When Alaska Airlines started distributing iPads to its pilots last year, the company also gave them $10 iTunes gift cards.
The company wasn’t just being nice. Alaska wanted its pilots to buy specific apps they’d need in the cockpit—but the App Store offered no good way to purchase and distribute such apps in bulk. Without the gift cards, pilots would have had to buy the apps on their own and bill the airline for reimbursement.
“There was no nimble way to do this,” says Jim Freeman, a captain with the airline.
Despite the Mac's recent gains in market share, Windows is still the dominant operating system, especially in businesses. That means there may be times when you need to run the Microsoft OS: perhaps there’s an application your company uses that’s only available for Windows, or you’re a web developer and you need to test your sites in a true native Windows web browser. Or maybe you want to play computer games that aren’t available for OS X. Whatever your reason for running Windows, there are a number of ways your Mac can do it for you.
If you need to run just one or two specific Windows apps, you may be able to do so using CrossOver (), which can run such applications without requiring you to actually install Windows. (CrossOver's vendor, CodeWeavers, maintains a list of compatible apps.)
You can find some third-party services if you look around. DevonTechnologies’ free WordService is actually a bundle of services that allow you to perform actions on selected text. This set of services is for you if you ever find that you need to reformat text copied from an email, remove line breaks, change text in ALL CAPITALS to normal case, or Capitalize Every Word In A Text without having to manually alter your texts.
One of the little-known time-saving features of Mac OS X is services—hidden, single-feature commands that you can access from a special Services menu, or, sometimes, from a contextual menu. These features are generally provided by applications—built-in OS X applications or third-party programs—and let you quickly preform actions that usually require launching additional programs and taking many steps. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about how to find, use, and manage services.
Q: What are services?
A: Simply put, OS X services let you borrow features from other programs. So, as I write this article in Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit, I can select some text, select the Services menu (found in ApplicationName -> Services, in this case, BBEdit -> Services), and then choose New Email With Selection. A new message window opens in Apple’s Mail, filled with my text selection, that I can easily address and send to my editor.
Several years ago, I took a critical look at the tools I was using for my business writing. Specifically, I asked myself why I was still using Microsoft Word as the one-size-fits-all tool for everything I wrote. In the course of that questioning, I discovered a most unlikely tool for better business writing: Scrivener ().
Originally designed for writing fiction, Scrivener provides an integrated researching, organizing, and writing environment that makes the process of moving ideas from your brain to your screen faster and more efficient. The same features that make it ideal for writing a novel also work at the office. I now use Scrivener every day for writing proposals, contracts, and legal pleadings and briefs. Here’s how.
Many of us expect updates to our iOS apps to provide greater stability as well as attractive new features. But in some instances, this isn’t the case. A recent Twitter app update, for example, infuriated some users because of its rearranged interface and lack of beloved features found in earlier versions of the app. Making matters worse, when you update an app using iTunes, the previous version of the app is tossed in the trash. Should you empty the trash, good luck reverting to the older version.
Fortunately, with the help of Automator, it’s very easy to make copies of your iOS apps so you can easily revert to the previous version. It goes like this:
You’ve heard the advice countless times, but it is oh so easy to ignore: You simply must back up your Mac. If you don’t back up your files, it’s a question of when—not if!—you’ll lose something important or irreplacable. Instead of making a hard-to-keep New Year’s resolution like losing weight or exercising more, this year resolve to do something that only takes a smidgen of willpower to get started and then mostly takes care of itself: Make—and manage—regular backups of your computer.
This isn’t new advice. Intellectually, you know should be backing up your files. It just seems like so much effort, and your hard drive seems fine anyway. So let’s make getting a reasonable backup in place as painless as possible.