Tips and Help

New Shortcut for accessing the Camera in iOS 11

iphone-camera-tip

We’ve all done this. We are in a mad rush to open the camera on our iPhone as quickly as possible to catch the perfect action shot or incriminating video. You may know Apple lets you get to the camera in multiple ways: by swiping left on the Lock screen, using the Camera button in Control Center, and tapping the Camera icon on the Home screen. Well with iOS 11, Apple added another shortcut that could be useful: try this from within any app – swipe down from above the top of the screen to display the Lock screen, and then swipe left to get to the camera. I’ve been ‘training’ myself to open the camera using this technique as it’s a simple two-step process from within any app.

iphone-two-swipe-camera-shortcut

Tips and Help

7 New Features to like in watchOS 4

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With watchOS 4 now arriving on Apple Watch users’ wrists, it’s time to make sure you aren’t missing out on any of the important and fun features the new watchOS has. watchOS 4 works on all Apple Watch models, even the original Apple Watch. It does require iOS 11, so if you’ve been waiting to upgrade the iOS on your iPhone, you’ll need to update it first.

#1: View Apple Watch apps in List View
This is my favorite feature. While selecting an app on the Apple Watch looks impressive, it can be challenging to locate and tap a specific app. What icon do I press? Now you can show all the Apps in a List view, accessed by force-pressing the App screen. No more selecting the wrong icon when trying to open an app.

watchOS-4-app-list

#2: Dock Scrolls Vertically instead of Horizontally
This is a close second on favorite new features! The dock now scrolls vertically instead of horizontally. It seems much more natural. Just press the side button to see the Dock, and you’ll notice that it now scrolls vertically—this makes sense since one of the ways to scroll it is by turning the digital crown. You can also now arrange Dock items based on either your favorites or which Dock items were used most recently. You set this via the watch app on the iPhone.

#3: Siri Watch Face
The new Siri watch face doesn’t add new speech capabilities, but it does show timely information, pulling in personal details and suggestions from apps such as Calendar, Reminders, and News. It also shows Now Playing controls when you’re playing audio on your iPhone, along with Apple News headlines and stock tickers. You can customize what data is shown in the Watch app on your iPhone. I really like this new watch face.

There is also a new Toy Story face and a Kaleidoscope face that changes slowly as time goes by—you can speed it up by turning the digital crown.

watchOS-4-new-faces

#4: Flashlight on Your Wrist
You can now use your Apple Watch as a flashlight. Just swipe up to find and tap the new Flashlight button in Control Center. When you select this, your Apple Watch turns the screen bright white. Out walking or running at night? Swipe left to access a flashing option. Press the side button or digital crown to turn the flashlight off. You can also swipe left again to turn the display to red.

#5: More Fitness Encouragement and Options
Need a little encouragement for the day? Or to close your rings in the evening? The Activity app is now more chatty and will make suggestions in the morning to inspire you. It will also remind you at night if you are close to closing a ring.

Apple gave the Workout app some nice attention, too. Starting a workout is easier than before: it now requires only one tap, Do Not Disturb turns on automatically, and your default playlist can even start playing. With the workout underway, you can now switch easily to a different workout type (swipe right and tap the + button), and see a multi-workout analysis at the end of the entire session.

watchOS-4-Workout

Swimmers using an Apple Watch Series 2 or 3 can now track sets and rests, pace for each set, and distance for each stroke type. Apple also has added a High Intensity Interval Training workout type.

Finally, your Apple Watch can connect with some gym equipment, like ellipticals and indoor bikes, allowing it and the machine to share data. Look for an NFC label on your machine, and tap it with your watch.

#6: Multiple Playlists On the Go
Do you have AirPods and listen to music from your Apple Watch? With watchOS 4, you can sync multiple playlists and albums via the Music settings in the iOS Watch app. In previous versions of watchOS, you could only sync one playlist. Plus, for Apple Music subscribers, your automatically generated favorites mixes can sync automatically.

#7: More App Enhancements: Phone, Timer, and Camera
This is not necessarily a single features, but Apple also made improvements in other apps in watchOS 4. I use the Timer quite a bit and now the Timer now has a Repeat button, so you can repeat a timer with a single tap. I find myself using this more often than I thought. You can dial phone numbers manually with a new keypad in the Phone app. And the Camera app offers some new remote options, including support for starting and stopping videos.

watchOS-4-other-apps

All-in-all, watchOS 4 is a solid upgrade, and the changes will make your Apple Watch both more useful and easier to use. Look for an all new tutorial soon on watchOS 4 showing these new features and more!

