Mac Setups: MacBook Pro & Apple Cinema Display & iPad

May 28, 2011 - 3 Comments

This is a nice Mac desk featuring a MacBook Pro 15″ atop a Griffin Elevator Laptop Stand hooked up to an external 20″ Apple Cinema Display and an iPad sits alongside them both. Under the desk is a Mac Pro, but I don’t know if it’s in use… thanks for noticing that Randy!

This setup comes from Flickr. Don’t forget to check out even more Mac setups.

By William Pearson - Mac Setups - 3 Comments

Is Apple Going to Kill Jailbreaking with iOS 5?

May 27, 2011 - 24 Comments

Apple killing jailbreaking possibilities

Is Apple going to kill the jailbreak community as we know it with iOS 5? If this sounds crazy, consider some of the tweaks, rumors, and expected features in iOS 5 and iPhone 5:

  • Revamped iOS notification and all new widget system – who needs to use the hacks when Apple offers the real thing?
  • Rumors of Expose-style iOS multitasking – if Apple builds a superior multitasking feature, why bother with a 3rd party solution?
  • Cheaper & Pay-Go iPhones – a common reason to jailbreak an iPhone abroad is so that you can use it as a pay-go phone, Apple is reportedly interested in expanding directly into this market
  • More iPhone Carriers – one of the many reasons people jailbreak and unlock their phones is so they can use them on networks unsupported by Apple, but Apple is rumored to be planning to expand the iPhone to many more carriers
  • Over-the-Air automatic iOS updates – each new iOS update breaks existing jailbreaks, if Apple can push updates to your phone remotely, your jailbreak will become unusable anyway
  • Newer Hardware is Harder to Jailbreak – jailbreaking is getting harder on newer hardware, proof of this is the iPad 2, which still isn’t jailbroken despite being out for months. The next iPhone is expected to have the same internal hardware as the iPad 2, meaning it will be just as difficult to jailbreak

Remember, some of these features were once only possible with jailbroken hardware, but if Apple offers them natively through iOS 5 and new iPhones, what’s the point of jailbreaking and unlocking? If Apple is going to provide in iOS 5 and iPhone 5 what you now jailbreak for, why bother with the headaches of jailbreaking?

More evidence comes from an anonymous tipster sent a message to iDB that indicated that Apple is going to shake up the jailbreak community:

bad timing for jailbreak developers especially those working on notification. im not working on that but i know we are about to take the jb community by surprise

This was prior to TechCrunch publishing their report on the notification changes, but more interesting is that there’s an obvious hint of a broader agenda in that message.

This was followed quickly by another post at iDB that mentions a renowned jailbreaker just now giving up on the development of his revamped iOS notification system, they go on to speculate that he may have even been offered a job at Apple to develop the notifications for them directly.

Furthermore, there could be an economic incentive behind all of this, as iDB reminds us that nearly 10% of iPhones are jailbroken and buy apps through the Cydia store, that’s a lot of money left on the table by Apple. Jailbreaking is particularly popular in countries like China, where Apple is experiencing huge growth, but if Apple can offer the same features so many users are jailbreaking for, they’ll lose the incentive to jailbreak plus funnel that money into Apple’s App Store rather than a third party source.

Remember, jailbreaking isn’t illegal, but Apple has always frowned upon it for various reasons, and now Apple may have found a solution to squash the jailbreak community once and for all by essentially offering all the incentives natively. So will it happen? Is jailbreaking dead? We’ll soon find out.

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 24 Comments

iOS 5 to Bring Revamped Notifications and Widgets?

May 27, 2011 - 7 Comments

iPhone lock screen widgets with intelliscreen A revamped notification system and the addition of widgets are expected to be two major new features of iOS 5, according to a recent report on TechCrunch.

If you don’t feel like reading the 551 word long TechCrunch article, here is the only part that actually mentions these two new expected iOS 5 features:

The other big news for iOS5 — and yes, I’ve completely buried the lede here, thanks for reading! — two things: completely revamped notifications and widgets.

This isn’t particularly ground breaking news, since Apple filed for a patent for a redesigned notification system all the way back in 2008, but confirmation from a site like TechCrunch does suggest that Apple is finally going to update the long criticized iOS notification system. Widgets would also be a useful addition to iOS, particularly on the lock screen where there is definitely a feeling of underutilized screen space.

Currently, the only solution to add widgets and modify notifications involve jailbreak apps like Intelliscreen, shown in the screenshot above. Whether or not the new iOS 5 notification and widget system will resemble this or something completely different remains to be seen, but the aforementioned patent from 2008 does share similarities in concept. Here is the redesigned notification system as seen in that patent:

Read more »

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone, Rumor - 7 Comments

Show Analog Clock in the Mac Menu Bar

May 27, 2011 - 3 Comments

Show the Analog Clock in the Mac OS X Menu Bar

Tired of the lengthy digital clock showing in the Mac OS X menu bar? You can go for a minimalist approach by setting the clock to display as an analog (that is, the old fashioned clocks with a face and hands), which will take up much less space and helps to clean up an otherwise cluttered menu bar.
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Conan O’Brien Dresses as Steve Jobs

May 27, 2011 - 1 Comment

Conan O'Brien dressed up as Steve Jobs

Famous comedian (and fellow Mac user) Conan O’Brien is impersonating none other than Apple’s Steve Jobs on the front cover of this months Fast Company magazine. The Apple CEO, referred to as “Apple’s Software Lion,” is one of a handful of other popular figures that O’Brien parodies for the June 2011 issue featuring a list of 100 Most Creative People in Business.

Now here’s the odd part: while Conan dresses as Steve is on the front cover, Steve Jobs doesn’t even appear in the Top 100 list. Instead it’s Scott Forstall, Apple’s Senior Vice President of IOS Software, who is high up at #2 on the Fast Company 2011 rankings.

