Tag Archives: photos

Around the world, Photos, Movies Anywhere, Oculus cheaper, different take on a dock

Tim Cook continues European tour, stops by Apple office and sustainable packaging partner — Apple CEO Tim Cook continues his tour of Europe, making a brief stop at Apple’s offices in Sweden, and continuing to discuss the importance of ARKit to Apple with a local publication.
Apple’s $1 billion Athenry, Ireland data centre has been approved after legal challenges squashed, and Apple, Google and others say Chinese investment regulations infringe on intellectual property rights.

macOS High Sierra: The Good Things in Life Are Free — Robert LeVitus takes a peek at some new features macOS High Sierra has that are interesting and cool, and he doesn’t believe any app has more interesting new features than the overhauled Photos app. Another post tells how to view Live Photos on Hight Sierra.

Revamped ‘Movies Anywhere’ service adds four studios, makes cross-platform viewing easy — Disney on Wednesday launched Movies Anywhere, an all-in-one movie viewing service that lets users watch purchased content from five major Hollywood studios on a variety of platforms, from iTunes to Google Play.
Movies Anywhere acts as a multi-platform content locker for movies from Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Oculus reveals US$199 standalone ‘Go’ VR headset, drops Rift price to US$399 — Presenting at an event in San Jose on Wednesday, Facebook’s Oculus introduced the Go, a new headset capable of operating without a connected phone, Mac, or Windows PC.

GN28K Aluminum UBS-C Hub adds expandability options for new MacBook Pros — China-based QacQoc’s newest product, the GN28K Aluminum UBS-C Hub, is designed for 2016 and 2017MacBook Pros running macOS Sierra and High Sierra. It can simultaneously transfer data and charge devices — to a point. It works with devices based on USB Power Delivery Specification (USB PD protocol), but it’s incompatible with devices based on the QC (Quick Charge 2.0/3.0) charging protocol. also, it covers two USB-C ports, although it offers more, of course.
But the GN28K is reasonably priced (just US$89.99 + shipping), and it comes with a 12-month warranty.

Five Tip Friday ~ Quirks and tips for Messages, Activation Lock Status

With the dearth of iDevice news today, here are five tips for iPhone.

1/ Use the full-screen camera — When you’re messaging with someone from your iPhone, you can tap the arrow next to the typing field to access your pictures with the little camera icon that’ll appear.
Once you’re in that camera mode, though, all you’ll see is a few of your recent images and a tiny viewscreen on the iPhone.
That small little viewfinder panel, however, lets you swipe from left to right (see that little left-punting arrow on the left, above?) to reveal another couple of options: a full-screen camera viewfinder and access to your whole Photos library (below). Now you can use your full-screen camera within Messages or look through your entire photo library on your device, so if there’s a picture from a few months back, you don’t have to switch apps to find it.

2/ Share your location — There’s a really quick way to share your location with someone you’re messaging, so he or she can route to where you are or know how long it’ll take to get to you. To do this, tap the small ‘i’ at the top of any Messages conversation…
Tapping the Info button in a chat reveals the Send My Current Location feature. That’ll immediately pass along your location info into the chat, and your recipient can then touch that map to get directions right to where you are.

3/ Draw on videos — To add lines, circles, arrows etc within Messages to videos and images, tap the arrow and then touch the heart icon. Tap the Video Camera button, and you can draw on your screen to highlight whatever you like.
You can either draw before you start taking a video, which will superimpose your drawing over what you record, or you can draw during video-recording to highlight something at a specific moment.

4/ See which number someone used — If you’re not sure which number or email address is the correct one to use for texting with a contact, you can tell within the Messages app by seeing which one he or she has used recently. Start by tapping their name at the top of your conversation to access their contact info.
When that appears, look for which number is marked Recent.
[These four tips came from Melissa Holt at the Mac Observer – this link has more pictures than I have published.]

