Tag Archives: free tips

MagBytes 84 is here!


mb84Here it is folks, with a large Tips section, Shiny and New and lots of news, updates and even some views. It looks like the image above, and you can download it no obligations and entirely for free by clicking ….

THIS LINK —> MagBytes 84 for February 2017! Enjoy
(and feedback is always welcome)

Five Tip Friday ~ Siri’s Batman Easter Egg, AirPods volume control, save emails into PDFs


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1/ Siri has a LEGO Batman Easter Egg — Once these hidden little gems proliferated through Apple stuff but steve Jobs banned them. But sometimes you find them, and they’re even more precious now that they’re so rare. Press-and-hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying ‘Hey, computer’  and Siri respond with bat-appropriate comments. Cool huh? (This also works on Siri for Mac.)

2/ AirPods volume control is via Siri — Telling Siri to “increase/decrease volume” will land users at the nearest default level —0, 13, 25, 38, 50, 63, 75, 88 and 100 percent.

3/ Add percentages — You can add percentages from 0 to 100 percent onto the back of volume control commands. Granular changes within two percentage points are hardly noticeable, but tweaks above three points are surprisingly distinct.
For those who want greater control, Siri lets users set audio output volumes by percentage.
First, invoke Siri with a double tap on an AirPod, or say Hey Siri or long-press your iPhone/iPad Home button. Now say, “Set volume at 53 percent” or “lower volume to 23 percent.” Apple’s virtual assistant is capable of understanding a number of command variations including “raise/lower volume,” “turn sound up/down,” and “increase/decrease volume,” among others.

4/ What percentage are you at? To discover current listening levels, users can ask Siri, “What percent is the volume?” or “what is the volume?”

5/ Print PDFs from emails — There is another hidden feature in iOS – this one lets you print-to-PDF with any email. This doesn’t require a third-party app or another email client: you can do it inside Apple Mail with 3D Touch. Open Apple Mail on your iDevice (iPhone and iPad). Open the email you want to save. Tap the Reply button and a menu pops up with three options: Reply, Forward – and Print. Tap Print.
You’ll now see a screen where you can select a physical printer over Wi-Fi. But if you 3D Touch the email (press harder on the screen, a feature added from iPhone 6s), this message it will ‘pop’ and add a Share button at bottom right which lets you Share the email to PDF. This works for single page emails and emails with multiple pages. It’s a great way to save email receipts or important emails from VIPs.

Five Tip Friday ~ Universal Clipboard, Markup, and Safari tips for Mac


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1/ Set up and use Universal Clipboard — The new Universal Clipboard feature in macOS Sierra and iOS 10 allows you to copy content, including text, images, photos and video from one Apple device and paste it in another. For example, you can browse a recipe on your Mac and paste the ingredients right to the grocery list on your iPhone. In theory, all you have to do is make sure all your Mac and iOS devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone and/or iPad. Copy on one, choose Paste on the other … but if you can’t make this work (and there can be a lag between the cCopy then the ability to Paste), try signing out of iCloud on all of your devices, and then signing back in.

2/ Use Markup in macOS Sierra Photos — If you’re editing your images within Photos, you can apply filters, remove red-eye, crop things and so on. But macOS Sierra added Markup to Photos, which lets you add text boxes, shapes or drawings to your images.
Select the picture you’d like to annotate, then click the edit button in the toolbar (it looks like a set of sliders). In edit mode, you’ll see a list of tools along the side. Click on Extensions and the Markup option appears. Click this and you can add circles or stars around people, insert text boxes and more.

3/ Reopen recently used tabs in Safari — Launch Safari for Mac and in the Mac’s menu bar for Safari, and the obvious way is to click History. From the list of options with the History menu item, slide down to select Recently Closed. Hovering over this menu item produces a new contextual menu that shows all recently-closed Safari tabs. Select the item that you wish to reopen and click on it. You probably – hopefully! – knew that, but there’s a faster way to do it:

4/ Reopen recently used tabs in Safari (2) —To the right hand side of any open tab in Safari there is a Plus(+) icon. Clicking this opens a new Safari tab window. However, if you right-click (or hold down the Control key on your keyboard and normal-click) on the Plus(+) icon, a new menu appears that shows all recently-closed tabs. Select one to launch it.

