Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 86: New Security and Privacy Features in macOS Catalina and iOS 13

Apple announced their new operating systems early this week, and we take a close look at the many interesting and useful new security privacy features that will soon be available on your Mac and iOS devices.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

iTunes Doesn’t Look so Dead to Me

So many publications have been publishing articles about how “iTunes is dead,” but it doesn’t look very dead to me. Apple announced, at this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference, that iTunes (on the Mac) would be split into three apps: Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV. As such, iTunes itself isn’t really dead, but just split into a few separate parts.

Apple has published a document outlining the changes, and, well, it doesn’t look very dead to me. Certain media kinds have been moved to new or different apps (for example, audiobooks are now in the Books app), and syncing will be handled by the Finder. (The Finder is bloated, right?)

In essence, nothing much has changed. The iTunes name is still used for the iTunes Store, despite some publications claiming that the iTunes name was being retired, or that Apple was ending its music download service.

I don’t know… For years, people have been kvetching about iTunes, and all it took was for Apple to move a couple of media kinds to different apps, and to change the name of the music player, and everyone’s suddenly happy, but also dancing around the grave of an app that hasn’t really changed that much. You can still buy music from the iTunes Store, rip your CDs, sync your devices, make playlists, and so on.

Macos catalina apple music library

I certainly find that the new approach is a lot cleaner, at least for the music player, which is what I use iTunes for the most. But not using it for other media kinds means you can just ignore them. If anything, the fact that they moved navigation options to the sidebar makes sense. I have always found that the top navigation tabs, combined with the Media Picker, we’re confusing. But the Music app retains pretty much everything of iTunes, just for one media kind. So is it still “bloated?”

I wish Apple had used the same interface for the Apple TV app. Those top tabs are distracting, and now create two different interfaces for different media kinds.

And you now need to go to three different apps to buy content from the iTunes Store: Music, Apple TV, and Books. Currently, you can search for content in the iTunes Store and see what shows up for all the media kinds available. So that’s definitely a step backwards.

Macos catalina tv watch now

In case you’re worried, most AppleScripts for iTunes will continue to work in the new Music app, with some changes. (For example, in AppleScripts, you refer to a specific app name, and all scripts that work with iTunes will need to be revised to use the Music app name.)

Here are the main points in Apple’s document:

  • Music that you’ve imported or purchased will be in the new Apple Music app.
  • Music playlists and smart playlists that you’ve created in iTunes will be in the new Apple Music app.
  • The iTunes Store will still be available to buy music on Mac, iOS, PC, and Apple TV.
  • iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits will be maintained and can be used with the new apps and the App Store.
  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod backup, restore, and syncing will move to Finder.
  • Movies and TV shows that you purchased or rented from iTunes will be in the new Apple TV app.
  • Use the Apple TV app for Mac for future movie and TV purchases or rentals.
  • Podcasts that you subscribed to or added to iTunes will now be in the new Apple Podcasts app.
  • Audiobooks that you purchased from iTunes will now be in the updated Apple Books app.
  • Use the Apple Books app for Mac for future audiobook purchases.

Save Time Editing Photos in Apple Photos with These Keyboard Shortcuts

As always, there are lots of great keyboard shortcuts that can save you time in Apple Photos. Apple has a comprehensive list of these shortcuts.

But some of these shortcuts are especially useful when you edit photos, since they allow you to switch around among the different editing tools. And these aren’t the usual keyboard shortcuts, with modifier keys (such as the Command or Option key); these are single-key shortcuts. Here’s what you can do when in edit mode with these shortcuts:

  • Space: Press the space bar in library view to view a photo full screen. Press it again to return to thumbnail view.
  • Return: Press Return in library view to edit a photo.
  • Arrow keys: Move through your photos – even in edit mode – by pressing the right- or left-arrow key.
  • C: Activate the Crop tool.
  • A: Open the Adjustment tools.
  • F: Display Filters.
  • . : Press period to mark or unmark a photo as a favorite.
  • Z: Zoom in and out.
  • M: Toggle between the original photo and the version showing your edits.