5/ How to still check an iPhone’s Activation Lock — Apple deleted its iCloud Activation Lock status check tool from its website earlier this year. That tool was a simple yet effective method of checking whether a used iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch was stolen. But a newly discovered workaround promises an alternative online resource for buyers in the market for secondhand iOS devices [AKA iDevices].
Apple’s online checker involved entering an IMEI, so the tool served as an ideal source for generating valid serial numbers. It has been theorized that Apple scrapped the online resource to better protect its customer base.
But owners or potential buyers can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple’s own support pages. Be forewarned: the workaround’s success is spotty and it might be completely removed from Apple’s website at any time.
First, visit Apple’s Support website and select iPhone. Click on a search category related to hardware, for example Battery, Power & Charging or Repairs & Physical Damage, then select a specific problem like ‘Buttons not working’.
On the next page, you should see an option to Send in for Repair. If the item is not listed, go back and select a different device problem from the previous screen. Clicking through Send in for Repair will retrieve a page that allows users to ‘Enter your serial number, IMEI, or MEID’.
[These numbers, by the way, are in on your iPhone and iPad and iPod Touch under Settings>General>About. You should record these or take a screenshot of the page by pressing the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time and emailing the image your iDevice records to your Photos library to your Mac or PC.]
Enter the IMEI of a target device to check its Activation Lock status. It should be noted that the described method is not always successful. In some cases, Apple’s website will direct users to sign in with their Apple ID, which the company normally uses to facilitate service with linked iCloud devices.
The workaround seems to be a carryover from the days when iCloud Activation Lock status was a thing. It remains unclear how long the loophole will remain active in its current form, as Apple appears to be — slowly — transitioning the entire Support website to lead directly to users’ Apple ID accounts.

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


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


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:


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.]

Five Tip Friday x2 — People still hassling you while you’re on break? Battery draining? Need to take better pictures? No worries.

1/ Block numbers from texting or calling you in iOS — If you’re running iOS 7 or later, you can stop those telemarketers and chronic wrong-number dialers with this quick and easy trick. To block someone already on your contacts list, open the Phone app, select a contact card, scroll down toward the bottom, and tap Block this Caller. If you’re blocking someone in your Recents list of the Phone app, tap the ‘i’ to get their contact card. Aside from that, the process is the same.

2/ Take screenshots — Sometimes there’s no better way of showing what’s on your iPhone than with a screenshot. Press both the sleep/wake button (on the top of iPhones up to 5, and at top-right of iPhones 6 and up) and the Home button simultaneously. It might take a little practice to get the hang of it, but once your iOS device recognizes the screenshot command, the screen will briefly flash white, as if a camera flash went off.
All screenshots get saved to your device’s Camera Roll. To view your screenshot, open the Photos app and look through your Camera Roll. iOS 9 and later makes finding your screen captures easier than ever by automatically placing them in a Screenshots album. From there, you can share and edit screenshots just as you would any other image file: crop them, share them with your friends, whatever.

3/  iPhone battery is draining faster than usual is a typical holiday concern — iOS reports the percentage of power use by app in Settings>Battery. This feature is a nifty way to see if anything has run amok. You can toggle between Last 24 Hours and Last 7 Days, which helps see if any particular app’s usage has spiked. Tapping the clock icon toggles between showing the way an app uses the battery other than in the foreground (Audio and Background Activity), and a display of the amount of time the app was in use on screen in the foreground and handling activities in the background.

4/ Make iOS 9’s default apps disappear — While Apple is still working on an official method of dealing with unwanted default apps in iOS, a glitch in iOS 9 through 9.2 will let people temporarily push them out of sight.
As seen in this video, users have to move the unwanted apps into a folder, then drag them as far to the right as possible, beyond any and all of the folder’s tabs. With an app still suspended ‘mid-air’, hitting the Home button simultaneously will cause it to vanish.
Apps hidden this way aren’t permanently deleted — instead, they return only once an iOS device is rebooted. Simply putting a device to sleep leaves them invisible.

