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November General Meeting

Read the minutes of the November General Meeting. Many thanks to MacsWest Secretary Clyde Johnson for recording and preparing them.

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This Week @ MacsWest 
Teaching, Helping, Learning and Having Fun!

 • Monday, NOVEMBER 29, 2021
    10:00 AM to NOON – Elaine and Pherne will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
    NOON to 2:00 PM – Dottie will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest

    1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – Nick will be available in Room C for guidance and help with Apple’s Photo app, some conversation, and discussion of all things MacsWest (he’s the boss, ya know, so he’s got all the answers)

 • Tuesday, NOVEMBER 30, 2021  
     10:00 AM to NOON – Gary and Norm will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest 
     12:00 AM – MacsWest BOARD MEETING, led by MW Chair Nick Gruin, until maybe 12:55. MacsWest Board members are invited to Computer Lab Room C for the meeting
     12:00 PM to 2:00 PM – Sue will be available in Computer Lab Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
     1:00 PM - MacsWest TIDBIT TUESDAY, in the Computer Lab Meeting Room D @ Palm Ridge Rec Center until 2:00 PM. These weekly sessions offer a quick lesson on the effective use of your Mac and/or iPad/iPhone. THIS TUESDAY: Gary presents iPhone and iPad Tricks. Then we provide an opportunity for Club members to ask ANY question about their Apple devices or Apple apps. Don’t forget—our attitude is: “The only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask!”

 • Wednesday, DECEMBER 1, 2021
     10:00 AM –SENIOR GENIUS BAR – No need to make an appointment. Just walk into the Palm Ridge Rec Center Computer Lab Room C and have a one-on-one session with a “Genius” [insert quiet chuckle here] and get all the help you need. Bruce, Bill, Mark, and Wally will (usually) be there to help solve your Apple device and Apple app problems. Be sure to bring your list of IDs and passwords

 • Thursday, DECEMBER 2, 2021
     10:00 AM to NOON – Laura and Judith will be in Computer Lab Room A to discuss genealogy and help you with the Ancestry app
     NOON to 1:00 PM – Gary and Norm will be available in Computer Lab Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest

 • Friday, DECEMBER 3, 2021
     1:00 PM – GENERAL MEETING: led by Nick, followed by Ellen Zacko & Yvonne Stone presenting “Sample Holiday Letters.” This presentation is in preparation for a HOLIDAY LETTER USING PAGES workshop next Monday, December 6th, 1:00 pm - 3:00 PM, in Room C. This workshop is geared for first time users of Apple’s Pages on the Mac. To sign up for the class, click HERE. Today’s presentation happens in Room D @ Palm Ridge Computer Lab, until 2:00 PM

Everything announced at the Apple event: AirPods 3, new MacBook Pro, HomePod Mini and more

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Apple wants to turn it up to 11 for its AirPods and MacBook Pro laptops. During its October product event Monday, Apple announced revamps for its third-generation AirPods, new M-series MacBook Pro laptops and a series of new colors for its HomePod Mini. The company also announced a price drop for Apple Music, offering a $5 per month "Voice" subscription designed to work with Siri

Apple redesigned its entry-level AirPods. Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CNET Apple redesigned its entry-level AirPods. Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET 

AirPods 3 

© Apple

Apple redesigned its entry-level AirPods -- you can buy the new AirPods 3 today, complete with a free case engraving -- to be a kind of in-between of earlier AirPods (still available) and the AirPods Pro. Gone are the Q-Tip looking stems, which now have AirPods Pro-like shortness and sensor controls. The design for your ear has a "contour" that Apple said will fit many ears, and it has smarts that can change how audio sounds based on what it believes your ear is hearing. 

The new AirPods offer six hours of listening time and up to 30 hours total after four recharges from their carrying case, which comes with wireless charging for $179 (£169, AU$279).  

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pros (how to preorder them now) got their biggest upgrade in years. Apple announced its next generation of computers Monday, new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which Apple says are much faster and may go further to replace the "Pro" performance computers powered by Intel chips. Out is the Touch Bar, but returning are an HDMI port, an SD card slot and a MagSafe connector. The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 (£1,899, AU$2,999); the 16-inch model at $2,499 (£2,399, AU$3,749).

The new devices follow last year's M1-powered Macs, which were the first Apple lineup not powered by a chip made by Intel. Instead, Apple is using ones similar to the chips that power the iPhone, and so far has been getting positive reviews for them.  