Tips and Help
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What’s New in macOS 10.13 High Sierra

macOS High Sierra

In Apple’s macOS High Sierra, the most noteworthy features are behind the scenes. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new features to play with in High Sierra. I’ll share some of my favorite features below.

Let’s first talk about the invisible features. Apple’s invisible, under-the-hood changes modernize the Mac. The new APFS file system significantly improves how data is stored on your disk. It replaces the HFS+ file system, which dates from the previous century. You’ll notice the switch to APFS when you look up the size of a selected folder or duplicate a large file because the operation should run much more quickly. APFS also provides better FileVault encryption and reduces the chance of file corruption.

Also new is HEVC. This is one of my favorite invisible features. Why? Saves space. HEVC is a new video compression standard that will let videos stream better and take up less space on your drive. This is great for videos. But what about photos? Apple is introducing HEIF, an image format that boasts significantly better compression to keep photos from overwhelming your drive. HEVC and HEIF have other advantages too, but they’re so embedded into High Sierra (and iOS 11) that all you’ll notice is more space. Are these new formats compatible with other devices and online tools? Yes, when you drag images and videos out of Photos, they’ll come out in familiar formats suitable for sharing with other devices and online apps. All you’ll notice is your photos will start taking up less space. As a side note, the new format does not convert your old photos and videos, it only applies to new photos and videos.

Photos 3
What else is new in Photos? The sidebar on the left side of the window is always-on so it’s now easier to browse your photos. Photo editing is also more streamlined, with the Edit screen now separated into three tabs: Adjust, Filters, and Crop.

You can now edit Live Photos! Look at the bottom of the Adjust tab for controls for picking any frame as the static “key” frame, trimming the video, and applying special effects. Apple also added new effects. The most interesting effect blurs the Live Photo by turning the 3-second mini-movie into a single long exposure.

Those who are into tweaking photos by hand should check out the new Curves and Selective Color options on the Adjust tab. Or, if you’d prefer that your Mac do the heavy lifting, try the new filters on the Filters tab.

High Sierra features Photos
Faces now syncs with iCloud. Now when you train Photos to recognize faces, these new albums can be found on all your other devices too!

Lastly, Apple added the ability to edit your photos in third party apps such as Photoshop while keeping the photos in the Photos App. In the past, once you edited the photos in a third party app, Photos would not recognize the format.

Safari 11
Safari has a few new features. Safari now let’s you specify Web sites that should always open in Safari’s clutter-reducing Reader View, block some ads and auto-play videos, let you set the zoom level on a per-site basis, and more. You’ll find the settings for these new features in Safari Preferences. If you want to tweak these options for the current Web page, choose Safari > Settings for This Website to open a popover with the necessary controls.

High Sierra features Safari
Safari now offers Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP), which limits advertisers’ cross-site tracking of where you’ve been online.

Notes 4.5
In Notes you can now add basic tables and the ability to pin your note which puts the selected note at the top of its list rather than listing it by order last edited.

High Sierra features Notes
Mail 11
Apple Mail messages got some love behind the scenes. The message storage takes 35% less space.

More obvious is how Mail revamped its behavior in full-screen view. Instead of the message-composition area overlapping most of the Mail window, the screen splits, and your new message appears at the right. This layout simplifies viewing an older message while drafting a new one.

FaceTime 4
A fun new FaceTime option is taking a Live Photo of your call. It’s a perfect way to record mini-movies of far-away relatives. If the person you’re chatting with allows Live Photos in FaceTime’s preferences, hover over the FaceTime window to see and then click the round Shutter button.

Spotlight
New in High Sierra, you can enter an airline flight number in Spotlight (click on the magnifying glass in the menu in the upper right hand corner of your display) to see oodles of flight-related info.

High Sierra features Spotlight
High Sierra won’t radically change how you use your Mac, but the features Apple has added will make the experience better for some apps. On top of that, you’ll save space in the future and your Mac will perform better. Not a bad upgrade! Look for a tutorial on macOS High Sierra this fall!

Tips and Help

Is iOS 11 the Most Important Version Yet for iPad Users?

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The short answer is yes. Apple has long argued that you can use the iPad for productivity but hasn’t backed that claim up with the necessary features in iOS. That is until now with the new iPad-centric capabilities of iOS 11. These changes mske an iPad running iOS 11 more like a Mac, and that’s a good thing for those who want to do be more productive with their iPad.

Dock and Multitasking
Just like before, the new iOS 11 Dock is easy to find at the bottom of the Home screen. But more Mac-like than before—the left side shows apps or folders you’ve placed there by dragging them on (no need to touch and hold until icons shake anymore!) while the right side helps you get around more quickly by displaying recently used apps and any Handoff apps from your other Apple devices.

iOS11 iPad Dock

Most importantly, you can now view the Dock within any app, Just like the Mac. You no longer need to return to the Home screen as in previous iOS versions. Just swipe up slightly from the bottom of the screen in any app, and the Dock appears so you can switch apps with a single tap right away.

