macOS 10.14 — mountains to the desert — High Sierra to Mojave

 Computer, Desktop, General, News, Notebook  Comments Off on macOS 10.14 — mountains to the desert — High Sierra to Mojave
Sep 252018
 

Today Apple officially released a new version of its macOS. The name of the new system — “Mojave” — celebrates the desert rather than the mountains of the High Sierra, and updates to version 10.14 from 10.13.6. Available on your Mac from the Apple Menu > App Store > Featured > Mac App Store, Apple touts Mojave as “simply powerful” with these highlights:

MacOS Mojave delivers new features inspired by its most powerful users, but designed for everyone. Stay focused on your work using Dark Mode. Organize your desktop using Stacks. Experience four new built-in apps. And discover new apps in the reimagined Mac App Store.

Dark Mode
• Experience a dramatic new look for your Mac that puts your content front and center while controls recede into the background.
• Enjoy new app designs that are easier on your eyes in dark environments.

Desktop
• View an ever-changing desktop picture with Dynamic Desktop.
• Automatically organize your desktop files by kind, date, or tag using Stacks.
• Capture stills and video of your screen using the new Screenshot utility.

Finder
• Find your files visually using large previews in Gallery View.
• See full metadata for all file types in the Preview pane.
• Rotate an image, create a PDF, and more — right in the Finder using Quick Actions.
• Mark up and sign PDFs, crop images, and trim audio and video files using Quick Look.

Continuity Camera
• Photograph an object or scan a document nearby using your iPhone, and it automatically appears on your Mac.

Mac App Store
• Browse handpicked apps in the new Discover, Create, Work, and Play tabs.
• Discover the perfect app and make the most of those you have with stories, curated collections, and videos.

iTunes
Search with lyrics to find a song using a few of the words you remember.
• Start a personalized station of any artist’s music from the enhanced artist pages.
• Enjoy the new Friends Mix, a playlist of songs your friends are listening to.

Safari
• Block Share and Like buttons, comment widgets, and embedded content from tracking you without your permission with enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
• Prevent websites from tracking your Mac using a simplified system profile that makes you more anonymous online.

Apple News
• Read Top Stories selected by Apple News editors, trending stories popular with readers, and a customized feed created just for you.
• Keep your favorite topics, channels, and saved stories up to date on your Mac and iOS devices.

Stocks
• Create a customized watchlist and view interactive charts that sync across your Mac and iOS devices.
• Browse business news driving the markets curated by Apple News editors.

Voice Memos
• Make audio recordings, listen to them as you work with other apps, or use them in a podcast, song, or video.
• Access audio clips from your iPhone on your Mac using iCloud.

Home
• Organize and control all of your HomeKit accessories from your desktop.
• Receive real-time notifications from your home devices while you work.

The free upgrade is a 5.70 GB download, and claims compatibility with OS X 10.8 or later.

To install macOS Mojave, your Mac needs at least 2GB of memory and 12.5GB of available storage space to upgrade—or up to 18.5GB of storage space when upgrading from OS X Yosemite or earlier.

There are many articles online about Mojave. Here’re 3 articles by MacWorld:

  • How to upgrade to macOS Mojave: Step-by-step instructions on upgrading to the latest Macintosh operating system
  • MacOS Mojave: Apple releases the latest version of its Macintosh operating system: Everything you need to know about the new Macintosh operating system
    • Mojave has three new apps that were originally iOS apps: Apple News, Stocks, and Voice Memos. There’s also a new Home app for managing internet-of-things devices.
    • Apple names macOS after California locations, a method adopted in 2014 with OS X Yosemite. In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “Mo-HA-vey.” Mojave is a national preserve in the area between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 5 reasons why you should upgrade to macOS Mojave right now
    • It’s not a major revamp of the operating system (it’s been a while since the Mac has had one of those), but it does add new features that can help you be more productive with your Mac.
    • An OverSight-like feature is now built into Mojave that can alert you when an app wants to access the camera and mic, as well as iTunes device backups, Time Machine backups, your Mail database, your Message history, your Safari data, and other data.
    • Mojave makes Quick Look most robust, providing simple editing tools so you don’t even need to open an app. Now when you preview an image (select it and then press the space bar), you can click on the Quick Actions icon between the Rotate icon and the Open in Preview button, and a set of editing tools appears.

As with any macOS upgrade, best practices are to backup your current Mac’s hard drive (using Time Machine and/or SuperDuper) and do the installation when you’re not stressed and when you do not need to use your Mac for an hour or two. Then give yourself some time afterwards to acclimate to the new look of some things.

macOS theme

iOS 12 — what’s new in Apple’s iPhone system upgrade

 Phone, Tablet  Comments Off on iOS 12 — what’s new in Apple’s iPhone system upgrade
Sep 172018
 

It’s that time of year again. New Apple devices. New iPhones and watches, and new versions of the stuff that makes them work. MacWorld highlights the best new features in iOS 12 in this article: “How to use the coolest new features in iOS 12” (September 17, 2018).

