How to Switch Apps on the iPhone X

IPhone X switch apps photo 1080x675

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.

IPhone X switch apps 1080x1222

Watch Out for Phishing Attacks Hidden in Your Email

Phishing photo

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, the addresses and links might use—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.

My Review of the Ecobee Thermostat and HomeKit


Let’s take a closer look at my Ecobee thermostat. I have the Ecobee 3 Lite. This version does not have a sensor to where it detects if I am home, but I can buy those if I want. The thermostat is also HomeKit compatible. What does that mean? I can control the temperature of my house from Siri, my iPhone, my iPad,  and even my Apple Watch. Being that I have a newer Apple TV, I can also control it from outside my house. How does all this work? Let’s see if I can clarify it for you.

Ecobee ThermostatThe first thing you’ll need to do is install it by replacing your old thermostat. I replaced my Nest with the Ecobee being that the Nest is not HomeKit compatible. It’s actually a pretty easy installation and Ecobee gives you everything you need including wire diagrams. Before you install it though, make sure you turn your furnace off. You can also hire just about any furnace installer to install it for you if you are not comfortable.

Once it’s installed it’s a matter of setting it up. This is where is got a bit buggy for me and I needed some clarification. You set it up via the thermostat itself along with the iOS app. The app determines where you live so you get current conditions on the thermostat (which is actually kind of nice). But this is also where it got buggy for me. The app knew where I was but it did not put the right coordinates in the app itself, so I couldn’t get outside conditions. I had to go to Ecobee’s online site, log in, and put in my address. After that it worked fine. I also couldn’t find where the HomeKit code was. Whenever you install a HomeKit device, there will be a code you need to scan with your iPhone or iPad, basically just some letters and numbers. Usually this is on a piece of paper or on the box itself. Well after digging around and going online, I found out the code is displayed on the thermostat itself. I just pointed my iPhone at the thermostat and the Ecobee was registered as a HomeKit device.

Ecobee app

So now that it is all set up, what happens next? You can start using Siri to control your thermostat! Want the temperature to be 70 degrees? Just tell Siri. You can also start using the Home app to control the temperature.

What do I like about the Ecobee thermostat? I really like that the display is always on. On my first generation Nest, the display would only turn on when you walked up to it. The display shows the current inside temperature and the outside temperature, another feature I like. Now all I do is just glance over at the thermostat to see what both temperatures are. When you walk up to it, the display changes to where you can set the temperature and access options. It really works nice. What don’t I like? Not a whole lot to be honest. Maybe a dial like the Nest to change the temperature, but now I can change the temperature through Siri, my Apple Watch, my iPhone, and my iPad.

Ecobee apple watch

What else can you do? Set up scenes. The Ecobee already comes with a number of scenes. A scene for when you Arrive Home, Leave Home, and going to bed (Good Night scene). You can have the Ecobee set the temperature for each one of these scenes. Side note, don’t delete these scenes from the Ecobee app like I did, Ecobee uses these to set the default temperatures. You can access these scenes in the home app too. If you do delete them, you’ll have to add them back in, at least I did. So now when we are leaving the house I turn on the scene for Away and the temp goes down automatically. When we go to bed I activate the scene for Good Night and the temperature goes down automatically as well, and when one of us arrive home, the Arrive Home scene is activated and the temp goes up.

You can do even more – with the Home app we can set automation scripts that turn on and off devices and activate scenes. I have an automation set to detect when the first person arrives home. As soon as someone does, the Arrive Home scene is activated, which raises the temperature. When the last person leaves, the Leave Home scene is activated, which lowers the temperature. I also have an automation to bring the temp up at 7am. It’s pretty easy to set up in the home app and it just works. Pretty cool!

Ecobee ipad

I also have a Philips Hue button switch. This switch actually has 4 buttons on it and I can have it turn on and off different devices or activate scenes. So when we go to bed, I have button 1 activate the Good Night scene which turns down the temperature and turn off various lights. So now all I do is tap the switch before bed and all is set. When the last person leaves the house, the temp goes down. First person arrives, the temp goes up. At 7am, the temp goes up. This is all done through the Home app using scenes and automation.

Ecobee iphone

One last thing I want to add. I mentioned you can buy sensors for the Ecobee to detect if you are home. You place these in rooms and they monitor the temperature of the room. They say you will have a more balanced temperature in the house by using these. They do this my detecting motion. You may know where I am going with this – this means that you can use these sensors as HomeKit motion detectors too! I plan on putting one in my office. By doing this I’ll get a more balanced temperature in the house – but also I get a motion detector to turn the lights on and off when I enter and leave the office.

Overall I am really liking the Ecobee lite thermostat. It looks nice and it works well with HomeKit. So that’s a basic look at how I am using the Ecobee thermostat at my house.


A Quick Look at how I use HomeKit at my House

Home App

In this post I am going to introduce you to how I use Homekit at my house. In future posts I’ll look at the HomeKit devices I have in more detail, but let’s first look at what HomeKit is and how it is being used at my home.

The first question you may have is ‘what is HomeKit?’ HomeKit is an Apple technology that allows you to automate your house using Siri and the Home app on your iPad and iPhone. You can automate lights, locks, garage doors, switches, ceiling fans, shades, and more. Are you curious if you left the garage door open? With a HomeKit compatible garage door opener, you can just ask Siri if it is open. If it is, tell Siri to close it. Want to dim the lights? Just ask Siri to dim the lights.

You can also create scenes which will set several automation steps in motion. Want to turn off the lights and turn the thermostat down at bed time as well as turn off the Christmas tree lights? Create a bed time scene that turns off the appropriate lights and turns down the temperature. You create and set these scenes up through the Home app on your iPad and iPhone.

