How-to: Get started with Instant Alpha and Smart Lasso in Preview for OS X

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As you may know, Instant Alpha is a feature that allows you to remove an object in an image from its background. You can find this feature in apps like Pages and Keynote, as well as the Preview app that comes built-in on Macs. As we’ve written recently in articles about signatures and marking up images, Preview has a lot of capabilities that don’t get much press.

In this article, you’ll learm how to use Instant Alpha and Smart Lasso to create custom images, remove an object from its background, and some advantages of using Preview to create custom images.

Images created in this way could be used for anything, including fun social media posts. They can be imported into iPhoto, cropped and used in books, calendars, or especially to customize a birthday or greeting card. Depending on what kind of image you want to create, you can really do quite a bit using Preview, Pages and a few other tips and tricks.

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How-To: Start using Maps in OS X Mavericks

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Apple has finally implemented a maps app in the OS X platform, and it seems to have been worth the wait. After being noticeably missing from the system, Maps (and iBooks) are helping achieve a greater consistency between the iOS and OS X platforms. After running the free Mavericks update, the Maps app icon will automatically be added to your dock.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use the new app for everything from searching for locations to getting turn-by-turn directions set directly to your iPhone.

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Mavericks How-to: Use iBooks for organizing, reading, and shopping

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iBooks was introduced in 2010 for the iPad. With Mavericks, 3.5 years after iBooks came out for iOS, Mac OS X finally gets in on the action. Unlike iOS devices that have to download iBooks from the App Store, the Mac comes pre-loaded with it. This how-to will discuss how to organize and read your books, and how to shop for new books in the iBooks Store.

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Apple announces October 22nd iPad event: ‘We still have a lot to cover’

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Apple has announced that it will be holding its next media event on October 22nd, which is in line with expectations. The event will take place at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern Time at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

The event will likely showcase new versions of the iPad, including a redesigned full-sized model that looks like a larger iPad mini and a new iPad mini that boasts a Retina display.

Also in Apple’s pipeline are new iWork suites, a new version of the Apple TV, new MacBook Pros with faster chipsets, OS X Mavericks, and the new Mac Pro. It’s unclear which of the aforementioned products will actually get stage time this time around, but the new Mac Pro, MacBook Pros, and OS X Mavericks are the most likely to appear in addition to the tablets…

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AppleCare begins OS X Mavericks training ahead of likely launch toward end of October

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Apple has begun training its AppleCare support staff on its upcoming OS X Mavericks, according to several sources. These sources say that training has begun today, and support staff will be required to learn about the operating system’s new features, installation process, and troubleshooting options for at least six hours over the course of the next few weeks…

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Apple’s OS X Mavericks release planned for end of October

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Apple plans to release its next Mac operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, at the end of October, according to sources with knowledge of the launch plans.

This comes despite claims and speculation that Apple will release OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 in tandem this month. iOS 7 is set to ship alongside the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C later in September. There has also been chatter about Apple holding the iPad iOS 7 release back until October.

For the launch of both OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion, Apple released the new operating systems the day following an earning results release. Apple traditionally shares its Q4 earnings numbers during the second half of October, so perhaps Apple will release Mavericks the day following its Q4 results announcement…

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How to: Create a bootable OS X Mavericks USB Flash Drive from original App Store package

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On Monday Apple finally unveiled to the world the next iteration of OS X, Mavericks.  A developer preview of the new operating system is available now as a Mac App Store download for registered developers.  Delivering Mavericks via a download is super conveient and easy for everyday users but can be unhelpful in several troubleshooting or advanced OS modification situations.  The only way to obtain a bootable OS X Mavericks USB flash drive is to create your own: Read more

Apple announces improvements to Notifications for Mac with quick reply, iOS push notifications, and more

Today at Apple’s WWDC keynote, Apple took some time to announce some improvements to Notifications, as we expected. The majority of the improvements that Apple has demoed so far include new features for Notifications on the Mac coming in the just announced OS X Mavericks, such as quick replies, the ability to receive iOS push notifications, and lock screen access.

Apple showed off a new quick reply feature for Notifications on the Mac that will allow users to mouse over a notification and quickly reply from a dialog that pops depending on the app. Not only can you reply to messages to respond to FaceTime calls, for example, you will also be able to perform other actions with the quick reply Notifications such as quickly deleting emails.

Another feature that we saw today during Apple’s keynote is the ability to receive iOS push notifications right on your Mac for apps installed on your iPhone and iPad. These are a few of the updates we were expecting from Apple today, but we’ll have to wait to see if they fixed the other half of the problem during its iOS 7 portion of today’s presentation but Apple also showed off a redesigned Notification center for iOS including lock screen access and new tabs (pictured below).

Additionally, Apple showed off the ability to view Notifications directly from the lock screen in OS X Mavericks.

Update:  As we expected, Apple also announced that Notification Sync will be coming in iOS 7, but didn’t show off any specifics.
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