5/ Camera: use a hardware shutter — You can use the physical volume buttons on the side of your iPhone to take the shot rather than the big onscreen button, which is handy if you’re holding the phone horizontally and at an awkward angle – but you can also use the Apple headphones with the remote controls on them (and third-party ones) that have inline volume controls on the cable.

6/ Use self-timer — There’s a self-timer on the iPhone as well: a two-second one and a 10-second one which is great for those press-the-shutter-run-back-into-shot-then-hold-a-grimace-way-past-the-point-you-think-it-should-have-triggered shots. Tap the little timer icon at the top in Camera mode to choose the one you want. You might be able to prop your iPhone up against something for these, but consider a tripod for more control and better results if the shot is important.

7/ Reduce camera shake — push the side of your body against a vertical surface to steady it, resting your elbows on a low wall, or even simply bracing your iPhone by holding it in both hands and tucking your elbows into your body. But also consider the two-second self-timer, since you’re not actually pressing a shutter when you’re taking a shot, camera shake is reduced: enable the timer, press the shutter, then in the two seconds before the camera actually takes the shot, brace yourself and hold the iPhone firmly.

8/ Burst mode — One reason pros are able to get such great portrait shots is because they can take many dozens or hundreds of shots and just pick the one that captures a fleeting expression or a moment of delight or seriousness. You can do the same with your iPhone, and it’s great for getting the perfect shot of your kid grinning or your dog’s guilty look when you discover him tearing up a cushion. Just hold the shutter down (whichever shutter you use – the virtual one on the camera screen or the volume control as above) and let the camera just keep shooting.
This uses up loads of space on your device, but once you get a quiet moment go to that burst of shots in your Camera Roll and tap Select. Now scrub through all the shots, tap the ones you like then tap Done; you’ll be given the choice of saving everything or just the ones you selected, and in the latter case all the other, rubbish shots get deleted.

9/ Specific shooting mode with 3D Touch — If you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus (only), press hard on the icon for the Camera app on your Home screen and you get the option of jumping straight to slo-mo, video, selfie, or regular photo mode. (It’s worth reinstating the Camera app back to your first screen of apps if you’d previously banished it because of the Control Center button for launching it, partly for this direct-mode-launch feature but also because Touch ID is so fast on the 6s-generation devices that you never get the chance to see Control Center from the Lock screen!)

10/ Go nuts with filters — You might think that the filters you can apply when you’re taking photos—look for the three-overlapping-circles icon at the bottom right—mean that the effect is permanently “baked into” your shot, but that’s no so. Even though the filter looks like it’s applied when you view your photo in your Camera Roll, actually what your iPhone has done is save the unfiltered photo along with an invisible tag that says “put the filter in front of this image when displaying it.”
Tap Edit and you can change the filter or remove it completely. This goes for the Light, Color, and B&W controls you can tweak too.


Year in review, Topsy Labs, MacKeeper breach, Maps gets LA transit, Netflix, Photos tricks and fixes

Photo from Apple Insider of Apple’s Hong Kong Apple Store which has added a floor.

Apple moments of 2015 — New products, announced,ends, services, and then there were the head-scratching rumours, the indecipherable product decisions, and more moments that made us go, “Wait, what?” Macworld recaps Apple’s big year.

Apple shutters Topsy Labs, which it acquired in 2013 — Apple has closed Topsy Labs, which it acquired two years ago, reports AppleInsider, on its official Twitter page, saying, “We’ve searched our last tweet.” The company’s website is no longer active and now forwards to an Apple Support Document explaining iOS 9 search capabilities, including new features like proactive Siri Suggestions.

Massive breach exposes info in 13 million MacKeeper accounts — MacKeeper, an antivirus tool for Mac OS X, is the latest victim of a massive breach that exposed information contained in 13 million accounts, reports Forbes. Researcher Chris Vickery says he uncovered four IP addresses that took him straight to a MongoDB database, containing a range of personal information, including names, email addresses, usernames, password hashes, phone numbers, IP addresses, system information, as well as software licenses and activation codes.

