Mac

Apple’s WWDC 2017 Keynote

Apple’s WWDC 2017 Keynote

Today, Apple made a slew of announcements during their annual keynote event at WWDC 2017. If was full of major announcements including : New iMacs and an upgrade to the entire MacBook line, iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, new iPad Pros, and new watchOS and tvOs updates. And in December of this year, they will also release a very powerful new iMac Pro and a new device called HomePod speaker which is expected to compete with the Amazon Echo and Sonos devices.

There is a whole bunch of under the hood technology improvements which will be incorporated into these new products which should greatly enhance the usability and performance of these Apple devices. Overall, this was a fairly impressive Keynote, packed with tons of new interesting products, which bodes well for the future of Apple moving forward.
If you’re interested in finding out more, the Verge has done a nice little 20 minute recap of the Keynote, which can be found here :
Apple WWDC 2017 Keynote in 19 minutes

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iPhone, Mac, 0 comments
Stay away from MacKeeper

Stay away from MacKeeper

MacKeeper is one the worst applications you can have on your Mac. What was once a great application has unfortunately been turned into a very crappy piece  of malware. Under no circumstances should you ever install MacKeeper on your computer, no matter how compelling some of the reviews you may read online. Those reviews have been paid for by Kromtech Alliance, the company that acquired MacKeeper in 2013. There has been many claims of fraud regarding this company.
So, my advice is to stay away from this product at all costs. And if you’ve ever installed it on one of your Macs, make sure to fully delete it from that computer using the instructions in the article that I’m providing a link to below :
This article explains how to completely delete MacKeeper from your Mac

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Mac, Productivity, Software, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Microsoft OneNote App

Microsoft OneNote App

My favorite note taking application for the Mac is Microsoft’s OneNote, which works on the Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s a wonderful and full-featured note taking tool that has been around since 2003 on Windows, and since 2014 on the Mac. It allows you to blend text, images, videos, PDF’s, graphs, tables and whatever else you can think of to create notebooks blending all these elements together. You can use it for super basic note taking, or very complex presentations using all types of media. You can create to-do lists, use it for project management, write in it using a touch-screen, and all sorts of other uses. If you haven’t yet tried OneNote, do yourself a favor and download it (it’s free) and play around with it. It’s quite easy to use and you’ll quickly discover all it’s potential.

You can find out more about OneNote here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Mac, Productivity, Recommendations, 0 comments
Apple releases updates

Apple releases updates

Time to update ! Today Apple released iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, tvOS 10.2.1, and macOS Sierra 10.12.5 updates. These are mainly security and bug fixes, but I would highly recommend that you take the time to do these updates. Particularly the Sierra update as it squashes 30 security holes, some of which were pretty serious. With all the malware going around at the moment, you want to make sure you’re completely up to date, particularly on your computer.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iOS, iPhone, Mac, Software, 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
Avoid overly long reply email chains in Mac Mail

Avoid overly long reply email chains in Mac Mail

By default, when you’re replying to an email using Mac Mail,  all previous emails will also be included below your response. In certain cases, that’s a good thing, as you want the other party to see all previous correspondence. But sometimes, you just end up with overly long and messy looking email threads.

There’s an easy way to remedy this, by changing one setting in your Mail preferences. By choosing Mail > Preferences > Composing you will find a couple of relevant options under the Responding area. If you choose the option to “Include selected text, if any; otherwise include all text”, you can now simply select an area of the email you want to respond to, and only that selection will be included in your reply email. This allows for much more clutter-free back and forth replies.
Experiment with it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Mail reply settings

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Mac, Productivity, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Maximizing Battery Life

Maximizing Battery Life

With all of your Apple devices, there are certain guidelines you should try to follow in order to get the best performance from your battery. One of the biggest factor is to avoid extreme temperatures. While 62° to 72° F (16° to 22° C) is the ideal comfort zone, anything between 50° to 95° F should be fine. So, as the temperatures begin to heat up this spring and summer, be careful not to place your macs, iPhones and iPads in direct sunlight on really hot days. It can create permanent damage that will lessen your battery’s life considerably. For more information about getting the most out of the battery of your Apple devices, you can read this article on the Apple website.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Mac, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Apple makes iMovie, GarageBand and iWork apps free for all users

Apple makes iMovie, GarageBand and iWork apps free for all users

Today, iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.
Previously, all of these apps were provided for free to customers who purchased a new Mac or iOS device, but now a purchase is not required to get the software. Many Apple customers were already likely eligible to download the software at no cost if they had made a device purchase in the last few years. Today’s app changes will also make it easier for business and educational institutions to download Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie through the Volume Purchase Program store.
It will also make it easier for anyone with an older Mac to download the recent version of these apps, if they didn’t want to spend as much as $20 a piece for the newer versions.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iOS, Mac, Productivity, Software, 0 comments
Learn mac keyboard shortcuts

Learn mac keyboard shortcuts

One of most useful sites I’ve ever come across for learning mac keyboard shortcuts is danrodney.com. There, you will find a very well laid out collection of shortcuts and explanation of various menus you might find on your mac. As well as gestures, tips & tricks, recommend apps, and more. If you’re trying to become more of a power user on your mac, this is definitely a website you should bookmark and visit once in a while to brush up on your skills.

You can visit the Dan Rodney website here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Learning, Mac, Productivity, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Silence notifications on your Mac

Silence notifications on your Mac

Sometimes, you just need to get something important done on your Mac, and blocking alerts and notifications makes it much easier to do that. A quick way to silence incoming notifications is to enter Do Not Disturb mode. A simple trick to do that is by holding down the OPTION key and clicking the Notification icon in the top right corner screen. That will turn off Notifications till the next day. But if you want notifications back on after a couple of hours, all you have to do is OPTION click on the same spot again, and Notifications are turned back on 🙂

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