All posts by Mark Webster

Apple commentator and trainer, history writer, publisher

Five Tip Friday ~ Tidiness tips for macOS


1/ Minimise apps into their icons — You can click the yellow pill button in the upper left corner of a window to minimize an app’s window into the Dock in macOS Sierra, but if you minimize a lot of windows, the right side of the Dock quickly becomes cluttered.
The solution is to minimise windows into their app icons.
Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose Dock. Check the box next to ‘Minimize windows into application icon’ (shown above). Now they minimise down into the originating app’s icon – click-and-hold on that in the Dock to see your files (below).


If you have a lot of minimized app windows, and have trouble finding what you’re looking for, control-click (hold down the Control key on your keyboard and click) the app icon to reveal a list of that apps minimized windows. Choose an item from the list and it will open.

2/ Group windows by application in macOS Sierra — macOS Sierra introduced system wide tabs for most (but not all) apps, allowing you to merge multiple windows into a single window or separate merged windows.
With two or more windows of a supported app open, go to the Windows menu in the Finder and choose ‘Merge All Windows.’ All windows of the same app will be grouped into a single window. Each file you have open will appear as a tab inside the single window.
To separate the merged windows into standalone windows of their own, select the merged window to make it active. Go to the Windows and click the ‘Move Tab to New Window’ option. Click it to move the selected tab to a separate window.
This won’t separate all tabs into windows of their own, but separate the current tab to its own window. All remaining tabs will remain grouped into a single window unless you separate them one at a time.
Click the close button on a merged window, and it will close all tabs you have open in it.

3/ Move multiple Events between Calendars — If you’ve got several events you need to move to a different calendar, change to month view by pressing Command-3 or click on the Month option in Calendar’s toolbar or at top-centre of Calendar.
Now find the events you’d like to move, hold down Command on your keyboard and click on each one to select them all in turn.
When your events are all highlighted, right- or Control-click on any one of them. From the contextual menu that appears, choose the ‘Calendar’ option and pick the one you’d like to move your selected events to. Simple.

4/ Multiple ways to move items to Trash — Trash is a To put item(s) in the Trash, once can simply drag the item(s) to the Trash icon, or move highlighted file(s) to the Trash using the keyboard combo Command-Delete. If you realize you made a mistake, you can Undo the operation by choosing File > Undo, or the keyboard combo Command-Z.
If you’d like to delete highlighted items immediately, you can hold down Option and select File > Delete Immediately…. Alternately, you can use keyboard combo Command-Option-Delete. Either way, you’ll received a confirmation dialogue that the operation is permanent and can’t be undone.

5/ Empty stubborn Trash items — ToIf there are files in the Trash, which you can confirm visually because you’ll see items in the Trash, you can empty it by either choosing Finder > Empty Trash…, or using keyboard combo Shift-Cmd-Delete. You’ll be presented with a confirmation dialog asking if you’re sure. You can also hold down Option and select Finder > Empty Trash, or use keyboard combo Shift-Option-Command-Delete. Notice that since there isn’t a trailing ellipsis after the choice, it will be done immediately without a confirmation dialogue. [If this still doesnt work, you need Terminal, as detailed here.]

4-year-old saves mum with Siri, iPhones in India, Google Maps, Workflow acquired and made free


Apple bought the workflow app along with its developers, and made the app free, too (image from TechDissected)

4-year-old boy in UK uses Siri to get help for his unconscious mother — Siri is an AI with a lot of talents, and it teamed up with Roman, a 4-year-old boy in the UK, to help him get help for his mother. While kids in the UK are taught to dial 999 to summon emergency services, Roman used a different method to call: he unlocked his mother’s iPhone by pressing her thumb to her iPhone’s Touch ID home button, then asked Siri for help. [Smart boy!]

Apple will reportedly start assembling iPhones in India in the next two months — Apple will reportedly start assembling iPhones in India over next two months. The tech giant is said to be in talks with the Indian government for import-tax exemptions on components.

Google Maps gets location sharing for Apple’s iPhone & iPad — Google will soon start rolling out real-time location sharing for users of its Maps app for iOS and Android, offering a feature similar to Apple’s Find My Friends, or Google’s own defunct Latitude.

Apple acquires Workflow app and developers, makes Workflow free download — Apple recently acquired popular iOS utility Workflow, according to TechCrunch. The deal includes both the app and its developers. While many apps get pulled by Apple after an acquisition, Workflow remains on the App Store, and is now free instead of US$2.99. Workflow is a personal automation tool, enabling you to drag and drop any combination of actions to create powerful workflows for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. (But some features have been cut from the app.)

iCloud hackers discredited, flicker-free video, printer web pages, Siri rocks reminders, Finder Permissions


(Image from iTechify)

Apple saysiCloud extortionists have not hacked into our Systems — Hacker group Turkish Crime Family says it’s going to wipe out over 300 million iCloud accounts on April 7th if Apple doesn’t pay US$75,000 as ransom. Apple says the group hasn’t broken into its servers, so that means the logins they claim to have probably came from old hacks into other company’s services.
Many of the logins on Turkish Crime Family’s list look like they may have come from a 2012 LinkedIn data breach where over 100 million accounts were compromised, according to someone claiming to have seen the list.
[I thought it was suspicious they only demaned US$75,000. If you had breached Apple you couod ask a lot more – I figurd they lowballed hoping Apple would just pay without investigating properly, which is seriously underestimating almost everything about Apple!]

Digital Anarchy’s Flicker Free plug-in a useful tool for Final Cut Pro X users — Digital Anarchy’s US$149 Flicker Free plug-in for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (and Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro)  gives video editors and visual effects artists a useful tool that fixes a wide range of footage affected with flicker or strobing.

How to check out your printer’s webpage (and why you might want to) — Not every model supports doing so, but if yours does, it’s a handy trick to have in your arsenal for when your device starts misbehaving; sometimes certain options and features will be listed there (or will function properly from there!) and nowhere else.

Siri really rocks Reminders — Siri never forgets anything, and since most of us are never far from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can use Siri to set all your Reminders for you.

How to set permissions for items in macOS Sierra — You can set permissions for items on macOS Sierra if you wish. Permission settings determine who can view and alter files on the computer. You change permission settings at the bottom of the Info window for a file, folder, or disk in the Finder.

No RED attribution for China, how iPads compare, iPhone 6 success


Apple avoids (Product)Red branding in China for new red iPhone 7 models — Apple’s new red options for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which, through (Red), will contribute proceeds to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, lack that same charity branding on the company’s Chinese website. It’s unclear if the company is avoiding donations of Chinese proceeds, or simply concealing the fact that some of the profit is channelled to AIDS research. Chinese police have sometimes even engaged in crackdowns of organisations working in AIDS prevention, so openly supporting (Red) could theoretically be seen as confrontational. [Yeah, you don’t want to confront homophobia, right? Not when it might affect profits.]

2017 iPad vs. iPad Air 2 vs. iPad Air: What’s new and different in Apple’s latest tablet? — With the last update to the iPad Air line over two years ago, how does Apple’s new 2017 iPad compare to its predecessors? AppleInsider takes a look at the three statistically, to see how they stack up. The new iPad is a compelling, inexpensive upgrade for users of the iPad 4 and earlier which comprises 30% of the existing user base. However, the iPad Air and Air 2 owners hold a commanding 35% of iPad users who may be looking at the new iPad as well. [John Martellero thinks the mini will be deleted. I love my mini, it’s esier to read books on than a full-size iPad. I’m going to miss this format. I was just starting to consider a new one …]

iPhone 6s topped 2016’s list of top-selling smartphones — In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a “critical information, analytics and solutions” firm.
Looking at the fourth quarter alone, the new iPhone 7 was the 2016 best-seller, followed by iPhone 7 Plus. IHS Markit says Apple again demonstrated its new iPhones integrate enough innovations and new features to drive sales and remain successful in the market.

