Mac Support Tips & Tricks Blog

Ever Wondered Which Words to Capitalize in a Title? Use Capitalize My Title-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Ever Wondered Which Words to Capitalize in a Title? Use Capitalize My Title

When you’re writing a blog post or email newsletter, you’ll eventually hit the question of how to capitalize words in a title. There is no one right way, but just as with poor spelling and grammar, randomly capitalized titles can reduce reader trust in your knowledge, competence, and expertise. The trick is to pick a capitalization form and style guide to follow. There are two capitalization forms: title case (where important words are capitalized) and sentence case (which is capitalized like a normal sentence). Then there are a handful of...

May 26, 2020

Install VLC Media Player on your Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Install VLC Media Player on your Mac

QuickTime is great, but it won’t play an AVI file out of the box or the lesser-known MKV for example. And with the introduction of MacOS Catalina we have had to say goodbye to our beloved QuickTime 7. QuickTime 7 offered the Pro version for a one time payment which basically upgraded the standard QuickTime player adding many useful video editing features and import / export options, I’m still using it to this day! Just not on a Mac running Catalina. If you try to open an .avi file or...

May 22, 2020

iPhone Not Charging Reliably- Clean Its Lightning Port with a Toothpick-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


iPhone Not Charging Reliably- Clean Its Lightning Port with a Toothpick

If you’re plugging your iPhone in regularly but getting low-battery warnings when you shouldn’t, consider the possibility that something is preventing your iPhone from charging successfully while plugged in. If there’s no lightning bolt badge on the battery icon when the iPhone is plugged in, that’s a sure sign that no power is reaching the device. Another hint that failures could be happening intermittently would be a lack of charging in the Last Charge Level graph in Settings > Battery when you know the iPhone was plugged in. Luckily, the...

May 21, 2020

No More Lightning Port-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


No More Lightning Port

If like me Apple’s move from the original 30-pin port in 2012 to the Lightning ports you saw this as a positive move, the Lightning connector being a much more user-friendly connector. Next they took away the home button and the headphone socket, the home button going in favour of a larger screen was no real hardship once you learnt the new interface. However losing the headphone jack was a real annoyance for some people, as a compromise Apple provided a free lightning headphone set with new iPhones, sadly this...

May 20, 2020

Do You Know Who Can Track Your Location? It's Worth Checking Periodically-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Do You Know Who Can Track Your Location? It's Worth Checking Periodically

Sharing your location works well when you’re out with friends or family and want everyone to be able to see where everyone else is. It’s easy to enable in various spots in iOS 13—in Messages, in Contacts, in the Find My app, and so on. You can share your location for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely, but beware of this final option. If you’re with a group for a weeklong trip, for instance, sharing indefinitely makes sense, but it’s easy to forget to turn it...

May 19, 2020

Internet Explorer is back on the Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Internet Explorer is back on the Mac

So the Tech world’s software giant has released a version of its web browser for MacOs again after a 17-year absence. It’s actually big news as the last time a Web Browser from Microsoft was available on the Mac it was Internet Explorer 5 which saw the end of a 5 year partnership between Apple & Microsoft where Internet Explorer was bundled with MacOs and was the default browser. Following several years of antitrust actions against Microsoft for bundling their web browser with their operating system & Apple’s announcement it...

May 18, 2020

When will your Apple Store Reopen-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


When will your Apple Store Reopen

If like us you are itching to get into your local Apple store to check out the latest offerings from our favourite tech company you may be in for a wait. Apple said on the 13th of March it was closing all retail stores not in China as a result of Covid-19. As of today the 13th of May Apple are reopening in certain countries & states in a phased reopening plan. Apple has opened its stores in China and is reopening stores in other countries throughout Asia Pacific, this...

May 15, 2020

Use the Macs Built-In Screen Sharing to Provide Remote Help-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use the Macs Built-In Screen Sharing to Provide Remote Help

Are you the person your friends and family members turn to for questions about the Mac? In normal times, those questions might come over dinner or at another in-person gathering, such that you could look directly at their Mac to see what was going on. Now, however, with everyone staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, answering those questions has seemingly gotten harder. But it doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to a built-in feature of macOS that you may not have known about: screen sharing. With the...

May 14, 2020

Top 10 Apple Business Resources you may have forgotten-Header

Top 10 Apple Business Resources you may have forgotten

Video Blog: Top 10 Apple Business Resources you may have forgotten When your Mac is slow call Grove Technologies Play the video Do you need Cybersecurity or Mac Support help? We are standing by to help protect you and your small business. We work with lots of businesses, all Mac based businesses. The biggest point of confusion for many Mac based small businesses is to understand all the business offerings that Apple has to offer. Apple has many offerings for Apple businesses. From where to buy and how to buy...

May 13, 2020

Customize What Appears in New Finder Windows with This Tip-Header

Customize What Appears in New Finder Windows with This Tip

When you’re in the Finder, choosing File > New Finder Window does, as you’d expect, open a new Finder window. But what folder appears in that window? By default, new Finder windows open to Recents, which is a built-in smart folder showing recently opened documents. If you’d prefer to see items in a fixed location on your drive, go to Finder > Preferences > General and choose any location from the New Finder Windows Show pop-up menu. We’re partial to Desktop or Documents, but you can choose whatever folder makes...

May 12, 2020

Want to Push Some Buttons- Make the Most of Control Center in iOS-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Want to Push Some Buttons- Make the Most of Control Center in iOS

Starting back in iOS 11, Apple made Control Center significantly more useful by letting you customize it more to your liking by adding and rearranging buttons. You can even remove a few of the default buttons if they’re just taking up space.​ Opening and Closing Control Center To open Control Center in iOS 11 and later on an iPhone X or later (the models with Face ID), swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen. For iPhones with a Home button that use Touch ID (including the just-released iPhone...

May 7, 2020

Audiovisual Tips for Better Videoconferencing-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Audiovisual Tips for Better Videoconferencing

Whether for work or socializing, we’re all spending a lot more time in video calls these days. But—surprise!—it turns out that many of our group video calls could be more pleasant, less embarrassing, and overall better if we follow a few basic audiovisual tips.​ Make Sure You Have Decent Lighting Natural light is best, but room light is generally fine too, especially if it’s coming from the side. Overhead light isn’t quite as flattering, but whatever you do, avoid light that comes from underneath your face or you’ll look like...

May 5, 2020

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage

In a move that completes the transition of the MacBook line from the troubled butterfly keyboard to the Magic Keyboard, Apple has released a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company also doubled the amount of storage in each of the standard configurations while keeping prices the same, and it ramped up the specs in the model with four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Like the [MacBook Air that Apple released several months ago, the most notable change in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the replacement of the butterfly keyboard with the...

May 5, 2020

Pandemic Response IT Event to Raise Funds for COVID-19 May 18-20, 2020-Header

Pandemic Response IT Event to Raise Funds for COVID-19 May 18-20, 2020

Futureproof IT a 100% online summit aimed to raise awareness of critical IT issues facing small businesses and money for COVID-19 PPE The first ever Futureproof IT summit was announced early last month an event put on by Alectrona, Abelloni, Technolutionary and the MacAdmins Podcast., Apple consultants looking to give back amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Futureproof IT scheduled for a May 18th - 20th  is “A first of its kind virtual summit, bringing together global tech leadership to address the operational, security, and financial impact of COVID-19.” meant for IT professionals and small businesses owners...

May 1, 2020

Grove Technologies Offers Free Cybersecurity Training to Help Organizations Educate Their Remote Workforces Amid Coronavirus Pandemic-Header

Grove Technologies Offers Free Cybersecurity Training to Help Organizations Educate Their Remote Workforces Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, DC: Grove Technologies today announced free cybersecurity training, an engaging online video-based training program. The robust cybersecurity training program is designed to educate employees on common threats to their organization’s cybersecurity and offers a new way for small to medium-sized businesses to educate their employees on cybersecurity risks and best practices amid the coronavirus pandemic, right from their home. As many organizations have been forced to begin operating from a remote work environment, more employees than ever before have started working from home. The problem with this is that...

Apr 30, 2020

Having Mac Troubles Running Apple Diagnostics May Help Identify the Problem-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Having Mac Troubles Running Apple Diagnostics May Help Identify the Problem

If your Mac is acting up and you suspect a hardware problem, there’s an easy first step that you can—and should—try before calling for tech support: Apple Diagnostics. (On Mac models released before June 2013, Apple instead included a similar set of diagnostics called Apple Hardware Test.) Apple Diagnostics is a set of hardware test routines that Apple bakes into every Mac. It tests numerous internal subsystems in your Mac, including the CPU, memory, and firmware; displays and graphics adapters; connectivity via USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Thunderbolt; batteries and power...

Apr 28, 2020

Tips for Setting Up a Comfortable and Effective Home Work Space-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Tips for Setting Up a Comfortable and Effective Home Work Space

Vast numbers of people who previously reported for work at an office every day are now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s sensible, and if you’re included in that group, there was probably even a little thrill of “I get to work from home!” at first. But as those who have telecommuted for years know, it’s not as simple as settling down on the couch with your laptop. Here are a few tips.​ Make a Dedicated Work Space, If Possible Particularly if you’re not home alone, you’ll...

Apr 23, 2020

Create Your Own Chat Group Via Slack-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Create Your Own Chat Group Via Slack

Whether you’re working from home or just stuck at home, it can be tough to communicate with colleagues, friends, or family. Sure, there’s email, but that gets hard to manage quickly, and it can be difficult to stay focused with so much news rolling in. For friends and family, Facebook might seem to be the digital town square. However, many people avoid Facebook due to its impressive record of abusing its users’ privacy, failure to protect that user data from hackers, and exploitation by foreign governments. And it’s wildly inappropriate...

Apr 21, 2020

Apple Introduces New iPhone SE Starting at $399-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Introduces New iPhone SE Starting at $399

Four years after the release of the original iPhone SE, Apple has introduced a second-generation iPhone SE with aggressive pricing that starts at just $399. Whereas the original model used the svelte, easy-to-hold iPhone 5s case design with a 4-inch screen, this new iPhone SE repurposes the larger iPhone 8 design with its 4.7-inch screen. But Apple didn’t just rebrand the iPhone 8. The new iPhone SE sports several important updates that make it a compelling purchase for the price, including a new processor and eSIM capability. Most notably, Apple...

Apr 20, 2020

Need to Stay in Touch Try One of These Videoconferencing Apps-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Stay in Touch Try One of These Videoconferencing Apps

With many people under stay-at-home orders, videoconferencing is going mainstream. If you work in a sufficiently large organization, you probably have already been indoctrinated into a recommended solution, whether it’s the built-in videoconferencing features of Slack or Microsoft Teams, or a dedicated videoconferencing system like Zoom or Webex. But what if you’re in a small workgroup, are a freelancer, need to communicate with members of a non-profit group, or just want to stay in touch with friends and family? There are numerous options, but here are a few free options...

Apr 16, 2020

Upgrade to iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Upgrade to iOS 13

In iOS 13, in what can only have been a prank gone wrong, Apple simplified the message toolbar in Mail, putting the Delete button where the Reply button had been in iOS 12 and leaving a lot of blank space in the toolbar. As millions of users accidentally deleted messages instead of replying, hilarity ensued. (Not really.) In iOS 13.4, Apple has seemingly acknowledged the error of its ways, returning to a four-button toolbar similar to iOS 12’s five-button toolbar and moving the Delete button to the far left of...

