How to enable AirDrop file transfers between unsupported Macs and over Ethernet

By Joaquim Barbosa on Dec 5, 2016

The AirDrop file transfer protocol, introduced with Mac OS X Lion and iOS 7, is a fast and convenient way to transfer files between Apple devices. The current version of the service is interoperable between iOS and macOS, but requires both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be active in order to work. It also requires Mac OS X Yosemite or newer and a hardware model from 2012 or later.

However, the version of AirDrop that shipped as standard with OS X between 10.7 (Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks), whilst unable to send files to iOS devices, works without Bluetooth and on Mac models going back as far as 2008. Luckily, alongside the newer version, this legacy mode is still included on all Mac models to date, and as this guide will show, can be modified to have an even broader functionality.
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The best apps for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro

By Andrew O'Hara on Dec 3, 2016

If you just picked up a new 2016 MacBook Pro, you may be wondering: aside from the stock apps, what are other great apps that take advantage of that shiny new Touch Bar? While apps are constantly being updated, we’ve gone ahead and picked out some of our favorites that are currently available.

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OWC’s ThunderBay 4 mini is now available with up to 40TB SSD storage

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2016

Other World Computing (OWC) expanded its ThunderBay lineup of storage devices with the introduction of the speedy ThunderBay mini 4 portable SSD storage with RAID 5 two years ago. Recently, OWC introduced its highest capacity and fastest desktop SSD configurations yet by adding 10, 20, 30 and 40TB SSDs to the ThunerBay mini 4. Read More

 

How to hide mounted volumes from your desktop and the Finder

By Joaquim Barbosa on Dec 2, 2016

We’ve already covered how to completely prevent partitions from mounting under macOS but, as one iDB reader pointed out, sometimes you want a partition mounted and ready to use but still want the benefit of it not cluttering up your desktop and the Finder sidebar.

The example our reader enquired about was Time Machine, and that really is a perfect case in point. Many people want their Time Machine partition constantly mounted and backing up throughout the day but don’t need it to be visible at all. Finder’s preferences allow for hiding all volumes from the desktop but offer no control on a volume-by-volume basis, and though drives can be manually removed from the Finder window sidebar, this is an inelegant extra step and the drives still show elsewhere.

Luckily, there is a way to leave specific volumes mounted whilst hiding them from both the desktop and the entirety of the Finder in one fell swoop.

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How to see websites visited by other users on your Mac with Parental Controls

By Anthony Bouchard on Dec 2, 2016

If you use Parental Controls on your Mac, it’s possible to see a list of websites visited in Safari or another web browser by any of your controlled users and see the date and time those websites were accessed.

This comes in handy in a number of scenarios, but perhaps the most obvious is when you’re a parent and you want to make sure your kids aren’t doing things they shouldn’t be while online. Read More

 

Plex Media Player app is now free to everyone, Plex for Kodi add-on launches

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2016

Media management service Plex announced yesterday that its Plex Media Player app is now free to everyone. Previously, using Plex Media Player required a paid Plex Pass subscription, a $5 per month value.

In addition, Plex announced an extension for competitive player Kodi which lets users of Plex Media Server stream their media content to the Kodi app. Read More

 

Spark email app launches on Mac with Touch Bar support, snoozes, swipes, smart inbox & more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 30, 2016

After more than a year of hard work, Spark for Mac is finally available on the Mac App Store. Like its iOS counterpart, the Mac app is available at no charge. Ukrainian developer Readdle has ported all the marquee features you like about Spark for iPhone and iPad over to the Mac edition, allowing you to triage your inbox, quickly see what’s important and easily clean up the rest.

The fast, well designed native app includes Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro, swipes on the trackpad, snoozing, quick replies, natural language search, unified inbox, full macOS Sierra compatibility, seamless settings sync across devices and other productivity-focused perks.

“It is created for people who live by their inbox and who want to have an amazing experience with email,” Readdle told me via email. Read More

 

How to stop spam calendar invites on your iPhone or iPad

By Sébastien Page on Nov 29, 2016

We’re all very well aware of email spam. It’s something we’ve been living with for just as long as we’ve been using email and quite frankly, it’s not as bad as it used to be because email services such as Gmail are increasingly better at catching these messages before they even show in your inbox.

Recently a new kind of spamming has surfaced, and it relies on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and iCloud calendar. The technique is actually pretty low tech, yet very clever. Chinese spammers send iCloud calendar invites to your email address which they probably scraped from some website, knowing that it will most likely trigger a notification on your iPhone and iPad.

If you accept the invite, your calendar will be filled with events promoting various products, usually fake Ray Ban or Oakley sunglasses. If you decline the invite, well, you just alerted the spammer that you did notice the invite and confirm the email address he sent the original invite to is active, pushing him to send you more and more invites.

It seems that no matter what you do, you lose. Fortunately, there are a couple things you can do to disable calendar invite spam on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and delete events you might have accepted. Read More

 

Google just released a stellar screensaver for your Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Got tired of the new Apple TV’s gorgeous Aerial screen saver on your Mac? How about Google’s own screen saver that ships on Chromecast, Fiber and Pixel devices? Your wish is Google’s command: yesterday, the search giant released the stunning Featured Photos screen saver for macOS.

As its name suggests, the app adorns your Mac’s built-in display and any external screens with a striking plethora of highest-rated photographs that users publicly posted on Google+. Download the app straight from Google at no charge and let us know what you think in the comments. Read More

 

How to extend Quick Look preview functionality on your Mac

By Joaquim Barbosa on Nov 29, 2016

If you’re not familiar with the Quick Look feature on macOS, try selecting a picture, folder, or text document on your computer and pressing the space bar. The rich preview that pops up is Quick Look working its magic. Apple introduced Quick Look in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and it has since gained support for many more file types natively, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite documents.

