Mary’s X Files, May 2019

Create Smart Albums in Photos on Mac
~iCreate Magazine

The Photos app has some brilliant features that enable you to organise the photographs you take on your iPhone or digital camera into albums. For example, there are Smart Albums that automatically update as you add new images to Photos. They enable you to create rules that define the photos that are included, such as selfies, portraits, date taken, slo-mo and more. The Photos app has built-in AI that enables it to recognise scenes and objects in photos without you having to add tags or categorise them. It can find all photos of buildings, animals, lakes, boats, all pictures with clouds, all sports photos and more. Use the AI to find photos then turn them into albums.

1. Get smart – Although photo albums can be created manually, it can be a lot of work adding images. Smart Albums are automatic. Go to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘New Smart Album’.

2. Create a rule – Enter a name for the Smart Album and then look at the rule below. It needs modifying, so click the first item and select the condition to be met for photos to be included.

3. Configure the conditions – There are three or four conditions to configure.

4. View your album – After creating the rule, the Smart Album is added to the sidebar. Select it to view the photos it contains. Ctrl+click it to display a menu and select ‘Edit Smart Album’.

5. Add more conditions – If there are photos in the Smart Album that do not belong, click the ‘+’ icon to the right of the condition and add more. For example, select ‘Photo’, ‘is not’, and ‘Panorama’.

6. Use smart search – Photos has built-in AI, object and scene recognition, which is great for creating photo albums. Click in the search box and type a word, then select a suggested category.

Control Startup Sounds
~iCreate Magazine
Does your Mac have a startup sound? Old ones do, so press F10 to mute the sound before powering off if you want to enable a silent start next time. Modern Macs start silently anyway, but if you miss the old startup sound, some people have found that entering ‘sudo nvram BootAudio=%01’ into Terminal works and ‘%00’ stops it.

Tweak the Menu Bar on Mac
~iCreate Magazine
You can move menu bar icons by holding down the Cmd key, hovering over one and then dragging it to a new position. You can also remove or add system icons by going to their respective preference panels in System Preferences and ticking or unticking the boxes at the bottom.

Say it Right for Siri
~iCreate Magazine
If Siri has trouble pronouncing certain names correctly then you can rectify this by saying, “Learn how to pronounce [contact name]”. Siri will then provide a selection of different pronunciations (that you can listen to by clicking the Play button) and you just have to pick the one that sounds the closest.

Search Notes with Siri
~iCreate Magazine
If you, like us, keep pages and pages of random notes then you can task Siri with finding a particular note – as long as you know one or two keywords. Say something like, “Find my note containing [keyword],” and Siri will launch your Notes app and provide an array of possible matches.

Send Messages using Siri
~iCreate Magazine
As the Messages app is universal between Mac and iOS, you can compose and send messages using just your voice. Start by saying, “Send message to [insert name],” and when Siri asks what you want to say, dictate the text. You will then be prompted to save the message or cancel it. You may have to verify the phone number if you have multiple entries for the same person in Contacts.

Put a Stop to Scam Calls
~iCreate Magazine

So your iPhone rings and it’s a number you don’t recognise. You answer it, there’s a slight pause and the caller claims to be from Microsoft asking about an issue it reckons you have with Windows. Notwithstanding the fact that you use macOS, you just know it’s a scam so you hang up and curse the wasted time. But is there a way to stop these guys from calling in the first place? Indeed there is: by only allowing pre-verified contacts or anyone persistently calling within three minutes to get through to you.
The trick makes use of Do Not Disturb and it’s entirely free. It’s particularly useful if you’re being bombarded by scam calls but it does mean you’ll need to add people you want to let call to your contacts list. Combine it with blocking, however, and you’ll finally get some peace.

1. Pull the plug – If you find you’re getting too many spam calls, then you can take drastic action and pull the plug on anyone except your contacts. Open Settings and tap ‘Do Not Disturb’.

2. Switch it on – At the top of the screen, you’ll see a switch next to Do Not Disturb. Make sure that this is switched on by toggling it to green.

3. Filter callers – When Do Not Disturb is activated, you can still allow some people to call you. To select a group of people you wish to let through, start by tapping ‘All Calls From’.

Betty’s Bookmarks, May 2019

Both SMUG and MIAMUG members have been donating used and outdated technology equipment and books and magazines etc. to Kenya. Here I hope you’ll enjoy reading of the significant and impactful 30-year history of Delta College, Jack Crowell and Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST).

