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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Digitimes: iWatch circuit board samples being delivered to Apple in preparation for September reveal

Concept: jivaldi.com

Concept: jivaldi.com

On Tuesday we reported that Apple was planning to reveal its entry into the wearable market in August or September. Now a new Digitimes report corroborates that timeframe. According to the new report, three different firms have supplied Apple with samples of flexible circuit boards that will be integrated into the iWatch for a fall release.

The companies involved are Flexium Interconnect, Career Technology, and Zhen Ding Technology Holding, according to Digitimes. Zhen Ding Technology Holding is currently Apple’s largest supplier of such parts and is reportedly planning to increase production in order to meet increased demand for iPhone and iPad circuitry.

As with all Digitimes reports, it’s probably best to take this with a grain of salt given their less-than-stellar track record. Read more

Screenshots of iOS 8: Healthbook, Preview, TextEdit icons leaked

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The above screenshot claiming to represent iOS 8 just showed up on a Weibo account. Even though the source of the images is absolutely uncertain, I have confirmed with several sources that these shots are legitimate. Earlier today, I detailed the new Preview and TextEdit apps shown above, and I previously discussed Healthbook. I’ll have more news on Healthbook in the coming weeks. Until then, you can check out a higher-resolution mockup of the Healthbook icon below. I’m not sure what the Tips icon is for, but it is probably a user-guide of some sort. Of course, it’s plausible that the icons are works in progress. More images below:

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iOS 8: Apple works to further push iCloud as the future of the file system

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When Apple introduced both iOS and iCloud, its goal was to eliminate the classic file system found in Mac OS X and make synchronization so seamless between devices that it “just works.” Nearly three years after iCloud’s introduction, Apple is still moving closer to this goal. The company is working on a pair of new iCloud applications for iOS as well as improved tools for developers to build iCloud-infused applications, according to sources with knowledge of these initiatives…

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How-to: Mark up and caption images using Preview on OS X

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Preview is a built-in Mac application that has many features that doesn’t get a lot of press. One of them is the ability to place a caption inside the body of the image. Another is to mark up images to remove confidential information. If you double click on an image outside of a photo editor like iPhoto or Aperture, it opens in Preview and can be edited.

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Roundup: Early OS X Mavericks Previews/Reviews hit the web

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Unknown to many people, Apple handed out devices running its latest OS X Mavericks operating system to select members of the press and media after announcing it back at WWDC, and early reviews and previews are starting to flow in.

As soon as the developer preview hit the web, we dove in and looked for subtle changes from Mountain Lion and found things such as LinkedIn integration, a Messages tab in Notification Center, an option in the menu bar to see what apps were draining your battery power, and much more. We also covered new dictation features in Mavericks. Via an option in System Preferences, there is now the ability to download a file and have offline dictation capabilities. One of the biggest selling points about Mavericks are the new multi-display capabilities, such as the ability to access the dock and menu bar across all of your monitors.

David Pierce of The Verge says that in Mavericks, multiple display support works like it always should have:

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