5/ Turn Flash off for sites except for some — Flash sucks – it’s a resource hog, can allow malware in and it’s generally unpopular for good reason. So let’s take control of it. First, open any sites where you know you still need to use Flash (which allows those little web animations to play.) There are alternatives to Flash, and many sites including YouTube, have switched to the much better, higher resolution and faster HTML5. But if you’re stuck with needing some sites that still use Flash, read on.
On your Mac, open Preferences>Security>Plug-in Settings… and choose Adobe Flash Player. Set ‘When visiting other websites’ to Off to cause all other servers to send you HTML 5 instead (this is faster, more secure) content when available. But you can choose from among your open sites to give them permission to use the Flash plug-in and Safari will remember your choice for your next visit.

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS 10 tips and tricks


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1/ Search tabs in Safari — The iOS 10 version of Safari lets you open up an unlimited number of tabs while you’re browsing. That does bring its own problems though, including not being able to keep track of your browsing, and that’s where tab search comes in.
Rotate your device into landscape mode (it will not work in portrait) then tap the tabs button. A new search box appears in the top left corner. (You may have to swipe the screen downwards and ‘bounce’ it to make the icons appear).
Enter your search terms and Safari filters out the tabs as you go. Bear in mind you’re only searching through the titles of the tabs and not the actual web pages. When you’ve found what you’re looking for, tap to open the tab.

2/ Set your preferred contacts — Apple finally lets you set the default communication method for each category (call, message, video, mail): press and hold on the relevant blue iconic the Contacts app. This will initiate a call or a message or whatever, so just be ready to cancel it. But iOS 10 keeps this as the default for next time.
Confusingly, this doesn’t change the default communication method if your contact is already listed as a ‘favorite’. Pick ‘Add to Favorites’ to set your preferred option, then head to the Favorites screen itself to ensure it’s the only choice for that contact.
These listed favourite options are the ones Siri uses when you ask it to initiate a communication with someone.

3/ Edit contacts in-line in Mail — You have long been able to tap a contact’s name in email headers to view their details. In iOS 10, you can now edit them right there, as long as they’re listed in Contacts. If they aren’t, you can use the typical add/update contact option, then edit in-line.

4/ Answer Messages from the Lock screen, or not — Under iOS 10, we can now reply to messages without unlocking our devices, which is really convenient. The text that shows up shows ‘Press for more’ on iPhone 6s and 7, and ‘Slide for more’ on earlier iPhones. You can turn this feature off if you’re worried about others replying to your messages from your iPhone while it’s on lock – the option is under Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked, and it’s labeled ‘Reply with Message.’ If you turn that off, pressing or sliding on an incoming message will not work.

5/ Reduce Motion affects Message effects — An unintended side effect of the Reduce Motion option in Settings>General>Accessibility is that it disables all Screen and Bubble Effects in the new Messages app. Users with Reduce Motion enabled cannot access the Effects interface, and no Effects associated with incoming messages will be displayed.
To check your own iOS device, head to Settings>General>Accessibility. In the Vision section is an option labeled Reduce Motion. Tap it to reveal the option’s toggle and set your desired preference to disable or enable it. So if you long ago enabled the Reduce Motion option and are now wondering why you can’t see these new Message Effects, this is probably why.

Five Tip Friday ~ Are you using Siri on Mac? More good reasons to try


Siri offers a quick way to get your system specs
Siri offers a quick way to get your system specs – clicking the More Details bar launches the usual About This Mac dialogue.

1/ Siri by default — If you keep forgetting that Siri is now in your Mac, to encourage yourself to use Siri consider changing the keyboard shortcut that launches it to Command + Space. This is usually the keyboard shortcut for Spotlight – then you can change Spotlight’s keyboard shortcut to Option-Space, or something.
Why? Whenever muscle memory presses the shortcut that used to summon Spotlight, Siri appears instead and forces you to find the file, open the application, perform the Web search, or whatever using your voice instead of the keyboard.
You can change Siri’s shortcut in System Preferences>Siri, and the one for Spotlight in System Preferences>Spotlight.

2/ Need some more reasons to give Siri a go? Siri is brilliant at maths: complex equations, Pi, conversions of anything to anything, percentages … it’s so much easier than launching apps and tapping keys and all that palaver.

