1/ Launch apps in OS X using Spotlight — Using Spotlight to search for files etc is handy, and can also search for apps. Not only that, but as with search on iDevices, you can also use it to launch apps.
First, launch Spotlight. For most people this is Command-Spacebar (that’s the default).
When you get to Spotlight, start typing the name of the app you want to launch. If it appears at the top, just hit the Return key on your keyboard and it opens.
2/ Launch apps using a single letter — Once you have your list, you can also type the app’s first letter (like you can in Finder windows). Except in Spotlight, once you’ve typed the letter and your app’s selected, press Return and it launches.
3/ View all messages in a Messages conversation — Apple’s Messages app in OS X Yosemite borrowed from its iPhone and iPad cousins, so now you can do more in your conversations, like view all of the images and attachments you sent and received in a chat.
To see all of the photos and attachments in a Messages conversation, just click Details in the upper right corner in every conversation. You can click and drag anything from the Details view to your Desktop or folder; double-clicking an image opens it in Preview.
4/ More from Details — The Details view also lets you mute notifications for specific chats, start phone calls and FaceTime calls, and screen share. This is a handy way to see images that otherwise would take a ridiculous amount of back scrolling in long conversations. Grouping in calling features, too, as a bonus.
5/ Make sense of Safari’s new Favorites bookmarks — The new Safari look can throw you almost as much as the new iTunes. But don’t panic: choose View>Show Favorites Bar. When you drag an icon to a new location in this view, its location in the Favorites Bar change too.
If you don’t like this view, you can eliminate it. Open Safari’s Preferences, click General, and configure the New Windows Open With and New Tabs Opens With options.
To organise and edit bookmarks the old fashioned way, the shortest way to do it is to choose Bookmarks>Edit Bookmarks (Command-Option-B). This fills Safari’s window with all the bookmarks it has. Alternatively you could click the Show Sidebar button in the menubar, select the Bookmarks tab, and then click the Edit button at the bottom of the pane.
Now you can rearrange their order, rename them, edit their URL, create folders, and drag collections of bookmarks into those newly created folders. [There’s more on this from Macworld.]
1/ Get full web addresses back in Safari’s URL Bar — Safari for Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite received an iOS-like habit of hiding the full URL from you in the address bar. Doesn’t matter – just go to Safari and choose Preferences from the Safari menu, click the Advanced tab and check the box for Show Full Website Address.
2/ Yosemite got batch file renaming — Select some files in Finder, then right- or Control-click on your selected stuff and pick “Rename [number of] items” from the contextual menu.
You get three options in the upper-left of the window: ‘Replace Text,’ ‘Add Text’ and ‘Format’.
Pick that first option tosearch for a common element in your selected files and replace that with different text. Add Text means that you can insert text either before or after your filenames.
Format lets you append the date or a number (e.g. “File 1,” “File 2,” etc) to your filenames. Pick what number you want to start with on that screen, and again, you can select whether to put the new data before or after the name.
3/ Speed up adding album art in iTunes 12 — The rather contentiously redesigned iTunes 12 has an unintuitive interface. Apple made this? Anyway, among the changes you can no longer drag-and-drop artwork to albums and songs to tag them with their artwork.
Actually, the old tried-and-true method is still there, but it’s been hidden: hold the Option key before you select Get Info to bring back the old GUI that lets you drag and drop your album art right into iTunes.
4/ Better Sound options — System Preferences’ Sound pane gives you access to controls that are useful when you have multiple audio devices attached. I really like that on Sound’s Effects tab you can choose which device should play system alerts. While you might consider using the Selected Output Device (the default option) for playing sound effects, you might not want to do so if you’ve connected your Mac to a large home-entertainment system for music out of; in that case, a warning Ping, Pop, or Purr sound can be really be intrusive – and really loud! To get around this, you can use the Sound Effects tab to make these sounds play only on the system’s internal speakers or headphones, while other audio is piped out the USB port to your home theatre. You can also set the volume level for this independently of other device volumes. Excellent!
5/ Dark Dock, light menus — This is one for those not afraid to use the Bash terminal in Mac OS X: If you have enabled the new, pro-looking ‘dark mode’ in OS X Yosemite simply by going to System Preferences>General and checking the ‘Use Dark Menu and Dock’ box, good-oh. But what if you love the dark Dock, but don’t like the look of white letters on a dark background in the menubar, launch Terminal, type in (or, better – for no dangerous mistakes – copy and paste) the following:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleInterfaceStyle Dark
Press the Return key on your keyboard. This sets your Mac to Dark Mode.
