Morning News Update, November 5 2010

  • New Skype Beta for Mac
    Skype released a new Beta client for Mac OS X yesterday. The most important changes are:

    • Effortless search integrating the Mac AddressBook
    • Group Video calling has finally arrived on the Mac
    • New call control bar that let’s you monitor the most important infos about ongoing calls in a little overlay window
    • Completely revamped User Interface

    The UI part is what has the most impact from my point of view, so it’s probably best to watch the following little video that explains all of the updates:

  • Apple accepts App submissions to it’s upcoming Mac App Store
    Now it’s time to get your software App Store ready and submit them via iTunes Connect.
    The Mac App Store’s launch might be imminent.
  • Last.fm Kinect Application
    To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to Microsofts Kinect launch previously, but now a very funny blog post by Last.fm highlighted a few features of this interesting technology and introduced a Kinect application that can control your music.
  • Google Chrome gets a PDF viewer
    I really like using Google Chrome for all my browsing habits, since it’s fast and feels very light, compared to Firefox or  Safari. The only thing I really missed from Safari, was the ability to view PDF documents in the Browser without having to download them and start another application. Now the newest Google Chrome Beta version includes PDF viewing support. The feature will be implemented in the next stable update.
  • A funny little picture explaining what your phone says about you

    What your phone says about you

    What your phone says about you (click for larger version)

Safari 4 Beta

As much as I love the new Safari Beta Apple put out recently, there are a few problems which I’d like to point out.

  • GrowlMail – As nearly everybody should know by now, the new WebKit kind of breaks the GrowlMail plugin for showing previews of new incoming mails. As a result I uninstalled the plugin and now I’m using Mail.appetizer
  • Right click – I’m not entirely sure if this is indeed connected to the new Safari Beta, but since installing it, right clicking in most of my apps results in an application lockup for several seconds to minutes.
  • Top Sites – I frequent quite a few online forums and as a result of them showing up in the top sites, I can’t see the “Posts since last visit”, because the sites seem to be loading in the background whenever the Top Sites are visible. So if I don’t click on the sites each and every time, the forums still count it as a visit and I “loose” the newest posts. Now I try to keep my Top Sites free of any online forums. We’ll see if that works out.
  • WordPress Visual editor – A very annoying bug prevents me from adding links in WordPress’ visual post editor. The screen dims and the link overlay kind of displays but I can never click anything in it. Only remedy is to close the tab and reload it. I switched back to the HTML Editor on my blog now… :(
  • HTML Access Keys – I can’t use CTRL + S to submit HTML Forms that have the accesskey property set on their inputs. Kinda sucks for me, as I’m a total keyboard shortcut junkie.

That’s it for now, I’ll add to that as I encounter more.
(And yes, I also submitted those bugs to the Apple engineers as any good beta tester should do!)

[update:] There’s a fix for the GrowlMail problem. See comments for details!

Update: Adium 1.0 Beta 1

Adium

The new Adium Version is now open for Beta testing. If you care a bout your system and only want stable software (haha!) don’t attempt to install it. But it is well worth the new features. A list can be viewed on the Beta page.
As noted: “Backing up a copy of the folder ~/Library/Application Support/Adium 2.0/ before using betas or alphas is probably a good idea.”

Most noticeable changes

Major AIM, ICQ and .Mac improvements. This includes working File Transfer, and faster sign on.
Improvements to the default look and feel of Adium.
iTunes integration is much faster, and updates as soon as the song changes.
Added global user profile and buddy icon settings. (Personal Preferences)
General Account improvements. Accounts can now be disabled when not in in use, and friends can now sign on from your Adium without saving their information.
Added an Xtras manager to better handle browsing and removing Xtras.
Major improvements in privacy settings.
Redesigned Previous Chat (Log) Viewer
Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later (Universal Binary)

The longer, complete list can be found here.
Most noticeable on this list are:

  • Consulted the Vorlon. <- which is awesome considering they might be blasting our planet to hell anytime soon
  • Can now Get Info on contacts who aren’t on your contact list (#2424) & (#193) <- that one’s in there twice so it should really work now ;)
  • Added more popcorn to the general preferences. <- might be good for the hours you spend in there
  • Added a contextual menu for tabs (#1595)
  • Added a contextual menu to make sandwiches tastier. <- nothing to add to this item, food is always good :)
  • Message view window can now be transparent <- I’ve been waiting for that!
  • Emoticon text equivalents are not expanded to emoticon images inside of URLs <- I’ve got to implement this into my AJAX chat too …no – to much work *g*
  • Now with 200% more cowbell
  • Added a dock-like autohiding ability for the contact list <- this might be worth trying out

That’s about it, read the whole list if you’re interested or don’t be a coward and just download it, install it, use it and report bugs to the Adium team.

Update:
Wow! Those folks are fast, we’re already on Beta 3 now.
Apparently they are so fast that they traveled into the future, releasing the Beta 3 today while it will come out tomorrow.

Picture 1-2