See the full cover below:
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By Matt Chan - Fun - 1 Comment

Amazon Launches Mac Downloads Store & Free $5 Off Coupon on Any Mac Software

May 26, 2011 - 2 Comments

Amazon Mac Downloads Store

Amazon has just launched an official Amazon Mac Downloads Store where you can instantly buy and download a variety of Mac software and games directly from Amazon servers. The purchased Mac software is then stored on your Amazon account and you can then download as many copies for your own personal use as you want.

This is an interesting move since Amazon is obviously competing directly against Apple here. While Apple may offer more titles in all, the Amazon Mac Download Store is carrying some software products that the Apple App Store doesn’t, like Microsoft Office 2011 and Adobe Photoshop Elements, both sold as heavily discounted downloads from Amazon.

Free $5 Off Coupon Code for Any Mac Game & Software

To celebrate the launch the the Amazon Mac Downloads Store, Amazon is including a free $5 off coupon code that can be used on any Mac game or software until June 1, 2011. To make use of the $5 off coupon, enter the code SAVE5MAC in the “Gift Cards and Promotions” box when you go to check out.

You can check out Amazon’s Mac Download Store and redeem the coupon at purchase.

Free $5 off and more Mac apps to choose from? No complaints here!

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, News - 2 Comments

Tower Defense Game ‘TowerMadness HD’ is a Ton of Fun & Free for iPhone & iPad Today

May 26, 2011 - Leave a Comment

TowerMadness tower defense game for iPhone and iPad

The popular tower defense game TowerMadness is free to download today for iPhone, as well as the high-def iPad version TowerMadness HD. I’ve had TowerDefense for iPhone for well over a year and I can confirm it’s one of the most fun tower defense games on the iOS platform, so the chance to download this game for free is great.

Get it while it lasts, TowerDefense is expected to be a free download for today only. Even if you’re still waiting to get a new iPhone or iPad 2, you can download it for free now to reserve it on your account, because each additional download will be free from the iOS App Store too.
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By Paul Horowitz - Games, iPad, iPhone - Leave a Comment

Take a Screen Shot Without the Shadow in Mac OS X

May 26, 2011 - 2 Comments

Take a Screen Shot without a Shadow in Mac OS X

Instead of disabling the screen shot shadow completely you can take a one-time screen capture minus the shadow by using either the Grab app or by using the command line screencapture utility.

Using Grab is the easiest for most users since it’s wrapped in a familiar GUI. Grab is located in /Applications/Utilities, so launch that and then select “Window” from the “Capture” menu:
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By William Pearson - Command Line, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 2 Comments

Create Working Prototypes of iPhone & iOS Apps Easily

May 26, 2011 - 5 Comments

Prototype iPhone and iOS apps from a Mac app

Prototypes is a new Mac app that lets anyone quickly create functional iOS application prototypes and share them with other people, no coding is required.

The prototypes can be created from any Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, PSD, JPG, or any image file at all, just drag a few images into the app, define hotspots (touch locations), setup some transitions, and quickly preview or publish a prototype. These touch-responsive prototypes will run directly from Safari on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, making it very easy to test a functional iOS interface.

You can buy Prototypes from the Mac App Store for $39.99 (App Store link)

How well do these published prototypes function? The developers provide a sample working prototype that has been exported from the app, here is how you can try it out yourself:
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Get a Black iOS Style Menu Bar in Mac OS X

May 25, 2011 - 17 Comments

Get a Black Menu Bar in Mac OS X

Distracted by your menu bar? If you want a stylish iOS-like black menu bar in Mac OS X but don’t want to go all out with an iOS / Mac desktop, you should grab Nocturne, it’s free and adds some pizazz to your Mac desktop.

Nocturne actually serves several other purposes intended to make the Mac display more usable at night, but we’re going to skip those features and just use it to turn the menu bar black so it looks like iOS. This should take you about 2 minutes total, so here’s how to do it:

How to Turn the Menu Bar Black in Mac OS X

  • Download Nocturne 2.0 from Google Code (it’s free and open source)
  • Launch Nocturne, ignore “Switch to night” and everything else. From the apps preferences, disable every option except for “Invert menu bar” near the bottom of the preferences
  • Optional if you use a very colorful background: Disable the “Translucent menu bar” in System Preferences > Desktop & Screensaver, this keeps the menu bar text white on black, and the menu bar black without any funky inverted coloration

You probably noticed by now that the black menu bar is achieved just by inverting the screen. Depending on what your background wallpaper is you may want to tweak some of the other settings to maintain a true black menu bar rather than just having an inverted version of whatever colors are shown through the transparency.

When it’s all said and done, this is what it looks like:

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By William Pearson - Customize, Mac OS X - 17 Comments

Is this the Best Looking MacBook Air Case? The BookBook for MacBook Air

May 25, 2011 - 6 Comments

BookBook Case for MacBook Air

If you’ve been looking for a case for your MacBook Air, the newly released BookBook for MacBook Air may stop your search. The BookBook is lightweight, made of leather, fits snuggly on both the 13″ and 11″ MacBook Air models, and also provides a very unique anti-theft deterrent by making your fancy laptop look like a beautiful but boring old novel.

BookBook Case for MacBook Air

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac - 6 Comments

The Window Titlebar in Mac OS X Tells You When You Have Unsaved File Changes

May 25, 2011 - 3 Comments

Look for unsaved changes in the Mac window titlebar

Not sure if you have unsaved changes when editing a file in Mac OS X? Just look at the window titlebars close button, if the red close button has a darker red dot inside of it then you have unsaved changes.

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 3 Comments

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