Weekly Wrap: Mountain Lion 10.8.1, tons of apps, and more

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This week, Macworld solved such mysteries as The Case of the Sleepless Mac, How To Stop Google From Endlessly Checking for Updates, and What to Call a Big Group of iOS Apps. The Weekly Wrap is here to catch you up on those and other chilling tales. from the week gone by.

Mac advice

Mac won’t sleep? We can help you figure out what’s keeping it awake. We can also assist you in getting video from a DVD to Facebook by way of iMovie. (If you read that one backwards, you start with Facebook and end up with a movie, just like in real life.)

It’s possible to organize everything with plain-text notes. Start by writing one that says, “Remember to read that article about getting organized with plain-text notes” on a Post-It, then stick it on your forehead. Trust me on this.

If you have software from Google installed on your Mac, it phones home to the mothership with surprising frequency. It’s not asking for new instructions from its alien overlords (probably); rather, it’s checking for software updates. If you’d prefer not to allow the software to constantly poll for such updates, you can disable the updater rather simply.

Speaking of updates, you probably want to grab Mountain Lion 10.8.1, available either via the Mac App Store or directly from Apple’s website.

iOS apps galore

If it’s a gaggle of geese and a murder of crows, let’s call it a Samsung of apps. Whatever you call it, we covered a lot of iPhone and iPad apps this week.

There’s Projectbook for iPad a note-taking and task management app, which we liked. We also reviewed The Act, an iOS game. (There's also a Mac version of that latter, but we best not mention that in this iOS section).

We reported on the new Drafts for iPad (and its updated iPhone counterpart), though we remain disappointed that developer Agile Tortoise didn’t make “It’s getting awfully Drafty in here!” the company’s tagline.

We went hands—or probably fingers—on with Skype for iOS and its new photo sharing feature, and with the new Quark DesignPad as well.

Other apps we reviewed included Perfect RSS Reader for iPad, Twist for iPhone, and Amazing Alex (no relation to yours truly). And we covered significant updates to apps like Sketchbook Pro and (at our sister site TechHive) Facebook.

Putting the Mac in Macworld

We love many Apple products, so we also looked at a Macload of Mac apps this week. Among them were Mac Gems like the keyboard launcher LaunchMagic, the folder finder ReFind, and screencasting tool Screeny. We also looked at—and listened to—Readomator, which turns your saved Instapaper articles into podcasts. For extra fun, try feeding those podcasts back into Mountain Lion’s dictation feature and see what you get.

This week also saw the release of VMWare Fusion 5.

Everything else

AT&T says it’s sticking by its decision to allow only Mobile Share customers to place FaceTime calls over its cellular network. We spoke with several Twitter app makers about their plans in light of recent changes at the microblogging company. The ever-helpful iTunes Guy offered up some basic iTunes tips, but I’ll bet at least one is new to you. For example, did you know that you can avoid some iTunes headaches by drinking heavily before using the app?

And finally, because no one convinced us not to, this week we also recorded another episode of the Macworld Pundit Showdown. We’re sorry.

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