Mary’s X Files, October 2018

Listen to your music on a countdown timer on iPhone
~iCreate
If you enjoy listening to music as you try to fall asleep then you don’t have to worry about it blaring unattended when you nod off because you can set it to end on a timer. To do this, open the Clock app, select timer and then, under ‘When Time Ends’, choose the ‘Stop Playing’ option. Now, if you set a timer for, say, 20 minutes, any music will stop playing when it expires.

Charge quicker on iPhone
~iCreate
This tip seems to work across every iOS device, regardless of what iOS it is running. If you want to reduce the amount of time your device spends connected to a power source then simply swipe up to Control Centre and turn on Airplane mode (make sure all connections are off). With no power-hungry services on, it will charge noticeably quicker. Handy to know if your time at a plug socket is limited.

Flash to notify on iOS
~iCreate
If you want a more visual alert from your iPhone when a new notifications comes through then go to Settings>General>Accessibility and then activate ‘LED Flash for Alerts’. Your iPhone’s flash will now illuminate to herald a new notification, making it even harder to miss. This will drain your iPhone battery faster, though.

Sign and share documents digitally using Preview
~iCreate
If you need to sign a document, scan and send it digitally then this is made easy with Preview’s built-in toolset. But in order to sign documents digitally you must first create a signature. Go to View>Show Markup Toolbar and you should see a signature icon – click on this and then choose the ‘Create Signature’ option that appears. You should then be able to add a new signature by either using a trackpad or signing a piece of paper and then holding it up to your Mac’s camera.

1. Apply a signature
When you have a saved signature, open the PDF and click on the Sign icon in the Markup Toolbar and choose your signature. It will be automatically placed in the document.

2. Position and resize
Click and hold on the signature to move it into the desired location, and then click and drag one of the corners to resize it, scaling it down to fit if need be.

Share Wi-Fi passwords in iOS
~iCreate
To ensure that only one member of your party has to go through the hassle of typing in a password to access a wireless network, Wi-Fi passwords can be shared with nearby devices. As long as both devices are running iOS 11, go to Settings>Wi-Fi and tap on the wireless network that you want to join – the ‘Enter Password’ screen should now be displayed. Now move your device closer to the connected one and a prompt should appear on their screen to ‘Share Password’.

Delete digits in Calculator on iPhone
~iCreate
If you accidentally enter the wrong digit while inputting figures into the iOS Calculator app then you don’t have to press ‘C’ to start again. Simply swipe one finger either left or right across the display and the last entered digit will be instantly deleted.

Swipe pages in iOS
~iCreate
In Safari, in iOS, while viewing web pages you can swipe left or right to go backwards or forwards a screen respectively. This is certainly quicker than using the onscreen arrows.

Mary’s X Files, September 2018

How to edit your Today view on iPad
~iCreate
We all lead such busy lives that it is easy to forget things, miss appointments and lose track of what we’re supposed to be doing, which is why your Notification Centre is so important. It relays all the important information for the day ahead and you can tailor it to meet your needs, as we’ll demonstrate.

You can swipe down and then right to see what’s happening on your Today view and you can also determine what is displayed and the order. The process is much like the Mac version and only takes a minute to edit.

1. Tap Edit – Swipe down and then right and then scroll to the bottom of your Today view where you will see the ‘Edit’ button – tap it.

2. Edit items – You can add or remove items by tapping the green ‘+’ icons and the red ‘–’ icons. Only add ones you need.

3. Arrange items – Press and hold on the list icons next to an item and drag it up or down to change the running order.

Customize Notification Center on Mac
~iCreate
Your Mac Notification Centre, accessible by clicking on the list icon in the top-right corner, displays new notifications and what’s going on for the current day. You can edit the info displayed and arrange it to meet your needs.

1. Click Edit – Click on the icon in the top- right corner of the menu bar to access your Notification Centre and click ‘Edit’ at the bottom.

2. Add/remove – Click on the red ‘–’ icons to remove existing items and the green ‘+’ icons to add new content to your feed.

3. Re-arrange – You can change the order in which items are displayed by clicking, holding and dragging on the list icons next to each item.

Edit your notifications on iPad
~iCreate
You have full freedom to determine exactly which apps send you notifications and how they are displayed. Every app that wants to send you alerts will be listed under Settings> Notifications and you can tap on them to tailor the alerts.

1. Open Settings – Go to Settings>Notifications and all of the apps and services that send you notifications will be listed. Tap on one.

