Tag Archives: iCloud

Five Tip Friday ~ Your Mac online with Safari and iCloud


1/ Recover lost tabs and windows in Safari — Some users have a lot of Safari tabs open all the time. For some folks, open tabs are apparently a way to remember to follow up on things or purchase items. It’s much more sensible to use Bookmarks but hey, we’re all different. But if you close a tab and didn’t mean to, the menu item to recover them is under History at the top of your screen.
Within that menu (above), you will see Recently Closed, which will show you tabs and windows you may have dismissed accidentally. Click any single item to reopen that one page.

2/ Reopen Last Closed [Window/Tab] — This does just what it says, and Reopen All Windows from Last Session, which is handy if Safari didn’t restore your tabs after it was quit for whatever reason. (These options may look a little different or say slightly different things depending on exactly how many tabs you closed, for example, but if you’re looking to get back what you lost, this History menu is very handy.
Of course, if all you want is to undo accidentally closing a tab right after you did it, you’d just press Command-Z like you would anywhere else in any Mac operation to undo your last action.  You can also press this key combo multiple times to get back several tabs if you went on a closing frenzy and then came to your senses.

3/ Uploading files from a browser via iCloud — Log into iCloud.com on the computer you’d like to upload files from. Head to Photos if you want to upload images to your iCloud Photo Library or iCloud Drive for all other types of files.
In either place, you’ll see an Upload button at the top of your browser window (indicated above). Choose that, and you’ll get the familiar file-picker dialog box, from which you can navigate to the items you’d like to upload.
How long your upload will take is dependent on the size of the file(s) you select and your internet speed. If you signed in to your iCloud account on a machine that isn’t yours, make sure to log out before you walk away.
The beauty of this trick is most apparent if you’re using iCloud Photo Library or the Mac’s Desktop and Documents syncing feature. In the case of photos, for example, anything you upload to iCloud.com will be immediately distributed to all of your devices if that syncing is turned on.
For iCloud Drive, though, whatever folder you’re looking at online will be where the files you upload end up. So you could navigate to iCloud.com, open iCloud Drive, double-click to view your Desktop folder, and then upload files there. When you get back to your Mac, you’ll see the stuff you uploaded, already on your Desktop and ready to go. [From the Mac Observer.]

4/ Connect to a remote Mac in your Back to My Mac network with macOS Sierra — With macOS Sierra’s Back to My Mac, you can connect to your other Macs securely over the Internet. This is an iCloud feature that lets you set up a network of Macs that you can access remotely.  After you set up each Mac or AirPort base station, you can connect to it remotely.
From the Finder menu, choose Preferences, and click the Sidebar tab.
In the Shared section, select Back to My Mac.
Open a Finder window, and look for the Shared section in the sidebar. If you don’t see any shared computers or base stations, place the pointer over the word Shared and click Show.
Select the remote computer or base station that you want to access and click Connect As. (To share a screen with your remote Mac, select the Mac and click Share Screen.) If you don’t see the Mac or base station that you’re looking for, click All to see a list of available Mac computers and base stations.

5/ Remove a Mac from your Back to My Mac network on macOS Sierra — You can turn off Back to My Mac whenever you want (here’s how you set it up). When you do, you’ll remove that Mac or AirPort base station from your Back to My Mac network.
Follow these steps:
Choose System Preferences from the  menu, then click iCloud.
In iCloud preferences, deselect Back to My Mac to turn it off. You also can click Sign Out to log out of iCloud completely.
To remove a base station, follow these steps:
From the menu bar, choose Go > Utilities and double-click AirPort Utility.
Select the AirPort base station that you don’t want to use anymore, and click Edit. If you don’t see the base station, click Other Wi-Fi Devices to see a list of available base stations. You might need to choose a different Network Interface from the pop-up menu.
Enter the base station password. This password is different from your iCloud password.
Select the Base Station tab.
In the Back to my Mac section, click the – (minus) button and enter the Apple ID you use with Back to My Mac. The green status indicator should disappear, showing that Back to My Mac is turned off.
Click Update to save your changes.

Five Tip Friday ~ Mac odds and ends


1/ Remove a connected Bluetooth device on your Mac — Click the Bluetooth menu at top right of your screen and choose Bluetooth Preferences or, if you can’t see that menu, open System Preferences and click the Bluetooth tab and tick ‘Show Bluetooth in menu bar. Either way, now you see your paired devices
within that pane. Right- or Control-click (hold down the Control or CTRL key on your keyboard and then click) on the connected Bluetooth device in question and pick Rename from the contextual menu. You’ll be asked for the new name you want. Type it in, click Rename and you will be able to identify your devices more easily.