Apr 14, 2020

Futureproof IT Summit to premiere in May - All proceeds go to Heart to Heart International-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Futureproof IT Summit to premiere in May - All proceeds go to Heart to Heart International

Technolutionary, Alectrona, and Abelionni all Apple Consultants Members, and all active IT Providers for those who need IT Support Services in the US and Europe, have partnered together to start the first ever Futureproof IT Summit. This summit is the first of its kind and will be 100% virtual. As you can find on the Futureproof IT site, this first summit is geared to talking to the challenges posed onto businesses due to COVID-19. A first of its kind virtual summit, bringing together global tech leadership to address the operational,...

Apr 10, 2020

You Can Now Export and Download Apple Card Statements-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


You Can Now Export and Download Apple Card Statements

Apple’s credit card, the Apple Card, offers a nice mix of integration with Apple Pay, daily cash back, and an elegant interface in the Wallet app on your iPhone. Until recently, however, it was impossible to get your transaction data out of Wallet except in PDF form. Apple has now added exports in either CSV or OFX format. CSV is appropriate for importing into a spreadsheet, whereas many financial apps can import OFX files. To export your data from Wallet, tap your Apple Card and then tap Card Balance. Under...

Apr 9, 2020

Try Using a Magic Trackpad 2 with Your iPad Running iPadOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Try Using a Magic Trackpad 2 with Your iPad Running iPadOS 13

When Apple released iPadOS 13.4 recently, it came with an unexpected feature: trackpad and mouse support. Apple plans to release a Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro that has a built-in trackpad in May as well, but in the meantime, you can control an iPad entirely via a Magic Trackpad 2 (the wedge-like one that recharges via a Lightning port). Pair it in Settings > Bluetooth, and look for settings in Settings > General > Trackpad. Apple did an impressive job with integrating a cursor into the iPadOS experience: the small,...

Apr 7, 2020

ZOOM reduces bandwidth of conference calls in US & enables security features by default-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


ZOOM reduces bandwidth of conference calls in US & enables security features by default

Early today ZOOM started alerting its customers that “in order to preserve bandwidth and to ensure that they were making the best use of global bandwidth we may experience intermittent use of HD during meetings with 3 or more participants”. They later went on to explain that ZOOM Rooms and rooms with a Conference Connecter will remain HD enabled. This comes amid a wave of news recently regarding bandwidth being used at a higher capacity ever seen in the home and enterprise markets as uncertainty around COVID-19 grows. Additionally this...

Apr 5, 2020

Grove Technologies adds Apple Business Chat support channel-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Grove Technologies adds Apple Business Chat support channel

We are proud to be able to offer SMS based and Apple Business Chat support to our valued clients. Adding text based chat support is a natural extension of our ability to help our clients which we can now do via Messages for MacOS or iOS. You can initiate an Apple Business Chat by clicking on the Chat bubble below. Apple Business Chat is a new way to communicate with Apple and other businesses using Messages. Start a chat to get answers to your questions, schedule appointments, resolve issues, make...

Apr 3, 2020

Apple Release COVID-19 Screening Tool App and Web Site-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Release COVID-19 Screening Tool App and Web Site

In partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control, Apple has released a free COVID-19 Screening Tool iOS app and nearly identical Web site. The interactive screening tool poses a series of questions about symptoms, risk factors, and recent exposure. Then it offers customized CDC recommendations, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended, and when to contact a medical provider. In addition, the app and Web site provide useful information about COVID-19, advice about how to keep yourself safe,...

Apr 2, 2020

ZOOM Alert - Protect Yourself from ZOOM Bombing attacks-Header
Bleeping Computer Website

Bleeping Computer Website


ZOOM Alert - Protect Yourself from ZOOM Bombing attacks

Note: This is a re-post of this article over at Bleeping Computer’s website. ZOOM has been in the news recently for concerns over its lack of end-to-end encryption, privacy concerns regarding data its sharing with Facebook and most recently the increase in ZOOM Meeting Bombings or unwanted intrusions. ZOOM-bombing is when someone gains unauthorized access to a Zoom meeting to harass the meeting participants in various ways to spread and hate and divisiveness, or to record pranks that will be later shown on social media. Just yesterday, the FBI released...

Apr 2, 2020

Avoid COVID-19 Scams-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Avoid COVID-19 Scams

We have received notifications from our federal partners that there are scams you should be aware regarding to Coronavirus. Some of these types of scams include: Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received, Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable...

Apr 2, 2020

Troubleshooting Steps for When Your Mac Wont Print-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Troubleshooting Steps for When Your Mac Wont Print

There’s little more frustrating than being unable to print a document when you need it. You choose File > Print, and nothing happens. Or, worse, macOS looks like it’s printing, so you focus on some other task, only to realize 20 minutes later that nothing has come out of the printer. Now what? Try these troubleshooting steps.​ Check the Printer’s Print Queue App Whenever you print, the printer’s Print Queue app appears in your Dock, named for the printer. (If it doesn’t, open System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, select...

Mar 31, 2020

COVID-19 Update - DC, MD & VA ALL Issue mandatory stay at home orders-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


COVID-19 Update - DC, MD & VA ALL Issue mandatory stay at home orders

At 3:00pm ET today Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan, used the emergency broadcast system to alert all MD residents that there is now as of 8pm ET on March 30th, 2020 a stay at home mandate starting at 8pm ET. Public Safety Alert Public Health Emergency Announcement: Gov. Hogan issued a Stay-at-Home Order, effective at 8pm tonight. No Marylander should leave their home unless it is for an essential reason. Gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. Grocery stores and essential services remain open. We are counting on you to help...

Mar 30, 2020

COVID-19 update & introducing a new support channel, SMS!-Header
Tiara Thornton

Tiara Thornton


COVID-19 update & introducing a new support channel, SMS!

To our valued clients, This is an unprecedented time in our history. The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the health of our loved ones, the businesses we rely upon, the health of the global economy, and the way we live our daily lives. As we all continue to navigate through these unique and evolving challenges, we want you to know that Grove Technologies is still here for your technical support needs. Currently, there are no cases of the virus reported among employees of Grove Technologies. The safety of...

Mar 26, 2020

How to Choose Between iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How to Choose Between iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream

For quite a few years, Apple enabled users to download their iPhone or iPad photos to their Macs with a service called My Photo Stream. It wasn’t perfect, but it was free, and it did a decent job of ensuring that photos you took on your iPhone or iPad would end up on your Mac. Then Apple introduced iCloud Photo Library, later renamed to iCloud Photos, which is a full-featured cloud-based photo syncing service. However, because it stores all your photos in the cloud, most people need to purchase more...

Mar 26, 2020

Disable or Remap the Caps Lock Key to Avoid Accidental ALL CAPS-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Disable or Remap the Caps Lock Key to Avoid Accidental ALL CAPS

As you undoubtedly know, TYPING IN ALL CAPS is considered shouting on the Internet. Doesn’t it bug you when you accidentally tap the Caps Lock key and start writing in uppercase? The Caps Lock key is vestigial—it was invented as a “Shift lock” key to make it easier to type the second characters on the keys of a mechanical typewriter without also holding down the Shift key the entire time. It’s seldom useful on a computer; Google replaced it with a Search key on Chromebook keyboards. It still appears on...

Mar 24, 2020

Set Your Preferred Name and Photo for Messages in iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Set Your Preferred Name and Photo for Messages in iOS 13

In your list of conversations in Messages, you probably have lots of people who have generic icons next to their names or numbers. You likely look like that to other people as well, but a new feature in iOS 13 lets you share your preferred name and avatar picture with other iMessage users (blue-bubble friends). In Messages, first tap the ••• button and then Edit Name and Photo. Then, in the activity view that appears, tap Edit under your photo to select a new photo and set your name as...

Mar 19, 2020

MacBook Air and iPad Pro-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


MacBook Air and iPad Pro

In a widely expected update, Apple has introduced a new MacBook Air that replaces the much-maligned butterfly keyboard with the new Magic Keyboard. The MacBook Air also gains faster processors, enhanced graphics, and more storage options, all for $200 less than before. Apple also threw back the curtains on an updated iPad Pro that will be compatible with a new iPad Pro-specific Magic Keyboard that includes a trackpad. The iPad Pro is available now, but the Magic Keyboard won’t ship until May. MacBook Air Gains Magic Keyboard, Faster Performance, and...

Mar 19, 2020

Invoke Split View More Easily in Catalina-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Invoke Split View More Easily in Catalina

Split View on the Mac helps you focus on your work in one app—perhaps a word processor—while providing access to one other app, like a Web browser. (Make sure “Displays have separate Spaces” is selected in System Preferences > Mission Control.) Before macOS 10.15 Catalina, you had to click and hold on the green full-screen button in the upper-left corner of any window, drag that window to one side of the screen, and click a window on the other side to put them side by side. Catalina makes this easier...

Mar 17, 2020

Preparing Your Organization for a Possible COVID-19 Quarantine-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Preparing Your Organization for a Possible COVID-19 Quarantine

Grove Technologies cares about your business and the safety of your employees, its on that note that we have decided to start teleworking, a decision that many of our clients have already made from March 19th - April 1st. What does this mean for your company and IT Support? We have always offered the best in class remote support and we will continue to do so. Should you need assistance please call 888-253-9103 for assistance or email [email protected] You can also book an appointment by visiting our scheduling page here....

Mar 16, 2020

Unsubscribe from Marketing Email to Lighten Your Inbox Load-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Unsubscribe from Marketing Email to Lighten Your Inbox Load

Are you overwhelmed by email? Is your Inbox filled with promotions, special offers, and the like? These messages aren’t spam—you almost always bought something from the company or have some sort of relationship with the sender—but that doesn’t mean you want to hear from them repeatedly. Luckily, it’s easy to get off the lists of legitimate senders. Just scroll to the bottom of each message and look for an unsubscribe link. Often it will be the word “Unsubscribe” or an instruction to “click here to remove yourself.” Click the link...

Mar 12, 2020

What to Do If You Run Low on iCloud Storage Space-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What to Do If You Run Low on iCloud Storage Space

By default, Apple gives every iCloud user 5 GB of storage space. That disappears quickly, given how it’s shared between iCloud Mail, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Messages, and iCloud-enabled apps. Apple will, of course, sell you more iCloud space. $0.99 per month gets you 50 GB, $2.99 per month provides 200 GB, and for $9.99 per month, you can use a whopping 2 TB. The latter two plans can even be shared with others in your Family Sharing group. As we’ve noted elsewhere, using iCloud Photos almost certainly requires you...

Mar 10, 2020

Strategies for Moving from Mojave to Catalina-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Strategies for Moving from Mojave to Catalina

For some Mac users, macOS 10.15 Catalina is no longer a choice. That’s because the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and the 2019 Mac Pro that Apple released late last year ship with Catalina installed and can’t run any previous version of macOS. But for most people, it’s time to consider an upgrade to Catalina. Most backup software now works with Catalina’s bifurcated drive approach that puts the system on a separate, read-only volume from your data and apps. We’ve all had several months to come to terms with the fact...

Feb 27, 2020

To Prevent Spearfishing, Set a PIN or Passcode on Your Cell Phone Account-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


To Prevent Spearfishing, Set a PIN or Passcode on Your Cell Phone Account

Spearfishing. It’s no longer just a tropical ocean sport that could provide seafood for dinner. In today’s tech world, spearfishing is when someone targets you specifically, usually with the goal of taking over your online accounts. Once that’s done, the attacker will try to siphon money from your bank account, impersonate you in an attempt to deceive family or colleagues into sending money, or attempt to ruin your reputation. You’re probably thinking, “No one would ever target me. I’m not interesting enough.” It is true that the people who should...

Feb 26, 2020

Learn How to Examine Your iPhones Battery Usage-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Learn How to Examine Your iPhones Battery Usage

A common question we hear is, “Why is my iPhone/iPad battery draining so fast?” Luckily, Apple provides tools that help you see exactly how your iPhone uses its battery over the last 24 hours and—with less detail—over each of the last 10 days. Plus, you can tweak settings that will improve battery life, both in the here-and-now and for as long as you have your iPhone. To access these tools, go to Settings > Battery.​ Useful Battery-Related Options Before we get into what you can learn from the Battery screen,...