2. Turn it on – Make sure that the app is enabled and then make sure the ‘Show in Notification Centre’ option is turned on.

3. Select style – Now select the style of notification (for example, ‘Banners’) and they will flash up in your Notification Centre.

Type to Siri in iOS
~iCreate
If you don’t like talking aloud to your iOS device then you can type instead. Go to Settings>General> Accessibility>Siri and then toggle on ‘Type to Siri’. Now, whenever you use Siri, type your commands into the text box provided and then tap ‘Done’ and the results will be pulled up. You can also adjust the voice settings to ‘Control with Ring Switch’ – which means that Siri will only show you query results and not speak them out loud.

Save parking locations in iOS
~iCreate
If your car is modern enough to have Bluetooth or CarPlay then go to Settings>Maps and ensure that the ‘Show Parked Location’ option is enabled. Now, if you forget where you have parked it will be clearly marked on a map for your reference.

Return to top of page in Safari in iOS
~iCreate
This is a little-known iOS classic, but if you want to quickly return to the top of a web page or any other scrollable content then simply tap on the time display at the top of the screen. You will be taken there instantly.

Mary’s X Files, August 2018

Improve Siri Functionality in iOS
~iCreate
Siri has its own dedicated section in Settings where you can enable functionality for individual apps. You can also educate Siri about yourself, including key locations and family members. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Open your Contacts app and then find your own personal contact card in your directory. Tap to open it,
2. Add More Details – Tap the ‘Edit’ option in the top-right corner and then add in as many details as possible, including family members.
3. Select Card – Go to Settings>Siri and tap on the ‘My Info’ option. Now simply locate and select your personal card for Siri to use.

Lauch Wireless Diagnostics on Mac
~iCreate
How to Locate and Launch your Mac’s Built-in Signal Scanner – If you suspect that the wireless connectivity issues you are suffering are the result of a poor signal then your Mac’s Wireless Diagnostics app can help. Strangely, this mythical app doesn’t reside in your Launch Pad by default and locating it is almost akin to summoning spirits! Once open, the app will scan your wireless network and highlight any issues that arise.

1. Access the app – The easiest way to launch the Wireless Diagnostics app is to hold the Alt (option) key before clicking on the Wi-Fi menu bar icon and choosing ‘Open Wireless Diagnostics’.

2. Check Performance – Before clicking on ‘Continue’, go to Window>Performance (or hit Alt+Cmd+5) and three graphs will be generated that gauge your Wi-Fi connection.

3. Monitor Graphs – Leave the app running so that your Wi-Fi connection can be monitored over time and the graphs should highlight possible dips and spikes.

Your Wi-Fi performance charts
~iCreate
While in the Wireless Diagnostics app, you can bring up the following Wi-Fi performance chart by going to Window>Performance. Here’s a guide to what the graphs mean…

1 This graph displays the data rate of your wireless network in Mbps. Monitor this graph over the course of a few hours and if you see noticeable dips or a complete drop of signal then it indicates that there is a problem somewhere.

2 The middle chart, labelled ‘Quality’, displays the ratio of signal to noise. All being well, this line should be relatively straight with slight spikes and dips. If it frequently dips then it indicates that something is interfering with your Wi-Fi signal.

3 The lower graph, marked ‘Signal’, highlights both the signal strength and measured noise, both of which are measured in Decibel- milliwatts (dBM). Ideally, you should be looking at a signal of between -60 to -10dBM and noise below -75dBM.

4 Monitor all three graphs over time to get a clearer picture of how your Wi-Fi is performing. In the lower graph, the two lines should be close together if all is good. If they’re not then try to eradicate the noise by repositioning
the router.

Change the navigation icon in Google Maps
~iCreate
Although Apple Maps has improved greatly since it made its debut six years ago (and let’s face it, it could hardly have got any worse), many still swear by Google Maps. We won’t go into the ins and outs of why that is but if you do make use of this wonderful app on your iPhone, then you’re in for a little treat.

Rather than follow a blue navigation arrow while you’re driving, you can now add some fun to even the dullest of journeys by swapping it out for a vehicle instead. While it’s admittedly cosmetic, there are currently three to choose from (a saloon, truck or 4×4), each of a cartoon-like nature. We reckon we’ll see more of them in the future as word gets around about their inclusion.

