Better

Better.

It’s a powerful word
and a powerful ideal.

It makes us look at the world
and what more than anything to change it for the better,
to innovate, improve, to reinvent
to make it, better.

It’s in our DNA
and better can’t be better
if it doesn’t consider everything,
our products, our values,
and an even stronger commitment
to the environment for the future
to use greener materials,
less packaging,
to do everything we can
to keep our products out of landfills.

Changes that will benefit people
as well as the planet.

To us better is a force of nature
it drives us to build things we’d never imagined,
new datacenters powered by the sun and wind,
a new manufacturing facility that runs on 100% clean energy
and new product designs
that make use of recycled materials
always to reduce our impact on the environment.

We have a long way to go
and a lot to learn,
but now more than ever
we will work to leave the world better than we found it
and make the tools that inspire others to do the same.

(Apple commercial narrated by Tim Cook)

OS X Mavericks beta program open to everyone

In an unusual move, Apple has decided to open OS X Mavericks beta program to everyone. Until now the beta program was reserved to developers only.

If you are interested in testing the next builds of OS X Mavericks you can sign up on this page.

Testing software is not for everyone, so before installing any beta version make sure to understand that:

  • Beta means unfinished. By definition software in beta is buggy and should not be run in a production system. You might lose data, don’t blame Apple for that!
  • Don’t start writing app developers that their application doesn’t work with the beta of the operating system you are testing. Those developers cannot update their apps until a final version of the operating system is made public.

1Password for Mac and iOS updates

Today AgileBits has released updates to both Mac and iOS applications. The change log for both iOS 4.5 version and Mac 4.3 is huge, so follow the previous links to see the new features. 

Moreover, the iOS version is fully integrated with iOS 7 flat UI. Both editions are 50% off to celebrate the launch of the new versions. If you are serious about protecting your passwords you should invest in this app. 

Loom joins Dropbox

Loom, the start-up with this mission statement:

Loom keeps all your photos and videos at your fingertips while saving you space.

has joined Dropbox. Another day, another acquisition…

The announcement came this afternoon in a blog post that will make many people unhappy.

Loom entered the crowded store-all-my-pictures-in-the-cloud market soon after Everpix went out of business. At the beginning, it seemed that Loom had a solid business plan, but nine months later they have decided to cash (lucky them) and join Dropbox.

Advice: Keep your stuff with reputable and well known companies. Things like this happen all the time. It’s business, so everyone is – rightly so – trying to make money. The downside is that your precious memories might end up with a company that either you don’t trust or don’t like as a result of a merger.

As for Dropbox what should I say. Well, their transforming their feature into a platform. From the IT industry point of view this is interesting but it’s the only way to remain relevant.

Classy Samsung

A Samsung executive in the days following Steve Jobs’ death:

Steve Job’s [sic] passing has led to a huge wave of press coverage of Apple’s and iPhone’s ‘superiority,’ all created by the, ’passionate, tireless, perfectionist…

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone.

Via Appleinsider

How to store your home movies in iCloud

In this post I’ll show you how to store your home movies in iCloud, in order to make them available on all your Mac’s and iOS devices.

The only software you need is iMovie for Mac and iOS, both of them freely downloadable from the App Store. The iMovie feature you are going to use is Theater.

To move the home videos stored on your hard-drive into iMovie and make them available on iCloud follow these steps:

  1. Open iMovie
  2. Click on the Theater tab on top of the screen
  3. Drag your home videos from a Finder window to iMovie
  4. Let your Mac consolidate its library and upload the movies to iCloud. This could take a while depending on your broadband speed.
  5. Go to any other device you own and open iMovie. In the Theater section you will see the videos you uploaded in the previous steps.

The catch here is that you can only upload movies up to 15 minutes long. In my experience that is more than enough but be aware of this limitation in case you want to upload longer videos.

For more information on this feature check this Apple KB article.

One of Apple’s problems

I am not sure if it is the problem or one of the problems but it seems to me that the constant excellence of Apple products directs customers towards an addiction path.

The typical conversation with a relatively recent Apple user (usually iPhone) goes like this:

Me: So how do you like your new iPhone 5s? It must be leaps and bounds better than your older iPhone 4 (or 3GS).

User: Sure it’s great, the Twitter (or Instagram) app is faster as well as Safari, but other than that it’s the same.

Me: Surely you’ve noticed that the camera is greatly improved, it’s faster to activate too. How about Touch ID, and the fact that thanks to iCloud all your data was already there when you logged into your phone? How about AirPlay? And the M7 motion processor, have you tried it?

User: Yeah, that’s cool. But anyway, after a few days the new iPhone feels like the old one…

This type of conversation has the ability to ruin my day because I realize that most people are not sensitive enough to appreciate how costly it is to make sure that the transition to a new device is seamless and painless.

The fact that Apple takes care of the transition and ensure that your muscle memory works across devices is undervalued and under appreciated.

This reasoning takes me back to the holy wait of the next big thing and Apple is doomed bullshit. Like a smoker who first needs one cigarette to feel good and end up smoking a pack a day, so the average tech user is waiting for the next greatest product to fill a void that no matter how innovative that product is, will never be able to satisfy the emptiness of his addiction.

Apple’s greatest advantage over other products is consistency, let’s not undervalue it.

Move your iWork files to iCloud for ubiquitous access

Useful article on iMore on how to move your iWork files to iCloud. Reading the article, it occurred to me that if you need to move a large number of files to iCloud, there’s a faster way to achieve the same results.

In fact, the drawback of the clear steps listed, is that you need to repeat the process for each file. It’s easier than you think to move all your Pages, Numbers or Keynote files to iCloud in one go.

For example, if you have a bunch of Pages documents in a Finder folder, this is what you need to do:

  1. Open Pages
  2. If you don’t see the Open file window, press Command + O. Make sure that on the top left corner of the dialog box, iCloud and not On My Mac is selected (marked in yellow in the image above)
  3. Go to Finder and navigate to the folder that contains your Pages documents
  4. Select them all with Command + A
  5. Drag them to the Open file window that you opened in Step 2
  6. Congratulations, all your files are now stored in iCloud

If you only want to copy those files to iCloud – and keep the original files in the Finder – in step 5 you need to drag them while pressing the Option key.

Reeder for Mac beta available

Reeder for Mac is back, at least as a beta release. Its developers opened in fact a public beta for what used to be the best RSS reader in the market.

After almost a year without news about Reeder for Mac, it’s great to see that the developers still want to invest in it.

As long as I liked the previous version of Reeder, I don’t think I am going to migrate to it, not yet at least. I’m perfectly happy with ReadKit on my Mac, which was one of the few RSS applications ready for OS X Mavericks when it was released late last year. Back then, I really appreciated their timing and the fact that my productivity didn’t suffer as a result of the upgrade to Mavericks.

I still love Reeder on my iPhone, but at the moment that is the only device where I still use it.

Were you a Reeder for Mac user? What application do you use now and are you going to migrate? Let’s hear from you in the comments.