3/ Get your system specs — The information available under Apple Menu>About This Mac has been vastly improved, but now we have another way to figure out machine specs in macOS Sierra: Siri. Apple’s voice assistant can answer all sorts of questions for you or for anyone you’re trying to help, like ‘How much memory is on my Mac?’ ‘How much free storage do I have on my Mac?’ and ‘How fast is my Mac?’
Click on the Siri icon in the upper-right corner of your screen or hold down the key-combo, and start talking.

4/ What’s the weather like? Siri will respond to a variety of weather-related queries, from the standard “What’s the weather forecast for today?” to more conversational requests, such as “Will it rain today?” Yussss!

5/ Your system can recommend how to save storage space — If you’re running out of space on your Mac, Sierra’s has suggestions for you. The latest version of macOS makes recommendations based on your current usage of your drive.
Click on the Apple Menu at the upper-left corner of your screen and choose About This Mac. Now click the Storage tab, and from there, pick Manage. When the next window pops up, select Recommendations in the sidebar, and you’ll see what your Mac thinks you need to do. This might suggest setting the trash to empty every 30 days, automatically removing iTunes media after you’ve watched it etc. When you click on the button next to one of the recommendations, your Mac will walk you through turning it on and will mention any caveats.
Be sure your machine has a backup before you make any big changes like these, especially if you’re going to turn on iCloud Photo Library and sync your images with your other Apple devices.
If the Recommendations feature is asking you to do something you don’t understand (especially if you’re using the Reduce Clutter option to review your files), then consider putting the brakes on. Better to keep extra files on your Mac than to remove something you need(although, of course, you really should have a backup).

Want more? Check out this list at TekReview.

Five Tip Friday ~ Notifications in iOS, and more for Messages


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1/ Ch-ch-changes — The iOS 10 changes to notifications depend largely on whether the device is equipped with 3D Touch. Swiping left on a message now offers View and Clear on non-3D Touch devices; just Clear on 3D Touch devices. Users can now also view photos and videos or respond to messages directly from notifications without having to open the app itself.
On 3D Touch devices (iPhone 6s onwards), press on the notification to reveal the notification actions menu. For example, a Calendar notification hard-pressed will now show your day-long view when you get a meeting reminder. Overall, users can now use 3D Touch to gain a compact view of the app a notification is sent from, such as message content from an email in Mail or the last few messages from a contact. This works similarly if a device is unlocked and a notification banner shows up on the top of the screen. Now, with 3D Touch, users can hard press that notification to open the message and interact with the notification without opening the app.
For non-3D touch devices, hitting View will open the alert and allows interaction with the notification.

2/ With Apple TV — Apple TV Remote gained greater utility in iOS 10 and tvOS 10 thanks to rich notifications. Instead of relying solely on Siri Remote and the clunky tvOS keyboard interface, rich notifications let users quickly enter text directly from the iOS lock screen. Notably, the system works even while browsing tvOS with Siri Remote.
tvOS sends a push notification to a connected iPhone whenever the onscreen cursor hits a text entry box. For example, navigating to the search bar in YouTube’s tvOS app will trigger a push notification on iOS.
Interacting with the rich notification through a 3D Touch press on iPhone 6 and 7 series devices summons a text entry box with familiar iOS keyboard. After entering text and tapping “Go,” control is returned to Siri Remote.
Rich notifications appear in the lock screen and as banners or alerts when iPhone is unlocked. As a true push notification, the interactive alerts show up even when Apple TV Remote isn’t running in the background. The feature is enabled by default and can be configured in the iOS Settings app under Notifications > Apple TV Remote Keyboard. From here, users can opt to allow notifications, show alerts in notifications center, enable sounds, activate lock screen access and select their desired alert style. (Apple’s legacy Remote app —the former text entry mode of choice —is incompatible with fourth-generation hardware.) Apple TV Remote is a free download from the iOS App Store.

3/ Change the volume of your messages — Sometimes you want to whisper; other times you need to shout. No problem. Tap and hold on the send icon, then make your choice of loudness or quietness from the subsequent screen (main picture, above). The available options are gentle, loud, and slam. Plus, there’s an invisible ink option that means the recipient has to rub to reveal the text. Alternatively, switch to the Screen tab, and you can add some animated effects including balloons, confetti, and fireworks.