Apple Watch users! Learn how to use Emergency SOS on your Apple Watch. All I can say is that it works!

Keylogger? They secretly record what you see, say and do on your computer. Cybercriminals use them and you should understand them and avoid them. This is the site. Their protection has been discussed and recommended at meetings. Take a look Malwarebytes FREE for your Macs.

The Apple Card – recently announced by Apple. Revolutionary YES! Read about it here and be ready when it arrives in the summer. I’m looking forward to it and you will too!

Both of these sites are about Photos, iCloud, storage, backup, etc. Read both of them in order as the second provides a solution not evident when the first article was posted. Interesting stuff and definitely useful if you find yourself not confident that keeping the only copy of your precious photo library in the Cloud meets your safety standards.

Now this is a tip that’s worth much more than the paper it’s written on. Find out how to use your phone as a magnifying glass. Try it and you’ll use it many times for many reasons.

Aging slows us down and so does an aging iPad. Here are some quick tips to speed up that iPad. Look for Next Up on the page and navigate through all 6 tips. It’s a bit confusing but it works.

Ideally, it’s a good idea to have more than one email account. Adding an account to use for newsletters, online purchases, etc. is a good idea. Keep your personal email address for corresponding with your relatives and friends. It’s easy – just do it.

Mary’s X Files, April 2019

Create Unbreakable Passwords
~iCreate Magazine
Every Mac has a brilliant password-generator built in, and it’s called Keychain Access. This is stored in a folder called Utilities in your Applications folder and you can find it with a simple Spotlight search. Locate it and then open it.

1. Save passwords – Whenever you open a new account, be it in an app or website, a strong password will be automatically generated for you and, if used, automatically stored to your Keychain and then filled in automatically when needed.

2. View passwords – You can view your stored passwords in Keychain Access. Select ‘Passwords’ as the featured Category and then double- click on a password-protected item. Now click ‘Show password’, sign in, and then it will be shown.

3. Create passwords – You can click on the ‘+’ icon to create new Keychain items. Fill in the item name (or URL), account name and click on the key icon. This will help you generate a strong password to help protect the account.

Top Five Password Tips
~iCreate Magazine

1. Try to use at least 12 characters in the password so that anyone trying to crack it will need to spend a long time working through the options.

2. Mix and match letters, numbers and symbols. Come up with a memorable sentence that contains both and turn it into a mnemonic to help you remember it.

3. Try to avoid using actual dictionary words. It’s far more secure to go for random letters or a mixture of several random words.

4. Don’t just tack a number one numeral on to the end of your usual password because this is incredibly common. Slip numbers into the middle instead.

5. Mix up your passwords. We know it’s difficult but try and have a different one for each account you use to prevent a hacker from being able to access everything.

New Advertising Options in Mojave
~iCreate Magazine

Your Mac’s Privacy options have been enhanced by macOS Mojave because we now have the Advertising section added to the list in System Preferences > Security&Privacy > Privacy.

Click on this to opt out of receiving ads specifically targeted to your Mac habits. Click ‘Reset Advertising Identifier’ to clear information stored on you or ‘View Ad Information’ to see the info.

Manage Cookies
~iCreate Magazine

Whenever we visit an online site, it’ll leave a cookie on your Mac that checks to see if we have visited that site before and possibly tailor the content accordingly. You have full freedom over what sites can and can’t leave cookies and you can manage this by going to Safari>Preferences>Privacy and clicking ‘Manage Website Data’. Highlight and click ‘Remove’ to delete specific cookies.

Use a VPN
~iCreate Magazine

If you use your MacBook to access public Wi-Fi networks then it is a very good idea to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt all of the data transferred across the network and route it to an end point operated by your VPN provider. Research online for a reliable VPN provider and then, to set it up on your Mac, go to System Preferences>Network, click ‘+’, select ‘VPN’ as the interface and enter the provider details.

Betty’s Bookmarks, April 2019
Your knowledge of phishing gives you POWER! Read this informative article and keep learning and stay ahead of ‘phishers’.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to cutting the cord. See if you’re up to it.
See if at least one of these iPhone tricks will be useful for you.
Learn here how to use the Screen time feature in iOS 12. Submitted by Dale Stephan (MIAMUG).
Thinking of moving your Photos library off your computer’s hard drive? This link will help you make the move to an external hard drive.
Siri tricks for your Apple Watch. Get them here.
Apple Watch Heart Study results from Apple and Stanford Medicine are here. Interesting information.
Get maximum cybersecurity with minimum effort. Read about how to do it here.