Or—this is great!—drag the app up from the Dock to where you want to go Dock to go–in Slide Over or Split View. Now you can easily work back and forth between two apps at once on the same screen.

The dock also holds more apps as favorites! Unlike the Mac, when you place an app in the Dock, it does remove it from the grid of other apps. On the Mac, you may recall, any app in the Dock is still found in the Applications folder, or wherever it is placed. So if you have an app in the Dock on your iPad, don’t look for it anywhere else.

Control Center and App Switcher
Switching apps with the Dock like you do on the Mac is easy, just swipe up to show the Dock and select the app you want to switch to. But when you invoke the App Switcher by swiping up to see the Dock and then continuing to swipe up (or by double-pressing the Home button or swiping up with four fingers), it now shows large thumbnails of the four most recent apps (or Slide Over or Split View screens) on the left, and the new Control Center to the right. Tap any app to switch to it. Swipe to the left to view more apps that are open. Tap on any Control Center button to toggle it. On most buttons, you can long press to view more options.

iOS11 iPad App Switcher

Don’t like all the buttons on your Control Center? You can now customize the buttons that appear in Control Center—visit Settings > Control Center > Customize to make it look the way you want.

Drag and Drop
With iOS 11, Apple finally brought drag and drop to the iPad! Touch and move text, graphics, or files between apps—you can even pick up an item with a finger and use your other hand to reveal the Dock and switch to your destination app before dropping the data.

Use this maneuver in situations where you would previously have used copy and paste or the awkward Share sheet—or just given up! Practice a few times to accustom yourself to the two-handed process. Once you get used to it, you’ll wonder how you did without it.

Files
Just like the Mac, the iPad now provides a single place to browse and open all your files, and you can open a file with a single tap. All this happens in the new Files app, which replaces the iCloud Drive app. The new Files app includes a broader view of your files, providing access not just to iCloud Drive, but also to files on your device and in other cloud sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. (To add a sharing service whose app you’ve installed, tap Edit in the left-hand Browse panel).

iOS11 iPad Files app

Keyboard Flick
This is one of my favorite features. On iPads other than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, iOS 11 simplifies typing on the virtual keyboard. You can now type numbers and many punctuation characters by swiping down on the appropriate key, rather than switching keyboards. Swipe down to see the key turn gray and show only the desired number or character, and then lift your finger.

iOS11 iPad keyboard

Apple Pencil
In iOS 11, the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil becomes even more useful. Want to start a note? Just tap the Lock screen and start writing. Want to search your handwritten notes? Pull down on the Notes list to type your query, and Notes will find handwritten terms… as long as your handwriting is legible.

A new scanning feature in Notes makes it easy to bring a paper document into the iPad, where you can sign it with the Apple Pencil and send it on its way. We also like the new Instant Markup feature that lets you write on a PDF or screenshot easily—tap the Pencil icon at the upper right of the screen to start writing and to access the controls for color and tip below.

iOS11 iPad Instant Notes

With iOS 11, Apple has finally acknowledged that the iPad is not just an iPhone with a larger screen, they acknowledged the iPad needs its own features to be a productivity machine. With a little practice, you can be using an iPad, particularly an iPad Pro, for all sorts of serious tasks like email, word processing, Web research, and more. I know I am.

Tips and Help

iOS 11 Features You’ll Want to Try

New in iOS 11
Not buying a new iPhone this year? You can still enjoy a number of the “New and Improved” features Apple’s iOS 11 includes. There are quite a few new features and improvements in iOS 11, let’s take a lok at a few of these.

Getting Started
You’ll notice a few things right off after you install iOS 11. Dock icons no longer have names, and many Apple apps now have the bold text design Apple brought to the Music and News apps in iOS 10.

Although the new Automatic Setup feature won’t help you today, when you next get a new iOS device, it can transfer many settings from an older iOS 11 device automatically. Similarly, the new Share Your Wi-Fi feature lets you send your Wi-Fi network’s password to another iOS 11 device that tries to connect.