HomePod Mini

Apple didn't change last year's popular $99 (£89, AU$149) HomePod Mini so much as it introduced colorful new design options. Much like it did with the redesigned M1 iMacs earlier this year, Apple introduced "bold" and "fun" colors to its lineup, offering a "pop of color and personality." Those new hues -- blue, yellow and orange -- join space gray and white. 

Apple Music 'Voice' 

Apple is taking on Amazon's $4 per month single-device music plan by offering its own take, called Apple Music Voice. This service, which is $5 per month, is "designed exclusively for Siri." Think of it as Apple Music, but only on Siri. Apple also added "hundreds" of new "mood and activity playlists" to compete better with Amazon and Spotify. 

Our liveblog archive follows. 

And that's it. 

Clocking in at 49 minutes, Apple's event wraps up. Nothing changes with the MacBook Air, Mac Pro or Mac Mini and the company didn't say when MacOS Monterey will be launched, though presumably it would happen when the new Macs land next week. 

MacBook Pro has pro-like prices

© Provided by CNET Apple

The 14-inch MacBook Pro will be $1,999 and the 16-inch will be $2,499. They can be preordered today, and available next week, Apple said. 

The company didn't say what's happening to the Intel laptops it used to sell, but this may be it for them. (We'll know more when Apple's website is updated after the event.) 

Better battery life

Apple said the new MacBook Pro gets up to 21 hours of video playback with the 16-inch version and 17 hours with the 14-inch model. The new MagSafe 3 can also charge the laptop up to 50% in a half hour, Apple said. 

Apple's new MacBook Pros have a notch in the display, improved 1080p webcams

So can this beat Intel? 

© Provided by CNET Apple

Apple a bit of its presentation talking about how much faster its chips can be than its previous version Intel-based laptops. The M1 Max, for example, has 3.7x the performance of a Core i7 MacBook Pro, Apple, said, and graphics performance is up to 13x faster. 

Apple said its built-in GPUs are also up to 4x faster than Radeon Pro 5600M from the previous generation MacBook Pro 16-inch. 

Upgraded audio for the MacBook Pro 

Apple said it upgraded the microphones and the speakers in its laptops. That allows for better recording, Apple said. It also has six speakers for audio, allowing for "spatial audio" which includes Dolby Atmos. 

Apple upgrades MacBook Pro, bringing back MagSafe charging, HDMI and SD Cards 

© Provided by CNET Apple

The company redesigned its MacBook Pro with popular features like MagSafe charging, SD card slot and an HDMI port. It comes in 16-inch and 14-inch models, and has more pronounced feet. 

Apple got rid of the TouchBar, and instead took the popular keyboard from its Magic Keyboard design, and brought it to the laptop. 

The computer supports Thunderbolt 4, Apple said. And they can charge the laptop if you'd prefer. Or you can use MagSafe 3, its newest charging standard, which supports more power throughput. 

Meanwhile, Thunderbolt 4 can support 3 Pro Display XDR screens and an HDMI TV. 

Apple pulls out all the stops for the MacBook Pro

Apple played with the bezel on its laptops, moving its menu bar up into where the bezel used to be in its MacBook Pro screens, with the FaceTime camera now taking up a spot in the middle of the menubar.  

The display is called a "Liquid Retina XDR" display, which has mini-LED lighting from the iPad Pro and like the iPhone 13, can move images as fast as 120hz or step down when there isn't much happening on the screen. (Apple calls this ProMotion.) 

Apple said it has 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, allowing for deeper and more dramatic colors. 

The FaceTime camera, meanwhile, has 2x better low-light performance, and offers better video quality with an upgraded 1080p webcam. 

How MacOS and Apple's apps benefit from the M1 chips 

Craig Federighi, Apple's head of software engineering, said the company's MacOS software is designed to take advantage of the technology in the M1. He noted that because the CPU and GPU share their memory, they're able to move data much more quickly than a typical computer, which has separated memory between the GPU and CPU. 

To underscore this, he noted upgrades to the company's pro-apps, like Logic Pro, which can now edit spatial audio on a laptop. Other apps move much quicker as well, he said. 

So far, developers have created 10,000 universal apps for Apple Silicon, Apple said. 

