How to force quit a Mac app

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2015

If you run OS X Yosemite, you’re going to run into issues when a misbehaving app like Safari eats up system resources while refusing to quit the normal way. On iOS, it’s easy to force-quit any app iPhone or iPad app, and watchOS also provides a similar shortcut for purging an unresponsive task from its memory.

As it turns out, you can also force-quit any OS X app just as easily. Please take a minute to check out Apple’s easy to remember shortcuts for force-quitting apps. They’ll come in handy when an app starts to slow your system to a crawl or gets wacky to the point when force-quitting is the only remaining option left.

In this post, I’m going to teach you two methods of force-quitting a Mac app. Read More

 

Apple posts OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 with Wi-Fi fixes, Mail and Photos improvements and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2015

In addition to the new iOS 8.4 software update with a redesigned Music app, Beats 1 radio and Apple Music for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Apple also released the free OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 software update for Macs.

In addition to various other big fixes, enhancements and nice-to-haves, this release of OS X Yosemite gets rid of the dreaded “discoveryd” network process which was responsible for a range of network issues, marking the return of the old but way more reliable “mDNSResponder” process. Read More

 

How to prepare for a possible iOS 8.3 downgrade

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 29, 2015

When Apple closes the firmware signing window for iOS 8.3, users wishing to downgrade (or upgrade) to iOS 8.3 won’t be allowed to do so. Instead, you’ll have to settle for whatever firmware Apple is signing, which is usually the latest and greatest out there.

When that happens, it’s quite probable that it could spell the end of jailbreaking for a while—remember we just got out of a significant lull.

With this in mind, the ability to downgrade back to iOS 8.3 is very desirous for would-be jailbreakers. While there is no confirmed downgrade ability just yet, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you have the best chance to downgrade should that ability arrive.

This is accomplished by saving your iOS 8.3 SHSH blobs.

To save your SHSH blobs and prepare for a possible iOS 8.3 downgrade, you’ll need to use TinyUmbrella to do so. I’ll show you how in this post and video. Read More

 

How to halve your data usage on Chrome for Mac, iPhone and iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Google’s Chrome browser includes a handy feature designed to decrease bandwidth usage by up to fifty percent for mobile users on very slow networks. Called Data Saver, it works by passing webpages you visit to Google servers that compress graphics and other web content.

You can even tell Data Saver to replace the originally requested image with a small placeholder graphic, if the original image is likely not a crucial element of the page.

Here’s how you can reduce the amount of data that Chrome uses on your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad by enabling Data Saver mode to cut your bandwidth usage up to fifty percent, and even more. Read More

 

Stuck on 20% in TaiG? How to jailbreak iOS 8.3 with TaiG 2.1.3

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 28, 2015

As we mentioned earlier, TaiG has released version 2.1.3 of its jailbreak tool, and it’s a significant update as far as fixes go. First and foremost, it works with virtual machines, so you no longer need to modify your virtual machine to use the tool. Secondly, it fixes the 20% hangup. With these things in mind, we thought we’d show you how to jailbreak using this latest TaiG update.

This post is primarily aimed at those who have yet to jailbreak, and are looking for guidance with the latest tool. In the video that follows, we’ll show you the proper way to go about jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad, and we’ll show you how well the tool runs on a virtual machine. Read More

 

How to encrypt Time Machine backups

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 27, 2015

In our second Time Machine tutorial, we’ll going to show you how to encrypt a Time Machine backup. Encrypting your backups is extremely easy and straightforward. All you need to do is select a single check box in order to enable encryption and enter a password. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do it, and why you should consider encrypting your backups.

Read More

 

How to enable the three-finger drag gesture in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 25, 2015

One of the first things that I do on a new OS X install is adjust the trackpad and mouse settings to my liking. I absolutely love using things like tap to click and the three finger drag gesture.

Imagine my horror when I could no longer find the three finger drag gesture as an option in System Preferences. It’s simply no longer in the place where it usually is: System Preferences > Trackpad. Well as it turns out, things aren’t so grim as they at first seemed.

Apple moved the three finger drag gesture option to another location, although the move doesn’t make a lot of sense if you ask me. In this post, I’ll show you how to enable the three finger drag gesture on OS X El Capitan. Read More

 

How to tell if your Mac supports AirDrop, a device-to-device wireless file transfer feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2015

AirDrop, one of the most overlooked features of both OS X and iOS, was designed to simplify wireless file sharing between Macs and iOS devices, without having to connect to an existing network or going through the hassle of having to type a password.

AirDrop debuted on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 7, but the two were not interoperable due to incompatible protocols. Starting with OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, AirDrop works between OS X and iOS more or less like a breeze.

However, AirDrop on Macs requires a modern Wi-Fi chipset, meaning older desktops and notebooks may be unsupported. Here’s how to tell if your Mac meets minimum system requirements for AirDrop. Read More

 

How to auto-hide the menu bar in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 22, 2015

One of the more under the radar features of OS X El Capitan is the ability to auto-hide the menu bar. Just like the Dock, which has long had the ability to auto-hide in OS X, the menu bar can be hidden until needed.