2/ iCloud is online and you can access it this way — All your iCloud connected activity is available to you online., free, thanks to your iCloud account. This is a web page dedicated securely to you. In a web browser (on any device) go to http://www.icloud.com, sign in with the email address associated with your Apple ID and your Apple ID password (that for iTunes, app Store etc, not your Mac or device password or passcode) and you can see all your information, including Contacts, email if you have a free iCloud email address, and even documents you have shared from Pages, Notes, Reminders, Numbers etc. Just make sure you sign out before closing the browser if you’re doing this on someone else device.
Signing in online also lets you find your devices on a map, as below …

3/ Make sure Find My Mac is enabled — Nothing worse than losing your Mac, but have you really turned on this feature? Open System Preferences, click iCloud and scroll down to turn this on. But if it has an exclamation mark in a  yellow triangle, you have not enabled Location Services. You may have turned this off for greater security, but you can turn it on and only have the Find my Mac feature using it. In System Preferences, click Security & Privacy and under the Privacy tab, click Enable Location Services. You can then tick what apps on your Mac use it (or not).
Now you can visit http://www.iCloud.com to see if your Mac is showing up on the map of your devices. If you need more help with how to do that, here’s an Apple support article – just follow the instructions under the ‘Find your missing Mac’ section.

4/ Downloading iCloud Photo Library pictures — If you’re using iCloud Photo Library, Apple’s service for syncing all your pictures across your devices, you can choose to keep your images stored locally on your Mac, which is definitely the safe way to go. But how do you tell how your service is set up? Open Photos on your Mac and choose Preferences from the Photos menu, and chick the iCloud tab.
The topmost choice is iCloud Photo Library – this will be on if you’re syncing your library across your devices. If yours is currently turned off and you’re thinking about turning it on, be sure you’ve got a backup first! And it’d be good to read Apple’s support article on it too.
The two other options are Download Originals to this Mac and Optimize Mac Storage. The first keeps a copy of everything on your Mac; the second manages your library automatically, only storing as many pictures as you have space for.
If you have the space on your Mac (MacBooks and MacBook Airs have very small internal storage, so this may not be an option for you), most recommend the Download Originals to this Mac option. That way, you can do things like offline editing, and you can also back up your library through Time Machine (or what have you) so it’s protected in case a problem with iCloud that causes data loss crops up (rare, almost unheard of, but by no means impossible, and t’s also subject to good internet connectivity, of course). Never think of syncing services as a backup, and especially not as your ONLY backup.
If you’ve got Optimize Mac Storage on and you didn’t intend it to be, that may mean that some of your pictures are only living up in iCloud and aren’t on your Mac any more. If you’ve got the storage to accommodate all of your stuff, you can just toggle that particular setting to Download Originals to this Mac instead, and then that re-downloading will begin. Depending on the number of affected items you have, the process could take a while.

5/ Keep just a subset of your photos on your Mac — If you  just want to download a subset to your Mac, one way to do it is by configuring an album or smart album with the pictures you want to pull down. Start setting this up underneath the File menu inside Photos.
New Album and New Empty Album are both choices you can use. If you pick either of those, add items to them according to your preferences.
The New Smart Album option is pretty handy if the images you want to download meet criteria that you could configure using rules – for example, if all images you want were shot  between specific dates.
Once you’ve got your album or smart album set up, an easy way to download its contents is to first turn on Photos’ sidebar by choosing View>Show Sidebar or by pressing Option-Command-S; then you’ll right- or Control-click on your new album in the sidebar to pick the appropriate option from the contextual menu.
After the download is complete, you should have local copies of your pictures, and then you can back them up or do whatever you need to. And if you start having trouble, here’s another Apple support article on troubleshooting your iCloud Photo Library.

[These iCloud photo tips came from Mac Observer.]

Red Cross efforts, iClouds new lower prices compared, 802nd post


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Apple accepting donations on iTunes to support Red Cross refugee work — In the past, Apple has used the iTunes Store as a way to raise money for relief efforts around the world, and this week the company is asking customers to donate to help out people affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. However, this isn’t working in New Zealand (via iTunes). The NZ Red Cross appeal page is here.

Comparing iCloud’s new lower prices to the competition — 
Cheaper iCloud storage prices just went into effect, making the service more competitive with Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive.

802nd … This is my 802nd post on this new website. Not bad for a year or so. Once again thanks to designer Paul Luker for setting it up so well.