Betty’s Bookmarks, March 2019
Here’s something for you to do when it’s too cold to step outside! This is a user’s guide for you to learn and review
macOS Mojave. Click on Table of Contents and go for it.
Here’s something for Apple Watch owners or those of you who want to own an Apple Watch. The honeycomb app grid can be changed to a list view. Here’s how to do it!
Work on learning more about the iPhone’s Contacts App. Find some good tips here. Submitted by Dale Stephan (MIAMUG).
This is an outstanding YouTube video that you will enjoy as you brush up on MacOS Finder. If you don’t learn something we’ll know you didn’t watch the video. Submitted by David Morgan (MIAMUG).
So while we’re in the mood for learning – watch this YouTube video on MacOS Mojave. Sponsored by CleanMyMac not to be confused with MacKeeper, which is dangerous software.
Are you experiencing some strange errors in Safari? Read this article – it may help solve your problems.
Here’s a podcast from Mac Power Users that you may enjoy. The topic is Menu Bars, Docks and also Startup Apps. They discuss some really good apps. Click on the Feb 24 2019 podcast. You may also reach the podcast here:
There was so much interest in the Apple Watch at our recent MacCamp. Learn about it here and if you decide to buy I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. The future of TeleHealth certainly includes the Apple Watch.

Mary’s X Files, March 2019

Tidy up your Files on macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
If you use your desktop as a dumping ground for files, you may often end up looking at a hideous mess – and standard view options in Finder can only do so much. But with masOS Mojave, you can wrench order from chaos by using Desktop Stacks. Command-click on the desktop and choose “Use Stacks”.

Stacks automatically sort whatever’s on your desktop by kind, date or tag. Also, you can scrub through items, or click a stack to see what’s lurking within. Zero-effort tidying!

Selling your Old iOS Device
~MacFormat Magazine
When you’re selling an old iOS device, keeping things tidy is of paramount importance. If you plan to use the data on a new device, back it up first. (Ideally, restore it to the new device before you ship the old one, just in case.) Then, in “Settings” on the device you’re selling, tap your name and sign out of iCloud. Then, in “General>Reset”, select “Reset All Settings”. Once the device has erased everything and reset, shut it down in the usual manner, and remove the SIM. Note that if you forget to remove a device from iCloud, you can do so later in Safari for Mac at

Top Tips for Backup Success on macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Make sure you have at least two backup copies of every piece of data you consider important.
2. Periodically verify that your backups are in working order.
3. Automate backups, whatever system you’re using. Only manually triggering them is a good way to forget and end up with no fallback.

1. Remove apps and system files, unless you definitely won’t ever need to reinstall your whole system and apps.
2. Carve a drive in two for multiple backup/cloning systems (like Time Machine and SuperDuper). Use a separate drive for each one.

How to Retain Siri Results in macOS
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Wake up Siri: Siri is a useful tool on macOS, but can be a little transient. Keeping a log of what’s been said is actually pretty easy though. Start by opening up Siri, either from the dock, the menu bar, or pressing “Command+Spacebar”.

2. Ask a Question: Siri’s range of knowledge – as long as you have an internet connection, of course – is pretty broad. Ask a question and you’ll get a brief summary. Ask for the result to be read out, or for more information, and you’ll get it.

3. Keep the Result Around: Siri’s displayed results each come with a small + icon in the top-right corner. Clck this and they’ll be pinned to Notification Center’s “Today” view, where they’ll stay until you click the “X” to close them – great for watching sports fixtures.

Prioritise Networks on MacOS
When the Mac is started the Wi-Fi is enabled and it begins searching for networks. There are often several, such as yours and all your neighbors’. Which should it connect to? The strongest? That may not be the one you want.

It actually connects in the order in
which networks are listed in System> Preferences>Network>Advanced>Wi-Fi.

Stop Distractions on MacOS
Pop-up notifications can be distracting when you are working. Some notifications require a click to dismiss. Enable “Do Not Disturb” from dawn till dusk to stop distractions. Go to System Preferences>Notifications and set the DND option.

