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Tips and Help

Add Alerts based on Travel Time into Your Calendar Alerts

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic
Have you ever added an event to your calendar, added an alert for when you should leave, and still ended up being late due to traffic? Happily, the Calendar apps in both macOS and iOS can build travel time, including accounting for traffic, into event alerts so you can leave at the right time. There’s a slight setup, but it’s not difficult, and once you form the habit of attaching locations to your events, you’ll get a reputation for punctuality.

First, if you’re working on an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, make sure Calendar can access your location by going to the Settings app. Then go to Privacy > Location Services > Calendar. Make sure Allow Location Access is set to While Using the App.

Next, you need to make sure the Time to Leave option is turned on. On the Mac, open the Calendar app and go to Preferences (it’s under Calendar in the Menu Bar. Select Alerts and select the Time to Leave checkbox. In iOS, go to the Settings app. Tap on Calendar. Then tap on Default Alert Times and enable Time to Leave. That’s all you have to do to make sure this is setup properly.

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic

Now to setup an event with alerts for travel time, follow these steps:

Create a new event, and enter a title and the start time. This does have to be an event with a time as travel time doesn’t work with all-day events.

Once you enter the event title and start time, in the Location field, start typing your destination’s name or address. You must be able to reach the destination within 3 hours to receive alerts about when to leave.

Calendar will start offering matches from your contacts, from recently visited places, and then from place names and addresses near you. So you could type a friend’s name and pick their card from Contacts, or a place name like “Herrick Public Library,” or even a specific address, like “84 East 8th Street.”

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic

After typing a partial name or address, you must pick one of Calendar’s suggestions so it knows the exact location of your destination.

The next step will change depending on if you are on a Mac or iOS device.

On the Mac, in the Travel Time pop-up menu (click once to reveal it), choose the automatically generated travel time for driving or walking, or, if your city is supported, public transit. You can’t change your starting location, which is based on the location of events in the previous 3 hours (it assumes you’re there!), your work address during work hours, your home address during off hours, or your computer’s location if all else fails. (The addresses come from the card in the Contacts app that is open when you choose Card > Make This My Card.)

In iOS, tap Travel Time and in the Travel Time screen, enable the Travel Time switch. A starting location may be picked for you, based on your current location and time of day, or based on a previous event, but you can always tap Starting Location and pick a different spot. Then tap a travel time based on location for walking, driving, or transit, which will reflect both your starting and ending locations, plus the traffic conditions.

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic

Now it’s time to back out of the Travel Time screen and set alerts based on the travel time, which may take traffic conditions into account. By default, setting travel time creates an alert for Time to Leave, although you may wish to set a second alert that gives you a few minutes to get ready beforehand.

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic

That’s it. Your event will now alert you when you need to leave based on your location and traffic. Here’s another tip if you have an iPhone 6s or later, you can 3D Touch the alert to open a preview that has a link for directions; tap Directions to view the travel directions in the Maps app. If your iPhone doesn’t support 3D Touch, tap the alert to open the event in Calendar, after which you can tap the map preview to open the location in Maps.

Tip: Calendar alerts with traffic

Once you get the hang of setting up the events, getting alerts that are based on your location and traffic to travel time, and they include directions, you should be good to go on making it to you even on time!

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Tutor iCloud for iPhone

Tutor for iCloud for iPhone iBook now Available

Tutor iCloud for iPhoneI’m happy to announce Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone is now available as an iBook download. This tutorial includes all the lessons from Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone. Being that it is an iBook, once it is downloaded, you no longer will need an internet connection to view the lessons! Lessons start out with setting up iCloud on your iPhone. We then show you how to sync photos, notes, calendar appointments, contacts, and more between all your devices. We also show you how to manage iCloud space and buy more storage. We wrap it up by taking a look at iCloud.com. If you want to learn more about how iCloud can help you, take a look at Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone… now available as an iBook.

This iBook is available for Premium Members only. Curious on how much it is to become a Premium Member? You decide what you want to pay!

Tips and Help

4 Ways to Force-quit a Frozen Mac App

tip frozen app force quit

Even with the best Mac apps… freezes, crashes, hangs… they happen. What do you do when your favorite Mac app crashes or freezes? Force quit it. When you force quit an app, it forces the app to quit when it does not want to. Now when you do this, there is a chance that any unsaved changes will be lost, so you’ll want to use this as a last case scenario when having an issue with an app.