M1 Max, more-powerful than M1 Pro 

Apple built the M1 Max to have more GPU performance than the M1 or M1 Pro. It has 1.7x the number of transistors, and supports up to 64GB of "unified" memory. It also has a 32-core GPU. 

Johny Srouji, SVP hardware technologies, said Apple's GPU delivers more performance than a discrete GPU, like those made by Nvidia or AMD, and with 70% less power consumption.  

Compared to the highest end GPU in a laptop, Srouji said, Apple's GPU uses 100w less power, and outperforms PC laptops plugged in or on battery. 

"It's by far the most capable chip we've ever built," he added. 

Apple debuts M1 Pro and M1 Max 

Apple says it's "completely reimagining" the MacBook Pro, starting with the "M1 Pro" chip. Johny Srouji, SVP hardware technologies, said one of its biggest benefits is that the new chip can support up to 32GB of memory, and 2x the transistors of last year's M1. It has 8 high-performance cores, and 2 "efficiency" cores. It also has a 16-core GPU and it supports ProRes video. 

M1 Pro can also support multiple displays. 

"M1 Pro is unlike anything in a pro computer," he said. 

New AirPods 3 

© Provided by CNET Apple

Apple's introducing a third generation of its entry-level AirPods with spatial audio built in. The new devices have a an AirPods Pro-like look, with a similar case and force sensor controls on the stems. 

Susmita Dutta, Apple's engineering program manager, audio, said the company created a new "low distortion driver" and it's sweat and water resistant. 

Apple has a new "contour design," and also has "adaptive EQ" to change how you hear sounds based on the conditions in your ear canal.  

Apple says it now has 6 hours of listening time on a charge, and up to 30 hours total using the charging case.  

Apple's including wireless charging for $179. Last generation AirPods, meanwhile, will remain on sale for $129, a $30 discount. 

Apple Music introduces $5 'Voice' plan to access tunes solely through Siri

Apple upgrades HomePod Mini with new colors 

© Provided by CNET Apple

Apple's adding yellow, orange and blue colors to its $99 HomePod Mini smart speakers. This follows upgrades for the iMac earlier this year, which offered seven colors including orange, yellow and blue as well. The new HomePod Minis will be made available starting in November. (No specific date from Apple yet.) 

Upgrading Siri with new playlists and new subscription option 

Apple begins with a new "voice" plan for its Apple Music service, offering $5 per month to access Apple Music through Siri. The new feature will also allow Apple Music subscribers to ask for a playlist based on what's going on, like a hike, or dinner party. 

It starts with everything Apple ever made 

Apple began its event with an homage to the iconic startup sounds and various noises you hear from the company's devices. Someone in their garage is writing a song using them, which is cute. 

Then we get Tim Cook. "At Apple, we are focused on creating innovative products and experiences." He says we'll be talking about music and the Mac today. 

What else?

Apple's also expected to announce new versions of its popular $159 AirPods wireless earbuds. This new version is expected to look similar to the more expensive AirPods Pro, according to reports by Bloomberg, but won't have the same features like active noise cancellation and "spatial" surround sound

Apple's also expected to release its next free major Mac software update, MacOS Monterey. As has been the trend for the past few years, Apple put work into melding the Mac, iPad and iPhone even further with this release. While MacOS is still very different from its mobile device cousins, it has features that work much closer with it. Perhaps most dramatic this year is a feature that allows you to use the same keyboard and mouse to interact with a Mac laptop, desktop or iPad at any time

So far 

Apple's revamp for its MacBook Pros follows earlier upgrades for its computer lines. Earlier this year, Apple upgraded its iMac line with a new entry-level $1,299 M1-powered version that came in seven colors including orange. 

Aside from that, Apple's also released upgraded versions of its $999 MacBook Air, $699 Mac Mini and entry-level $1,299 MacBook Pro. Those upgraded machines didn't look different on the outside, but CNET's computer reviewer Dan Ackerman found they offered impressive battery life while still running apps well. 

Customers seem to be gobbling them up so far. Apple said it sold so many M1 Macs that the product line helped push its desktop and laptop revenues to an all-time high of $9.1 billion during the first three months of this year. That was up 70% from the same time a year earlier, a dramatic change in an otherwise slow-going market. "Keep in mind, in the five years prior to the pandemic, the Mac was essentially a flat business, growing on average 1% annually," Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munsterwrote in May.  