A side note, if you want to be able to control these devices from outside your home, you’ll need a 3rd or 4th generation Apple TV.

So now that we know what HomeKit is, how do you automate your house? Well anything you want to automate will need to be a HomeKit compatible device. As an example, you want to use HomeKit to automate your garage door? You’ll need a HomeKit compatible garage door opener. If you want to dim the lights, you’ll need to buy HomeKit compatible lights or HomeKit compatible light switches. This is why it’s taking me a while to automate my home – I need to replace my current devices with HomeKit compatible devices. This takes time and money, so it’s slow rollout for me, but I am getting there.

So what do I have? I am using Philips Hue lights and switches, an Ecobee thermostat, Lutron Caseta switches, and an iDevices outlet switch. In the future I’ll be replacing my garage door opener and my door locks, but like I said, that will come later.

So how am I using these in my home?

EcobeeThe Ecobee thermostat replaced my Nest as the Nest is not HomeKit compatible. It’s pretty basic, it controls the heat and air conditioning at my house. I can ask Siri what the temperature is, I can have her raise and lower the temp as well. I also have a scene set up, which turns the temperature down, being its winter here, when we go to bed or leave the house.

With the Philips Hue lights, I can ask Siri if any lights are on such as the light next to the couch, I can dim them as well as turn them on and off. With the Philips Hue lights I do not have to replace my current in-wall switches, I just replace the lights. I have my living room lights come on automatically at sunset. What about the Philips Hue switches? I use these to control the lights and scenes as well. I use the Philips Hue motion detector to control the outside lights so if someone approaches the house, the lights come on automatically. I also have HomeKit set to turn the outside lights off automatically after a few minutes. So I can use the Home App, Siri, the Philips Hue switches, and the motion detector to turn my lights and off.

LutronI recently also bought Lutron Caseta in-wall switches to control my existing lights. With this HomeKit device I do not have to replace my lights, I can use my existing lights, but I do have to replace the light switches in the wall. This works well in situations where you have a in-wall switch control several lights. Now instead of replacing each light with a HomeKit light, you just need to replace one switch. Again, I can ask Siri if the lights are on and dim or turn them on/off if needed, just like the Philips Hue Lights.

Lastly I have an iDevices outlet switch. This simply plugs into an outlet and then you plug in what you want to control to the iDevices switch. I can then turn on and off anything that is plugged into the iDevices switch using Siri, the Home app, or control it with scenes. I use this for a fan in the summer and my Christmas tree lights in the winter.

What’s nice about all these is they work well together even though they are different brands. They all talk to each other through Apple’s HomeKit. It all just works.

So that’s a quick look at how I am using Apple’s HomeKit at my house. Again, in the future I’ll be looking at these devices more closely. So far I am really liking it. I’ve used other home automation devices in the past, X10 and Smarthome in particular, and in my opinion home automation is maturing. It’s not perfect, but everything seems to be working well together and I love that I can just ask Siri to turn on and off the lights, dim lights, and set the temperature of my home. I am looking forward to adding more HomeKit devices in the future.


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


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!



What’s New in macOS High Sierra available as an iBook

What's New in High Sierra IBook Cover

I am happy to announce that my latest tutorial, What’s New in macOS High Sierra, is now available as an iBook. If you are a Premium Member, you can download it for free from our site. Non-members can find it in the iBook store. This tutorial includes all the lessons from What’s New in macOS High Sierra available online.

I am a Premium Member – I’ll sign in to download the iBook.

I am not a Premium Member – take me to the iBook Store.

I’m interested in becoming a Premium Member.

Tips and Help

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

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.

Noteboom News

What’s New in macOS High Sierra now available online

What's New in macOS High Sierra

I’m happy to announce that my What’s New in macOS High Sierra is now available online. In this tutorial we look at what’s new in macOS High Sierra. Apple didn’t add a lot of features to this update, but they did make some under the hood changes including changes that could possibly make your computer faster and save space. The features they did add are more app specific and we’ll look at those too including what’s new in the Photos app, Notes app, Safari, and more. Learn what’s new in What’s New in macOS High Sierra. If you want to learn more about what’s new on your Mac with High Sierra, take a look at our latest tutorial.

Apple News

Recycling an Apple product is as easy as it is good for the planet.


Recycle any Apple device online or at an Apple Store. For qualifying devices, you’ll receive a gift card online or credit toward a purchase in the store. We’ll either refurbish the device for resale or recycle its materials responsibly.

You can now recycle your old Apple Watch. I’ll be doing this with my first Apple Watch. It’s in good condition, so it’s an easy $75.

Check out how to recycle your older Apple products.

Tips and Help

Follow This Quick Tip to Put Events in the Right Calendar


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.


Apple News

Amazon Prime Video arrives on Apple TV in over 100 countries

Starting today, customers around the world can access the Amazon Prime Video app on Apple TV to stream award-winning and critically acclaimed titles including Prime Original Series and Movies.

Amazon Prime finally arrives on the Apple TV. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while as my current way of accessing Amazon Prime, through Tivo, is slow.


Tips and Help

Scan QR Codes with the Camera in iOS 11


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

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.


Apple News

In the Loop: Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone

The pictures alone are worth the trip to reading this article. But there is more.

“The carbon-fibre roof, tested, built and unbuilt in Dubai, was made the same way you make the hulls of racing yachts and weighs just 80 tons. ‘This is the first time in the history of mankind that this has been done,’ says Behling.”

Take me to the article.

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!