Feb 25, 2020

Heres How to Mark Up Photos and Screenshots with Text and Graphics in iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Heres How to Mark Up Photos and Screenshots with Text and Graphics in iOS 13

Ever wanted to take a photo of a receipt and circle the item for which you should be reimbursed? Or perhaps you’d like to put some text or a speech balloon on a photo? You can do all that and much more using iOS 13’s Markup tools. They’re available when you take a screenshot, in Files and Photos, and even for image and PDF attachments in Mail. Here’s what you can do.​ Accessing iOS 13’s Markup Tools How you invoke the Markup tools varies a bit by app. Here are...

Feb 18, 2020

Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts on the Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts on the Mac

Power users like keyboard shortcuts because it’s faster to press a couple of keys than to navigate lengthy menus. If you have trouble remembering shortcuts, check out KeyCue, which displays a concise table of all currently available shortcuts. But what about menu items that lack shortcuts? Make your own in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts. Click the + button, choose an app from the Application menu, fill in the Menu Title field, click the Keyboard Shortcut field, press your desired key combination, and click Add. You...

Feb 13, 2020

Make Your Mac More Useful by Managing Menu Bar Icons-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make Your Mac More Useful by Managing Menu Bar Icons

If your Mac is anything like ours, it’s suffering from an infestation of menu bar icons. Sure, the Wi-Fi menu is essential, and many others can be helpful. But if you have too many, or they’re in random order, finding one when you need it can be frustrating. You can employ two techniques to increase the accessibility of your menu bar icons: Delete any Apple-provided status icon you don’t use by holding down the Command key and dragging it off the menu bar. (To put it back, select the “Show...

Feb 11, 2020

The Fastest Way to Change Wi-Fi Networks in iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The Fastest Way to Change Wi-Fi Networks in iOS 13

Historically, picking a new Wi-Fi network has required you to open the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi, forcing you to unlock your iPhone or switch away from what you were doing. In iOS 13, however, Apple added a better way to connect to a new Wi-Fi network. Open Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner on an iPhone X or later or an iPad; or up from the bottom on an earlier iPhone), press and hold on the network settings card in the upper-left corner to expand it, and...

Feb 6, 2020

Is Your iPhone Reporting No Service When You Know Theres a Signal-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Is Your iPhone Reporting No Service When You Know Theres a Signal

Have you ever seen the dreaded “No Service” label at the top of your iPhone’s screen, even when you’re pretty sure there should be cellular reception? It’s not common, but the iPhone’s cellular radio can occasionally get confused. Luckily, you can easily fix the problem. Open Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner on an iPhone X or later or an iPad; or up from the bottom on an earlier iPhone) and tap the airplane icon to put the iPhone in airplane mode. That turns off the cellular radio....

Feb 4, 2020

Location Privacy-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Location Privacy

The New York Times recently published a bombshell article revealing just how completely our every movement is tracked by companies in the business of selling our locations to advertisers, marketers, and others. Anonymous sources provided the Times with a dataset from a single location-data company that contained 50 billion pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans over several months in 2016 and 2017. This data enabled the Times reporters to track numerous people in positions of power, including military officials, law-enforcement officers, and high-powered lawyers. They were...

Jan 30, 2020

Guided Access-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Guided Access

Let’s get one thing straight. You know that you should never, ever share your iPhone or iPad passcode with anyone you don’t trust implicitly, like a spouse or adult child, right? That’s because, with your iOS passcode, someone could change your Apple ID password, and if you use iCloud for email, completely steal or otherwise abuse your online identity. (Scared? Good. If you’ve given anyone your passcode, go change it right now. We’ll wait.) So if sharing your passcode is such a terrible idea, how do you let someone else...

Jan 23, 2020

Share Voicemail-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Share Voicemail

For many of us, voicemail replaced answering machines, so we don't think of voicemail messages as being something we can save or share. But on the iPhone, every voicemail message is just an audio file. If you want to retain a message for posterity or share one with a friend or colleague, you can do that easily. While viewing a voicemail message, tap the share icon to bring up an activity sheet. In it, you can save the file to any app that can handle audio files, or share the...

Jan 21, 2020

Email Signoffs-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Email Signoffs

Email has been around for decades, but there are no hard-and-fast rules for how you should close a message with either the signoff or the signature block. If you’ve always wondered about the best ways to finish off a message or are uncomfortable with what you’ve been doing, here’s our advice. Use the form of your name that you want the recipient to use. If your given name is Mohammed, but everyone calls you Mo, use that for signing most of your messages. Otherwise, they’ll have no idea you prefer...

Jan 16, 2020

Photo Finding-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Photo Finding

Digital cameras have been around long enough that people have stopped making snarky comments about how hard it is to find anything in a shoebox filled with hundreds of unorganized photos. But given the tens of thousands of photos many of us now have, it’s hard to be smug about the ease of finding any given image. Luckily, Apple has provided us with numerous tools in the Photos app to help. Some of these organization systems you have to set up and maintain, but others work silently for you in...

Jan 14, 2020

Apple Watch Unlock-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Watch Unlock

If you’ve resisted requiring a password on your Mac after it wakes up or comes out of the screen saver because it’s too much work to enter repeatedly, an Apple Watch can make authentication much easier. In previous versions of macOS, just wearing an unlocked Apple Watch is enough to enter your Mac’s password; in Catalina, the Apple Watch can also enter your password when prompted by apps. First, make sure your Apple Watch has a passcode (in Watch > Passcode), is on your wrist, and is unlocked. Then, in...

Jan 9, 2020

Migration Assistant-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Migration Assistant

The next time you buy and set up a new Mac, make sure to migrate data and apps from your previous Mac to it right away during the initial setup. It can be tempting to see what it’s like to use it fresh from the factory or to delay migrating because doing so would force a macOS upgrade, but waiting is a mistake. The problem is that if you do real work in an account on the new Mac, when it comes time to use Migration Assistant to bring over...

Jan 7, 2020

AirDrop-Setting-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


AirDrop-Setting

AirDrop has become a fast and reliable way to transfer data from one iPhone to another that’s nearby. Just tap the share icon and in iOS 13’s activity view, either tap an AirDrop shortcut in the top row or tap AirDrop in the second row and select choose a person or device in the subsequent AirDrop screen. But what if your iPhone doesn’t appear for the person who wants to share with you? Assuming Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both on, the fix is generally to go to Settings > General...

Jan 2, 2020

Apple Releases Redesigned Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Releases Redesigned Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

We’re not going to beat around the bush. Apple’s new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR redefine what “pro” means. If you aren’t certain that the fastest and most powerful Mac and an expertly calibrated 6K Retina display will enable you to make more money immediately, they’re probably not for you. You should also be ready to spend at least $12,000—and likely several thousand more—on the combination. For that money, though, you’ll get a system that puts every previous Mac setup to shame.​ Mac Pro The new Mac Pro, which...

Dec 23, 2019

Did You Know You Can Drag the Scroll Bar in iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know You Can Drag the Scroll Bar in iOS 13

In previous versions of iOS, a scroll bar would appear on the right edge of the screen while you were swiping through a long Web page, email message, or document. But the scroller was merely an indicator of where in the page you were and how much content there was (the bigger the scroller, the less content). In iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, however, Apple has made the scroll bar more helpful, and you’ll want to use it to scroll long pages more quickly than you can with swiping. To...

Dec 21, 2019

Don't Succumb to iOS 13 Update Fatigue-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Don't Succumb to iOS 13 Update Fatigue

Does it seem like that red badge on the Settings app indicating that there’s a new iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 update pops up at least once per week? You’re not imagining things—Apple has been frantically squashing bugs in its mobile operating systems since their release in mid-September. If you haven’t yet upgraded from iOS 12, there’s no harm in waiting until the new year to see if things have settled down. (Well, no harm as long as you don’t receive a pair of Apple’s snazzy new AirPods Pro as...

Dec 17, 2019

In Case of Emergency Create an iPhone Medical ID-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


In Case of Emergency Create an iPhone Medical ID

Accidents, particularly those involving automobiles, are all too common, and while no one plans to be in one, you can prepare for the eventuality. If you end up in a state where you can’t speak with emergency responders or are too shaken up to share your details clearly, your iPhone can provide them with essential medical information. Emergency responders are trained to know how to access these details. Apple makes this possible via the Medical ID feature of the Health app, which you can use to record medical data and...

Dec 15, 2019

Make Sure to Test Your Backup System with Occasional Restores-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make Sure to Test Your Backup System with Occasional Restores

Did you know that the word for the irrational fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia? Neither did we, but what that supposedly unlucky day is good for—whenever it rolls around—is reminding us to test our backup systems. If something does go wrong, backups can save your bacon, but only if they’re actually working. So on Friday the 13th this month, take a few minutes to make sure you can restore files from Time Machine, see if you can boot from your bootable duplicate, and generally verify that your data...

Dec 11, 2019

Need to Import Photos from a non-iPhone or Want to Keep Images out of Photos-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Import Photos from a non-iPhone or Want to Keep Images out of Photos

Most Mac users rely on iPhones and iPads to take photos and store them in the Photos app, which happens automatically for those who use Apple’s iCloud Photos syncing service. But what if you want to import photos from a device other than an iPhone or iPad—say a Samsung smartphone running Android—and what if you don’t want those images in Photos? Turn to Apple’s Image Capture app, which has shipped with macOS for ages and is stored in your Applications folder’s Utilities folder. To use it, connect your device to...

Dec 9, 2019

Need to Move Lots of Data Between Macs Try Target Disk Mode-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Move Lots of Data Between Macs Try Target Disk Mode

we can move data between Macs. You can send files via AirDrop, attach them to an email message, put them in a Messages conversation, turn on and connect via File Sharing, or use Dropbox or Google Drive as an intermediary, to name just a few of the more obvious approaches. But what if you have a lot of data—say tens or even hundreds of gigabytes—to transfer from one Mac to another? The techniques listed above might work, but we wouldn’t bet on it. If you had an external hard drive...

Dec 5, 2019

The iPhone 11 Camera App's Shutter Button Works Differently-Here’s How-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The iPhone 11 Camera App's Shutter Button Works Differently-Here’s How

With the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple changed the way the Camera app’s shutter button works in ways that could cause confusion. Tapping it once still takes a single still photo, but if you press and hold on the shutter button, it now captures a quick video. (Previously, pressing and holding on the button took photos in burst mode; to do that on the iPhone 11 models, slide the shutter button to the left.) Once you’ve started taking a quick video, slide your finger...

Dec 3, 2019

Need to Charge Your iPhone or iPad More Quickly?-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Charge Your iPhone or iPad More Quickly?

By default, most iPhones and iPads ship with Apple’s tiny 5-watt power adapters. They work, but not quickly. However, the iPhone 8 and later, all models of the iPad Pro, and the most recent iPad Air and iPad mini models support fast charging when connected to higher wattage power adapters. You may have an older one of these around, or you can buy a new one. Apple has bundled with iOS devices or sold 10-watt, 12-watt ($19), and 18-watt ($29, USB-C) power adapters, and the company has also produced 29-watt,...

Nov 29, 2019

Whats Your Plan If Your Mac Dies-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Whats Your Plan If Your Mac Dies

We assume you have a backup strategy. Hopefully, it includes a bootable duplicate to minimize downtime in the event of a drive failure, a Time Machine or other versioned backup to address the problem of a deleted or corrupted file, and offsite backup to ensure that you don’t lose everything in the event of theft, fire, or flood. (And for many California residents these days, fire is an increasingly likely concern!) A good backup strategy protects your data, though it’s decidedly a case of “necessary, but not sufficient.” That’s because...

