How to hide Photos on iPhone

How to hide Photos on iPhone

Most people have a few pictures in their Photos library which they would rather keep private. If you let someone browse through your photos, you don’t necessarily want them to be able to see everything in your Library. So today, I’ll show you how to move those photos out of you main library and into a hidden photos album. It’s easy and free, and while there are dedicated apps available specifically for this purpose, this technique should be enough for most people.

While browsing through your photos, if you see a photo you’d like to hide, click on it to select it and then click on the share button on the bottom left side of the screen. So, four steps:

  1. Open your Photos app.
  2. Select the photo or video that you want to hide.
  3. Tap  > Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

The nice thing is that once you’ve picked one photo, it will also be very easy for you to choose adjoining pictures that you’d also like to hide.
And that’s it, those photos will now reside in an album called “hidden album” which you can find in the album section of your Photos app.

If you need to Unhide a picture in the Hidden Album, you basically do the same thing in reverse. Select an image in the hidden album, and click on the Share icon and then choose Unhide.

As you can see, it’s really easy to do once you know the steps. Have fun hiding photos !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Which Mac is right for you ?

Which Mac is right for you ?

In this article, I’ll be going over the current options available from Apple if you’re looking to purchase a new Mac, or helping someone else make that decision.
When it comes to Macs, you essentially have a choice to make between buying a laptop computer versus buying a desktop computer. Obviously, with a Mac laptop, there is the massive advantage of having a mobile computer that you can carry around with you wherever you like. You can then get work done from wherever you please, whether it’s for work, school or personal use. The trade-off is that you will be probably be working with a smaller screen, and maybe a little bit less powerful machine than with a desktop Mac. The desktop Macs are designed to give you a little better performance, more connections for external hard drives and other devices, and generally speaking, a much bigger screen to work with.

As far as laptops, the MacBook line of computers includes the MacBook Air, the MacBook, and the MacBook Pro. Here’s a summary of what you can expect with each:

MacBook Air: This is the cheapest laptop offered by Apple. It has a 13.3 inch screen and weighs right around 3 pounds. It’s great for anyone who travels a lot and mainly just needs a computer for web-browsing, email and other light tasks. Ranging between $1000 to $1200 for a new MacBook Air, you’re getting a great little computer for a very reasonable price compared to some other Macs. The downside is that it is a little bit under-powered and there is no way to upgrade the hard drive or RAM later on. So, the computer that you buy initially is what you’re stuck with for the life of the machine.

MacBook: This is the middle of the road option and the lightest available Mac laptop. It  has a 12 inch screen and weighs only 2 pounds. You also get a higher quality Retina display, as well as a very decent processor and more options than the MacBook Air. You can end up spending anywhere between $1300 to $1750 for a new MacBook depending on which configuration you choose. It is very much geared for people who want the very lightest Mac available while still having reasonably good power under the hood. But, it only has one USB-C connection, which can be very limiting. So, if you need to connect to external devices, be prepared to carry adapters with you.

–  MacBook Pro: This is the most powerful laptop Mac made by Apple, and the most versatile in terms of all the ways you can configure your machine. As the Pro designation implies, these are capable of handling most anything you’ll throw at it. Such as intricate presentations, photo and movie editing, music production or any other computer intensive tasks you might need to work on. You can choose between 4 different 13 inch screen models, or 2 different 15 inch screen models. And these weigh anywhere between 3 to 4.5 pounds. So, in truth, these are still very light computers and very easy to carry around with you. On top of the ability to get a larger screen, you also get 2 or 4 USB-C ports depending on which model you get. Which means you’ll probably still need some adapters for some external devices. The prices can vary wildly on the MacBook Pro, depending on which configuration you purchase, ranging anywhere from $1300 for the cheapest model, all the way to $4200 if you decide to go all out. The MacBook Pro line are the best portable Macs available, and really don’t have to cost you that much for a great computer. But of course, someone with professional needs can easily end up spending quite a bit of money.

Next, we’ll look at the desktop computers available from Apple.

