Mary’s X Files, March 2017

Dictate Rather than Type
~MacLife
We’re great fans of Nuance Dragon (nuance.com), but don’t forget macOS has dictation built in, which you can enable in the Keyboard preferences pane. Invoke it by pressing the function key twice.

By default, voice recordings are sent to Apple’s server for transcription, which returns written words to your app; enable Enhanced Dictation if you prefer it to be done on your Mac.

Cross-device Clipboard
~MacLife
In Sierra and iOS 10, you can copy something on one device and paste it on another; each must have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on, be signed in to the same iCloud account, and have Handoff enabled (in System Prefs > General and Settings > General > Handoff ). This can take a few seconds to sync, so if your first attempt to paste fails, wait a moment and then repeat.

Tweak the Menu Bar
~MacLife
Previously you could move only some of the icons at the right end of the menu bar.

In Sierra, by holding the command key, you can drag almost all of them into whatever order you want. This includes Spotlight, which used to be fixed in place. Notification Center remains the exception; it’s pinned at the far right, though this makes sense given the feature slides in from the right.

To remove an item provided by Apple, hold the command key, drag the icon downwards and let go when a cross appears. For third-party items, look in their menu or their app’s preferences.

Control Passwords in iCloud Keychain on Mac
~iCreate
How can I control which passwords are shared in iCloud Keychain? You can manage your passwords using Safari on your Mac. Open Safari’s Preferences and choose the AutoFill tab. You might have to input your Mac’s administrator password, but once you’re in you’ll see every website with an associate password. Click one to see the login details for the website – you can then get rid of any that you don’t want to sync by clicking “Remove” in the bottom right. A few minutes later they should be removed from your other device.

Quickly close all tabs in Safari in iOS 10
~iMore
Want to clear everything currently open in your browser in a hurry? Tap and hold on the Pages button in Safari, and you’ll get an option to close all your tabs at once. (Note that this won’t clear your history — you’ll have to go into the Bookmarks section for that.)

How to Get Siri to Announce Incoming Calls with iOS 10
~iMore
With iOS 10, Siri can announce incoming calls. When the iPhone has an incoming call, Siri will let you know who is calling out loud. This iOS 10 feature is an accessibility feature but it’s also helpful when you’re running, biking, or keeping your iPhone in your pocket. Luckily, unlike some other iOS 10 features, Siri announcing incoming calls isn’t limited to newer iPhones. Here’s how to get Siri to announce incoming callers with iOS 10.

You can choose to have Siri announce incoming calls always, with headphones and in the car, with headphones only, or never. It’s a fairly easy change in Settings that will make sure you don’t miss important calls when you aren’t looking at your phone. To get Siri to announce incoming calls with iOS 10:

  •  Open the Settings app.
  •   Tap Phone.
  •   Select Announce Calls.
    Choose the setting that works best for you: Always, Headphones & Car, Headphones Only, or Never.

iPhone keyboard tips 1: Quickly add symbols
~Macworld
You’ve probably been using your iPhone’s keyboard for ages without realising that it’s actually easier than you thought to add symbols to your messages.Instead of tapping once on the 123 button, once on your chosen symbol and then once again on the ABC button to go back to the conventional keyboard layout, you can do the whole thing in one gesture.

Tap and hold the 123 button, slide your finger to select the symbol you want to insert, then release. Once it’s been added, your keyboard will automatically revert back to the letters keyboard. One tap instead of three: that’s some serious time savings right there.

Oh, and while we’re talking symbols: hold your finger on the symbol for a second or two and you’ll see any alternative (usually related) symbols that the button can offer instead. The dollar key also offers pound, euro and yen symbols, for example.

There are many additional symbols hidden within your keyboard that you may never have discovered. Experiment!