Nov 25, 2019

Consider USB Peripherals When Troubleshooting Mac Problems-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Consider USB Peripherals When Troubleshooting Mac Problems

If you’re experiencing a sporadic problem with your Mac, the sort of thing that happens often enough to be annoying but not so frequently as to be reproducible, allow us to suggest one little-known troubleshooting tip. Malfunctioning USB devices—keyboards, mice, hubs, printers, etc.—can sometimes cause truly inscrutable problems ranging from startup issues to kernel panics. USB-caused issues aren’t common, but when they do happen, they can be challenging to track down. If you’ve tried everything else, disconnect all unnecessary USB devices and, if possible, swap your wired keyboard and mouse...

Nov 22, 2019

Why Apple Business Manager Is a Win for Firms-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Why Apple Business Manager Is a Win for Firms

If you run a company, you know how much work onboarding a new employee can be. Beyond teaching them the ropes of your business, they’ll need a Mac and potentially an iPhone or iPad as well. Setting those devices up with all the right apps, settings, and logins can take days or even weeks. And that’s just for one person—imagine if you need to lather, rinse, and repeat for dozens or even hundreds of new employees? The solution is Apple Business Manager, which ensures that every Apple device you purchase...

Nov 18, 2019

New 16 inch MacBook Pro-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


New 16 inch MacBook Pro

New 16-inch MacBook Pro Model Sports a Redesigned Scissor-Switch Keyboard Responding to customer complaints and media mocking, Apple has introduced a new 16-inch MacBook Pro that features improves on its predecessor in several ways, most notably with a scissor-switch keyboard in place of the flaky butterfly-key keyboard. The 16-inch MacBook Pro replaces the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro at the top of Apple’s notebook line and starts at $2399. The 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air remain unchanged. Apple also announced that the new Mac Pro (starting at $5999) and Apple...

Nov 15, 2019

Be Careful in iOS 13s Mail App-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Be Careful in iOS 13s Mail App

For unknown reasons, Apple redesigned the toolbar in the iOS 13 version of Mail. Such things happen, but this time, Apple made a big mistake and moved Mail’s Trash button to where its Reply button used to be. Lots of people who have become accustomed to tapping Reply are now finding themselves deleting messages inadvertently, since a tap in the same location in iOS 13 deletes the message. It’s hard to retrain muscle memory—the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought—but if you find yourself deleting messages accidentally,...

Nov 15, 2019

You Can Now Access Flash Drives on an iPhone or iPad-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


You Can Now Access Flash Drives on an iPhone or iPad

An unexpected and useful feature of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 is also nearly invisible, and for most uses, requires a special adapter. With this feature, the Files app now can “see” external storage devices. That’s huge—now you can move data to and from an iPhone or iPad using standard flash drives, SD card readers, or even powered USB hard drives. It’s also a great way to play videos and other data that won’t fit in the available free space on your device. (You’ll still need an app on the...

Nov 11, 2019

Use the Driving ETA Feature in iOS 13s Maps App to Share Your Arrival Time-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use the Driving ETA Feature in iOS 13s Maps App to Share Your Arrival Time

A small but welcome new feature of iOS 13 is Driving ETA, which helps you share your estimated time of arrival with a contact whenever you’re navigating with the Maps app. To use Driving ETA, start navigating to a destination in Maps, tap Share ETA at the bottom of the screen, and pick the person with whom you want to share your location and arrival time. (You’ll share in Maps with iOS 13 users and via Messages with everyone else.) The other person will receive a notification of your ETA...

Nov 8, 2019

Apple’s New AirPods Pro Offer Active Noise Cancellation and Better Fit-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple’s New AirPods Pro Offer Active Noise Cancellation and Better Fit

Are you a fan of Apple’s AirPods, or have you had trouble with them staying in your ears? Either way, you might like the just-released AirPods Pro, which offer a new design with three sizes of soft, flexible, silicone ear tips and welcome new capabilities. The ear tips should make the AirPods Pro fit better for more people, and an Ear Tip Fit Test will tell you which size is right for your ears. The hot new feature is Active Noise Cancellation mode, which significantly cuts down on the background...

Nov 4, 2019

New Organization and Editing in Photos in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


New Organization and Editing in Photos in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

Taking photos is a popular use of the iPhone, and Apple has said that the improved cameras gave this year’s iPhone 11 Pro models their “Pro” designation. But Apple continually works to improve the Photos app as well. Taking great photos is only half the job—you also have to be able to find, edit, and enjoy your photos, and that’s where the company focused its efforts in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 (which we’ll refer to collectively as iOS 13 from now on). Here’s what’s new.​ Years, Months, Days, All...

Nov 1, 2019

Which Precise Mac Model Do You Have-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Which Precise Mac Model Do You Have

Apple likes to keep Mac names simple, but that’s not always helpful. For instance, if you want to add RAM to your Mac, it’s not good enough to know that it’s an iMac. You’ll need to know that it’s a 27-inch iMac with Retina display from late 2014. To find that out, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu. In some cases, you might even need to know the model identifier, which is a numeric code that’s accessible if you click the System Report button in the About This...

Oct 24, 2019

What Does Having a T2 Chip in Your Mac Mean to You-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What Does Having a T2 Chip in Your Mac Mean to You

If you own an iMac Pro, or a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro model introduced in 2018 or later, your Mac has one of Apple’s T2 security chips inside. On the whole, having a T2 chip in your Mac is a good thing, thanks to significantly increased security and other benefits, but there are some ramifications that you may not realize.​ What Is a T2 Chip? Let’s step back briefly. In late 2016, Apple introduced the T2’s predecessor, the T1, in the first Touch Bar–equipped MacBook Pros. The...

Oct 22, 2019

iOS 13 Replaces 3D Touch with Tap and Hold-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


iOS 13 Replaces 3D Touch with Tap and Hold

Do you use 3D Touch on your iPhone? From 2015 through 2018, every iPhone from the iPhone 6s through the iPhone XS supported 3D Touch, other than the iPhone SE and iPhone XR. With 3D Touch, you could (sometimes) press a control, and then press a little harder to make additional options appear. But because the 3D Touch hardware was expensive, it never made its way to the iPad or iPod touch. Apple replaced 3D Touch in the entire iPhone 11 line this year with the iPhone XR’s simpler Haptic...

Oct 17, 2019

iOS 13 Makes Editing Text Easier-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


iOS 13 Makes Editing Text Easier

Let’s be honest—text editing in iOS has never been anywhere near as good as it is on the Mac. We may be more accustomed to our mice and keyboards, but the Multi-Touch interface has always been clumsy when it comes to text. Apple keeps trying to improve iOS’s text editing features, and iOS 13 (and iPadOS 13) brings some welcome changes in how we go about positioning the text insertion point, selecting text, and performing the familiar options in the Mac’s Edit menu: Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo/Redo. Has it...

Oct 15, 2019

Everything You Need to Know about Multitasking in iPadOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Everything You Need to Know about Multitasking in iPadOS 13

With this year’s operating system updates, Apple has formally acknowledged that the iPhone and iPad have different uses and different needs. To that end, Apple has given the iPad version of iOS 13 its own name—iPadOS 13. The big changes include a desktop-class version of Safari that works better with complex Web apps, a redesigned Home screen that sports more icons and Today View widgets, a new floating keyboard you can use for thumb-typing or with one hand, Apple Pencil improvements, and the Sidecar feature that lets you use an...

Oct 11, 2019

Do You Put Dates in Filenames-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Do You Put Dates in Filenames

There are plenty of situations where it makes sense to put a date in a filename, but if you don’t use the right date format, the files may sort in unhelpful ways. For instance, using the names of months is a bad idea, since they’ll sort alphabetically, putting April before January. And although the Mac’s Finder is smart enough to sort filename-3 before filename-20, most other operating systems are not (because 2 comes before 3). So, to make your life—and the lives of everyone with whom you share files—a little...

Oct 8, 2019

Beware Scammers when Selling Your Old Tech Hardware Online-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Beware Scammers when Selling Your Old Tech Hardware Online

Whenever Apple releases hot new hardware, it’s tempting to order the latest and greatest and then put your old Mac or iPhone up for sale on a classifieds site like Craigslist. If you do that, be cautious about potential buyers—it’s increasingly common for a scammer to request that you ship them the device and then to “pay” you by forging payment email from PayPal or using a stolen PayPal account (whose owner will likely get PayPal to take the money back from you). Instead, insist on an in-person meeting in...

Oct 3, 2019

We Recommend You Delay Upgrading to macOS Catalina-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


We Recommend You Delay Upgrading to macOS Catalina

Dear clients, Apple plans to release macOS 10.15 Catalina sometime in October, and like all major operating system releases, Apple has been talking it up since it was introduced at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June. It will feature new Music, TV, and Podcasts apps to replace iTunes. A new Mac Catalyst technology will make it easier for developers to make their iPad apps available for the Mac. Photos, Reminders, and Notes all get major upgrades. Screen Time has migrated over from iOS. And Sidecar lets you use an...

Oct 2, 2019

Two Secret Key Combos for Forward Delete-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Two Secret Key Combos for Forward Delete

Traditionally, extended keyboards come with a Forward Delete key that, when you press it, deletes characters to the right of the insertion point, unlike the main Delete key, which deletes to the left of the insertion point. Forward Delete still exists on Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, but it’s missing from the Magic Keyboard and all Mac laptop keyboards. If you like using Forward Delete (and well you should!), the secret key combinations that simulate it for any Apple keyboard that lacks it are Fn-Delete and Control-D. You can...

Sep 26, 2019

Some of Our Favorite Features of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Some of Our Favorite Features of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

It’s hard to sum up iOS 13’s benefits succinctly because Apple has made so many improvements (we’ll get to what’s cool about iPadOS 13 later in the article). That means there’s something for just about everyone. Here are some of the changes we think you’ll most appreciate. Better Text Handling An area in iOS that has long begged for improvement is text handling. Although the familiar approaches still work, you can finally select text by merely tapping and swiping. Double-taps select recognized bits of text like phone numbers and addresses,...

Sep 24, 2019

Want to Use Your Friends Nicknames in iOS Heres How-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Want to Use Your Friends Nicknames in iOS Heres How

If you have a friend whom you refer to only by his nickname, it can be annoying to feel like you should use his proper first name when adding him to Contacts. Worse, then he shows up in Messages with a name you don’t recognize as easily. Here’s how to convince iOS to use his nickname instead. Open his card in Contacts, tap Edit, scroll to the bottom, tap Add Field, and tap Nickname. That puts a Nickname field at the top, under his proper name, for you to fill...

Sep 19, 2019

Some of Our Favorite Features of Catalina-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Some of Our Favorite Features of Catalina

In a break from Apple’s pattern of alternating cycle of releases, macOS 10.15 Catalina is not a refinement of 10.14 Mojave like 10.13 High Sierra was for 10.12 Sierra. Instead, Catalina boasts significant changes, both obvious things like new apps and less-obvious things like under-the-hood improvements. Here are some of our favorites. iTunes Is Dead! Long Live Music, TV, and Podcasts After 18 years of being a fixture on the Mac, the increasingly bloated iTunes has been replaced with a trio of independent apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. Note that...

Sep 17, 2019

The Scoop on the New iPhone 11 Apple Watch Series 5 7th-gen iPad and Apple Services-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The Scoop on the New iPhone 11 Apple Watch Series 5 7th-gen iPad and Apple Services

At its September 10th special event, Apple unveiled a slew of new products and services, including the iPhone 11, the Apple Watch Series 5, the seventh-generation iPad, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+. The company also said that iOS 13 and watchOS 6 would ship on September 19th, with iPadOS 13 appearing on September 30th and macOS 10.15 Catalina due sometime in October. Don’t feel the need to update to iOS 13.0 right away, though, since Apple also said that iOS 13.1 would arrive just 11 days later, on September 30th....