Need to recover precious space? Don’t want to buy a new iPhone with more storage? Choose Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage and you can offload unused apps (while keeping their settings and data), delete old Messages conversations automatically, and see how much space each app consumes. Deleting music from the Music sub-screen (tap Edit) will help too.
iOS 11 iPhone Storage

Special Screens
Apple redesigned the Control Center, which most people still get to by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPad users keep swiping up after the Dock appears, and iPhone X users will have to swipe down from the right-hand top of the screen). It’s back to a single page of icons, and you can access additional options by pressing and holding on any set of controls. Even better, you can add (and remove) controls in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.
iOS 11 Control Center

In the car? The Lock screen is all you’ll see by default now, thanks to the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. This new feature blocks notifications and prevents you from using your iPhone while at the wheel. Your iPhone will also auto-replying to people who text you. Calls still come through to your car’s Bluetooth system, and texts from people designated as favorites can break through the texting cone of silence. Are you a passenger? You can disable Do Not Disturb While Driving easily from a notification on the Lock screen.
Do Not Disturb in iOS 11

Smaller Changes and App Updates
Here are a few smaller changes that you’ll appreciate include:

Siri sounds more natural, can do translations, and uses on-device learning to understand you better and provide more useful results.

On an iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake button five times quickly and swipe the Emergency SOS button, a new Emergency SOS feature will call 911 and notify your emergency contacts of your location. Tap Settings > Emergency SOS to set this up.

The password auto-fill feature now suggests stored login information for many apps right from the QuickType bar above the keyboard—manage this in Settings > Accounts & Passwords > App & Website Passwords.

Many of iOS 11’s built-in apps receive significant changes as well:

Camera: New file formats will make your videos and photos take up less space. There are a few new filters, and Camera can finally scan QR codes, which simplify loading Web sites, getting contact info, and connecting to Wi-Fi networks.

Photos: You can now apply looping, bouncing, and long exposure effects to a video in a Live Photo. Photos can at long last play animated GIFs and has a new Animated smart album to hold them.

Files: This is a major new app that replaces the iCloud Drive app. Look in Files for access not just to iCloud Drive, but also to files on your device and in other cloud sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Think of it as the Finder from your Mac for your iPhone and iPad.

Messages: A new app drawer at the bottom of the screen tries to entice you to use iMessage apps. Most are just stickers, but some are useful and Apple provides a new Apple Pay app here (coming our with a later update to iOS 11) that lets you make person-to-person payments.
iOS 11 Messages app
Maps: Apple has added indoor maps of some airports and malls to Maps. Maps also now provides lane guidance on more complicated roads.

Notes: The new Instant Notes feature make starting a note as simple as tapping the Lock screen of an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, or the optional Notes button in Control Center. A note can now look like lined paper or graph paper (tap the Share button, then tap Lines & Grids). You can also now scan a document. The idea is that you then sign it with the Apple Pencil and send it on its way. Notes can also now find text in Apple Pencil handwriting.

Take some time to explore—we’re liking these new features and we think you will too!

Tips and Help

How to Navigate to a Specific Mac Folder While Opening or Saving

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While opening or saving a file, have you ever wanted to save your document to a particular folder on your Mac? How can you instantly be transformed to that folder while in the Open/Save dialog box? It’s super easy, thanks to a clever Finder trick. How do you do it? Whenever you have an Open/Save dialog box open in an app, switch to the Finder, find the folder you want to access, and drag its icon into the dialog box. That’s it-instant navigation to that folder! Want another tip to make tis even better? You know the little proxy icon at the top of a Finder window? You can also drag that icon to an Open/Save dialog box and when you do, your document will be saved in that folder! I use this tip on a daily basis.

dropping-icon-Save-dialog

Tips and Help

Identify Old Apps that Won’t Work with iOS 11

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If you’ve been using an iPhone or iPad for more than a few years, it’s possible that some of your apps won’t even launch in iOS 11. Here’s what’s going to happen, and what you can do about it.

Apple used 32-bit processors through the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, original iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch. In 2013, Apple began putting 64-bit chips in all new iOS devices. Apple encouraged developers to make their apps run in 64-bit mode for the new iOS devices, but kept iOS 7 compatible with older 32-bit apps. Then in 2015, Apple required apps to run in 64-bit mode to receive App Store approval. If you open a 32-bit app and you are running iOS 10, your iPhone or iPad warns you that the app might slow down your device and later said that 32-bit apps would need to be updated.

32-bit-warnings

So that’s the history. Now what? First off, don’t worry about what 32-bit and 64-bit mean — all you need to know is that 32-bit apps are old and won’t run in iOS 11, and that 64-bit apps will continue to work as they always have.

How do you know which of your apps are 32-bit? For apps that you use regularly, you’ve probably seen one of those warnings. But what about other apps that you open only occasionally — how can you figure out which of those will not work in iOS 11?