Mary’s X Files, July 2018

Review your Subscriptions on iOS
~iCreate
If you want to view and manage existing subscriptions, such as an Apple Music subscription, for example, then this is all done through the Settings app. Just tap on your Apple ID at the top of the page to access a wealth of options.

1. Go to Settings – Launch your Settings app and then tap on your Apple ID at the top of the Settings screen. Next, tap on ‘iTunes & App Store’. 2. Tap on Apple ID – Next, tap on your Apple ID again (which will be blue), select ‘View Apple ID’ and then sign into your account.
3. Review Subs – You will now be able to scroll down and tap on the ‘Subscriptions’ option to view and manage your subs.

View Alerts and Purchases on iOS
~iCreate
Once you are into your Apple ID account, there is much you can do. For example, you can set up Family Sharing, edit your payment information and manage all aspects of your account. Here are some of the extra options available.

1. Manage Alerts – Tap on the ‘Manage’ option under My Alerts and you will be able to manage alerts for artists you follow in Apple Music.
2. View Purchases – Tap on the ‘Purchase History’ option to view all of the apps you have downloaded in the last 90 days over al devices.
3. Apple Offers – Under iTunes Newsletters and Special Offers, tap ‘Manage’ and you will be asked to sign into a Safari page to manage these.

Manage your Accounts on a Mac
~iCreate
Things are slightly different when trying to manage your Apple ID on a Mac. There is nothing in System Preferences that covers this; instead you have to do it through the iTunes app itself. Here we’ll guide your through the process.

1. Find the Option – in iTunes, click on the ‘Store’ tab at the top of the interface and then you will see a ‘Music Quick Links’ option in the right column. 2. Choose Method – Click on ‘Account’ and sign into your Apple account then you will be taken to an extensive page of options to review.
3. Manage Subs – If you would like to cancel a subscription then, under ‘Settings’, click on the ‘Manage’ option next to Subscriptions.

Prepare for the Long Wait at the Airport when Traveling
~iCreate
The wait at the airport can feel like forever when you are looking forward to your trip or can’t wait to get back home, but your trusty iPhone can give you all of the entertainment and interest you need to make it feel much more bearable. Using the right apps wisely can help a lot.

1. Offline Films – Netflix and similar services now let you download selected films and TV shows so that you can watch them anywhere. You should do this before you leave for your trip.
2. Don’t Stream – If you subscribe to services like Apple Music, you can download tracks to play without an internet connection. This could also save data roaming fees when abroad.
3. Gaming on the Go – Don’t forget to install a few games for those moments when you are unexpectedly delayed. From two minutes to two hours, they can help the time pass very quickly. 4. Light Reading – A few eBooks will go a long way on the beach, in the airport or anywhere else when you need some downtime. Kindle and iBooks both work exceptionally well.

5. Offline Articles – Apps and services like Instapaper and Pocket let you download Longford articles to read anywhere. These work well on leisure trips because they tend to be quick reads.

Mary’s X Files, June 2018

Instantly Update on iOS
~iCreate
If you only have a modest number of apps installed on your iOS device, then you may want updates to be installed automatically as soon as they become available. This is done easily by going to your Settings app…

1. Go to Settings – Launch your Settings app and then scroll down through the various sections. You will see a category called ‘iTunes & App Store’ – tap it to adjust the options within.

2. Enable Updates – Under the ‘Automatic Downloads’ section, turn on ‘Updates’ and then they will download and install without you having to lift a finger as soon as they are released.

3. Don’t Use your Data – If you enable the Updates option, then make sure you also check that the ‘Use Mobile Data’ option is turned off so that auto downloads don’t eat into your data plan.

Updating All of your Mac Apps
~iCreate
The principles of updating apps remains the same on Mac, although the way to do so is slightly different. Here we show you how to manually update your apps or get it done behing the scenes automatically.

1. The Manual Way – Launch the App Store app and then click on the ‘Updates’ option at the top of the interface. Any app updates will be listed here, so click on the ‘Update’ button next to any app you want.

2. Do it Automatically – To automatically update your apps, go to System Preferences>App Store, click on the padlock in the lower- left corner and then enter your administrator’s password.

3. Tick the Right Boxes – You can now tick the boxes, as required, that relate to the updates. For example, ticking “install App Updates’ will ensure that updates will be installed as soon as they come out.