Read moreAll the MacBook Pro rumors out there

What we expect 

Last month, we got the iPhone 13, revamped iPad Mini and newly upgraded entry-level iPad. This time around, we're expecting Apple will be focusing on its computers. In particular, Apple's expected to announce new MacBook Pro laptops, with upgraded internal chips. Apple's in the midst of a significant technology switch, moving from Intel-powered microprocessors to those designed by Apple's internal teams. 

These M-series chips, as Apple calls them, are based on the well-regarded A-series chips that have powered iPads and iPhones since 2010. 

The rumor mill suggests that Apple won't just be upgrading the inside of its performance-focused laptops. It's also expected to add back a magnetic charging cable (of which I'm a big fan) and HDMI port. It's also said to be ditching the hotly debated Touch Bar

Read more: All the rumors ahead of Apple's big event

And it begins 

Hi everyone, welcome to CNET's liveblog for Apple's second major product release event this fall. As with events for the past year and a half, Apple will be broadcasting remotely over the internet

At one point, before the delta variant of the coronavirus really started to surge, I'd wondered whether Apple would return to in-person events this fall. I started preparing in my head about whether I'd be comfortable traveling on a plane, knowing that even though I'm fully vaccinated, there's a chance I could bring the virus back to my young children. Of course, I could bring it back from the grocery store too, but getting on a plane and traveling across the country seemed like it was a different level of risk. 

Fortunately, while parents like me anxiously wait for the government to clear the vaccine for children, I won't have to face down that choice. Pandemic or no, CNET's team is here and ready for whatever Apple has to announce today.

Hyper unveils new clamp-style USB-C hubs for 24-inch M1 iMac in matching colors

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The popular accessory maker Hyper is out with its latest HyperDrive USB hub, this time designed exclusively for the 24-inch M1 iMac. The new HyperDrive 5-in-1 and HyperDrive 6-in-1 Hubs clamp to the front of your M1 iMac, and include multiple USB-A and USB-C ports.

 

Like other M1-powered Macs, the new M1 iMac is somewhat limited in terms of connectivity. The base model iMac features two USB-C ports, while the higher-end models feature four USB-C ports. Earlier this month, Satechi unveiled its new USB-C clamp hub for the M1 iMac, and now Hyper is out with its own take on a similar accessory.

The new M1 iMac-exclusive HyperDrive is available in two configurations: 5-in-1 and 6-in-1. Here are the specs on the 5-in-1 Hub:

  • 5 ports:
    • 2 x USB-C 5Gbps data
    • 2 x USB-A 5Gbps data
    • 1 x USB-A 5Gbps data, 7.5W charging
  • MSRP: $49.99

And here are the specs on the HyperDrive 6-in-1:

  • 6 ports
    • 4K 60Hz HDMI
    • MicroSD UHS-I
    • SD UHS-I
    • USB-C 10Gbps data
    • USB-A 10Gbps data
    • USB-A 10Gbps data, 7.5W charging
  • MSRP: $79.99

Notably, the HyperDrive hub for the iMac is available in seven different colors to match Apple’s design for the new iMac. This is a notable differentiator between Hyper’s offering and Satechi’s offering, which is only available in silver and blue.

Weather on the Way

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Originally launched in 2020, Weather on the Way is a great app for tracking weather as you’re planning a trip. Today, it’s adding a key feature that’ll make traveling even easier: Siri Shortcuts support.

This new feature makes it very easy to get valuable weather information hands-free while driving the car. You can also create your custom road trip shortcut that includes weather on the way. This version (1.4) also includes iPad support for the first time. The iPad version is helpful for planning out a trip so you can build your route and plan your wardrobe accordingly based on where you plan to stop and what the weather will be once you arrive.

If you haven’t tried the app out yet, it can make all the difference in the world in deciding when to leave for a business trip, a trip to the beach, etc. By letting you see the weather along your route, you can decide to take another route, leave at a different time, etc.

How to Arrange Your macOS System Preferences So You Can Actually Find Things

Set up System Preferences in a way that makes all settings easier to find.  

 

I’ve never been able to find anything easily in macOS’ System Preferences. Eventhe most basic things, such as changing wallpaper-related settings, I find myself using the search bar inside the System Preferences window. Needless to say, I feel like I’m ever at the mercy of Apple’s search code to be able to find what I need. And it doesn’t always work so well, and therein lies the problem.

