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Blog Tips

2023

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Upgrade Past macOS Catalina to Keep Getting Microsoft Office Updates

We aren’t quite ready to recommend that everyone upgrade to macOS 13 Ventura, but if you use Microsoft Office with macOS 10.15 Catalina, you should start planning for an upgrade. Microsoft has announced that current versions of its productivity suite—Office for Mac 2019, Office for Mac 2021, and Microsoft 365—will receive updates only if your Mac is running macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 12 Monterey, or macOS 13 Ventura. If you keep using Catalina, your Office apps will continue to work, but they won’t receive enhancements, bug fixes, or security...

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Protect Your Hidden and Recently Deleted Albums in Photos

Photos has long provided a hidden album you could use to hold images you wanted to keep a little more private. Until this year, however, it was security through obscurity: anyone who knew to reveal the album in Settings > Photos on an iPhone or iPad or by choosing View > Show Hidden Album on the Mac could see its contents. Now you can protect it—and the Recently Deleted album—with Face ID or Touch ID on an iPhone or iPad, or Touch ID or your password on a Mac. You...

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AutoFill in Safari Not Working? Set My Card in Contacts

We heard from a client that AutoFill in Safari suddenly stopped entering her name and address in Web forms when she chose Edit > AutoFill Form or pressed Command-Shift-A, forcing her to enter her contact information manually, like an animal. (And yes, the “Using information from my contacts” checkbox was selected in Safari’s AutoFill preferences.) Although we have no idea what caused the problem, the solution turned out to be simple. She went into Contacts, found her personal contact card, and chose Card > Make This My Card. Give this...

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New Macs and HomePod

With a handful of press releases buttressed by a 19-minute video, Apple pulled back the curtains on its new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips and announced updated Mac mini and MacBook Pro models that rely on the new chips. There are no significant design or feature changes with these updated models, just faster performance, enhanced external display support, and support for the latest wireless connectivity standards. The new Mac mini and MacBook Pro models are available to order now, with units in stores and orders starting to arrive on...

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If Your Holiday Gift Was a Tech Device, It's Time to Change the Password

Whatever consumer electronics product you can name, there’s probably a “smart” version that you configure via an app or Internet-connected interface once you’ve connected it to your Wi-Fi network. For ease of setup and to keep costs down, many such devices come pre-configured with not just a default username and password, but the same default username and password as all other units. That’s bad enough, but worse, most people never change those defaults, which is just asking hackers and malicious bots to break in and take over. This risk is...

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Copy Gigabytes of Data Between Macs with Target Disk Mode

Apple makes it easy to move data between Macs. You can send files via AirDrop, attach them to an email message, put them in a Messages conversation, turn on and connect via File Sharing, or use a file-sharing service like iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive as an intermediary, to name just a few of the more obvious approaches. But what if you have a lot of data—say tens or even hundreds of gigabytes—to transfer from one Mac to another? The techniques listed above might work, but we wouldn’t bet...

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Apple Delivers Promised Features in End-of-Year OS Updates

Every year at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, Apple previews planned features in the upcoming versions of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. However, not all of those features are necessarily ready for the initial releases of those operating systems. In part, that’s because iOS must ship in sync with the latest iPhone models that Apple releases in September, whereas iPadOS and macOS often come out later. Even then, some of Apple’s promised features may not be ready for public consumption until the .1 or .2 updates. Just before...

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LastPass Security Breach. Here's What to Do

Password management company LastPass has announced that it suffered a security breach in which attackers stole both encrypted customer account data (which is bad) and customer vaults containing encrypted usernames and passwords (which is much, much worse). On the positive side, the data of users who abided by LastPass’s defaults and created master passwords of at least 12 characters in length will likely resist cracking attempts. Although 1Password is the most popular password manager for Apple users, we’ve mentioned LastPass as an alternative in previous articles, so here’s what happened...

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What Is Advanced Data Protection for iCloud? Should You Enable It?

In early December, Apple made a surprise announcement: Advanced Data Protection for iCloud. It’s not as though iCloud’s standard data protection is problematic, but it hinges on one architectural decision that makes some iCloud data theoretically vulnerable: Apple holds the encryption keys necessary to decrypt iCloud data. Because Apple controls those encryption keys, an attacker or rogue Apple employee who could gain access to them could theoretically steal iCloud data. (There are many more safeguards; it’s not like there’s a big printout of keys anywhere.) Plus, since Apple has the...

2022

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Apple patches active exploit vulnerability for iPhones

Apple has released new security content for iOS 16.1.2 and Safari 16.2. Normally we would say that Apple pushed out updates, but in this mysterious case the advisory is about an iPhone software update Apple released two weeks ago. As it turns out, to fix a zero-day security vulnerability that was actively exploited. Mitigation The updates should all have reached you in your regular update routines, but it doesn't hurt to check if your device is at the latest update level. How to update your iPhone or iPad. How to update macOS on Mac....

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The Importance of Training

We all learn differently. While some individuals can read instructions one time and know what to do, there are others who benefit from being taught visually or by ‘doing’. Regardless of how you learn, having a single approach for everyone isn’t ideal. The one thing we do know about learning, or training, is that when it comes to cybersecurity, repetition is important. That doesn’t mean taking the same course every quarter, or re reading the manual once a year. Smart and safe cyber practices are critical to your business’s success....

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Sharing Netflix, Disney, other passwords is illegal according to new guidance

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the UK government body overseeing intellectual property rights in the UK, has quietly released new guidance on piracy and online counterfeit goods. This campaign is a joint effort between IPO and Meta, Facebook’s parent company. The general issue on piracy is about the use of illegal streaming boxes and apps and how these not only expose children to age-inappropriate content due to lack of parental control but also risk putting sensitive personal information in the hands of hackers and digital thieves. What's noteworthy—as TorrentFreak pointed out—is that the UK now flags password sharing, a...

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Virtual kidnapping scam strikes again

Warnings abound of a major new piece of fraud doing the rounds which uses your relative’s voice as part of a blackmail scam. What happens is the victim receives a call from said relative’s number, and they’re cut off by blackmailers who have them held hostage. The only way to get them back safely is to pay a sizable sum of money, usually within a time limit. Refusal to pay up could clearly end very badly for the person being held to ransom. There’s just one problem with this: It’s all...

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A Brand New Cybersecurity Training Course for 2023

We are pleased to announce The Breach, their brand-new, narrative-driven Cybersecurity training course for 2023. This course is a feature of Grove Technologies PII Protect Security Awareness Platform. The annual training course gives businesses the opportunity to educate their staff on new and emerging threats and cybersecurity best practices. The Breach combines the narrative style of a CSI-type TV drama with traditional instructional techniques to create a deeper and more engaging learning experience than ever before. The Breach is simply your companies strongest, most intuitive and comprehensive course ever. “The...

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Update on the LastPass Security Breach and Our Password manager Recommendation

We are writing this blog to educate you around the latest LastPass security breach event that we feel is important enough to share with all our clients not only clients specifically using LastPass. LastPass is a trusted password manager but as we are learning no technology is immune from security issues. The latest security issues are outlined by LastPass here. LastPass disclosed that “some source code and technical information were stolen from our development environment and used to target another employee, obtaining credentials and keys which were used to access...

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Merge Duplicate Photos and Videos in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Ventura

It’s all too easy to end up with duplicate photos and videos in your Photos library. The most common way is to use the Duplicate command, but we’ve seen duplicates appear due to accidentally repeated actions in other apps, repeated screenshots, multiple imports that include the same image (much as Photos tries to prevent this now), and buggy behavior in iCloud Photos. Identifying duplicate photos and videos is difficult to do manually. Although the human eye is good at noticing when things aren’t the same, it’s much harder to determine...

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These New Years Resolutions Will Improve Your Digital Security in 2023

Happy New Year! For many of us, starting a new year means reflecting on fresh habits we’d like to adopt. Although we certainly support any resolutions you may have made to get enough sleep, eat better, reduce social media usage, and exercise more, could we suggest a few that will improve your digital security and reduce the chances that bad things will happen to you online? Keep Your Devices Updated One important thing you can do to protect your security is to install new operating system updates and security updates...

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Delete Contacts More Easily in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

Deleting contacts on the iPhone and iPad used to be a pain, especially if you wanted to trash multiple contacts. You had to open the contact, tap Edit, scroll to the bottom, and tap Delete Contact. Although you still can’t swipe left on a contact in a list, as you do when deleting in Mail and Messages, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 provide a simpler method. Touch and hold a contact in the Phone or Contacts lists, and then tap Delete Contact at the bottom.

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Here's How to Stop Getting Paste Permission Requests

In iOS 16, Apple tightened security by displaying a confirmation alert when you copy data from one app and paste it into another. More security isn’t bad, but these alerts can become annoying if you copy and paste frequently. In iOS 16.1, Apple added a setting to control the behavior for each app. If you get these alerts too often when pasting in an app, go to Settings > AppName > Paste from Other Apps and switch it from Ask to Allow. Many apps don’t include the setting; hopefully, any...

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You Can Now Use Siri to Reboot Your iPhone or iPad

Although iOS and iPadOS are extremely stable, there are times when rebooting your iPhone or iPad can eliminate odd or problematic behavior, and there’s no harm in trying it. In the past, you’ve had to remember which buttons to press or select Settings > General > Shut Down and then press a button to turn the device back on. In iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, however, Siri has learned a new trick: how to reboot iPhones and iPads. Invoke Siri by holding the side button or Home button, and then...

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Need to Amuse Small Children During the Holidays? Try Slow Motion Video

If you find yourself at a family gathering with bored children over the holidays, allow us to recommend an activity that can keep kids engaged. Figure out something the kids can do that involves motion—knocking down a tower of blocks, rolling a ball or toy car down stairs, even just making silly faces—and record them using the Slo-Mo option in the Camera app. Swipe left (iPhone) or down (iPad) on the viewfinder or labels to move from Photo mode to Slo-Mo mode, and then tap the red record button to...

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Practice with the Emergency SOS via Satellite Demo, Just in Case

In mid-November, Apple launched its new Emergency SOS via satellite feature for the iPhone 14 lineup. If you have an iPhone 14 and find yourself in an emergency situation in the US or Canada without cellular or Wi-Fi service, you can still contact emergency services. Apple says the service will expand to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December The service is free for 2 years, and Apple hasn’t said what it will cost after that. The challenge we users face with Emergency SOS via satellite is that it...

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Two Ways to Manage Your Email So You Can Find It Later

We recently wrote about different ways to organize your files, which prompted some people to ask us about the best ways to manage email. Email may have competition from messaging services like Slack and Microsoft Teams, but for many people, it’s still where the most important communications take place. That’s especially true for anyone who has to work with numerous people outside their organization—there’s a reason why business cards nearly always contain an email address. As with file organization, how you manage and organize your email is all about making...

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Check the Weather on Your Mac and iPad, Finally!

At long last, Apple has plugged one of the most inexplicable holes in its app library—the lack of a Weather app for the iPad and Mac. In iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura, you’ll now find a large-screen version of the iPhone’s iOS 16 Weather app. Locations you enter on one device automatically sync to your other devices, and the feature set is identical across the different platforms. That’s especially welcome now that Apple has integrated all the features of the acquired Dark Sky service, including hyperlocal notifications of incoming...

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View and Copy Saved Wi-Fi Passwords in iOS 16

The iPhone and iPad have long allowed you to share Wi-Fi passwords with other nearby devices and people as long as they were in your Contacts list. But you couldn’t see those passwords, which is handy for sharing with non-Apple users and devices. In iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, you can now view and copy the stored Wi-Fi password for either the current network or any remembered network. In Settings > Wi-Fi, next to a network’s name (tap Edit at the top right to view stored networks), tap the blue...

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Text Flight Numbers to People You-re Visiting So They Can Track Your Flight

ext time you’re flying to visit your Apple-using family or friends, send them your flight number using Messages when you leave. Then they can easily track your flight in the air and see when you’re arriving. Just text them the flight number prefixed with the airline’s abbreviation, like AA for American Airlines, AC for Air Canada, BA for British Air, DL for Delta, or UA for United Airlines. If Messages recognizes the flight number, it will underline it to indicate that tapping or clicking will bring up the current flight...

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Share Airline Boarding Passes Using Wallet and AirDrop

It’s common for one person in a family to handle booking airline tickets and thus to be in charge of checking in for the flight online and downloading boarding passes. If that’s you, what’s the best way to send each iPhone-wielding person in your family their own boarding pass? Rather than tussle with sharing the check-in confirmation email, add all the family boarding passes to Wallet on your iPhone. Then, for each person’s boarding pass, tap the ••• button ➊, tap Pass Details ➋, tap the share icon in the upper-right...

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Mail Gains Welcome Features in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Ventura

Email may not be as sexy a way to communicate as modern-day darlings like Messages, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, but it remains the workhorse of business and personal communications. While Apple’s Mail is a mature app that has long provided the necessary basics, there has been room for improvement. In iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura, Apple has given us some welcome enhancements, many of which have existed in other email systems for some time. These features are extremely similar across all of Apple’s platforms, but they may...

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The Best Apple Gifts for this Holiday Season

It may seem early to think about holiday shopping, but even as the global supply chain recovers from pandemic-related slowdowns, ship dates remain unpredictable. If you want to make sure you have an Apple something for that special someone, we recommend buying it soon. Here are our recommendations AirTag Do you know someone who’s always misplacing their keys, purse, or backpack, or who’s planning a big trip? They might appreciate Apple’s AirTag tracker this holiday season. Attach one to a keyring (with a separate $29 AirTag Loop, $35 AirTag Leather...

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What Your Organization Needs to Know About Email Blocklists

Spam remains one of the scourges of the Internet, although spam filters do a pretty good job of keeping most of it out of email inboxes. However, those spam filters can cause deliverability problems for organizations that send email for marketing or customer outreach. One way that happens is if the IP address—the unique numeric address of every computer on the Internet—of the server that sends your organization’s email lands on a blocklist.​ Understanding Blocklists Blocklist services are conceptually simple. They maintain lists of IP addresses that have been identified...

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Apple Is Driving the iPhone to eSIM? Here's What You Need to Know

Perhaps the most surprising change in the iPhone 14 line, at least in the United States, was the shift from using removable SIM cards to eSIM. SIM cards—SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module—have been a fixture in the mobile phone world for many years because they provide the unique identification necessary to connect a subscriber and a plan with a phone. Because SIM cards are removable, you can use them to transfer an existing plan to a new phone, switch carriers, or enable temporary service while traveling—all by inserting the...

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watchOS 9's New Low Power Mode Could Help Older Apple Watches

Until watchOS 9, Low Power Mode on the Apple Watch turned the smartwatch into a dumb watch that only told the time. With watchOS 9 on an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, however, a new Low Power Mode reduces the watch’s capabilities while keeping it largely functional. It turns off the Always-On display, heart rate notifications, background heart rate and blood oxygen measurements, and the automatic start workout reminder. When your iPhone isn’t nearby, it disables Wi-Fi and cellular connections and incoming phone calls and notifications. Other features will...

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Bring Back the Battery Percentage Indicator in iOS 16

Back in 2017, when Apple added the notch to the iPhone X for Face ID, the resulting loss of usable screen real estate caused the company to remove the battery percentage indicator from the status area. Since then, you’ve only been able to estimate how much battery life you had left from the icon; you had to open Control Center to see the numeric percentage. In iOS 16, however, Apple has revived the battery percentage indicator for Face ID iPhones, building it into the battery icon itself so it doesn’t...

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Add Haptic Feedback to the iPhone Keyboard in iOS 16

The iPhone has long been able to play clicking sounds when you tap the keys on the virtual keyboard, but that feedback, while sometimes welcome, can become annoying when you’re trying to be quiet. A new feature in iOS 16 provides haptic feedback—tiny taps you can feel in your fingertips as you tap keys on the keyboard. It’s a subtle but highly effective way of mimicking a real keyboard, and we encourage you to try it. Turn the feature on in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Keyboard Feedback. (While...

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Are You Paying Too Much for Internet or Cellular Connectivity?

We’ve recently worked with a few clients who were paying too much for their Internet or cellular service. Internet service providers (ISPs) and cellular carriers occasionally adjust their service plans to account for new technologies, economies of scale, changing competitive landscapes, and marketing efforts. Sometimes they’ll increase speeds or capabilities across the board, but more often, when they debut new plans, current customers are grandfathered into their existing plans, often without notification. Upgrading to a new, better plan is usually simple—first, check the plan details on your ISP’s or cellular...

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Apple Releases New iPad, iPad Pro, and Apple TV

In a series of press releases—no big video event this time—Apple has announced upgrades to the iPad, iPad Pro, and Apple TV. The new models are largely evolutionary, with changes that are welcome but unlikely to change your iPad or Apple TV experience. All are available to order now, with the new iPads arriving on October 26th and the new Apple TV hitting stores on November 4th. One other note. iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura ship on October 24th. iPadOS 16 is probably safe to install soon, given the...

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New Messages Features in iOS 16: Mark as Unread, Edit Messages, Undo Send, Report Junk, and More

After years of user requests, Apple has finally beefed up Messages with a few welcome features—options to mark conversations as unread for later reference, edit messages after they’ve been sent, and undo sending entirely. Plus, when you delete junk texts in Messages, you can now report them to Apple and your carrier, and you can find inadvertently deleted conversations in Recently Deleted. Finally, there’s a Tapback improvement for SMS messages to Android users. Before we begin, beware that editing messages and Undo Send work the way you expect only if...

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Five Best Practices for Organizing and Naming Computer Files

We’ve had decades to get used to organizing computer files, but it’s still hard for many people. Part of the problem is imagining how you—or your colleagues, if you’re in a workgroup—will need to find the files in the future. Another part of the problem is mustering enthusiasm for renaming and reorganizing existing files to match an improved approach. Let’s see if we can help!​ #1: Start Now and Catch Up Later Don’t let your old files prevent you from starting a new organizational approach. The best time to begin...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Recipe for Strong Cybersecurity

Cookies. Cakes. Pies. Brownies. All fantastic treats to have when you’re feeling down. But you know what the easiest and most satisfying dish to make really is? Strong Cybersecurity! Let’s quickly go over what you’ll need and the steps you’ll need to take to have a truly cyber-safe digital presence! Ingredients: Computer, laptop, tablet, phone, or some other device that connects to the Internet 1x Continuous Training Program 1x Password Manager 1x Multi-Factor Authentication 1x Dark Web Monitoring Service 1x Virtual Private Network (VPN) 1x Spam Filter 1x Data Breach...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Security Questions Your Organization Should Be Asking Itself

We’re increasingly hearing from organizations that need to establish that they have sufficient security policies in place, either to meet the requirements of a larger client or to qualify for cyber insurance that insures against breaches and similar losses. Details vary, and we’re happy to work with you on the specifics, but here are some of the kinds of questions you may be asked. Of course, if you don’t have to prove that you’re doing the right thing to some other company, answering these questions for yourself can only improve...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Doctor's Visit

I want you to take a second and imagine the thing you dread the most in the world. The thing that brings you the most anxiety when you know it’s coming up. Everybody has something. Got it? I bet at least a quarter of you thought of an appointment with your doctor or dentist. There’s just something so nerve-wracking about going to the doctor’s because you know that they’re going to tell you something that you don’t like. Maybe you need to exercise more. Maybe you need to change your...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Cybersecurity Horror Movies

It’s October and that means there is only one type of movie you’re allowed to watch. That’s right, horror! Even the scaredy cats like a good horror movie near Halloween whether it’s Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Paranormal Activity, or, well, Halloween. But very few horror movies are realistic. People are always making decisions that don’t make sense. The monsters always walk when they should run. Sometimes it’s too goofy to be scary. But what if we took some horror movies and made them too realistic? What if we added...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Best Offense is a Good Defense

It’s fall and for most of us, that means one thing: football season! Most Americans love sitting in front of the TV on Sunday to watch their favorite team battle it out on the gridiron. The touchdowns, the field goals, the interceptions, the big hits. It’s very exciting. But this season we’re asking that while you’re watching the game, you take a second to think about how it compares to a strong cybersecurity strategy. Now we know what you’re thinking. How do you tie together football with cybersecurity? Well, it’s...

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The Many New Lock Screen Customizations in iOS 16

iOS 16 has been out for a bit now, and it’s likely safe to upgrade as long as you don’t rely on obsolete apps that might not be compatible. When you take the plunge, the first new feature to check out is the capability to create, customize, and switch among multiple Lock Screens, each with its own wallpaper, clock font, and widgets. It’s reminiscent of how you customize Apple Watch faces. Plus, you can now link a Lock Screen to a Focus so you know when that Focus is active....

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Intro to Cybersecurity Awareness Month

hat’s the first thing you think about when you feel that first chilly breeze of Fall? Is it cozy sweaters? Is it football? Is it pumpkin spiced lattes? Well, I can tell you what it should be: cybersecurity! October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we are celebrating it in style! Get ready for 31 days of tips, tricks, and strategies for keeping you and your business cyber-safe! The best cybersecurity plans go 24/7, 365 days a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t double down for one month. There’s never...

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Photos Library Showing Blank Thumbnails or Having Other Issues- Try This Trick to Repair It

The Photos app is usually a solid performer, but it does rely on a database behind the scenes, and corruption is a possibility. If you find that your Photos library is showing blank thumbnails or otherwise acting oddly, see if the Photos Repair Library tool can fix it. First, if Photos is open, quit it. Then launch Photos again while holding down the Command and Option keys at the same time. In the window that appears, click Repair. The tool might ask for your account password, and depending on the...

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Remove Old-Style Today View Widgets from Your iPhone

In iOS 14, Apple overhauled widgets, allowing you to add them to your Home screen in addition to the Today View accessible by swiping right on the Home screen. App developers responded with a slew of new widgets, but old-style widgets that are limited to Today View remain available. If you no longer want these older widgets cluttering the bottom of your Today View, here’s how to remove them. Swipe right on the Home screen to enter Today View. At the bottom of Today View, tap the Edit button, and...

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Most Pantone Color Books for Adobe Creative Cloud to Require Pantone Connect License

Adobe says that Pantone Color Books will be phased out of Adobe Creative Cloud apps, starting with updates to Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop released after August 16, 2022. After November 2022, only three Pantone Color Books will remain: Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallics Coated. To access all other Pantone Color Libraries, Creative Cloud users will need to purchase a Pantone Connect license and access the libraries through the Pantone Connect plug-in. Pantone Connect costs $59.99 per year or $7.99 per month. For the...

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Don't Trust an App Fully Hide Your Precise Location from It

Most of the time, having your iPhone know precisely where you are is good. You want Maps to tell you exactly when to turn, not after you’ve passed an intersection. But too many apps abuse their users’ privacy. We strongly encourage you to stop using such apps entirely, but we acknowledge that it can be hard to give up apps that seem necessary for modern life. Barring that, you could prevent such apps from seeing your location at all, but even that isn’t always feasible. Since iOS 14, Apple has...

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Wi-Fi Calling and Wi-Fi Assist What Are They and How Are They Different

Two similar-sounding iOS features generate quite a bit of confusion. Wi-Fi Calling and Wi-Fi Assist both aim to improve your connectivity by using the best network available, but they achieve that goal in diametrically opposed ways. Wi-Fi Calling leverages your Wi-Fi connectivity to replace weak or nonexistent cellular coverage, whereas Wi-Fi Assist uses your cellular data connection when the Wi-Fi connection is poor. Here’s what you need to know.​ Wi-Fi Calling Of the two technologies, Wi-Fi Calling is more commonly used and more helpful. It enables you to make or...

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When Should You Upgrade to macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16-

September is here, which means that Apple will soon start releasing major upgrades for all its operating systems. Note that we say “start.” Apple will release iOS 16 and watchOS 9 alongside new iPhones and Apple Watch models in September. However, Apple has now acknowledged that iPadOS 16 will ship later in the fall—perhaps in October—as version 16.1, likely in conjunction with iOS 16.1 and possibly alongside macOS 13 Ventura. tvOS 16 isn’t interesting enough to worry about much either way. Apple previewed these releases at its Worldwide Developers Conference...

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Apple Event - Four iPhones, Three Apple Watches, and New AirPods Pro

Apple’s September crop has ripened, and the company has once again picked a basket of new and updated hardware for us. At its Far Out event on September 7th, Apple unveiled four iPhone 14 models, three new or updated Apple Watch models, and the second-generation AirPods Pro. After the announcement, Apple said that iOS 16 and watchOS 9 would become available on September 12th, with iPadOS 16.1 and macOS 13 Ventura to arrive in October. As we’ve said before, wait a week or two before installing iOS 16 and watchOS...

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Use Your iPhone to Identify Plants, Wildlife, and Birds with Seek and Merlin

Now and then, we run across iPhone apps that feel magical, and we want to share two of them: Seek and Merlin. They both use machine learning to help you identify something from the natural world using your iPhone. If you’re at all curious about the plants, wildlife, and birds you encounter outside, you’ll want to download these free apps.​ Seek from iNaturalist You’re out for a walk and see a particularly pretty flower or a tree with an unusual leaf shape. In the past, you’d probably wonder what it...

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How to Restore Missing SMS Two-Factor Authentication Codes

Many websites, from Adobe to Zendesk, let you receive two-factor authentication codes via SMS text messages. That’s good—any form of two-factor authentication is better than none—but you’re often effectively locked out of your accounts if those text messages don’t arrive. A simple fix is to call your cellular carrier and ask to have any blocks removed from your account. Automated scam and fraud prevention systems may have installed those blocks—it wasn’t necessarily related to anything you did—and the carrier can remove them easily.

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Read This Article Before Transferring Your Data to a New iPhone

Are you among the millions of people planning to get a new iPhone 14? It’s exciting, we know, but don’t move too fast when getting started with your new iPhone, or you might cause yourself headaches. Instead, follow these instructions once you’re ready to transfer your data to the new iPhone: Make sure you know your Apple ID and password! You will likely have to enter them at least once during this process. If you have an Apple Watch, it’s safest to unpair it from your old iPhone, which automatically...

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Whats That Little Orange Dot by Control Center in macOS 12 Monterey

Have you noticed a little orange dot next to the icon for Control Center on the menu bar in macOS 12 Monterey? (And if not, you can’t miss it now.) Apple added that dot to alert you that something is using the Mac’s microphone to listen to the room. Click the Control Center icon to see which apps are using the mic. In nearly all situations, it will be entirely innocuous: Siri needs to listen for the “Hey, Siri” trigger, as in the screenshot below, and the Zoom app needs...

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Go Beyond Get Info with the Finders Inspector Window

You probably know that selecting a file in the Finder and choosing File Get Info (Command-I) brings up the Get Info window. This window provides information about the file, including its name, kind, size, creation and modification dates, and much more. You can also use Get Info to hide or show filename extensions, lock and unlock files, and change permissions. But what if you want to do those things to multiple files or figure out how large a set of files is? Turn to the Finder’s Inspector window instead. Select...

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What Should I Do If I Get an 'AirTag Found Moving With You' Message?

First, don’t panic. Most likely, you’re borrowing something with an Apple AirTag location tracker attached to it, or someone left something with an attached AirTag in your car. Second, tap the alert to open the Find My app, which displays a map showing where the AirTag has been with you, which might shed some light on where it started traveling with you. Third, in the Find My app, tap Play Sound to try to locate the AirTag by its audible alert. Fourth, if you find the AirTag, hold it near...

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Follow These Steps before Bringing Your Mac in for Repair

It has finally happened. Keys on your MacBook Pro aren’t responding, there’s a crack on the screen, or the battery no longer holds enough of a charge to make it useful. A repair is in your future, which entails bringing the Mac to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider or shipping it back to Apple. Regardless of what repair approach you take, there are some steps that we—and Apple—highly recommend that you follow first. Why? Three reasons: You need to protect yourself from data loss. The Mac could...

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15 Ways to Solve Call Failures on Your iPhone

Sure, we know that phone calls aren’t the most common thing people do on their iPhones—especially anyone under 30—but it’s still important to be able to make and take calls. There are a wide variety of reasons that outgoing or incoming calls might fail, so the solutions vary equally as widely. Some may seem a little scattershot, but most are easy to try and set back if they don’t help. Try another location: This can’t come as news, but sometimes you’re in a bad spot for cellular coverage. Move to...

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iCloud, Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange - Choosing a Personal Calendar Service

We Mac, iPhone, and iPad users have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to calendaring flexibility. Apple provides free calendar services via iCloud, and the Calendar app lets you add calendar accounts from a wide variety of providers. Most notable among them are Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar, which are commonly used in the business world. Since you can add multiple calendar accounts to the Calendar app, there’s no problem bringing your entire scheduling life together, even if your work uses Exchange and your kid’s school uses Google. But...

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Choosing the Best Mac for a College-Bound Student in 2022

Do you have a child starting college soon? It’s likely that your kid has been relying heavily on a computer throughout high school, but if it was a school-provided laptop or shared family computer, now’s the time to get them something of their own. And even if they had their own laptop throughout high school, if it’s old or unreliable, college is a good excuse to bring them up to date. If you haven’t been paying close attention to Apple’s Mac lineup, you might wonder which model makes the most...

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Get Some Color (On Your Mac) This Summer with the Color Picker

If you’re over 40, you probably remember the point in The Wizard of Oz where the movie switches from black-and-white to Technicolor (and if not, go see it!). It wasn’t the first color film, but the vibrant images of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the yellow brick road, and the Emerald City helped make the movie a classic. On the Mac, whenever you want to fill a drawing with color, colorize some text, or format spreadsheet cells in color, you need to use the Colors window, commonly called the color picker. Like...

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Manage Email Faster in Mail by Swiping

We all get too much email, and while Mail can’t help you get less (other than by making it easy to unsubscribe from mailing lists), it does provide shortcuts for processing your mail more quickly. Regardless of whether you’re using iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, you can swipe on messages in the message list to perform various actions—some of which you can customize. It’s an efficient way to work through email quickly.​ Swiping on the iPhone and iPad In iOS and iPadOS, when you swipe a short distance right on an...

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Find Apple Watch Apps Faster in List View

Every so often, we encounter someone struggling to find and launch an app on their Apple Watch because they have trouble seeing and interacting with the icon-centric grid view layout. If you’re in that camp, there’s a better way. In the iPhone’s Watch app, tap My Watch at the bottom, and then tap App View. Then select List View, which provides an alphabetically sorted, scrolling list of all your apps. From then on, it’s easy to press the Digital Crown to show the apps, turn it to scroll, and tap...

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Not Getting Full 5G When You Should? Try a New SIM Card

If you’ve been moving your SIM card from phone to phone over the years, you might inadvertently be preventing your current phone from taking full advantage of 5G connectivity. Cellular carriers aren’t always forthcoming about what will and will not work, but at least in the US, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all make noises about how you need a 5G-capable SIM card to use the latest and greatest 5G technologies. The solution is simple: stop by a carrier’s store or contact them to ask for a new SIM. It should...

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Ease Vacation Navigation with Favorite Addresses in Maps

Imagine you’re on vacation, staying at an Airbnb and collecting tourist points in the surrounding area throughout the day. Since you’ll be heading back to your Airbnb regularly but may not remember its address reliably, it’s best to make it a favorite in Maps before you even leave home. That way, you can navigate to it easily without searching repeatedly or looking for it in your Recents list. Similarly, take a few minutes to add other addresses that you know you’ll need, such as the rental car dropoff spot. In...

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Picking Group Meeting Times Is Easy with Crab Fit

Various calendar services let you schedule a meeting based on invited attendees picking preferred times from a set of specified options—Doodle is the most well-known. But the problem with such services is that you have to know which dates and times are likely to work for the people you’re polling. If you want to set up an hour-long meeting sometime in the next week but have no idea what might work for others, you’ll spend an excessive amount of time specifying all the possible options. A free—if oddly named—Internet service...

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Do You Keep Losing Your Pointer on a Large Screen? Try This Tip for Finding It

A large screen—or several screens!—increases productivity by helping you see more content at once. It’s a big help to refer to a Web page in one window while writing in another, for instance, or to check your calendar while composing an email. But the more screen real estate you have, the easier it is to lose track of the tiny pointer arrow. Happily, Apple added a clever trick for finding the pointer to macOS—quickly slide your finger or shake your mouse back and forth horizontally a few times to enlarge...

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The Hardware You'll Need to Run Apple's 2022 Operating Systems

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, the company threw back the curtains on macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9. These operating systems won’t be available until September or October of 2022, and we usually recommend waiting some time to upgrade—particularly for macOS. Even so, it’s not too early to think about how these operating systems might impact your plans to buy new hardware in the next six months. Any Apple device you buy now—or have bought in the last few years—will be able to run...

tips Press Releases

Grove Technologies Ranked Among Elite Managed Service Providers on Channel Futures NextGen List

Grove Technologies has been named as one of the world’s premier managed service providers on the prestigious Channel Futures 2022 NextGen 101 rankings. The NextGen 101 list honors industry-leading managed service and technology providers who are driving a new wave of growth and innovation for the tech channel via the groundbreaking solutions they deliver for their customers. The Channel Futures NextGen 101 are those companies that hold great promise given the leading-edge information technology and communication solutions they offer. Many of those business models revolve around generating recurring revenue from...

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Copy and Paste between Your Apple Devices with Universal Clipboard

Everyone is accustomed to using the Copy and Paste commands on the Mac, but fewer people know that you can also copy and paste between your Mac and your iPhone and iPad. Apple calls this feature Universal Clipboard, and it’s so deeply integrated into macOS, iOS, and iPadOS that it can be easy to miss. You won’t find a switch for Universal Clipboard or any other mention of it in System Preferences or Settings. To use Universal Clipboard, all you have to do is copy some content—a bit of text,...

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How to Recover from Overzealous Auto-Correct Curly Quotes

Most of the time, it’s appropriate when an auto-correct feature turns single and double hash marks into single and double curly quotes. However, there are times when the curly quotes are awkward for some reason or actively wrong. For instance, hash marks indicate feet and inches, as in 5' 6". You could attempt to disable the auto-correct feature or copy and paste a hash mark from some other place, but the simple fix is to type the hash mark, watch auto-correct change it, and immediately press Command-Z to revert to...

tips Press Releases

Interlaced.io Announces Acquisition of Grove Technologies

Interlaced.io Announces Acquisition of Grove Technologies Leading IT Managed Services Provider Adds Innovative, DC IT Group to Business June 22, 2022 Washington, DC – Interlaced.io, a leading managed IT services provider, announced today the acquisition of Grove Technologies, a high-performing IT Service Provider based in the DC Metro Area. Founded by Jon Brown in 2014, Grove has grown to be a staple name in providing services to Apple-integrated and cybersecurity-focused small businesses. “Partnering with Jon Brown and the Grove Technologies Team will improve our ability to bring Interlaced’s world-class IT...

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Take Advantage of CarPlay in Rental Cars While Traveling

Renting a car has become more interesting in recent years due to changes automakers have been making to car electronics. For example, Apple’s CarPlay is becoming a common feature on rental cars. That lets you run Apple Maps or Google Maps on your iPhone while displaying the map on the car’s built-in screen and routing spoken directions through the car’s speakers. It’s way better than trying to prop your iPhone on the dash for navigation directions. Although there are no guarantees, rental cars are usually recent models, so it’s likely...

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The Best Characters to Use When Naming Files and Folders

ack in the early 1980s, DOS filenames couldn’t be more than 8 characters long with a period and a 3-character extension. That was limiting, so when Apple developed the Mac operating system in 1984, it allowed longer names and eliminated the need for an extension, although Mac OS X’s Unix roots meant a return of the filename extension in 2001. Since then, filename restrictions have loosened to the point where it’s easy to think that they no longer exist. If only that were true! In some ways, the situation has...

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Use the iPhone Cameras Zoom to Avoid Glare, Reflections, and Shadow

Increasingly need to take photos of documents—vaccination cards, driver licenses, passports, etc.—to submit for online verification. That’s often easier said than done, especially when taking a photo at night under lights that obscure the text with glare and shadows. Similarly, when photographing a screen to document a problem for tech support, it’s often difficult to capture it without a problematic reflection. For a possible solution, back up from the thing you’re photographing and use your iPhone’s zoom feature to enlarge the document or screen. The extra distance often lets you...

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Where to Find Lyrics in Apples Music Apps

It’s often tough to figure out exactly what a singer is saying (which can lead to some amusing mistakes), but for many songs in Apple Music, you can bring up full lyrics in the Music app, regardless of which device you’re using. On the Mac, click the speech balloon button in the upper-right corner to display the lyrics pane on the right side of the window. On an iPhone, tap the playback controls at the bottom of the screen to bring up the Now Playing view, then tap the speech...

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Apple Previews All New M2 Based MacBook Air and Updated 13 Inch MacBook Pro

uring its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on June 6th, Apple took a brief break from showing off new features in upcoming operating systems to throw back the curtains on its new M2 chip and a pair of laptops that use it: an all-new MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple said that both laptops will be available in July. Next Generation M2 Chip Boosts Performance, Offers More Memory Although we’re still wrapping our heads around the insane performance offered by a Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra chip,...

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Easily Share Wi-Fi Passwords with Other People and Devices

You’re on vacation with your family, staying in an Airbnb, with multiple Apple devices to connect to the apartment’s Wi-Fi. Typing the password repeatedly would be a pain, but happily, Apple has added a password-sharing feature to all its operating systems. Once you enter the password on your iPhone, whenever someone else—or another of your devices—tries to connect to the Wi-Fi network, your iPhone will prompt you to share the password. Tap Share Password and then Done. It’s also a great way to share your home Wi-Fi password with a...

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Features to Look Forward to in Apples macOS Ventura Operating System

It’s that time of year again. Apple CEO Tim Cook and numerous Apple employees took the virtual stage again at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on June 6th to share what we can expect to see later this year in macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9. (Almost no mention was made of tvOS or the HomePod, but Apple will undoubtedly move them forward in small ways as well.) The announcements came thick and fast, and like last year, many of the technologies cut across several...

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Business Uses of the Apple TV

Many people have an Apple TV in the living room, hooked to a large-screen TV. It’s a great streaming media box for Apple TV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and a slew of other services. It even supports a bunch of games. Don’t let the Apple TV’s consumer focus fool you, though. It’s also a highly useful device for businesses in two important ways: digital signage and presentation display.​ Apple TV for Digital Signage For businesses that need to post signs, it’s easy to print something out and stick it on...

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Block Malicious and Adult Web Sites with DNS Filtering

One of the best ways to keep malware from infecting your computers is to avoid visiting websites designed to do just that. No one intentionally visits loadmetogetinfected.com, but malware authors employ all sorts of tricks to lure unsuspecting users into viewing malicious sites. Various tools can help, but the easiest free technique is called DNS filtering. DNS, which is short for Domain Name System, is the Internet technology that maps human-readable computer names like www.apple.com to the numeric IP address of Apple’s server, 17.254.0.91. Every time you click a link...

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Apple Discontinues macOS Server-Start Your Migration Plans

In a move that should surprise no one, Apple has discontinued macOS Server, which started out as a server-focused version of Mac OS X and eventually morphed into a set of add-on network servers for macOS. Exactly what was in macOS Server varied over time, but in 2018, Apple trimmed it to just Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan. That was made possible in part because Apple integrated Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server into every installation of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later. If you’re still...

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Copy and Paste Like a Pro with a Clipboard Utility

or our money, perhaps the most unheralded innovation of the computer age is Copy and Paste. No one thinks about the clipboard—that virtual shelf where copied text and images sit—because it just works. We all use Command-C to copy something and Command-V to paste it without having to retype the text, reimport the graphic, or whatever. Copy and Paste is a huge timesaver because it lets you reuse or build on work already done. What if you could make Copy and Paste even more powerful? With the right clipboard utility...

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Don't Miss the List Views in the iPhone's Calendar App

The iPhone’s Calendar app defaults to graphical views for Day, Week (rotate to landscape), Month, and Year, but only the Day view shows information about your actual events, and even then, it’s easy to miss events that are outside the times that fit onscreen. If you find those views frustrating, you may have missed the all-important list view options. In Month view, tap the List button ➊ to split the screen, showing the calendar above and a list of events for the selected day below. In Day view, tap the...

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iOS 15 Brings Back the Text Magnifier, but Trackpad Mode Is Easier

Prior to iOS 13, when you were editing text on an iPhone or iPad, Apple provided a magnifying glass that showed the position of the insertion point. It worked, but was clumsier than just moving the insertion point directly, which is what Apple enabled in iOS 13 and iOS 14. The only problem? Your finger usually obscures the text you want to edit. In iOS 15, Apple brought back the text magnification bubble to show you where the insertion point is in the text under your finger. If you’ve missed...

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Did You Know That You Can Run iPhone and iPad Apps on an M1-based Mac

Much has been written about the performance benefits of Apple’s M1 family of chips, but you may not have realized that M1-based Macs can also run many iPhone and iPad apps. It makes sense, given that the M1 chip grew out of the work Apple did for the A-series processors in the iPhone and iPad, and the latest iPad Pro models also rely on the M1.​ Why Run iOS Apps? Depending on how you use your iPhone and iPad, you’re thinking either, “Hey, this is great, because I want to...

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Put Files in the Macs Trash Using the Keyboard

You know that you can drag files or folders to the Trash icon in the Dock for later deletion. And you probably know that you can select multiple items on the Desktop or in a Finder window by Command-clicking each one in turn (Shift-click to select a sequential range of items in a list view), after which you can drag them all to the Trash. But there’s no reason to expend effort mousing if you prefer to keep your hands on the keyboard—just press Command-Delete to send one or more...

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Understanding What Vintage and Obsolete Mean for Apple Products

Macs—and Apple products in general—tend to last a long time. It’s not unusual to see someone happily using an 8-year-old MacBook Pro. As much as it’s environmentally responsible to use electronics as long as possible, doing so may reduce your productivity or leave your business in a precarious situation if a hardware failure forces an upgrade at an inconvenient time. Another factor to consider is whether or not you can get service and parts for your older device. It’s easy to assume that Apple will fix whatever you bring in,...

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Use Face ID While Wearing a Mask in latest version of iOS

Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple made it so your Apple Watch could unlock your Face ID-enabled iPhone when you were wearing a mask. Starting in iOS 15.4, the company has taken the next step and enabled Face ID on the iPhone 12 and later to work even when you’re wearing a mask. If you didn’t already set up Face ID with a mask after updating to iOS 15.4, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enable Face ID with a Mask. You’ll have to...

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Universal Control Arrives in macOS Monterey and latest version of iPadOS

With the recent release of macOS 12.3 Monterey and iPadOS 15.4, Apple shipped Universal Control, the last major technology promised in its 2021 operating system upgrades. Universal Control enables you to use the keyboard and mouse or trackpad attached to one Mac to control up to three other Macs or iPads—you can even copy and paste or drag items between devices. It’s a great way to make more of your Apple devices while staying on task—no longer do you need to stop using your Mac to accomplish something on your...

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Three Tricks for Dealing with Duplicated Contacts

In today’s world, there’s no reason to remember our contacts’ phone numbers or email addresses—that’s a job for our Macs, iPhones, and iPads. This sort of data is so core to using digital devices that Apple has long provided an ecosystem-wide solution in the form of Contacts and syncing through iCloud. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to end up with multiple cards for the same person in Contacts, either precise duplicates or versions that contain different details. Further muddying the situation, many of us have multiple contact accounts—such as from...

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Reduce iPhone and iPad Data Usage with Low Data Mode

Do you need to be careful about how much data you use with your iPhone or iPad, either via cellular or Wi-Fi? That could be true for those with Internet data caps, people using an international plan while traveling, and anyone in an area with slow data speeds. To reduce your data usage, turn on Low Data Mode, which you can do separately for cellular and Wi-Fi. For cellular, look in Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options, where you can either enable Low Data Mode for LTE/4G or take...

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Increase Business Cybersecurity Awareness in Light of Russian Invasion of Ukraine

For several decades, Russia has targeted a wide variety of cyberattacks at countries with which it has had disputes. That includes the United States and other Western nations, which have recently levied unprecedented sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine. President Biden has warned that “Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States” in response, encouraging the private sector to increase the protection of systems and networks. This isn’t theoretical—the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency lists numerous such attacks in the last five years. It’s tempting to...

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Hidden Tricks for Navigating the Mac's App Switcher More Quickly

Although the Mac’s Dock shows all your running apps, it’s often not the most efficient way to switch among them. Instead, turn to the App Switcher. You may know that pressing Command-Tab switches to the last-used app, making it easy to flip back and forth between two apps. However, if you press Command-Tab and continue to hold the Command key down, the App Switcher itself appears, with icons for all running apps. When you let up on the Command key, the App Switcher disappears, and you’ll switch to the selected...

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How Much Memory Do You Need in an M1-Based Mac

If you’re thinking about buying a new Mac, you’re almost certainly planning to get one that uses a chip from Apple’s M1 family—the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra. Only the Mac Pro and one Mac mini configuration still rely on Intel CPUs, and they will likely be discontinued before the end of 2022. That’s not a bad thing—the M1 chips offer astonishing performance combined with low power consumption. But the move from Intel chips to Apple silicon has changed the game when it comes to one decision:...

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Export Passwords from Safari to Ease the Move to a Password Manager

Although Apple has improved the built-in password management features in macOS and iOS (you can now add notes to password entries!), third-party password managers like 1Password and LastPass are still more capable. For those still getting started using a password manager, another new capability will ease the transition: Safari password export. To export a CSV file of your Safari passwords, choose Safari > Preferences > Passwords, and enter your password when prompted. From the bottom of the left-hand sidebar, click the ••• button, choose Export All Passwords, and save the...

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How to Use Change Tracking Effectively When Collaborating on Documents

Long gone are the days of printing a document, marking it up with a red pencil, and sending it back to the author to input the changes. In the modern world, we use comments and change tracking to collaborate in word processors like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Apple’s Pages, and Nisus Writer Pro. The specifics vary a little by app, but in essence, once you turn on change tracking, every change you make becomes visible to others working on the document, and they can accept or reject the change. Changes...

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Extend Your Battery Life in macOS 12 Monterey with Low Power Mode

We’ve become accustomed to our iPhones and iPads switching into Low Power Mode to preserve battery life, and you can enable it manually if you want to reduce power usage for a day. New in macOS 12 Monterey for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a similar feature, though you must enable it manually. Open System Preferences > Battery, click Battery in the sidebar, and select Low Power Mode. It reduces the screen brightness automatically and may decrease CPU performance. Make sure to turn it off once you don’t...

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Make Joining Your Wi-Fi Network as Easy as Scanning a QR Code

Whether you have guests who want to get on your home Wi-Fi network, customers who need to join your business network, or attendees who want to use your conference network, it’s always fussy to share the network name and password. If an iPhone user has your Apple ID email address in Contacts, their device should automatically prompt you to share your Wi-Fi password, but that won’t work in many situations. Here’s another option: a QR (Quick Response, if you’re curious) code that, once scanned, lets the person join your network...

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Delete or Position iOS Apps from Search

In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple added a feature that would have been even more welcome before the advent of the App Library: the capability to manage apps from Search. But it’s still handy as a way to delete or position an app you can’t find on a Home screen page. Swipe down from the middle of the Home screen to enter Search, after which you can work with any app you see in Siri Suggestions or find with a search ➊. Touch and hold an app to display...

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Please Dispose of Old Electronics Responsibly - Not in the Trash or Standard Recycling

We all have old electronics squirreled away in our drawers and closets. It’s hard to admit that a computer, phone, or peripheral that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars years ago has little or no value. That’s doubly true if it doesn’t work anymore. Once you’ve decided to get rid of that PowerBook 520 from the 1990s or your first digital camera from 2004, resist the urge to toss it in the trash. In some places, it’s illegal to throw out electronics because they tend to contain heavy metals...

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Can't Rotate the Screen on an iPad or iPhone? Fix the Problem in Control Center

Normally, when you rotate an iPad, the screen happily flips from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) orientation as appropriate. Rotating an iPhone has the same effect in some apps, though many are written to work only in one orientation. If you ever end up in a situation where your device’s screen doesn’t rotate when you think it should, the reason is likely that Rotation Lock has been turned on in Control Center. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen (or up from the bottom of the screen on...

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Apple Wows with Mac Studio and Studio Display Updates iPhone SE and iPad Air

At its March 8th Peek Performance event, Apple freshened its iPhone and iPad product lines with a new third-generation iPhone SE and fifth-generation iPad Air, along with new green hues for the iPhone 13 line. Then Apple focused on the big announcements of the day: the entirely new Mac Studio, powered by the insanely fast M1 Ultra chip and accompanied by the stunning 27-inch Studio Display. Mac Studio with M1 Ultra and Studio Display Redefine the Mac Lineup In 2020, Apple started to transition Macs away from Intel processors to...

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Use Reduce Transparency for a Consistently Colored macOS Interface

For years now, Apple has made transparency a part of the macOS interface, which has the effect of blending the menu bar into the background and making menus and some windows take on the background hue, as you can see on the left side of the illustration below. For many people, transparency blurs the interface, making it harder to differentiate interface elements from the wallpaper. It also causes problems for screenshots meant for publication because the images end up with unrepresentative color levels. To prevent that from happening, open System...

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Apple Works to Improve Safety in the Wake of AirTag Stalking Reports

Over the past few months, there has been a spate of media reports about how people may have been tracked without their knowledge using AirTags, Apple’s elegant location trackers. Like many mainstream media forays into the tech world, the reports are often short on detail and sometimes unclear on the reality of how the AirTags work. Nor is it clear that there have been many successful cases of AirTag abuse, but the mere fact that people are trying to use AirTags to stalk others is concerning. Apple put significant effort...

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Where to Check macOS, iOS-iPadOS, and iCloud Storage Status

There’s little more frustrating than running out of space, which always seems to happen at just the wrong time. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to check any time, before it becomes a problem. On the Mac, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu and click Storage. On an iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage. For iCloud, you can look in either System Preferences > Apple ID on the Mac or in Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage on an iPhone or...

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The Hidden Controls in the iPhone's Camera App

The beauty of the iPhone camera is that it combines the ease of use of a point-and-shoot camera with the image quality of a DSLR. To take a picture, you simply open the Camera app, frame your shot, and tap the shutter button. Simple, but what’s happening behind the scenes is anything but. The iPhone captures multiple images at once, concentrating on variables such as exposure, focus, tone, highlights, shadows, and more. It then merges all that data to produce what it thinks is the best possible image. Impressively, all...

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iOS 15 Allows Rearranging and Deletion of Home Screen Pages

Back in iOS 14, Apple added the App Library, which collects all the apps on your iPhone. With everything available in the App Library, iOS 14 was also able to provide the option of hiding Home screen pages, a boon for those of us with too many disorganized pages. In iOS 15, Apple has taken the next step. You can still hide Home screen pages, but if you never want to see them again, you can delete them (apps remain in the App Library). Or, if they’re not in the...

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You Can Now Upgrade to macOS 12 Monterey When You're Ready

When it comes to upgrading to a new version of macOS, we err on the side of caution, at least in our recommendations. (We often install even beta releases on secondary machines for testing purposes.) Upgrading is easy, but if you upgrade too soon, the new version of macOS could render favorite apps inoperable, create workflow interruptions, and have other negative consequences. On the other hand, waiting too long can cause problems—it’s important so you can stay in sight of the cutting edge for security reasons and take advantage of...

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In iOS 15, You Can Now Open an App from the Lock Screen

Most of the time, when you unlock your iPhone or iPad, you want to launch an app. In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, you no longer have to unlock the device, find the app on a Home screen page, and tap it. Instead, you can open an app directly from the Lock screen, assuming Settings > Face/Touch ID & Passcode > Today View and Search is turned on. Just swipe down from the middle of the Lock screen ➊ to access the Search screen, which lists apps from Siri Suggestions...

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Looking for a New Email Provider? Try These Services

If you’re completely happy with your email provider, move on, there’s nothing to see here. But if you’re unhappy with your provider’s reliability, spam filtering, or stability as a business, or if you’re tired of having a 1990s-style address from aol.com or hotmail.com, you can switch. There are innumerable email providers, and many are undoubtedly good at what they do. But we’ve seen these services performing the best over the years. We’ll start with recommendations for business and then look at options for individuals.​ Business Accounts For a business, email...

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Does Your Magic Mouse Need More Juice? Here's How to Check

It’s unfortunate that the most recent iteration of the Magic Mouse has its Lightning charging port on the bottom, making it impossible to use while charging, unlike the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, which work fine when plugged in. To check if your Magic Mouse needs charging before it starts to nag (and starts acting a little funky), look in one of these spots. If your menu bar is displaying the Bluetooth icon, click it, and the charge level should show up. Or click the Control Center icon on the...

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If Your Internet Connection Is Slow, Research These Three Numbers

As pandemic-related restrictions ebb and flow, many people continue to work from home at least some of the time. A key requirement for successful remote work is a fast, solid Internet connection. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for Internet connections to degrade over time as cables endure a variety of insults ranging from water seeping into connectors to squirrels gnawing through insulation. You might be surprised at how variable such problems can be—we once saw an Internet connection that dropped out infrequently; it turned out that squirrels had damaged just...

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Set Custom Text Sizes on a Per-App Basis in iOS 15

In previous versions of iOS, you could change the systemwide text size to make all apps—at least those that support Dynamic Type—display text at larger or smaller sizes. (Most people who use this feature want the text larger so it’s easier to read with aging eyes.) In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, however, Apple lets you adjust the text size on a per-app basis, so you can increase it only for those apps where it really makes a difference for you. First, make sure Text Size is showing in Control...

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Plan for the Future by Establishing a Legacy Contact

Have you heard the expression “hit by a bus”? It’s a somewhat macabre attempt to inject a little levity into planning for the unthinkable event of dying without warning. No one expects to be hit by a bus, but people do die unexpectedly in all sorts of ways. That’s terrible, of course, but it’s also incredibly hard on that person’s family, who suddenly must deal with an overwhelming number of details. Many of those details revolve around the deceased’s digital life—devices, accounts, passwords, subscriptions, and more. We strongly encourage everyone,...

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Perturbed by the Price of Adobe Creative Cloud - Consider the Affinity Suite

Few would disagree that the most popular image editing software in the world is Adobe Photoshop, the top illustration app is Adobe Illustrator, and the preeminent page layout package is Adobe InDesign. Many design and publishing professionals spend their lives in one or more of these apps. There’s one problem: cost. Adobe provides access to them only via Creative Cloud subscriptions, where each app costs $21 per month, making it hard to pass up the $53-per-month All Apps bundle that includes all three plus Premiere Pro, Acrobat Pro, and more....

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Giving Away a Mac Running macOS 12 Monterey? Try Erase All Content and Settings

Before macOS 12 Monterey, if you wanted to sell, trade in, or give away your Mac, you had to boot into Recovery, erase the internal drive with Disk Utility, and reinstall macOS to ensure that the new owner would get a fresh start and couldn’t see any of your data. In Monterey, Apple has made the process much easier for newer Macs that use Apple silicon or that are Intel-based with a T2 security chip. Open System Preferences, and from the System Preferences menu (yes, it has menus), choose Erase...

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Did You Know That Siri on a HomePod Can Control Alarms on Other Devices?

Siri has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, and we’ve just discovered a new one. Let’s say you set iPhone alarms to wake up and remind you to take medication throughout the day. However, if you don’t have your iPhone handy when those alarms go off, it can be annoying (for both you and others) to find your phone and stop or snooze the alarm. If you have a HomePod, it turns out that you (or someone else) can say, “Hey Siri, snooze the alarm” or “Hey Siri, stop the...

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How to Stop Forgetting Your Apple Gear with Notify When Left Behind

Apple’s Find My technology is a lifesaver when it works, enabling you to locate and potentially retrieve lost or stolen devices. It’s not perfect, even with the addition of the Find My Network, which drafts other nearby Apple devices to relay the location of a lost device, but it’s a heck of a lot better than nothing. Part of the problem is that you have to notice that a device is missing before you can bring Find My into play to see where it might be. No longer, thanks to...

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Change Your Pointer Color in macOS 12 Monterey

Some people find it hard to find the mouse pointer at times, particularly on a large screen or when working in Dark Mode or in apps with dark interfaces. You’ve long been able to increase the size of the pointer generally and also zoom it temporarily by shaking it, but in macOS 12 Monterey, Apple now lets you change the color of the pointer. That could be a boon to those who have trouble seeing it otherwise. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Pointer, click the Pointer...

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Badges We Don't Need No Stinkin - Red Badges (On Our iPhone Apps)

Quick quiz: what does a red number badge on the Phone icon on your iPhone mean? You’d be right if you said that it indicates the number of missed calls or voicemail messages. The Mail and Messages apps also use a red badge to display the number of unread messages; Settings uses one to indicate that software updates are available; and Reminders shows a badge for the number of tasks due today. Third-party apps also use red badges to indicate that some number of somethings await you inside. You’ll also...

2021

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Shrink Apps to Prevent the MacBook Pro Notch from Obscuring App Controls

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models feature a camera housing built into the screen, resulting in a notch like that on the iPhone. Most developers are updating their apps to ensure that no controls or menu bar items appear blocked or hidden by the notch, but if you use an older app that doesn’t play nicely with the notch, there’s a fix. Quit the app if it’s running, select it in the Finder’s Applications folder, and choose File > Get Info. In the Info window that opens, select...

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Should You Use Apples New Password Manager in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Monterey

We continually recommend that every Apple user rely on a password manager like 1Password or LastPass for creating, managing, and entering passwords securely. What we haven’t encouraged as heavily is relying on Apple’s built-in password management features. Although they’re free, they’ve been too basic and hard to use over the years, relying largely on an ancient utility called Keychain Access. However, with the release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has at long last created a coherent platform-wide interface—the bluntly named Passwords—for viewing, editing, and deleting...