Mac mini: The Mac mini is an interesting option for some Mac users. It’s a tiny little computer (weighing just about 2.5 pounds) that easily fits just about anywhere in a home or office. But it does not come with its own display, keyboard or mouse. You need to purchase those separately. You can spend anywhere from $500 to $200o depending on how you choose to configure the Mac mini. You should be aware that the Mac mini currently available are the same one that have been shipping since 2014. So, technologically speaking, these are definitely not the most advanced Macs you’ll find. But, they perform just fine for most tasks. One of the big advantage of the Mac mini, is that they come with plenty of connection and expansion options. Such as an HDMI port, 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, 4 USB 3 ports, an Ethernet port, and an SDXC card slot. So, you can easily hook up tons of devices to the Mac mini without any need for adapters or hubs. The Mac mini can be a really good option if you don’t need to fastest Mac to do your work, but want something nice and small that can fit pretty much anywhere on a desk.

iMac: In many ways, the iMac is the flagship computer made by Apple in 2018. It’s an all-in-one computer that is a very well-built and attractive, with fast performance and lots of expansion capabilities. There are 3 flavors of the iMac currently made; Standard, Retina Display and iMac Pro. The iMacs have 2 available screen sizes to choose from, either 21.5-inch or 27-inch screens. You can spend anywhere from $1100 for the entry level iMac, all the way up to $12,000 for the very top of the line iMac Pro loaded with all the most expensive configurations installed. You also get an SDXC card slot, 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, 4 USB 3 ports, and an Ethernet port. Overall, the iMac range is quite broad in terms of both pricing and capability. But, in all my years of working and servicing Macs for clients over the last 20 years, I have found iMacs to be the most reliable and long-lasting Macs made by Apple. The large screens are a pleasure to work on, and if you’re doing anything that requires quite a bit of horsepower, the iMac is the computer you should be looking at.

Mac Pro: This is Apple’s workstation computer, but unfortunately, it hasn’t really been updated since 2013. If you need a serious professional Mac, this should be your choice, but sadly, this is not a computer you should be buying. At this point, the iMac Pro is a more powerful computer than this outdated Mac Pro for most tasks. Apple has already announced that they are currently working on a new Mac Pro, and more information should be available in the first half of 2018. But for now, no one should really be buying this computer.

So, personally, I think if you’re looking for a new Mac, the MacBook Pro and the iMac are the two most attractive options currently available. You can get a very reasonably priced MacBook Pro that is clearly a much better machine than what you get with the MacBook Air or MacBook. In my experience, the MacBook Pros are very solidly built and tend to last longer than other MacBooks.
And if you need a powerful computer with a large screen, you have some great options with iMac line. You can get a really nice entry level iMac for as little as $1100 that should satisfy all your needs and last you for years. Or you can spend extra and build to order a very powerful iMac that can handle any professional application requirements with ease. I’m a very big fan of iMacs in general.

If you want to see another breakdown of the current Mac lineup, Macworld has this article describing each model in detail.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Recommendations, 0 comments
Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, it is beneficial to have a basic grasp of which iCloud services are available to you on those devices, and how to turn each setting on and off. When you use iCloud on your iPhone, you are allowing Apple to back-up some of your information to the Apple servers somewhere in the US. Once the initial back-up is done, you can also ask iCloud to sync all your Apple devices so that you will the same information across all devices.
In this video, I cover all the different settings which are available to you on iPhone / iPad, and how to customize them for your needs:

Over the years, iCloud has grown to include a broad set of features which are all pretty useful, but you may not necessarily want or need to use all of them. So, we’ll look at what each service does, and you can decide whether you want to turn it on or not.