In iOS 10.3, Apple added a feature to call out these 32-bit apps. All you need to do is open the Settings app. Now go to > General > About > Applications to see a list of 32-bit apps that don’t have direct updates available (if Applications isn’t tappable, either you still need to upgrade your device to iOS 10.3 or your device doesn’t contain any 32-bit apps). Tap an app in the list to load it in the App Store, where you may be able to find more info or a support link for the developer. Unfortunately, many old apps aren’t in the App Store anymore.

32-bit-App-Compatibility

Now that you know which of your apps won’t survive the transition to iOS 11, what should you do? You have a few options:

  • Delete the app. If you haven’t used an app in years, or don’t remember what it does, there’s no reason to keep it around. To get delete it, go back to your Home screen, press and hold on any app icon until all the icons start to wiggle, now tap the X badge on the app icon you want to delete. When you are finished deleting your apps, press the Home button to stop the wiggling.
  • Look for an update that’s a new app. Because Apple doesn’t let developers charge for updates, many developers have been forced to make their updates into new apps so they can afford future development. To see if this has happened, search in the App Store for the app and see if a new version appears. Or look for information on the company’s Web site.
  • You can look for an alternative app. Few iOS apps are truly unique, so you may be able to find an alternative app that does basically the same thing as the oder app.
  • Don’t upgrade to iOS 11. Or, at least, don’t upgrade right away. In general, you should stay up to date with new versions of iOS to ensure that you’re protected from security vulnerabilities that Apple has discovered and patched. But there’s no harm in delaying an upgrade for a little while as you wait for an app to be updated or look for an alternative. You may want to contact the developer of the app to see if an update is being developed. They may be able to recommend a replacement app as well.
  • You can also stick with an older device. If you have an extra iOS device that can’t run iOS 11 anyway, keep the app on that device. This approach may not work for an app you need on your primary iPhone, for instance, but it would for an old game that you could play on an elderly iPad 2.

Take a few minutes now so you won’t be surprised if one or more of your favorite apps can’t make the transition to iOS 11 when it ships in a few months!

Tips and Help

Sharing Photos via iCloud Photo Sharing

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These days it’s easy to take lots of photos while on vacation, if you are out with friends, or at a celebration. While a slideshow of all of photos is a bit much, friends and relatives might like to see a Best Of collection. Or you might wish to share baby photos with your family or share pictures of your new city with friends back home.

How can you share select photos with groups of people? With iCloud Photo Sharing. All you do is create a shared album in the Photos app and then you invite other iCloud users to subscribe to it (handy for viewing on an iOS device or Apple TV). The key here is they do have to have an Apple device to view this album, sorry Android users. If you’d like to share your photos with everyone, you can also easily create a public Web page of photos that anyone can see, even if they don’t use any Apple devices.

First, some setup:

  • If you’re using an iPad or iPhone device, go to the Settings app and select Photos & Camera, you may need to scroll down to find it. Now just turn on the iCloud Photo Sharing (not iCloud Photo Library!) switch.
  • On a Mac, open System Preferences and go to the iCloud preference pane, click the Options button next to Photos, select iCloud Photo Sharing, and click the Done button.

iCloud-Photo-Sharing-switch

Now that we have it setup, follow these steps steps to share photos. These steps are similar regardless of the device you’re using:

  1. In the Photos app, select some photos or videos. In iOS, that involves tapping Select before tapping the items to select; on the Mac, Command-click the items you want or drag a selection rectangle around them.
  2. Hit the Share button  and pick iCloud Photo Sharing.
  3. From here you can select an existing album to add the selected photos too, or you can create a new shared album (in iOS, tap Shared Album to see the New Shared Album command).
  4. For a new album, provide an album name, enter the names or email addresses of any iCloud users with whom you want to share the album, and add an optional comment. In iOS, tap Post; on the Mac, click Create.

iCloud-Photo-Sharing-new-album

To add more photos, you could repeat the steps to select photos and then add them to your existing shared album. But it may be easier to start with the shared album and add your photos from there.

  • In Photos for the iPad or iPhone, Tap on the Shared button at the bottom of the screen, if necessary, back out of the view until you see the Shared button at the bottom of the screen. Tap Shared and then tap the name of shared album. Then tap the + button in the bottom-right corner of the photo grid, select the items to add, tap Done, enter an optional comment, and tap Post.
  • In Photos for the Mac, just drag photos into the shared album in the sidebar, under Shared. Or select the shared album in the Shared category, click “Add photos and videos” (near the upper right), select the items to add, and click the Add button.

