This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

Posts tagged with "preview"

Developers Report Serious PDF Bugs in macOS Sierra

After macOS Sierra was released, reports of problems with PDFs created with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap scanner surfaced. Apple resolved those problems with the release of macOS 10.12.1, but it turns out the problems with PDFs on Sierra run deeper.

Adam Engst of TidBITS has a rundown of several issues that plague Preview, Apple’s PDF app, and many third-party PDF apps. The source of the problems seems to be PDFKit, a developer framework for handling PDFs in macOS. According to developers who spoke to Engst, Apple rewrote parts of PDFKit to unify the macOS and iOS PDF code bases. In the process, developers say that Apple introduced a series of significant bugs and deprecated PDFKit features that broke third-party apps that use PDFKit.

Most recently, the macOS 10.12.2 release seems to have introduced a Preview bug that deletes any OCR layer embedded in a PDF that is edited in Preview. Meanwhile, third-party developers have run into new bugs that affect the handling of PDF annotations.

Engst, the co-author of Take Control of Preview, concludes that:

… I have to recommend that Sierra users avoid using Preview to edit PDF documents until Apple fixes these bugs. If editing a PDF in Preview in unavoidable, be sure to work only on a copy of the file and retain the original in case editing introduces corruption of any sort. Smile’s PDFpen [which doesn’t use PDFKit] is the obvious alternative for PDF manipulation of all sorts (and for documentation, we have “Take Control of PDFpen 8” too), although Adobe’s Acrobat DC is also an option, albeit an expensive one.


Apple Finally Begins Rolling Out 90-Second Song Previews In International iTunes Stores

Nearly eight months after 90-second song previews started rolling out on the US  iTunes Store, Apple have today started transitioning a number of international iTunes stores over to the 90-second previews, a vast improvement on the 30-second previews. Currently we’ve noticed that the iTunes stores in Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand and France and a handful of other European stores.

However, despite the beginning of this international rollout there are still a lot of songs that haven’t transitioned to 90-second previews – looking at the top 10 songs on iTunes in Australia found just half now have the longer preview period. For comparison all top 10 songs in the US have the 90-second preview, although keep in mind that not all the 10 songs were the same in the two stores.

That difference could just be because Apple has only just started to transition to 90-second previews in the international stores or because licensing deals are (as is very typical) delaying the transition to longer previews.  Nonetheless international iTunes users will no doubt welcome this change that has been awaited for quite some time.

[Via MacRumors, 9to5 Mac]

Apple Releases Lion Developer Preview 3 in Dev Center

Following the release in Software Update last week, Apple just released Lion Developer Preview 3 in the Mac Dev Center as a direct download through the Mac App Store. Changes in Lion DP 3 can be found in our previous coverage, and we’ll update this post as more details come in. Build number of Preview 3 is 11A459e – same of the Software Update version.

The new build in the Mac Dev Center comes after a series of reports of users unable to correctly download and install Lion Developer Preview 3 through the Software Update mechanism.

Update: Lion Server Developer Preview 3 is also available as a separate download from the Mac App Store.

Apple Releases Lion Developer Preview 3

Apple just released a new OS X Lion Developer Preview. The update weighs at around 1.07 GB and it’s available now in the Software Update control panel. It is recommended for all users running Lion DP 2, and Apple’s Mac Dev Center seems to confirm the new build is indeed Lion Developer Preview 3, although the direct link on the Dev Center still goes back to Lion Developer Preview 2. It appears Apple is now seeding Lion DP update only via Software Update.

Mac OS  X Lion Developer Preview 3 is now available via Software Update for systems running developer preview 2 update 2.


In the past weeks, Apple released via Software Update two updates for Lion Developer Preview 2; these latest updates to Lion DP 2 are needed in order to install Developer Preview 3 through Software Update. Read more

Preview: Fantastical, Upcoming Calendar App for Mac

How do you improve the default OS X calendar application? How do you set out to create an alternative that can be appealing to power users, and accessible for calendar novices at the same time? While beta testing Fantastical, an upcoming Mac app by Flexibits, I thought these were the questions the developers tried to answer with their latest creation. Like in Twitter clients, developing a third-party calendar isn’t an easy task: you have to make sure it will work with all those calendar protocols out there, but most of all you have to know you’ve got something on your hands that will stand out from the crowd – especially when Apple itself ships a full-featured with OS X that does its job just fine for most users, and doesn’t require an additional purchase. As usual, though, I believe there’s plenty of room for alternatives if you’re willing to take a risk and believe in your product. And it shows when testing Fantastical: Flexibits believes in its new app so much they wrote “your Mac’s calendar will never be the same again” on the teaser website.

