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Dave Hamilton

Dave Hamilton co-founded both The Mac Observer and BackBeat Media, and he is producer and co-host of TMO’s Mac Geek Gab Podcast. He has worked in the computer industry since the early 1990s, doing time as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and programmer. He has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, BeOS, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board Systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year. Dave's reachable for paid consulting at DaveTheNerd.com and you can find links to him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ here, too.

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How to Apply for Twitter Account Verification

Previously only available by private invitation, Twitter now allows users to apply for account verification. Note that you still need to be noteworthy or otherwise provide a compelling reason for Twitter to approve your verification, but at least now you can ask instead of having to sniff around at cocktail parties and coffee shops for someone who knows someone. To get verified your account must first be in proper shape. Read along and we’ll help get you there.

Pixelmator 2.3 Speeds-up iOS Photo Editing with New Selection Tools

Pixelmator, the powerful-and-inexpensive image editor for both Mac and iOS, gets a free update on iOS to version 2.3 today that brings its Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool over from the Mac. The Quick Selection Tool makes very short work of doing previously-difficult selections and allowed me to do the selection in the first pane below in about ten seconds on an iPhone SE.

Three screenshots showing Pixelmator's Quick Selection Tool
Pixelmator’s new Quick Selection Tool makes selecting on iOS a breeze

Pixelnator’s new Quick Selection Tool is somehow intuitive in a way that other “magic” selectors are not. Having this available literally at ones fingertips on iOS opens up all sorts of options for work and… play. Enjoy. (A hat tip to Scott Canali for the inspiration behind today’s screenshots!).

Save $600 on MacTech Conference, Includes Home Automation Showcase

This fall will mark the 7th annual MacTech Conference, happening in Los Angeles November 15-18. For the first time, MacTech Conference 2016 includes a Home Automation Showcase featuring demonstrations of products and services that work with Apple’s HomeKit and other platforms. That’s not all, of course, as MacTech Conference continues its stellar conference track with sessions built especially for IT Pros, enterprise administrators and consultants of all levels. Super early-bird pricing ended back in May, but as a TMO reader you can take advantage of that pricing until Tuesday, July 5th by using our special link. That means you can register for MacTech Conference 2016 for just $999. Don’t let the weekend get in your way, register now and I’ll see you at MacTech in November!

Tweetbot's Twitter Timeline Filters Get Even Smarter

Last week Tapbots added Timeline Filters to their Tweetbot Twitter client for iOS, allowing you to control what you see — and what you don’t see — in your Twitter timeline. Today they enhanced those filters even more with the ability to use “OR” and quotes. This means you can Filter out “holy war” OR emacs to be sure not to unintentionally boil your blood while otherwise enjoying Twitter (I’m assuming we’re all vim users here, right?!?). You can download Tweetbot from the App Store.

Kindle Page Flip Comes to iPad and iPhone

Version 5.0 of Amazon’s Kindle App for iPad and iPhone adds Page Flip, a new and natural way to navigate through books without losing your place. If you’ve ever been frustrated having to flip to see a map or something on another page, Page Flip solves that problem. Just tap in the middle of your screen to activate Page Flip and skim around until you find what you want. When you’re finished looking, tap again and Page Flip will offer to return you to your original spot. Even better, Page Flip remembers the locations you have flipped to, allowing for easy bouncing around. The updated Kindle App is available for free in the App Store.

Plex Media Server Turns 1.0!

What started in 2008 as a small media server project today has matured into version 1.0. The first public release of Plex Media Server happened two years later in 2010, and it has been growing ever since, now used by milliions of people. The changes rolled into the 1.0 release aren’t all that major – certainly nothing more than any other Plex Media Server release we’ve seen recently – it’s the version number change itself that is significant.

Version 1.0 shows Plex’s commitment to ship software that no longer has the assumption of being beta, communicating reliability and predictability for customers. I’m a long-time Plex user and now with both iOS and Apple TV client apps it really is a best-in-class product. Many of its features are available for free, though a paid PlexPass is well worth your money if you want to view your content offline or on your mobile devices. Congrats, Plex! Thanks for doing what you do!

iPhone Lockscreen Music Controllers Also Work on Apple Watch

Today’s announcement that Sonos added lockscreen controls to iOS led us (ok, it led my son) to realize that this likely meant it would also be controllable from an Apple Watch paired to the same iPhone. Sure enough, it is, and that’s because whatever music is controllable from your iPhone’s lock screen is also controllable from the “Now Playing” glance on Apple Watch. Note that the Now Playing section of the Apple Watch Music app is less likely to show this data, but sometimes it will appear there, too. The “Now Playing” glance, however, has proven 100% reliable in all of our tests.

Sonos adds Lock Screen Controls to iOS App

In a scenario where many Sonos users might find appropriate use for the word, finally, today Sonos rolled out a new version of their iOS controller app that adds playback controls to the iOS lockscreen. Users can now control volume, play/pause and seek location as well as being able to see album art without unlocking their iPhones. Previously users would need to unlock their iPhones and launch the Sonos app to do any of these things. In addition to the lock screen controls, Sonos added Peek & Pop shortcuts, split view, slide over, simpler TruePlay tuning and higher quality Napster and Rhapsody streams. For this Sonos user, today’s update is very much Cool Stuff Found! Version 6.3 of the Sonos iOS controller can be is available for free in the app store.