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 […]
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 13:02

What Is the Cloud?

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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.) […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
Monday, 03 May 2021 12:04

Four Ways to Reduce Zoom Fatigue

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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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Remember when we had to keep magnets away from floppy disks to avoid scrambling them? Modern storage is no longer vulnerable, but magnets and electromagnetic fields from consumer electronics can interfere with medical devices, like implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. Although iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior models, Apple says they’re not expected to […]
With iCloud Drive, Apple provides an Optimize Mac Storage checkbox that, when checked, stores the full contents of iCloud Drive on the Mac only if there’s enough space. However, you may wish to recover local storage space without selecting that option—luckily, that’s easy to do. Open iCloud Drive in the Finder, Control-click a file, and […]
In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple added two new status indicators to the right side of the status bar at the top of the screen. They’re designed to give you feedback about what an app is doing. An orange dot indicates that an app is using the microphone, and a green dot means that […]
We’re all accustomed to the Do Not Disturb feature on our iPhones since they’re with us for most of the day and often spend the night next to the bed. But Apple long ago added Do Not Disturb to the Mac as well, and it’s useful for muting your Mac at night to eliminate unnecessary […]
We regularly hear from people who think they need Adobe Acrobat DC to manipulate PDFs. Don’t misunderstand: Adobe Acrobat is the gold standard, but it’s complicated and expensive—$14.99 per month or as part of Creative Cloud for $52.99 per month. In contrast, Apple’s Preview is easy and free with macOS. Here are six tasks that […]
Monday, 01 February 2021 09:03

Getting Started with 1Password

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We’ve long recommended that everyone use a password manager like 1Password instead of attempting to memorize or write down passwords. Although there are other password managers, 1Password is the leading solution for Apple users, thanks to a focus on macOS and iOS from its earliest days. 1Password offers numerous benefits, including: Automatic generation of strong […]
In the heyday of iTunes, Apple users stored their music, movies, and TV shows on their Macs and shared them with other Macs in their homes, as well as their iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Of late, however, streaming has become Apple’s preferred media consumption approach, thanks to the rise of Apple Music and the […]
With vaccinations underway, there’s light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel. But given the enormity of the task and the unknowns surrounding coronavirus variants, we’ll still be in this tunnel for some time to come. Happily, there’s a new app called NOVID that, if you and your friends (and their friends, etc.) install […]
Monday, 04 January 2021 09:08

8 Ways Apple Improved the Camera App in iOS 14

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It’s difficult for most of us to imagine that a camera—something that still feels like it’s a standalone object—could be improved significantly with a software update. But now that cameras are part of our phones, code is king. With iOS 14, the camera in your iPhone becomes all the more capable. You’d be excused for […]
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