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

 

How to find and delete duplicate photos in iPhoto

By Sébastien Page on Aug 18, 2014

Duplicate photos always seem to find a way to creep into your iPhoto library, eating up precious storage space on your Mac. You could just let it go and forget all about it – after all it’s just a few duplicate photos – but if you’re anything like me, you just want your iPhoto library to be perfect.

The only way to get to perfection is to delete those duplicate photos in your iPhoto library. Strangely enough, iPhoto doesn’t have a feature that lets you find and delete duplicates, so you have to download a third party application to do this. The Mac App Store has plenty of such apps available, but I personally use Duplicate Cleaner for iPhoto.

In this post, I will show you how to use Duplicate Cleaner to find and delete duplicate photos in iPhoto. 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

 

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

 

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

 

Yosemite’s QuickTime cleans up iOS status bar when screencasting so you don’t have to

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2014

The vast majority of Apple bloggers who grab screenshots of iPhone and iPad applications don’t seem to be ashamed by the low or no cellular signal strength showing right in their status bar, or incomplete Wi-Fi or – worse of all – low battery.

And who could blame them?

Touching up the images to have the status bar show full cellular/Wi-Fi signal and 100 percent battery takes time and a great deal of effort to get it right.

I’ve seen folks like MacStories editor Federico Viticci obsess over the issue and even write scripts and devise complex workflows in order to correct the messed up status bar on their iOS screenshots. Having been constantly pressed for time, I’m not that particular about my screenshots.

Luckily, QuickTime in Yosemite includes a nifty little feature which automatically cleans up the status bar when capturing an iOS device’s screen, so your screencasts look professional… 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

 

How to show hidden files and folders in Finder on Mac

By Sébastien Page on Aug 4, 2014

Some people like to know everything that is on their computer. Admittedly, I was one of these people many moons ago, when I was a Windows user. I would always make sure that Windows Explorer would show all hidden files and folders. I’m not sure why, but I liked it this way.

These days, I’m quite the opposite, as I like to see as little files and folders as possible on my Mac. But I understand some people out there have the desire to see all those files and folders, for whatever reason that may be.

In this post I will show you how to show hidden files and folders in Finder on your MacRead More

 

Also out: Apple TV Software Beta 4 (with new UI), Xcode 6 Beta 5 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2014

As correctly estimated, Apple today unleashed new iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite betas to its registered iOS and Mac developers. While our team is combing through release notes and updating a running list of changes, please send us your very own submissions to tips@iDownloadBlog.com (do include screenshots as well).

In the meantime, additional updates have surfaced on Apple’s Dev Center, including matching new betas of the upcoming Apple TV software featuring a brand spanking new user interface, updated Xcode developer tools and more.

Read on for the full reveal… 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

 
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