When iPhoto 09 was first revealed by Apple at the beginning of the month, we learnt that it would be integrated with a new function which allows faces within pictures to be recognised. Obviously this was quite something, but Phil Schiller had no mention whether this new function could also perform as well with non-human faces such as pets / animals. MacLife has now done some tests and are proud to say that Apple should have been more confident because just look at the screenshot below!


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Instant messaging has always been popular for the iPhone. Just recently, the popular all-in-one instant messaging app – Beejive updated to 2.0 with some new exciting features. Like before the update, Beejive has always allowed users to connect with many different IM services including AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN / Live, Myspace IM and Yahoo messenger.

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While we were lazying our way through the Christmas break, it seems the U.S. Patent Office were doing quite the opposite. They revealed this interesting new patent application from Apple called Swipe Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards. Apple suggests the use of swipe gestures to be used on top of the iPhone’s on screen keyboard in order to provide the user with quick access to common keys.

Here’s a quoted example of how this new patent will be used practically…

For example, erasing and basic punctuation insertion, directional swipes (also referred to herein as “swipe gestures”) over the alphabetic keys can be used as an alternative to striking certain keys. Because the Space and Backspace keys are quite frequently used, they are logical candidates for the rightward and leftward swipes, respectively. Leftward and rightward swipes intuitively match the cursor travel caused by these symbols. Following this cursor movement analogy, the Enter/Return may be invoked by a downward swipe, and a Shift/Caps may be invoked by an upward swipe. Alternatively, as the Enter and Shift functions may be less frequently invoked, these may be substituted for other functions as well. One alternative mapping for the upward swipe, for example, could be to activate an alternative numeric and punctuation keypad or a particular punctuation symbol like an apostrophe or period.

While no actual realistic product has actually come up, you will probably be able to imagine that it’s much like Apple’s latest multi touch enabled MacBooks but I would say it sounds more suited for the advanced users and also those who will appreciate quick access shortcuts. Let’s face it, you’re not going to find an old granny that will remember precisely which combination of strokes to go for to launch certain application.

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Just like to take this opportunity today to thank and also reply to one of our reader’s enquiry over the weekend. One of our reader who has just switched from being a PC to a Mac user have asked us how to create or take screen shots on Mac OS X (Leopard).

Those who have been Windows users for some time will know that PC keyboards have all got the Print Screen key whereas nowadays Mac keyboards no longer have this on their keyboards but it doesn’t mean the function has been taken away. So though a very simple function, I can understand why the question was sent.

So here are the commands that are required in order to create a screen shot on Mac OS X, the thing to remember is that unlike Windows’ Print Screen function which takes a screen shot of the whole of the screen. Mac OS X gives you the choice of choosing, as long as you remember the right hot key that is!

There are three main ‘modes’ available:

  • Apple (Command) Key + Shift + 3

Captures entire desktop to a file on the desktop as ‘picture #’ . This option lets you capture the whole screen. If you want just one window on your screen, you will have to edit the picture using image editing software.

  • Apple (Command) Key + Shift + 4

Allows you to use your mouse to select a specific part of your desktop for capture. This will turn your mouse pointer into a cross, please hold down the mouse button and drag to select the part of the screen you want. When you release the button the screenshot will “snap” that part of the screen. Press ‘Esc’ to release.

Here’s a sample screen shot of my dock just taken a second ago:

  • Apple (Command) Key + Shift + 4 then press Spacebar

This one can be a handful! But it can be quite useful in some situations because it allows you to select which window to capture.

Of course, there are lots of applications out there that also often the same functionality if not more, but we’ve never needed to download and use any of them, if you know of a good one which you would like to recommend, feel free to leave your comment below!

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