Tag Archives: Spotlight

Five Tip Friday ~ Some tips for iOS and Watch users


Welcome to September, the month Apple launches an all-new iPhone! Until then lets rev up our existing iPhone use a little. 

1/  Selectively control Read Receipts for iMessage in iOS 10 — A read receipt in iMessage is simply a feature designed to let your contacts know when you’ve read their message. You can go into Settings to turn this on and off at will, but on iOS 9 and before, this setting turned it off for all contacts. With iOS 10 however, it’s possible to control read receipts for each of your contacts if they also have iPhones (otherwise the option is simply not available). Now you can let your boss know when you’ve read her message, while turning the feature off for that weird guy you met on Tinder [to quote Mac Observer!].
Open up a message from one of your contacts. In the upper right part of the screen, tap the blue circle with an ‘i’. There you can share your location, see a history of images and attachments with that contact – and control read receipts.]

2/ Modify AirPods behaviour — Once iOS 11 ships, which may be as soon as 12th September, you will have more options. For now, in iOS 10, you can change how your AirPods react when you double-tap on them, or switch what happens when you put them in your ears. You adjust these options on your iPhone or iPad. To get started, open your AirPods’ case or take them out of it, then visit Settings > Bluetooth on your paired iOS device.
There you’ll see a list of all of the Bluetooth devices you’ve added. If you don’t see Connected next to your AirPods, tap their name to connect.
Within this option, you can disconnect your AirPods (or have your device forget them entirely), change their name, or set what happens when you double-tap one of them. This is probably the most useful adjustment, as you could configure your AirPods to play/pause instead of invoking Siri with a double-tap.
Also on this screen are Automatic Ear Detection, which you can turn off if you don’t like your audio automatically being sent to your AirPods when you put them in your ears—and the Microphone setting. This lets you configure which AirPod you’d like to always be your microphone.

3/ Using 3D Touch in Spotlight — With a recent iPhone (6s/6s Plus or 7/7 Plus), you’re probably accustomed to your favourite uses for 3D Touch: looking at notifications within folders, opening new private tabs in Safari etc. You can also use Spotlight searches to find apps, and then if you press on a result within the Spotlight interface, you’ll get the same options you’d get by 3D-touching the app itself.
Start by swiping down on your home screen to open the iOS Spotlight search function, then type the name of an app into the search field at the top. Press with a little force on the app in the results to get the same Quick Action choices you would get from using 3D Touch on the app icon on the Home screen. You can use this, for example, to quickly find the Camera app and use its Quick Actions.

4/ In iOS 11, set up and customise Do Not Disturb While Driving — For those already beta-testing the next generation of iOS, you can do this now For the rest, you can do this soon. iOS 11 will add Do Not Disturb support for driving so you won’t get distracted while you’re cruising around town. You don’t have to use it, but if you do, it’s easy to set up and customise. Once iOS 11 is installed on your iPhone there’s a good chance you’ll get a dialogue asking if you want to turn on DND when you’re driving. The dialogue will pop up after you move off in your car.
Just tap Turn On While Driving and you’re set. Your iPhone will automatically go into DND mode when you’re in a moving car – it then mutes all incoming calls. You also won’t see other alerts and notifications while your car is in motion. (Of course, it won’ know if you’re driving or a passenger.)
DND While Driving can activate automatically when connected to your car’s Bluetooth, or manually. If you choose Manually, you will need to use the Do Not Disturb button in Control Center to activate the feature.
DND While Driving can auto-reply to text messages too. It’s your business who gets those messages, so you can change the settings and make your own custom reply:
Launch Settings on your iPhone
Tap Do Not Disturb
Choose Auto-Reply To
Select No One, Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts.
If you set your auto-reply to Favorites, it only goes to those people you’re in contact most. If you don’t want anyone to know when you’re in the car, choose No One.
To set an auto-reply, launch Settings on your iPhone
Tap Do Not Disturb
Choose Auto-Reply
Enter a custom reply message.
If you need to get a message through to someone who has DND While Driving active, follow up your first message with a second that only says ‘urgent’.

5/ How to tell if Apple Watch notifications are from a native app or an iPhone app — Sometimes when you get a notification on your Apple Watch, you can tap on it for further options, or to open a corresponding app. At other times, that notification is from your iPhone, and there’s not much you can do with it other than dismiss it.
Here’s how to quickly tell the difference — it’s all in the shape. App icons on watchOS are circles, and when you get a notification from an app that is native to the Apple Watch, tapping on it will open the corresponding app. When an alert arrives, or you are browsing through past ones in Notification Center, the corresponding app icon is located in the upper left. If it’s a circle, tapping once will provide quick options like reply or dismiss, and tapping a second time will open the corresponding app.
But if the icon is a square, that means it’s simply an iPhone notification because app icons on the iPhone are rounded-corner squares.
There aren’t as many options for dealing with notifications not from native watchOS apps. Tap and you’ll have an option to dismiss, with no second tap to open the app, because the app is only on your iPhone.
This subtle distinction of round or square is an easy way to tell what you can do directly from your wrist, without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket.

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 ~ Mac OS 10.10 tricky stuff


See all the images attached to Messages conversations with the Details button
See all the images attached to Messages conversations with the Details button

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.]