Always Show Scrollbars on macOS
Scrollbars in windows and apps should be easy to use, but somehow macOS has turned them into a game of hide-and-seek. If you find them awkward to use then head to System Preferences>General and select the ‘Always’ option under ‘Show Scrollbars’.

Mary’s X Files, February 2019

Is There a Way to Block Certain Incoming Texts in iOS?
~Macworld Magazine
A Macworld reader wants to know if there’s a way in iOS to block texts from everyone who isn’t in the Contacts list. Her elderly mother is receiving harassing texts from someone who obtains a new number and continues the attack every time they are stymied using iOS’s option to block texts (along with FaceTime requests and calls).

There isn’t such a feature, although you’d think this would be a much-desired one. Apple has continued to add anti-spam and contact- blocking features across the latest releases of iOS, and allows third-party app makers to tap into calls and texts to help, too.

Apple does offer a feature to sort iMessages – texts sent from people with registered iCloud accounts – into a separate area. Visit Settings/ Messages/Unknown & Spam, and enable Filter Unknown Senders. (On a Mac, using Messages/Preferences, and uncheck the Notify me about Messages from Unknown Contact box.)

This doesn’t act on text messages (SMS), which are always delivered and is more likely the problem faced.

The only option at present is to change one’s phone number and keep it private.

Essential monthly maintenance tasks
1. Check the drives- Sometimes the file system has minor errors, so repair them before they become major. Open Disk Utility, select each internal and external drive and click ‘First Aid’.

2. Update everything – If automatic updates are disabled, check by opening Software Update in System Preferences. Select ‘Updates’ in the App Store. Check non-store apps for updates too.

3. Make backups – Time Machine is simple and convenient, but tools like SuperDuper ( clone the Mac’s drive to a USB drive and makes it bootable.

4. Tidy up Mail – Open the Mail app and cancel subscriptions to newsletters you never read with the link. Search for emails with attachments and delete any you don’t need.

5. Uninstall unused apps- Are there apps you never use? Show the Applications folder in List view, Ctrl+click a header and select ‘Date Last Opened’. Delete apps you have not used for a long time.

6. Run system scripts- Open Terminal. Enter ‘ls -al /var/log/*. out’ to see when macOS last ran cleanup and maintenance scripts. Run them now by entering ‘sudo periodic daily weekly monthly’.

Applying lists and sub-lists
Lists of items are easy to create in TextEdit, and there is a toolbar button to turn a line of text into a bullet point using several different symbols or a numbered or alphabetical list. Just type something and then click the last button in the TextEdit toolbar. How do you create a sub-list within a list or a sub-list of a sub-list? There is no obvious way to do it – no menu or toolbar, but it can be done.

1. Create a sub-list – Create lists by entering text. Click the last button in the toolbar to select the list design. To turn a list item into a sub-list place the cursor at the start and press Option/Alt+Tab.

2. Customise sub-lists – While in the sub-list, click the list button. Select ‘Show More’, select Bullet>Number style and insert prefix and suffix text. Use Prepend to add the parent list marker.

Always show Scrollbars on MacOS
Scrollbars in windows and apps should be easy to use, but somehow macOS has turned them into a game of hide-and-seek. If you find them awkward to use then head to System Preferences>General and select the ‘Always’ option under ‘Show Scrollbars’.

Reduce motion/transparency on MacOS
Some elements of the macOS interface are semi-transparent – the menu bar is one example. Some people like it, others don’t. The effect can be turned on and off in System Preferences>Accessibility>Display. You might also want to enable ‘Reduce motion’, which stops some animation effects.

Betty’s Bookmarks, February 2019
The amazing Apple Pencil – learn about it here.
Selling or receiving a iPhone or iPad? Here you’ll see how removing the activation lock is a must.
Are you a new Mac user or just feel you need to brush up on using a Mac? Here’s an excellent tutorial by David A. Cox using Mojave. You haven’t installed Mojave? Hmmm why not?,2817,2429388,00.asp
This is just a teaser. The Analog to Digital SIG is proceeding in the talking/planning stage. Good time for you to look at all your photos, slides, audio, video, VCR tapes, etc. that you’d like to convert. Stay tuned and let SMUG & MIAMUG know your interest and needs.
AirPods are the best! If you’re new to AirPods or just need a refresher watch this excellent video.
Apple March Event is coming soon. Here’s a video talking about what we might expect to be announced. AirPods 2 and charging pad and more.
Let’s discover the Home app if you haven’t adopted it! If you have, how do you use it? What works for you?
Learn more about the Health app. There’s lots there.