Indeed, Fantastical does some things the default Mac calendar client can’t even imagine. First off, it’s elegant, minimal and unobtrusive, yet beautiful to look at. I know the very own purpose of a calendar app isn’t that of letting you stare at it, but when compared to this or this you’ll notice the difference. User interface, however, is functional to Fantastical: it’s minimal because Fantastical wants to be simple to use, and it’s gorgeous for as much as it’s powerful inside. Fantastical uses a natural language parser that will let you write down events in plain English, and have the app correctly recognize the input in various fields. Example: Meet with Cody tomorrow at Apple Store, Viterbo 5 PM to 6 PM. Adding this sentence to a new iCal event does nothing. But writing it in Fantastical? It creates a new calendar event with “Meet with Cody” as the title, “tomorrow” as the relative date, “Apple Store, Viterbo” as the desired location, and 5 PM to 6 PM as the timeframe. It’s almost unbelievable how well this thing works and how deeply it improves the way I can add events using nothing but English. I don’t have to navigate with my keyboard and mouse, I just write and hit Enter to process the event and add it to my default calendar. Sure, I could still do things manually and adjust dates or location with the cursor, but since installing the first beta of Fantastical I haven’t found a reason why I should.

The language parser is the big feature of Fantastical, but there’s lots more. Without revealing too much right now (let’s save it for a final review, shall we?), I can say Fantastical’s huge advantage over several third-party calendar apps for OS X is that it works perfectly in conjunction with Apple’s iCal, which is responsible for keeping all your calendar configurations. You can start using Fantastical seconds after launch without doing anything, as the app fetches the accounts you’ve already set up in iCal. This means Google Calendar, MobileMe, CalDAV, Exchange, Yahoo Calendar – they all work out of the box. And if you want, you can make a calendar the default one so that adding new events will be as fast as hitting a shortcut, and write.

I wasn’t sure I was going to use Fantastical much initially, mainly because I didn’t think a replacement for the standard calendar interface was needed on a Mac. But after trying it, I have to say Fantastical is the calendar app to look forward to. You can sign up for updates here, and stay tuned for a complete review on MacStories soon. Read more

Apple Releases New Update for Lion Developer Preview 2

Alongside Xcode 4.1 Developer Preview 4, Apple also released another update for OS X Lion Developer Preview 2. The update weighs at around 1.17 GB and it’s available now in the Software Update control panel. It is recommended for all users running Lion DP 2.

Two weeks ago, Apple did the same and released a new build of Xcode 4.1 and the first update to Lion DP 2. The original Lion Developer Preview 2 was released in late March, and we’re expecting another major update before the WWDC, with a GM seed being seeded to developers in June. If you spot anything new in this update, leave a comment below. We’ll update this post with more notes as further details come in.

Update: MacRumors reports Lion build 11A444d has been seeded to developers.

Update #2: We’re hearing the new Lion update has a snappier Finder, a better UI for deleting apps from the Launchpad, and lots of design tweaks to changes introduced in the previous DP builds.

Xcode 4.1 Developer Preview 4 Released

A few minutes ago Apple released an update to Xcode 4.1, which is required to build apps for OS X Lion. Xcode 4.1 Developer Preview 4 is available now in the Mac Dev Center, and we’re hearing Interface Builder added support for NSPopover and NSWindow animations in this build, among other enhancements and bug fixes.

The first build of Xcode 4.1 was released in February soon after the original Lion Developer Preview, with new builds following the schedule of Lion DP releases and updates.

New Xcode 4.1 Build Hints At Lion Developer Preview 3

Alongside an update to the OS X Lion Developer Preview 2, Apple also released a new version of Xcode 4.1 to developers, which reaches “Preview 3” status. The new build contains bug fixes and it’s available now in the Mac Dev Center.

This release requires Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 2 Update and includes iOS SDK 4.3. Continue to use Xcode 3.2.5 or Xcode 4 on a Snow Leopard partition if you plan to submit Mac or iOS apps to the App Store.

An interesting tidbit from the release notes: Xcode 4.1 Preview 3 has been “updated to support Mac OS X 10.7 Lion preview 3” – which hasn’t been released yet. Mac OS X Lion DP 2 was seeded on March 30th, a few minutes after Apple posted an update for the Developer Preview 1.

Apple Releases Lion Developer Preview 2 Update

Apple just informed registered OS X developers that an update to the OS X Lion Developer Preview 2 is now available. The update can be downloaded from Software Update on computers that have DP 2 already installed.

From systems that have developer preview 2 of Lion or Lion Server installed, run Software Update and download Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 2 Update. You must also download Xcode 4.1 Developer Preview 3 available from the Mac Dev Center to build apps with this version of Lion.

If you have not yet downloaded developer preview 2 of Lion and Lion Server, get your redemption code from the Mac Dev Center then proceed to the Mac App Store to redeem your code and download Lion.

Three weeks ago, Apple released an update to the original OS X Lion Developer Preview to enable “downloads of Mac OS X Lion seed builds from the Mac App Store”. It is unclear what kind of changes went into today’s update to Developer Preview 2, but we’re hearing build number is 11A430e. Mac OS X Lion DP 2 was released on March 30th.

Update: from the changelog, Apple says this update is recommended to all users running Lion Developer Preview 2.