Five Tip Friday ~ Some for macOS Sierra (and even one for El Capitan)


1/ Siri on Mac does conversions — Now that Siri is on your Mac, presuming you have installed the latest macOS (10.12, which is free in the Mac App Store – just search with ‘sierra’ if you don’t see it on the opening screen) you don’t need to delve into Google or the Calculator app in your Applications folder, as you can now get a quicker answer. Try this: launch Siri whether with the keyboard combo (Command-Spacebar is the default) or click the Siri button at top-right of your monitor, and say  ‘what’s 16 centimetres in inches?’ or ‘what’s 45 pounds in kilograms?’. Siri also does currency: ‘What is 500 New Zealand dollars in Euros?’ or even “What’s NZ500 in Euros?’

2/ Siri can even do date calculations — Try ‘How many days until Christmas?’ or ‘How many days until April 3 2017?’

3/ Siri does difficult maths — Try asking it some maths questions, too. If Siri can’t perform a calculation locally, it passes it along to WolframAlpha, So be sure to try Siri out as a verbal calculator: ‘Is 39 a Prime Number?’ or ‘What’s 367,289 divided by 93,999?’.

4/ Smart auto-empty trash — You won’t need to worry about your full trash filling up your Mac’s storage any more.  While in the Finder, choose the Finder menu, select Preferences, click Advanced and then tick Remove itens for the Trash after 30 days. macOS Sierra is smart enough to keep track of which items have been sitting in your Mac’s Trash for 30 days so only the oldest items get deleted. Whatever you tossed in yesterday, for example, will still be there after last month’s files get deleted.

emoj5/ Nifty instant Emoi — OK, finally, here’s a nifty key combo to show you what Emoji you can use in general typing. And this is in El Capitan, the previous macOS, too. Hold down the Command, key (there’s one either side of your Spacebar) and while it’s held down, hold down the Control key, and with them both held down together, press the Spacebar. You’ll see either the Emoji and Symbol Viewer window. To switch between the window and smaller palette, click the little icon with the Command key symbol in the upper-right corner of both the window and palette. Double-click any of the little images to insert them in any text – like this: 😝😉🇳🇿. You can switch between categories of symbols with the icons along the bottom.

Apple is sharing Messages data, Safari split-screen, USB-C and jack, Search ads in App Store

(Image from EurWeb)
(Image from EurWeb)

Apple acknowledges tracking iMessage metadata and sharing it with law enforcement — Despite strong encryption, and claims that Apple “doesn’t scan your communications” or “store data related to customers’ location”, Apple is saving some metadata from iMessage and other apps and sharing it with law enforcement agencies, according to a new report.
In a document about Apple’s iMessage system obtained by The Intercept, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team noted that when users enter a phone number into iMessage, metadata is periodically uploaded to Apple servers to check whether a text should be routed through iMessage or standard SMS. This material includes not just phone numbers but the date and time of the lookup, and the querying user’s IP address.
Responding to The Intercept, Apple acknowledged the data collection, saying that it retains logs for 30 days and hands them over when served with a valid legal request. Because these orders can sometimes be extended in 30-day blocks, though, it’s possible that some people are being tracked for longer durations.

Inside iOS 10: Split-screen view in Safari for iPad boosts productivity — Apple’s newly released iOS 10 improves multitasking on the iPad by offering a new split-screen mode in Safari, allowing users to have two tabs open side-by-side simultaneously.

New USB-C audio standard joins the iPhone 7’s quest to kill the headphone jack — The future of mobile device audio is here, and if you hated the iPhone 7’s Lightning connector headphones, you’ll loathe this new solution. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recently announced the audio specification for USB Type-C was now complete.

You’ll start seeing Search Ads in the App Store on October 5 — Apple has a new way for iOS developers to promote their apps in the App Store – but it comes with a price. On Wednesday US time, Apple revealed that Search Ads will go live in the App Store starting October 5. The information came in an email Apple sent to app developers encouraging them to create an ad campaign to appear in US search results. Developers who sign up will receive a $100 credit towards their first campaign.

Game of Thrones exclusive, new MacBook Pro rumour, Chinese R&D, Optimised Storage


Apple-exclusive enhanced ‘Game of Thrones’ ebook arrives on iBooks store — Random House has debuted the first volume in a series of enhanced editions of George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, exclusively on Apple’s iBooks marketplace. Each of the five titles in the series has a new watercolor cover, and includes more illustrations embedded in the text. Interactive character-specific maps start each chapter, detailing the surroundings of that section of the book.
A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition is now available on iBooks for NZ$13.99/US$8.99, and occupies 789MB of storage regardless of platform. Enhanced editions of the other four books, and presumably the sixth as well, will become available in the coming months.

