarks, or the buildings and other structures in the city of Wellington.

3D Flyover views for the Auckland and Christchurch areas in New Zealand have been added to Apple Maps earlier in the year. The Cupertino company has updated the Flyover availability webpage by adding Wellington and Yosemite to the list… Read More

 

How to enable Enhanced Dictation in OS X for streaming speech-to-text with live feedback

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 17, 2014

OS X includes a nifty Dictation feature which allows you to control your Mac and apps with your voice. You can use “speakable items”, basically a set of spoken commands, to open apps, choose menu items, email contacts and convert whole spoken sentences to text, wherever you can type text.

This is much like iOS’s Dictation feature as both iOS and OS X use the same Nuance-powered technology that turns speech to text. iOS devices have limited computing power so the Dictation feature on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad requires network connectivity in iOS 7 (iOS 8 supports streaming voice recognition and 22 new languages).

On the Mac, computing resources like CPU power, battery life and RAM are not of paramount importance as on mobile, Therefore, OS X Mavericks provides a new Enhanced Dictation feature which converts your words to text without utilizing Apple’s servers.

In other words, server-based Dictation lets you dictate without an active Internet connection. Because voice recognition processing runs locally on your Mac, text appears instantly as you speak. That is: continuos, streaming dictation with live feedback is made possible.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to turn on Enhanced Dictation in OS X and take advantage of speech-to-text, even when you’re off the grid… Read More

 

Safari 7.0.6/6.1.6 with Mavericks/Mountain Lion security fixes now available

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 14, 2014

Late yesterday, Apple released Safari 7.0.6 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.1.6 for OS X Mountain Lion.

The releases contain improvements to security related to Apple’s desktop browser and are both recommended for all OS X Mavericks and OS X Mountain Lion users.

These updates follow the release of a new version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 (build 13F14) that Apple released to developers yesterday… Read More

 

Good deal: 95% off Mac app bundle featuring djay, Keyboard Maestro and more

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2014

Folks in the market for some awesome Mac apps may want to check out this new promotion from StackSocial. For a limited time the deal site is offering 8 Mac applications and, for the first 5,000 buyers, a bonus developer eCourse for up to 95% off their original retail prices.

The bundle features popular apps like djay, the award-winning DJ software, Keyboard Maestro, a popular productivity app for creating keyboard shortcuts, and Apple Design Award-winner Cinemagraph Pro. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the software and other details… Read More

 

How to set your iPhoto library as screen saver

By Sébastien Page on Aug 12, 2014

I have thousands and thousands of photos on my Mac that I rarely get to look at. Every once in a while, I’ll go into iPhoto to backup my iPhone photos locally and start looking through past images, but that’s a rare occurrence.

I’ve realized that one way to put these thousands of images to good use is to actually use them as my screen saver. I know most iDB readers know how to do that, but I thought I’d still share the tip. Whether you already know how to set up your iPhoto library as a screen saver or not, this post might just be a good reminder that you can actually do that and get to enjoy your photos in a very passive way… Read More

 

StatusDuck moves your Mac dock to the Menu bar

By Timothy Reavis on Aug 10, 2014

The dock in OS X is one of the most used areas of the operating system, so replacing it with another program isn’t an easy task. However, StatusDuck does an excellent job of compacting the dock into a much smaller collection of running applications. Whether the dock takes up too much precious screen real estate or right-clicking to exit programs is growing tedious, StatusDuck can help.

With StatusDuck installed, applications can be launched and terminated, Finder windows and folders can be opened, and active programs can be sorted and managed, all from your Mac’s menu bar… Read More

 

How to change your Mac computer’s name

By Sébastien Page on Aug 8, 2014

While working on a series of post about Find My iPhone recently, I realized that my iMac didn’t have a specific name attached to it. When in Find My iPhone, it would just show up saying “Unknown.”. I wasn’t sure how that happened, but I knew I wanted to have a proper name for it, just so I could recognize it easily when using AirDrop, or simply when looking for it on the local network.

The steps to set or change a Mac’s name are quick and easy, but I figured that if you already know how to do it, maybe this post will be a reminder for you to check that your Mac has indeed been attributed a name. If not, I’ll show you how to do just that… Read More

 

1Password news: iOS and Mac apps discounted, free iOS 8 update

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2014

If you’re an avid user of 1Password, an excellent password-management application for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, a forthcoming iOS 8 edition will be supplied to you free of charge, developer AgileBits has confirmed.

And those who’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a not-to-be-missed opportunity to get in on the action, now’s the time to get a move on as AgileBits has 1Password for Mac on sale for 30 percent off.

As a bonus, the iPhone and iPad edition down by a cool 40 percent! So there you have it: now you can download the app in the Mac App Store for just $34.99 (regularly $49.99) and get 1Password for the iPhone and iPad for $9.99 (regularly $17.99)… Read More

 

Use a Mac running OS X 10.5.8 and below? You can no longer run Skype

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2014

If you own a legacy Mac with OS X Leopard 10.5.8 and earlier, you can no longer run Skype, the Microsoft-owned company has confirmed today.

Following a string of complaints from disgruntled users who took to the Skype forum last week reporting they were being locked out from accessing the VoIP service, a Skype team member penned a note confirming that the program was no longer supported on Macs running OS X Leopard 10.5.8 and older.