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS Mail can have signatures, and making space in iCloud


1/ Add a simple text signature to Mail for iOS — Unlike on Mac, you can only have one signature per email account on your iOS device. Choose Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Choose Signature and create your Signature

ComSig2/ Add a complex signature to Mail for iOS — You can take a signature, complete with image, that you have created on your Mac and use it on your iOS device. Just send yourself an email that contains the signature you want to use. In the email you receive, click on the signature, Select all, then Copy. Now Select Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>Signature
If you already have a signature saved, delete it.
Then double tap to get the save options and select paste. It will remain in place until you decide to change it.

3/ Free up space in iCloud — Call me a Scrooge but I have managed to resist buying extra storage space in iCloud for years now, and I’m running three devices on the account. The first easiest way is to delete emails you have received with attachments in them, and easiest of all is to do this on your Mac as you can delete multiples at once.
Please remember that iCloud is essentially a folder on a hard drive somewhere that you access over the internet, with access privileges set to you via your email address and Apple ID password. 

4/ Delete iCloud backups to free up iCloud space — When a device is set to backup to iCloud, Apple automatically backs up data and settings stored locally on the particular device; it does not create a backup of data already stored in an iCloud account via Mac or iOS apps (from iOS 8.1, that includes iCloud Photo Library, shared photo albums, My Photo Stream, documents, contacts, calendars, mail, bookmarks, and notes).
iCloud backups include purchase history from the iTunes or App Store, app data, home screen and app organisation, iMessage/SMS/MMS text messages, device settings, and visual voicemail on an iOS device. But if you have multiple devices, old iCloud back-ups can quickly fill up their storage — particularly if they’re on the free (yay!) 5-gigabyte tier.
To delete an old iCloud backup from an iOS device, simply open the Settings app, and select iCloud, then select Storage. There’s a line graphic at the bottom of the following screen representing the amount of iCloud storage currently in use. Next, select the particular Backup to be deleted. Users with iCloud being used on multiple devices will have more than one.
Selecting particular old (and redundant) backups to delete (not the current one, obviously).

5/ Choose which apps back up — You can choose which apps back up, too – remember (and please note) that, unlike on Mac or PC where documents go into files and folders independent of the applications that create them, in most cases, iOS apps contain the docs they create within the originating apps – and these can be backed up. So disabling any non-essential apps from a backup frees up space within iCloud storage.
At the bottom of the Backup Info screen, there is an option to Delete the particular backup. Once the backup is deleted, the amount of available iCloud storage will increase in proportion to the size of the deleted backup. To delete an iCloud backup from a Mac, open System Preferences and select iCloud. Then, select the Manage button on the bottom right of the window.

MacBook, Xcode, Safari RSS, Lightroom CC 2015, iCloud failures and foibles


Compromised, expensive – but it's the future of laptops. (Image from Apple.)
Compromised, expensive – but it’s the future of laptops. (Image from Apple.)

Apple Insider’s review of the all-new 12″ MacBook with Retina display — With the launch of its new ultra-portable 12-inch MacBook, Apple has signalled that the future of notebooks is here. The future does indeed look bright, though the initial cost and compromises made in building the new MacBook should keep most people from buying in — for the first generation, at least.

Apple releases Xcode 6.3.1, fixing ‘critical issues’ related to debugging and more — Apple has issued a minor update for Xcode, improving stability and fixing what the company said are “critical issues” associated with debugging, playgrounds, and Interface Builder.

60-Second Tips: subscribe to RSS feeds in Safari’s Shared Links tab — Think that you need a separate RSS feed reader app or service to keep up with the latest from your favourite websites? You don’t – see this 60-second video tip.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015 review: New features and major performance gains — With facial recognition, easier editing tools like the great new filter brush, and better performance from using the GPU, the latest edition of Lightroom could appeal to former users of Aperture. [I find the way Lightroom is organised – or, actually, disorganised – a major barrier to using it.] 

iCloud fails and foibles that need to be addressed — Here you will find your top five complaints, and responses, about iCloud and Messages listed in no particular order.

Using two-step, Google Play, Dropbox adds sharing


After updating, Dropbox can be added to iOS's sharing options by sharing a file
After updating, Dropbox can be added to iOS’s sharing options by sharing a file

How to protect your Apple ID, iCloud, iMessage and more by enabling two-step verification — Stephen Robles writes that two-step verification adds an additional layer of protection to your Apple ID login by requiring users to enter their password plus a second, temporary number sent to a trusted device. Here’s how

Google Play Music finally works on iPads — For years, Android users have dealt with apps on Google’s mobile platform that look more like they were designed for iOS. In recent months, Google has been giving iOS users a taste of the same experience. On Tuesday, Google updated its iOS app for Play Music with the company’s new Material Design aesthetic—and more importantly, added an iPad app for the first time. [And I still won’t use it.]

