Weekly Wrap: Lion updates, light-powered keyboards, and Mac drama
Even weeks devoid of major announcements and releases from Cupertino can offer exciting (and even stunning) headlines. Couple those with the reviews, hints, and tutorials you’ve come to expect from Macworld, and the past week of stories was not one to be missed. But just in case you did miss something, here’s a roundup of our best stories from the week gone by.
In Lion’s den
If you love nothing more than stories about Apple’s latest operating system, well then hoo boy, are you in luck. Editor Dan Miller wrote a guide to embracing Lion’s new gestures. Senior Editor Dan Frakes, on the other hand, wrote about Scroll Reverser, which lets you muck with various aspects of Lion’s new take on two-finger scrolling; thus, whether you love the new gestures, or want to show them a specific gesture of your own, we’ve got you covered.
Frequent contributor Marco Tabini can help if you’re wondering whether your printer is compatible with Lion; I suppose another option is pressing Command-P and hoping for the best. Senior Contributor Glenn Fleishman wrote up a love letter to AirDrop—though, sadly, as of press time, AirDrop hasn’t written him back.
If Safari 5.1 in Lion (or Snow Leopard) seems to be misbehaving when you search, check out this hint. If, rather than battling Safari, you’re still dealing with some Wi-Fi issues or other small Lion glitches, it’s high time you install the 10.7.1 update that Apple released this week. If instead of bugs you’re encountering daily crashes, it might be prudent to read Ted Landau’s piece on how best to restore Lion. And if you haven’t installed Lion at all just yet and your Internet is slower than [insert the political figure you most like to describe as dim-witted here], consider grabbing the new $69 Lion USB installer. If you don’t have any idea what Lion is or what I’m talking about, you are either on the wrong website or having a stroke.
iPhone, therefore iPad
We’re addicted to writing about iOS accessories, but you’re addicted to reading about them, so together we’ll be okay. Lab Director James Galbraith wrote up a nice piece about using your music-related hardware with GarageBand on the iPad, and trust me when I say that his piece rocks.
Also this week, we offered up some tips on using layers when creating iPad art. Elsewhere, Senior Associate Editor Dan Moren offered his analysis on what AT&T’s “streamlining” of its SMS plans really means for texting; u shud read his story 2 lol.
Google’s Photovine app hit the App Store, in case your iPhone didn’t offer enough ways to share your photos, and Skype Wi-Fi might help you get online for cheap when you realize that no, that “Free Public WiFi” hotspot still isn’t going to work.
Oh, and as always, we carefully reviewed a slew of iOS apps, and even more carefully determined the number of mice to award each. (Try not to think too hard about the strange dichotomy inherent to awarding mice to iOS apps.) Among the apps we reviewed:
• Calorific Lite—which is good for you but a bit bland,
• TellMe Later—which I’ll write a quip for some other time if you remind me,
• Shake-a-Phrase—a shoehorn that juggles Mad Libs-style phrases that your well-trained baby seals might enjoy,
• Memonic—an app whose uniquely-spelled name I need a trick to remember, and
• Tracks—an app that helps you keep photographic evidence of everywhere you go… Just like the government! (Haha, just kidding, government!)
Oh, and yours truly opined that when Apple describes devices like the iPad as “magical,” it actually does itself a disservice.
Software oh where can you be
Drama hit the Mac software scene when Kagi started selling an update to VisualHub without the original developer’s permission. But now it seems both sides have come to an agreement, which is good, because I hate conflict.
In a story with fewer hurt feelings, Evernote acquired screenshot tool Skitch, and went and made the app free on the Mac App Store, too. Because I’m a cad, I can’t think of any joke but the obvious one in describing the trio of CAD apps that Autodesk released this past week. Grand Theft Auto hijacked the Mac App Store, too.
Hardware the wild things are
Logitech announced a slick new solar-powered wireless keyboard; it charges via ambient light, so you needn’t leave your Mac behind to sit in—of all places—the sun. Kanex offered a new adapter to connect older Macs to Apple’s 27-inch Cinema Display. And we awarded the coveted and rarely seen five full mice to a messenger bag.
Senior Editor Roman Loyola paid a visit to a new hard drive recovery center; if you crash that article, Prosoft can probably recover your data.
And then there are a few other interesting stories that don’t quite fit anywhere else. Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion dollars—that’s roughly one dollar for every cat video on YouTube. Meanwhile, HP threw in the towel on the TouchPad and other webOS-related hardware. As far as Apple’s other competitors, you can read about several of them in the latest edition of Under the Gavel.
Apple’s iAd vice president is leaving the company, hopefully not for a job at HP. Amazingly, Macworld didn’t lose any employees even after the hilarious (and at-times scatological) Mac Pundit Showdown.
With luck, we didn’t lose any of you on our way to the conclusion of another Weekly Wrap. We’ll see you here next week with a roundup of the best Macworld stories that, as of this moment, we’ve yet to write.