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4/ Share your location more easily — A feature to let you do this is now built right into the Messages app. Tap the tiny info icon (an “i” in a circle) in the top right-hand corner of any conversation window, then opt to send your current location (as a one off) or share your location for a longer period of time. People who don’t use Apple Messages get an embedded maps link on a contact card.

5/ Filter people — Head to the front page of Messages and you should see two headings at the top: one says ‘Contacts & SMS’ and another is ‘Unknown Senders’. Anyone who’s not already in your address book who tries to send you a note in Apple Messages automatically gets dumped into the second category.
If you don’t like the way this works you can turn it off through the Messages screen in the iOS Settings app (look for the Filter Unknown Senders switch).
To give someone the all-clear for messages in the future, just add his or her details to your Contacts app.

Five Tip Friday ~ macOS Sierra adds over 60 security features but also cool things


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1/ Fast sound changes from the Menu Bar — The Sierra Sound menu bar makes switching audio input and output sources even simpler.
If you don’t see the Sound menu bar item – it looks like a little speaker and sits at top right of your monitor – go to Apple menu>System Preferences>Sound and check ‘Show volume on menu bar’. Now you can click the speaker icon in the menu bar to adjust your Mac’s volume.

2/ More sound control — Clicking the Sound item in macOS Sierra’s menu bar lets you set the volume and output. Prior to macOS Sierra, you had to hold down the Option key and then click the Sound menu bar item to show output options, to change between your internal speakers and headphones, for example. But in Sierra, your output options are always visible, while Option-clicking adds input options to the bottom so you can quickly switch between your internal microphone and your fancy podcasting mic.
Switching speakers without needing to Option-click may not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of many little improvements that all add up to a more efficient interface.

3/ Rearrange your Menu Bar — Before Sierra, you could move some of the system icons, but not the third-party ones. Now, nothing’s off limits except Notification Center (the three-lined icon), which stays pinned to the right. Just hold down the Command key on your keyboard, then click and drag any icon to rearrange things at top right.

4/ Export multiple albums in macOS Sierra — Click the grey Albums header in the left sidebar. It looks more like a label than a button, since it’s just the word ‘Albums’, but click it. On the Albums view this takes you to, you may see individual photos from the last album you were in. If so, click the left-facing arrow at top left to get back to the root Albums view. Here you should see all of your albums as thumbnails. From here, you can choose to export entire albums just by clicking on them. But if you shift-click for a continuous between-click selection, or Command-click for several individual albums, you can select multiple albums together and export them all at once. Now choose Export from the File menu …

5/ One for the aficionados: detailed CPU info via the Command Line — It’s easy to get general hardware information about your Mac from ‘About This Mac in the Apple menu, but the command line data, thanks to UNIX being pre-loaded on every Mac, can provide extra tidbits that the GUI leaves out. Here’s how to reveal additional detail of your CPU from the Terminal app.
Open Terminal (it’s an app on every Mac, and it’s in your Utilities folder in the Applications folder) and either type in carefully, or (much easier) paste:
sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string
Then press the Return key. Here’s mine:

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Five Tip Friday ~ Have you upgraded to iOS 10? This means new options for you


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1/ Use Markup on photos — Launch Photos, open a picture, and click the three-slider icon that opens up the editing options. From there, click the three-dot icon in a circle and choose ‘Markup’. 

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2/ Now you can use your iPhone as a magnifying glass — To enable the magnifying lens feature in iOS 10, go to
Settings>General>Accessibility>Magnifier on your iPhone. Once it’s enabled, you triple-click your Home button to turn the rear-facing camera into a magnifying lens. In magnify mode you can zoom in and apply filters to make the little things you need to see easier to pick out. When you’re done, tape the Home button again. This isn’t the same as using the Zoom feature in Apple’s camera app; it’s more like a macro shot. It’s handy for reading small type (like that tiny grey type on Apple’s power units, chargers etc) or for seeing fine details, and it saves you from having to carry a magnifying lens around.