Anyone who’s opened System Preferences on Mac knows it’s not easy to find any category of preferences there. By default, these preferences are arranged by category, which makes little sense to me. Why is Language & Region in between Spotlight and Notifications? I don’t have an answer for that, but I cantell you how to fix this seemingly random arrangement.

How to alphabetically arrange Mac’s System Preferences icons

Yes, you can arrange System Preferences icons alphabetically. It’s so much better than having it arranged by category that I’m amazed it took me so long to switch. If you want to make the switch, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac’s screen and select System Preferences. Go to the menu bar at the top of the Mac’s screen and select View > Organize Alphabetically. Now, take a look at the screenshot below. 

 

Isn’t this so much better? There’s no way I’m going back to the old way of arranging System Preferences. I can finally find most preferences without using the search bar.

How to hide System Preferences icons

The ability to hide certain System Preferences icons is a useful feature to have. If you’re trying to minimize the number of tech support calls you get from your parents, try hiding some icons in System Preferences. It’s also quite useful if you’re handing over your computer to someone else—it lets you be sure no one changes your network preferences unnecessarily.

Open System Preferences, go to the menu bar at the top of the screen, and select View > Customize. You will now see a series of blue checkmarks next to each System Preferences icon. Uncheck the icons you want to hide, and click Done, which is at the top of the System Preferences window. 

 

Note that this will hide the icons from System Preferences, but you can still use the search bar to find the setting. Alternatively, these hidden preferences can be found through a Spotlight search on the Mac (or its alternatives). Clearly, it’s not totally foolproof, but it’s good enough to prevent some avoidable issues.

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To unhide these icons, open System Preferences again and select View > Show All Preferences from the menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + L.

Apple announces new M1-based iMac in 7 fancy colors

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Apple's new all-in-one desktops have a completely different look.

Apple announced iMac updates today at its event in Brooklyn, New York. As expected, the updates improve the desktop's performance with new processors while maintaining the design we've known iMacs to have for the past couple of years.

Apple says the new system was designed from the ground up around the M1 system on a chip (SoC), allowing for a much smaller motherboard and cooling system than that seen in the company's earlier Intel-powered iMacs. The new iMac's overall volume is down by 50 percent and comes in at only 11 mm thick, with a single sheet of glass across the entire front of the device.

The iMac comes with a 4.5K Retina 24-inch display with very small bezels, resulting in a device not much larger than earlier 21-inch iMacs. The new displays also include TruTone technology, which dynamically adjusts color temperature in response to changes in the surrounding ambient light.

The M1 iMac's 1080 p camera is also improved, taking advantage of the M1's onboard image processing and neural engine. Tone mapping increases detail and reduces noise in highlighted areas automatically. Similarly, beamforming on the mic array improves the quality of your voice (and decreases ambient noise) during videoconferencing.

The new iMac includes a six-speaker system, which Apple confidently declares as "the best sound system ever in a Mac." The system supports spatial audio for both games and movies.

Like M1 Macbooks and Mac Minis, the M1-powered iMac wakes near-instantly from sleep. Apple also says that apps like Xcode, Lightroom, and iMovie are up to 85 percent faster than previous models. Final Cut Pro can now simultaneously edit up to five 4K video streams without dropping a frame.

The M1 processor also allows iPhone apps and games to run directly on the iMac. Phone calls and text messages can also come directly to the iMac, and Universal Clipboard allows copying and pasting directly between iPhone and M1 iMac. There's also a phone-like biometric fingerprint sensor on the new keyboard.

The M1 iMac offers up to four USB-C ports (two Thunderbolt), a new magnetically coupled power cord with an Ethernet adapter built into the power brick, which passes network traffic through the power cord itself thanks to Thunderbolt.

The new iMacs will be available in four colors and will start at $1,299, and a second model will come in seven colors and start at $1,499. Preorders begin on April 30, with delivery beginning in the second half of May.

Safari 14 is now available as a standalone update for macOS Catalina and Mojave users

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Safari 14 comes with macOS Big Sur, and it brings a refreshed design and new features like privacy reports, a built-in translator, and 4K HDR video support. While macOS Big Sur is not yet available, Apple today released Safari 14 as a standalone update with some of those new features for macOS Catalina and Mojave users.

