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Network Security News

Weekly Wrap: Apple's new software, Mac trips, and lots of styluses

Jan 21, 2012 | ITNews.com

Any week with an Apple event is a good week in our book. But it’s not always possible to keep up with a week’s worth of Apple news. That’s where the Weekly Wrap comes in. Here’s what happened this week: An education event, new desktop and iOS apps from Apple, and a heck of a lot more. Dive in:

The education event

As promised, Apple hosted an education-themed event at The Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and we covered it live, which is preferable to the alternative. At the event, Apple unveiled:

iBooks 2, with support for interactive textbooks;
iBooks Author, for creating said interactive textbooks;
a revamped iTunes U program, with a brand new app to go along with it; and
a lightly-updated version of iTunes, because hey, why not?
We at Macworld reported on these Apple announcements, and then gave them nary another thought.

I kid, I kid. We thought about them obsessively, and I have written proof: Developer and teacher Fraser Speirs said that Apple’s announcements will only further the role of the iPad in education. Glenn Fleishman, on the other hand, says he’s heard this all before.

Speaking of hands, Serenity Caldwell went hands on with iBooks Author and found it effortless to use; Leah Yamshon came away from her hands-on with iBooks 2 similarly impressed. Jason Snell concluded that iBooks Author is a big deal for publishers. Yours truly found the software impressive—but felt that Apple left some important questions unanswered. (And that’s not even including the question of where my spare keys are; I haven’t seen them in days.)

Not content merely to rely upon the written word, we also podcasted about Apple’s announcements.

OS X again

Our weeks don’t feel complete if we can’t offer up some Mac-related tips, and not the mere couple bucks you toss to the pizza delivery guy whose teeth are chattering. No no, these tips are worth their weight in gold. Of course, we published them online, and it’s hard to measure the real-world weight of online text, so let’s just end this tangent and dive into the good stuff.

Chris Breen patiently showed how to put your Home folder on a separate drive from the rest of your system. Dan Moren shared a video on enabling iTunes Home Sharing, which is sort of the poorer, less famous, and simpler cousin to iTunes Match. Roman Loyola offered up some advice on adjusting Software Update. And I offered up a hint on enabling local Time Machine backups on a desktop Mac—no Mr. Fusion necessary.

If you for some reason need to run Windows, Rob Griffiths can help you find the best way to do so on your Mac. For me, the best way to run (as it relates to Windows) is far and fast in the opposite direction.

iOS advice

We have creative audio workarounds in iMovie for iOS. We can help if you’re having trouble mixing newer apps with older iOS devices. If you want to know how to use the Reminders app, we have you covered there, too.

And if you like styluses, boy do we have you covered. We reviewed the Architect Stylus, the AluPen Pro, and many, many others. We recognize that some of you may object that we pluralize “stylus” as “styluses” and not “styli,” and we understand. Pluralizing Latin nouns is tricky, and new pluralization rules continue to spread like so many virii.

iPhone owners should also review AT&T’s new data plans; they cost more, but they offer more data. If you already have a plan, you can keep it, or you can make the switch. It’s a decision sure to be as fraught as the choice between eating one more chocolate donut, or saving room for ice cream.

One for the road

Music lovers shouldn’t miss our close look at Slacker Radio.

Thanks for tuning? logging? checking? in. Next Saturday will be sadly Wrapless, thanks to the upcoming Macworld | iWorld conference, but we’ll be back the first weekend in February.

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