Dropbox adds iOS 8 sharing extension — Dropbox is now allowing users to upload files via iOS 8’s sharing menu. Any document that can be shared by the operating system’s built-in functionality can be uploaded directly to dropbox. This removes the need for users to open the Dropbox app itself or save files to Dropbox from third-party apps specifically designed to do so.

Office gets iCloud support, tips


Office for iOS now has iCloud support
Office for iOS now has iCloud support

Microsoft Office integrates more cloud storage services, starting with iCloud and Box — Microsoft is continuing its open approach to cloud storage by hooking more third-party services into Office. The integration is only available in Office for iOS today, but Microsoft is working on bringing the expanded cloud storage support to its Android- and Windows-based Office apps. And Macworld offers seven time-saving Office for iOS tips.

Apple Watch was supposed to be a Health Tracker, not a Fitness Tracker — Apple’s original plans for its Apple Watch were apparently far more ambitious than the final product, due to ship in April. Instead of the fitness tracker with iPhone-linked communication features, Apple had planned on giving consumers a device that tracked overall health, but had to scale back its designs because many sensors failed to perform as expected. Meanwhile, Apple is helping developers polish Apple Watch apps.

iWork online for Windows, Obama Cybersecurity, iCloud, BBC hire with NZ connection, BusyMac Contacts


The online iCloud app betas are now available to Windows users with iCloud accounts
The online iCloud app betas are now available to Windows users with iCloud accounts

iWork in the cloud opens to Windows users — Apple’s iWork for iCloud took another step towards coming out of beta by opening up to all Apple ID holders, including Windows users. Previously, the public beta was available only if you used Apple devices to access the website. [Go to icloud.com, put in your Apple ID email address and password.]
The web-based versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are designed to work cross platform, just like Microsoft’s online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Apple signs on to Obama’s cybersecurity framework as Tim Cook calls privacy ‘life and death’ issue — Apple is among more than a half-dozen major US corporations that have agreed to integrate the White House’s Cybersecurity Framework into their operations, but the iPhone maker will not share security information with the federal government.

Grammy-nominated NZ-born DJ Zane Lowe leaving flagship BBC Radio show, joining Apple — One of BBC Radio’s most popular music personalities is set to leave the historic British broadcaster in March, and will reportedly move across the pond to take a still-unknown position at Apple.

For Apple’s revamped photo experience to work, iCloud changes are needed — The impending release of Photos for OS X and the new iCloud Photo Library make Apple’s commitment to the cloud more important than ever before. But the company’s current iCloud storage options are confusing to the average user (says Apple Insider) and remain a significant hurdle it must find a way to address.

Rumours Apple is working on a car — Apple has been making significant hires from the automotive world. Why? We don’t know …

Last chance for Adobe training deal — Train Simple brings you award-winning Adobe training videos to make an Adobe expert and web design master out of you. Learn a little now and a little later, it’s yours for life at US$79 instead of $500.

BusyMac releases BusyContacts for Macintosh — BusyMac made a name for itself by giving us a better calendar than iCal called BusyCal. The company’s done it again with the release of BusyContacts.

Apple Watch 491 ~ There’s Smart, there’s Outsmarted – and there’s Smarting


And they’re different things. Once upon a time, Apple’s big bogeyman was Microsoft, and before that, long long before, it was IBM. Times have changed, but there’s seemingly always someone in the bogeyman position, and if anything, these days, there are two – and the two are about equal, as far as Apple is concerned: Google and Samsung. (Meanwhile, Microsoft and IBM are developing benevolent partnerships with Apple on various fronts.)

I’m not having a tilt at Samsung here — it’s just a good tech company that creates an often-excellent range of products as far as I’m concerned. The rivalry has much to do perception – as soon as Samsung started making slim smartphones running Google’s Android OS, the tech titans were going to clash. Is it personal? I don’t think so, as far as Samsung is concerned. Samsung hardly had the choice to make a phone to run iOS, after all. Although some of the Samsung smartphones and tablets have been embarrassingly (perhaps that word should be ‘expensively’) similar to Apple’s,
the Google rivalry is another matter.
That is personal. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, and Steve Jobs took it very personally when Google launched its copy I mean competitor to iOS (ie, Android). That personality thing seems to have permeated Apple’s culture, as Steve Jobs is no longer there. Generally speaking, Apple has fared well through the whole thing, going from record profit to profit record, although people who covet iPhones and iPads have clearly turned to cheaper devices running Android since the differences aren’t that powerful, once it comes down to the dollar, to them. Beggars can be choosers, with modern tech – and that’s a good thing.