New Retina MacBook Pro models expected in October — That new MacBook Pro you’ve been holding out for may finally be only a few weeks away. A new report [rumour, really] claims Apple plans to release updated models in the second half of October.
The refreshed Retina MacBook Pro line is may replace the keyboard’s function key row with a touch sensitive OLED strip that shows app-specific controls. The new models will also likely ditch the current USB ports for USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support, and gain Touch ID support, trim a little thickness off the body, and higher end models may switch to AMD’s Polaris graphics processor. [There’s nothing actually new in this rumour, and it’s far from an Apple announcement, plus fits all previous speculations. But it probably means it’s still imminent, anyway.]

Apple’s first R&D Centre in China to open this year — Apple is setting up its first R&D center in China in Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park, according to a statement issued by the Zhongguancun Park Management Committee — and as noted by DigiTimes. The R&D center has a registered capital of approximately US$14.994 million and will hire a total of 500 employees.

How to use Optimized Storage in macOS Sierra — macOS Sierra has a new feature called Optimized Storage. It helps you save space by storing your content in the cloud. It also sports tools to help you find and remove large or unneeded files.

MagBytes 79 ~ iPhone 7, iOS 10, Apple Watch Series 2 and tips, tricks, comment and more


MagBytes 79 for September 2016 is here! (That’s just an image of it, above – read on for the download link.)

Download the PDF below for 16 pages off news, tips, tricks, comment and new products. Remember, this is absolutely free.

Here it is —> MagBytes 79 for September 2016 (on Mac, hold down the Control key and click on this link for a pop-out menu that lets you download the file. On iPad/iPhone, hold your finger on the link and choose Open With … – you can save this to iBooks, for example, which is a handy media reader and library app.)

Apple and Deloitte partnership, MagBytes


Apple & Deloitte team up to accelerate business transformation on iPhone & iPad — Apple and Deloitte (Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP) have just announced a partnership to help companies quickly and easily transform the way they work by maximising the power, ease-of-use and security the iOS platform brings to the workplace through iPhone and iPad. As part of the joint effort, Deloitte is creating a first-of-its-kind Apple practice with over 5000 strategic advisors who are solely focused on helping businesses change the way they work across their entire enterprise, from customer-facing functions such as retail, field services and recruiting, to R&D, inventory management and back-office systems.
Apple and Deloitte will also collaborate on the development of a new service offering from Deloitte Consulting called EnterpriseNext, designed to help clients fully take advantage of the iOS ecosystem of hardware, software and services in the workplace. The new offering will help customers discover the highest impact possibilities within their industries and quickly develop custom solutions through rapid prototyping.

MagBytes 79 — I’m about to send it out…

Dr Mac on iPhone 7 Plus, camera rocks, managing Siri, Skype, watchOS 3 Dock


Dr Mac’s first impression: iPhone 7 Plus — Bob LeVitus has been using a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage and testing it side-by-side with its predecessor, an iPhone 6s Plus with 128GB ever since. Here are his first impressions of iPhone 7 Plus after just 48 hours, including noticing that the stereo speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus are louder and clearer, and sound way better than any iPhone before it. Bob also writes “…let me close by saying the iPhone 7 Plus camera is the best I’ve ever seen, and its new Portrait camera mode (now in beta) is nothing short of astonishing. Check out this example and see if you can figure out which one was shot using Portrait mode.”

And that’s not surprising, since Apple’s iPhone 7 camera tops competition despite smaller sensor in DxOMark review — Imaging specialist DxO recently wrapped up its evaluation of Apple’s iPhone 7, noting the new smartphone flagship raises an already high bar set by previous models thanks to Digital Cinema (DCI-P3) colour gamut support, class-leading image stabilisation, fast autofocus and other enhancements.

Managing Siri’s third party app voice control in iOS 10 — iOS 10 opens Siri to third party apps so you can say things like, “Hey Siri, get me an Uber.” If you don’t want Siri calling rides for you, or Siri says it can’t, it’s time for a trip to your iPhone’s Settings to manage which apps Siri can control. Read on to learn how.

Skype adds Lock Screen and Siri integration on iOS 10 — With version 6.25, Skype for iOS brings two iOS 10 features forward: lock screen and Siri integration. Now when you get a Skype call, your iPhone rings just like it would for a normal phone call.

Configure your new Dock in watchOS 3 — Melissa Holt points out that you may have heard that watchOS 3 eliminated the Friends view, which you used to be able to access by pressing the side button once. Now pressing that button will instead bring up the Dock.