Sep 14, 2019

When Should You Upgrade Catalina-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


When Should You Upgrade Catalina

As we get into September, it’s a good bet that Apple will be pushing out the next major versions of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, along with the new iPadOS, which is iOS with iPad-specific tweaks. Apple previewed these new versions back in June, and they’ve been in public beta since. Once Apple makes macOS 10.15 Catalina, iOS 13, iPadOS 13, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13 available, the question looms large—when should you install them? (Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying major operating...

Sep 12, 2019

Personalize Your Mac with Custom Document Icons-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Personalize Your Mac with Custom Document Icons

Do you have a document that you open regularly, perhaps from your Desktop? If you’d like to make it stand out from other documents, why not give it a custom icon? This was common practice on the Mac back in the day, and it’s still possible in modern versions of macOS. Go to Google Images and search for “searchTerm icon” to see what images are available. (It’s fine to use any graphic for one-time personal use; if you’re planning to distribute the file or publish the icon in any way,...

Sep 10, 2019

Make a Backup before Upgrading to Catalina or iOS 13-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make a Backup before Upgrading to Catalina or iOS 13

Confession time. If there’s one topic we can’t stop talking about, it’s backups. Backups are essential, since no one can guarantee that your Mac or iPhone won’t be lost or stolen, be caught in a flood from a broken pipe, or just fail silently. It happens. You should have a good backup strategy that ensures backups happen regularly, but it’s not paranoid to make double extra sure when you’re doing something that’s more likely to cause problems than everyday activity. And by that we’re thinking about upgrading to a major...

Sep 5, 2019

How to Get Custom Alerts for Email from Your VIPs-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How to Get Custom Alerts for Email from Your VIPs

Few people get so little email that they want an iPhone notification for every message that rolls in. But many of us have just a couple of people—our personal VIPs—whose messages are important enough to warrant an alert. If that’s true for you, and you want to know right away when your boss or your spouse or your child sends you a message, set up VIP Alerts. In Mail in iOS, in your Mailboxes list, tap the i button next to the VIP mailbox. If necessary, use the Add VIP...

Sep 3, 2019

What Can You Store in Apple’s Wallet App? Credit Cards, Boarding Passes, Tickets, and More!-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What Can You Store in Apple’s Wallet App? Credit Cards, Boarding Passes, Tickets, and More!

Have you wondered what you can do with the Wallet app on your iPhone? Although it started life called Passbook, Apple soon realized that the only sensible name was Wallet. That’s because it stores digital versions of roughly the same sort of things you might put in a physical wallet: credit and debit cards, store cards, membership cards, and even cash (well, Apple Pay Cash, anyway). Nearly all airlines can put your boarding passes in Wallet, too, and if you buy something like a concert ticket online, you may be...

Aug 29, 2019

Use AirPods to Improve Your Hearing-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use AirPods to Improve Your Hearing

An ever-increasing number of people have hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise and age. If you’re in that group, but don’t yet need hearing aids, try using your AirPods to help you hear better in certain situations. iOS’s Live Listen feature uses your iPhone’s mic to pick up specific sounds and then sends that audio directly to your AirPods, helping you focus on what you want to hear. To enable Live Listen, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green + button next...

Aug 27, 2019

Six Tips for Writing Better Email-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Six Tips for Writing Better Email

Apple has put a lot of effort into Mail, providing lots of features you can employ to get through your email more quickly. But one of the most effective ways to improve your email productivity has nothing to do with an email app. Instead, train yourself to write better email and you’ll cut down on a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth and confusion. Remember, email is not chat—you say things in an interactive conversation that could take days to untangle in an email thread. Here are some of the top ways...

Aug 22, 2019

Need to Restart a Mac That Has Frozen? Here’s How-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Restart a Mac That Has Frozen? Here’s How

It’s extremely uncommon for a Mac to freeze or crash these days, but it can happen. What should you do if your Mac locks up and becomes completely unresponsive to the mouse and keyboard? The trick is to press and hold the power button until the Mac turns off. Wait 5 or 10 seconds, and press it again to turn the Mac back on. You will lose any unsaved changes if you do this, so use it only as a last resort when you can’t restart normally. Look for the...

Aug 20, 2019

Migrate Your Data from an Old iPhone to a New One with iOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Migrate Your Data from an Old iPhone to a New One with iOS 12

Most people are probably waiting until September to buy a new iPhone, but Apple is laying the groundwork for making the migration from an old phone to a new one even easier this time around. In iOS 12.4, Apple introduced a new way to migrate your data directly from one iPhone to another. This is an extension of the iOS 11 Quick Start feature that helps you set up a new iPhone with settings from your current device. All you have to do is turn on the new iPhone and...

Aug 15, 2019

Learn How to Autofill SMS Login Codes in iOS 12 and Mojave-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Learn How to Autofill SMS Login Codes in iOS 12 and Mojave

An ever-increasing number of Web sites boost their security via two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires you to type in a short numeric code to complete a login after entering your username and password. It’s a big win because that code is generated on the fly and is good for only a short time (often 30 seconds). So even if your username and password were revealed in a data breach, your account is safe if you use 2FA. We recommend using it whenever possible. You get these codes—usually six digits—in one...

Aug 13, 2019

Go Beyond External Hard Drives with Network-Attached Storage-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Go Beyond External Hard Drives with Network-Attached Storage

If you’ve filled up your external hard drives or become frustrated by their limitations, it’s time to look into a network-attached storage (NAS) device. What’s a NAS? It’s an intelligent storage device that can accept one or more hard drives or SSDs and connects to your network via Ethernet. NAS Benefits A NAS is a good choice for anyone who needs access to lots of storage, but small businesses in particular will appreciate the benefits of a NAS. They include: More storage: Most NAS devices provide multiple drive bays, so...

Aug 9, 2019

Annoyed by Your Holiday Music Playing out of Season? Stop It with This Tip-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Annoyed by Your Holiday Music Playing out of Season? Stop It with This Tip

Winter Wonderland may be a great song to listen to when the snow flies, but if you’re sweltering in summer heat, having it pop up while iTunes is shuffling through your music feels wrong. Happily, there’s a way to prevent holiday music from playing out of season—this trick is also useful for keeping children’s songs from shuffling alongside tracks from Abba, Beethoven, and The Clash. In iTunes, select the songs you want to prevent from being included when you shuffle all tracks, and choose Edit > Get Info. In the...

Aug 6, 2019

Use macOS’s Guest Account to Protect Your Privacy from Temporary Users-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use macOS’s Guest Account to Protect Your Privacy from Temporary Users

We’ve all had it happen. “Can I use your Mac for a minute to check my email?” The answer can be “Yes,” but to keep people from poking around on your Mac, have your visitor log in as Guest. To enable the Guest account, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. If the lock at the bottom left is closed, click it and enter your admin credentials. Then click Guest User in the list, and select “Allow guests to log in to this computer.” To switch to the Guest...

Jul 30, 2019

The Secret Trick That Lets You Paste Phone Numbers into the Phone App-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The Secret Trick That Lets You Paste Phone Numbers into the Phone App

Most iOS apps and many Web sites make phone numbers “hot” so you can tap them to call. But it’s not uncommon to run across a number that’s formatted oddly or broken across a line of text such that it can’t be recognized. Just because iOS can’t recognize it doesn’t mean you have to memorize the number temporarily or flip back and forth to the Phone app to type it in it. Here’s a workaround. Double-tap the start of the phone number to select it, and then drag the rightmost...

Jul 26, 2019

Never Send Someone a Password in Mail or Messages- Do This Instead!-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Never Send Someone a Password in Mail or Messages- Do This Instead!

One of the big no-nos with passwords is sending them to other people as plain text in email or a text message conversation. You presumably trust your recipient with the password, but what if their email was hacked or phone stolen? Instead, always use a site like 1ty.me or One-Time Secret, which lets you turn a password into a Web link that can be opened only once. Send that link to the recipient, and when they get the password out, they can store it in a secure password manager like...

Jul 21, 2019

Here’s How to See Full URLs in Safari’s Smart Search Field-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Here’s How to See Full URLs in Safari’s Smart Search Field

By default, Safari on the Mac hides full Web addresses—technically known as URLs—from you, showing just the site name in the Smart Search field at the top of the window. If you click in the field or press Command-L, the full URL appears, which is good for checking that you’re really where you think you should be and not on some dodgy site. It’s also useful if you need to copy just a portion of the URL to share or otherwise work with. To make that check easier, go to...

Jul 19, 2019

Use Spotlight on the Mac to Convert Units Track Flights Find Movies and More-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use Spotlight on the Mac to Convert Units Track Flights Find Movies and More

Most Mac users probably think of searching on the Mac in relation to finding files on their drives. That may be the most common use of Apple’s Spotlight search technology, but over the years, Apple has continually enhanced Spotlight’s capabilities, turning it into a veritable Swiss Army Knife that you can invoke with a quick press of Command-Space bar or a click on the magnifying glass at the right side of the menu bar. Here are a few of our favorite uses for Spotlight that you may not have been...

Jul 16, 2019

Some May Like It Hot But Your Technology Prefers to Stay Cool-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Some May Like It Hot But Your Technology Prefers to Stay Cool

When summer brings sunny days and rising temperatures, you may have ditched your business suit for shorts or skirts to stay comfortable, but your technological gear can’t do the same. And keeping your tech cool is about more than comfort—as temperatures rise, performance can suffer, charging may get slower or stop, various components might be disabled, and devices can become unreliable. How Hot Is Too Hot? You might be surprised by the recommended operating temperatures for Apple gear—whether you’re talking about an iPhone X or a MacBook Pro, the company...

Jul 12, 2019

Munki Customization & Branding-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Munki Customization & Branding

Today we’re going to explore branding and customization of a few popular open source Mac management tools Munki and Munki Report. Before we dive into the specifics and get into the weeds it’s important to first recap and review the importance of branding and its role in the IT admin space. Why is branding so key when it comes to our ability to support our users? When you look at some of the brands on this screen you get a sense, a feeling and it sparks an emotional tone. Branding...

Jul 10, 2019

Did You Know You Can Make a Video of Anything on Your iPhone or iPad Screen-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know You Can Make a Video of Anything on Your iPhone or iPad Screen

You know how to use the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad to take a video, but did you know that you can also record a video of what happens on the screen of your device? That’s useful if you’re trying to explain the steps of some technical process to a friend or show a tech support rep what’s going wrong in an app or Web site. You could also use a screen recording to copy a video from Facebook, for instance, that you want to send to a...

Jul 8, 2019

Buy Quality Cables to Avoid Possible Device Damage or Even Fires-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Buy Quality Cables to Avoid Possible Device Damage or Even Fires

Apple’s prices for Lightning, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3 cables often seem high—$19 for a USB-C to Lightning cable or $29 if you want a 2-meter version? Unfortunately, when it comes to cables, you often get what you pay for. Happily, other reputable hardware manufacturers like Anker and Belkin make quality cables and often charge less than Apple. Stay away from the bargain basement prices from no-name Chinese manufacturers, and if you see a supposedly genuine Apple cable selling for a too-good-to-be-true price, consider the possibility that it’s counterfeit. Apple has...

Jul 4, 2019

Read More Easily on the iPhone with Safari Reader-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Read More Easily on the iPhone with Safari Reader

Do you sometimes find it difficult to read articles on your iPhone because of ads, banners, extraneous layout, social media icons, and too-small fonts? We certainly do, and there’s often a quick fix for the myriad ills of modern Web pages: Safari Reader. Whenever you see the Safari Reader icon to the left of the site’s domain name in the address bar, tap it to switch to a cleaner view that dispenses with all the unnecessary trimmings and presents the content in a larger, more readable font. Tap the font...

Jul 3, 2019

Customize Your Macs Dock for Increased Productivity-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Customize Your Macs Dock for Increased Productivity

By default, Apple populates your Mac’s Dock with all sorts of apps and arranges them in a particular order. But there’s no rhyme or reason to the defaults, and you shouldn’t be afraid to add, remove, and rearrange apps on your Dock. To add an app, drag its icon from the Applications folder to the desired spot on the Dock. To remove an app you never use, drag its icon far enough off the Dock that a Remove tag appears above the icon and then let go. To arrange the...

Jul 2, 2019

A Quick Way to Check Battery Levels on Your iOS devices-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


A Quick Way to Check Battery Levels on Your iOS devices

Apple’s Batteries widget is a little known but highly useful tool for quickly assessing which of your small Apple devices is lowest on power—something you may wish to do particularly when traveling with only one charging cable. To access it, switch to Today view on the iPhone, accessible by swiping right on the Home screen or Lock screen. If the Batteries widget isn’t already there, scroll to the bottom, tap Edit, and tap the green + button to the left of Batteries in the list. Of course, if you just...

Jul 1, 2019

Heres What You Need to Know about the Butterfly Keyboard-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Heres What You Need to Know about the Butterfly Keyboard

When Apple introduced the 12-inch MacBook in April 2015, the machine was the thinnest Mac ever, with a tapered design that starts at a mere 3.5 mm and grows only to 13.1 mm. A change from previous laptop models that made such an incredibly thin design possible was a new keyboard that swapped a scissor-style switch under each key for a new “butterfly mechanism” that’s 40 percent thinner. In October 2016, Apple started using a second generation of the so-called “butterfly” keyboard in the MacBook Pro line. Then, in July...

Jun 25, 2019

Apple Issues Voluntary Recall for Certain 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro Units-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Issues Voluntary Recall for Certain 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro Units

Heads up! If you’re using an older 15-inch MacBook Pro—the version with lots of ports that predates the current Thunderbolt 3 models—Apple has started a recall program to replace batteries that could explode and catch on fire. (We’re not kidding.) The affected MacBook Pro models were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017. To find out if your 15-inch MacBook Pro is affected, enter its serial number into Apple’s recall page. If it is included in the recall, shut it down and stop using it immediately! Contact Apple for a free...

Jun 21, 2019

iCloud Link Photo Sharing-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


iCloud Link Photo Sharing

It’s easy to share a single photo from your iPhone or iPad with a friend, but if you want to share a bunch of photos or lengthy videos, sending them in Messages or Mail might not work or could impact your (and your recipients’) data caps. In iOS 12, Apple added a clever feature that instead uploads the files to iCloud and lets you share a simple link that your recipients can use to view and download. Use this approach and your messages will send and be received faster and...

Jun 19, 2019

Use Dropbox's Selective Sync to Save Space on Small Drives-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use Dropbox's Selective Sync to Save Space on Small Drives

If you’re like many of our clients who use Dropbox intensively, you have a desktop Mac with a large drive and a MacBook with much less drive space. How do you prevent your large Dropbox account from overwhelming the laptop Mac’s available storage? The answer is Dropbox’s Selective Sync feature. On the MacBook, click the Dropbox icon in the menu bar, click your avatar in the upper-right corner, and choose Preferences. In the Preferences window, click Sync and then click the Choose Folders to Sync button. Deselect the folders you...

Jun 14, 2019

New MacBook Pros, New iPod touch, OS Updates-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


New MacBook Pros, New iPod touch, OS Updates

Apple is well known for its splashy media events, now usually held in the Steve Jobs Theater at the company’s new Cupertino campus. But Apple reserves such events for major announcements. Smaller announcements, such as minor updates to particular product lines, operating system updates, or new repair programs, get only a press release, if that. But just because a change doesn’t merit much fuss doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting—if you’ve been waiting for the right moment to buy a new Mac, for instance, an announcement of a small MacBook Pro revision...

Jun 10, 2019

Here's What’s Coming from Apple in 2019-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Here's What’s Coming from Apple in 2019

Here’s What’s Coming from Apple in 2019 At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 3rd, the company unveiled the next versions of all its operating systems—macOS 10.15 Catalina, iOS 13 (and a new iPadOS), watchOS 6, and tvOS 13–along with the much-anticipated new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Nothing that was announced will ship until later this year—probably September—but we wanted to give you a quick overview of what’s coming down the pike. macOS 10.15 Catalina With macOS 10.15, which Apple is calling “Catalina,” the company is working to...

Jun 5, 2019

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Password Manager-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Password Manager

We often recommend using a password manager like 1Password or LastPass, but we’ve gotten a few questions asking why we’re so adamant about this. Lots of people think that all they need to do to keep their online accounts secure is create a single password with some numbers, often switching a lowercase L with a 1 and a capital E with a 3. And that’s for accounts people care about—for those that they don’t see as important, they’re likely to use a simple password like their child’s or pet’s name....

Jun 4, 2019

The new Mac Pro Tower: Wheels optional-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The new Mac Pro Tower: Wheels optional

Dual sided Logic Board So happy to see that Apple is going back to its ability to allow users to upgrade and customize their Mac Pro tower experience. There was much much love for the old Cheese Grater style Mac Pro and many are still in use because of their overall upgradeability and customization. Not saying that the Trash Can approach was bad. It was in line with their motto, think different. Coming up with a new and unique approach to power computing. Unfortunately overall extensibility and the lack of...

Jun 3, 2019

MacOS 10.15 Catalina Releasing this Fall-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


MacOS 10.15 Catalina Releasing this Fall

MacOS Catalina 10.15 Wow things move quickly from year to year. No surprise here. MacOS Catalina brings a whole new level of cool back to the Mac in my honest opinion. I am so happy that Apple has decided to break out iTunes into multiple apps. iTunes back in the day was so awesome, easy to use and simplistic. Now it tends to be a power hungry and semi confusing app to use as its the defacto app for everything. How about that annoying feature that automatically launched iTunes when...

Jun 3, 2019

Senior Executives Pose a Danger to Cyber Security-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Senior Executives Pose a Danger to Cyber Security

You Can’t Teach an Old Dog…. or Can You? I remember trying to explain a VCR to older relatives.  It wasn’t that they were less intelligent or unable to grasp the overall concept, it was that it wasn’t a necessary thing to learn in their opinion.  They weren’t interested in the technology; they had fared fine in life so far without having to watch a recorded episode of anything.  In fact, most of their lives were spent without television altogether. While not exactly the same, there are similarities in this...

Jun 1, 2019

Did You Know iOS 12 Lets You Add a Second Person to Face ID-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know iOS 12 Lets You Add a Second Person to Face ID

Touch ID lets users register up to five fingers that can unlock an iPhone, which has long been a boon for those who share access to their iPhone with trusted family members. However, users of the iPhone X haven’t been able to give a second person Face ID-based access, forcing those people to wait for Face ID to fail and then tap in a passcode manually. iOS 12 lifts that limitation, allowing a second person to register their face with Face ID on the iPhone X and the new iPhone...

Nov 29, 2018

Need to Limit How Much Your Kids Use Their Devices Use Screen Time in iOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Need to Limit How Much Your Kids Use Their Devices Use Screen Time in iOS 12

It’s a constant refrain in many homes—a kid clamoring to use an iPad or iPhone to play games, watch videos, or chat with friends. As a parent, you know too much screen time is bad, especially when it affects homework or family dinners. At the same time, an iOS device may be essential for communication and schoolwork. In iOS 12, Apple introduced Screen Time, which shows how much time you spend on your own device, and helps you control your usage—see our recent article for details. But Screen Time also...

Nov 27, 2018

How Apple Changed Sending a Photo in Messages in iOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How Apple Changed Sending a Photo in Messages in iOS 12

Before iOS 12, you’d tap the camera button in a Messages chat in order to share either a brand-new photo or a photo that had already been taken. In iOS 12, Apple changed things so tapping the camera button only lets you take a fresh photo. To find and send a photo that’s already in Photos, use the Photos mini-app in Messages. If necessary, tap the Apps button to the left of the message field to show the Messages apps, and then tap the Photos button to see a list...

Nov 22, 2018

How to Make Screenshots and Screen Recordings with Mojaves New Interface-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How to Make Screenshots and Screen Recordings with Mojaves New Interface

You probably fall into one of two camps: people who haven’t the foggiest idea what pressing Command-Shift-3 or Command-Shift-4 do on the Mac, and those who use those keyboard shortcuts regularly to take screenshots. Either way, macOS 10.14 Mojave makes it easier than ever to create a still image of what’s on your Mac’s screen and to record a video of actions you take on the screen. (And don’t worry, the old shortcuts still work just as they always have.) For those who aren’t screenshot takers, why would you want...

Nov 20, 2018

To Update macOS 10.14 Mojave Use This New System Preferences Pane-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


To Update macOS 10.14 Mojave Use This New System Preferences Pane

For years, you’ve used the App Store app to install operating system and app updates on your Mac. That’s still true for apps, but with macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple moved operating system updates to the new Software Update preference pane, which replaces the old App Store preference pane. Open System Preferences > Software Update to check your version of macOS and access available updates—there will be an Update Now button to click. You should also visit this pane to tell your Mac how to best handle system and app updates:...

Nov 15, 2018

What Are All These New Privacy Request Dialogs in Mojave-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What Are All These New Privacy Request Dialogs in Mojave

With macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple has beefed up the Mac’s privacy so it more closely resembles privacy in iOS. You’ve noticed that when you launch a new app on your iPhone or iPad, it often prompts for access to your photos or contacts, the camera or microphone, and more. The idea behind those prompts is that you should always be aware of how a particular app can access your personal data or features of your device. You might not want to let some new game thumb through your photos or...

Nov 13, 2018

So What Are All Those Stacks of Notifications in iOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


So What Are All Those Stacks of Notifications in iOS 12

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by iOS notifications, particularly if you have chatty friends or apps. In iOS 12, Apple corralled notifications by grouping them into stacks so you no longer see an endless screen of alerts. To expand a stack of notifications on either the Lock screen or in Notification Center (swipe down from the top of the screen), tap the stack. Once you’ve expanded a stack, you can tap Show Less to restack it, tap the X button to remove the entire stack, or tap any...

Nov 8, 2018

The Best Apple-Related Gifts for 2018-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The Best Apple-Related Gifts for 2018

Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping seasons are nearly upon us. If you’re looking for gift ideas for your Apple-using loved ones, we have a few suggestions that are guaranteed to be popular. Apple Watch The new Apple Watch Series 4 may be the gift hit of the season as adult children buy it for aging parents. That’s happening due to the Apple Watch’s health monitoring capabilities, which include fall detection, atrial fibrillation detection, and (soon) the capability to record electrocardiograms. It may seem expensive at $399...

Nov 6, 2018

Apple Finally Updates MacBook Air and Mac Mini-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Finally Updates MacBook Air and Mac Mini

At a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Apple threw back the curtains on significant updates to the long-ignored MacBook Air and even longer-ignored Mac mini. Then Tim Cook and company followed up with revamped 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, complete with an enhanced Smart Keyboard Folio and redesigned Apple Pencil. You can order all of Apple’s new gear right away, though demand may delay shipping for a week or two on some items. MacBook Air Gains Retina Display and Touch ID When Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook...

Oct 31, 2018

Make Safari Tabs Easier to Identify by Adding Icons-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make Safari Tabs Easier to Identify by Adding Icons

Do you end up with so many tabs in Safari that it becomes impossible to read the truncated tab titles? There’s no shame in that, and Safari 12—which comes with macOS 10.14 Mojave and is a free update for 10.12 Sierra and 10.13 High Sierra—now offers an option to add an icon representing the Web site to each open tab. Called a favicon, this tiny image is usually carefully designed to identify its site and makes it easier to pick out the tab. To enable the feature, open Safari >...

Oct 30, 2018

iOS 12 Screen Time Feature Helps You Manage Your iPhone Usage-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


iOS 12 Screen Time Feature Helps You Manage Your iPhone Usage

Do you frequently reach for your iPhone for a quick check of Facebook or Messages? It’s all too easy to let social media, the latest hot game, or even your work email intrude on your real life. If you’re uncomfortable with how much—and when—you use your iPhone or iPad, iOS 12’s new Screen Time feature can help you limit your usage in two ways, by time of day and by time spent in an app. (Screen Time can help you monitor and limit your children’s iOS usage too. This article...

Oct 24, 2018

Have You Noticed That Mojave’s Dock Shows Recent Applications-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Have You Noticed That Mojave’s Dock Shows Recent Applications

The Mac’s Dock gives you quick access to frequently used apps, documents, and folders, and makes it easy to switch to a running app. In macOS 10.14 Mojave, the Dock has another feature: a list of apps you’ve used recently that aren’t on your default Dock. Icons for these apps appear between your Dock’s default apps and any documents or folders that you’ve added—look closely and you’ll notice subtle lines in the Dock that delineate this area. It always holds at least three apps, but expands to hold as many...

Oct 22, 2018

In iOS 12 Do Not Disturb Can Turn Itself Off—No More Missed Alerts-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


In iOS 12 Do Not Disturb Can Turn Itself Off—No More Missed Alerts

We love the Do Not Disturb feature in iOS—it’s essential for keeping notifications from waking us up at night or causing embarrassing light and noise in dark movie theater. But it’s long had a problem. When you invoked Do Not Disturb manually for a movie or doctor’s appointment, you had to remember to turn it off manually when you were done, or risk missing important notifications. No more! In iOS 12, Apple enhanced Do Not Disturb in two ways: enabling it to disable itself automatically after a certain amount of...

Oct 19, 2018

Finally iOS 12 Lets You Use Google Maps or Waze in CarPlay-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Finally iOS 12 Lets You Use Google Maps or Waze in CarPlay

Before iOS 12, Apple Maps was the only mapping app you could run on the dashboard in a CarPlay-equipped automobile. But Maps doesn’t always work well, and some people prefer directions from Google Maps or the Google-owned Waze. Once you upgrade your iPhone to iOS 12 and update to the latest version of Google Maps or Waze for iOS, you’ll be able to use those apps on your CarPlay screen. Happy navigating!

Oct 16, 2018

Understanding Dark Mode in macOS 10.14 Mojave-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Understanding Dark Mode in macOS 10.14 Mojave

The feature Apple is promoting most heavily with macOS 10.14 Mojave is Dark mode, which the company advertises as “a dramatic new look that helps you focus on your work… as toolbars and menus recede into the background.” Let’s look at what Apple has done with Dark mode, after which you’ll have a better idea of what to think about while trying it. Enable Dark Mode First, to turn Dark mode on, go to System Preferences > General and click the Dark thumbnail to the right of Appearance. Mojave immediately...

Oct 12, 2018

Apple Moved Control Center in iOS 12 on the iPad—Here’s Where to Find It-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Moved Control Center in iOS 12 on the iPad—Here’s Where to Find It

Although most of what’s new in iOS 12 are new features, one change for change’s sake may throw you. In iOS 11 on an iPad, you would bring up Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, just like on all iPhones other than the iPhone X. With iOS 12, however, Apple brought the iPad in line with the iPhone X and the recently released iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen on the iPad now reveals the Dock, and...

Oct 10, 2018

Use Continuity Camera to Scan Documents and Take Photos Right into Mac Documents-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use Continuity Camera to Scan Documents and Take Photos Right into Mac Documents

Have you found yourself composing an email message on your Mac while staring glumly at the receipt or document you need to scan and attach to the message? Adding that scan to the message isn’t impossible, but until macOS 10.14 Mojave, it hasn’t necessarily been easy. It’s super simple now, thanks to a new Mojave feature called Continuity Camera. It lets you take pictures or scan documents with an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 and have those images show up immediately on the Mac, either in a document or...

Oct 8, 2018

A Simple Technique for Decluttering Your Reminders List-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


A Simple Technique for Decluttering Your Reminders List

A Simple Technique for Decluttering Your Reminders List Productivity experts recommend offloading things you have to remember to a task-management app like Apple’s Reminders, which syncs your to-dos among your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. That’s particularly helpful for tasks you want to be reminded of in a few months or next year, but then those far-in-the-future tasks—especially repeating ones!—clutter your main Reminders list. The solution? Create a Far Future Reminders list, and move reminders to it that aren’t relevant within the next month or so. Just make sure...

Oct 5, 2018

A Hidden Trick that Lets You Navigate Your iPhone with One Hand-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


A Hidden Trick that Lets You Navigate Your iPhone with One Hand

A Hidden Trick that Lets You Navigate Your iPhone with One Hand Unless you can palm a basketball, you may not be able to use an iPhone single-handed. But sometimes one hand is all you can spare. If you find yourself in such a situation, give Reachability a try. On a Touch ID–based iPhone, tap (don’t press) the Home button twice to slide the iPhone’s interface halfway down the physical screen, bringing everything into reach of your thumb. On the Face ID–equipped iPhone X, put your thumb in the bottom...

Oct 4, 2018

Here’s How to Load the Desktop Version of a Web Site on an iPhone or iPad-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Here’s How to Load the Desktop Version of a Web Site on an iPhone or iPad

Some Web sites have separate desktop and mobile versions, each theoretically providing the best browsing experience for its platform. Unfortunately, mobile Web sites sometimes leave out necessary features or hide content. That’s especially annoying if you’re browsing on an iPad, where the desktop site would work fine. If you run across such a site while browsing in Safari on the iPhone or iPad, you can ask for its desktop version. Press and hold the Reload button at the right side of the address bar, and then tap Request Desktop Site....

Oct 3, 2018

Look Up All Sorts of Information with a Quick Click or Tap on the Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Look Up All Sorts of Information with a Quick Click or Tap on the Mac

Look Up All Sorts of Information with a Quick Click or Tap on the Mac Apple makes it easy to look up information about any word you can see on your Mac, in nearly any app. To access this information, Control- or right-click the word and choose Look Up “word”, use the trackpad to tap the word with three fingers, or hover the pointer over it and press Command-Control-D. macOS displays a popover with a dictionary definition. And in 10.12 Sierra and later, you can also swipe right with two...

Oct 2, 2018

Make More Space for Documents by Putting Your Dock on the Side of Your Mac’s Screen-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Make More Space for Documents by Putting Your Dock on the Side of Your Mac’s Screen

Make More Space for Documents by Putting Your Dock on the Side of Your Mac’s Screen By default, Apple locates the Dock at the bottom of the Mac’s screen. If that location interferes with you seeing as much of your document windows as you’d like, you can set it to appear only when you move the pointer to the bottom edge of the screen. But there’s a better way: put the Dock on the side of the screen where there’s plenty of horizontal room and it won’t get in the...

Oct 1, 2018

Teach Siri How to Pronounce Names Properly-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Teach Siri How to Pronounce Names Properly

Teach Siri How to Pronounce Names Properly Siri is supposed to be a competent voice assistant, but sometimes Siri can’t even pronounce your own name correctly! Luckily, it’s easy to fix Siri’s pronunciation for any name. Just say to Siri, “Learn how to pronounce Jill Kresock.” (Siri defaults to “krehsock” rather than the correct “kreesock” in this case.) Siri first asks you to say the person’s first name and then presents a list of options for the best pronunciation. Tap the play button next to each option to hear it,...

Sep 28, 2018

The Secret Keyboard Shortcut for Comparing Before After Edits in Photos on the Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


The Secret Keyboard Shortcut for Comparing Before After Edits in Photos on the Mac

The Secret Keyboard Shortcut for Comparing Before/After Edits in Photos on the Mac Photos on the Mac provides so many editing tools that it’s easy to lose track of how an edited image compares to the original. You can always use the Revert to Original command and then undo it, but that’s fussy. Instead, Photos provides a Show Original button in the upper-left corner, between the window controls and the Revert to Original button. Click and hold it to see your original image; let up to see the edited version...

Sep 27, 2018

Back Up Before Upgrading to Mojave or iOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Back Up Before Upgrading to Mojave or iOS 12

Back Up Before Upgrading to Mojave or iOS 12! Poll a room of Apple experts about the one topic they can’t stop talking about and many will launch into frustrated rants about how too few people back up. Backups are always important, since you can never predict when your Mac or iPhone will be lost or stolen, melt in a fire, or just break. But one time when backups are especially important is before you upgrade to a major new operating system. If you’re thinking “What could go wrong?” the...

Sep 26, 2018

Tired of PDFs or Other Documents Opening in the Wrong App-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Tired of PDFs or Other Documents Opening in the Wrong App

When you double-click a document, macOS uses the document’s file extension to figure out which app should open the file. So, by default, a PDF file called laser-squid.pdf opens in Preview because the Finder knows that everything with a .pdf extension should open in Preview. But what if you would prefer to open .pdf files in Adobe Reader, or you want comma-separated value (.csv) text files to open in Numbers? To change any mapping, select a file of the type in question and choose File > Get Info to open...

Sep 25, 2018

Tired of Sent from my iPhone as Your Email Signature-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Tired of Sent from my iPhone as Your Email Signature

Tired of “Sent from my iPhone” as Your Email Signature? When you use Apple’s Mail app on your iPhone to send email, the default signature is “Sent from my iPhone.” If you’d rather not advertise that fact with every email, or would prefer to change it to something more personal, don’t bother poking around in the Mail app itself. Instead, go to Settings > Mail > Signature, where you can change the signature to anything you like or delete it entirely. If you have multiple email accounts configured, such as...

Sep 24, 2018

Update AirPort Express Base Stations to Add AirPlay 2-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Update AirPort Express Base Stations to Add AirPlay 2

Update AirPort Express Base Stations to Add AirPlay 2 Apple may have discontinued its AirPort Wi-Fi base stations, but in a surprise parting gift, the company has released a firmware update to the AirPort Express that gives it AirPlay 2 capabilities like multi-room audio. If you have an AirPort Express connected to speakers through its audio jack, first use AirPort Utility on the Mac or iPhone to update its firmware to version 7.8. Once you do that, you’ll be able to play audio simultaneously through the AirPort Express and to...

Sep 21, 2018

Use Copy as Pathname to Help Someone Find a File on the Mac-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Use Copy as Pathname to Help Someone Find a File on the Mac

Use Copy as Pathname to Help Someone Find a File on the Mac Have you ever needed to write directions for where to find a file on the Mac? That’s easy if it’s in a well-traveled location, like the Music or Pictures folder, but more difficult if it’s in an obscure hidey-hole. Rather than write out instructions like “Look in the Chrome folder inside Google’s Application Support folder in your user Library folder,” select the item in question, hold down the Option key, and choose Edit > Copy “ItemName” as...

Sep 20, 2018

Top Features of iOS 12 to Take Advantage of Right Away-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Top Features of iOS 12 to Take Advantage of Right Away

Top Features of iOS 12 to Take Advantage of Right Away Feeling left behind because you don’t have the latest iPhone or iPad? Don’t, because Apple has a present for you in the form of iOS 12. The new operating system promises to increase performance, particularly for older devices as far back as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air. But iOS 12 offers more than just a speed boost. Apart from adding fripperies like new animoji, text effects, and camera effects in Messages and FaceTime, iOS 12 helps you use...