Auto-hiding the menu bar brings the obvious benefit of having more on screen real estate and less distraction. With both the Dock and menu bar set to auto-hide, you can experience a shockingly clean interface as you go about your work. Read More

 

Developer hacks Apple Watch to run 20-year-old Mac operating system

By Cody Lee on Jun 22, 2015

Developer Nick Lee on Monday posted a video showing off his Apple Watch running a 2o-year-old Mac operating system. Lee’s watch is running the watchOS 2 developer beta, as well as the Mini vMac Macintosh emulator, and the Mac OS you see loading up is version 7.5.5, which was first introduced in 1996. Read More

 

How to pin Safari tabs in OS X El Capitan

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 22, 2015

Like Google Chrome and other browsers have been able to do for some time, Safari in OS X El Capitan will now allow you to pin tabs. But pinned tabs work a little differently in Safari for Apple’s in-development OS update than they do in other browsers. In this post, we’ll walkthrough the new tab pinning features, and show you what’s different about the way Apple goes about its implementation. Read More

 

Tweetbot for Mac brings support for Twitter’s new quoting format and longer direct messages

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

Tweetbot for Mac with support for Yosemite’s design and a plethora of other improvements hit earlier in the month as a free upgrade for existing users. Monday, its developer Tapbots issued the first maintenance refresh bringing out support for a pair of Twitter’s recently introduced handy new features.

Tweetbot 2.0.1 for Mac now lets you quote tweets using Twitter’s new embedded quoting feature. In addition, they’ve laid the groundwork for longer direct messages, a feature Twitter announced almost two weeks ago but hasn’t implemented yet. Read More

 

How to delete a partition on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

In an earlier tutorial, we showed you how to create a new partition on Mac in order to install the OS X El Capitan beta. But what if, after testing, you wish to delete the partition and relinquish its space?

In this video tutorial, we’ll show you how easy it is to dissolve a partition using OS X’s built-in Disk Utility. Read More

 

How to choose your startup disk on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

If you have multiple bootable partitions on your Mac, such as the case when you create a separate partition for testing a new OS like OS X El Capitan, you’ll need to know how to manage your Mac’s startup disk.

The startup disk is the disk that the Mac boots from when restarting your computer. You can change this disk permanently, or change it on a temporary case-by-case basis.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to establish a set startup disk, and how to change the startup disk on the fly as you reboot your Mac. Read More

 

How to install OS X El Capitan on a separate partition

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

Itching to run OS X El Capitan, but don’t want to upgrade your primary Mac installation with a beta release? You’d be wise to carefully consider the prospects of running a beta release as a daily driver.

That said, it is possible to run El Capitan on your primary machine without compromising your Yosemite or Mavericks installation.

By creating a small test partition on your primary drive, you can create a great landing space for the OS X El Captitan beta. Read and watch our walkthrough to see how easy it is. Read More

 

How to set up Time Machine on OS X

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

Time Machine is a Mac utility that allows you to automate hourly, daily, and weekly backups on an external drive that’s connected directly to your Mac or via a local network. It’s seen as the first line of defense against data loss, and features simple setup.

Setting up Time Machine, in its most basic configuration, is extremely easy. All you need to do is launch the Time Machine preferences, turn on Time Machine, select a Backup Disk, and you’re pretty much set.

Of course, there’s much more to Time Machine than just the initial setup, but in this first post in our Time Machine tutorial series for OS X, we’ll cover some of the basic set up options. Read More

 

How to create a bootable OS X El Capitan USB flash drive

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 20, 2015

If you have a spare USB flash drive laying around, you should consider putting it to good use by creating a bootable installation drive for the OS X El Capitan Beta.

Creating a bootable drive has many benefits and uses. For starters, it makes it easy to install a fresh copy of whatever operating system you have configured on the drive. Secondly, it makes it easy to install an operating system on a separate partition, or on a virtual machine. Lastly, it’s just smart business to always have a quickly accessible and portable installation media laying around.

In this tutorial and video walkthrough, I’ll show you how to create a bootable USB drive for OS X El Capitan in just a few easy steps Read More

 

Review: LaCie Rugged RAID 4TB external drive – a good choice for Mac?

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 18, 2015

For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Neil Poulton designed LaCie Rugged RAID portable hard drive. This drive, with its can’t-miss color, is specifically designed to stand up to tough environments.

The Rugged RAID features a rubber non-slip casing that will help it absorb impacts and stand up to harsh conditions. In fact, it’s dust, water, and shock resistant. If you’re someone who travels with an external hard drive, then you’re automatically more susceptible to all three of these potential failure-inducing scenarios. This can make the LaCie drive an attractive prospect.

Not to be confused with similar-looking drives in the LaCie lineup, this Rugged RAID drive actually ships with two independent hard drives pre-configured with RAID 0 for a total of 4TB of space. This provides end users with lots of headroom and extremely fast read and write speeds.

But hard drive speed isn’t the only thing fast about this drive. The LaCie Rugged RAID is also equipped with a USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connection for high speed I/O up to 240MB/s. Even better is the fact that the Thunderbolt connection is bus powered, which makes it easy to travel with.

Needless to say, I’ve had high expectations for this hard drive ever since it was first announced. Does the LaCie Rugged RAID live up to this OS X user’s expectations? Read and watch the full review to find out. Read More

 

How to automatically hide a Mac app when clicking elsewhere on the screen

By Timothy Reavis on Jun 18, 2015

Maintaining a clean workstation is perhaps one of the best ways to help with productivity and clear-thinking. Not only does this apply to one’s desk or office, but for those of us who work with computers, it extends to the Dock, folders, and desktop. Keeping things clean and orderly in OS X is vital for getting things done efficiently, and this Mac tip helps do exactly that.

Read More

 

Unicode 8 includes new hot dog, unicorn and burrito emoji

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2015

On Wednesday, the Unicode Consortium released Unicode 8, the next major update to the Unicode Standard. The Standard defines things like special characters and emoji, which many manufacturers, including Apple, use in their software.

Unicode 8 introduces nearly 8,000 new characters, including letters to support new languages and six new scripts. Perhaps more interesting, to us anyway, is that it also includes 37 new emoji and 5 emoji modifiers for various skin colors. Read More

 
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