Mary’s X Files, January 2019

New Ways to Navigate your iPad
The iPhone X revamped the way you get around Apple’s smartphone, and iOS 12 brings its more fluid navigational gestures to the iPad too. This is great news if you have an iPad and one of Apple’s newer iPhones, because you don’t have to adapt your thinking as you move between devices. Additionally, the clock has beween moved to the top-left corner of the screen, which matches iPhone X. There’s no setting to move it back to the middle, though.

How to Navigate:

1. Review Notifications: Like in iOS 11, notifications can be reviewed by swiping down from the screen’s top edge – but avoid the right end, because…

2. Relocated controls: The top-right corner is now reserved for Control Center. Like on the iPhone X, swipe downwards from the icons there to reveal it.

3. A cleaner app switcher: As in iOS 11, you still swipe upwards from the bottom edge to around the middle of the screen to enter the app switcher. Notice, though, that the switcher now displays nothing more than other tasks you can switch to – there are no controls or shortcuts on its right side.

4. Return to Home: A quick flick upwards from the screen’s bottom edge will take you back to the Home screen – faster and less involved than pinching four or five fingers together, and great news if you iPad’s Home button is on its last legs.

5. Reveal the Dock: The slight drawback to the Home screen gesture is you need to be more deliberate when revealing the Dock within an app. Drag your finger upwards from the bottom edge a little more slowly, as if you’re literally pulling the Dock into view.

Measure up your World
There’s a brand-new app in iOS 12, Measure, and it’s available on iPhone and iPad. The app uses Apple’s augmented reality (AF) tech, ARKit 2, to measure the distance between points on flat surfaces.

Third-party apps beat Apple to this task when ARKit was first introduced, but the point is Apple now bundles an AR app with iOS.
Note that while the app can measure distances between points on flat surfaces, it can’t be used to measure the length of an arc on a curved surface, say.

1. Find a surface: You’ll be asked to move your device around, so the app can find flat surfaces in the view. A circular overlay will align with the detected plan and follow your aim.

2. Measure things: Tap the + to mark a point in space, point the camera elsewhere on the surface – distance is shown as you do – and tap + again to record the measurement.

3. Take note: The app will snap to an existing point if you aim it nearby. The arrow undoes a step, Clear starts over, and the other white circle takes a photo of the current view.

How do I turn my iOS keyboard into a trackpad?
Now for all!

This feature used to be reserved for owners of 3D Touch-enabled iPhones, but with the release of iOS 12 the feature has been extended to all devices.

1. Hold spacebar
To access the trackpad feature, simply press and hold on the spacebar and the rest of the iOS keyboard will fade out to the background…

2. Move cursor
Still pressing and holding on the screen, you can swipe your finger around to manually position the onscreen cursor anywhere within your text.

Create custom message responses on my Apple Watch
It’s all done through the Watch app on your iPhone. Launch the app and then tap ‘My Watch’, then scroll down to the list of apps and then tap on ‘Messages’. Now select ‘Default Replies’ and you will be presented with a list of default replies. Simply tap on any one of them and replace the text with whatever you want. You can also tap on ‘Add Reply’ to create a new response that will be added to the list. Tap ‘Done’ when you have finished to save your new messages and they will be synced to your Watch.

Increase the size of the text in Safari websites on the Mac
This is surprisingly easy to do within the Safari app itself. Simply go to the website that you want to read, right-click on the URL bar and then choose the ‘Settings For This Website’ option. You will now be able to adjust the zoom for individual sites. If you want to zoom in on every site you visit then go to Safari>Preferences> Page Zoom and then increase the zoom percentage next to the ‘When visiting other websites’ option in the lower-right corner of the window. This will then be applied to all sites going forward.

Betty’s Bookmarks, January 2019
It’s all about organization. Initiate stacks and enjoy a cleaner desktop than you have ever had.
A good resolution for 2019 – Security is most important.
Probably a review but necessary information for everyone.
Your device is backed up – now how do you restore it.
More on backups.
Lots of concern always and most recently about Facebook.Kim Komando addresses the issue.
Check this out and decide if you want to use Wi-Fi Assist on your phone.
David A. Cox is back with a good video for us. He’ll show us how to gain control over that overstuffed inbox in Apple Mail.