Editorial iCloud Tabs

I’ve always wanted to be able to access my iCloud Tabs directly from Editorial, but, unfortunately, due to the lack of an iCloud Tabs API, that’s currently not possible. Last week, however, when I linked to the iCloudTabs for Alfred project by Kevin Marchand and saw that the workflow was based on a bit of Python code, I realized that I could modify his script to find a way to make Editorial read constantly-updated iCloud Tabs from a text file.

What follows is a combination of a server-side script and an Editorial workflow to read and open iCloud Tabs within the app. The system works and I’ve been using it every day for the past week with good results.

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I’ve been using a Mac for several years now, and I had no idea that the Color Picker built into OS X could accept image files. A recent Bjango blog post covers some clever uses for sampling images and swatches from Photoshop.

If you have a Mac running OS X Mavericks, update 10.9.2 has been pushed to the Mac App Store, which adds several new features, fixes a variety of bugs, and namely fixes the SSL/TLS vulnerability. On the feature side, 10.9.2 adds the ability to initiate and receive FaceTime audio calls, while also blocking individual senders on iMessage. Mail is named as having received a slew of bug fixes: compatibility improvements for Gmail’s Archive folder and labels are listed, as well as resolutions for a bug that prevented Mail from receiving messages from “certain providers.” The update will require a restart for installation.

One of the least talked about music services is Google’s Play Music service, a combination music store and digital locker that can match up to 20,000 songs from your local library and stream them to your devices over the web for free. With All Access, you can stream Google’s entire catalog of music for $9.99 a month.

I’ve dabbled with the service before, using it with my previous storage limited MacBook and giving it an honest shot when away from home. The service has some nice touches, such as a miniature spectrum visualizer that designates the currently playing track and album in a variety of views, thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings in contrast to stars, and instant mixes that create Genius-like playlists from your music library on the fly. I’ve always thought the player itself was good, and it’s certainly a usable alternative to iTunes for those listening on their work machine or Chromebook. The separate manager for matching songs is a little clumsy, but it’s not a deal breaker.

While the service offers a proper mobile experience on iOS and Android, the desktop experience is limited to the browser. At least that was until Google Music for Mac, an open source application that wraps the experience in a native player and binds the app to your Mac’s media keys.

The app lets you play your music Library through its native experience or, like Fluid, simply present the web app in a window. The experience largely reminds of Pocket for Mac, with the Google Play logo, search, and popover menus comprising the native wrapper.

I like the player. While I don’t see the purpose of including a button for other Google apps, the player rightfully does Google’s service justice on the desktop. You’ll have to log into the app using your username and password, and for those who are security conscious, the app does display your email address in the top right. Regardless, the app itself does a swell job of presenting your music (and Free from Google tunes) in a presentable interface. Small touches reformat the sidebar into something more appealing for OS X. All the little details from the web service have been carried over as-is, such as how album artwork fades into view, how soft shadows bring artists and albums forward, and Google’s distinct orange highlights. Shortcuts are peppered throughout the app, letting you create playlists or jump to an artist view without having to go through library links or categories. Highlighting the scrubber brings up the play timer, and takes to you whatever point in the song you click.

The app’s free to download from Google Music for Mac’s project page, letting you skip Github if you’re not interested in the repository.

Download it here.

[Hat tip @smileykeith]

When I handed down my iPad to a loved one, they were given a device that would give them unlimited access to the Internet. For the first time, they could access the news and weather, research articles, and Google just about anything without having to rely on me or someone else to help them. iOS devices like the iPad are lauded because they make doing things like this ridiculously easy for someone who isn’t computer savvy, and I’m comforted in knowing that the iPad isn’t likely going to suddenly stop working or become infected by a virus. At the same time, I want to make sure their experience is pleasant, and that they don’t accidentally enter a password in a phishing site or stumble upon something that might be offensive to them. We either have parents or grandparents who’re just learning about what devices like the iPad can offer them, and it’s our job to make sure they stay safe.

Parents don’t want their young child stumbling upon anything they shouldn’t, and we certainly don’t want curious kids making accidental in-app purchases, rummaging through our email, or deleting personal apps. Parents want to create safe and fun environments for their children, especially if the intention is to use an iOS device as an educational tool.

In a family setting, it’s about striking a balance. How do you make it comfortable for the grownups in the house who want to use their devices as is, while keeping your child safe online?

