Posts tagged with "os x"

Fileup Simplifies Dropbox Sharing with Drag & Drop and File Filters

Developed by Francisco Cantu, Fileup is a new OS X utility that lets you quickly share files through Dropbox by dragging them onto a menu bar icon. Unlike other apps that have implemented the same sharing mechanism and user interaction (which Dropbox surprisingly doesn't support with their own menu bar app), Fileup adds filters for file types, integrates with Notification Center, and lets you set up templates for naming files through a simple syntax. The idea is reminiscent of Vemedio's shortlived Sharebox experiment, but, as required by Dropbox, Fileup is a separate menu bar utility that doesn't interact with the official Dropbox client.

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Inspecting Yosemite’s Icons

Nick Keppol has published a great look at the icons from the developer beta of OS X Yosemite:

When 10.10 ships this fall, your users will expect your icons to feel at home in the new system. Rather than critique the icons, I’m going to dissect the icon system and focus on the small details that will help you make icons that look great in Yosemite.

When I saw this link in my Twitter feed, I thought the article would focus on colors, gradients, and comparisons with iOS 7. Instead, Nick has inspected the tiniest details of Apple's icon design on Yosemite, such as reflections, materials, grids, and combination of shapes. If you're a designer or just curious about Apple's new dock icon language, I recommend reading this post.


Jason Snell’s Hands-on with OS X Yosemite

In his first hands-on with OS X Yosemite, Jason Snell points out an issue with the redesigned title bars that no longer show a title:

I have to admit I’m also a little nonplussed about the disappearance of titles from the top of many windows. In apps that never really have more than one important window (Calendar and Maps come to mind), the title is unnecessary; labeling my Calendar window with the word Calendar seems pointless. But in many other contexts, the title of the window imparts important information, and there’s a danger that some of that information could be lost if Apple takes this approach too far. It’s something worth keeping an eye on, especially given the radical changes Yosemite has in store for Safari.

I've been trying the first Yosemite beta on my MacBook Air, and I find it annoying that Safari doesn't show the title of a webpage (just the domain in the address bar) when a single tab is open. It'll be interesting to see if third-party apps will switch to this integrated toolbar approach with no separate area for a title.


How To Open iCloud Tabs In Editorial for iPad

Editorial iCloud Tabs

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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OS X 10.9.2 Update Adds FaceTime Audio Calling, iMessage Blocking, Fixes Mail and Security Bugs

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.


Google Music for Mac Brings the Web Player to the Desktop

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]

Setting Up a Family Friendly Environment on iOS with Restrictions, Guided Access, and OpenDNS

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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