Your shared albums to have a few options including creating a public Web page to view the photos. The process to access these options is similar in both Photos for the Mac and Photos for the iPad and iPhone:

  • In Photos for the iPad and iPhone, tap Shared at the bottom of the screen and select the shared album. Tap People to bring up a screen where you can add additional people that you’d like to share the album with. You can also control whether subscribers can post their own photos to the shared album, create a public Web page, enable notifications, and delete the album entirely. To share the URL to the public Web page, tap Share Link and select a sharing method.
  • In Photos for the Mac, select the shared album in the sidebar, and then click the People button in the toolbar. From the popover that appears, you can do the same things as in iOS, although sharing the link is best done by either clicking it to visit it in a Web browser and copying from there or Control-clicking it in Photos and choosing Copy Link from the contextual menu.

After practicing these steps a few times, you’ll be able to create shared albums in a flash, and share them easily!

Tips and Help

What are the Extra Features in Messages Group Conversations

Messages-group-photo

Using Messages on the Mac or on the iPad or iPhone is simple. To start a new conversation, you enter someone’s phone number or email address, and start chatting. You can also talk or chat with several people at once. These are called group conversations. All you need to do is type a couple of phone numbers or email addresses when you begin.

What you may not realize is that if everyone in your group is using an Apple device, extra features become available when you click or tap the Details button in the upper-right corner of Messages. How do you know if everyone is on an Apple Device? If the message bubbles are in blue, they are using an Apple device and iMessage. If the message bubble is green, someone in your group is not on an Apple device and these extra features will not be available.

When the message bubbles are blue, meaning everyone is on an Apple Device, you have thes following extra features:

  • Messages-group-Details

    You can give the conversation a name instead of the truncated names of the people in the conversation. On the Mac, type in the Name field at the top; on the iPad or iPhone, tap in Enter a Group Name and then type the name you want. I have a group called ‘Movie Buddies’ for a group of people who like to go to the movies with my wife and I.

  • At any time, you can add more people to the conversation; click Add Member (Mac) or tap Add Contact (iOS) and type the desired phone number or email address.
  • You can also remove people from the conversation. On the Mac, click the person’s name and press Delete; in iOS, swipe left on a name and tap Delete. You’ll want to be careful when you remove people. There is no opportunity to confirm the deletion, so you’d have to add any mistakenly deleted people back manually. (In iOS, Messages doesn’t always let you remove people.)
  • You can even “delete” yourself by clicking or tapping Leave This Conversation at the bottom of the Details screen. If you’ve left a group, you can’t get back in without someone else adding you.
  • Maybe you don’t want to leave the group, but the conversation is being too chatty while you need to get work done. You can also mute notifications from the conversation, to mute the conversation enable the Do Not Disturb option; disable it when you’re ready to be alerted to new messages again.
  • Everyone in the conversation can send or share their location from an iPhone or iPad. Sending a location is like posting a message saying “I’m at the library now” along with a map to where you are. Sharing your location allows the others to see where you are at all times, for one hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. Of course, if you opt to share indefinitely, you can revoke that sharing later.
  • When anyone in the conversation is sharing their location, a map appears at the top, showing the locations of those who have shared. This is fabulous for keeping track of relatives during family reunions where different groups head out on separate outings.
  • Finally, the bottom of the Details screen displays all the pictures that people have shared within the conversation. You can copy, save, open, and delete them. It’s all easy; on the Mac, select photos and Control/right-click to see a contextual menu that includes an Add to Photos Library command or press the Space bar to invoke Quick Look for a bigger view and a Share option. In teh iPhone or iPad, touch and hold on a photo to see additional options—tap Save to copy the image to the Photos app.

Again, if you include even one green-bubble friend who doesn’t have an iPhone with an iMessage account set up, these features disappear. It’s just another way Apple encourages your friends and relatives to use iPhones.

Tips and Help

An Easier Way to Flip between iPhone Camera Modes

Camera-modes-photo

The Camera app on your iPhone can take three kinds of video and at least three types of photos, depending on which iPhone model you have. The Camera app interface suggests that you switch between these types or modes by tapping or swiping on the labels below the viewfinder. These labels are small and can be difficult to swipe accurately. If you’ve found moving between modes frustrating, you can also swipe left or right on the entire viewfinder, which has the same effect as swiping on the labels but with a much larger swipe area. This is usually how I switch between the different modes, just swipe left and right in the viewfinder.

Swipe-on-viewfinder

Tips and Help

Use Command Keys to Open Safari Bookmarks or Tabs

Safari-Command-keys-photo

If you use tabs ins Safari, you may be familiar with how Command-1 switches to the first tab, Command-2 opens the second tab, and so on. This was first introduced in 2015. The old behavior when pressing Command-1 would open the first bookmark on your Favorites bar. If you like the old behavior, you can easily switch to this through Safari preferences. Just choose Safari > Preferences > Tabs and deselect “Use ⌘-1 through ⌘-9 to switch tabs.” From then on, Command-1 through Command-9 will once again open bookmarks. Regardless of which behavior you prefer, you can reverse it on any invocation with the Option key, so if you set Command-1 to open your first bookmark, Command-Option-1 switches to the first tab.