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If you’re not a fan of Apple’s unergonomic Magic Mouse, or making broad gestures with Hot Corners, Spacious 2 gives you a wheel of commands with a click of the middle mouse button. Spacious presents a small palette of tools for switching to the Dashboard, activating Mission Control, or switching to another space. The app includes an alternative app switcher, and can be configured to your liking if the defaults aren’t for you. If you don’t like using keyboard shortcuts or regularly use your Mac’s trackpad gestures, Spacious can help make the most of your desktop with your favorite mouse. You can download a free trial for 30 days, and purchase the app direct for €9.99.

Friend of the site Erica Sadun recently released Folderol, a Mac app that simply lets you change the color of your folders on OS X. Of the many changes in OS X Mavericks is how labels are displayed; now being tags, small little colored dots next to file and folder names are all that differentiate how your stuff appears. Folderol brings back some visual distinctiveness, a feature that Apple once offered on classic Mac OSes, starting with System 6 for color Macintoshes.  Folderol’s default color palette smartly pair with Apple’s tags, but you’re free to choose your own with the built-in color picker. Download Folderol for $0.99 from the Mac App Store.

My problem: I haven’t installed Flash on my Mac and I sometimes need to watch YouTube videos that require Flash Player in Google Chrome. Google’s browser is my Flash shelter: Safari is my main browser and I only keep Chrome around for Flash videos. I was getting annoyed by the process of copying a URL -> launching Chrome -> pasting the URL, so I made a simple Keyboard Maestro macro to automate everything with a hotkey. I don’t know what took me so long.

The macro checks if Safari is the front window, and, if not, it displays a notification with an error message. I do this to prevent accidental hotkey presses for URLs that I don’t want to open in Google Chrome. If Safari is the front window, however, what required a bunch of steps in AppleScript to open the current Safari URL in Chrome is a single action in Keyboard Maestro: Set Google Chrome URL, using %SafariURL% as a variable.

The two additional steps —  Open Chrome and Wait For Chrome To Finish Loading — were necessary because I discovered that, when launched with a Set URL action, Chrome wouldn’t intercept the URL sent by Keyboard Maestro and would simply display a blank tab. In this way, Chrome is launched, paused for a second as it reloads open tabs or the start tab, and then the Safari URL is opened in the current tab. If you want to open the URL in a new tab, change the Set Chrome URL action to New Google Chrome Tab.

You can download the macro here.

It was October when AgileBits first launched 1Password 4 for the Mac, engineered and redesigned to be just as functional and beautiful as its iOS counterpart. 1Password 4 shipped with a ton of new features, which included iCloud sync, favorites, multiple vaults, Security Audit, and 1Password Mini. Today, our favorite password manager for the Mac is getting even more features in what AgileBits is calling, “The Little Big Update.” While this update is packed with lots of goodies, three stand out to me as the big ones.

New features

First up: one of my own requested features. A great feature on the iOS side lets you add password fields to items, and this feature has finally been brought over to the Mac. If you’ve been adding things like security answers as text fields, you can also convert them into concealed password fields as well. 1Password Mini makes these fields especially easy to get to if you ever need to answer any of your security questions.

Next up is a new option for viewing items. A new Top Item List Layout view (found under View > Item List Layout > Top) organizes items into multiple columns. It condenses a lot of information into a classic list, making it easy to view logins, dates, and password strength at a glance. Fans of MailMate should will appreciate the formal look.

Lastly, 1Password 4.1 has overhauled how Logins are saved and updated. When you change a password on a site, the 1Password extension will let you choose which Login to update if there’s more than one, while additionally letting you set tags and file Logins into folders. The new dialog box is much more like a save prompt for a Mac app, making it easier to save and sort your Logins on the spot.

There’s a few other notable little features that are worth mentioning as well. When you search, you’ll have the option to expand an existing search across all fields in items if what you’re looking for can’t be found by title alone. If you’re printing out items, you’ll be able to do so individually through their share menus. Lastly, lots of bugs have been squashed for WiFi syncing for those who prefer to keep their 1Password databases out of the cloud.

When can you get your hands on it?

You can download 1Password 4.1 from AgileBits’ website at 12pm Pacific Time / 3pm Eastern Time. If you purchased 1Password 4 directly from AgileBits, then you can grab it this afternoon.

Mac App Store customers can download 1Password 4.1 once it’s approved. Basically, “Soon.”

Looking to learn more about 1Password? Check out everything we’ve had to say, including news and reviews on one of our must-have apps.