Malware and bugs, Fujitsu fix, Apple music tops, Celebgate guilt, macOS visual history, London


Malware hiding in Russian space program — Security researchers have found a new Mac OS X malware that appears to be targeting the aerospace industry. The Trojan, called Komplex, can download, execute, and delete files from an infected Mac, according to security firm Palo Alto Networks. Interestingly, the Trojan will also save a PDF document to the infected system concerning the Russian space program.
The PDF document details planned Russian space projects from 2016 to 2025, but it acts as a decoy, Palo Alto Networks said in Monday blog post.
To infect its victims, the Trojan seems to be exploiting a known vulnerability in the [accursed!] MacKeeper antivirus software, according to Palo Alto Networks. That vulnerability can cause a Mac to execute remote commands when visiting specially crafted web pages. European antivirus specialists Intego were among the first to discover this.
Unrelated to this, Apple has allegedly invited a bevy of third party security experts and device hackers to its headquarters to break down the details of the previously announced bug bounty program for macOS and iOS.

Fujitsu drive and Sierra fix — Futjitsu ScanSnap customers and macOS 10.12 Sierra might be relieved to know Fujitsu has narrowed down the circumstances and features of ScanSnap hard drive that cause a problem in Sierra to three (below). More importantly, Fujitsu said, “A fix for the above problems is expected to be made available in the middle of October, 2016.”

Apple Music tops customer satisfaction in new JD Power study — In terms of customer satisfaction, at least, Apple Music is the top-rated streaming music service, JD Power said in its first Streaming Music Satisfaction Study, published on Wednesday.

Second man pleads gulity in ‘Celebgate’ hacks of iCloud & Gmail accounts — Edward Majerczyk of Illinois has become the second person to plead guilty in 2014’s ‘Celebgate’ scandal, which saw the leak of nude photos and other private data from hundreds of people, including many female celebrities.

Check out this fun visual history of Mac OS X/macOS — GitTower is celebrating the launch of macOS Sierra with an update of its info site, An Illustrated History of macOS. The site starts with Mac OS X Kodiak, which debuted in September 2000, down to the just-released macOS Sierra.

Apple plans to open a ‘spectacular’ new campus in London — Apple is to create a “spectacular” new London headquarters at Battersea Power Station in a “massive coup” for the developers behind the £9 billion project, according to the Evening Standard.

Mickey and Minnie speak in watchOS 3, Maps changes in iOS 10, Microsoft Office app for burger flippers

Mickey and the new Minnie Mouse faces can speak the time in watchOS 3
Mickey and the new Minnie Mouse faces can speak the time in watchOS 3

Mickey and Minnie Mouse can now speak the time in watchOS 3 — One of the coolest Apple Watch faces has been Mickey Mouse, tapping his foot in time with the seconds. watchOS 3 adds Minnie to the fun, plus they can each speak the time out loud with a tap. I’ll show you how. (watchOS 3 doesn’t automatically install the Minnie face so you’ll need go to this Apple forum discussion to find out how.) And this is how to get them to talk.

iOS 10 Maps ‘Overview’ buttons moved to a swipe-Up drawer — The Maps app got a major overhaul in iOS 10. It has a new look and feel and a new layout. One of the basic changes is that the Overview button moved from the main interface to the drawer at the bottom of the screen. Here’s how to find it. And here’s how to use Maps Extensions.

Microsoft app helps staffing rosters — A new Microsoft app for Office 365, StaffHub, seeks to make rostering easier and replace the break room calendar. StaffHub has a couple of key differences to Calendar-style apps: workers can swap shifts themselves or ask others to cover for them. StaffHub’s also a messaging app, so, for instance, one cook can send another cook a message about an ingredient shipment that’s scheduled to arrive. (Microsoft didn’t say, but those employee-to-employee messages would presumably be monitored by an employer.) The other difference from your typical shared calendar, unfortunately, is the price: A company must be signed up with at least an Office 365 kiosk license to use it, which costs $4 per user, per month.

Top satisfaction, fiscals, cheap bundle, Universal Clipboard, using Tapback, Typeeto, Drake’s short, Music algorithm

Drake has released a short film as an Apple Music exclusive
Drake has released a short film as an Apple Music exclusive

Apple continues to lead in personal computer satisfaction — Customer satisfaction with personal computers halts a three-year slide, according to new data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The ACSI Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2016 includes desktops, laptops, and tablet computers, as well as household appliances, televisions and computer software. With its Mac, Apple remains the overall leader in the personal computer industry, unchanged at 84.

