Weekly Wrap: Lion taming, iPhones in space, and Google+

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Hang in there, folks. We’re in the long slog between the Fourth of July long weekend and the Labor Day long weekend, with a lot of regular old two-day weekends in between. Since you know you’re back to work on Monday, liven up this weekend by kicking back with another edition of Macworld’s Weekly Wrap, where we fill you in on our biggest stories from the week gone by.

Mac stuff

Dan Frakes wants to help your Mac get ready for Lion. (Step 1: Get a four-legged chair.) We also have advice on how best to organize your iOS apps using a tucked-away iTunes feature. And we uncovered six tricks you can pull off with the Tab key.

We assembled a collection of cool iPhoto plug-ins, and offered some advice on sorting your iPhoto events. If you’d rather manipulate your photos than organize them, we have a tutorial on creating vector masks in Photoshop.

Christoher Breen makes it easy to copy Stickies from one Mac to another (though it’s even easier if you’re talking about the real-world paper kind). Jonathan Seff, meanwhile, was disappointed with a Mac app that purports to play Blu-ray movies. Of course, one of the movies he tested with was Hot Tub Time Machine, so Jon would have been disappointed if the software worked well, too.

Yes, yes, iOS

On the iOS side of things, Verizon dropped its unlimited data plans—though, in a change of pace for many U.S. iPhone customers, the company still didn’t drop any calls. While Verizon taketh away, however, AT&T giveth: The company finally will offer a mobile insurance plan for the iPhone.

Crayola released an app/stylus combo for kids who love to color but hate crayons and paper.

Marathon arrived on the iPad, a mere 17 years after its initial release on the Mac. Frankly, I don’t understand how the developers didn’t get the iPad app finished at least ten or twelve years ago.

NASA sent another shuttle into space, and sent some modified iPhone 4s with it. No less than Steve Jobs himself warned astronauts that there could be performance issues with a weightless iPhone, if they were floating it wrong.

And, what Macworld Weekly Wrap iOS-focused section could be complete without making mention of the freshly-released version 1.1 of the Macworld Daily Reader app. Now with push notifications and clearer text. Also available, as an $899 in-app purchase option, is the chance to have a Macworld editor come to your house and read selected stories aloud to you. (Warning: Option may not actually exist, and even if it did, we hear that Dan Moren is a notoriously difficult house guest.)

Music to my ears

If you love Terminal and you love rocking out, you’ll want to read up on how you can control iTunes via vi. Meanwhile, music subscription service Spotify will launch in the U.S. soon, and Christopher Breen has some questions about it—among them, will Spotify promise not to ever stream anything by Baha Men? And if you’d rather set up a streaming service of your own, read about how you can stream audio from your iPhone or iPad back to your Mac with the latest version of Airfoil.

Google+ Um, Good!

Go hands-on with Google’s new social network, but make sure you configure your privacy settings first. Google+ is probably worth abandoning Facebook for, unless of course the folks at Facebook crib some of Google+’s best features. Oh, and if you want a business-friendly version of Google+, then your best option might be to wait.

You can make your Gmail look a lot like Google+, too. And while you’re mucking about in Gmail, make sure you back up your messages. And it’s probably worth emailing your great aunt Mildred; she hasn’t heard from you in ages.

All good things…

Another week is ending, and with it, another edition of the Weekly Wrap concludes as well. We’ll be back next week, unless Apple releases Lion and we’re too busy playing with Mission Control.

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