Here are four ways you can force-quit an app that’s not responding:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the upper right hand corner of your display and choose Force Quit (or press Command-Option-Escape), select the offending app, and click Force Quit.
  2. Option-right-click (or Control-Option-click) the frozen app’s Dock icon and choose Force Quit (this is how I usually force quit an app).
  3. To force-quit the frontmost app immediately, press Command-Shift-Option-Escape.
  4. Open Activity Monitor, select the process in the list, click the X button on the toolbar, and click Force Quit.

If one method doesn’t work, try it a second time, and if that doesn’t work, try another. If nothing works, restart your Mac. Remember that you may lose unsaved changes when force-quitting an app.

Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone
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New Tutorial: Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone

Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone

I’m happy to announce I now have Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone available! In this tutorial we look at Apple’s service iCloud on the iPhone. With iCloud we can share information across all our Apple devices and even access them from any browser! These shared services include photos, calendars, contacts, reminders, movies, Safari bookmarks and reading lists, and even user names and passwords we use in Safari. We can also use iCloud.com to locate our iPhone if we lost it. If you want to learn more about iCloud on your iPhone, we can help with Tutor for iCloud for the iPhone.

Take me to the tutorial.

Tips and Help

Peek inside Files and Folders on Your Mac with Quick Look

Quick Look Desktop photo
Have you ever found yourself wanting to take a quick look at the contents of a file? Sometimes Finder icons hint at their file’s contents, but if you find yourself opening file after file to look at the contents quickly, the Mac has a little-known feature just for you: Quick Look. With Quick Look you can see the contents of a file without ever opening it. To give it a try, find a file in your Finder, click it once to select it, don’t open it, just select it. Now that the file is selected, press the Space bar. If it’s a supported type of file, Quick Look displays a window showing the contents of the file. Press the Space bar again to close the window.

Quick Look Excel

How does this work with a document that has multiple pages? With a document with multiple pages you’ll see thumbnails that you can scroll through using your mouse or trackpad, or by pressing the Page Up/Page Down keys. But you aren’t limited to just viewing a file: you can also open or share the file with Quick Look. Click the Open With button to open the file in its default app, or click the Share button in the upper right to send the file to someone else via email, Messages, or another sharing service.

If you need to scan through a set of files in a folder, you can navigate between them using the arrow keys while the Quick Look window remains open—how you move among the files depends on the Finder window’s view. In List view, for instance, using the Up and Down arrow keys can be a great way to browse through a collection of pictures. You can even interact with the Finder while using Quick Look, which means you can delete an unwanted photo by pressing Command-Delete while previewing it. I use this quite a bit on my Mac when I need to go through a folder full of files.

Quick Look also works well for comparing multiple similar files. All you need to do is select a number of files and then press the Space bar to open them all in Quick Look. To cycle through your selection, you use the Left and Right arrow keys; there are also Forward and Back buttons that appear near the top left of the Quick Look window. Next to those buttons is a Thumbnail button that displays the selected files in a grid—click any thumbnail to focus on just that item. To remove the distraction of your Desktop, click the Zoom button in a Quick Look window. You can start a slideshow from there. Another way to get to a zoomed Quick Look window is to select the files in the Finder and then press Option-Space.

Quick Look Penguins

Quick Look will not let you look at every file type, but out of the box, Quick Look supports text files, RTF files, HTML files, images, audio, video, PDFs, iWork documents, Microsoft Office files, and even fonts. Third-party apps can extend Quick Look to support proprietary formats, too, and developers have even released independent Quick Look generators, as they’re called.

Although it’s used mostly in the Finder, Quick Look is available elsewhere. For example, if you’re in an Open dialog, you can select a file and press the Space bar to preview it right there, another feature I use quite a bit. When restoring a file in Time Machine, use Quick Look to see if it’s the version you want. You can also preview an attachment in Messages by selecting it and pressing the Space bar.

Finally, note that if your Mac has a newer Apple trackpad, such as the Magic Trackpad 2, you can invoke Quick Look by force-touching a Finder icon (press deeply until you feel a click) instead of pressing the Space bar.

Quick Look takes just a moment to learn, but it can save you hours of time poring through files on your Mac! It’s well worth the investment time to learn how to use Quick Look.