Easily Create and Name Reminders Lists to Use Them Via Siri

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My wife and I have a shared list in the Reminders app called Groceries. To add an item, such as eggs, all we do is say “Hey Siri, add eggs to my grocery list.” and Siri adds it to the list. We can go a step further and set the grocery list as the default list, then we do not have to specify which list to add the eggs too, it’ll add them to the Grocery list by default. How can you see which list is your default list? It’s in Settings > Reminders > Default List. Want to get fancy? Make a list called “Hardware,” and then tell Siri, “Add birdseed to my Hardware list, and remind me when I arrive at Home Depot.” You may have to pick the correct Home Depot location from a list, but then you’ll receive an alert reminding you to buy birdseed when you pull into the parking lot. To look at any list via Siri, just say something like “Show my Grocery list.”

Name Reminders lists

For Easier Navigation Swipe Back and Forth between Web Pages

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For navigation between web pages you’ve visited, Safari offers back and forward buttons, these are represented by arrows in the upper left of Safari’s toolbar. You can also navigate by choosing menu commands and typing keyboard shortcuts — did you know that Command-Left arrow and Command-Right arrow work too? But my favorite was of navigating through my we pages is through gestures. If you’re using a Mac with a trackpad, you can move back and forth between Web pages with a two-fingered swipe left (for back) or right (for forward). If you prefer, you can switch to a three-fingered swipe in System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures. Or, if it’s difficult for you to keep exactly two or precisely three fingers on the trackpad, you can choose to swipe with two or three fingers. Lastly, this also works with Chrome, and Firefox.

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Tips and Help

Amazon Prime Video Finally Comes to the Apple TV

Prime Video tvOS

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll like this! Amazon Prime membership provides various perks, including free 2-day shipping from the Amazon online store and streaming access to Amazon’s vast media libraries. Unfortunately for Apple TV users, accessing Prime Video content has been frustrating. Why? There was no Amazon app for the Apple TV. That has all changed now, and if you have an Amazon Prime membership and an Apple TV, you can download the new Amazon Prime Video app. It gives you a boatload of additional video content, including Amazon’s original programming. Find it on your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K in the App Store app. If you are still using a third-generation Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video should appear automatically on your Apple TV Home screen.

How to Switch Apps on the iPhone X

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Since the iPhone X lacks a Home button, how do you now switch between open apps? You used to press twice for the app switcher, now you’ll need to switch apps in a new way. To bring up the app switcher, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to about halfway, and then pause until the app thumbnails appear. The key is the pause. Then you can scroll through your launched apps by swiping horizontally and switch to an app by tapping its thumbnail. While in the app switcher, you can also force-quit a frozen app: press a thumbnail to get a red minus button and tap that button. Alternatively, you can skip the app switcher entirely. Just swipe right on the very bottom of the screen to switch to the previous app. Swiping left switches to the next app.

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Watch Out for Phishing Attacks Hidden in Your Email

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One of the most important things you can do to stay safe on the Internet is to be careful while reading email. This can’t be stressed enough. Online criminals know that we’re all busy, and we often don’t pay enough attention to what we’re reading or where we’re clicking.

To take advantage of our inattention, these Internet information thieves send email messages to us that look like they come from Apple, Facebook, Amazon, along with well-known banks, payment services, retailers, and even government agencies. Even more dangerous are messages that appear to come from a trusted individual and include personal details—these messages are often targeted at executives and company managers. Generally speaking, these attacks are called phishing—you can see examples here.

What is their goal? To get you to click a link in the message and visit a malicious Web site. That site usually continues to look like it is being run by a company or organization you trust. At a quick glance or even upon closer inspection, these sites look legitimate, but they re not. The aim is to sucker you into revealing confidential information by asking you to log in, pay for a product or service, or fill out a survey. The site—or an attachment in the email message—might also try to install malware. Although macOS is quite secure, if you approve security prompts, it can still be infected.

Although phishing is a huge problem that costs businesses hundreds of millions of dollars every year, you can easily identify phishing messages by looking for telltale signs:

  • Be suspicious of email messages, particularly from people you don’t know or from well-known companies, that ask you to click a link and do something with an online account.
  • Look closely at email addresses and URLs (hover the pointer over a link to see the underlying URL). Phishing messages don’t use official domains, so instead of paypal.com, the addresses and links might use paypa1.com—close enough to pass a quick glance, but clearly a fake. And again, the site the link takes you to will look like PayPal as well, even though it isn’t.
  • Watch out for highly emotional or urgent requests. They’re designed to make you act without thinking. Take any such messages with a grain of salt.
  • Channel your inner English teacher and look for poor grammar or odd phrasing, which are red flags for phishing messages. Email from real companies may not be perfect, but it won’t have multiple egregious errors. Most phasing emails have typos and grammatical mistakes.

