My father, a practicing pediatrician, constantly advises patients to eat healthier foods. In response, they complain of how expensive eating healthy is. My father always replies, “Think how expensive your doctor and hospital bills will be if you don’t take care of your body. Plus, you will feel a lot better!”
In much the same way, staying current on our software ensures the best, fastest working systems possible. Effective technology allows businesses to increase profitability and everyday users to simplify their lives. As we keep our software up-to-date, we will need to consider (1) why software updates are vitally important, (2) how often we should update our devices, and (3) how to update our systems.
Apple today announced macOS High Sierra, the latest release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is now available as a free update.
With macOS High Sierra, Mac users gain powerful new core storage, video and graphics technologies. A new file system ensures more efficient and reliable storage, and support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) brings stunning 4K video at lower file sizes. Metal 2 powers virtual reality content creation, faster performance and more. The Core ML developer framework makes it easy to create apps with powerful machine learning that predict, learn and become more intelligent. macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy everyday, including Photos and Safari.
When Apple announced macOS Sierra and showed us all the new features that would be included, there was one feature that stood out immediately as one that I would use many times every single day... unlocking my Mac with my Apple Watch! To say that I love this feature is an understatement.
If you read my post on improving security (click here), then you know that longer passwords are better (i.e.: more secure) than shorter passwords. The expected side effect... it's less convenient and takes longer to log in to your Mac. This tip will save you a ton of time (not to mention digit fatigue)! In this post, I will explain how it works and walk you through the steps you'll need to go through to make it work for you.
Technology is wonderfully amazing!! Sit back and think about it for just 10 seconds... can you imagine working, playing and relaxing without your laptop, iPhone, iPad, etc? When is the last time you checked your email, Instagrammed (that's a verb, right?) or surfed the web? You're reading this so I know the answer already. We're all connected all the time.
Being connected has it's obvious benefits, but it also introduces a significant amount of risk. Malware, spyware, viruses, hackers... these are all things that can ruin an otherwise great day. But they don't have to, if we're doing the right things! To help keep you safe, I created a list of 10 simple things that everyone can (and should) be doing. There is no rocket science involved here. Mostly common sense infused with many years of my own experiences.
OS X is great for having little hidden gems throughout. It's no surprise when I recently discovered this one... an easy way to display a welcome message on the login screen.
Whether using this for self promotion or security, it's definitely a handy gem.
Apple kicked off their annual WWDC event with their greatly-anticipated keynote, held in the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA (the remainder of the conference will be held at the Moscone Conference Center in downtown San Francisco).
FaceTime, GoToMeeting and Skype are great tools that help us to stay in touch with those that we care about... family, friends, colleagues, etc. The fact that we can, with the click of a button, instantly see someone else regardless of their location is a modern miracle!
With that in mind, today's post will focus (no pun intended, sort of) on the camera element of these calls. Most laptops today come with a built-in HD webcam above the display of your laptop. If not, or if you use a desktop as your primary system, there are plenty of options to add an after-market HD webcam (I prefer the Logitech HD Pro C920 camera). Even with the best cameras on the market, there may be a need to make adjustments to that camera that the built-in software can't offer.
Have you ever wanted to catch someone in the act of moving your laptop with your knowledge? Laptops are portable, and friends can be mischievous, so it's bound to happen, right? Well, with this simple tip, you can now thwart their devious efforts (and have some fun at the same time)!
Today's post comes from a Dropbox user: "I've been using Dropbox for a long time and only lately noticed that it takes forEVER to upload files to Dropbox (it seems fine when downloading). Is there something I can do to speed this up??"
The short answer is yes... most likely (how's that for non-committal!). Dropbox syncing will only happen as fast as your Internet connection will allow, and keep in mind that your download speeds are usually much faster than your upload speeds (this is typical, especially for home Internet). Having said that, there is a simple change that you can make to your Dropbox settings that will give you full access to the speeds you have.
Prior to the release of OS X Yosemite (10.10), the process of batch renaming files on a Mac required 3rd-party software. Some apps were better than others, and usually the good ones cost a few bucks (or more) to get the job done.
Apple included the option to batch rename files in Yosemite, and of course, this is still a feature in El Capitan (10.11). While it may not be obvious (at first) just how to do this, it's super-easy once you know how.
If you're using a Mac, there's a very good chance that you are using the built-in Photos app to manage your precious photos and videos. It's a great, easy-to-use tool for those countless photos and videos that you take on your iPhone, iPad, SLR and even scanned photos.
Over time, your Photos library is likely to grow, and if you're like me, it will get pretty large, pretty quick. These growing libraries are like trees... they need to be pruned every so often to keep them at a manageable size. There's the wrong way to do this pruning (a.k.a.: archiving) and the right way. In this post, I will walk you through the steps I take to archive my photos the right way.
The built-in Notes app in OS X and iOS is a great way to gather and organize your thoughts. It can be especially powerful when used in conjunction with the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro (even without the Apple Pencil, the drawing features are very useful).
If you're like me, you know it's a good idea to tidy up once in a while by deleting notes that you know yo won't need anymore (quick drawings, reminders to yourself, etc). A quick swipe on the note and tap on "Delete" is all it takes to delete notes. Because it's so easy to delete, however, you may find yourself deleting notes that you didn't want to delete. There's a quick and easy way to recover those deleted notes.
There are certain apps that I use al the time. I mean ALL the time. Mail, Calendar, Safari, etc are some of the ones that you would expect, but one that you may not expect (for someone who does what I do) is PhotoShop. It's an incredibly powerful (and versatile) image-editing tool that allows you to do some really amazing things. The problem is, it can be expensive. It can be hard to justify the cost when the average user wouldn't use more than 20% of what it can do.
There are a lot of PhotoShop alternatives available on the market, but there's really only one that I would (highly) recommend for Mac users...
When OS X El Capitan (10.11) was released in September, it came with some really great improvements. One of those improvements was a way to use two apps at the same time in a way that both apps are easy to view and are both seemingly in the forefront. Apple calls this Split View.
While it's easy to use Split View once you know how to use it, it can be a little confusing at first because it's not as intuitive as you would think. In the spirit of helping to improve your personal productivity, I thought I would show you a few simple tricks.
I love it when I come across super cool tricks in OS X that are also super easy to use. Enhanced Dictation is a feature that certainly fits that criteria.
Voice Dictation was originally introduced to OS X with Mountain Lion (10.8), and has been improved over time. To use Dictation, you simply press the Fn (Function) key twice, speak what's on your mind, then press the Fn key again to let the system know that you are done (read more about how Dictation works here). There were two problems with Dictation when it was first introduced: 1) it would only work if you were connected to the Internet (bad news for frequent travelers) and 2) it would only allow you to speak your mind in short blurbs... up to 30 seconds. After that, it cuts you off. Enter... Enhanced Dictation!