Massive iMacs? Multiscreen iTunes, Washing Machine deal, Siri vs Alexa, Aeon Timeline


Bigger monitors in demand, so a 31-inch iMac, perhaps? The global market for computer monitors is projected to decline to 121.8 million units by 2022 due to falling desktop sales and the rapid penetration of handheld computing devices. However, when consumers do buy a monitor, they’ll turn to larger screens (31-inches or more in size), according to IDC.
The research group says the large monitor display segment above 31+ inches in screen size grew by 12.2% year-on-year in 2013 and will continue growing. If IDC is right, it seems people are wanting bigger monitors for their desktops and/or bigger monitors with which to connect laptops. Can you imagine a 31-inch iMac?

Apple adds multiscreen movie rental viewing to iTunes in latest update — Along with Tuesday’s hardware debuts, Apple quietly released an updated iTunes version that allows users to rent movies once and watch them on multiple screens. And with this release, Apple has restored the ability to open a playlist in a new window on macOS: here’s how to do it. iTunes 12.6 is a free update available through Apple’s App Store app on the Mac.

Intego Washing Machine for Mac 40% off — Starting today through Saturday, you can get Intego Mac Washing Machine Secure X9 for 40% off MSRP by using this promo code at checkout: CLEANME.

Marriott pits Apple’s Siri again Amazons Alexa — Marriott International Inc., the world’s biggest lodging company, is pitting Amazon’s Alexa against Apple’s Siri to be the voice-controlled platform of choice in its hotels, reports Bloomberg.
The goal is to offer guests a virtual “hotel butler” that lets them access and manage systems such as heating, cooling, lighting and entertainment by speaking a request at home or using a smartphone.

Apple Stores on map — Check out Apple Stores Worldwide, an interactive map showing the impressive expansion of Apple stores by Retale.com. It’s a map of the globe that shows the year-by-year expansion of Apple’s fleet of retail stores. Each one blossoms like a nuclear hit in a war game, and you can hover over any one of them to get details about the store.

Aeon Timeline 2 for Mac and Windows for US$22.99 — Aeon Timeline 2 for both Mac and Windows is designed to help you organize even large projects and manage your workload. You can manage events, entities and relationships, dependencies and more. You can also link events with images, external documents, and websites to better track research and supporting documentation. You can get this license for both platforms for $22.99, a discount of 54%.

New iPad! Product RED iPhone 7, new silicone cases, SE gets doubles storage, new Clips app, Swift in more languages


(Image from Apple Inc)

New 9.7-inch iPad features stunning Retina Display better — Apple has today updated its most popular-sized iPad. It has a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at recommended retail price NZ$529 inc gst.
• iPad comes in silver, gold and space grey and starts at recommended retail price (RRP) NZ$539 inc. GST for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$759 inc. GST for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz. For more information, please visit apple.com/ipad/nz.
• iPad is available to order beginning Friday, 24 March from Apple.com/nz and starts delivering to customers and arriving next week through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers (prices may vary) in New Zealand and more than 20 other countries and regions.
• Polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad are available for RRP NZ$69 inc. GST in charcoal grey, white, midnight blue, pink sand and (RED) at Apple.com/nz.
• iPad mini 4, available in silver, gold and space grey, now offers more capacity for starting at RRP NZ$659 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$879 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz.
• Every customer who buys iPad from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online5, to help them customise their iPad by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more.
[Just to be clear, this is a new iPad, not a new iPad Pro or iPad mini. But this also means Apple has discontinued iPad Air andiPad mini 2. The new iPad replaces the Air 2 and offers a newer processor along with lower pricing.]

(Image from Apple online)

Apple adds a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 to the iPhone 7 lineup — Along with new iPad models, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus today. The new models are called (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and are available in 128 GB and 256 GB capacities.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at Recommended Retail Price (RRP) NZ$1399 inc. GST from Apple.com and from Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone joins iPhone 7 finishes in jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold.

Apple updates iPhone 7 silicone & leather cases with new colours — In tandem with its new (Product)Red iPhone 7 models, and new seasonal band colours for Apple Watch, Apple has also released silicone and leather cases in a small collection of new colours.
The new silicone cases come in azure, camellia and pebble.
The leather cases include sapphire, taupe [bletch! Every bloody new house in Auckland is this godforsaken colour! LOL, sorry] and berry options.

Apple’s iPhone SE doubles its storage options — Apple is now offering the entry-level iPhone SE with 32GB of storage for the same price it ran for the 16GB model and 128GB for the same price as the 64GB model. That’s double the previous storage for the same prices and heralds the end of the road for 16GB iPhones. [That last link also has a clip showing you how to gain space back on your iPhone.]

Apple targets social media crowd with new Clips app — Apple teased a new video capture and editing app called Clips today that targets social media app users. The app lets users snap videos, apply effects and edits and upload their creations to popular social networks and video sharing sites.
Clips includes video filters, background posters, stickers, animations, and titles that can be added during recording or later when editing. Video can be captured in the app, or you can use videos you previously recorded and stored in Photos.
The app will be free, and available in April.

Rugged case for schools — Logitech has already introduced a case, add-on keyboard for the new 9.7-inch iPad. The Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case is for Apple’s new, just-announced 9.7-inch iPad.

Swift Playgrounds available in five additional languages — Apple’s Swift Playgrounds for the iPad is now available in five new languages: Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Latin American Spanish.

Tax free debate continues, AR glasses, get your Flikr photos back


Other Mac commentators weight in on Apple NZ’s tax-free statues — Apple is a master of making profits, and an expert and keeping its money out of government hands. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to offer their thoughts on Apple’s tax practices in New Zealand and other countries in this podcast you can listen to at this link.

Apple may be interested in AR Glasses after all — It’s no secret Apple has a very real interest in augmented reality, and that it’s likely headed to the iPhone. Seems the company is exploring AR glasses, like Google did with Google Glass, and will target our eyes after tackling the iPhone.

How to download your photos from Flikr — Flickr is great for storing and sharing photos online, but what do you do when you want to download them to your computer?

Tuesday Talk ~ Apple and New Zealand tax


(Image from YouTube)

First of all, lots of people don’t like paying tax. Neoliberals and conservatives in particular seem to have massive issues with tax, although they seem to have no problem driving on the roads those taxes paid for, being cared for by public medical services or taking advantage of public education, or at least of education subsidies paid on their behalf from tax revenue so their little darlings can benefit from private school educations that advantage the advantaged.
But that’s partly what I find so odd about Apple apparently paying ‘no’ tax in New Zealand: Apple has a reputation for supporting democrats, standing up for equality and strongly pursuing sustainability ambitions. None of these are exactly ‘neoliberal’.
However, Apple is also a rapacious US corporation with its eye firmly on profit. Apple will do almost anything to defend its interests, ruthlessly cut product lines and teams that don’t satisfy this urge for ever more money and, seemingly, exploit any avenue that leads to even more money on the extremely wealthy corporation’s bottom line.

But what’s the truth about Apple and New Zealand tax? Sure, Apple makes money in New Zealand. It’s a tiny territory and hardly a big factor in Apple profits, although New Zealand has always been relatively high in Mac use, then iPhone adoption.
But ‘Apple New Zealand’, although it has an office in Auckland and staff on the ground here, is actually run out of Sydney, Australia as part of ‘Apple Pacific’ which, in turn, reports directly back to Cupertino (or at least, this was the case last I heard). So Apple pays its tax in Australia, and not New Zealand. This actually means Apple pays more tax, not less: if Apple operated this subsidiary out of New Zealand it would be paying tax at 28%, but because it’s based in Australia, it’s subject to tax at 30%, as Seamus Coffey asserts.
Look, I’m not advocating tax avoidance – in fact, it makes me sick to the stomach. You choose to live in a society, and you pay your dues, as far as I’m concerned. And if I can pay tax on my tiny income, Apple can pay tax on its massive one.
Of course, corporate tax is paid on profit, not sales (apart from the New Zealand Goods and Services Tax or GST, which Apple does pay even on online sales).
Apple has not paid any income tax in New Zealand for the last ten years in New Zealand, but it has paid out $37 million from NZ sales to the Australian Tax Office instead of to New Zealand’s Inland Revenue.