Mac Pro furniture, Yosemite problems, Spotlight, iPhoto manual, TestFlight to 1k, Backup app, Civ Beyond Earth


Klaus Geiger could not bear to throw his Mac Pro towers out
Klaus Geiger could not bear to throw his Mac Pro towers out

Mac Pro furniture — The aluminum case design of the Apple G5 Power Mac was revolutionary with its smooth aluminium chassis. It announced itself as the first 64-bit PC at steve jobs’ 2003 keynote presentation. Nearly ten years of production ended, but it was impossible for Klaus Geiger to put them in the garbage. Eventually, he decided to give them a second life through a project called ‘benchmarc’.

Apple mum as Mac owners tussle with Yosemite over Wi-Fi problems — The cries for help from frazzled Mac owners whose Wi-Fi connections went haywire after upgrading to OS X Yosemite are being met by Apple with stone-faced silence.

Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster — Updating to a major new version of OS X can seem akin to walking through a mine field, albeit one with relatively few mines. In most instances, you’ll be fine. But you never know when disaster may strike.

iPhoto: The Missing Manual’ is informative and entertaining— If you write about technology, it’s hard to strike a balance between being technical and being entertaining, but this one does it.

Getting the most out of the revamped OS X Spotlight search in Yosemite — Ted Landau guides you.

Apple expands TestFlight to include up to 1,000 public beta testers — Apple announced this week that it is expanding its TestFlight Beta testing service, now allowing developers to include public beta testers. According to the new program details, developers can invite up to 1,000 public beta testers via iTunes Connect.

Get Backup Pro is a solid backup utility for Macs — Yes, there is Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper – And all have their place and are terrific backup utilities, but it’s also nice to see something new on the scene that adds a few tricks to your backup bag.

Civilization: Beyond Earth for Mac pre-orders — They have launched for the Mac version of the game via developer Aspyr’s online game store GameAgent.com. As a bonus, all GameAgent pre-orders will get the Exoplanets Map Pack for free.

Apple Watch ~ Appreci-8 (iOS 8 is out, free, for iDevices)


I isnatlled iOS 8 immediately on my iPhone 5 and iPad mini
I isnatlled iOS 8 immediately on my iPhone 5 and iPad mini

iOS 8 is out, and as long as *your device is up to it, it has some pretty nifty features. If you have Yosemite already (a million people around of the world are evaluating OS 10.10 Betas) then you have even more features. And if you don’t well, that will be available soon, as it’s due in the US autumn. That’s now-ish. As we’re supposed to be in spring …

Anyway, the release of the newest operating system for iDevices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) follows fairly hot on the heels of the announcement of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (which is already on sale in the US and Australia, and some other lucky countries).
So what’s great about iOS 8? For one thing, if you’ve got used to the look of iOS 7, it looks the same. There’s no big wrench like there was going from iOS 6 to 7. One new app gets added – Tips. As someone who shows people things about iDevices they didn’t know, I know there’s a lot people don’t know about them, so this is a good thing. I even meet people who don’t know how to turn an iPad or iPhone on or off. They think when the press the top button once, it’s off. It’s only in Sleep mode (the last time was a youth sitting next to me on a plane from Wellington, when the announcement came to turn devices off).

Anyway, if you have a compatible device and you install iOS 8 … so what? So it has improved Spotlight that has Wikipedia entries automatically appearing in search results. Hopefully, you know Spotlight is Apple’s search engine and to get into its search interface on your iDevice, you swipe down from the top third of your screen. Spotlight now searches news sources, nearby places, Apple’s online stores (iTunes, App, and iBooks) and suggested websites.
Notifications are more interactive, just like they are in Yosemite, and one feature I really like is that double-clicking the Home button not only launches the app switcher/quitter, but also shows your Favourites for quick calls, messages etc and people who have contacted you recently. Tap their icon for instant access to calling, messaging or to FaceTime them.
There are a few changes in the Settings app, the most obvious being beefed-up Accessibility features, better voices for speaking text and extra detail under Mobile (I believe this section is called Cellular rather than Mobile, with some carriers), plus it has more specific Usage data. You can also turn on the new Handoff feature here, which lets you start an email on your iPad and finish it on your Mac or iPhone and vice-vice-versa, if they’re all signed into the same iCloud account. It’s cool, I’ve tried it.
And the there are two new wallpapers: an underwater sea shot, and a new white shade of the hexagonal wallpaper (I prefer to use my own shots as wallpaper – close-up shots of coloured glass work really well, and so does, ahem, beer in a glass in all it’s golden wondrous fizziness …).

But … think before you turn on the iCloud Drive option. It may be a wonderful addition to Apple’s ecosystem, but it is not compatible with older versions of iOS (iOS 7 or earlier) or older versions of OS X (OS X 10.9 Mavericks or earlier). This presents a major problem for iPhone owners with older iOS devices that can’t run iOS 8, or anyone with a Mac since OS X Yosemite is not available publicly yet, if they have lots of documents in iCloud already.

Nervous? Some people hate upgrading. Especially those who have switched from the Dark Side. They’re used to new systems being dangerous, dodgy, inconsistent and worse. If you’re nervous, hesitant, or need more reassurance, check out MacObserver’s page first.

Please note that I really recommend plugging your iDevice into your Mac and running the update via iTunes. It’s faster and more reliable. There’s more info on Thursday the 18th’s post on the release of iOS 8 under iOS news.

* Compatible iOS devices are iPhone 4s and up, although it’s possible the 4s will be slow under iOS 8; iPad 2 and up; and iPod touch 5th generation.