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Print Mailing Labels for Your Holiday Cards with Apples Contacts App

If mailing your holiday cards (which you designed in Photos with a plug-in like Motif or Mimeo Photos, right?) is made harder by having to write addresses on envelopes, you can skip the handwriting step this year. Although many people don’t realize this, it’s easy to print mailing labels on standard label stock using the Contacts app on the Mac. You can even add a personal touch by including a graphic and using a custom color and font choice. Follow these steps: In Contacts, choose File > New Group to...

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Pay Attention to the iPhones Emergency SOS Auto Call Feature

Did you know that pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons on an iPhone 8 or later brings up a screen that lets you power your iPhone off, show your medical ID, and invoke Emergency SOS? (On earlier iPhones, press the side or top button five times.) Slide Emergency SOS, and your iPhone will immediately call emergency services, which could be lifesaving in a real emergency. Even without touching​​ that slider, if you continue to hold the side button and volume button, after a 5-second...

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Keep the Menu Bar Showing in Full Screen in macOS 12 Monterey

Do you like using full-screen mode on your new M1-based MacBook Pro but hate having the menu bar disappear unless you move the pointer to the top of the screen? Happily, in macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has at long last added a setting to keep the menu bar visible at all times. Open System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar and uncheck “Automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen.” The change won’t affect apps currently in full-screen mode until you toggle their window state again or quit...

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FaceTime Gains Cool New Features in Apples Latest Operating Systems

It’s no exaggeration to say that videoconferencing went mainstream during the pandemic. However, Apple’s FaceTime didn’t stack up well against Zoom and others due to its emulation of the telephone call experience, questionable interface decisions, and lack of cross-platform compatibility. However, with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has nearly brought FaceTime into feature parity with Zoom and others and it has even added a few features that break new ground.​ FaceTime Links One of the smallest new features in FaceTime may be the most important. No...

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Avoid Inclement Weather by Enabling Notifications in iOS Weather App

Thanks to Apple’s 2020 acquisition of weather company Dark Sky, the iPhone’s Weather app has learned some new tricks in iOS 15. (It still isn’t available on the iPad, oddly.) Most obvious is its addition of weather maps that can show precipitation, temperature, and air quality. More subtle are the notifications that can alert you to incoming precipitation at your precise location. To turn them on in Weather, tap the location button in the lower-right corner of the screen, tap Turn On Notifications, and agree to the necessary location and...

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Apples Evolution of Do Not Disturb Helps You Focus

Between texts, alarms, reminders, calls, and myriad other notifications on our iPhones, iPads, and Macs, it’s a miracle we get anything done at all. To free us from this onslaught, Apple previously provided Do Not Disturb, which let you set times during which you could be free from interruption. In iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has gone even further. Do Not Disturb is now called Focus, and Apple has made it more powerful and flexible. Focus can turn on automatically at certain times, at particular locations,...

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macOS Safari Reverses Course, Reverts to Old Tab Interface

Safari 15.1 Reverses Course, Reverts to Old Tab Interface With the betas of Safari 15 on the Mac and iPad, Apple experimented with a variety of interface tweaks related to tabs. By the time Safari 15 shipped, however, Apple had pulled back on the more radical changes from the betas, offering the new Compact Tab Bar layout and colorized tab bar as options. Even with the more traditional Separate Tab Bar layout, however, tabs appeared as buttons above your favorites, a switch from earlier versions of Safari. With Safari 15.1...

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Live Text Digitizes Text in Photos in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey

Live Text Digitizes Text in Photos in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey The most magical feature of Apple’s latest crop of operating systems—iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey—may be Live Text. You’re probably familiar with the concept of optical character recognition (OCR), which turns all the text on a scanned page into normal text you can select, copy, and edit. Live Text does exactly that in Photos, Safari, and the Camera app, plus lets you search for text in photos. And it does it in...

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Avoid Unusual Top-Level Domains in Custom Domain Names

Avoid Unusual Top-Level Domains in Custom Domain Names Remember the heady dotcom days, when businesses were desperate to get a short, memorable, easily typed .com domain? It quickly became difficult to get what you wanted—so much so that deep-pocketed companies paid exorbitant sums for just the right domain. Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Domain names are necessary because computers on the Internet are all identified by inscrutable numeric IP addresses. You can remember and type apple.com easily; 184.31.17.21 not so much....

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Apple Provides Temporary iCloud Backup Space for New Device Transfers

Apple Provides Temporary iCloud Backup Space for New Device Transfers When you move from an old iPhone or iPad to a new one, the easiest approach is often the Quick Start device-to-device transfer. But if that doesn’t work, or if you have to give up one device before receiving the other, iCloud Backup is a fine alternative. Fine, that is, if you have enough iCloud storage space, which many people with the free 5 GB plan do not. For devices running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, Apple just introduced the...

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Need to Resize Images in Various Ways? Give Preview a Try

Need to Resize Images in Various Ways? Give Preview a Try Even those of us who don’t work with graphics professionally often find ourselves needing to resize images. Perhaps you have a large square headshot, but the site to which you’re uploading requires it to be exactly 100 by 100 pixels. Or maybe you have an iPhone 13 Pro photo that’s 4032 by 3024, but you need the long side to be 1280 pixels and the short side to be 800 pixels. You might even need to cut out an...

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Use Visual Look Up in Photos in iOS 15 to Identify Plants, Pets, and More

Use Visual Look Up in Photos in iOS 15 to Identify Plants, Pets, and More Have you ever wanted to identify a plant, flower, or pet breed, or find out what that famous painting is called? Us too. In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple added a new AI-driven feature called Visual Look Up that provides more information about photos of plants, flowers, pets, books, artworks, and landmarks. When you’re viewing a photo, swipe up or tap the sparkle-badged info button ➊ to see metadata about the image (camera model,...

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The Best Apple-Related Gifts for 2021

The Best Apple-Related Gifts for 2021 It may seem early to start thinking about the holiday shopping season, but with the global supply chain suffering pandemic-related slowdowns, there’s no telling how long it will take to get something you order today. Apple has generally done a good job of managing its supply chain issues, but even still, if you want to make sure you have an Apple something for that special someone, we recommend buying it soon. Here are our recommendations. AirTag Do you know someone who’s always misplacing their...

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With Apple Watch Faces, Too Much Choice Can Be Confusing

With Apple Watch Faces, Too Much Choice Can Be Confusing The Apple Watch has a lot to offer older people, including heart rate monitoring, atrial fibrillation detection, fall detection, and electrocardiogram recording. But if you are—or are helping someone who is—of the generation where watches once did nothing beyond telling the time, too many options can be overwhelming. Adding to the confusion is how easy it is to create and accidentally swipe between multiple watch faces, making it so the Apple Watch suddenly looks and works completely differently. If that’s...

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iPadOS Multitasking

Apple Radically Improved Multitasking in iPadOS 15. Here’s How to Use It Multitasking has long been a mess on the iPad, not so much because it didn’t work but because it was tough to memorize the secret swipes necessary to put multiple apps into Split View, work with multiple windows in apps that supported them, and hide and show what you wanted in Slide Over. In iPadOS 15, Apple hasn’t changed the underlying multitasking capabilities much, but it has made them far more discoverable with onscreen controls and tips that...

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iPhone 13 Upgrade Quick Start

When Migrating to a New iPhone or iPad, Try Quick Start First You have a new iPhone or iPad—congratulations! When transferring your data to the new device, you have three options: Quick Start, an iCloud backup, or a Mac backup. All will work, but they don’t quite provide the same end result (particularly if you didn’t encrypt your Mac backup). Our advice—backed by this post from Apple expert John Gruber—is to try Quick Start first because it transfers everything directly from your old device to your new one, maintaining app...

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iMessages not delivered

Messages Not Being Delivered to Blue-Bubble Friends? Check Cellular Data Here’s a tricky situation that threw one of our clients for a loop recently. Texts they sent in Messages via iMessage (indicated by blue bubbles) to their son, letting him know they were stopping by weren’t being delivered, making their visits a surprise. But other texts worked fine. The problem, it turned out, was that Cellular Data had somehow gotten turned off in Settings > Cellular. So messages worked fine as long as the iPhone was on Wi-Fi at home,...

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New M1 Pro and M1 Max Chips Power the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros

Last year, Apple started to transition Macs away from Intel processors to its custom M1 system-on-a-chip. The M1’s performance is stellar, but Apple has used it only in low-end models so far: the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and new 24-inch iMac. For professionals looking for more power, Apple unveiled the future of high-end Macs at its October 18th Unleashed event. Two new chips—the M1 Pro and M1 Max—increase performance significantly beyond the M1, and Apple built them into new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models along with...

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Safari 15

New Features to Try (Or Not) in Safari 15 Along with a new version of Safari in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple has released Safari 15 for macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina. Why do this before macOS 12 Monterey ships? Some of the browser’s new capabilities—notably the Tab Groups feature—integrate it more deeply into your Apple device experience by syncing across devices. So, assuming you have Safari 15 on at least some of your devices, what’s new, and is it any good? New Tab Bar Interface...

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Forget Wi-Fi Networks

When It Comes to Wi-Fi Networks, Sometimes It’s Better to Forget It’s easy, particularly when traveling, to end up connecting to a Wi-Fi network that doesn’t provide Internet access, requires credentials you don’t have, or lacks access to the network’s printer. Unfortunately, once your iPhone, iPad, or Mac has connected to such a network, it may reconnect to it later, causing consternation when things don’t work. The solution? Whenever you realize a Wi-Fi network is worthless, forget it. (The network, that is.) On the Mac, open System Preferences > Network...

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434: Interview With Jon Brown CEO of Grove Technologies

Topics: We welcome Jon Brown of Grove Technologies. Jon is a long time VIP supporter of the show. Jon recalls attending a WWE even with the CCP crew, thanks to Joe’s sister. Starting a new business proved to be challenging initially. He talks about his learning curve and experiences building his current business. Jon has a concept like Uber for Tech Support. Grove Technologies is going to offer its internal SaaS based tool for other businesses and industries. There are integrations built for other tools like Addigy, Watchman, Jamf, etc....

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iCloud Plus

What Is iCloud+ and What Can You Do With It? As you upgrade to iOS 15, iPadOS 15 (and macOS 12 Monterey by the end of the year), you’re going to see references to iCloud+. You might even already be an iCloud+ subscriber! That’s because iCloud+ is Apple’s new name for what you get if you pay for additional iCloud storage for yourself and up to five family members, which has been possible for a long time. iCloud+ comes with some new features as well, namely iCloud Private Relay (still...

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Update DND in Focus

After Upgrading to iOS 15, Check Do Not Disturb in Focus Settings In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple expanded the concept of Do Not Disturb to what it calls Focus. You can create a Focus for different types of activities, so only specific people and apps can break through your cone of silence at appropriate times. Focus subsumes the old Do Not Disturb functionality, and your settings may not transfer when you upgrade, leaving you open to being woken at night by a previously silenced notification. To check and...

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Bulging batteries

Beware the Bulging Battery! (And What to Do If Yours Expands) We’ve been seeing a spate of bulging batteries of late, both in Mac laptops and iPhones. A bulging battery is a Very Bad Thing™ and must be dealt with immediately because it could catch fire or even explode. As lithium-ion batteries age, the chemical reactions that produce power no longer complete fully, resulting in the creation of gasses that can cause the battery to swell. Additionally, manufacturing errors or damage to the membranes that separate the internal layers of...

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About That Worrying Message Saying Your Password Has Been Breached?

In iOS 14, Apple added a feature that warns you when one of your website passwords stored in iCloud Keychain has appeared in a data breach. We’ve fielded some questions of late from people worrying if the message is legitimate, and if so, what they should do. What has happened is that online criminals have stolen username and password data from a company, and your credentials were included in that data breach. You should indeed change your password immediately, and it’s fine to let the iPhone suggest a strong password...

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The Plug Is Mightier Than the Puck - Wireless Charging Is Wildly Inefficient

In 2017, Apple added support for Qi wireless charging to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and with the iPhone 12 lineup, it introduced its own MagSafe wireless charging technology. There’s no denying the convenience of wireless charging, but keep in mind that it’s extremely inefficient compared to wired charging. Individually, that may not matter much when you’re charging overnight from a wall-connected charger. But across billions of phones, it’s more problematic. One estimate suggests that wireless charging requires nearly 50% more power than cable. And if you’re charging from...

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Sort Your Lists Differently in Reminders in iOS 14 and Big Sur

For many years, Apple’s Reminders app let you sort your lists, but in just one way that applied to all lists equally. That was a problem if you had a to-do list that you wanted to sort by Due Date and a list of foods in your freezer that you wanted to sort by Creation Date (to see which were older) or Title (for a simple alphabetical sort). Happily, in iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple finally addressed this limitation, letting you sort each list independently. Your choices...

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Losing the Occasional Important Message? Set up a Ham Filter

Although spam remains as much of a scourge as ever, spam filters have improved enough that most people see relatively little spam and lose relatively few legitimate messages (known as “ham”) to spam filters. However, good email messages are still sometimes caught by spam filters. To reduce the chance of missing an important message, consider making a “ham filter.” A ham filter looks for certain words—usually proper nouns—that are likely to appear only in legitimate messages and then marks such messages as Not Spam or moves them out of a...

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Apples 2021 Crop. Four iPhones, Two iPads and an Apple Watch

September is traditionally when new iPhones are ripe for the picking, and this year’s crop is no exception. At its California Streaming event on September 14th, Apple unveiled four iPhone 13 models. Apple also announced the expected Apple Watch Series 7, but entirely unanticipated were an upgrade to the iPad and a redesigned iPad mini. Left to the fine print in Apple’s press releases was the fact that iOS 15, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 8 will become available for download on September 20th. As we’ve said before, you should wait...

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When Should You Upgrade to macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15?

September is here, which means that Apple will soon start releasing major upgrades for all its operating systems. Apple previewed these releases at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and many people have been testing the public betas since. Once Apple judges macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 to be ready for prime time, the question arises—when should you install them? (Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying a major operating system upgrade until Apple has sanded off...

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Solve Networking Puzzles with Powerline Networking and MoCA

For most homes and offices, a standard or mesh Wi-Fi network works fine for providing Internet access throughout the building. And when higher throughput is necessary, it’s usually not that difficult to pull Ethernet cable from room to room. But some buildings seem almost impervious to networking—imagine thick brick walls that both block Wi-Fi signals and make it nearly impossible to pull wire from one room to another. It may not be the entire building—you may just have trouble extending a network into a remote attic or basement room, or...

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Need to Share Files Securely? Try Password-Protected ZIP Archives

Imagine you’re staring at a file or folder—perhaps confidential employee information that you need to send to your accountant. If attaching it to an email message makes you think, “That doesn’t seem like a good idea,” award yourself a gold star! Sending sensitive files via email is a bad idea, partly because the email could be intercepted in transit (possible but highly unlikely), but more because the files then live in both your and your recipient’s email accounts in an unprotected form. If an attacker were to gain access to...

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Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding Apple's Expanded Protections for Children

Apple’s recent announcement that it would soon be releasing two new technologies aimed at protecting children has generated a firestorm of media coverage and questions from customers. Unfortunately, much of the media coverage has been based on misconceptions about how the technology works, abetted by uncharacteristically bungled communications from Apple. It’s not inconceivable that Apple will modify or even drop these technologies in the official release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, but in the meantime, we can provide answers to the common questions we’ve been hearing.​...

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Ever Have Trouble Printing- Try a Different Printer Driver

Some clients have reported problems with HP laser printers failing to print. Sometimes there’s an error. Other times, the print job just disappears into the ether. It’s unclear why this is happening or how widespread it is, but here’s a workaround that can help. Create a new printer configuration by clicking the + button in System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and selecting your printer in the list. Then, from the Use pop-up menu, choose something other than the default Secure AirPrint driver. We’ve had the most luck with Generic...

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Filter What's Showing in Photos to Focus on Specific Types

You know you can make albums and smart albums in Photos, and do searches to find photos that contain particular objects. But what if you want to separate photos from videos, identify which images in an album have been edited, or pick out just the ones you’ve favorited? For that, use Photos’ filters. On the Mac (below left), click the Showing menu in the upper-right corner, and in iOS and iPadOS (iPhone screens below right), tap the ••• button in the upper-right corner and tap Filter. Either way, you can...

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How to Take the Annoyance Out of Your Key Passwords and Passcodes

We constantly say, “Use a password manager!” for good reason. Password managers make it easy to generate, store, and enter strong passwords. You don’t have to decide whether or not your password is strong or weak, remember it, and type it accurately every time you log in to a website. Seriously, just get 1Password or LastPass, or you could use Apple’s iCloud Keychain. But what about those passwords you have to enter regularly, like your Mac’s login password, your Apple ID password, and the master password for your password manager?...

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Nightstand Mode Makes Your Apple Watch a Helpful Bedroom Companion

Most Apple Watch users charge their watch every night, putting it on a charger as part of a bedtime routine. If that’s you, make sure you’re not missing one of the Apple Watch’s best features: nightstand mode. When you enable it in the iPhone’s Watch app, in General > Nightstand Mode, a charging Apple Watch displays the charging status, current time and date (in a large, easily readable font), and the time of any alarm you’ve set. It uses a green color that won’t shock your eyes in the middle...

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Picking the Best Mac for a College-Bound Student

Do you have a child heading off to college soon? As you’re undoubtedly aware from high school, a computer is essential for a college student. If you haven’t been paying close attention to Apple’s Mac lineup, you might wonder which model makes the most sense. First, don’t buy anything without first checking with the college. Many college departments have specific requirements based on the software that students have to use in their classes. Generally, these revolve around processor type, amount of RAM, and storage space. Luckily, current Macs should meet...

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Ransomware is on the Rise. Learn How to Protect Your Macs

In cybercriminal circles, ransomware is all the rage. Once it has infected a computer, it encrypts all the files and then presents a ransom demand—pay up to get the decryption software necessary to recover the data. Ransomware has been in the news all year, with the Colonial Pipeline attack in particular spending weeks in the headlines. Attacks rose 485% in 2020 and show no signs of abating. The amounts demanded by the attackers are increasing, too, with PC manufacturer Acer and Apple supplier Quanta both hit with $50 million demands....

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Share Files, Photos, and other Data between Apple Devices with AirDrop

It’s common to want to share files, photos, and other data between your devices—or with friends and family. When the desired person or device isn’t nearby, it’s easiest to use Messages or Mail. But what if you want to move a file between two of your Macs, from your iPhone to your Mac, or to your friend who’s across the table? For transfers within immediate proximity, Apple provides AirDrop, a quick and easy way to move data between devices.​ Make Sure AirDrop Is Ready to Go First off, AirDrop requires...

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The Mac's Magic Shortcut to Trashing Files and Photos Quickly

Sure, you could select a file in the Finder and choose File > Move to Trash or drag it to the Trash in the Dock. Similarly, you can trash selected photos in Apple’s Photos app by choosing Image > Delete X Photos, or by pressing the Delete key, but both of those methods result in a dialog asking if you’re sure. The easiest way of trashing a file in the Finder or a picture in Photos is to select it and press Command-Delete. Poof, it’s in the Trash (Finder) or...

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Two Important Tips for External Storage Devices

It’s tempting to think that most external storage devices—whether simple hard drives or more complicated network-attached storage (NAS) units—are relatively similar because they all do roughly the same thing. However, a recent problem with older Western Digital My Book Live NAS devices highlighted that there can be large differences. In that case, hackers figured out how to cause a factory reset that wiped the entire drive of all files. (If you have one, note that Western Digital recommends disconnecting it from the Internet immediately.) Two tips: Although no one could...

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Reopening Your Office? Now's a Great Time to Evaluate Your IT Infrastructure

As vaccination rates climb, many businesses are starting to think about reopening their offices and bringing back employees who have been working from home for the last year. That’s a big decision that will undoubtedly vary from company to company, but we’d like to suggest a few things to consider. Please contact us early in such deliberations so we can provide guidance before problems crop up.​ Full Return or Hybrid Model? Perhaps the biggest question firms will have to answer is if they’ll require all employees to return or if...

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Reduce Your Email Load with Three Features in Apple's Mail: Mute, Block, and Unsubscribe

Complaining about getting too much email is like complaining about bad traffic—we brought it upon ourselves, and while it’s impossible to escape entirely, it’s worth knowing how to reduce it. Apple is fully cognizant of the issue, too, and has built features into the last couple versions of Mail—on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad—to help out. Here are three that you might find useful in different situations: mute, block, and unsubscribe.​ Mute It’s a huge email conversation about the annual holiday party at work, but you can’t go, and more...

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Name That Tune with Siri or Control Center

Don’t you hate it when a familiar song is playing but you can’t think of what it’s called? Or worse, when you hear a new track you really like but have no one to ask what it is? Never worry about that again, thanks to your iPhone or iPad. Back in 2018, Apple bought the music identification app Shazam and has since integrated it into iOS. You can still use Shazam, but it’s easier to ask Siri, “What’s playing?” or tap the Music Recognition button in Control Center (add it...

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Live in the Future by Using Apple Pay on Your Apple Watch

With mask wearing over the past year rendering Face ID ineffective at cash registers, we’ve become fond of using the Apple Watch for contactless payments with Apple Pay. We recommend it highly since it’s so fast and convenient. Once you’ve set up a credit card in the Wallet app on your iPhone, switch to the Watch app, go to My Watch > Wallet & Apple Pay, and tap the Add button next to the desired card. From then on, to pay for a purchase, double-click the Apple Watch’s side button...

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Going on Vacation? Learn How to Write an Effective Out-of-Office Message

For many people, increasing vaccination rates mean that long-delayed vacations are now possible, and in-person conferences are slowly starting up again too. But before you head out for the beach or the convention center, you’ll want to write an out-of-office email auto-reply message to send to everyone who tries to get in touch while you’re away. A bit of thought upfront could reduce stress for your correspondents—and ensure that they don’t hunt you down for that burning question. Before we look at what information should be in an effective out-of-office...

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Don't Cook Your Digital Devices in the Summer Heat

As climate change continues to wreak havoc on our weather, many areas are seeing record temperatures this summer—Seattle just recorded its hottest days ever. You may be able to trade your business suit for shorts or skirts to stay more comfortable, but your electronic gear can’t do the same. Keeping your tech cool is about more than comfort—as temperatures rise, performance can suffer, charging may get slower or stop, various components might be disabled, and devices can become unreliable.​ How Hot Is Too Hot? You might be surprised by how...

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Disable Unused Sharing Options on Your Mac If You're Not Using Them

Many security breaches—even high-profile ones—stem from simple oversight. There’s one spot in macOS that has long been particularly susceptible to such lapse: the Sharing pane of System Preferences. In it, you can enable a wide variety of sharing services, some of which could allow another user to access your Mac remotely. They all let you limit access to particular users, but passwords can be stolen, accounts can be compromised, and server software can have bugs. For safety’s sake, if you’re not actively using a sharing service, turn it off. The...

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What Is the Cloud

People talk about “the cloud” all the time these days, but what do they really mean? There’s no agreed-on definition, which can render some conversations nearly inscrutable. We can’t pretend to have the final answer—if there will ever be such a thing—but here’s how we think of “the cloud.” (And now we’ll stop quoting it.) At a basic level, many people seem to equate the cloud with anything that’s online or with the Internet as a whole. That’s not incorrect, since everything in the cloud does take place online and...

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What Is This App Tracking Transparency Apple Added to iOS 14.5

You’ve likely seen mention of the dispute between Apple and Facebook. It revolves around App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a technology Apple released in iOS 14.5. The goal of ATT is to give iPhone and iPad users more control over the extent to which app makers can track their data and activities across apps and websites owned by other companies. Before App Tracking Transparency, nothing prevented companies from sucking a vast amount of data about your everyday activities and connecting it to other data to build an insanely detailed picture of...

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Two Tricks for Fixing a Mac Thats Restarting Unexpectedly

Although extremely uncommon, it’s not unheard of for a Mac, particularly an older model, to restart unexpectedly. If it happens once, chalk it up to cosmic rays and move on. But if it happens multiple times, try these two things right off. First, use compressed air to remove dust from cooling vents or the inside of the Mac, if you can open it up. Dust can cause heat buildup, which can in turn cause restarts. Second, try plugging the Mac into a different electric circuit or, ideally, into an uninterruptible...

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Share Your Apple Card with People in Your Family Sharing Group

pple did a good job rethinking some aspects of credit card use with the Apple Card, but one omission was the inability to share it with other family members. With the new Apple Card Family, once everyone has upgraded to iOS 14.6, you can add members of your Family Sharing group to your Apple Card account as either Co-Owners or Participants. Co-Owners can merge their credit lines, manage the account together, and build credit as equals. You can also invite children over 13 and young adults as Participants. For their...

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AirTag Basics and How to Protect Yourself from Stalking

Apple’s new AirTag tracking device is an amazing bit of technology—it’s an elegant disc about the size of a stack of four US quarters that communicates its location with other Apple devices using Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband. Pair an AirTag with your iPhone and put it in your laptop bag, and from then on, you can use the Find My app to find your bag no matter where you’ve left it. The key to the system is Apple’s Find My network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices, which detect...

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The Ten Upcoming Mac, iPhone, iPad, Features We Think You’ll Most Like

At its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on June 7th, Apple shared details about what we can expect to see later this year in macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15, and HomePod Software 15. It was a firehose of announcements, but one thing became clear: Apple wants to spread its technologies across its entire ecosystem of devices. Although each platform—Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod—retains its unique qualities, nearly every feature that the company announced works across as many platforms as make sense....

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Pin Your Chats in Messages for Faster Access

A new feature of Messages in both iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur is the option to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the conversation list for easy access. No longer do you have to worry about them scrolling out of sight. On an iPhone or iPad, touch and hold a conversation and tap Pin in the menu that appears; on a Mac, Control-click the conversation and choose Pin. (Remove them by repeating the action and choosing Unpin.) Each of your devices can have different conversations...

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How Grove Technologies Has Changed in the Era of COVID-19 and What It Means for You

2020 Recap With 2020 fading into the distance, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year. It was a challenging year for all of our clients and for Grove. The pandemic brought a new level of uncertainty and fear to the forefront of many of our clients’ minds, and it seems appropriate to address how Grove changed to ensure we provided the best possible support for you. Because of the stay-at-home mandates in most states we operate in, Grove started working from our respective homes in January...

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How to Digitize Your Signature So Youre Ready for Online Document Signing

Over the last decade, and particularly during the last year of pandemic life, documents have become more likely to arrive in email or as downloads than on paper. If you need to return a signed document on paper, it’s easy to print and sign it before popping it in the mailbox. But what if you need to send it back via email or another online method? You could print, sign, scan, and return the scanned document, but that’s both tedious and wasteful. Happily, Apple has made it easy to digitize...

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Looking for More iOS Widgets Be Sure to Launch Seldom Used Apps

Home screen widgets are one of the coolest features of iOS 14. They enable apps to offer quick access to features or at-a-glance previews of changing information, such as the Weather app’s widget providing a quick look at upcoming weather. What you may not realize, however, is that an app’s widgets become available for adding to your Home screen only if you have launched the app since upgrading to iOS 14. (To see the list, press and hold on an empty part of the Home screen and then tap the...

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Use Messages to Share Your Current Location Quickly

We’ve all gotten that panicked “Where are you?!?” text message at some point. Sometimes it’s an easy question to answer, but at other times, the answer is “Well, right here, wherever that is.” That’s unsatisfying, of course, but using Messages on your iPhone, you can do better. Tap the person’s name at the top of the conversation, tap the Info button, and in the screen that appears, tap Send My Current Location. Messages immediately sends a little thumbnail map showing where you are, and if the recipient taps it, they...

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Are You Incurring Technical Debt? Avoid It by Staying Current

Have you heard the term technical debt? It’s what you incur whenever you delay upgrading software and hardware for too long. It’s like forgetting to brush your teeth regularly and putting off dental checkups. There may be no immediate downside, but the ongoing maintenance and low cost of regular cleanings will likely save you from painful and expensive fillings and root canals. It’s easy to start down the path toward technical debt. Perhaps you rely on an out-of-date productivity package, an industry-specific program that gets infrequent updates, or an accounting...

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Privacy Tip. Don't Post Vaccination Record Cards on Social Media

So you’ve gotten your COVID-19 vaccination. Congratulations, and thank you for nudging the planet closer to the herd immunity needed for life to return to normal! It’s a good idea to take a photo of your card as a backup before filing it with your other important papers, just in case. (If you lose the original, you may be able to get a new one from the site where you got the vaccine or through your state’s Immunization Information System.) However, we do want to offer a note of caution....

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Nine Reasons to Put Your Mac's Pointer in a Corner

If your Mac is like ours, it’s a busy place, with oodles of open windows and lots of icons lying around. If you want to display the Desktop or see a single app’s windows, you may find yourself clicking around or using keyboard shortcuts, but did you know that you can access many of the Mac’s special views with just a flick of your wrist—no click necessary? A long-standing but little-known feature called Hot Corners makes this possible. The key to unlocking Hot Corners is in System Preferences, in either...

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Learn How to Paste Text So Its Style Matches the Surrounding Text

When you copy text from a Web page, PDF, or word processing document, macOS usually includes the associated formatting, so the words you paste may end up in 68-point blue italic if that was what the source text looked like. That’s often undesirable. More commonly, you want the text to take on the styling of the text where you’ve pasted it. In most Mac apps, there’s a quick trick to achieve this goal. Look on the Edit menu for the Paste and Match Style command (sometimes called Paste and Match...

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Four Ways to Reduce Zoom Fatigue

After a long day of video calls, you might feel like your brain has been wrung out like a wet washcloth—we certainly do. It’s exhausting to stare into a computer for hours every day while participating in meetings or classes. This condition is called Zoom fatigue, and it’s a recent affliction for most of us because the pandemic has dramatically increased the popularity of video calls. We don’t mean to beat on Zoom here—this condition plagues people who use Cisco WebEx, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and...

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Intuit Has Stopped Updating the QuickBooks Online Mac App. Switch to a Web Browser

If you’re using QuickBooks Online with the service’s Mac app to manage your business’s accounting, you may have seen a message like the one below announcing that Intuit has stopped updating the QuickBooks Online app. This doesn’t affect your QuickBooks Online account, which you can and should use via a Web browser at qbo.intuit.com now. Even if the QuickBooks Online Mac app continues to work, which it likely will for some time, we recommend that you delete it and switch entirely to a Web browser. It’s not safe to use...

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Upgrade to iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 to Unlock Face ID iPhones with Your Watch

You have to feel for Apple sometimes. The company’s engineers put an astonishing amount of work into the hardware and software necessary for Face ID to recognize your face nearly instantly and unlock your iPhone or iPad. Regardless of whether you’re wearing a hat and glasses. Even in the dark. It’s one of those pieces of technology that’s so advanced that it’s indistinguishable from magic. But the one thing that stymies Face ID every time is also the most important factor in curbing the spread of the coronavirus: the humble...

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Work with iOS App Updates in Your Account in the App Store

If you’ve turned on automatic App Updates in Settings > App Store on your iPhone or iPad, you might wonder how you’d know if an app was updated or what changed. To find that information, open the App Store app and tap your avatar icon in the upper-right corner. Scroll down and you’ll see an Updated Recently list. If you pull down on the screen, that will force it to refresh, and you may see a list called Upcoming Automatic Updates at the top. For any downloaded update, you can...

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Try iCloud Drive Folder Sharing Instead of Paying More for a File Sharing Service

Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive all have their place, but as of March 2020, Apple users no longer have to venture outside the Apple ecosystem for online folder sharing. Before then, you could share a single file in iCloud with another iCloud user, but nothing more. With iCloud Drive Folder Sharing, you can share an entire folder, complete with permissions that control what your collaborators can do with the contents of the folder.​ Pros and Cons Why use iCloud Drive Folder Sharing instead of the more established services?...

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Not a Fan of Big Sur's Translucent Menu Bar Here's How to Disable It

In macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple went back to a design direction from the earliest days of Mac OS X: a translucent menu bar. Since its color changes depending on the desktop picture, many people aren’t enamored of it (left, below). Luckily, reverting to the traditional opaque menu bar is simple. Open System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and select Reduce Transparency. That will turn the menu bar gray again and make other windows and menus opaque, too (right, below). Simple gray might not be as whizzy as fancy transparency,...

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Apple Announces New M1-Based 24-inch iMac, iPad Pro, AirTag, Apple TV 4K, and More

On April 20th, Apple took to the Internet to stream its “Spring Loaded” event. Pundits had been unable to figure out a theme based on the name, but Apple was being blunt: the event was taking place in the spring, and it was loaded with announcements. With Apple CEO Tim Cook bookending the presentation—and doing a cameo as a master thief at 37:26 into the presentation—the company announced an M1-based 24-inch iMac, M1-based iPad Pro models, the long-rumored AirTag item tracker, and an enhanced Apple TV 4K with a redesigned...

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Make Better Documents and Edit More Easily with Show Invisibles

Some of the trickiest editing and proofreading problems are related to characters you can’t typically see on the screen: spaces, tabs, and returns. Just because they’re invisible doesn’t mean they don’t affect the look of a document, often in negative ways. For instance: An extra space can cause an awkward jump from one word to the next, or it could push punctuation away from the final word in a clause or sentence. And yes, current convention among professional publishers and typographers calls for one space after a period, not two....

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How to Avoid Embarrassment During Online Presentations or Screen Sharing

Along with the now-ubiquitous videoconferencing, screen sharing and online presentations have become vastly more common during the pandemic. This isn’t yet another article about how to give a better presentation or feel more confident. (Although those might happen too.) The goal of this article is to help you avoid situations that could embarrass you in front of clients, colleagues, or bosses. Follow this advice and you could avoid an unfortunate happenstance that might even cause you to be fired. Here’s the problem. Even more so than before the pandemic, our...

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Don't Store Confidential Files in Online File Sharing Services

Given their integration into the Mac’s Finder, it can be easy to forget that online file sharing services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive can be accessed using a Web browser by anyone with your username and password. Obviously, you should always have strong, unique passwords, but to be safe, it’s best not to use services designed for public file sharing to store unencrypted files containing sensitive information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passport scans, privileged legal documents, financial data, and so on. Keep such...

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Archive Email to Avoid Mail Quotas, Improve Performance, and Reduce Clutter

Email is a major part of all our lives, both personally and professionally, and as such, it can add up. Before you know it, you have years of email stored away—potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands of messages. Most of the time, that’s fine. Email doesn’t take up any physical space and not even that much digital space in the scheme of things. However, there are situations where you might want to archive email, by which we mean download it from the server and store it for posterity on...

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Apple Hid the Proxy Icon in Big Surs Finder Heres How to Reveal It

This is a twofer tip. You may not have known that every document window in macOS has long had a proxy icon in the title bar, next to the filename. The proxy icon is not just cosmetic. You can drag it to Mail to attach the document to a message, to a Web browser to upload it, or to any other location you can drag a document’s icon in the Finder (top screenshot, below, showing Preview in Catalina). You can also drag proxy icons from Finder windows to Open and...