There’s one other shortcut that works with the editing tools, but is a bit more complicated. To rotate a photo 90 degrees, press Command-R (to rotate counter-clockwise), or Command-Option-R (clockwise).

You can also copy adjustments from one photo to another, as I explain in this article, by pressing Command-Shift-C, then paste them to another photo with Command-Shift-V.

If you learn the above single-key shortcuts, you’ll save a lot of time editing photos. And that M shortcut is indispensable, to compare your original photo with your edits.

Three Key Points about Apple’s WWDC Announcements

Apple made some interesting announcements at their Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday. Here are three points to keep in mind.

It’s not for you.

Not every Apple product is for you. Just as the iPod touch, which was recently updated, isn’t for everyone (it’s widely used in industry), the new Mac Pro isn’t for everyone. So don’t gripe about the price (okay, you can gripe about the $1,000 stand for the display, but only because it’s a bit ridiculous; however, it’s a nice stand). Don’t drool over it, any more than you’d drool over, say, a Leica or Hasselblad camera to take vacation photos.

But keep in mind that perhaps Apple will introduce a less expensive Mac based on the new Mac Pro at some point in the future.

It’s just a beta.

I have an Apple developer account, allowing me to access beta software; I need this to be able to write about it as we approach release date. Lots of Apple websites are already writing about the betas of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. But remember, these are very early betas, so any missing features shouldn’t be written off yet. There will be plenty of changes as the software matures over the summer.

It’s not dead.

In spite of what much of the press is saying, iTunes is not dead. First, the app has been renamed, but the iTunes name isn’t gone. You still buy music from the iTunes Store, accessible from the new Music app. Second, you can still buy music from the iTunes Store. I a journalist heard on the BBC news claim, on Tuesday morning, that Apple had killed off their music download service. Third, iTunes has been split into three apps, retaining nearly all the functionality of the current iTunes. Fourth, iTunes isn’t bloated. And, fifth and finally, iTunes on Windows – which represents perhaps 90% of iTunes users – isn’t changing.

Don’t expect Apple to retire the iTunes Store name any time soon. That brand is much too valuable.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 85: Deep Dive: Software Updates on Mac and iOS

It’s essential that you update your software, both to have improved features, squashed bugs, and security fixes. But should you update your software automatically, or should you wait? How can you best manage software updates on the Mac and on iOS?

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

iOS Device Battery Usage when Idle

This isn’t new, but I’m always surprised how quickly the batteries of iOS devices drain when they’re doing nothing. I put an old iPad mini 2 in the kitchen, to watch the news with breakfast, and to display recipes and play music when I’m cooking. I have a charger in the kitchen, but I don’t leave it plugged in all the time. Even though I only use it for about 15 minutes most days, I generally have to plug it in every three or four days.

I got a new iPod touch, and set it up yesterday. Around 6 pm, it was charged to 100%. This morning, at around 8:30, I checked it, and it was at 69%. That’s more than 30% of the battery in a bit over 14 hours.

Ipod touch battery

The iPod was doing nothing other than occasionally checking iCloud, and maintaining wi-fi and Bluetooth active (the latter uses very little power). Yet it used about one-third of its power. Over 24 hours, it would lose nearly half its power.

Apple should improve this element of iOS devices. When they’re not being used for more than a certain amount of time, there should be a sort of hibernation mode. If you put a charged iOS device in a drawer, and leave it for three days, you likely won’t have any power left, and that’s just a waste.

Update: It’s been a while, and it’s clear that if wi-fi is on, then the battery dies pretty quickly. Partly because of the wi-fi itself, but also because of iCloud updating when the device is idle. I have background app refresh turned off globally, but Photos still updates, and downloads new photos; Music still updates iCloud Music Library; and any other Apple iCloud-based app will update as well. So to save battery life, either turn off those features, or put the device into airplane mode. If I do the latter, the battery does deplete, but much more slowly.