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Tips and Help

Tip: Hot Cars Can Kill iPhones

iPhone Temperature
We all know we shouldn’t leave our pets in a car parked in the sun, but did you know we shouldn’t leave our iPhone in a car parked in the sun? Why not? The iPhone is rated for use at up to 95℉ (35℃) and can be stored at up to 113℉ (45℃), but temperatures inside a parked car on a sunny day can exceed 130℉ (55℃) within 30–60 minutes. These temperatures can both temporarily disable your iPhone and damage the battery more permanently. What happens with you iPhone gets’ too hot? It’ll warn you, “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.” It also stops charging, dims or turns off the display, puts its radios in a low-power state and disables the camera flash, although audible turn-by-turn directions will continue. Turn it off and let it chill out for a while.

iPhone Temperature

Tips and Help

What is a Retina display?

Retina Display
We’ve all heard of the term retina display, but what is a Retina display, and why should we care? The short answer is Retina displays are high-resolution screens on which graphics are extra sharp and text is super crisp.

Want a longer answer? Let’s start out with a little background. The LCD screens used in Apple’s displays use a grid of “pixels”—the smallest possible dot whose color can be controlled—to create all the text and graphics you see. The first Mac needed 72 pixels in each direction to draw a 1-inch square, giving it a pixel density of 72 pixels-per-inch (ppi). Thanks to manufacturing advances in screen technology since 1984, the iPhone 7 Plus screen can fit a stunning 401 pixels into each inch. As pixel density goes up, the pixels get smaller. With a 72 ppi screen, it’s easy to see each individual pixel in a character, but the higher the pixel density, the harder it becomes to pick out separate pixels.

Retina Display

When the iPhone 4 was introduced by Steve Jobs in 2010, he said that for a screen that’s held 10 to 12 inches from the eye—about the distance at which many people hold their iPhones— the human eye can’t resolve individual pixels if it’s about 300 ppi. At longer distances, it becomes harder to discern small details, so most people won’t be able to pick out pixels on a screen viewed at arm’s length, such as an iMac display, if it’s about 220 ppi.

So a “Retina display,” then, is any screen whose pixel density is high enough that someone with 20/20 vision cannot see individual pixels at the standard viewing distance used for that device – 10 to 12 inches for an iphone, and arm’s length for an iMac.

Let’s look at the pixel density’s for the Mac, iPad, and varius iPhones that qualify them for having a retina display. For the Mac, the necessary pixel density for a Retina display is about 220 ppi. Larger iPads have a pixel density of 264 ppi, and the iPad mini checks in at 326 ppi. From the iPhone 4 through the iPhone 7, pixel density stayed at 326 ppi, but the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7 Plus are 401 ppi. The tiny Apple Watch screen is about 330 ppi.

Practically speaking, a Retina display looks better than a non-Retina display. Put a 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display (218 ppi) next to a non-Retina 27-inch Thunderbolt display (109 ppi), and the difference will be noticeable, particularly with text. If you suffer from eyestrain, reading on a Retina display will likely be easier and less tiring, since the words will be clear and crisp, without any of the fuzziness on the edges that you see on lesser displays.

The good news is there are few decisions to make when it comes to Retina displays. All recent models of the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple Watch have Retina displays, so you’re good there. In the Mac world, however, not all MacBook models have switched, and Apple still sells some non-Retina iMacs. Plus, not all Macs can drive an external display that would be equivalent to a Retina display, even if Apple were to update the Thunderbolt Display to Retina. So if you’re buying a Mac now and there’s a choice between a Retina and a non-Retina option, be sure to compare them in person before deciding.

One last thing. It’s important to realize “Retina display” is an Apple trademark. So you won’t see any other manufacturers claiming that their products as having Retina displays.

Tips and Help

Change Window Size on your Mac from Any Edge or Corner


If you’ve been on a Mac for years, you may know that you can resize nearly any window by dragging its bottom right corner—through. In Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, there was even a resize handle in that spot. But did you know that, starting in 10.7 Lion, Apple made it possible to resize a window from any edge? You can go to any edge and click and drag to make the window larger or smaller in either direction. Resizing from any corner works as well; click there, and you can drag to resize the window in two directions at once. So if you haven’t updated your habits, try moving the pointer to the edge of a window in the frontmost app, which causes the pointer to change to a double-headed arrow and click and drag. Hope the tip helps!