At last, iOS 12 is here, bringing a batch of new features to tinker with. Most (if not all) of these features aren’t exactly earth-shaking, in part because Apple spent much of its development process cleaning up the relatively buggy mess of iOS 11 and turning its sequel into something worthy of the Apple name. In fact, many already exist on competing operating systemsin some form or another.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not fun or useful, nor does it mean that they’re not welcome. We here at Macworld have spent the last several months tinkering with all of these new options in the iOS 12 beta, and over that time a few have emerged as our favorites. Once you get used to them, iOS 11 feels ancient and inefficient by comparison.

Read the full article to determine if there are any features which may appeal to you.

 

Phishing attacks — fake “Apple” emails

 Computer, Desktop, Notebook, Phone, Tablet  Comments Off on Phishing attacks — fake “Apple” emails
Mar 282018
 

I’ve noticed these types of scams for awhile: email messages (supposedly) from Apple purportedly about a payment or Apple ID or login from another device (which in fact you may not own). More and more email apps (especially on mobile devices) do not permit examination of the raw message text, which often permits detection of the fraud. So, what to do?

This Vipre Security News blog post (March 16, 2018) is a good summary of the situation: “Apple Phishing Attacks Prompt Advice From Tech Giant.”

Apple customers don’t get phished quite as much as Microsoft ones, but they do face a fairly annoying variety and frequency of fake emails. The problem stems from the fact that Apple sends emails to its customers quite regularly, thereby making the millions of Apple customers juicy targets for the bad guys.

There are three basic fake emails going around. The first appears as an email invoice for your “recent Apple purchase.” Another is a “Reminder” notifying you of an account login from an iPad in Monaco. The third, and possibly most alarming, is a text message informing you that your Apple ID is expiring today.

If you’re not sure whether an email about an App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music purchase is legitimate, these tips from Apple may help.

As in all phishing scams, these fake messages want you to click on a link or open an attachment (which may include further fake links) and then trick you into providing personal or account information — which (genuine) “App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music purchases will never ask you to provide.”

Checking or updating any account or payment information should only be done in the Settings on your Apple device.

Which Mac to get?

 Computer, Research  Comments Off on Which Mac to get?
Feb 012018
 

Considering purchasing a Mac for the first time or replacing an older one? Apple computers are premium products; so, congrats on your decision. If you’re a typical user, your experience on a Mac will be smoother, more consistent over time, particularly due to less housekeeping distractions than on a PC. And while Macs are not immune to malware and hacking, generally there’s less risk (remember, regardless of type of computer, more often criminals hack your head, not your device).

For power users — those with a passion for high-end video games or professional video production — choosing a Mac can be more complicated — considering a purchase over $5000 gets into a range where PCs have advantages regarding bang-for-the-buck (despite other factors).

Other than spending time exploring product descriptions and specifications on Apple’s site, this January 30, 2018, PC World article “Which Mac should you buy?” is an excellent guide.

When it comes to purchasing a Mac, we’ve got the lowdown on each model to help you make a buying decision.

Before we proceed, we should specifically address Apple’s desktop Macs. It’s been a while since the company has updated the Mac mini and Mac Pro. While our advice for each Mac model provides guidance as to which model you should buy, you might actually consider waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, or consider buying an iMac.

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

Apple has standard and “Pro” models for some of their computers — notebooks (MacBook) and all-in-ones (iMac), and then at the high-end just the Mac Pro. Most of my clients with Apple computers have iMac’s. And indeed those models are the most popular.

I always recommend visiting an Apple Store and getting some hands on experience to help decide which model fits your needs and budget best. Just remember that you’ll likely be getting another new computer in several years, and if you can do everything on your iPhone or iPad, then there’s no need for a desktop. And if printing from your phone or tablet is the only issue, then a less expensive notebook may be fine. But one thing I can say from experience is that my 2012 Mac has gotten somewhat slower and slower with each macOS upgrade; so, performance is important, even for routine daily tasks.

 

Apple Support — there’s an app for that now

 Computer  Comments Off on Apple Support — there’s an app for that now
Dec 152016
 

As noted in this MacWorld article “Apple Support gets its own standalone iOS app,” there’s now an Apple Support app for your Apple mobile devices which provides convenient customer service and support for all your Apple products.

Previously, you were able to use the Apple Store app to get support and schedule appointments at the Apple store, but it was an afterthought. … Apple Support comes just before the busy holiday season—when lots of people are bound to unwrap new Apple products. This new app makes it easier for these new customers to get answers and see if their issues can be resolved from home, without having to go in to an Apple store. That gives Apple employees more time to handle issues that do require in-store support.

Every time I’ve visited an Apple Store there’s been lots of people getting help in the back. You might want to try the new Apple Support app before getting in your car next time. It’s free.