 

Users with Macs running macOS Catalina or macOS Mojave can now update to Safari 14 and benefit from some of the changes that will be available later this year with macOS Big Sur.

One of the changes available for all Mac users with Safari 14 is the redesigned start screen, which features website suggestions and custom wallpapers. Apple has also added more privacy controls with Safari 14, as users can now check every tracker on each website they visit, as well as detailed privacy reports.

There are also security improvements and the end of Adobe Flash Player support, which has now been officially discontinued. However, features such as 4K HDR video support and the built-in translator require macOS Big Sur.

Users can download and install Safari 14 on macOS through the Software Update menu in the System Preferences app.

CleanMyMac X makes Mac App Store debut to assist with macOS maintenance, remove malware, and more

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There’s a lot to like about the Mac App Store for consumers and developers, but there’s also a lot to dislike as well. Due to sandboxing rules and limited options for upgrade pricing, some popular applications are still not available for purchase. Over time, Apple has been working to tweak the rules to allow popular apps to enter the App Store, though. In early 2019, we saw Microsoft Office come to the App Store with the option to purchase a subscription using in-app purchase. It’s clear Apple hasn’t given up on the Mac App Store, and today, another popular app is making its first appearance. MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X, one of the best macOS maintenance applications, is finally on the Mac App Store.

 

Before 2018, CleanMyMac was used on a “perpetual” license model and released major versions that existing customers could purchase at a discount — a model that wasn’t possible on the Mac App Store. In 2018, with the release of CleanMyMac X, MacPaw made it available as a one-year subscription in addition to its existing perpetual license. The new subscription model could also be implemented in the Mac App Store, which made it possible for MacPaw to bring CleanMyMac X to the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X has most of the features of the version available on direct purchase version with a few exceptions:

Multiple other modules have been revised to fit within App Store guidelines.

If you want those features, you’ll want to purchase the app directly or download as a part of a SetApp subscription.

‘Millions of users around the world already love CleanMyMac X for its functionality, ease of use, and exceptional design,’ said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO, and founder of MacPaw. ‘By entering the Mac App Store, we are excited to make CleanMyMac X available to even more users through their favorite source of trusted and reliable software.’

Key features of CleanMyMac X’s Mac App Store version:

  • Smart Scan: All-in-one center for Mac analysis. It includes Cleanup, Protection, and Large & Old Files scanners that, with a single-click, help to remove junk, unnecessary files and malware.
  • Malware Removal: Checks the system for vulnerabilities and removes malware, adware, and other macOS-specific threats.
  • Uninstaller: Allows for bulk-deleting applications completely along with all traces of them. More information on the module can be found here.
  • Space Lens: Visualizes disk space and identifies files taking up a lot of disk storage.
  • CleanMyMac Assistant: An intelligent adviser that uses machine learning algorithms to provide personalized tips and suggestions for further optimization steps and reminds about regular cleanups.
  • Health Monitor: Real-time data on CPU, battery, network speed, etc.
  • Leading-edge design: An award-winning interface with flow-like animations.

I’ve been using CleanMyMac X since the original release to uninstall applications, free up hard drive space, and run maintenance tools. It can be purchased on the Mac App Store for a yearly subscription for $39.95.

Finally: real Photoshop on the iPad

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Adobe really wants you to know that the upcoming Photoshop CC for the iPad, which was announced today and is set to be released sometime in 2019, is “real Photoshop.”

The phrase “real Photoshop” came up several times during my week-long preview of an early version of the software giant’s long-awaited app. The underlying code is the same as desktop Photoshop, and although the interface has been rethought for the iPad, the same core tools line the edges of the screen.

But the biggest change of all is a total rethinking of the classic .psd file for the cloud, which will turn using Photoshop into something much more like Google Docs. Photoshop for the iPad is a big deal, but Cloud PSD is the change that will let Adobe bring Photoshop everywhere.

Bringing a program like Photoshop to the iPad is a monumental task. The project started 18 months ago when two Adobe engineers asked to carve out time to bring the Photoshop codebase to the iPad. “There was just a lot of doubt until what we call the “proof of life” moment,” says Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer. Senior director Pam Clark agrees: “We fully admit we were surprised when the engineers showed up, and it was quite powerful and smooth.” That “proof of life” product inspired the design team to start focusing on the app’s user experience, with each new build focusing on a different Photoshop workflow.

Read the full story here: 

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