Now at the Terminal prompt, type or paste:
Press Return again. This will relaunch the Dock in its Dark mode.Finally, type in (or paste):
defaults remove NSGlobalDomain AppleInterfaceStyle
Press Return again. This turns off dark mode, but the Dock ignores the command … at least until the next time you reboot your Mac. Voila, you have your dark Dock and light menubar.
[This tip from TUAW.]
OS X Yosemite: Mail’s Awesome new Markup feature — Maybe you’ve heard that you can now mark up certain types of files right from Mail, without having to open them into Preview and annotate them as a separate step. When you’re composing a message in Mail and you attach an image or a PDF, hovering over the file with your cursor will reveal a small drop-down arrow at the upper-right corner. Click that and choose “Markup,” and you’re on your way.
What happened to the Favorites bar in Safari? The Favorites (sic) bar isn’t gone if you’ve installed Yosemite, it’s just hidden until you reactivate it. Drop the View menu, select Show Favorites Bar.
More tips? Today a new MagBytes comes out. If you’re not on the email notification list (you just ask me by email to be on it), just check back on this site tomorrow and click MagBytes Newsletter on the right and download it.
1/ Minimise, Maximise — Have you noticed that clicking the green traffic light button at top left of windows now launches Full Screen Mode? Don’t worry – if you hold down the Option key while you click, you get the more traditional behaviour.
2/ Hotspot iPhone tethering —A lot of the power of Yosemite on your Mac and iOS 8.1 on your phone comes down to much better integration between the two platforms. For years you could get a Mac online anywhere as long as your iPhone could get a cell signal, but that’s easier than ever now thanks to Instant Hotspot.
This requires an iPhone running iOS 8.1 and a Mac with OS X Yosemite installed. As it’s a Continuity feature, both devices must be logged in to the same iCloud Apple ID.
Your carrier plan has to have tethering enabled (most NZ Vodafone plans support it; not sure about the others) to take advantage of Apple’s hotspot functionality. But before, users were required to open the iOS Settings application and enable Personal Hotspot and then connect via Bluetooth or the USB charge cable plugged in between the iPhone and the Mac (very fast and reliable compared to Bluetooth in some environments). Instant Hotspot allows the feature to automatically be enabled without any input, once you’ve set it up. First, you need to turn it on in iPhone Settings – it’s near the top of the list, under Cellular. Once you’ve done that, on your Mac (assuming your iPhone is in range) you simply choose the Wi-Fi menu, and the name of the iPhone, along with cellular signal strength and battery life, is shown.
Choose it, enter the password that’s displayed in your iPhone Settings as ‘Wi-Fi Password’ and you’re connected.
The wifi logo for the right-most wireless indicator at top left of your Mac screen changes to two linked hoops to indicate the connection.
You don’t need to enter that password again, making it a very handy and quick connection option. On your iPhone, a blue bar appears along the top to show you are connected. Before, you had to remember to disconnect once you’ve finished using it, or you’d use all your data up doing nothing, but Apple’s system now intelligently disconnects from Instant Hotspot when the tethered Mac or iPad is not using data, helping preserve battery life on the connected iPhone, since tethering can place a considerable drain on the handset.
3/ Personal Hotspot works for iPad too — It’s handy to get your non-sim iPad online wherever you are, too, sometimes. On iPad, the information is found in the Wi-Fi section of the iOS Settings app. With Instant Hotspot, users will no longer be required to enter a Wi-Fi password to tether with their iPhone. The system is secure because the credentials are authorised via your iCloud account. (On mine the option only appeared when Bluetooth was on.)
4/ Phone calls from your Mac — It might sound silly, but it’s surprisingly handy to be able to take, and make, phone calls directly from your Mac rather than scrabbling to get your iPhone out of your pocket.
To make a phone call from your Mac, just open Contacts and click on the phone handset by the phone number (your FaceTime must be activated and signed-in on your iPhone in Settings>FaceTime. FaceTime should be enabled on both devices with both your phone number and your AppleID – I had to sign out in FaceTime on my iPhone and sign back in to get it to work; Apple has support info on this process).
5/ Geek calls — If you’re of the more geeky variety of Mac user, here are two other ways to initiate phone calls from your Mac. Type tel://18007672775<phone number=”“18007672775″ “=””>in the url bar of Safari and press enter, or open Terminal and type:
open tel://17192662837(with your actual phone numbers, of course, not the example numbers above).
OS X Yosemite Available Today as a Free Upgrade Introduces New Design & Amazing Continuity Features
CUPERTINO, California—17 October, 2014—Apple® today announced that OS X® Yosemite, the latest major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is available as a free upgrade for Mac® users from the Mac App Store℠. Yosemite delivers a fresh, modern look and introduces Continuity features that make it easy to hand off activities between Mac and iOS devices and even make and receive iPhone® calls from your Mac. Yosemite also includes a new Today view, a redesigned Spotlight® and updated versions of Safari®, Mail, Messages and iTunes®.
“OS X Yosemite is the most advanced version of OS X we’ve ever built, with a brand new design, amazing Continuity features and powerful versions of the apps you use every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “OS X Yosemite ushers in the future of computing, where your Apple devices all work together seamlessly and magically. It’s something only Apple can do, and it’s available today.”
OS X Yosemite has been redesigned with a fresh, modern look, while maintaining the power and familiarity users expect from a Mac. Streamlined toolbars make more room for your content, and use translucency to reveal additional app content as you scroll. Other translucent elements, such as window sidebars, take on the feel of your desktop picture and give you a sense of what’s hidden behind the active window. App icons have a clean, consistent design, and a new system font improves readability on every Mac and looks stunning on a Retina® display.
Yosemite includes amazing Continuity features that make your Mac and iOS devices perfect companions.* Handoff automatically passes what you’re doing from one device to another, like writing an email or surfing the web. Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone’s hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network.** AirDrop® now works between Mac and iOS, so you can quickly and easily share content across devices. All the SMS messages that previously only appeared on your iPhone now can automatically appear in Messages on your Mac and all your iOS devices. You can even make and receive iPhone calls on your Mac.***
Yosemite introduces innovative new features, including:
• Today view in Notification Center, giving you quick access to informative widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks. You can also add widgets like Yahoo! Sports from the Mac App Store to customise your Today view;
• a new Spotlight, delivering rich information right to your desktop from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store℠, iTunes Store®, iBooks Store℠, top websites, and news;
• iCloud Drive℠, so you can store files of any type in iCloud®, organise them any way you like, and access them from your Mac, iPhone, iPad® or even a Windows PC;
• a streamlined new Safari that delivers the fastest performance, as well as the longest battery life for web browsing on the Mac;
• an updated version of Mail, which includes Markup for quickly filling out and signing forms and PDFs right within Mail, plus Mail Drop, which makes it easy to send large attachments up to 5GB for free;
• enhanced Messages, so now you can add participants to your ongoing group conversations, see their locations on a map, quickly access attachments and even mute notifications;
• iTunes 12, which has a sleek new look, is fast and simple to use, and makes it easier to switch between browsing your music library and discovering new music on the iTunes Store. A new Recents view makes it easy to access the media you just purchased or recently played; and
• Family Sharing, so family members can now browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks® or Mac App Store purchases.
Yosemite also delivers platform technologies that make it easier for developers to create amazing new Mac apps. Swift™ is a powerful, next-generation programming language for iOS and OS X that’s fast, modern, interactive and helps developers write safer and more reliable code. SpriteKit makes it easier for developers to incorporate realistic motion, lighting and physics in games and when integrated with SceneKit, makes it simple to create games with animated 3D scenes and effects.
Pricing & Availability
OS X Yosemite is available as a free upgrade today from the Mac App Store. Yosemite supports all Macs introduced in 2009 or later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008. For a complete list of system requirements and compatible systems, please visit apple.com/nz/osx/howtoupgrde. Continuity features require iOS 8.1, which is available as a free upgrade starting October 20. OS X Server 4.0 requires Yosemite and is available from the Mac App Store for a recommended retail price of NZ$24.99 inc. GST.
* Some Continuity features require advanced Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi features available only in more recent Macs.
** Check with your carrier for hotspot availability.
*** Cellular data charges may apply.
[Just run Software Updates from the Apple Menu to check if it’s there for you – it wasn’t for me when I checked at 7am this morning. If you have a laptop, make sure it’s plugged into the power outlet before updating.]