Apple Maps gains Los Angeles public transit data integration — Apple Maps received a quiet upgrade this week with the addition of public transportation data for Los Angeles, California, including rail line schedules, dynamic advisories and integration with directions.

How Netflix is delivering better video with less bandwidth — In the Netflix Tech Blog, the new per-title encoding optimisation has been explained in some technical detail. What Netflix is doing is very smart, and doesn’t involve any new compression standards. Rather it’s an adaptive bitrate that optimises the video stream based on the kind of content and the customer’s available bandwith.

Fixes and tricks for Photos — Does your photo have the wrong timestamp? Here’s how to fix it; and here’s how to share slideshows created in Photos for Mac.

Full iPhone 6s review, 4K video, iOS 9 Low Power Mode, iOS 9.0.2, Roaming charges, Photos, Remote teardown, 1Password, Watch Activation Lock

(Image from Apple's film on 3D Touch)
(Image from Apple’s film on 3D Touch)

In-depth review: Apple’s iPhone 6s & 6s Plus with 3D Touch — Last year’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduced a larger, slimmer form factor housing higher resolution Retina HD screens and improvements in processors, cameras and wireless. While Apple’s latest 6s and 6s Plus models look virtually identical, the company has significantly improved nearly every key feature, from a stronger glass and metal exterior outside to high-performance components inside, including a new pressure sensitive 3D Touch display. [I’m working on mine.]

How and when to capture 4K video on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — Now that there’s an iPhone that can shoot 4K video, it’s time to put together a nice, simple guide to 4K video, explaining what it is, what it means, and how and when to use it.

iOS 9 Low Power Mode extends battery life — iOS 9 introduces a new feature to the iPhone called “Low Power Mode.” Like Apollo 13 on the way to the Moon, it shuts down non-essential services in an effort to maintain an emergency lifeline. That is, enough juice to make and hold an emergency phone call, be located or utilise Wi-Fi. Here’s how to activate it.

iOS 9.0.2 — Apple has released iOS 9.0.2 with some minor bug fixes and an important security fix related to Siri. According to the notes, “A person with physical access to an iOS device may be able to access photos and contacts from the lock screen.”

Apple ‘trying to fix’ problem of iPhone roaming charges, says SVP Eddy Cue — Though obstacles with partners remain, Apple has made some progress in addressing the issue of carrier roaming charges for iPhone owners, and continues to work toward a solution that will be beneficial to consumers, senior VP Eddy Cue has revealed.

How to organise iPhone 6s photos in iOS 9 — With iPhone 6s’ 12MP iSight and 5MP FaceTime cameras, Apple bumped the specs of the world’s most popular digital shooter, giving users a good excuse to create mountains of data. Using iOS 9’s built-in Photos app can help you manage this flood of photographs from the moment you press the shutter button.

iFixit’s Apple TV teardown screwed developers — Apple rarely gives developers early access to unreleased products, and iFixit may have ruined that for everyone. iFixit is known for their detailed tear downs for new devices, and the company found itself on Apple’s bad side after taking apart an early access Apple TV developer kit and posting what’s inside on its website. iFixit violated its developer agreement with Apple by posting the tear down early.

1Password 6.0 for iOS review: first-class secure data management to your mobile device — AgileBits’s digital vault makes the most of iOS’s latest features to offer a superior way to carry all your private information wherever you go.

How to use the Activation Lock feature in watchOS 2 — watchOS 2 offers an Activation Lock for your Apple Watch. It turns on automatically when you set up Find My iPhone on your paired iPhone. With Activation Lock, your Apple ID and password will be required before anyone can unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone or pair and use your Apple smartwatch with a new iPhone.