Apple to reveal fiscal Q4 2016 earnings on October 27th — Apple has announced it will report quarterly earnings for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016 on October 27, to be followed by a live-streamed conference call on Apple’s investor website.

Pay what you want for an award-winning Mac bundle — The Mac Observer’s Award-Winning Mac Bundle is 13 Mac apps: Drive Genius 4, The Hit List, DeltaWalker 2 Pro, Nisus Writer Pro, Aurora HDR, WinZip 5 Mac, VPN Forever: 3-Yr Subscription, Project Planning Pro, Letter Opener for macOS Mail, Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, Screen Grabber Pro, eXtra Voice Recorder, and PhotoStitcher. That’s a quality list of apps (and services). Pay anything, even a penny, and you get three of them. Beat the average price — US$11.12 and rising as of this writing — and get all 13. Beat the leader’s price, and you’ll earn an entry in an iPhone 7 giveaway. You can read all the details on the deal listing. [To even get Nisus and Aurora for cheap is very worthwhile – they’re top quality products.]

How to set up Universal Clipboard for your Mac and iDevices — iOS 10 and macOS Sierra support a new feature called Universal Clipboard that lets you copy text or graphics on one device and paste them into documents on another. It really is as simple as copy-and-paste — assuming everything is configured correctly. Read on to learn how to make sure you’re set up to use Universal Clipboard.

Using Tapback in macOS Sierra: Messages — If you’ve been having fun playing around with the so-called Tapback feature in iOS 10, with which you can long press on a message to give it a heart, say, or a thumbs up, you can do some of the same things in Messages. Here’s how.

Nvidia may be working with Apple on graphics for ‘revolutionary’ new Mac products — Though Apple’s current Mac lineup relies on AMD graphics, a switch to Nvidia could be in the works for the MacBook Pro and beyond, if new job listings from the GPU maker is any indication. [Fingers crossed this is true, then.]

Typeeto is a free Mac utility for sharing your keyboard with other devices — With many keyboards, you have to un-pair from the Mac, then pair with the new device. Want to type on your Mac again? Un-pair from the device, then pair with the Mac again. Eltima Software has a great solution in the form of a free utility for Mac called Typeeto that makes it simple to use a Mac keyboard with an iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Android device, you name it, and switch between devices in seconds.

Drake debuts new short film as Apple Music exclusive — Mainstream rapper Drake on Monday released a 23-minute film, Please Forgive Me is an Apple Music exclusive, further cementing his close business ties with Apple.

Apple reveals algorithm behind Apple Music mixes, execs discuss past and future of service — Mixed in with the usual PR speak and promises to make Apple Music the most accessible, consumer-friendly streaming service available, Apple executives in a wide-roving interview published Monday hinted at the development of exceedingly advanced personalised playlist algorithms.

Tuesday Talk ~ Apple’s ‘Walled Garden’ took a couple of turns with iOS 10 and iPhone 7

(Image from Lydiard Park, UK)
(Image from Lydiard Park, UK)

Apple has long been accused of being a ‘walled garden’. This has several meanings. For an Apple user, it means the more Apple devices you have, the better, as they all communicate with each other to make your life easier. They’re all ‘in the garden’, if you will. This metaphor does not suit, say, someone who wants an Android phone but uses a Mac. The other criticism comes from developers: Apple ‘walls off’ its apps and the OS so you have to work within this environment. You can’t modify the environment itself, only the stuff in the flowerbeds. Developers like messing with the system – this represents a type of digital freedom, sure, but it also leads to multiple versions of the system, which is what you have in the Android world. Your app may work on your phone with your OS, but it won’t necessarily continue to work once you change phons or systems. This frustration is much, much rarer in the Apple world.
But, as I sometimes tell groups a little fatuously, a walled garden is more secure (true enough: Apple’s security record remains stellar) and besides, ‘gardens are nice’.

These criticisms have resurfaced lately with iPhone 7, since the only port into the device now is an Apple-designed port, that being the Lightning connector. That means everything interpreted though this port has to be mandated and controlled by Apple, or at least fit its Lightning guidelines. As Engadget points out, to create devices for the Lightning port, accessory makers have to sign up for Apple’s MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) program.

However, the same can’t be said of iOS 10. iOS is now much more open than it was three years ago. IOS 7 was a huge visual overhaul, but it was nearly as locked down as the previous versions. The following year, Apple started opening things up. Now, claims Engadget (again) iOS is nearly as open as Android, at least as far as users are concerned. Look at the new Messages, for example: you can add stickers, draw on photos, send your heartbeat and even use other apps from inside iMessage.