3/ Change Haptic Feedback — iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and 7 and 7 Plus, have ‘haptic feedback’ Home buttons that give your finger vibration feedback. There are three levels of haptic feedback you can set to your preference, and they’re labelled 1, 2, and 3: 1 is light feedback and level 3 is the maximum. To change your level of feedback, go to Settings>General and look for Home Button, and you are presented with the same interface you get during the setup process, as shown below. You can bounce through all three settings and try them by pressing the Home Button itself. Once you’re satisfied, tap Done.

4/ Find my iPhone — OK, this one’s for everyone, whether you have upgraded to iOS 10 yet or not. Find My iPhone is a default app included with iOS and it can be used for much more than simply finding a lost iPhone (although that, of course, is a terrific feature so make sure you turn in on in Settings>iCloud).
You can log onto Find My iPhone from another iOS device signed into your Apple ID or with any web browser by going to www.icloud.com. After launching the app or clicking on Find My iPhone on the iCloud website, you’ll be asked to log in with your Apple ID email address and password (this is the same combo as for iTunes and the App Stores). If you have two-step authentication enabled for your Apple ID you will be asked to enter the secondary passcode.
After logging into Find My iPhone, a map with all the devices used with that Apple ID is displayed. Devices owned by other people on a family plan will be displayed on the map as well. If a device has been located, it’s indicated by a green circle that can be clicked for details. There’s also a dropdown menu for seeing all of the devices associated with the Apple ID account.
Click or tap on the device you want to find and Find My iPhone zooms in on its location on a map. You then have a choice to play a sound, go into Lost Mode, or totally erase the device. With such powerful options, it’s important that you guard access to Find My iPhone quite well. Two-step authentication really helps with this.
Play Sound does exactly what it says: if you have misplaced your iPhone, Play Sound will make the iPhone emit a loud sonar-type sound for five minutes. The device makes this sound even if the side mute switch is on.

5/ Lost Mode and Erase — This setting, which you can turn on in your browser as above, locks your device with a passcode, displays a custom message on the home screen including a phone number to call, and begins tracking the location of the device even if location services were originally disabled.
If the phone is off when you go into Find My iPhone, there is a checkbox to provide you with a notification when it is turned on and located. The passcode you entered remotely and the “call me” message go into effect when the device is turned on.
Erase Phone does exactly what it says. When you select Erase Phone, you have to enter the Apple ID of the device. You will receive an email confirmation if the device is on. If the device is off, the erase begins as soon as it is powered back on. Therefore, any thieves are denied access to any websites you have been to (ie, bank sites) or banking apps and other personal info like your contacts and email accounts, Facebook Messenger etc.
If the device is running iOS 7 or later, the message and phone number remain on the screen even after the phone is erased. That should increase the chances of someone returning your phone to you.
[These Find my iPhone tips came from Apple World Today – this link has more info than I posted above.]

Five Tip Friday ~ Safari on Mac


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The next OS for Mac (macOS 10.12 Sierra) is in development and some public and developer testers already have it  – but it won’t officially ship till (probably) September, so there’s still lots to learn about OS 10.11. Here are some tips for Safari.
I’ve said this many times, but unless you’re using tabbed browsing for your searches and other tasks in Safari, you’re not getting the best from your online experience. I’m not going to go through that again here, but here’s a nice easy How To to get you up and running if you’re not using this yet.

1/ Close other tabs — When you’ve got multiple tabs open, click on the File menu and find Close Tab – now hold down the Option key on your keyboard: Close Tab switches to Close Other Tabs. If you’ve opened up lots of links in tabs and just want to get rid of everything except the tab you’re currently viewing, this does it in one go. (The keyboard shortcut for this action is Option-Command-W– Command W being the standard and ubiquitous Close Window command).
You can also hold down the Option on your keyboard and click on the ‘x that appears on your tab (the little Close button each tab has) when you hover over it. A little tooltip will show up when you do so, warning you of what’s about to happen.

2/ Undo the closing action — If you’re playing around and accidentally close a tab, remember you can press Command-Z (Edit > Undo Close Tab – actually, XCommand Z is the universal and ubiquitous – and lifesaving, sometimes – Undo Last Action command and well worth learning anyway, as it works almost everywhere) to bring it back.