  1. iCloud Drive: This is Apple’s answer to other cloud services such as DropBox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. This service allows you to easily back-up files and documents from your computer and mobile devices to the the Apple servers. Those files an documents are then synced across all your devices on which iCloud drive is turned on. If you tend to save a lot of large files onto iCloud Drive, you may at some point need to buy extra storage space for iCloud.
  2. Photos: This allows you to sync either some of your photos and videos, or all of your photos and videos to iCloud. If you turn on the iCloud Photo library, all your pictures and videos will be stored on iCloud and then synced across all your devices on which iCloud photo library is turned on. Turning on the iCloud Photo library can help clear space on your devices, particularly on iPhone and iPad if you’re running out of room.
    But it is important to keep in mind that if you turn on the iCloud Photo library on all your devices, once you delete an image or video from one device, it deletes from your other devices as well. Your Photos library will be identical on all devices on which this feature is turned on.
  3. Mail: This feature is available if you have one of the Apple supplied email addresses that are available for free to anyone. These addresses end in @icloud.com,  @me.com, and @mac.com.
    If you use one of these email addresses, your emails will then be synced across all devices. You can also save previous emails in folders as a back-up should you ever need to retrieve anything.
    These use the IMAP protocol, just like a Gmail address or a Yahoo address, which means that when you delete an email from one device, it also deletes it from everywhere else.
  4. Contacts: When you use the Contacts application (formerly known as Address Book) on your Mac, you can either save contacts to your Mac or to iCloud. The advantage of saving your contacts to iCloud is that your contacts will always be in sync on all your devices, and also become available on www.icloud.com. For the vast majority of people, you will probably be using the cloud to back up and sync your contacts. But it can also be used in conjunction with contacts you may have stored with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange and many other providers.
  5. Calendar: The Calendar app lets you can create events, appointments, and to do’s in a simple scheduling app. You can create calendar events either just on your Mac, or create them using iCloud, which will then sync across all your devices. Again, I strongly recommend that you use iCloud for your calendar events so that everything syncs across all your devices.
  6. Notes: Same as the previous two, most people should store their Notes in the cloud, unless you are really worried that someone could gain access to your iCloud account. You can create super simple notes, or far more intricate notes with tables and attachments in the latest version. It’s a pretty powerful tool which many people are starting to use instead of something like EverNote because it integrates so well with all your Apple products.
  7. Siri: Turning on Siri in the iCloud panel allows Apple to learn your voice across multiple devices. The way that Siri is supposed to work is that it learns your voice over time and gradually gets better at recognizing your voice and the way you ask it questions. If you’ve been using on iPhone for some time, and you get a new device, having Siri turned on in iCloud means that it doesn’t have to start from scratch and learn your voice all over again on that new device. Slightly spooky maybe, but pretty useful …
  8. Keychain: Keychain is password manager built into Apple products, which allows you to save only certain passwords. When you create or enter a username and password on a website while using Safari, you can save that username and password to your Keychain so that Safari will enter it automatically for you the next time your visit that sit. Your Keychain can also remember wi-fi passwords and various other internet related usernames and passwords. You cannot use it to store just any passwords like you can in some other applications like 1Password or LastPass. But it’s still a very handy feature.
  9. Back to My Mac: Hardly anyone uses this feature, because it hasn’t always worked very well. But, in theory, if you have 2 or more Macs using the same Apple ID, you can access your Macs remotely. So, if for example you’re on the road with your MacBook Air, and you have an iMac at home… If both are turned on and using that same Apple ID, you can access and operate you iMac from your MacBook Air. You can grab files from your home computer while you’re away basically. Again, it’s not used much, but it can be very useful for some people.
  10. Find my Mac / iPhone / iPad: With this feature turned on, you’ll be able to track down your Apple devices and see them  on a map when you log into www.icloud.com, or by using the Find my phone feature on one of your mobile devices. Of course, your device needs to be turned on and within reach of a network for this feature to work. For most people, I’d recommend you have this feature turned on in case you ever lose your device.
Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iCloud, iOS, iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, Training, 0 comments
Gift cards available

Gift cards available

Just in time for the holiday season, I have some Mac Learn gift cards available for purchase. If you know anyone that is struggling and needs help with any of their Apple products, this could be a really useful gift. Theses egift cards are super easy to purchase, and even easier to redeem for the person receiving it. All they need to do is give me the 16 digit code they receive with the virtual gift card.
Anyone who receives this gift card can use it to book an appointment with me in the Atlanta area, for both tech support and training with their Apple products.
Even if they’re outside of the Atlanta area, I can still provide support and training remotely, which is how I work with a good chunk of my clients nowadays.

