I inexplicably failed to post five tips last week, for which I apologise – so here are 10 tips, 5 each for Mac and iOS.
1/ Open folders in new Finder tabs or windows in macOS Sierra — When you open a folder in the Finder (the default application for browsing your Mac’s files), the folder’s contents usually replace the current contents of the window. However, you can open a folder in a new tab or window, if you wish. Open System Preferences (from its icon in the Dock or from the Apple Menu), then click Dock.
Click the “Prefer tabs when opening documents” pop-up menu, then choose your option: Always, In Full Screen Only, or Manually. By default, documents open in tabs only when an app is full screen.
2/ Open folders in tabs or windows — Hold down the Command key on your keyboard while you double-click a folder and it opens in a new tab or window, depending on your Finder preferences. (If the Finder toolbar and sidebar are hidden, double-clicking a folder without pressing the Command key opens the folder in a new window.)
To open a new Finder window without opening a specific folder, choose File > New Finder Window or press Command-N. [From Apple World Today.]
3/ Spring-loaded folders — macOS Sierra, as with several previous versions of macOS, supports ‘spring-loaded folders’. These pop open when you drag something onto it while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. Spring-loaded folders work with all folder or disk icons in all views and even in the Sidebar.
Select an icon (not a disk icon) and drag the selected icon onto any folder or disk icon while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. The highlighted folder or disk will flash twice (very quickly), then spring open under the cursor. (You can press the spacebar to make the folder open immediately.) Subfolders wishing this first folder continue to pop open until you release the mouse button. when you release the mouse button, the icon you’ve been dragging is dropped into the active folder. That window remains open; however, while all other windows you traversed close automatically.
To cancel a spring-loaded folder, drag the cursor away from the folder icon or outside the boundaries of the sprung window. The folder pops shut.
You can toggle spring-loaded folders on or off by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad. (There’s also a setting for how long the Finder waits before it springs the folders open.) [Also from Apple World Today.]
4/ Taking timed screenshots — Hopefully you know the standard Mac screenshot commands (Command-Shift 3 for the whole screen, Command-Shift 4 to select an area with a crosshair). But Apple includes an application (program) in your Applications folder, then in turn in the Utilities folder, that can take them at timed intervals. Open Applications and launch Grab.
When Grab launches, it just waits there with its menus for you to do something. To take a timed screenshot, pick that option from the Capture menu or press Shift-Command-Z. A dialogue box will appear to tell you what’s what. Click Start Timer and as the dialogue box notes, you’ll have ten seconds to set up your screenshot. (If you find that Grab isn’t including your cursor and you’d like it to, select that option within Grab > Preferences and choose one of the cursors there to include it in your next timed screenshot, or if you would prefer no cursor to show up, choose the blank option at the upper-left.
After the screenshot is taken, you can save it out of Grab at its full size.
5/ Maybe a little obscure for some, but you can disable LinkedIn birthdays in macOS Sierra Calendar — There’s a Birthdays calendar under the Other category in macOS Calendar. Uncheck or delete that one, as it’s one LinkedIn uses. You can also disable LinkedIn in your Contacts’ Preferences > Accounts category.
Now, five for iOS:
1/ Enable Siri for third-party apps in iOS 10 — For third-party apps, Siri support is off by default, and has to be manually toggled on app-by-app for titles that support the technology. There aren’t many that do support Siri so far, but for those that do, open the Settings app from the iOS home screen, then scroll down to the Siri menu option. The next step is to tap on the vague App Support option.
To use Siri once you’ve turned it on for any supported apps, you have to mention an app by name. Saying “find men’s fashion pins on Pinterest” will generate results, for example, while saying “find men’s fashion pins” will not only fail to open Pinterest, but potentially create wacky consequences as Siri tries to interpret what you mean.
2/ Create your own live wallpapers with iPhone 6-7 — First, take a Live Photo by tapping the little circle icon at top centre above the viewfinder screen in the Camera app on any iPhone that supports 3D Touch.
In the app, select the photo you’d like to turn into a Live wallpaper.
Centre the image to your liking, then tap Next.
3D Touch the screen by pressing down in order to get a preview of the wallpaper.
Tap the wand icon in the lower left corner to choose between the animation effects.
Tap Save to export it to your Camera Roll.
Once the photo has been saved, go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a new wallpaper to find it (note that this is where you can set any image you took as a Wallpaper, for the Home and/or Lock screen). Note Live Wallpapers will only work on iPhone 6s or later – as long as your iPhone supports 3D Touch, this will work for you.
(An app called LivePapers can turn any photo into a Live Photo. It’s NZ$2.49/US$1.99 in the App Store. It lets you turn any still photo into a Live Photo, which you can then set as a wallpaper on supported iPhones.)
3/ Change the default search engine in iOS Safari — Most iOS users are blissfully unaware of the fact they can easily change the default search engine that’s used by the Safari browser on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. While the default engine is still Google, it’s also possible to change to Bing, Yahoo, or even DuckDuckGo. Here’s how to do it.
Launch the Settings app and scroll down to Safari (it’s near the bottom of the list of Apple pre-installed apps), tap on it, and the top item on the screen that’s displayed is Search Engine (see image below).
Now tap on the search engine you’d like to make your default (see image below). Now when you enter search text into the search/address field at the top of the Safari screen, the results that are returned are from the new search engine.
4/ Search in secret — As above, you can choose a search engine that doesn’t track and record your searches, say if you’re using a work phone or you simply don’t want to leave a trace. As above, just choose DuckDuckGo … it may not be as comprehensive with results as Google.
5/ Speed searches by turning off Safari Suggestions — Because the suggestion may take a split second longer to load than the search results below it, you may inadvertently hit the suggestion instead of the term you wanted. There is a really quick way to fix this, though, so let’s pop over to Settings and check it out, shall we? It’s under the Safari preferences.
Toggle off Safari Suggestions there, and now your search results will now not try to do anything fancy or extra.