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website TidBITS: Apple News for the Rest of Us
The oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet, TidBITS brings you the Apple Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and iPod news, reviews, tips, and commentary that matters. Join us each week for audio versions of award-winning coverage from industry stalwarts Adam Engst, Josh Centers, Michael Cohen, Rich Mogull, Joe Kissell, Jeff Carlson, Glenn Fleishman, Tonya Engst, and others.
Apple is a bit of an underdog in the education market, where Google increasingly dominates with inexpensive, easily managed Chromebook laptops. On Tuesday, Apple staged an education-specific press event at a Chicago magnet school to trot out a host of education initiatives meant to make Apple more competitive in the classroom.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


The iPad versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote gain Apple Pencil support for drawing and writing, along with Smart Annotations. Also, Pages has new ebook creation features.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


In a welcome move, Apple has updated the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad with a faster chip, support for the Apple Pencil, and a few enhanced camera features. The price remains the same, starting at $329 for 32 GB.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Notable software releases this week include VLC Media Player 3.0.1, ScreenFlow 7.3, Mellel 4.1, OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.3, and Keyboard Maestro 8.2.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text ExtraBITS for 26 March 2018
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 18:08:22 EDT
In ExtraBITS this week, the CEO of easyDNS offers sensible advice for limiting Facebook usage, and Apple reveals new Apple Watch bands for spring.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Mark Jeftovic, the outspoken CEO of DNS provider easyDNS, has weighed in on the whole Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal with opinions that are simultaneously harsh and realistic. He starts by equating social media platforms to "The Spew," a 1994 short story by Neal Stephenson in Wired, and lays out multiple condemnations of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. But then Jeftovic returns to the real question at hand: Should you delete your Facebook page? He recommends keeping business Facebook pages but not relying on them, and he says he’ll keep a personal Facebook page while assuming that anything he posts is completely public and will be used for targeting. But he votes against the mobile Facebook apps, which try their hardest to harvest your contact data.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Is your Finder sputtering and freezing? Josh Centers solved his Finder problems by cleaning out his Downloads folder and toggling Dropbox’s Finder integration.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text VLC Media Player 3.0.1
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 04:28:04 EDT
Maintenance release for the open-source multimedia player. (Free, 44.7 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text ScreenFlow 7.3
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:27:54 EDT
Restores audio capture of system audio playback on the iMac Pro. ($129 new, free update)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text Mellel 4.1
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 18:27:40 EDT
Adds native DOCX file format import, character tracking, auto-kerning for most TrueType fonts, and minimum word spacing. ($59 new, free update, 89.1 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


If all goes according to plan, we’ll be starting the transition to our next-generation Internet infrastructure at the end of the week. Here’s an overview of how accounts will work, which you may need to know as you make article comments on the new site and manage your email subscriptions and TidBITS membership.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.3
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:27:12 EDT
Maintenance release for the outlining and information organization app provides improvements and bug fixes. ($9.99/59.99 new, free update, 38.7 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text Keyboard Maestro 8.2
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:27:30 EDT
Adds a new Applications Palette that displays running applications. ($36 new, free update, 22.4 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Apple has announced a new collection of Apple Watch bands, which will be available later this month. On the slate are new sport bands ($49), woven nylon bands ($49), sport loops ($49), and classic buckles ($149) in spring colors. Apple has also created new bundles, including the space gray aluminum Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) with the Black Sport Loop and the space gray aluminum Apple Watch Nike+ (GPS + Cellular) with the Midnight Fog Nike Sport Loop. The Nike Sport Loop band ($49), which will now be sold separately, will come in new colors, and the Hermès Single Tour Rallye ($439) and Double Tour ($489) bands now display contrasting paint details.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Notable software releases this week include OmniFocus 2.12.1, Retrospect 15.0, Microsoft Office 2016 16.11, and Slack for Mac 3.1.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text ExtraBITS for 19 March 2018
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:40:09 EDT
We have only one ExtraBIT this week, in which analyst Ben Thompson explains why the United States blocking Broadcom’s acquisition of Qualcomm might be a good thing.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


This is just a heads-up that we’ll be transitioning everything — Web site, mailing list, commenting system, membership system, and more — to new servers in a few weeks.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text OmniFocus 2.12.1
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 10:39:10 EDT
Addresses a database migration issue introduced in the previous version. ($39.99 new, free update, 31.9 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text Retrospect 15.0
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 06:36:40 EDT
Major new release adds new BackupBot artificial intelligence feature and email protection. ($49 for Solo and $119 for Desktop new, upgrade pricing available, 189 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text Microsoft Office 2016 16.11
Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:36:02 EDT
Brings improvements to Outlook and addresses a security vulnerability in Excel. ($149.99 new for one-time purchase, $99.99/$69.99 annual subscription options, free update)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text Slack for Mac 3.1
Sun, 18 Mar 2018 15:35:47 EDT
Maintenance update brings improvements and bug fixes to the group messaging system and collaboration tool. (Free, 71.3 MB)

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Apple has announced an education-focused event to be held at the end of March, at a Chicago high school. You might not want to buy an iPad or MacBook Air between now and then.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


If you’ve been perturbed by how easy it to damage or lose the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil, check out Twelve South’s PencilSnap. It’s a $29 leather case that holds the Apple Pencil snugly and attaches to the iPad Pro’s Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard with hidden magnets.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


The iPad is a great tool for reading electronic books, but its default settings and apps are unlikely to be ideal for your eyes. Charles Maurer draws from research into vision and perception to suggest how to tweak your iPad’s display to be more legible.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Not every HomePod owner is a music addict, and even those who are will likely want their speakers to do other stuff. Julio Ojeda-Zapata has explored ways to tap the HomePod and Siri for information consumption, personal management, and other uses. For context, he compares the HomePod’s capabilities and Siri performance to equivalent features in competing Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


President Trump has nixed Singapore-based Broadcom’s purchase of American chipmaker Qualcomm on national security and protectionist grounds, although Broadcom had promised to relocate to the United States. Analyst Ben Thompson explains why he thinks this was the right move. In short, Broadcom had made it clear that it planned to focus on Qualcomm’s past patents instead of producing new technology with the company’s resources. This would have reduced competition with Chinese companies in future mobile developments — 6G and beyond — and thus potentially left the United States at a technological disadvantage.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Apple has announced WWDC 2018 dates and that the location will remain in San Jose. If you’re interested in attending, get your name in the lottery by March 22nd.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text The Apple TV 4K’s HDR Nightmare
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:15:34 EDT
Plug an Apple TV 4K into a compatible TV and experience ultra-high definition HDR video, right? Unfortunately, as "Take Control of Apple TV" author Josh Centers has found, it’s far from that simple.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


text ExtraBITS for 12 March 2018
Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:42:27 EDT
In ExtraBITS this week, we have a tip that could help if you lose your AirPods case, Spike Jonze has directed a stunning HomePod ad, we look at how PDF became a cornerstone of business, you can let Mario guide you in Google Maps for the rest of the week, we learn why Google Fiber didn’t set the world on fire, and Amazon explains why Alexa is laughing at us.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.


Notable software releases this week include HoudahGeo 5.2, OmniFocus 2.12, and ChronoSync 4.8.5.

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.