I use it daily and it has become an automatic part of my workflow, a natural response to wanting to inspect a file without waiting for a program to launch and without leaving off what I’m doing.

However, the problem that Quick Look faces is support. It requires a plugin for each file type it can preview, and out-of-the-box only a handful are supplied. More obscure file types are neglected, and display only a blank pane with the file icon, name, size, and date modified. In this guide, I will detail how to add plugins to Quick Look for a richer and more useful preview experience.

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Apple releases beta 4 of iOS 10.2, watchOS 3.1.1 & macOS Sierra 10.12.2 to developers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2016

Apple on Cyber Monday seeded new beta downloads to its registered developers who are enrolled in the Apple Developer Program. If you’re a developer, iOS 10.2 beta 4 (build 14C82), watchOS 3.1.1 beta 4 (build 14S879) and macOS Sierra 10.12.2 beta 4 (build 16C53a) are now readily available as standalone downloads through the company’s portal for developers or as over-the-air downloads on devices with a prior beta and an appropriate configuration profile. Read More

 

How to set up automatic login on Mac

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 28, 2016

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just turn on your Mac and start using it without having to log into it all the time?

If you live in a household where you don’t need Fort Knox-like security to keep people from getting into your computer, then you can set up your Mac to log in to your account automatically when you turn it on. Read More

 

Here’s a special tool Apple uses to recover data from MacBook Pro’s non-removable SSD

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2016

iFixit’s teardown analysis of both the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has found a non-removable SSD inside soldered to the logic board. In contrast, non-Touch Bar Pros use a removable PCIe-based SSD, simplifying upgrades.

iFixit discovered that Touch Bar Pros include a hidden connector on the logic board that leads nowhere which, as reported by 9to5Mac, works in conjunction with a special tool to let service technicians rescue data in case of a hardware failure. Read More

 

Tip: delete Apple Music cache in iTunes to reclaim storage space on your Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2016

iOS 10 provides a handy feature allowing users to limit the amount of storage space used for keeping songs downloaded on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. On the Mac, things are a little more complicated because iTunes lacks a dedicated interface for adjusting the size of its cache.

As explained in this tutorial, you only need to delete a pair of special folders on your Mac to free up quite a bit of storage space lost to caches that accumulate as you stream tunes with Apple Music. Read More

 

Open source Darwin code for macOS 10.12 Sierra now available

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2016

Apple today released open-source Darwin code for macOS 10.12 Sierra, 9to5Mac reports. Darwin, for those unfamiliar with it, forms the core set of Unix components upon which macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS are based, including drivers and the unencrypted kernel along with its BSD portions.

Apple typically releases Darwin code shortly after major macOS releases, and Sierra is no exception. Anyone interested in the intricacies of Sierra’s inner workings can now grab a copy of Darwin via this direct download link. Read More

 

How to prevent partitions from mounting when you boot up, log in, or connect drives to your Mac

By Joaquim Barbosa on Nov 24, 2016

With the exception of partitions in unreadable formats and certain hidden partitions such as EFI and Recovery HD, the default behaviour of macOS is to mount all partitions of a drive on boot-up, login, or on connecting an external drive.

Whilst this behaviour is useful for the novice or for those connecting a single USB stick to copy some files, it can become unwieldy and even annoying if you have many multi-partitioned drives attached to your Mac.

For example, my desktop Hackintosh has three internal drives, each with at least two partitions, and one of these drives is not even needed when booted under macOS – it is for Windows 10 and Linux. Add to this a couple of external hard drives with partitions for storage, OS installers and Time Machine backups for other computers, and your desktop and Finder sidebar can begin to look a real mess. It also takes time for the drives to mount on every boot and unmount on sleep or shutdown.

This guide will detail how to ensure only the drives of your choosing mount automatically, leaving the rest unmounted within macOS. Read More

 

How to set up and use Touch ID on your Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

Touch ID debuted more than three years ago with the iPhone 5s release in September 2013, which filed filed as Apple’s very first device with fingerprint scanning embedded into the Home button. Of course, it didn’t take long for Touch ID to become an important security technology on iPhones and iPads.

Since October 2016, Touch ID has been available on select Mac models, such as the late-2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. If you use Touch ID on your iPhone, you’ll feel right at home on your Mac.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you’re going to learn how to set up Touch ID and Apple Pay on a Mac, enroll your fingerprints in the system and use Touch ID to quickly unlock your computer, make purchases on websites with Apple Pay and much more. Read More

 

This Mac app lets you switch between recently used apps via Touch Bar

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

With all of the time-saving shortcuts available for Apple’s stock apps on the Touch Bar, you’d think Apple would have brought the macOS app switcher to the the new MacBook Pro’s OLED strip. That’s why developer Maxim Ananov set out to create an app, called TouchSwitcher, which does just that. With TouchSwitcher, you can switch between your recently-used apps on the new MacBook Pro right from the Touch Bar. Read More

 

How to add an image to your email signature on Mac

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 23, 2016

Mac users who rely on the Mail app to send and receive emails can easily add a logo image to their email signature.

Doing so can make your email signature look much more professional (or tacky, depending how you look at it), and in this tutorial we’ll show you how it’s done. Read More

 

What to do when your Mac displays the wrong time

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 23, 2016

Have you ever ran into a scenario where your Mac displays the incorrect time? It can throw a lot of things out of whack across all of your apps.

Despite all the things that can go wrong when your Mac’s time is incorrect, it can be pretty easy to fix the problem. We’ll walk you through some possible fixes in this piece. Read More

 
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