PinnedTab3/ Pinning sites — There are several ways to save sites you use a lot: add to favourites, bookmarking … but El Capitan’s Safari added ‘site pinning’. Pinning a site is easy – choose Pin Tab from the Window menu to move it’s button, while resizing it smaller, to the left side of your Favourites bar, or click on a tab’s title and just drag it all the way to the left of the tab. You can also hold down the Control key ion your keyboard (it may be labelled ‘Ctrl’) and click a tab, then choose Pin Tab from the pop-out menu.
The tab will become a small square on the left side of the tab bar, as in the thumbnail on the left here: it just shows a site icon. Pinned tabs remain open when you close and reopen Safari, and the sites in them run in the background, so you’ll hear sounds such as message alerts or videos running if they’re on that site.

4/ Safari keyboard shortcuts — Some of Safari’s keyboard shortcuts changed for El Capitan. Previously, [Command]+1, [Command]+2 and so on opened bookmarks from corresponding positions in the Favorites Bar; now these shortcuts switch between tabs you have open, including the pinned ones.
These shortcut actions can be reversed by turning off ‘Use [Command]-1 through [Command]-9 to switch tabs’ in Safari>Preferences>Tabs.

5/ Shutting things up — Some sites (bloody Macworld!) have videos that auto launch and noisily run even when they are in tabs that aren’t expanded (the ones you’re viewing the contents of). Now, Safari displays a speaker icon in the browser bar to mute any audio, as well as in the affected tab, letting you pick which tab to silence. Just click it.

Five Tip Friday ~ Safari on Mac (and one for iOS)


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1/ Restore Safari bookmarks from iCloud backups — Apple recently added a way to restore your synced bookmarks. Visit iCloud.com, log in with your Apple ID (the email address you have associated with iCloud and your iCloud/iTunes/App Store password), and open the Settings option.
Scroll to the very bottom of the page, which is where you’ll find all of your restoring options. Click Restore Bookmarks, you’ll see what archives are available for recovery. Pay attention to the caveats it gives you, too (note this will replace ALL of your bookmarks — you can’t do any individual folders or links).

2/ Reader View — When you visit sites that this Safari feature can work with, a little icon with lines appears in the left corner of the Smart Search bar. Click that icon (or press Command-Shift-R, for View>Show Reader) to be taken to a clutter-free version of the site – it strips out things like ads – great for reading articles without distractions.

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3/ Customise Reader View — Reader view in Safari has become customisable in El Capitan. You can make this view look exactly how you want it to, as well. To do that, click on the icon on the right of the Smart Search bar when you’ve got a Reader page open. Now you can make text bigger or smaller (or change the font entirely) or switch up the colour of the background. When you’re finished with your article and want to exit Reader view, press Escape, use the Reader shortcut I mentioned above again, or click the “lines” icon at the top.

4/ This feature is in iOS 9, too — Follow the same steps as above: if you see the ‘lines’ icon appear in the search bar, tap it to switch to Reader view. Then you can use the same icon on the right to adjust the Reader View settings. Leave this view on iOS by tapping the Reader icon again.

5/ Sort bookmarks  alphabetically in Safari for Mac — The more bookmarks you save, the harder it is to find what you’re looking for since they’re sorted chronologically, and to change the order, you have to manually sort them yourself which is really tedious. There has never been a way to sort them alphabetically in Safari itself, but there are two ways: one is where you drag the folder to the desktop – although the process is slightly different now– and the other is with a nifty bit of software (much easier).
within Safari, start by displaying your bookmarks in Safari (Bookmarks>Show Bookmarks). Click the Edit button at the bottom of the list. Drag them all to a folder in the Finder; make sure you don’t select Bookmarks Menu, or you won’t be able to drag the bookmarks. Display that folder in List view (View>As List, in the Finder), and then click the Name header to sort the files by name.
Next, move up a level in the Finder (press Command-up-arrow), and drag that folder onto the bookmark list in Safari. All your bookmarks will be added to the Bookmarks list, in that folder, You can delete the originals, then move the bookmarks out of the folder to the Bookmarks Menu, or to your Favorites. This is a lot of work for something that should be pretty simple.
Easier, much easier – the free SafariSort app, which sorts your bookmarks alphabetically, or in alphabetical order with all your bookmark folders on top of the list. It’s fast and simple, and if you like having bookmarks in order, just run it regularly.