But the issue is being ‘investigated’ by National minister Judith Collins. You know, the one whose husband runs Oravida, which is making millions out of selling free New Zealand water by bottling it and moving it overseas. So yeah – kettle, pot, black …

Of course, none of this excuses Apple from its tax avoidance elsewhere. That totally sucks.

Online Store offline tomorrow, Duet iPad Touch Bar, iPhone 8 and Services, China slipping, pregnancy kit


Duet lets you use an iPad as a Touch Bar on any Mac

Apple’s online store will be in ‘maintenance mode’ Tuesday morning, fueling talk of new products — New iPads tomorrow, perhaps? Apple has updated its System Status page, noting that its online store will be “updated and unavailable” for “maintenance” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between midnight and 5:30 a.m. (US Pacific Time – this is tomorrow for New Zealanders, please note, as we’re already on Tuesday 21st over here).

Turn any Mac into a Touch Bar by plugging in Duet — For users who use their iPad to draw, the Touch Bar is one of the most compelling features. It allows you to change brush size, colours and much more without having to go back to your keyboard or computer. The software Duet now lets you do this for any Mac with an iPad.

‘iPhone 8,’ growing services business predicted to increase shares of Apple by 10% — Wall Street forecasts for Apple stock are climbing, with another report claiming that the stock will hit US$155 over the summer of 2017 on pre-release hype of the ‘iPhone 8’ and continued expansion of the Services division that includes the App Store, Apple Music, and AppleCare.

Apple’s iPhone slipping in China because company won’t adapt, says Oppo & Vivo founder — Apple’s decline in Chinese iPhone shipments during 2016 can be blamed on the company refusing to adapt its tactics to the local market out of fear of risking its business elsewhere, according to Duan Yongping, the founder of Chinese smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo.

WebMD’s Pregnancy app and study will use Apple’s ResearchKit —  WebMD, a provider of health information services, and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) have announced a new investigative study designed to improve researchers’ and health care professionals’ understanding of what contributes to healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes.

Augmented Reality, Korea, screen blanker, GoArt, Sierra Spaces, sharing PowerPoints


Apple reportedly has ‘hundreds of engineers’ working on AR projects — Apple has built an augmented reality (AR) team of hundreds of engineers “combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders” and is “very serious about AR,” reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people with knowledge of the company’s plans.”
Apple’s augmented reality team includes vets from Dolby, Oculus & more, apparently. [Really? That boat’s due to depart soon, Apple …]

Apple fans in Korea are feeling no love from the tech giant — Apple users in Korea are feeling no love after the Cupertino, California-based company decided to make heavy investments in China while mostly ignoring Korea, according to The Korea Times.

Screen Commander is new ‘screen blanking’ software for the Mac — Alien Orb Software has introduced Screen Commander 1.0, a screen blanking utility for macOS. Developed for users with multiple displays, it lives in the menubar as a small icon and provides screen blanking options at the click of the mouse. Screen Commander requires macOS 10.12 or later. It’s freeware and is available exclusively at the Mac App Store, and it’s free.

GoArt lets Mac users create art with their photos — Everimaging has introduced GoArt 1.0, a photo editor for macOS. It lets you take a photo and apply artistic filters based on the works of art.
GoArt offers over 40 different styles of art to choose from. Everimaging says it will release more artistic effects on a regular basis.
GoArt works with macOS 10.6.6 or later. It costs US$29.99 or NZ$44.99, and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store. iOS, Android, and web-based versions of the app are also available.

How to work in multiple Spaces in macOS Sierra — It’s easy for your Mac’s desktop to become cluttered, just as a physical desktop can. If this happens, you can create additional desktops, called spaces, to organize the windows. When you work in a Space, you see only the windows that are in that space. Here’s how Spaces work.

SlideShark for Mac lets you access, show and share up-to-date PowerPoints — Brainshark’s SlideShark for Mac enables business professionals to instantly access, show and share up-to-date PowerPoints, and track presentation views and activity. SlideShark Anywhere is available as part of the app’s business version, SlideShark Team Edition. It allows you to broadcast your slides in real time over the web to remote or in-person meeting attendees who can join from any device.