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Use iPad as an External Monitor with Air Display Free

MacBook Air with iPad running Air Display as an external display

Air Display is a great iOS app that turns an iPad into an external display for just about any Mac or Windows PC. It's been around a while, but now there's a new free version available that lets you try out a full featured ad-supported version before buying the regular version, offering an excellent way to see if AirDisplay fits into your workflow. Though the screen size makes it best for iPad, Air Display Free technically works with iPhones and the iPod touch too, and there's no shortage of helpful ways to use it on whatever device you run it on.

You'll need two small downloads to get going, the iOS app and a simple menubar utility for OS X or Windows that switches it on and off:

Install the menubar utility on the computer and launch the app and you'll find some quick easy instructions on setting it up. You'll be up and running in no time and able to enjoy the extended desktop that Air Display provides. The free versions ads aren't terribly intrusive which makes it more than adequate for trying the app out and for occasional use, though if you're happy with it you'll probably want to shell out for the full version to get rid of the ads.

Performance varies a bit based on the computer in use and the iPad model. Retina iPads have the benefit of being able to function as an external HiDPI display for the Mac, but some older Mac models may struggle with HIDPI video output leading to CPU spikes and undesirable performance. For older computers, it's probably best to run in lower resolution mode on retina iPads, but that's a nonissue for iPad 2 and iPad Mini, and most any modern Mac or PC should be able to push the higher resolutions without incident.

All in all, Air Display is a great app, and with the new free version there's little reason to not try it out on you iPad, iPhone, or iPod.

Picture from a past Mac Setups post

Apple Fires Manager Responsible for Maps as Eddy Cue Turns to Outsiders for Help

As Apple continues to work toward improving the new Maps service the company rolled out in iOS 6, Bloomberg reports that Apple has fired Richard Williamson, the manager directly responsible for the project.
Richard Williamson, who oversaw the mapping team, was fired by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information wasn't yet public. Cue, who took over last month as part of a management shakeup, is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.
As part of a management shakeup at Apple announced last month, iOS chief Scott Forstall will be leaving the company next year and his responsibilities have been delegated to other executives. With Eddy Cue now overseeing Maps in addition to his iTunes Store, App Store, iCloud, iBookstore, iAd, and Siri responsibilities, Apple has brought on its "product resuscitator" to help fix the highly criticized service.

Cue is said to be taking a very hands-on approach with Maps, and with his firing of Williamson seems to be looking to build his own team to address the service's many 

Apple Releases Thunderbolt Firmware Update v1.1 [Mac Blog]

NewImageApple has released an update to mid-2012 MacBook Pro models to fix an issue with some Thunderbolt cables. The 442KB update is available via Apple's support site and the Mac App Store.
About Thunderbolt Firmware Update v1.1 This update addresses an issue with MacBook Pro (mid 2012) and some Thunderbolt cables that may prevent bus-powered Thunderbolt devices from functioning properly.

OS X 10.8.3 Beta has new ATI 7000 series Tahiti graphics drivers


Netkas notes that the 10.8.3 Beta released yesterday contains support for the ATI 7000 series graphics processors. The following was found inside the update:


The new iMacs utilize Nvidia graphics, so these are likely for Mac Pro-level cards.  Netkas forum user Rominator, who discovered the ATI driver support, also claims to have gotten the ATI 7970 to work with OS 10.8.3 (above and below).

Time to start speculatin' about new Pros?

Report: Apple bumps Android from top spot in US smartphone market on strength of iPhone 5 sales

On the strength of iPhone 5 sales, iOS has once again reached the top spot for smartphone market share in the United States, according to new data from Research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech (via Reuters). According to the report that tracked smartphone sales over the last 12 weeks ending Oct. 28, iOS now accounts for 48.1-percent of the U.S. smartphone market. That's up 25 percent year-over-year, and it officially bumps Android into second place, but is still just shy of the record 49.3-percent it was able to capture earlier this year.

Android was down from 63.3-percent marketshare over the same 12-week period last year to just 46.7-percent today. As for the rest of the world, you can see from Kantar's data for other countries in the chart below that Android still dominates in most other countries, including: 54.2-percent of the market in Britain, 81.7-percent of the market in Spain, and 73.9-percent in Germany.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: "The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods. This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods."

The report also provided some data on iPhone 5 sales, noting 62 percent came from existing Apple device owners upgrading. Apple also captured 13 percent of iPhone 5 sales from Android switchers:

The majority of US iPhone 5 sales, 62%, have come from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device, although Apple has also benefitted from people switching from Android devices (13%), people switching from BlackBerry devices (6%) and a small number of first time smartphone owners… "Apple has always managed to maintain loyalty levels far above the competition, and this has clearly played a part in driving sales of its new device.  An impressive 92% of existing Apple owners in the US said they will choose an iPhone the next time they upgrade.

Siri 'Eyes Free' Mode Coming to Chevrolet Spark and Sonic in Early 2013

Back in June, Apple announced that it was working with car manufacturers on a new "Eyes Free" mode for Siri that would integrate with voice command buttons found in an increasing number of car models to allow users to interact with Siri without needing to look at their devices' screens. As part of his iOS 6 presentation at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, Scott Forstall displayed a slide showing that Apple was working with BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda on the initiative.

GM reportedly confirmed soon after that it would be bringing Eyes Free Siri to the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic within the following 12 months, and the company today announced more details on that integration. The announcement notes that Siri will be included as part of the MyLink system on several Spark and Sonic models beginning in early 2013.
In the Spark and Sonic RS, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:

- Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
- Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
- Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
- Access Calendar and add appointments
- Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays
- While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web .

Batch Resize a Group of Pictures from the Command Line with sips

Batch resize group of pictures with sips

Though most Mac users will likely prefer to use Preview to batch resize images because of the ease of use, advanced users often like to go with the command line for repetitive tasks. We've discussed sips before as a way to resize, rotate, and flip images, but if sips is combined with wildcards it can also function as a quick way to batch resize a group of photos.

Launch Terminal from the /Application/Utilities/ folder and use the following syntax:

sips -Z (max height in pixels) /path/to/images/*.(image file extension)

For example, to resize a collection of jpg pictures to each have a max height of 620, located in the desktop folder "ResizeMe":

sips -Z 620 ~/Desktop/ResizeMe/*.jpg

The -Z flag instructs sips to retain the images original aspect ratio while maintaining a maximum height of 620, but you can also specify exact height and width by using a lowercase -z flag instead like so:

sips -z 620 840 *.jpg

The height in pixels is first, followed by the width in pixels.

If the command line doesn't fit well into a workflow, another great option is to batch resize images with an Automator script, which has the added benefit of becoming a self-contained application allowing for standard Finder interactions like drag and drop.

This handy reminder about sips comes to us from Lifehacker

OS X 10.8.3 Beta 1 Released for Developers

OS X 10.8.3 Beta 1

The first beta of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 has been released to registered Mac developers. OS X 10.8.3 beta 1 is identified as build 12D32 and focuses on AirPlay, AirPort (wireless), Game Center, and graphics drivers, though it's not yet clear if the intention is for bug fixing, feature enhancements, or a bit of both.

Installing the release must be done through a new OS X Software Update Seed Configuration Utility, which is a separate download available to developers. The release notes indicate several known bugs with the first beta build.

Those registered with the Mac Developer program can download the 10.8.3 beta and the required Seed Configuration Utility directly from Apple's Developer Center. Everyone else will have to wait until a public release is available sometime in the future.

Those interested can read more about this beta release on MacRumors.