Recent Articles By Bob LeVitus [RSS]

Tempered Tantrum: Screen Protectors for iPhones

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Sapphire Defense Screen Protector

iPhone cases may be great for protecting the back and sides of your iPhone, but most of them offer little or no protection for the screen. Bob LeVitus runs us through some tempered glass protectors, and weighs the pros and cons of using cheap one or paying for premium products.

Just in Cases: iPhone Protection 2017

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Silk Innovation's Folio Wallet is reasonably priced and has plenty of room for stuff.

This week Dr. Mac looks at three new iPhone cases he likes and recommends and one iPhone case that was more fragile than the iPhone it was meant to protect.

Automatic Photo Enhancement by Photolemur for Mac

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Using Photolemur: Before (left) and after (right).

If you don’t enjoy tweaking your photos as much as Dr. Mac does, you might enjoy a little program he’s been testing called Photolemur ($49), which improves your photos automagically and may be just the ticket for the tweak-averse.

Faster, Easier Photo Editing with Luminar

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Luminar Tools

When I first saw the web page for Macphun’s new Luminar photo editor, I was skeptical of its claims… But, having used Luminar for several months now, I’m no longer skeptical. Luminar does indeed make image editing easier and more enjoyable; its interface does indeed adapt easily to different styles and skill levels; and, while this part is strictly subjective, I find it both responsive and beautiful.

Backups on a Budget

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

OWC Drive dock

This week only! Dr. Mac’s tips for backing up your hard disk without breaking the bank!


Resolve to Back Up Your Mac in 2017

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

To add a backup disk (or a second disk), click Select Disk… in the Time Machine System Preferences pane.

“There are only two kinds of Mac users: Those who have lost data, and those who will.” Dr. Mac said it in his first book, Dr. Macintosh, in 1989 and has been saying it ever since… It’s sad that so many users still don’t start backing up until after they’ve lost irreplaceable files. What’s even sadder is that in 2016 (as in all previous years), one of the most common issues reported by friends and readers was a crashed hard or solid-state drive. This week, Dr. Mac explains how to prevent heartbreak when (not “if”) your drive dies…

macOS Sierra: Best Listener Yet

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Follow these steps to enable dictation in macOS Sierra's Keyboard System Preferences pane.

Dr. Mac says he’s been using his voice with hisMac more and more and guess what… He thinks macOS 10.12 Sierra may well be the best listener of all time.

Great Gifts for Groovy Geeks:Part II

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Blue's Raspberry offers great sound in a portable package for macOS and iOS.

It’s Part II of Dr. Mac’s annual gift guide, with four more reasonably-priced gadgets that make perfect gifts for the geeks you love.

Great Gifts for Groovy Geeks: 2016 Edition

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Bob LeVitus's Geek Gifts for 2016

It’s that time again and, as always, Dr. Mac has discovered a bevy of superb-yet-inexpensive tech gifts guaranteed to bring big smiles to the faces of the geeks you love.

Playing Catch-up on macOS Sierra, Printer Wars, Knockoff Apple Watch Straps

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Epson EcoTank

Dr. Mac follows up on whether or not it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Sierra; a longer-term report on his EcoTank vs. Instant Ink printer comparison; and a lower price on the leather loop Apple Watch bands he bought in July and August (and still loves).

When Your Mac Acts Up, Try This First

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

If you see Safe Boot in the upper right corner of your screen, it worked; if not, try again.

Dr. Mac prescribes a pair of painless, safe, and relatively quick procedures that can often fix whatever’s ailing your Mac and save you a trip to the Genius Bar. His experience is that these two techniques fix many types of wonkiness in ten minutes or less.

Stick It In (or On) Your Ear

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

The Klipsch S4i is still my favorite reasonably-priced headset.

Dr. Mac doesn’t care much for Apple’s EarPods, so, he’s always testing alternatives—both earphones (in-the-ear) and headphones (on-the-ear and over-the-ear)—looking for standouts. After testing more than a dozen different brands and models this year, he’s found several that stand above the rest at prices you can afford.

3 Products with Fatal Flaws (at least for Dr. Mac)

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Beddi Clock Radio for iPhone

Dr. Mac looks at three newish products that may suit your needs—an app-controlled alarm clock; tiny wireless earbuds; and a canless canned air system—but have one or more fatal flaws for him.

Who Wants to Be a Mac Dictator?

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Old Fashioned Microphone

Did you know that macOS Sierra (and Mac OS X El Capitan) have pretty good dictation built-in at no extra cost? Dictation can be faster than typing and a nice change of pace; discover how to enable and use it in this week’s thrilling episode of Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves, only here at The Mac Observer!

Did You Get the (i)Message? Tapback, Digital Touch, Apps, and More

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Turn your phone sideways to handwrite a message.

When Dr. Mac sent his daughter an iMessage with iOS 10’s whizzy new stickers, full-screen effects, and animated GIFs, he was shocked when she replied: “Haha! I didn’t even know you could do all that.” He thinks it’s likely some of you in reader-land have yet to discover the joys of the iOS 10 Messages app. So in this week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves (Episode #197 if you’re counting) the good doctor offers up a short primer on the interesting new features in Messages.

Kenu Stance Compact Tripod for iPhone

· Bob LeVitus · Product News

Kenu Stance Tripod

Stance, by Kenu, is a $24.95 compact tripod for iPhones that attaches via Lightning connector. Find out why it earned a spot on Dr. Mac’s keychain.

First Look: 'Portrait Mode' for the iPhone 7 Plus

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Depth-of-field preview on iPhone 7 Plus screen.

Dr. Mac’s been beta testing Apple’s new depth-of-field effect—which is coming soon to the iPhone 7 Plus (only) real soon. He says it does a phenomenal job of simulating the effect most of the time — so good, in fact, he’s threatening to sell his DSLR.

macOS Sierra and App Compatibility

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

macOS Sierra website

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus walks us through some of the compatibility issues some people (including him) are experiencing with Apple’s newest macOS Sierra. Keyboard wackiness, scanner issues, and other software problems are out there.

Dr. Mac's First Impression: iPhone 7 Plus

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

iPhone 7 Product Line

Dr. Mac got a new iPhone 7 Plus and shares his first impressions in this week’s thrilling episode (#194 for those keeping track) of Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves.