Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How to Add & Switch Languages in Mac OS X

Add a new language to Mac OS X
Nearly all Mac users run OS X in their primary language and mother tongue, but for polyglots and those aiming to be bilingual or trilingual, adding multiple new languages to Mac OS X can have obvious benefits. We’ll show you how to add a new language and how to change to that new language, which will impact how things appear and read on the Mac.
Adding a new language doesn’t remove the prior language, it becomes an additional option. In fact, you’ll have the ability to easily switch between the languages and set one or the other as a primary language at any time, and change between them as needed. Something else to keep in mind is that when you switch the language on a Mac, many things change with it, from menu items, to date format, measurements, and assorted other items through the system – these can all be adjusted individually if desired, but for our purposes in this tutorial we’re going to focus on adding and changing the language in Mac OS X.

How to Add & Change to a New Language to Mac OS X

You can add as many languages as you want, but in this walkthrough we’ll focus on just adding a second new language and changing to that as the new language default.
  1. From the  Apple menu visit “System Preferences”
  2. Choose “Language & Region” preference panel
  3. add a language to the Mac
  4. Under the ‘Preferred languages’ section, click on the plus [+] button
  5. add new languages to the Mac
  6. Navigate to and select the language you want to add, then click on the Add button
  7. choose the language to add to the Mac
  8. Decide whether you want to use the newly added language as your primary language, or to continue using the original language as the primary language
  9. use the new language as primary or secondary
That’s all there is to it, easy enough. If you set the new language as your primary language, menu items will refresh, but if you want everything to switch over to your new language choice then you should log out or reboot the Mac so that applications refresh to the new language selection as well.
Changed the language on a Mac
If you are actually going to use the secondary language full time or you are aiming to improve your proficiency, learning the keystrokes to change the keyboard language can be very advantageous, and adding an accompanying voice to the Mac can be beneficial as well.
By the way, if you’re looking to add multiple new languages that you can switch from, use the typical multiple-selection tools in Mac OS X to choose a few at a time. For example, holding down the Command key and clicking selections allows you to pick two noncontiguous language selections to add:
Add multiple new languages to Mac OS X to change to
While this is primarily aimed at those who speak and read multiple languages to begin with, it can also be very useful for people looking to improve their fluency in another language. For example, I have a friend who is becoming conversationally fluent in Spanish, and adding (and switching between) the language to daily computing use has further helped along that process.
You may also find it useful to add and change languages on iOS too if you’re an iPhone or iPad user.

 Source Url and Image: How to Add & Switch Languages in Mac OS X
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OS X 10.11.5 Beta 3, tvOS 9.2.1 beta 3, Released for Testing

Mac and iOS devices
Apple has released OS X 10.11.5 beta 3, tvOS 9.2.1 beta 3, watchOS 2.2.1 beta 3, along with a new Safari Technology Preview build for Mac users.

Additionally, Apple has released the public beta builds of iOS 9.3.2 beta 3 which was initially released yesterday for developers only.

No new features are expected in the beta releases, which look to primarily focus on bug fixes and improving the existing experience in Mac OS X, tvOS, watchOS, iOS, and Safari Tech Preview.
Those who are enrolled in the respective beta testing programs can find the appropriate downloads available now through the devices software update mechanism. Users can also choose to download the latest available beta versions from the respective Apple Developer websites.
OS X 10.11.5
Safari tech Preview
tvOS 9.2.1 beta 3
There is no known timeline for final versions of OS X 10.11.5, tvOS 9.2.1, iOS 9.3.2, or watchOS 2.2.1 to be released to the public, but Apple usually goes through a multitude of beta builds before issuing the final version of system software.

Source Url and Image:  OS X 10.11.5 Beta 3, tvOS 9.2.1 beta 3, Released for Testing
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Schedule Night Shift to Automatically Adjust Colors on iPhone

Schedule Night Shift in iOS
The Night Shift feature of iOS shifts the display color profile to be warmer, which reduces blue light output, and makes using an iPhone or iPad display much more pleasant in the later hours of the evening (or early morning). While you can toggle Night Shift mode on and off through Control Center anytime in iOS, perhaps a better approach is to set Night Shift to turn on automatically on a schedule, enabling itself as sunset, and turning itself off at sunrise.

This walk through will guide you in setting Night Shift to activate automatically on the sun schedule, though you can choose a custom time schedule as well if desired.

How to Set Night Shift to Schedule at Sunset & Sunrise Automatically in iOS

Night Shift scheduling requires a modern version of iOS (9.3 or later) to have the feature, otherwise it’s the same on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Here’s how it works:
  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app in iOS and go to “Display & Brightness”
  2. Tap on the “Night Shift” option underneath the Brightness section
  3. Now in the ‘Night Shift’ settings, flip the switch for “Scheduled” to the ON position
  4. In the “From / To” section, choose “Sunset to Sunrise” (you can set a custom schedule as well if desired)
  5. Set Night Shift to schedule from Sunset to Sunrise in iOS
  6. Return back to the Night Shift screen, and, optionally but highly recommended, set the “Color Temperature” to the “More Warm” setting furthest on the right
  7. Exit Settings and enjoy your automatic Night Shifting display
Now when sunset or sunrise comes, the iPhone / iPad display will automatically shift to be warmer, or back to the regular blue-light heavy display.
Night Shift on iPad
Even with Night Shift set on a schedule, you can continue to temporarily turn off or on Night Shift from Control Center in iOS as well, as shown in this gif:
Night Shift On and Night Shift Off on iPhone animated gif

Fix Night Shift Not Working, Scheduling Missing or Inaccessible

Some users may go to enable Night Shift only to discover the excellent scheduling feature is missing or inaccessible and grayed out. This is almost always due to a setting elsewhere on the device that determines if the Time Zone can be set by location services or not.
  1. Open the Settings app and go to “General” and then to “Location Services”
  2. Locate the switch for “Setting Time Zone” and be sure this is set to the ON position and enabled/li>
Night Shift scheduling requires time zone settings to be enabled in iOS
Now you can return to the Night Shift settings and the scheduling section will be enabled and accessible as intended. This is a good setting to keep enabled in general, it prevents the problem of time displaying wrong on iPhone and iPad if a device has changed time zones, or has been turned off for a long time.
By the way, for the Mac users out there, Flux offers a similar feature and color changing scheduling ability for MacOS X.

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How to Hide Glances on Apple Watch

Glances on Apple Watch
Apple Watch includes a variety of default glances, including a battery monitor, heart rate monitor, a calendar, a media playback adjuster, stocks, maps, a world map, amongst others. Additionally, many of the apps installed onto Apple Watch include a Glance feature with them, which allows users to quickly see a glimpse of what that app offers without having to open the app itself. While some of these glances are helpful and useful, some aren’t, and if you install a fair amount of third party apps onto the Apple Watch you’ll quickly find the Glances screen to be busy.

A simple solution is to hide and disable Glances that you do not use or do not find useful on the Apple Watch, this is done quickly in settings.

Removing Unnecessary Glances on Apple Watch

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on the paired iPhone and go to ‘My Watch’
  2. Choose ‘Glances’, then tap on the red (-) minus button alongside the glance name that you wish to hide and no longer show on the Apple Watch Glances screen
  3. Repeat to adjust others as desired
  4. Exit out of the Apple Watch app on iPhone when finished
Hide Glances on Apple Watch
The changes take effect immediately on the paired Apple Watch. In the screen shot example, the Instagram and Twitter glances were not included on the Apple Watch Glances screen, but the apps themselves remain installed on the Apple Watch.
Returning a Glance back to the Glances screen on Apple Watch is just as easy, you simply need to return to the Glances settings section of the Apple Watch app, then tap on the green (+) plus button alongside a glance that you wish to re-enable again.

Source Url and Image: How to Hide Glances on Apple Watch
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How to Secure Erase Free Space on Mac Drives with OS X El Capitan

Erase free space on a Mac drive from the command line
Many Mac users running a modern version of OS X El Capitan have noticed the Secure Erase Free Space feature has gone missing from Disk Utility. What the “Erase Free Space” feature did (and still does in prior versions of Mac OS X) was overwrite the free space on a drive to prevent file recovery, adding a layer of security and privacy to file removal, much in the way that Secure Empty Trash performed a similar function of overwriting data after removal.

For those wondering, these features were removed from the modern version of Disk Utility in Mac OS X because they do not work on SSD volumes, which are becoming more commonplace and nearly all Mac laptops ship with them by default now. But not everyone has an SSD drive, and thus some users may still wish to perform a secure erase of free space on their Mac hard disk. To achieve the same secure erase in modern versions of Mac OS X you’ll need to turn to the command line. And yes, this works to erase free space on older versions of Mac OS X too, but since they can do the same task with Disk Utility it’s perhaps a bit less relevant to the prior releases.

This is for advanced Mac users only who are comfortable with backing up their Mac, using the command line with exact syntax, and the concepts behind permanently removing data. To be perfectly clear, this secure erases only the free space on a drive, aimed at preventing file recovery efforts, it does not perform a secure erase of the entire hard drive as described here.

How to Secure Erase Free Space on Mac OS X El Capitan Drives via Command Line, Without Disk Utility

Back up your Mac before attempting to use these commands. The command line requires precise syntax and is unforgiving, improper commands could lead to the unintended removal of data you do not want to delete, permanently, as this is a secure erase function. You have been warned, so backup your Mac data first, then proceed at your own risk.
To get started, launch the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities/) and use the following general syntax, replacing level and drive name as appropriate:
diskutil secureErase freespace (level 0-4) /Volumes/(Drive Name)
(level 0-4) is a number indicating the number of passes to write to the free space, ‘freespace’ indicates you are erasing only the free space and not the entire drive itself – a critically important difference – and (Drive Name) is self explanatory. Users can also choose the disk identifier if desired. If you aren’t sure of the name of the drive, using diskutil list will show you all mounted drives and partitions. If the drive in question has a space in the name, you should place it in quotes or escape it with backslashes.
For example, to perform a secure erase with 35 passes on free space on a drive named “Macintosh HD” you could use the following command string:
diskutil secureErase freespace 3 "/Volumes/Macintosh HD"
Hitting return will instantly begin the secure erase of any free space. This is irreversible, so as we’ve mentioned a dozen times already, be sure the syntax is exact.
Secure erase free space on a Mac hard drive from the command line
The manual page entry on diskutil offers the following details on the secure erase feature, detailing the level of writing over free space.
secureErase [freespace] level device
Erase, using a secure method, either a whole-disk (including
any and all partitions), or, only the free space (not in use
for files) on a currently-mounted volume. Erasing a whole-
disk will leave it useless until it is partitioned again.
Erasing freespace on a volume will leave it exactly as it was
from an end-user perspective, with the exception that it will
not be possible to recover deleted files or data using utility
software. If you need to erase all contents of a partition
but not its hosting whole-disk, use the zeroDisk or randomDisk
verbs. Ownership of the affected disk is required.
Level should be one of the following:
o 0 – Single-pass zero-fill erase.
o 1 – Single-pass random-fill erase.
o 2 – US DoD 7-pass secure erase.
o 3 – Gutmann algorithm 35-pass secure erase.
o 4 – US DoE algorithm 3-pass secure erase.
That’s all there is to it, and this is how you can continue to erase free disk space on a Mac running OS X El Capitan or later with the newly limited Disk Utility. Another option is to use an old version of Disk Utility in modern versions of Mac OS X, either from a boot drive or recovery mode, of an older Mac OS release, or with the application itself, but that is generally not recommended.
And yes, this works on both standard hard disk drives with spinning platters, and modern SSD disks, though with an SSD drive the feature is less relevant as TRIM / garbage collection should handle the file removal on it’s own. For SSD volumes, a better option is to enable and use FileVault disk encryption on the Mac, which encrypts data on the drive making it unrecoverable without the FileVault key, thus obviating the need to securely erase free space on the volume.
Know of any other helpful secure data removal tips or tricks, or another way to securely erase your free disk space in modern versions of Mac OS X? Let us know in the comments.

Source Url and Image: How to Secure Erase Free Space on Mac Drives with OS X El Capitan
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3 of the Best Disk Space Analyzers for Mac OS X

Disk space storage analyzer apps for Mac
It’s often only a matter of time before Mac users wind up seeing the dreaded “startup disk almost full” warning message in Mac OS X, which often leads to a frantic dash around the Downloads folder as users trash unnecessary files to attempt to free up disk space. While there’s nothing wrong with going on a manual mission of tracking down where your disk storage vanished to, there are an entire category of disk space analyzer apps available which make the job easier, offering a visual experience that is quickly scannable and actionable.

We’ll cover three of the best and most popular disk space analysis tools available for the Mac, each of which is either free or offers a free trial version to give a good test run with.

A big thing to remember with using these disk analyzer apps is that if you shouldn’t delete anything without discretion, as they sweep the entire drive and inevitably display system files, system folders, and other necessary components of Mac OS X and apps, along with personal documents and accumulated cruft. It’s a good idea to back up the Mac with Time Machine before using these apps if you’re planning on performing some mass file removal, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and lose files or have to reinstall Mac OS X if you deleted critical system files willy-nilly.

DaisyDisk

DaisyDisk is by far the most attractive storage analysis utility, with a beautiful and intuitive interface that makes finding disk clutter a matter of navigating an interactive colorful wheel. In terms of visualization of your file data, DaisyDisk is superior to anything else available, and it’s also very fast.
DaisyDisk analyzes disk storage space on a Mac in a very attractive easy manner
The free version of DaisyDisk is highly functional and will sweep your drive and allow simple quick access to any files or folders found (right-click on anything and choose ‘Show in Finder’), and you could get away with just using the free version if you wanted to, but if you enjoy DaisyDisk enough and find it to be a helpful companion to your Mac experience, the full version is money well spent.

OmniDiskSweeper

OmniDiskSweeper is great and the interface is quite similar to using the Finder in Column view, making it very easy to navigate to large files and folders throughout the file system hierarchy. The files are shown in descending order by size, so it’s very easy to figure out what’s eating up storage space.
OmniDiskSweeper helps analyze and track down large files on a Mac
OmniDiskSweeper has long been one of my favorite free utilities available for the Mac, and I use it often for my own computer and when trying to figure out what’s eating the disk space of other Macs I may encounter. We have discussed using OmniDiskSweeper before here on multiple occasions, it’s a great tool.

Disk Inventory X

Disk Inventory X has been around on the Mac for quite some time, it is an oldie but goodie. Though the interface could use some updating, the functionality remains high and the app works great for discovering large blocks of data (for example, a gazillion photos or zip archives). Perhaps the only issue is that in modern versions of Mac OS X, files can be assigned to the app they open with rather than their file type, which may lead to some confusion. Nonetheless, Disk Inventory X is free too, so if you decide it’s not your cup of tea you’re out nothing but a few mb of bandwidth.
DiskInventoryX
A significant perk of DiskInventoryX having been around for ages is that it’s widely supported on much earlier versions of Mac OS X, so if you’re working on an older Mac with earlier system software, this may be the solution you’re looking for.

Bonus: The Finder!

If you don’t want to download any third party utilities, or perhaps you can’t for whatever reason, the Mac search function within the Finder is able to find large files in Mac OS X too. You’ll just need to set a minimum file size to look for, and away it goes.
Finding large file size files in Mac OS X search
The Finder search function works reasonably well for this purpose, but for many Mac users they will find one of the above third party utilities to be easier to quickly scan for large groups of files on a drive with.
Know of any other great utilities to analyze disk storage space and files on a Mac? Let us know in the comments!

Source Url and Image:  3 of the Best Disk Space Analyzers for Mac OS X
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How to Disable (or Enable) True Tone Display on iPad Pro

How to Disable True Tone Display on iPad Pro
The display on the new iPad Pro includes a feature called True Tone, which uses ambient light sensors to automatically shift and change the displays color hue and intensity according to the surrounding light, shifting from cooler to warmer as the surrounding lighting environment changes. It’s kind of like a smarter real-time adapting version of Flux for Mac or Night Shift for iPhone, and it’s definitely a great feature on the iPad Pro for users who take the device into different lighting conditions on a regular basis. It’s a handy enough display feature that it’s likely coming to upcoming iPhones and Macs as well, but for now it’s baked into the latest iPad Pro only.

Perhaps the only problem with the True Tone Display is if you’re trying to perform color accurate work, since the on screen color will look different to you as the display shifts it’s hue. Accordingly, designers, artists, and even this who just like to sketch for fun, may want to toggle the True Tone color display off or on as needed.

Disable or Enable the True Tone Display on iPad Pro

True Tone Display is enabled by default on iPad Pro, here is how you can quickly toggle the color shifting feature off or on again with the iPad Pro:
  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPad and go to “Display & Brightness”
  2. Under the “Brightness” setting, locate “True Tone” and flip the switch the OFF or ON position as desired
  3. Exit out of Settings
Enable or Disable True Tone Display on iPad Pro
Assuming True Tone is actively adjusting the color of the display, the effect is instantaneous when you turn the feature off or on, and you will almost certainly notice the screen color shift to be warmer (sepias) or cooler (blues) on the iPad.
The animated GIF below demonstrates True Tone display in effect, shifting colors on an iPad Pro as the surrounding color tone differs, captured from an Apple product video demonstrating the feature:
True Tone Display off and on shifting colors on iPad Pro
For most users it’s a good idea to leave their iPad True Tone display enabled, it is the default setting for the feature for a reason, since it undoubtedly improves the screen reading experience, and there is plenty of research out there about the effects of blue light which are less than flattering. Nonetheless, for artists, designers, and even just those who like to draw or sketch in Notes will likely find the toggle switching a handy feature to flip True Tone on and off as their use case requires.
True Tone is a great feature, at the moment it’s available on the iPad Pro 9.7″ display model but it’s undoubtedly coming to the larger 12″ version, and as we mentioned before, it’s probably going to show up on the iPhone Plus, and it wouldn’t be totally crazy to see a similar color shifting display feature arrive on future MacBook Pro models as well. In the meantime, other iPad and iPhone users can enable Night Shift in iOS (better yet, schedule Night Shift to turn on automatically) for a similar albeit different color shifting experience and make their screen display look warmer.

Source Url and Image: How to Disable (or Enable) True Tone Display on iPad Pro
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Apple Runs iPhone “Moms” Ad for Mothers Day

Apple "Moms" ad
Apple is running a new iPhone ad that emphasizes the devices camera capabilities, this time focusing on pictures and videos of various Moms and aspects of motherhood.

The ad features a soft song playing in the background as it goes through a variety of pictures of mothers, showing the names of the photographer attached to each image. At the end of the commercial, the words “Moms” followed by “Shot on iPhone” appear, naturally followed by the  Apple logo.
Text accompanying the video, which is embedded below, reads “”Celebrating motherhood through the lens of iPhone users around the world.”
This is a much more touching ad and a bit more serious than the ‘Onions’ and ‘fingerprint’ donut in-the-face-guy ad that Apple is running concurrently.
The general theme of the Moms ad is similar to some of the other ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads running previously in other Apple commercials.
Since everyone love Moms, and Mothers Day is arriving shortly, this should be an understandably popular commercial. Oh and hey, don’t forget to call your Mom!

Source Url and Image: Apple Runs iPhone “Moms” Ad for Mothers Day
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Save Pictures Automatically from Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger
If you’re an avid Facebook Messenger user who sends a lot of pictures back and forth, you may appreciate having the app automatically save those photos and images directly to your iPhone, without having to manually do so yourself. With the help of a simple settings switch, you could do exactly that.

For this trick to work, the Facebook Messenger app needs access to the camera roll and iPhone Photos app, otherwise the feature can’t be enabled since it won’t have access to save pictures to the Photos app.

How to Automatically Save Photos from Facebook Messenger to iPhone

This will keep a copy of all Facebook Messenger pictures locally on the iPhone. The feature works the same on Android as well, but we’re obviously focusing on iOS here.
  1. Open Facebook Messenger, then click on the Settings gear icon
  2. Scroll down in Settings to find “Save Photos to Camera Roll” and flip the switch to the ON position
Save Photos to iPhone from Facebook Messenger automatically
Toggling this setting will save all photos from all conversations in Facebook Messenger automatically. You can confirm it’s working by returning to the Facebook Messenger app and having someone send you a picture, it will then appear in your Photos app Camera Roll automatically.
This prevents you from having to save pictures from Facebook manually using the tap-and-hold trick, which works the same in Facebook app as Facebook Messenger.
If you want to stop this behavior, simply return to the Facebook Messenger settings and switch “Save Photos to Camera Roll” to the OFF position.

Source Url and Image: Save Pictures Automatically from Facebook Messenger
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8 iPhone 3D Touch Tricks That Are Actually Useful

3D Touch Tricks for iPhone
Many iPhone users with a 3D Touch display use the feature sporadically, if at all, often because it’s a bit of a guessing game as to what actions are available with the activation of the push and pop abilities. While 3D Touch may seem a bit gimmicky at times, there are some legitimately useful cases for 3D Touch where it has the potential to enhance workflow for iPhone users, and so with that in mind we’re going to run through some of the best uses of the feature.

Obviously this requires a 3D Touch equipped iPhone. The 3D Touch feature must be enabled, and for many users, accessing the ability can be improved upon by adjusting the sensitivity of their screen touch pressure.

Quickly Adjust Battery Settings

Since prolonging battery life remains of primary importance to many iPhone users, the ability to quickly turn on and off Low Power Mode is essential. From the unlocked iPhone screen, 3D Touch press on the “Settings” icon and select “Battery”, from here users can flip the switch for “Low Power Mode” to the ON (or OFF) position as usual, or access other battery settings and details.
3D Touch settings

Get an Instant Link Preview, Nearly Anywhere

You can 3D touch any link on iOS to get a preview pane of the URL in question, without having to load the entire thing. This is particularly useful for scanning blankly referenced links that are sent to you in messages or emails to see if they’re worth visiting or not, but the feature works nearly anywhere that links are visible and clickable.
3D Touch link preview

Jump to New Private Window in Safari

Private browsing mode in Safari for iOS is a great feature, but rather than open the app and then toggle into the privacy mode, you can use 3D Touch for quicker access. All you need to do is 3D Touch on the Safari icon and choose “New Private Tab”, and away you go.
3D Touch Safari
No cookies, history, caches, or other data is stored on the device when in privacy mode – perfect for when you’re shopping for someone, reading spoilers to Game of Thrones, or just reading embarrassing content that you’d rather not someone else discover.

Quick Access to Selfies, Video Capture, and Slo-Mo

Most iPhone users have their Camera app open directly to the default photo camera, and though the app remembers the last camera option you used, it’s pretty nice to be able to jump to the feature you want to access with 3D Touch. Just 3D Touch on the Camera icon and select what you want to do; take a selfie, record a regular video, capture slow motion video, or, just take a picture as usual.
3D Touch camera

Scan a Message Without Sending a Read Receipt

Since iOS Messages app has yet to provide us with contact specific Read Receipts, one option to scan a message without sending one is to 3d touch the message to preview it, which will not send a “Read” indicator to the sender. This is really useful if you use the Read Receipts feature but don’t necessarily want to engage in a conversation with someone.
A read receipt in Messages for iOS

Access iOS Multitasking

Using a sort-of-challenging-to-master 3D Touch press on the far left side of iPhone display will gain quick 3D touch access to the multitasking app switcher in iOS. Whether this is faster than simply double-tapping the Home button is a matter of how well you can access this feature, but it is handy and feels reasonably intuitive once you get the hang of it.
The App Switcher multitasking screen on iPhone can be accessed with 3D Touch

Update All Apps, Redeem Gift Cards

Using 3D Touch on the App Store icon allows you quick access to the “Redeem” feature, where users can quickly scan a gift card to add it to their iTunes account. This is particularly great because accessing Redeem otherwise requires a bit of digging around in the App Store app. Another great 3D Touch trick on the App Store icon? The ability to quickly update all apps in iOS that have changes available.
3D Touch App Store

Use the iPhone Screen as a Scale

Thanks to a simple web app, you can turn the iPhone into a scale that is able to weigh things in grams. Seriously! This isn’t particularly useful for most people, unless you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or uh, elsewhere, but it’s a neat demonstration of what the 3D Touch display can do, and how sensitive the display truly is.
iPhone 3D Touch scale
Know of any other particularly handy uses of 3D Touch for iPhone? Share them with us, or just let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

Source Url and Image: 8 iPhone 3D Touch Tricks That Are Actually Useful
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Where is the Option Key on Mac Keyboards?

Where is Option / ALT key on Apple keyboards
Using the Option key is an essential part of the Apple keyboard experience for issuing many keystrokes, accessing various hidden features, and a myriad of other functions on both Mac OS X and iOS. All Mac and Apple keyboards have the Option key, it’s just not always labeled as such, which is what offers confusion from time to time. It turns out that certain Apple keyboard layouts have the option key labeled as either a symbol, or as the alt key. This often differs per region and per keyboard, and sometimes even on the age of the hardware itself, but regardless of how they look, every Apple and Mac keyboard includes the option and alt key, including any MacBook, Apple external keyboard, Smart Keyboard for iPad, or other hardware keyboards from Apple.
Below is where you can find the OPTION / ALT key on the major Apple keyboards you are likely to encounter. And yes, in case it wasn’t evident; the OPTION key is the ALT key, which is also represented by the funny looking symbol ⌥ on Apple and Mac keyboards.
The Option / ALT Key on European and UK keyboards actually looks pretty similar to Japanese keyboard layouts and many others:
Option ALT key location on Apple Euro and UK keyboards
Option / ALT Key on US & North American keyboards
Option ALT key location on Apple US keyboards
Option / ALT key on iPad Smart Keyboards:
The Option and ALT Keys on Smart Keyboard

The Option / ALT Key Symbol is “⌥”

This is what the option and alt key symbol looks like, it’s kind of like a backslash with a flag coming off of it. It’s admittedly not very obvious, which is perhaps why Apple has been spelling out alt / option on modern keyboards for many markets.
The Option ALT key symbol on Apple and Mac keyboards

Remember: the Option / ALT key is always between the control key and the command key on Apple & Mac Keyboards

That means on new Mac keyboards you’ll have “Control ^” followed by “ALT / option ⌥” followed by “Command ⌘ ”
The lack of a clearly (and consistently) labeled ‘option’ key puzzled a friend of mine recently who bought a MacBook Pro with a European keyboard layout, and that had a Japanese external Mac keyboard included. Of course those keyboards work with other languages too, but the keys can be labeled differently. In those situations, the Option key is labeled as ALT and the strange looking symbol, it is not clearly labeled as ‘option’ as it is on modern Mac keyboards from the US and many other countries. This isn’t totally unusual however, as long time Mac and Apple users will undoubtedly recall that earlier versions of the Apple Keyboard also didn’t label the alt or option key, and simply used the symbol instead, and on some Mac keyboards symbols were used exclusively.
This should be particularly helpful information to international users and IT staff who encounter machines from other regions, and to newcomers to the Mac and Apple platforms as well. ⎇

Source Url and Image: Where is the Option Key on Mac Keyboards?
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Speed Up Time Machine by Removing Low Process Priority Throttling

Speed up Time Machine







It’s well known that all Mac users should set up Time Machine to automate backups of their computer, and while most Mac users let OS X go about backing up to Time Machine at it’s own pace, which sometimes borderlines on glacial, some users may wish to speed the backup process up a bit. With the help of the command line you can do just that and dramatically speed up the Time Machine backup process, but there are some major caveats to this trick because it applies beyond Time Machine, making it appropriate for advanced Mac users only, and used on a limited basis.
First, understand that Time Machine is meant to run in the background automatically, and to not be a total nuisance it runs at a reduced priority so that it doesn’t consume all available system resources to get the job done. This makes the Mac usable while Time Machine is backing up, but it has the downside of making Time Machine taking longer than it theoretically could. The way this trick works is by removing that reduced priority, but, the caveat with this approach is that it impacts more than simply Time Machine, it removes the low priority throttle from anything at the kernel level. Thus, this is why it’s only recommended for advanced users, and for limited use cases, because you could easily find yourself with all sorts of tasks taking up inordinately high CPU as a result. This is why this is not really a recommended approach, and no, this isnot intended to be a solution for when a Time Machine backup is going slower than it should, which typically requires minimal troubleshooting to resolve.
Don’t mind the caveat and potential issues with adjusting processor priority? Then launch Terminal app found in /Applications/Utilities/ and run the following command:
sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0
Using sudo requires the admin password as usual, once entered the effect is immediate. You can either let a backup begin on it’s own, or manually start oneyourself.
If you run this command and check the time remaining on a backup you’ll notice the number remaining should speed up considerably, but CPU use goes way up for the backup daemon and Mac performance takes a hit.
The change can be reversed with a reboot, or by issuing the following command syntax in the terminal:
sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=1
If you like the general idea behind this and don’t mind taxing CPU to complete backups with Time Machine, a better approach would be to target Time Machine and backupd directly, you can adjust an apps CPU priority specifically with an app like reniceor if you’re savvy in the command line, directly with the nice and renice commands themselves. We’ll cover the renice command separately in a separate article, but in preliminary testing it certainly works to achieve the same objective, but on a limited basis to Time Machine processes.
Remember, this is not a solution to slow Time Machine backups in general, which can be fixed through troubleshooting methods.
Thanks to MacKungFu for the uncovering this interesting trick. And if you really love this idea and want to have it enable itself automatically after a reboot, you can drop this plist file into /Library/LaunchDaemons and load it with launchctl, but we do not recommend doing that.
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Opening DOCX Files on a Mac, Without Microsoft Office

Mac users may encounter DOCX files from time to time, often sent from a Windows user as an email attachment or otherwise, as the .docx file types are standard document files created in newer versions of Microsoft Office. But what if you don’t have Office on the Mac? That’s ok too, even if you don’t have Office installed in Mac OS X, you can still open, read, and edit docx files on modern versions of Mac OS X, most often without any added software.

We’ll show you how to open a docx file in Text Edit and Pages in Mac OS X. Of course, if the Mac has Microsoft Office, then you can use Office to open the .docx file too.

How to Open a DOCX File in Mac OS X with Text Edit

The Text Edit application is surprisingly versatile and can easily view and edit the vast majority of docx files on a Mac. This is also the easiest way to open a docx file in OS X, which some modern versions serving as the default opener for .docx file type, but sometimes you may need to
  1. Go to the /Applications/ folder and open TextEdit
  2. Locate the .docx file you wish to open in TextEdit and drag and drop the file on the TextEdit icon in the Dock *
Opening a docx file in TextEdit on Mac
* Some versions of Mac OS X will default to associating and opening a .docx file with TextEdit
The TextEdit method works to open, view, and edit the vast majority of Docx files that a Mac may encounter. For simple text based docx files, this can often be an adequate solution to view and adjust a docx file, save it, and then return to the sender or whatever else is necessary to perform with the file in question.
There is one potential hiccup however, in that some complex docx files or those with significant formatting may render inappropriately in TextEdit, making it less than an ideal environment to edit a docx file in. If you encounter that type of display errors when loading a docx file into TextEdit, you can turn to the Pages app, which comes installed by default on most Mac computers otherwise is available from the Mac App Store.

How to Open DOCX Files with Pages in Mac OS X

Pages for Mac does a very good job of rendering complex formatting found within more complicated docx files, and thus if the document looks weird or doesn’t show up properly in TextEdit, Pages is the solution (aside from installing Microsoft Office, of course):
  1. Open the Pages app in Mac OS X (found in /Applications/ folder)
  2. Pull down the “File” menu and choose “Open” (or “Import” depending on the version of Pages)
  3. Navigate to and select the target .docx file you want to open in Pages and choose to open that from the file browser
Opening a docx file in Pages for Mac OS X
Pages should display the docx file without any formatting issues or problems, and it should look exactly as it arrived from the Windows or Microsoft Office world.
Another significant perk to opening a docx file in Pages is that you can save any Pages file as Word doc and docx format, making it easy to save and transmit the file to users on Windows or in a Microsoft Office environment, knowing that it will be fully compatible on their end. If you prefer the way Pages handles the files, you may wish to change the file app association for all docx types to open with Pages rather than another app on the Mac.
If you’re still having trouble viewing the DOCX file correctly in Mac OS X (or opening the file at all), you can turn to the command line and convert a docx file to simple doc format with textutil, which is admittedly a more complex task than using TextEdit or Pages since it involves a terminal command. The same terminal utility also allows for batch conversion to text (TXT) format as well, just in case you have a ton of files you want to read the contents of, but don’t care about the formatting attached. Those situations can be great for standard document files where the data contained within the file is important, but the formatting or rich media of a document is not.
Finally, another option for some stubborn files is to use a free tool from Microsoft calledOpen XML Converter. Open XML Converter allows you to convert Open XML files that were created in Office 2008 for Mac or Office 2007 for Windows so that you can open, edit, and save them in earlier versions of Office for Mac. This can be an ideal solution for users who are spanning many release versions of Office, Mac OS X, and Windows, as it allows for greater compatibility in many cases.
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How to Enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone with ATT
Most major cellular carrier networks support a feature known as Wi-Fi Calling, and now you can enable wi-fi calling on the iPhone as well.
For the unfamiliar, Wi-Fi calling essentially uses an available wireless network for phone calls to improve the connection quality, rather than relying entirely on the cellular network. The result is generally cleaner and crisper sounding call quality, similar to the difference audibly observed through other Voice Over IP services like Skype and FaceTime Audio.
Another significant perk to wi-fi calling is that you’ll be able to make and receive phone calls even if your iPhone is in an area where you otherwise wouldn’t have cellular service, assuming the area or region does have wi-fi. This is a really common scenario in many cities and buildings, and this is really where wi-fi calling is at its best.
Wi-Fi calling is available now on most new iPhone models with most cellular carriers, though some devices may need to be running the latest version of iOS to have access to the feature.