The minimum amount for these gift cards is $50, which is my rate for 1 hour, so you can easily buy one or more hours of my services for anyone. There is no expiration date on these cards, so they can use them whenever they’d like… as long as I’m still alive of course 🙂

If you have any questions about the cards , or if you have any special requests, feel free to call me or reach out  via email and I’ll get right back with you.
The Mac Learn egift cards can purchased through Square, which is the company that processes my mobile payments when I work with clients at their homes and businesses.
You can purchase the Mac Learn gift cards right here


Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Learning, Mac, Mac Learn, Training, 0 comments

The basics of using Mac shortcuts and gestures

I’ve put up a video overview of the basics of using shortcuts and gestures on your Mac, and why you should start using them to save time. Keyboard shortcuts are probably the biggest productivity boost that you can  incorporate in your daily workflow, and learning a few important ones can really help tremendously.
Also check out these two web-pages for more information regarding shortcuts and multi-touch gestures:

First off is Dan Rodney’s MAC KEYBOARD SHORCUTS web-page, which is a fantastic resource for learning more about all the little symbols you’ll see in shortcut menus, and how they match to your keyboard:

Then, you should also look at the Apple Support webpage that explains track-pad gestures here :

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Tips & Tricks, Training, 0 comments
The Mac Productivity Course is now available

The Mac Productivity Course is now available

Over the last few months, I’ve been busy developing a 6 week course designed to help you master your Mac. In the course, you get over 6 hours of HD video tutorials that will help you become more efficient and knowledgeable in the most important areas of using your Mac. Starting off with the important basics of using a Mac, all the way to more advanced features. The point of this course is to teach a number of ways you can speed up your workflow on the Mac, as well as your other Apple devices. It is filled with little tips and shortcuts that I’ve learned over the last 10 years of working as an Apple Certified Pro.

This course will help you :

1. Be more organized on the Mac.
2. Become more efficient online.
3. Get the most out of iCloud and other cloud services.
4. Work with Photos and videos on your Apple devices.
5. Back up your Mac properly.
6. Work with music, podcasts, and iTunes across all your devices.

You can find out more about this course by going to the home page of the Mac Productivity Course.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Productivity, Tips & Tricks, Training, 0 comments

Important parts of your Mac – Video

I’ve created a short video that explains some of the basics of a few of the critical components of your Mac. It covers how the hard drive, RAM, the CPU, the Logic Board and Battery work together for a smooth experience on your Mac. It’s just a few minutes long, and I hope you’ll find it informative.

You can view the video here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Training, 0 comments
Using Snapchat filters

Using Snapchat filters

If you’ve installed Snapchat on your iPhone, but are past a certain age, it’s very likely that you have found the Snapchat interface slightly confusing and not very intuitive. And maybe you’ve seen people posting pictures and videos with all sorts of cute animations going on, and wondered to yourself, how do they do that ? Well, this article explains how you can start using the Snapchat filters and lenses that Snapchat is so famous for :
How to turn on and use the Snapchat filters

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Managing hard drive space on your Mac using Sierra

Managing hard drive space on your Mac using Sierra

The management of files on your Mac hard drive has always been an important issue, and something you should carefully monitor. And now,  because a lot of the newer Macs come with SSD drives which are quite fast but usually smaller in capacity than the older traditional hard drives, it’s become tougher for some mac users to fit all their files on their computer. Pictures, movies, TV shows, music and podcasts on your computer can gobble up your hard drive space very quickly. You can, and should, move those types of files to the cloud or to external hard drives whenever possible. But first you need to know exactly what is taking up space on your Mac, which is what I’m going to show you now.

If you’re using the latest version of macOS, which is Sierra, or 10.12, you have a very powerful built-in tool which let’s you see exactly what is taking up space on your hard drive. All you have to do is go to the Apple logo on the top left of your screen and choose > About This Mac. A little panel will open up with a few different options. Choose Storage, at which point your Mac will scan itself, and after a few minutes will show a little colored graph with a breakdown of different categories of files on your Mac. Such as System files, Documents, Apps, Photos, iTunes, and so on. Now, if you click on the Manage button, a new panel will open up showing you an exact breakdown of all these files in each categories, the size of the files, and when it was last accessed. If you find any files that are certain you will no longer need, you can right-click on the file and delete it. Just be careful and do not start just deleting stuff if you’re not sure what the file is.

Storage graph

mac file management
If you are not using macOS Sierra, but an older version of the Mac operating system, then I would highly recommend an app called DaisyDisk, which does something very similar to what I’ve just described. It’s a paid app, but definitely worth it. You can find DaisyDisk here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Productivity, Software, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments