OS X

No, OS X is NOT the 'most vulnerable OS' despite shoddy reporting

Security, as we take great pains to repeatedly point out, is something that deeply affects people. It affects their stress and trust levels when dealing with technology. When it's misreported it turns what should be an empowering experience into one of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. And it's far too frequently done just to get the worst kind of attention. The latest case in point is a — I don't want to call it a report — from GFI which claims OS X and iOS were the "most vulnerable operating systems of 2014. And, frankly, it's bullshit.

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How to access any Mac system preference in one click

Want to make a quick change to any System Preference setting? No need to open the System Preferences app, just click it from the Dock. Here's how!

Apple guru Dave Marra recently tweeted a great Mac tip that I'm going to share with you. Make sure to check out his Marrathon.com site for more great Mac tips.

I have to admit that I'm totally ashamed I didn't know this until just the other day, because Marra tells me it's been around since OS X 10.7 Lion.

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The 250 still-missing emoji

Apple has added 300 new emoji to the iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 betas, but they're focused almost exclusively on inclusivity — diversity in skin tones and country flags. The watch, phone, and computer emoji have been redrawn to match Apple's current products, but it doesn't appear that any of the new Unicode standard emoji have been added.

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Second beta for OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite now available for developers

Apple has released a second beta of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite to its approved third-party software developers. The first beta, which was launched earlier this month, contained an early build of Apple's upcoming Photos app for Mac, which will be released to all OS X Yosemite users later this spring.

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Astropad brings the Cintiq experience to your iPad

The iPad's made great progress in the sketching world, but it's still been hampered by imprecise screen mapping and styluses that can't perfectly replicate pressure. The solution from Astro HQ's Astropad is to map the iPad to a different screen entirely — that of your Mac.

Astropad does for creative pros what Duet Display did for second-screen enthusiasts: Not only does it provide a high-quality, high-framerate mirrored display on your iPad that you can draw on, but Astropad goes a step further and integrates with three of the iPad's top-selling pressure-sensitive styluses to offer you full pressure support in your Mac app of choice.

It may not be a true Wacom Cintiq experience, but it sure comes close to fooling me.

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A plea to fix multi-group Messages — for our all our sanity

Though Messages has its quirks, I've been lucky to avoid most of them — I haven't had my message history disappear, nor have random contacts popped in or vanished out of thin air. I've rarely had problems with messages not being received or erroring out.

But I'm not immune to every iMessage problem. And the current bane of my existence is group messages — and the multiple threads they spawn in their wake.

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Photos for Mac: One week later

Last Thursday Apple released the first developer beta for their all-new Photos for Mac app. A public beta will follow at some point, and the a public release this spring. In the meantime we've published a Photos for Mac FAQ and a Photos for Mac preview. It's still in beta, so everyone needs to adjust expectations accordingly, but it's also the future, and potentially one full of promise. So, one week later, we're following up with a few additional thoughts.

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Parallels now supports running Windows 10 inside OS X

Parallels today released an update for their OS X virtualization software that will allow Mac users to download, install, and run the Windows 10 Technical Preview as a virtual machine. Yes, Windows 10 on OS X (ten) through Parallels 10. It's a mouthful, and technically experimental support right now. But it's also another avenue for people to try out Microsoft's latest and greatest OS (itself in a not-quite-finished state) without having to resort to crazy things like partitioning.

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Apple confirms Aperture for Mac won't be available after Photos is released

Apple has now confirmed that its current Aperture app for the Mac won't be available to purchase once the new Photos app is released to the public sometime later this spring. The Photos app was made available for OS 10.10.3 testers and developers last week.

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Photos for OS X isn't going to be a pro app — and that's okay

After the first developer beta of Photos was released last week along with OS X 10.10.3, I got a lot of questions about the app. Little questions, like "Can you still make books and cards?" (Yes.) But also big-picture questions. Is this the next generation of photo management? Will it be enough for prosumers? Do you think it can replace my aging professional workflow?

These are harder questions to answer, because, largely, your workflow is a very personal process. I can guess at what tools you might need, or file formats you want supported, but at the end of the day, only you can decide which features are must-haves and which omissions are deal-breakers.

But I can say one thing, definitively: Photos isn't designed to be a program for professional photography users. At least, not yet. Maybe not ever, but certainly not now.

What it is, however, is a wonderful entry point for new and experienced users alike who want to do more with their photographs. It may not have the power of the pro app — but that's rather the point.

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