Important Mac Shortcuts
~iCreate
1.Quit Applications (Cmd+Q) – It’s not good to have too many apps open at once as they may cause your Mac to run sluggishly as they compete for system resources. Simply clicking on the red dot in the top-left corner of an app window won’t work either as it won’t completely close down the app. The only way to be sure that an app is closed is by clicking on the app menu and choose ‘Quit’ – or by using this shortcut: “Cmd+Q”

2. Copy & Paste (Cmd+C, Cmd+V) – Probably the most-used duo of shortcuts on the Mac! These shortcuts work in any app and allow you to instantly copy content to your Mac’s clipboard and paste it into other apps. You can also toss in the ‘cut’ command too (Cmd+X) to give yourself the Holy Trinity of Apple shortcuts. We honestly don’t think that a day goes by without us using these ones – they will serve you well.
3. Force-quit (Cmd+Opt+Esc) – Occasionally your Mac apps may stop responding and attempting the ‘quit applications’ shortcut proves fruitless. If this is the case, then you can try force-quitting apps by using this shortcut. When pressed, a small window will appear listing all of the currently active apps – simply select the unresponsive one and then click on the ‘Force Quit’ button to close it down completely.

Get Instant Word Suggestions on Mac
~iCreate
Apps such as Text Edit and Notes have a clever built-in feature that is rather akin to iOS in that they can try to predict the next word that you want to write to save you the time of actually writing it. To implement this feature on your Mac, simply start writing a word and then press Opt+Esc. A list of possible words will now be presented and you can just click on the intended word to save you having to write out the rest of it.

Sure, in the time it takes to press the keyboard shortcut and pick the word, you could have probably finsihsed typing it yourself, but if you are unsure of the spelling, then this feature can be a big help.

Going Private on Mac
~iCreate
There may be times when you don’t want to leave footprints of your web activity, especially if other people use your Mac. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to cover your tracks.

You can open a new private window in Safari by going to File>New Private Window or using the Shift+Cmd+t keyboard shortcut. Any tabs that you open in this window will be private and leave no record in your history when closed.

Mary’s X Files, May 2018

Make Full Use of your Spotlight on Mac
~iCreate
1. Check Weather – If you want a quick weather report for your local area, then just type ‘weather’ intoSpotlight and you’ll get a ten-day forecast.

2. Check Flights – For holidays, if you want the latest flight information, then type in your flight number. It can also handle currency conversions.

3. Define Words – Rather than going to websites like dictionary.com, you can type in any word preceded by ‘define’ to get a definition.

Finding Local Businesses
~iCreate
What’s impressive about Spotlight on iOS is that it is linked with other apps, such as Maps, so that when you search for a specific place, like a local business, you can get essential info and even directions instantly.
1. Start Searching – Swipe to access Spotlight and then enter the name of a local business into the search field and press ‘Search’.

2. Tap Result – Results will appear as you type. Tap on the results under the ‘Maps’ category for a pop-up information box.

3. Get Directions – As well as opening hours and the address, you can also tap ‘Directions’ to be taken straight to the business.

Fix Bluetooth Connections on Mac
~iCreate
Bluetooth can be a fickle technology and from time to time, you may experience connection problems. With so many wireless technologies floating around near you Mac, it is understandable that problems may occur, but there is an easy fix that will cure almost all connectivity problems every single time and it only takes a few seconds of your time to complete, as we will not demonstrate.
1. Find the Offender – Go to System Preferences and click the ‘Bluetooth’ icon to see every previously connected device listed. Find the one that is failing to connect an click the ‘x’.

2. Forget the Device – Click “Forget Device’ and it will be removed from the list which should resolve whatever the software problem was that was causing the failed connections in the past.

3. Time to Pair – You can now go through the process of paing the device again and the problem should be resolved. If it isn’t, there may be a hardware problem in the device, itself.

Why Won’t My Mac Start Up?
~iCreate
There are few things more concerning than not being able to start your Mac properly. You may see a blue screen which is legendary in the fear it invokes or you may see error messages, but either way you will want to do what you can to bring back a smooth startup process in the future. The first thing to try is starting up in Safe Mode which will strip down the processes used to the bare minimum and which is more likely to put you in a position where you can begin to fix the problems.

With your Mac powered down, turn on your Mac as normal and then press and hold the Shift key. Release Shift when the Apple logo appears and wait for macOS to boot in the new Safe Mode. You may need to log in as normal, but when done you will now be in Safe Mode for the duration of the session. If you use the ‘Restart’ option you will return to normal mode when it restarts again which gives you the chance to fix the problem first.

