Apple gave its annual keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday, announcing a bevy of new features for both iOS and Mac OS X. I was actually most excited about the Mac stuff, but iOS received some much-needed love as well. The number of websites covering WWDC is overwhelming, but that won’t stop me from listing the features that got me the most excited.
I’ve been using Target Display Mode often over the past couple of months, using my iMac screen as a display for my MacBook. This solved the problem of shuttling video and other files between the two devices – now I do almost everything on my MacBook, while I still have the iMac there when I need it. Since Target Display Mode doesn’t let you share a keyboard and mouse/trackpad, and since you can’t control your iMac to turn off Blutooth once you initiate Target Display Mode, I went off in a search of a solution.
Being a Mac user in a Windows world can be tough. If you’re like me, even if you use Windows professionally, there are certain Mac apps that are essential to your productivity. For me, OmniFocus and OmniOutliner are two that come to mind immediately. In my search for ways to make my Macs play nicer in a Windows universe, I recently discovered one of the coolest gadgets I’ve come across in a long time – the J5 Create Wormhold Switch. It helps me join my Windows and Mac computers – literally.
After making a decision on Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 on one of my Macs, I find myself occasionally using Bootcamp to boot my Macs into Windows. That involves holding down the Option key while booting, and then selecting the Windows partition. If I’m already in Windows, it is easier to reboot into OS X – there is an option in the Windows system tray to reboot into OS X. After a bit of searching, I found a couple of options to similarly boot into Windows from OS X, without having to sit there and hold down the Option key.
OmniPresence is a new sync tool from the OmniGroup that can be used to keep your OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, or OmniGraphSketcher files in sync between the Mac and iPad. It goes one step better, though, and can be used to sync any type of file on your Mac, working much like Dropbox works, but using a sync server of your choosing. While OmniPresence will never replace Dropbox, it does offer advantages over Dropbox in some areas.
Byword has long been one of my favorite text editors on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. I like it for its simplicity, its effortless sync between Mac and iOS, and its Markdown support. (For a short primer on Markdown and its virtues, check down my earlier post on it.) Byword has recently become even more useful, adding support for direct publishing to Evernote, WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and Scriptogram. READ MORE
Here’s one for you UK folks. The folks at Gearzap recently provided with me the Encase Ultrasuede MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Sleeve (not to be confused with cases by Incase) for review. Ever since I switched from an 11 inch MacBook Air to a 13 inch model (and subsequently to a 15 inch MacBook Pro Retina Display), I’ve been going without a sleeve. I typically toss my MacBook into a slot in my backpack, so a sleeve isn’t an item that I would use often. A good sleeve would be handy, though, for those times when I just want to carry my MacBook somewhere, or when I want to toss my MacBook into a suitcase, and leave my backpack behind.
When you use an iCloud-enabled app on your Mac, it may appear that you can only access that app’s documents from within the app itself. Actually, there is a folder structure on your Mac reflecting the location of your iCloud files, with a folder for each iCloud-enabled app that you use. You can find those folders and files outside of their native apps with a bit of effort, or you can make it easy with a free app called Plain Cloud.