macOS Catalina and Macs That Will Run It

Apple announced their new operating system at WWDC on Monday, named Catalina, version 10.15 adds features such as the ability to use an iPad as a second screen, the ability for developers to easily port iPad apps over to the Mac (in the past we have known this as Project Marzipan but is now Project Catalyst) and the ability for motor impaired users to control the entire operating system via Voice Control.

Catalina Image

Catalina also sees iTunes split into separate components, Apple Music, Apple Podcast, Apple Books and Apple TV, a move that many have been requesting for a long time.

Apple have also announced which Macs will be able to run macOS Catalina and there’s not a vast difference between those that are able to currently run Mojave. The Macs that are compatible with Catalina are:

  • MacBook 2015 and later

  • MacBook Air 2012 and later

  • MacBook Pro 2012 and later

  • Mac mini 2012 and later

  • iMac 2012 and later

  • iMac Pro 2017 and later

  • Mac Pro 2013 and later

The full release of Catalina will be in the autumn, usually sometime in September. However, developers can get hold of the beta release now.

Major Ulysses Update

On Monday 27th May 2019 Ulysses will release an update to their award winning text editor for Mac and iOS. This update is free for Ulysses subscribers and has two major features added.

The first feature is the ability to publish directly to Ghost (img.1), Ghost is a , is a publishing platform that specialises in blogs and online publications. Due to its simplicity, security and speed, some of the most innovative companies in the world chose to rely on Ghost for their online publishing needs. Ulysses users can already publish directly to WordPress and Medium and every addition to this is more than welcome. The Ulysses press release states:

To date, Ulysses’ publishing function was available for WordPress and for Medium; with the new release, Ghost joins the two. Facilitating the publishing of blog posts and web articles, the feature is the most comprehensive and versatile of its kind in the world of writing apps. Ulysses’ users can upload their texts — including images, links, tags, etc. — to the named platforms with only a few clicks or tabs. Editing happens entirely in Ulysses; there’s no more need to copy, paste or manually format text.



The second feature added blew my mind when I heard about it as I didn’t think it was possible. Full-featured Split View Editing on iPad (img.2), yes two instances of the same application on the iPad enabling editing on two texts at the same time, a feature that many productivity specialists have been asking for and Ulysses is the first application to add this feature. The Ulysses press release states:

The ability to display two texts next to each other is handy for translating, for comparing two versions of a document, and for having an eye at reference notes while writing. On Mac, writers could do it for a long time, and Ulysses just recently improved it by introducing a native editor split view to its Mac app. Now with this release, split view editing comes to iPad. Ulysses’ users can not only display and edit two texts at a time, scroll both texts simultaneously, and portion the available screen space at will between the two editors. With a split view consisting of two full-featured app windows, they’re also able to navigate and to show an export preview next to an editor, to see what their output is going to look like while they write.



These two features will enhance an already great application and I’m sure I’ll be asking Max Seelemann (co-founder of Ulysses) about how they such powerful features when he appears on the Mac Quadcast in the near future.

Turn Dark Mode On In Mojave

In the macOS Mojave update released in the autumn of 2018 a Dark Mode was added. While in many people’s opinions it is a welcome visual enhancement it was also added to aid concentration and to ease computer use for those who work into the evening and night.

This feature is easy to turn off and on, the steps are below.

How To

Select the System Preferences icon (img. 1).

(img. 1)

(img. 1)

Choose the General icon (img. 2).

(img. 2)

(img. 2)

You can now toggle between Light and Dark (img. 3).

(img. 3)

(img. 3)

Many applications that you run will automatically switch between Light and Dark Mode but some may require you to switch in the application’s preferences.

Text Shortcuts on macOS

I have written on the website about TextExpander, a utility that looks for pre-defined text abbreviations and automatically inserts a block of text assigned to the abbreviation. However, if you feel an application such as this is either overkill for your needs or you are unable to cover the cost of another subscription there is a solution, use the one that is built into macOS.

How To

Access System Preferences by clicking the grey cog (img.1) icon then choose the keyboard icon (img.2).





Once in the keyboard system preferences pane click on the text tab along the top of the window (img.3).



You will probably see an entry already in 'Replace' and 'With' columns which will be omw and On my way! This means that while in applications on your Mac if the characters omw are typed they will be replaced with the phrase On my way!

To enter your own text replacement click the '+' (img.4) enter the abbreviation you wish to use in the left column and then tab and enter what you want the abbreviation to be replaced with in the right column and then press return. In my example I have used the abbreviation mqem to be replaced with (the mac quad email address) (img.5).





Now whenever mqem is typed it will be replaced with saving lots of time when I need to type the email address.

This does not have the advanced features of TextExpander but is sufficient for basic text replacement.

Controlling a Mac Via Head Movement and Sip/Puff

In this videocast I show how I am able to have complete control over a Mac via head movement and sip/puff. The equipment used is a Tracker Pro and a Sip/Puff Switch which connects to the Mac via USB.

I hope you find this videocast interesting and informative as to how I produce my content despite being paralysed from the neck down and on a life support machine.

