We recently raved about The Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, Jaguar Edition. But we mentioned that Mac OS X 10.2 offers so many goodies that Robin Williams had to move her iApps coverage to a new companion book, The Little Mac iApps Book. That book’s just arrived, and we recommend it highly.
Williams’s longtime collaborator John Tollett covers pretty much every significant application that comes with a contemporary Mac. And all the significant applications that come with your $99 .Mac membership. There are even chapters on easily downloadable third-party applications that fill key gaps in your Mac toolset.
Tollett starts with expert coverage of the four core “iApps”: iPhoto (everything from burning photo CDs to creating QuickTime slideshows). iTunes (play, burn, send to iPod). iMovie and iDVD (step by step through your first projects).
You’ll find coverage on Mac OS X (Jaguar)’s mail and address book applications, iCal calendaring, iChat and Rendezvous. This is also one of the first Mac guides we’ve seen that cover Safari, Apple’s nifty new browser.
This is the stuff you really want to know about Safari. Importing your bookmarks. Organizing them (way easier in Safari than Internet Explorer). Using Safari’s integrated Google search. Using Apple’s innovative SnapBack, which gives you a “breadcrumb trail” back to the browsing path you intended to follow before you got distracted. Integrated Rendezvous-enabled features that fetch Web addresses from anywhere on your network. And -- yes! -- the pop-up exterminator. Thank you, Apple!
Apple keeps introducing more .Mac applications, and Tollett keeps writing about them. iDisk (including handy Public Folder Access). iCards (free, customizable electronic postcards for every occasion: birthday, business, and “just because”). HomePage (an incredibly easy way to publish a Web site without also publishing horribly intrusive, embarrassing advertising). Mail (elegant and flexible: Think of it as a better Hotmail for Mac users). Virex antivirus protection. iSync for synchronizing with your other Mac (or iPod or Palm OS device or Bluetooth-enabled cell phone).
If you’ve sprung $99 for .Mac, you can also download Apple’s elegant and quick Backup software. (You do back up, right? No? Start. Please.) Tollett walks you through retrieving and installing Backup, archiving your files online or to CD or DVD, and using QuickPicks to find the important files you might otherwise miss. Stuff like iCal calendars, Address Book contacts, Keychain passwords, and iTunes playlists.
Every AppleWorks module gets its own chapter -- and this might be enough coverage to save you from buying a separate AppleWorks book. This is the meat and potatoes stuff: formatting and editing documents, building and using databases, creating spreadsheets, drawing, and using AppleWorks’ presentation capabilities, which are all many presenters will ever need.
Need to create diagrams (especially since there’s no Mac Visio nowadays)? Tollett covers the impressive OmniGraffle. Send faxes? There’s a chapter on FaxSTF X. Use Inkwell handwriting recognition? That’s here, too. This is an impressive roundup of an equally impressive stable of Mac OS X applications. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.