Hints & Tips

iPhone X Series Basic Interaction

This screencast shows how to interact with the iPhone X series of devices now the home button has been removed. Covering the iPhone X, XS, XR, XS Max, and the new iPad Pros. Gestures shown include returning to home screen, accessing the notification center, accessing the command center and getting to the app switcher.

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 https://www.themacquad.com/home/2018/2/15/homepod-a-review it only shows themacquad.com 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).

 (img.1

(img.1

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

 (img.2)

(img.2)

Safari will now always show the full website address.

10 Tips For Using The Apple TV Remote More Efficiently

The new Apple TV Remote Control has many detractors but there are some great features built in. However, these features can be difficult to discover, so here’s 10 tips for using the Apple TV Remote Control.

 Siri Remote Control 

Siri Remote Control 

  • To activate Siri press and hold the Siri button this will initiate the Siri voice control.
  • Press and hold the Menu button to go directly to the Home screen from anywhere.
  • Press the Menu button once when in an app to go back to the previous screen.
  • Press and hold the TV (Home) button to go to the Sleep screen.
  • Press the TV (Home) button once to go to the TV app from anywhere. (assuming the TV app is available in your region)
  • Double press the TV (Home) button to see your recently used apps and to switch between them.
  • When entering text, press the Play/Pause button to switch between upper and lowercase text.
  • To quickly access the music app, press and hold the Play/Pause button when music is playing, this will take you directly to the Music app.
  • To quickly restart the Apple TV in order to resolve problems, press and hold the Home and Menu button at the same time and this will restart your Apple TV.
  • To check how much remaining charge your remote has, navigate through Settings > Remotes & Devices > Bluetooth. This will show a display of how much battery is left in your remote.

10 easy tips for using the Apple TV Remote.

Automatically Hide & Show The macOS Dock

This is a follow up to the post of 9th January about automatically hiding and showing the menu bar, you can also automatically hide and show the dock, I find this really helpful while playing games in windowed mode.

How To
Select System Preferences (img.1).

 (img.1

(img.1

Choose the Dock icon in the top row of the window (img.2).

 (img.2

(img.2

Now tick the, Automatically hide and show the Dock, checkbox (img.3)

 (img.3

(img.3

When you tick this box, the dock will reappear as you move your cursor towards the bottom of the screen, allowing you to get at all your dock actions while keeping your screen uncluttered.

Automatically Hide & Show The macOS Menu Bar

Think that the menu bar is untouchable on macOS? Well think again, since El Capitan, you can hide and automatically show the menu bar.

How To
Select System Preferences (img.1).

 (img.1

(img.1

Choose the General icon in the top left of the window (img.2).

 (img.2)

(img.2)

Now tick the, Automatically hide and show the menu bar, checkbox (img.3)

 (img.3

(img.3

When you tick this box, the menu bar will reappear as you move your cursor towards the top of the screen, allowing you to get at all your menus while keeping your screen uncluttered.

Prevent Live Photo Automatically Reactivating

Live Photos is a feature on recent iPhones that adds a small video clip before the still image and also a small video clip after the still image when taking a picture with the camera app.

Live Photos can be a great feature, especially when editing (enabling the still image to be changed e.g. if the subject’s eyes are closed, to open in another frame) however, some people either do not like Live Photos or cannot afford the extra memory they consume. In iOS 11 turning off Live Photos in the camera app only lasts for the current session of camera use and automatically turns back on the next time the camera app is activated.

There is a setting that can prevent this and permanently disable Live Photos.

How To
Select the settings app on your iOS device (img.1).

 (img.1

(img.1

Once the setting screen is displayed scroll down until the camera settings option is visible then tap this (img.2).

 (img.2

(img.2

In the camera settings select the Preserve Settings option (img.3).

 (img.3

(img.3

Now turn on Live Photo, this sounds counterintuitive but this setting tells the iPhone to remember the state you have chosen for Live Photos (img.4).

 (img.4)

(img.4)

Leave the settings app and enter the camera app, make sure the photo mode is showing then tap the Live Photo icon so it appears white with a strike through (img.5).

 (img.5

(img.5

Live Photos is now disabled for every future use of the app.

Type To Siri On High Sierra

Siri can be a useful assistant on the Mac and easy to access the information needed by just using voice controls. However, there are times when talking out loud to the Mac is inconvenient or unsuitable e.g. while in a meeting or in a library.

Apple has added an option in High Sierra that enables interaction with Siri without requiring voice commands, the method of input is via typing commands or queries in to Siri.

How To
First, select the System Preferences icon, I keep mine in the dock for easy access (img.1).

 (img.1

(img.1

Once the System Preferences window displays you will see an Accessibility  icon in the bottom right of the window, you should now click on this (img2).

 (img.2)

(img.2)

In the Accessibility window scroll down on the left and select the Siri option, then tick the checkbox ‘Enable Type to Siri’ (img.3).

 (img.3)

(img.3)

Now when the Siri icon is clicked a text entry box is displayed for a command or query to be entered (img.4)

 (img.4

(img.4

Remember to turn down the volume so you don't hear the response out loud.

An easy way to use Siri on Mac without using voice.

iTunes Playlist Folders

Organise your iTunes playlists into folders.

Do you have so many playlists in iTunes that it's a pain to keep flicking through to get to the one you want?  There is a way to reduce the amount of time taken to get to you desired playlist, yes you can use the search facility or tell Siri to play it but there is also the option to organise your playlists into playlist folders.

In iTunes on your main system click on one of the existing smart playlist e.g. Recently Added then go to the File menu > New and select Playlist Folder.  A new folder will appear above your smart playlists named 'untitled playlist' which you can rename to whatever is appropriate.  Once this is done simply drag the playlists you want into the folder.  Do this process for as many folders as you need to organise your playlists.

If you have Apple Music or iTunes Match these folders will synchronise across all of your associated devices.  If, however, you synchronise via plugging in your iOS device to your main iTunes computer they will synchronise just as well.

You now have an easy way of organising multiple playlists.

Battery Usage On iOS 11

One of the biggest complaints about iOS devices (mainly iPhone) is battery usage, often this can be due to ‘run away apps’ (apps that are using large amounts of battery in the background) some of which may rarely be used. But how can it be determined which apps may be affecting battery life? There is a solution built directly into iOS 11.

How To
Select the ‘Settings’ option on the iOS device (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Once in ‘Settings’ scroll down and select ‘Battery’ (img.2). 

 (img.2)

(img.2)

Then scroll down a little and you will be able to view your battery usage for each app over the last 24 hours or last 7 days (img.3). 

  (img.3)

 (img.3)

From this it can be determined if an unused app is hogging battery and therefore it can be deleted of if it is an app that is utilised maybe an alternative can be found on the App Store. 

This is an easy way of checking what is happening to an iOS battery.

Currency Conversation On The Mac Using Spotlight

A very useful and quick hint is to use Spotlight on the Mac for currency conversation. Living in the UK and being an Apple geek means that many of the services and applications I use are often priced in US Dollars, so to find a rough estimation of what I'm going to be paying in Pound Sterling I use Spotlight for currency conversation.

How To
Use the keyboard shortcut Command Space (⌘Space), this will display the Spotlight Search Window (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Then just enter the amount you wish to convert, in this example $25.00 and assuming you're in the UK the conversion to Pound Sterling will automatically display. Other popular currencies will also be shown (img.2).

 (img.2)

(img.2)

Quick and easy currency conversation.

Tame Notifications On macOS Sierra

Constant notification popping up on your desktop is the enemy of everybody who wants to get work done efficiently and every application seems to want to add it's notifications to your system whether relevant or not, why would I ever need a notification from an piece of image manipulation software?

However, it is extremely easy to just have the notifications you are interested in display and the rest be completely ignored, giving you a more productive working environment.

How To
First, select the System Preferences icon, I keep mine in the dock for easy access (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Once the System Preferences window displays you will see a Notifications icon in the top right of the window, you should now click on this (img2).

 (img.2)

(img.2)

The window will then display all of you applications with notification options on the left of the window and the actual notification options on the right.

You will now have to spend some time going through all of your applications that you do not want to receive notifications from, making sure all of the tick boxes are unchecked and the alert style is none (img.3). This will turn the notifications off for the selected application including sounds, banners, badge app icons and notifications on the lock screen.

 (img.3)

(img.3)

Just leave the notifications on that you feel are essential and you will have a much more productive working environment.

Save Money On A Microsoft Office 365 Subscription

A very quick hint for all users of Microsoft Office 365, whether on Mac or Windows.  A monthly subscription in the UK is £7.99 (£95.88 a year), there is the option on the Microsoft website to sign up for their yearly subscription for £79.00 (saving £16.88).  However, the cheapest way I have found of paying for my Microsoft Office 365 subscription is buying a Pre-Paid yearly subscription card from Amazon, this will give you exactly the same access to Microsoft Office 365 (5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets including iPad, Android or Windows, plus 5 phones and up to 5 users) but at the moment the price is £55.59 (£40.29 a year cheaper than the monthly subscription and £23.41 a year cheaper than getting the yearly subscription directly from the Microsoft website).

Once you have received your code from Amazon log into your Microsoft account, click on your account name in the top right and select View Microsoft Account, click Service & subscriptions in the Account bar then click Payment & billing under Office 365 Home, you will then have an option to Redeem a card or code. Saving some money is as simple as that.

Apple Modifier Keys

If you are a long time Mac user you will be completely aware of the Apple modifier keys, however, if you’re a totally new user or have come over from the Windows universe you may be a little confused as to which keys are which.  I hope the table (img.1) below is helpful.

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Dark Menu Bar and Dock

Everybody has their own choice of Wallpaper, mine changes on a regular basis. At present I am using quite a dark wallpaper and the normal light Mac Menu Bar and Dock seem to visually jar with this but there is an option in macOS Sierra that enables this to be changed. 

How To
The standard look of the Menu Bar and Dock is shown below. Firstly, click on the System Preferences icon in the dock (img.1). 

 (img.1)

(img.1)

When the System Preferences window appears select the ‘General’ icon (img.2)

 (img.2)

(img.2)

In the ‘General’ options check the box ‘Use Dark Menu Bar and Dock’ and the Menu Bar and Dock will become dark and fit in with the overall look of your desktop (img.3). 

Dark Menu 3 img

Wi-Fi Scanning On The iPhone

The fact that Apple will not open WiFi Scanning to 3rd party apps means there seems to be nothing on the App Store that can do this job and most people resort to walking around their house (or wherever they need to scan) with a laptop in their arms, not the most convenient option. 

However, there is a simple solution using a native Apple iPhone app which few iPhone users are aware of. WiFi scanning on the iPhone can be done using the AirPort Utility app. 

How To
The first step is to download the AirPort Utility app from the App Store, it’s free of charge so the price is right! Once the app is downloaded to your iPhone select settings (the small grey icon with circles on it) and scroll down to the setting for the AirPort Utility app and select it. The screen below (img.1) will be visible, as shown on the screen shot turn the WiFi Scanner option on. 

 (img.1)

(img.1)

When this is done go to the AirPort Utility app and tap on it to load it in. The screen below will be displayed (img.2) with the option at the top to WiFi Scan. Now tap the WiFi Scan option. 

 (img.2)

(img.2)

The screen below will then be shown (img.3). If you are scanning around the house for signal strength, noise, channels, etc. it’s probably best to keep the scan on Continuous. Then just tap scan. 

 (img.3)

(img.3)

This will then scan for information about WiFi networks that are  within range and will be displayed as below (img.4). 

 (img.4)

(img.4)

Once you have obtained the information required you can then return to AirPort Utility settings to switch off the WiFi Scanner option in order to maintain battery life. 

The above steps give you access to a free convenient WiFi Scanner.

Disable Downloads Automatically Opening on Safari

Just a very small piece of security advice.  If you are using Safari make sure that downloads are not automatically opened once they have completed. Even though Safari considers certain file types to be “safe” (PDFs, Movies, Pictures, etc.)  there is still a risk that these files can contain Malware. By not having downloads automatically open any accidental download or suspicious file can be checked prior to being opened. 

How To
Load in Safari and click on Safari in the menu bar, in the drop down menu select preferences.  A preference box will be shown and then select the General tab at the top of this box, the image below should be visible (img.1). Once this is on the screen simply make sure the Open “safe” files after downloading box is unchecked. Downloaded files will no longer be automatically opened. 

 (img.1)

(img.1)

When you download a file from a reliable source you will have to double click to open it but this extra step is, in my view, worthwhile for a little extra security. 

Take a Screenshot on iPhone or iPad

This is a very simple and quick tip for iOS devices. You may wish, or need to, have a record of what is on the screen of your iPhone or iPad, the quickest way of doing this is using iOS’s built in method of taking a Screenshot. 

How To
1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.
2. Press and release the Home button.
3. Your will hear the shutter sound.
4. You can then release the Sleep/Wake button.
5. The image will be stored in your Camera Roll.

 iPad Buttons

iPad Buttons

 iPhone Buttons

iPhone Buttons