Tips and Help

11 Ways to Extend your Battery Life on the iPhone


It’s going to happen, or maybe it already has, at some point, you’ll need your iPhone, but its battery will be dead. And as an iPhone gets older, its battery becomes weaker, to the point where it may have trouble making it through a typical day of use. Charging the iPhone during the day may help, and you could carry around an external battery (or have the battery replaced!), but a few simple tweaks will cut power usage and extend battery life to where you maybe do not have to carry around that battery pack.

  1. Enable Low Power Mode. This one is my favorite trick and it can extend the battery life considerably… and you do not lose any functionality of the iPhone. In Settings > Battery, flip the switch for Low Power Mode to tell your iPhone to use less power for a variety of background activities and visual effects. You can also tell Siri to ‘Turn on Low Power Mode’. Also, your iPhone will automatically prompt you to turn Low Power Mode on when the battery drops to 20%; it’s best to accept that suggestion. Low Power Mode is automatically disabled when the iPhone charges to about 80%, so you do not have to turn it off.
  2. Use Airplane Mode in weak cell coverage areas. This one can be very helpful when in an area that does not have good coverage, or when you are at a concert or event where everyone is using their smartphone. When the iPhone is searching for a better signal, it increases power to its radios, which hurts battery life. Going into Airplane Mode (tap Settings > Airplane Mode or tap the Airplane Mode button in Control Center) prevents you from making or receiving calls or SMS text messages but saves a lot of power. Just remember to disable Airplane Mode later!
  3. Avoid extreme cold or heat. Cold temperatures will drastically reduce your iPhone’s battery life, albeit temporarily, whereas hot temperatures can permanently hurt the battery’s ability to hold a charge.
  4. Don’t stream media or use GPS navigation when battery life is paramount. These are the most power-hungry activities you can engage in on your iPhone and if you want to extend your battery life for the day, it’s best not to stream or use your GPS. If you do use GPS navigation, make sure it stops (or stop it manually) when you reach your destination. Similarly, store music locally rather than streaming it via Apple Music or Spotify.
  5. Reduce screen brightness. The screen on your iPhone takes a lot of power, so you’ll extend your battery life if you drag the brightness slider to the left in Settings > Display & Brightness (you can also adjust brightness in Control Center; swipe up from the bottom of the Lock screen or Home screen). I highly recommend you also turn on the Auto-Brightness switch so your iPhone can reduce brightness automatically in dark conditions.
  6. Turn off unnecessary notifications. In Settings > Notifications turn of notifications to prevent apps from waking your iPhone’s screen repeatedly—turning it on to display a notification takes power. It’s also nice not to receive so many notifications.
  7. Turn off Background App Refresh. This setting, located in Settings > General > Background App Refresh, lets you prevent apps from updating themselves in the background, which can chew power. What’s nice here is you can disable them by app, so if you have an app that doesn’t need to refresh when it is not open, you can disable Background App Refresh for it.
  8. Adjust Location Services usage. You do this in Settings > Privacy > Location Services. It’s best to leave Location Services turned on in general, but if you have little-used apps set to Always, consider changing their setting to While Using the App or Never. Apps that have recently used location services display a purple indicator (scroll to the bottom of the list for a key to the indicators).
  9. Turn down the volume and use earbuds when possible. Using the iPhone’s speakers draws power, so the lower the volume, the less power used. Plugging in earbuds reduces audio-related power usage even more. Along the same lines, when sending audio to a remote speaker, Bluetooth uses less power than AirPlay.
  10. Use Wi-Fi instead of cellular using data. Since Wi-Fi can use less power than cellular data (particularly when the cell connection isn’t strong), connect to a Wi-Fi network when possible; go to Settings > Wi-Fi to find an available network if you’re not prompted automatically (which you can turn on with Ask to Join Networks in that screen). Also, you can save some data but going in Settings > Cellular, scroll down to see an app list and disable cellular data for apps that you don’t need while out and about, but that are transferring non-trivial amounts of data.
  11. Disable automatic downloads, or restrict them to Wi-Fi. This is another one that has a dual purpose, you can save battery life and save data used. In Settings > iTunes & App Stores, you can disable automatic downloads for purchased music, apps, and books made on other devices, which could save a little power. Or just disable Use Cellular Data in that screen, which increases the likelihood that the downloads will happen on Wi-Fi when you’re near a charger.

Again, my favorite one is using Low Power Mode. It seems to extend the battery life by quite a bit without sacrificing features. If I am at an event, such as a concert or festival, I will also turn on Airplane Mode if I need to save my battery. I then just use my iPhone as a camera. But remember, you will have to turn Airplane Mode back off eventually. I hope the tips help!