Mary’s X Files, January 2018

Using Split View on iPad
The iPad was the device that benefited most from the iOS 11 update as advancements were made to the touchscreen interface to make it more akin to a laptop. Here we show you how to use Split View from the Dock.

1. Drag and drop — Press and hold on an app icon in your Dock and then drag it up to the far-left on the main home screen. A black area will appear for you to drop it into, after which it will fill half the screen.

2. Drag a second app icon — Keeping the first open app in place with one finger, you can then drag a second app up to fill the vacant space on the right, after which both apps can be viewed side by side.

3. Make adjustments — If you want to adjust how much space each app gets on your screen, simply press and hold on the screen divider and then drag it left or right. It’s a fabulously intuitive system.

Lesser Known SIRI Tricks on the Mac
Siri on the Mac can be a hugely advantageous feature if you use your Mac a lot. It enables you to quickly check for answers to questions and to effectively have access to all of the information the internet has to offer. Here are a few examples:

1. Access system information — Siri is also embedded in a Mac in a way which means that it has access to the system data you need. You can ask how much storage you have left on your Mac and even how much iCloud space you have available. The results are presented in an instant.

2. Manage your Mac — Diving into Settings and clicking a few options is not a huge hardship, but it may seem so after you have used Siri to perform the same actions. You can ask Siri to interact with many parts of your Mac and the results are quite surprising when you first try to use them.

3. What’s that song? — Siri can offer the same benefits as Shazam on a Mac without the need to even have
the app installed. If a song is playing in the background you can ask Siri, “What is this song?” and your Mac microphone will listen and then magically present all of the details you need.

4. Save media results — If you ask Siri to display images of an object or an animal, you will be given a set of results derived from a standard internet search. You can then click on any image and drag it to the Notes app or many other apps and use it for your own purposes. Very clever integration.

5. Search for tweets — Provided you have a Twitter account linked in macOS you will be able to ask Siri to search for tweets by a user name or look for those related to a particular subject. It is much more efficient than using Twitter directly. An excellent feature.

Using the Cloud — Optimize Mac Storage
The days of new Macs having way more storage than their predecessors are over – a problem if you have a lot of media. iCloud Drive provides a solution: in System Preferences>iCloud, click on iCloud Drive’s Options button and turn on Optimise Mac Storage. Older documents are offloaded to iCloud when storage space is needed.

Optimize Your Mac Input Devices
1. Use Spotlight — Sure, you can launch apps on your Mac by clicking icons in the Applications folder or Dock. But it’s often faster to press Command+Space to fire up Spotlight, type a few letters, and use the arrow keys to open what’s selected.

2. Understand your trackpad — The Trackpad pane in System Preferences offers three tabs full of options. Tracking speed is worth increasing, but also turn on ‘Tap to click’, so you tap lightly to select items on your Mac, rather than having to press.

3. Adjust your keyboard — In System Preferences, the Keyboard pane has options for fine-tuning how your keyboard works with your Mac, including defining new keyboard shortcuts, and creating text replacements.

4. Explore your mouse options — Whatever mouse you’re currently using, the Mouse pane of the System Preferences provides settings to change how it works. Tracking speed is perhaps the most important. Ramp it up to the maximum you feel comfortable with.