Fantastical 2 Giveaway Winners

A blind draw was made on Friday (23rd November) with all of the entries that I received for the Fantastical 2 Giveaway entered, the three winners were:

Claus W

Sandy F

Dan M

Congratulations to the three winners, hope you enjoy the software and find it as useful as I do.

Thank you to everyone at Flexibits for generously providing the three licenses and also, thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

Fantastical 2 for Mac Giveaway

I have a great chance for you to get your hands on one of three licences for the macOS version of Fantastical 2, The calendar app you won’t be able to live without.

Fantastical 2 is possibly the best Calendar application for the Mac, a full Mac application with the benefit and and convenience of a menu bar window. You can easily add events and reminders using natural language, Fantastical 2 automatically recognises the location of your event and can even invite people from Contacts to your event. Fantastical 2 also lets you quickly toggle multiple calendars on or off with a single click, so you can focus on what’s more important in that moment. The days of going back and forth, clicking multiple times, just to hide and show your calendars are over. These calendar sets can also be shown atomically by your location eg different sets for work and home.

Other Features Include

* Full time zone support, including floating time zones

* The ability to set time and geofence alerts for your reminders

* View maps of the locations where your events occur

* Travel time and time to leave notifications

* Day, week, month, and year views

* Use multiple calendar accounts at once

Fantastical 2 for Mac is £48.99 and the team at Flexibits (the makers of Fantastical 2) have given me 3 licences, to give to my podcast listeners and blog readers.

The Fantastical 2 Giveaway Has Now Closed

Entries should be in by 12 midday GMT on Friday 23rd November and winners will be announced in the following episode of the Mac Quadcast and also posted on the Mac Quad website.

Thanks to all at Flexibits (makers of Fantastical 2) for this generous giveaway.

Bear Subscription Giveaway Winners

A blind draw was made on Thursday (8th November) with all of the entries that I received for the Bear Subscription Giveaway entered, the five winners were:

Neil T

Mieszko Ś

David S

Nash P

Karen A

Congratulations to the five winners, hope you enjoy the software and find it as useful as I do.

Thank you to everyone at Bear for generously providing the five subscriptions each for a year and also, thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

Bear Subscription Giveaway

I have a great chance for you to get your hands on one of five subscriptions each valid for a year for Bear, one of the top note and writing apps on Mac and iOS.

Bear is perfect for everything from quick notes to in-depth essays. A focus mode helps you concentrate and advanced markup options are an online writer's best friend. Bear is also packed with beautiful themes and typography which makes your writing look great before and after publishing. The applications simple tools take the effort out of writing, whether you need to hit specific word counts and reading times, or you need to convert your writing into PDF and Word docs and with Bear's custom markup shortcuts, you can add style and links with just a tap or keystroke.

Features Include

* Advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 20 programming languages.

* In-line support for images and photos.

* Cross-Note Links to build a body of work and quickly reference other notes.

* Hashtags to quickly find and organise notes.

* All your notes are stored in plain text for the ultimate in portability.

Bear Pro is $14.99 for a year and gives advanced features, including syncing between all your devices, application themes and exporting and the team at Bear have given me 5 subscriptions, each for a year to give to my podcast listeners and blog readers.

The Bear Subscription Giveaway Has Now Closed

Entries should be in by 12 midday GMT on Friday 2nd November and winners will be announced in the next episode of the Mac Quadcast and then posted on the Mac Quad website.

Thanks to all at Bear for this generous giveaway.

Change Audio Output & Input In The Menu Bar

If you have headphones, speakers and internal speakers set up on a Mac and also a headset, microphone, and internal microphone, you’ll want to easily switch between different inputs or outputs. There is a quick way without going to the System Preferences each time.

How To
Hold the Option key and click the volume icon in the menu bar this will show a list of audio inputs and outputs. You can now select what you want. 

This enables you to quickly switch between audio inputs and outputs.

Find Your Mac’s Cursor

Many times the best place to look for something you’ve lost is down the back of the sofa, however, this is not helpful if the item lost is the cursor on you Mac’s screen. A feature that has been available since the release of El Capitan in September 2015 is the ability to make your cursor reveal itself by simply moving your mouse quickly or running your finger rapidly back and forth across the trackpad, this makes the cursor increase in size. Once you’ve located the elusive cursor, stop and it will shrink back to its normal size.

How To
Open System Preferences and select Accessibility.

Once the Accessibility panel is open select Display on the left side and ensure the ‘Shake mouse pointer to locate’ checkbox is ticked (img.1).



A quick way to find mislaid cursors. 

Change The Default Finder Folder

Do you wish you could see a different folder to “All My Files” when you open a new Finder window in macOS?

If like myself you prefer to have your Documents (or any other folder) show it is extremely easy to change the default behavior to one that suits your individual requirements.

How To
In the Finder menu (usually showing when you click on your Desktop) select Preferences or you can just hit the key combination Command ⌘ + , which will show the Finder Preferences.

Click on the selection box below “New Finder windows show” and select the folder you would like to display (if your folder is not there click on other and navigate to your desired location) (img.1).



Each new Finder window will now open showing your selected folder.

macOS 32 bit Application Alert

Since the macOS update to 10.13.4, Apple have been showing alerts when old or un-updated applications are being launched (img.1).