People running Skype on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion are unaffected so “there is no need to upgrade to Mavericks or Yosemite if you don’t want to” reads the message… Read More

 

The Sims 2: Super Collection is available now in the Mac App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2014

As Electronic Arts is gearing up to release the PC version of Sims 4 on September 2 , the latest installment in its iconic life simulation game, Aspyr Media has now released the ultimate Sims 2 collection pack on the App Store.

Featuring all of the content from the original game, in addition to six expansion packs and three ‘Stuff Packs’ never before packaged together, The Sims 2: Super Collection can be exclusively purchased through the Mac App Store as a $29.99 digital download.

The game has been rewritten from the ground up with modern hardware in mind, featuring a new renderer and support for native resolutions. As a cherry on top, you can import a neighborhood from SimCity 4 Deluxe, play around with custom content via the ‘Body Shop’ and much more… Read More

 

Apple researching Siri for Mac, patent filing hints

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2014

Rumors of Apple’s supposed intent to port its iOS digital personal assistant, Siri, over to the Mac have persisted for years, and intensified lately. Back in November 2012, for example, 9to5Mac claimed that Siri would be baked into OS X Mavericks.

Mavericks is here without Siri and the feature is nowhere to be seen in Yosemite, which looms on the horizon. Of course, the Mac’s Dictation feature, powered by Nuance, doesn’t count as it’s simply speech-to-text with no real intelligence.

That being said, it would seem that the Cupertino firm has been quietly researching ways of enabling Siri on the Mac. Case in point: a newly discovered patent application filed back in February of this year which details how Siri for Mac might function, what features it could include and how it should improve your desktop productivity… Read More

 

iPads and MacBooks can’t be bought with China’s public money over espionage concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 6, 2014

First Russian, and now China. Just as news hit us a week ago that the Russian government is demanding access to the source code for Apple software to ensure it isn’t enabling U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on the 145 million country, Bloomberg Wednesday reported that the Chinese government has taken Apple’s iPad tablets and MacBook notebooks off the procurement list.

As a result, no government agency in China is allowed to buy Apple products with public money.

While government purchases are not a major sales driver for Apple, it’s worth remembering that China is home to 1.33 billion people and filing as Apple’s third-biggest market by revenue… Read More

 

RebootToHDD: an easier way to switch between Mac partitions

By Timothy Reavis on Aug 5, 2014

Following our post on how to switch between Mavericks and Yosemite, iDownloadBlog reader Jack Stean took the script we featured and turned it into a full-fledged Mac application that sits in OS X’s status bar. RebootToHDD does everything we explained in our tutorial, but without the hassle of copying and pasting script… Read More

 

Apple seeds OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 5

By Cody Lee on Aug 4, 2014

In addition to seeding the fifth beta of iOS 8 this morning, Apple has also released the fifth Developer Preview of its new OS X Yosemite operating system. The update comes two weeks after Preview 4, and well over a month after Apple announced Yosemite at WWDC.

The update is labeled as build preview 5 1.0 and can be downloaded via an update in the Mac App Store, or as a full download from Apple’s online developer center. It does not, however, appear to be out in Apple’s recently-launched public Yosemite Beta Seed program yet… Read More

 

How to remove the shadow effect from window screenshots on Mac OS X

By Sébastien Page on Aug 3, 2014

We take screenshots all the time to illustrate our posts here at iDB. Most of them are from iOS devices, but from time to time, we do post screenshots from a Mac app or utility.

If you have a Mac, you’ve probably noticed that every time you take a screenshot of an opened window, it will add a nice drop shadow to this screenshot. While it does give the screenshot a little more character, sometimes, you just don’t want to have this shadow effect in your screenshot.

In this post, we’ll show you how to quickly remove the drop shadow effect from screenshots you take on your MacRead More

 

How to change Mac screenshot file format in OS X

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

OS X, Apple’s operating system powering Mac desktops and notebooks, sports a surprisingly robust set of screenshot-grabbing features.

Better yet, you can save both time and money capturing images of the operating system itself, third-party applications or whatever is on the screen at any given moment using these built-in capabilities.

Yes, a plethora of third-party apps go beyond the Mac’s screenshot-taking features with advanced image management and annotation capabilities.

Still, most normals soon realize that OS X’s built-in features mostly get the job done for common use cases like how-tos, tutorials and other types of blog posts.

By default, OS X saves you screenshots on the desktop, as PNG files. PNG is great if you care about image quality: the format uses lossless compression techniques that won’t degrade image quality. On the downside, PNG screenshots tend to be fairly large in size.

Although you can tap Apple’s stock Preview app, or any third-party image editor, to convert PNGs into JPEGs and other image formats, why take extra steps if OS X can do all the heavy lifting for you?

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to change the image format for screenshots taken on your Mac… Read More

 

How to stream torrents to your Apple TV, no jailbreak needed

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 31, 2014

A new Mac app called TorrenTV was recently released to allow users to stream torrents directly to the Apple TV. The app, which begins playing movies immediately via a simple drag and drop of a .torrent file, streams to the Apple TV, even if the device isn’t jailbroken.

Even better is the fact that TorrenTV requires zero setup. As long as your Mac and Apple TV share the same Wi-Fi network, TorrenTV will begin streaming video to your Apple TV almost immediately.

Of course, being that we don’t condone piracy, the use of such an app would have its limits. Thankfully, there are legitimate videos available via torrents, which can thus be streamed directly to your Apple TV. Have a look inside for more information. Read More

 
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