Sep 19, 2018

Did You Know This Hidden Trick for Opening System Preferences Panes Directly-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know This Hidden Trick for Opening System Preferences Panes Directly

Did You Know This Hidden Trick for Opening System Preferences Panes Directly? The System Preferences app on the Mac contains about 30 icons, each leading to additional settings panes. Rather than opening System Preferences, scanning the collection of icons, and clicking the one you want, you can jump directly to the desired pane. Just click and hold on the System Preferences icon in the Dock, and choose a pane from the pop-up menu.

Sep 18, 2018

Tired of Skewed Lines in Your Photos? Use the Camera App’s Hidden Level-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Tired of Skewed Lines in Your Photos? Use the Camera App’s Hidden Level

Tired of Skewed Lines in Your Photos? Use the Camera App’s Hidden Level. If you’ve ever photographed a sheet of paper or some other rectangular object, the image may have come out skewed because you inadvertently tilted the camera. The iOS 11 Camera app has a level feature to help you avoid this problem, but it’s so subtle that you may not have noticed it. To use it, first go to Settings > Camera and turn on the Grid switch so thin white lines divide the viewfinder image into a...

Sep 17, 2018

Apple Unveils New iPhone XS XS Max and XR and the Apple Watch Series 4-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Unveils New iPhone XS XS Max and XR and the Apple Watch Series 4

Apple has thrown back the curtain on its latest batch of iPhones and a new model of the Apple Watch. The company also announced plans to release iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 on September 17th. macOS 10.14 Mojave will follow a week later on September 24th. X Appeal: The New iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR Last year’s iPhone X was a massive hit, so Apple has gone further down that road, dropping the Home button and Touch ID and focusing on Face ID in this...

Sep 14, 2018

Did You Know You Can Customize the Columns in a Finder Window-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know You Can Customize the Columns in a Finder Window

Did You Know You Can Customize the Columns in a Finder Window’s List View? When a Mac folder contains a lot of files, the Finder’s List view often works best, since it lets you focus on a single folder and easily sort the contents by clicking the different columns: Name, Date Modified, Size, and Kind. But did you know that you can resize columns, rearrange them, and even add and remove columns? To resize a column, drag the vertical separator line to the right of its name. To move a...

Sep 14, 2018

Did You Know Your EarPods Work as a Remote Shutter Button for Photos-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Did You Know Your EarPods Work as a Remote Shutter Button for Photos

Did You Know Your EarPods Work as a Remote Shutter Button for Photos? Have you ever composed the perfect photo in the iPhone’s Camera app and then been unable to tap the shutter button without jiggling the iPhone and blurring the image? That can be especially difficult with macro shots that require physical contortions to position the iPhone properly. Sometimes, pressing one of the physical volume buttons on the iPhone to trigger the shutter is the solution. But, even better, connect your iPhone’s wired EarPods and then press one of...

Sep 13, 2018

How to Recover Space by Offloading Unused Apps in iOS 11-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How to Recover Space by Offloading Unused Apps in iOS 11

How to Recover Space by Offloading Unused Apps in iOS 11 Running low on space on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 11? This problem may be easier to deal with than you expect because Apple has added a quick way to free up storage space by removing unneeded apps. Go to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage, where you’ll see a Recommendations section. This section may include an option to Offload Unused Apps with an estimate of how much space you could save. Tap Enable to allow iOS to...

Sep 12, 2018

Seriously Cool Features of macOS 10.14 Mojave You Won’t Want to Miss-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Seriously Cool Features of macOS 10.14 Mojave You Won’t Want to Miss

Seriously Cool Features of macOS 10.14 Mojave You Won’t Want to Miss With last year’s macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Apple made no sweeping changes, instead focusing on refinements and bug fixes. In keeping with the company’s alternating cycle of releases, this year’s macOS 10.14 Mojave boasts plenty of new features. Dark Mode and Dynamic Desktop In a major visual change, Mojave features a new Dark mode that reverses the standard black-on-white look with light gray text on a dark background throughout the interface—change it in System Preferences > General. If...

Sep 11, 2018

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


When Should You Upgrade to macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12? It’s that time of year again, when an Apple user’s thoughts drift to new versions of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Apple announced the new versions in June, and public betas have been available since. But once Apple makes macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 available for free download, you’ll need to decide when to install each. (Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying major...

Sep 10, 2018

Remember That You Can Search for Nearly Anything in Your Photos Library-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Remember That You Can Search for Nearly Anything in Your Photos Library

Remember That You Can Search for Nearly Anything in Your Photos Library Apple’s Photos app on the Mac can identify thousands of different objects in your photos, so it’s easy to find photos based on their content. You can find objects (cars and trains), scenery (beaches and forests), and even some events (weddings and parades). This is both big fun and useful for those times when you can’t remember when you took a photo, but do remember what’s in it, like a cat, camera, or carousel. To carry out a...

Sep 10, 2018

Here’s How to Hide All Windows on Your Mac So You Can Work on the Desktop-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Here’s How to Hide All Windows on Your Mac So You Can Work on the Desktop

Here’s How to Hide All Windows on Your Mac So You Can Work on the Desktop If your Mac is anything like ours, you end up with lots of apps open, each with one or more windows that obscure the Desktop. For those people who like to save in-progress documents to the Desktop and keep current project folders there, all those windows get in the way. macOS has a solution. Open System Preferences > Mission Control, and in the Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts section, from the Show Desktop pop-up menu,...

Sep 9, 2018

Fix a Frozen Finder with This Quick Tip-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Fix a Frozen Finder with This Quick Tip

Fix a Frozen Finder with This Quick Tip Finder freezes. They shouldn’t happen at all, and they don’t happen often, but it’s not unheard of for your Mac’s Finder to freeze, freak out, or otherwise stop responding properly. To bring it back to life, hold down the Option key, click and hold the Finder icon in the Dock, and choose Relaunch. (If the “click and hold” action feels odd, you can instead hold down Control and Option, and then just click.) In theory, you should be able to keep working...

Sep 8, 2018

Apple Is Discontinuing Its Photo Printing Services—Here Are 7 Alternatives-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Apple Is Discontinuing Its Photo Printing Services—Here Are 7 Alternatives

Sad news: Apple is discontinuing its photo printing services, which enabled you to create and order physical prints, cards, calendars, and books from within Photos on the Mac. If you’re building such a project right now, be sure to place your order before September 30th, 2018. After that, Apple is directing users to download a Photos Project Extension from the Mac App Store. You’ll see this dialog whenever you click a project in Photos. When you click the Open App Store button, Photos opens the App Store app and shows...

Sep 4, 2018

Here’s Why You Should Always Keep the Find My iPhone Feature Enabled-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Here’s Why You Should Always Keep the Find My iPhone Feature Enabled

On the face of it, Apple’s Find My iPhone feature does what it says. If you lose your iPhone, you can identify its last known location by looking in the Find iPhone app or on the iCloud Web site, and you can make it play a sound. It’s great for tracking down a missing iPhone, whether you misplaced it in the house or left it behind at a restaurant. But Find My iPhone does much more! For starters, it works with nearly any Apple device. You can use it to...

Sep 1, 2018

13 Essential Trackpad Tricks for Mac Users-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


13 Essential Trackpad Tricks for Mac Users

A trackpad is not a mouse. In some ways, that’s obvious—you swipe your fingers on it, rather than dragging it around. Less obvious, however, are the many gestures that make using a trackpad on your Mac faster and more fun. These gestures aren’t limited to laptop users, thanks to Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2, which brings gesturing goodness to any desktop Mac. Here’s how to put your fingers to work. Four Fingers on the Trackpad The four-fingers-down gestures are dramatic and an easy way to appreciate the power of trackpad gestures,...

Aug 24, 2018

Being an Apple User Means You’re Not the Product-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Being an Apple User Means You’re Not the Product

There’s an Internet saying: “If you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” The point is that, if you’re getting a service for free, the company providing it sees you not as a customer, but as a product to sell, generally to advertisers. This is how Google, Facebook, and Twitter operate. They provide services for free, collect data about you, and make money by showing you ads. In theory, the more that advertisers know about you, the better they can target ads to you, and the more likely you’ll be to...

Aug 10, 2018

What’s the Deal with Apple’s New Messages in iCloud Feature?-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What’s the Deal with Apple’s New Messages in iCloud Feature?

When Apple first announced macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11, one of the promised features was Messages in iCloud, a way of syncing your conversations in Messages via your iCloud account. Despite the fact that Messages already tries to sync its conversations between your devices, this feature proved difficult for Apple to deliver, and it didn’t appear until the recently released macOS 10.3.5 and iOS 11.4. The idea behind Messages in iCloud is that it, as the name suggests, stores your conversations and their attachments in your iCloud account,...

Aug 6, 2018

Invoke Special Views and Features on the Mac with a Flick of Your Wrist-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Invoke Special Views and Features on the Mac with a Flick of Your Wrist

Most Macs are busy places, with oodles of open windows cluttering the screen. If you want to look at the Desktop or do something different, you may find yourself clicking around or using keyboard shortcuts, but did you know that you can access many of the Mac’s special views with just a flick of your wrist? A little-known feature called Hot Corners makes this possible. The key to unlocking Hot Corners is in System Preferences, in either the Desktop & Screen Saver pane or the Mission Control pane. In either...

Aug 3, 2018

How to Make the Most of Apple’s New AirPlay 2-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


How to Make the Most of Apple’s New AirPlay 2

For many years now, Apple’s AirPlay feature has made it possible to stream audio from an iOS device or Mac to an AirPlay-enabled speaker, AirPort Express base station, or most recently, a HomePod. Because AirPlay transfers sound over a Wi-Fi network, it eliminates the need for stereo wires and lets you put your speakers where you want them. In June 2017, Apple threw back the curtains on AirPlay 2, saying it would play the same song on multiple speakers (with AirPlay 1, this is possible only in iTunes) or play...

Jul 27, 2018

Have Your Online Passwords Been Stolen? Here’s How to Find Out.-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


Have Your Online Passwords Been Stolen? Here’s How to Find Out.

Data breaches have become commonplace, with online thieves constantly breaking into corporate and government servers and making off with millions—or even hundreds of millions!—of email addresses, often along with other personal information like names, physical address, and passwords. It would be nice to think that all companies properly encrypt their password databases, but the sad reality is that many have poor data security practices. As a result, passwords gathered in a breach are often easily cracked, enabling the bad guys to log in to your accounts. That may not seem...

Jul 24, 2018

All about Find My Friends-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


All about Find My Friends

As iPhones have become ever more prevalent, one of Apple’s bundled apps—Find My Friends—has become significantly more useful. Although there are legitimate concerns about sharing your location willy-nilly, Find My Friends gives everyone full control over what they share, making it truly helpful for families and close friends. So if you’ve ever thought it would be useful to know when your child left their soccer game or wanted them to receive an automatic alert when you leave to pick them up, Find My Friends is the app for you. It’s...

Jul 6, 2018

What OS Version Are You Running? Here’s How to Find Out-Header
Jon Brown

Jon Brown


What OS Version Are You Running? Here’s How to Find Out

In Troubleshooting 101, one of the first questions is always, “What version of the operating system are you running?” There’s a big difference between Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and the solution to any particular problem will likely revolve around knowing what operating system is in play. The same is true of Apple’s other operating systems: iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. And, although they aren’t quite in the same category, Apple’s AirPods and HomePod both have system software that can be updated as well. For...

Jun 29, 2018