Enabling Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

Assuming your iPhone and cellular provider supports wi-fi calling, here’s how to enable this feature:
  1. Open the Settings app and go to “Phone”
  2. Tap on “Wi-Fi Calling” and toggle the switch for “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” to enable the feature
  3. Read the confirmation dialog and tap on ‘Enable” to enable wi-fi calling, you’ll then be brought to a few pages of terms and conditions and important details* about the wi-fi calling feature dependent on your cellular provider, agree to the terms to continue enabling the feature
How to enable Wi-Fi calling on iPhone
Once enabled the Wi-Fi calling button will be green.
Enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone
You’ll want to be sure to review the emergency information, because if you were to dial emergency services from a location with wi-fi calling, it’s the information that is relayed to the responder. This is important and not something to overlook or ignore, and also shows the potential downside to the wi-fi calling feature, since the set address doesn’t change with your location, whereas a typical cellular signal can be triangulated for a general idea. If you decide this is not appropriate for your situation, you can always turn wi-fi calling back off again.
Once Wi-Fi Calling is active and you join a wi-fi network with the iPhone, you should see the cellular carrier data change in the upper left corner of iPhone to demonstrate the feature has been enabled and is active. This looks like AT&T Wi-Fi, Sprint Wi-Fi, Verizon Wi-Fi, T-Mobile Wi-Fi, and so on (for those who may be wondering, the numbers next to the carrier name are the cellular signal strength as shown from Field Test Mode, which can replace the usual signal dot indicators if you’d like).
Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone with ATT
As mentioned before, wi-fi calling is really most helpful if your cellular connection service is poor, but you have a wi-fi network to connect to. This can help to eliminate the no-signal zones that are often found in office buildings and parts of a town where some obstruction blocks a clear cellular signal.
* All cellular providers will relay some important information to the user when enabling wi-fi calling. Perhaps the most important element pertains to emergency services and the requirement of setting an emergency address. For AT&T, the entire notification for enabling wi-fi calling is as follows:
“Important Information
Using Wi-Fi Calling. Wi-Fi Calling allows you to communicate through calls and text messages over an existing Wi-Fi network. To use Wi-Fi Calling, your device must be set up for AT&T HD voice, and you must have access to the Internet through your device’s Wi-Fi connection. Your device will only route calls and texts over Wi-Fi Calling when cellular coverage is limited or unavailable (for example, in some indoor locations where it is difficult for a strong wireless signal to reach or when your device is in airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled). If you lose your Internet connection during a voice call with Wi-Fi Calling, your call will disconnect unless you are also within AT&T HD Voice coverage. You can disable Wi-Fi Calling by toggling it off in your device settings menu.
You can use Wi-Fi Calling for voice calls within the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands at no additional charge. However, if you have a capped or pay-per-use text messaging plan, your text messages sent through Wi-Fi Calling will be billed at standard messaging rates in accordance with your messaging plan. If you make international long distance voice calls using Wi-Fi Calling, you will be charged international rates consistent with your applicable rate plan or optional international long distance calling package that you have purchased. For a list of AT&T international long distance calling rates and packages, please visit att.com/worldconnect. You cannot use Wi-Fi Calling outside of the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands. Due to technical limitations, Wi-Fi Calling cannot be used to initiate calls to 211, 311, 511, and 811.
TTY Limitations for 911 Calls. Due to technical limitations, Wi-Fi Calling cannot be used with TTY devices and will not support 911 calls over TTY devices. Persons with communications disabilities can still reach 911 services by either (1) calling 911 directly using a TTY over the cellular network or a landline telephone, or (2) sending a text message to 911 directly (in areas where text-to-911 is available) using a wireless device over the cellular network, or (3) using relay services to place a TTY or captioned telephone service (CTS) call over the cellular network or a landline telephone, or (4) using relay services to place a IP Relay or IP CTS call over a cellular data or other IP network.
911 Call Routing. If you make a 911 call using Wi-Fi Calling, we will attempt to route your call to the emergency response center for your location using automatic location information obtained from your device and the existing Wi-Fi network. If we are unable to route your call using automatic location information, we will use the Emergency Address stored in the Wi-Fi Calling settings on your device. During initial activation of Wi-Fi Calling your current billing address will be shown as the Emergency Address. You can change your Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address during activation or at any time after activation by selecting “Update Emergency Address” in the Wi-Fi Calling menu on your device. Your Emergency Address cannot be a P.O. Box. 911 service may be limited by comparison to traditional E911 service, delayed or unavailable if we are unable to locate you using automatic location information and you use Wi-Fi Calling at a location different from the Emergency Address you stored in your device. To ensure proper routing of emergency calls please keep your Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address up to date. If you lose your Internet connection during a Wi-Fi Calling 911 call, your call will be disconnected even if you are also in AT&T HD Voice coverage. To print a warning label as a reminder of these 911 limitations press-hold, copy and print the following text on a label that can be affixed to your device:
Emergency service from this device using Wi-Fi Calling may be limited in comparison to traditional 911 service.
By selecting “Continue” below, you acknowledge that you have received and understand the foregoing limitations regarding the ability to place 911 calls using Wi-Fi Calling, and you further agree that if you dial 911 on this device using Wi-Fi Calling, AT&T may treat the automatic location information transmitted by your device as your temporarily updated Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address.”
Other cellular providers will have a similar notification, be sure to read and understand the limitations and details before using the wi-fi calling service on any network.
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