One rather odd area that Google has kinda won is that of email: I meet droves of happy Apple users who, strangely, use Gmail email rather than Apple’s iCloud email accounts. Apple has failed somehow here – an iCloud account is ‘as free’ and internationally useful (independent of localised ISPs) as Gmail accounts, except iCloud works way better on Apple computers and devices, and it’s way more secure. Apple, unlike Google, doesn’t think privacy is some kind of joke.
I honestly think the difference between the two is the signup – many people miss the prompt to get a free iCloud account (__@icloud.com) when they first sign up to iCloud’s synching etc, and lots of PC users tell them ‘just get a gmail account’ so they go online and find it immediately, and sign up. I meet lots of Apple users with problematic, improperly working and bad-at-synching Gmail accounts when they could be using excellent, perfectly-synching iCloud accounts for the same cost (ie, for free).
I do realise people often simply don’t notice things. For example, there are TWO models of iPhone 6, yet almost invariably, if I show someone an iPhone 6 they say ‘I thought it was bigger.’ Er, yes, the big Plus model is even bigger. There are two distinct sizes of iPhone 6. You honestly haven’t seen the ads or even one website showing both models?

Anyway, I digress — the fallout from the Google-Apple rivalry seems to be affecting Samsung more than Google, even though they both have many irons in the tech fire, so to speak. The South Korean giant (which has supplied many components for Apple over the years) has suffered plummeting profitability due, according to some, to a major drop in its low-priced, high-volume phones and tablets. Samsung announced a frighteningly steep 73.9% drop in its mobile division profits for the third quarter. The problem seems to be a boom in buyers of its low-end smartphones – which is great, welcoming more people into the smartphone era, with all that’s offered by the pocket-tech – but the low and medium models are nowhere near as profitable as high-end smartphones … or iPhones.

Does that mean that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is beating Samsung down, despite its price? As I remarked a couple of weeks back, Samsung sold a third the number of its latest top model compared to iPhone 6 … in Korea. It’s been a race to the margins for Samsung, unfortunately. Apple doesn’t do ‘cheap’ – it sometimes does ‘slightly less’, is all.

And by the way, Samsung — you still haven’t paid Apple the US1 billion you owe for losing that patent infringement court case … and that was two years ago.

Security flaw could effect Macs, iCloud, Adobe Photoshop and Premier Elements


You can check if your system is vulnerable with a Terminal command
You can check if your system is vulnerable with a Terminal command

Shellshock flaw poses big security threat for Mac, other Unix systems — This security threat has the potential to be even bigger than Heartbleed because of the way it lets attackers remotely access victims computers through the Bash command line shell for Unix and Linux – so this potentially affects Mac OS X and the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Shellshock is about a 25-year-old security flaw in the Bash shell that lets code held in certain variables to be executed immediately and without the victim’s knowledge. That code could give attackers deep level access to the system as well as to any data they want to harvest.
The flaw is a serious threat for Mac users even if they don’t typically use the Terminal app to access their computer’s Unix underpinnings because many of the apps they use may be tapping into Bash on some level.

You can check to see if your Mac is vulnerable to the threat by launching Terminal and entering this command (copy that command below, paste it into Terminal and press Enter):

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable’ bash -c ‘echo hello’

If you see “vulnerable” as part of the response to the command (above), your Mac is susceptible to the Shellshock threat. For Mac users who’re comfortable compiling their own code, Stack Exchange details how to apply your own Bash patch.
In the meantime, if you’re using Apple wifi routers you’re less vulnerable, and,make sure your firewalls are on (System Preferences>Security) Apple should shortly have an update out to address Shellshock.

Researcher accuses Apple of ignoring iCloud brute-force attack for 6 months — A security researcher who discovered a brute-force attack against Apple’s iCloud service in March — similar to the “iBrute” vulnerability that surfaced in conjunction with the celebrity photo hacking scandal earlier this month — says the company refused to address the flaw for months after he reported it. [Apple’s profile is now so big, it can noafford to take security threats lightly.]

Adobe updates Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements with great results — Adobe’s consumer photo and video apps, Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements., are now both at version 13 in this new release. Significant changes include Retina display support on Macs and very cool Guided Editing features.