I haven’t seen an iPhone 7 yet (anyone got one and willing to comment?). Going by the specs and reviews, it’s a brilliant iPhone in every way. But now we’re already wondering what next year will bring, with even Fortune posting a speculative piece on what Apple might offer for an iPhone. Why? Next year is the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the first iPhone, which appeared and changed everything in 2007.

Obscura gives you RAW shooting on later iPhones


Obscura lets you shoot RAW images with your iOS 10 iPhone — Since compression has an effect on the quality of digital photos, professionals save in RAW, uncompressed format. iOS 10 now has the ability to work with RAW files, but the standard Camera app still resorts to JPEG. That’s why apps like Obscura (NZ$7.49/US$4.99) from developer Ben Rice McCarthy are gaining popularity.
Obscura works on the later iPhones: iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and provides the type of manual control that usually has professional photographers reaching for their DSLRs. with the app you can also apply one of 28 filters to the image in real-time, to see how they look before you take the photo. It has white balance controls, a built-in spirit level, and grid lines are available for composition.

Aurora HDR deal, tabbed windows, Memory Cleaner, Paragon NTFS for Windows/Mac drives


Aurora deal running out — The new Aurora HDR 2017 will be launched very soon. MacPhun claims it looks better, runs faster and makes fantastic HDR photos. Current owners of Aurora HDR can pre-order the new version and save 80%, plus get bonuses from Macphun partners.

How to use tabbed windows in macOS Sierra — macOS Sierra brings tabs to apps that allow for multiple windows. Tabs are available in such Apple apps as Mail, Maps, TextEdit, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, and the feature works with third-party document-based apps and the Finder.

Memory Cleaner makes it easy to clean out the junk files on your Mac — Every time you open a file on your hard drive, your Mac uses some memory. That makes things operate quickly, but, over time, residual files lounge around in the RAM, making your Mac a bit sluggish.
Memory Cleaner for macOS 10.7 and higher from ZipZap Mac is designed to rectify this. It frees wasted memory (RAM) with a simple, no-frills approach. [Restarting your Mac does the same thing; this means you don’t need a restart for your Mac to gets its head-space back.]

Paragon NTFS for Mac is now fully optimised to support macOS Sierra — The software eliminates boundaries between Mac and Windows incompatible operating systems, delivering full read and write support for NTFS-formatted drives on macOS Sierra systems.
Paragon NTFS for Mac achieves the speed of native drivers and is the industry’s fastest solution for sharing data between Mac and Windows systems, so that users don’t even notice on which platform their files are. You can also format any partition, check partition integrity, fix errors, view reports and take advantage of other useful check and control options. Paragon NTFS costs US$19.95.

iOS 10.0.2, Samsung dented, iOS 10 features, HomeKit fix, Apple Watch series 2


iOS 10.0.2 fixes headphone audio controls, more — Apple released iOS 10.0.2 over the weekend. The headline feature is a fix for an issue that kept some headphone audio controls from working. A Photos bug was also fixed, as well as a problem with app extensions. It’s available in settings>General>Software Update.

Branding Brand: Galaxy Note7 recall dents consumer confidence in Samsung — The Galaxy Note7 recall put a dent in Samsung consumer confidence, with 34% of current customers saying they won’t buy another smartphone from the brand, according to Branding Brand, a mobile e-commerce platform. Of these customers, 81% have always owned a Samsung or Android smartphone.

More iOS 10 features, tricks and tips — Here’s how to disable some of the Haptic Feedback, a quick guide to where the lock screen music controls went, how to save bandwidth in iMessage images, how to optimise storage in Music downloads, the latest apps that have gained 3D Touch, Apple Maps is more powerful yet clearer, and how Apple’s Data Detectors offer quick details on music, movies, actors.

If you can’t remotely control your HomeKit devices, enable iCloud Two-Factor Authentication — If you upgraded to iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, and tvOS 10 on your fourth generation Apple TV and now can’t remotely access your HomeKit devices, there’s probably an easy fix. Odds are you haven’t enabled iCloud Two-Factor authentication, which HomeKit in iOS 10 and tvOS 10 requires. Read on to learn how to get set up.

Review: Apple Watch Series 2 is a great improvement, but watchOS 3 steals the show — Equipped with a noticeably faster dual-core S2 processor, its own standalone GPS radio, and now with a waterproof design, the Apple Watch Series 2 is a worthwhile and fantastic upgrade from the first-generation model. It’s also a great jumping on point for new buyers. But the biggest changes come with a software overhaul in watchOS 3, meaning early adopters will probably be happy with their existing Apple Watch for another year. And here’s how to put the Digital Crown to good use.