Mary’s X Files, April 2018

Quit Apps on Mac to Save System Resources
~iCreate
It’s not good to have too many apps open at once as they may cause your Mac to run sluggishly as they compete for system resources. Simply clicking on the red dot in the top-left corner of an app window won’t work either as it won’t completely close down the app. The only way to be sure that an app is closed is by clicking on the app menu and choosing ‘Quit’ – or by using the “Command+Q” shortcut.

Close Windows on Mac to Clean up
~iCreate
Your Mac desktop can be a hellish place if you have lots of apps open as the resulting windows will be strewn acrss your screen, making it hard to find what you want. By using the “Command+W” shortcut you will instantly close whatever active window you are using. If you want to go one better, you can press “Alt+Command+W” to close all of the windows relating to the currently active app (including Finder).

Discover New Siri Commands on the Mac
~iCreate
1. Open Siri – Click on the Siri icon in the top-right corner of your Mac display to open the small Siri console that will instantly start listening out for commands (only on MacOS Sierra, and later).

2. Delay or Click – Now you can either say nothing and wait for a second or two, or you can click on the ‘?’ icon to bring up a menu of typical things that you can ask Siri.

3. Pick a Topic – Click on an app category, such as ‘System Preferences’ and you will then be presented with a selection of things that you can ask Siri relating to them.

Instantly Update on iOS
~iCreate
If you only have a modest number of apps installed on your iOS device, then you may want updates to be installed automatically as soon as they become available. This is done easily by going to you Settings app…

1. Go to Settings – Launch your Settings app and then scroll down through the various sections. You will see a category called ‘iTunes & App Store’ – tap it to adjust the options within.

2. Enable Updates – Under the ‘Automatic Downloads’ section, turn on ‘Updates’ and then they will download and install without you having to lift a finger as soon as they are released.

3. Don’t Use your Data – If you enable the Updates option, then make sure you also check that the ‘Use Mobile Data’ option is turned off so that auto downloads don’t eat into your phone’s data plan.

Updating All of your Mac Apps
~iCreate
The principles of updating apps remains the same on Mac, although the way to do so is slightly different. Here we show you how to manually update your apps or get it done behind the scenes automatically.

1. The Manual Way – Launch the App Store app and then click on the ‘Updates’ option at the top of the interface. Any app updates will be listed here so click on the ‘Update’ button next to any app you want.

2. Do it Automatically – To automatically update your apps, go to System Preferences>App Store, click on the padlock in the lower-left corner and then enter your administator’s password.

3. Tick the Right Boxes – You can now tick the boxes, as required, that relate to the updates. For example, ticking ‘Install App Updates’ will ensure that updates will be installed as soon as they come out.

Mary’s X Files, March 2018

Instantly See your History in Safari on iPhone
~iCreate
To drill down to see all of the pages that you accessed to get to the current tab, simply hold down the back (<) button. Your history up to that point will then be displayed.

Quickly Add a Bookmark in Safari on iPhone
~iCreate
Long gone are the days of having to tap the Share button in order to add a new bookmark. Now you can simply long-press on the bookmarks button for this option.

Rename Multiple Files in Batches on the Mac
~iCreate
1. Highlight and Select
Select multiple files in a Finder window and then right-click to see further options. Click ‘Rename x items’ and a smaller panel will appear with options to select from.

2. Experiment a Little
You can now replace specific text in each file name to make them searchable or even change the format so that they can be processed as a single batch.

3. File Management
Once you have changed the file names as a batch, you can now right-click and select ‘New Folder with Selection…’ to create a fully renamed batch of files to work on.

Customize your Dock in Mac OS
~iCreate
Unlike your iOS devices, your Mac Dock has its own dedicated settings in System Preferences. By going there, you will be able to adjust the size, the magnification of the app icons and much more to make it your own.

1. Open System Preferences
Go to System Preferences>Dock and then click and hold on the Size slider to adjust the size of the Dock as it appears on your desktop. You can also click to magnify the app icons.

2. Dock Positioning
You can actually position the Dock where you want on your desktop, such as the side — simply click ‘Left’, ‘Bottom’ or ‘Right’ and the dock will be placed accordingly.

3. Special Effects
Other options apply to the effects that occur when you minimise windows to the Dock ‘Scale’ or ‘Genie’) or open apps from the Dock. You can also hide the Dock when not in use.

Speed up your Mac
~iCreate
1. Update your Apps
Outdated apps in newer operating systems can prove to be glitchy and sluggish, so launch the App Store, click on ‘Updates’ and update every app that you can.

2. Check Activity Monitor
Launch Activity Monitor, select View>Windowed Processes and click on ‘CPU’ to check the biggest drainers on your Mac and consider quitting anything you don’t need.

3. Check Energy
If you are using a laptop, while in Activity Monitor, click on ‘Energy’ to see which apps drain the most energy from your battery. If power is getting short, close unused apps.

4. Turn Off Startup Items
Your Mac may be sluggish due to an array of open apps that booted up at startup. Got to System Preferences>Users & Groups, click on your name and click on ‘Login Items’.

5. Disable Apps
Within the same ‘Users & Groups’ preference, if you see apps that don’t need to be open, click on the padlock icon and enter your administrator’s password, click on the app name and then click on ‘-’ underneath.

6. Disable Visual Effects
The MacOS has visual effects that slow down older Macs when running the latest operating systems. Go to System Preferences>Dock and uncheck boxes such as ‘Magnification’.

Manage your Mac Using Siri on MacOS
~iCreate
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.

Mary’s X Files, February 2018

How to Close All of Your Safari Tabs at Once on iPhone or iPad
~MacRumors
There are some iOS gestures and tricks that have been around forever, but remain relatively hidden because they’re hard to find unless you know about them. Closing all of the tabs in your Safari browser on an iOS device is one such trick — it’s simple if you know how to do it, but it’s a gesture you might not know exists. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Here’s how to do it:

Open up Safari.

Long press on the “Tabs” icon denoted by two squares. On iPhones, it’s at the bottom of the browser in portrait mode or at the top in landscape mode. On the iPad, it’s at the top.

Select Close All Tabs.

Alternatively, you can single tap on the Tabs icon to bring up the browser window view, and then long press on “Done” to bring up the same “Close All Tabs” interface.

That’s all there is to it. Safari will let you know how many tabs are currently open, and it will close each and every one after the Close All Tabs option is tapped.

Because it’s so easy to open a new tab when browsing without meaning to on an iOS device, the Close All Tabs option is super handy for getting rid of all those open browser windows in one quick go.

Search a Web Page in iOS
~MacRumors
In Safari on iOS, there are two ways to search a web page for a specific word or phrase. One method is quicker than the other, although neither is necessarily immediately obvious.

The first way involves tapping the Share icon (the square with an arrow pointing out of it), sliding your finger left along the bottom column, and tapping the Find on Page button, indicated by a magnifying glass. Start typing what you’re looking for, and your search results will be returned automatically.

The second, faster method is to type your search term straight into Safari’s address bar and then tap the On This Page option at the bottom of the suggestion list, after which you’ll be able to tap through each occurrence of the term on the current page.

Rename Multiple Files
~iCreate
I have heard that it is possible to rename multiple files in batches on my Mac. How is this done?

1. Highlight and select Select multiple files in a Finder window and then right-click to see further options. Click ‘Rename x items’ and a smaller panel will appear with options to select from.

2. Experiment a little: You can now replace specific text in each file name to make them searchable or even change the format so that they can be processed as a single batch.

3. File management: Once you have changed the file names as a batch you can now right-click and select ‘New Folder with Selection…’ to create a fully renamed batch of files to work on.

Manage Storage in High Sierra
~iCreate
From the macOS desktop, click on the Apple menu (the logo in the top-left) and choose ‘About This Mac’.

When the Overview window appears, click on the ‘Storage’ tab and you will be able to see exactly how much storage space you have on your Mac.

Click on ‘Manage’ button and you will see a further range of options to help you free up space and maximise your Mac’s storage space, such as moving all of your photos into iCloud.

Merging Windows in MacOS
~iCreate
I often keep far too many windows open on my Mac desktop. Is there a way to keep it relatively uncluttered while still having access to all of my numerous open windows?

There is a very clever, very hidden tip for doing just that! If your desktop becomes horrendously congested with open windows, click on the ‘Windows’ option in the Finder menu bar and then you will see an option called ‘Merge Windows’. Select this and all of
your open windows will be merged into one.

You can still access the windows that you need from the remaining open one simply by clicking on the tabs at the top of the window. It’s a great way to free up some much- needed desktop space to continue working.

Mary’s X Files, January 2018

Using Split View on iPad
~iCreate
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
~iCreate
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
~MacFormat
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
~MacFormat
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.