El Capitan’s Disk Utility, science projects, where Photos’ photos are


OS X: El Capitan’s deletion of ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ could impact you — Apple’s next version of OS X El Capitan uses something called “System Integrity Protection” to prevent the alteration of critical system files. As a result, scripted installers and even privileged admin users can no longer change those UNIX file permissions and then modify them. This should make El Capitan more stable and secure. So, while “Repair Disk Permissions” is gone, that also creates an important issue for users: software upgrades.

Dozens of projects that let you do real science on your Mac — Computers can be powerful tools when their collective computing capacity is aggregated on a network. If you’re interested in exploring how you can contribute to important causes with that Mac sitting on your desk, here are dozens of science projects that could benefit from the gigaflops of computational power you’re currently using for kitten videos.

How to find Photos’ image files in the Finder— While Photos stores original images just as iPhoto did, as well as modified versions and thumbnails, it’s more cautious about letting you get to them. If you import images into Photos (Preferences>General, and Copy Items to the Photos Library is checked next to the Importing label), then you can’t easily get to the original file in the Finder, but it is still possible.

Five Tip Friday ~ A Mac Grab-Bag for August 7th (Safari privacy, Photos, Spotlight)

Settings1/ Set Safari to automatically delete your history — You can get rid of your browsing history any time in Safari by choosing ‘Clear History …’ from the History menu.
Clear HThen you get the option to clear the history of your browsing for the last hour, Today, Today & Yesterday or all. (History is how you backtrack and find sites you have visited – anyone else using your Mac can do the same thing and see every site you’ve been too, including banking, and if you’ve had Safari ‘remember’ your passwords, they can get right into your account and start transferring money to theirs, for example).
But if you want Safari to take care of this for you, no problem. Open Safari, open Preferences from the Safari menu, and under the General tab choose a setting under Remove history items. [While you’re there, remember to un-tick ‘Open Safe files after downloading’ to stop things auto-installing themselves.]

2/ Make sure Photos is storing the full resolution images — It’s best to anoint one computer as the place you set Download Originals to This Mac in Photos (Photos>Preferences>iCloud). It’s also possible to set that option in iOS, but for people concerned about backups, they’ll have more photos and videos than can fit at full resolution on an iOS device.

3/ Creating good queries in Spotlight — Every Spotlight query is an ‘AND search’ by default. This means the program looks for files containing all the words you type. A search like ‘time machine’ will turn up any files that mention Yosemite’s Time Machine backup feature, but also an IMDB search result for a movie of that name, a Wikipedia article on time travel and so on, and will also find emails mentioning it. But Spotlight also supports true Boolean searching, which uses logical operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to pinpoint results. For example, if you type “time machine” OR morlock, you’ll get references to Yosemite’s backup tool, as well as any files related to HG Wells’s fictional species.

4/ Use Metadata — Spotlight also looks at metadata; file information generated by the program or device that created the file. A digital photo’s metadata may include information about the camera used to take the photo and about how the photo was taken: the camera type, focal length, colour space, exposure time etcetera. If you want to find all photos taken with a certain camera, just enter its name or model number in the search field.
(To see what sort of metadata a file is storing, select it in the Finder, press Command-I to open the Get Info window, and click on the triangle next to More Info.)

5/ Use Keywords — Even when you know what you’re looking for, you may get an overwhelming number of search results. To help limit searches to certain file types or time periods, use one of the many useful keywords that Spotlight understands. Place the appropriate keyword and a colon in front of your search term (but don’t insert a space before the colon). For example, if you know the name of a file you’re looking for, you can limit your search to file names by using the name:keyword. Type name:machine, Spotlight will find only files that contain the word “machine” in their names (though your search results may also turn up bookmarks, iCal events, and other items). You’ll need to use double quotation marks to identify phrases, such as, name:”time machine” (ie, in exactly the same as you would in Safari for Google searches.)

There’s a lot more on Spotlight searches at Macworld.

Five Tip Friday ~ Photos on Mac and iOS

Show the Sidebar
Show the Sidebar

1/ Find your images on a map — With the Info pane visible (from the Windows menu, choose Info), any image, video, or multiple selection that contains geotagging information will appear on a map at the pane’s bottom. With nothing selected, the Info pane shows the coarse placement of all photos in your library. You can zoom in to see fine detail about where images are clustered, but there’s no way to select a moment from that map – an oversight that will hopefully get corrected one day.
When viewing moments, if there are one or more geotagged media items in the set, the label for that place or range of places appears as the moment name in bold. To the right of the moment’s name, a broader place name appears in fainter type. Click that, and a full-window map shows all the moment’s photos.

2/ Organisation versus iPhoto — If you aren’t seeing a list of albums and other special items at the left of Photos, choose View > Show Sidebar.

3/ Time increments for Moments — You can show larger increments of time, up to years, and click the location. You can opt to show in larger or smaller groups by checking or unchecking the Summarize Photos option in Photos > Preferences in the General pane. (Photos automatically identifies moments: there’s no way to override and create them yourself.)

4/ Share photos online on Mac and iOS — iCloud Photo Sharing is a private and secure way to share digital memories with certain people. When you create or subscribe to a shared album, it appears on all of your devices. iCloud Photo Sharing does not count against your allotted storage space for free iCloud accounts, so it’s free.
Turn on iCloud Photo Sharing on all your devices (this has nothing to do with iCloud Photo Library). In Photos for Mac, choose Photos > Preferences and in the iCloud pane, turn on iCloud Photo Sharing. On an iOS device, tap Settings and then scroll down until you see Photos & Camera. Give it a tap and on the next screen, tap the switch next to iCloud Photo Sharing (it turns green).
Creating (and adding content to) shared albums is mercifully simple: in Photos on Mac, select an album or some thumbnails. Click the share icon in Photos’toolbar and choose iCloud Photo Sharing. In the resulting sheet, click New Shared Album, and then on the next sheet, name the album and invite someone to subscribe to it by entering their name, email address, or cell phone number into the To field. In the Comment field, enter a description of the goodies you’re about to share.
When you’re finished filling out the all the fields, click Create. Your invitees promptly receive an email invitation to subscribe to your album. Once they click the Subscribe button in the email, the shared album appears in Photos’ Shared view on all the devices on which they’ve turned on iCloud Photo Sharing. Creating a shared album in Photos for iOS works the same way, though you can’t select a whole album for sharing: You have to select individual thumbnails instead (bummer!).
To like and comment on an item in a shared album in Photos for Mac, open the album, double-click a picture or video and then click the “+” icon that appears in the picture’s lower-left corner (it looks like a thought bubble). When you do, the comment sheet shown below appears. Click the smiley-face icon to like it, or click in the comment field and enter something pithy. Click Send, and Photos adds your comment to the list.
To like an image or add and view comments in Photos for iOS, tap to open the shared album, and then tap the picture itself to open it. Beneath the picture, you see controls that let you like the image, view comments, and add your own. To delete a comment, tap and hold your finger down on it, and then tap the Delete button that appears just above the comment. (There’s more on this at Macworld, by Lisa Snider.)

5/ Eight ways to get photos onto your Mac and iDevice — There are several convenient sidedoors into Photos that work whether the program is running or not. My favourite on Mac is Image Capture, an Apple app already on every Mac. Macworld has a rundown.

Five Tip Friday ~ 5 surprising tips for Photos on Mac

Photos has even finer Levels control than Photoshop
Photos has even finer Levels control than Photoshop

1/ Eight levels — Whereas the Levels adjustment in Photoshop has just three sliders, Photos has eight. This gives you precise control over the brightness levels of all the tones in an image. For example, you can control brightness levels in just the darkest shadows, or just the midtones, or just the lightest highlights, plus in the tones that fall between shadows and midtones, and in the tones that fall between midtones and highlights.
The secret lies in turning the feature on (and this also holds true for Histogram adjustment, below): select an image by double-clicking on it, and then click Edit at top right. Now find the adjust button on the right (it’s the fifth down, between Filters and Retouch) and click that.
Now, click ‘Add’ – it’s in blue near top right. Under Advanced, choose Levels… This gives you awesome control over different spectrums of your images.

All that control!
All that control!

2/ Histogram — You can adjust the RGB histogram, which shows where image data falls in the red, green, and blue graphs superimposed atop each other – or each colour channel’s individual histogram. You can also adjust the luminance channel, which produces a histogram based on how our eyes perceive colour. This hidden talent lies just under that little three-line-and-dot icon the right of the ‘Auto’ button (above).

3/  Add text to any slide in a slideshow project — Activate a slide in a saved slideshow project and click the plus symbol at lower right of the Photos window (not shown). From the resulting menu, choose Add Text. Highlight the placeholder text that appears and enter whatever you want.
You can’t change the position of the text, but you can change fonts, size, and text colour using OS X’s Fonts panel.

4/ Add a custom vignette — You can apply a customisable dark edge vignette to any picture: open an image in Edit mode and then click Adjust (there’s a shortcut for this, BTW — just press the A key on your keyboard).
Now click the Add button at upper right and from the resulting menu, choose Vignette. Use the Radius slider to change the size of the vignette or rather(you may have to activate this by clicking the Disclosure Triangle that appears to the right of the Auto button when you put your cursor there).
Drag the control right to make the vignette bigger or left to make it smaller. Use the Softness slider to control the width of the transition area between what is darkened and what isn’t. Drag it right to increase the feather effect, thereby making the transition wider and softer. Click the blue circle with a white checkmark to toggle the vignette off and on to see a before and after.

5/ Customise Book pages — Have you noticed you can build books in Photos just like you could in iPhoto? It’s under the File menu>Create Book.
Happily, you can change page layouts, swap pictures between pages, and add pictures to pages while you’re viewing all the page thumbnails in a book project. In other words, you don’t have to double-click a page to do it.
This results in a much broader view of the overall book project than you ever had in iPhoto because you can still see all the pages while you’re designing the layout. To swap pictures between pages, click and hold your mouse button until the picture on the page sprouts a blue border, and then drag it atop an image on another page. To move the pages themselves, click to activate them and then drag the handle that appears underneath them.

[These tips came from Macworld, where you’ll find an extra tip.]

Five Tip Friday ~ Yosemite and the Photos app

Lots of extra features lurk under Photos' Adjust button
Lots of extra features lurk under Photos’ Adjust button

1/ Photo adjustments on Mac — This new program Photos might take a bit of getting used to. With Photos, we’ve got a lot of the same control of image editing we had in iPhoto, but it’s a bit more difficult to get to. As with iPhoto, you’ll double-click an image first, and then select the Edit button in the upper-right (or press Return).
The tools that appear should be pretty familiar. Most work the same way that they did under iPhoto, though the filters are now the ones included in recent versions of iOS.

2/ Finer edits with ‘Adjust’ — When you choose Adjust though, there is little slider under each one. To access the more advanced adjustments, you’ll hover over any of the categories, and when the drop-down arrow appears in the upper-right, click it to reveal more controls.

3/ Add more Adjustments — There are additional adjustments you can add with the Add button: if you often need Noise Reduction or White Balance, just add in those controls, then click Add again and choose Save as Default. Afterward, you’ll have your choices within the adjustments panel for every picture you edit.

4/ Advanced adjustments — Note that at the bottom of the list of adjustments you can add, there’s an Advanced section. Here are the precious Levels and White Balance controls.

5/ Undelete photos — With Photos on the Mac, the Recently Deleted album doesn’t seem to show up unless you know the trick to accessing it, that is. It’s hidden under File> Show Recently Deleted. Choose that, and you can either restore images you’ve removed or delete them permanently by selecting items and clicking the buttons in the upper right. Photos stay in this file for 30 days after you press that Delete key.