Phishing example

So what do you do if you get a message that may be phishing for sensitive information? Most of the time you can just ignore it. If you’re worried that it might be legit, instead of clicking any links in the message, navigate to the site in question manually by typing the organization’s URL into your browser—use a URL that you know to be correct, not the one in the email message. Whatever you do, do not open attachments that you aren’t expecting and never send confidential information via email.

If you think you’ve fallen prey to a phishing attack and given away a password, you’ll want to change passwords on any affected accounts. If you’ve opened any attachments or approved any installs, run anti-malware software to determine whether your Mac has been infected. And remember, regular backups protect you from a multitude of sins.

Quick-Start

Here’s the Fastest Way to Set Up a New iPhone

Quick-Start

When you replace your old iPhone with a new iPhone, one thing you’ll need to do is transfer your information from your old iPhone to your new one. If your old iPhone is running iOS 11, you can use Quick Start, a new iOS 11 feature that makes the transfer easy. Just turn on your new iPhone, set it next to the old one, and tap Continue when asked whether you want to use your Apple ID to set up your new iPhone. You will see an animation on your new iPhone for you to scan with your old iPhone. Once you’ve done that, follow the rest of the instructions to enable Touch ID or Face ID and then restore your data and settings from your most recent iCloud backup (you can update the backup first if necessary). Leave the two iPhones next to each other while data is being transferred, and if possible, keep the new one plugged in and on Wi-Fi after setup so it can download your apps, photos, and music from Apple’s cloud-based services. It may seem like a lot of steps, but Apple will steer you through them. It’s all pretty easy. Hope it helps!

Quick-Start-process

Tips and Help

What products to use – and not use – to clean your iPhone and iPad

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All iPhones and iPads pick up fingerprints, and with your iPhone, it’s all too easy to get it dirty with ink, lotion, makeup, dirt, food, and oil. When you are cleaning your iPad or iPhone, resist the urge to spray it with window cleaner, rubbing alcohol, or ammonia, or, even worse, to scrub it with baking soda or Borax. That’s because all iPhones have oleophobic—oil repellent—coatings on their glass surfaces that make it easy to wipe off fingerprints. This coating will wear of naturally on it’s own, but by using these products, that coating will wear off faster than normal. Instead, Apple recommends a soft, lint-free cloth such as you would use for glasses or camera lenses. By the way, even though the iPhone 7 and later have some level of dust and water resistance, it’s important to avoid getting moisture in the openings—most of the time, a lens cloth should be all you need.
Cleaning-iPhone

Tips and Help

Follow This Quick Tip to Put Events in the Right Calendar

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Apple’s Calendar apps on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone let you manage multiple calendars, some of which may be your private events and others may be shared with family or friends. Did you know that you can set one of these calendars as your default calendar? Most of my events go into a calendar called Dan’s Schedule, this is also my default calendar. So now when I create an even, by default it will go into this calendar. On the Mac, you do this in the Calendar app, in Calendar > Preferences > General > Default Calendar. In the iPad and iPhone, set it in Settings > Calendar > Default Calendar.

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Tips and Help

Scan QR Codes with the Camera in iOS 11

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You’ve seen those odd-looking square QR codes on ads, store windows, business cards, or flyers. Prior to iOS 11, you needed a special app to scan these QR codes to see what Web URL, contact card, Wi-Fi network, or other piece of information it held. New in iOS 11, though, you can just point your iPhone or iPad camera at a QR code, no need to take a picture! You’ll get a notification, just tap the notification to display whatever data was encoded by the QR code.

Tips and Help

How to Get Back to Siri’s Web Results Quickly

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If you ask Siri a question and she searches the Web for the answer, you’ll get five results back from Google (Siri does not use Bing anymore!). Tap one of the results and it opens in Safari. But what if that page doesn’t contain the information you want? How do you get back to Siri’s results? The easy way is to tap the little Siri button that appears in the top-left of the screen. Or you can activate Siri again, but instead of speaking, swipe down on the screen until “What can I help you with?” disappears and your recent Siri queries appear with your last search results in view.

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Tips and Help

Merge Recognized Faces in Photos in Both iOS and macOS

An extremely welcome feature for your photos in iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra is that the Photos app facial recognition syncs across iCloud Photo Library. Previously, people you identified on one of your devices remained unidentified on others. But what if Photos now identifies the same person twice, such that they have two separate entries in the People album? Just drag one entry on top of the other, in either the Mac or iOS version of Photos, and agree that they’re the same person when Photos asks. And with iOS 11 and High Sierra, these merged albums will sync across all your devices!

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Tips and Help

Siri learns new Languages for Translation

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While you were enjoying your summer, Apple kept Siri busy by giving her intensive language classes. In iOS 11, Siri can now translate English words and phrases into Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. So if your next vacation takes you to Paris, you can now ask Siri for help you with commands like “How do I say ‘where can I find a bathroom’ in French?” or “Translate to French: ‘How much does the baguette cost’?’” Even better, tap the triangular play button to have Siri read the translation aloud so you can mimic it or let a someone hear Siri say it for you.

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Tips and Help

New Shortcut for accessing the Camera in iOS 11

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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!