It is to warn that 32-bit applications will not run on any operating system after High Sierra, it was nearly a year ago that application developers were initially told of this, so there has been plenty of time for developers to address this issue. Since January any new applications or application updates submitted to the Mac App Store have been required to be 64-bit.

You can check which applications are 32-bit on your system by going to About This Mac in the Apple Menu and then clicking on System Report. Once this is done in the left column in Software click on Applications. When the results populate there is a 64-bit column in the top panel, I had to increase the size of the window to make this column visible. There will either be a yes or no here.

If there are applications that are not 64-bit they will not run on the next major macOS update (10.14). You may want to contact the developer to see if the application will be updated, find an alternative application or not upgrade to the next major version of macOS, usually released in the autumn.

It’s worth checking and preparing now.

Pin A Note To The Top Of Your Notes List

Many users make notes in the native macOS all of the time and would like to keep their most important note at the top of the list. Well there is an extremely easy way to do this.

How To
When in notes find the note you would like at the top of you list (img.1).



Right click on the note you would like at the top of you list and then left click on 'Pin Note' (img2).



Your note will now be pinned to the top of the notes list (img.3).



An easy way to keep you most important note at the top of your list.

Jump To Right Most Tab In Safari

Last week saw the release of updates for all of Apple’s platforms including macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, as well as bringing improvements to performance and stability it also added a few new features.


This quick tip will show one of the little features added in this update. If you have several tabs open in Safari, something that happens to me on a regular basis when doing research, it can be a pain to tab across your tabs in order to get to the right most one.

With the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 you can just hit the key combination Command ⌘ + 9 and you will be automatically taken to the right most tab.

A shortcut I will definitely be making use of.

Show Full URL In Safari

When Apple released Yosemite in October 2014 one of the changes that went virtually unnoticed by casual Mac users was that Safari stopped showing the whole URL in the search/address field. This means instead of Safari showing it only shows this probably not an issue when browsing in Amazon where the URL can be several lines long but if you are in a smaller website you may want to know the complete URL of the article you are reading.

You can click on the search/address field to display the full address but you can also change Safari’s settings so the default is to show the whole URL.

How To
Open Safari’s preferences (Command ,) or preferences from the Safari menu.

Now select the ‘Advanced’ tab (img.1).



Then tick the Show Full Website Address checkbox (img.2).



Safari will now always show the full website address.

iMazing Giveaway Winners

A blind draw was made today with all of the entries that I received for the iMazing Giveaway entered,the three winners were:




Congratulations to the three winners, hope you enjoy the software and find it as useful as I do.

Thank you to everyone at DigiDNA (the makers of iMazing) for generously providing the three copies of iMazing and also, thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

iMazing Giveaway

The iMazing Giveaway has now closed

This week I have been very kindly given three Single iMazing 2 Licenses by my friends at DigiDNA to give away. If you have read my post about how to Use iMazing to Check the Health of an iPhone Battery you will be aware of some of the features available in the full version of iMazing but there is so much to this great piece of software.

iMazing 2 is for personal iOS device management, empowering users to simply do more with their Apple devices. It has been downloaded by over 10M users and is the number one software to transfer and save music, messages, and data from any iOS device to a computer. iMazing 2 introduced a safer way to back up, backups are automatically archived, so that digital memories are safe, and browsable in just a few clicks. It works with all iPhone, iPad and iPod models, on both Mac and PC.

Key Features

  • Old iPhone to a new one

It's easy to copy the content of any iPhone or iPad to a new one. Users can choose what data and apps they want to save and transfer.

  • Safe backups on any Mac or PC

Any iOS device can be securely backed up via WiFi or USB. Backups can also be browsed and edited before being restored.

  • Simple message transfers

Text messages, MMS, iMessages and attachments can be safely stored on any computer. Conversations can then be browsed and printed.

  • Easy access to music, photos and videos

Media files can be moved between any iPhone or iPad and a computer. Favourite pictures, homemade videos and music can be saved and shared, without using iCloud or iTunes.

Further Features

  • Full iOS 10 and 11 support
  • A time machine for iPhone
  • Battery health check
  • Photos to Device
  • Console and Logs
  • Manage iBooks
  • Install iOS
  • Automatic Wi-Fi Backups
  • Download and Manage Apps

As stated above I have three Single iMazing 2 Licenses to give away each of which is worth £34.99 and gives access to a License for 1 computer (Mac or PC), All iMazing 2.x updates and 24/7 support.

All you need to do to enter for a chance to win one of these licenses is to use the link below to send me an email with iMazing Giveaway in the Subject Line, please only one entry per person.

The iMazing Giveaway has now closed

I will conduct a blind draw to determine the three winners.

All entries must be in by 09.00 GMT on Thursday 8th March 2018. Winners will be posted on the website over the weekend of 10th & 11th March, I will also contact the three winners by email over the same weekend.

Thank you to everyone at iMazing by DigiDNA for their generosity in providing these codes. If you are not lucky enough to win please visit the iMazing website and see what this great piece of software can offer you.

Good Luck,

The Mac Quad