Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Consider yourself a Mac power-user? Or do you aspire to take your place amongst such privileged ranks? Here’s a selection of classic yet simple tricks taken fromMac Kung Fu: Second Edition to help you on your way.

Mac Kung Fu: Second Edition is a book previously sold for $25+ but now reduced to the bargain price of £1.49/$1.99 (buy it here). That’s 400+ tips, 120,000+ words, and over 700 eBook pages for less than a cappuccino – and it’s written by regular Macworld contributor and Apple expert Keir Thomas, to boot. What more could you want?

Just for you we have a collection of tips from the book! Read on…

You might find our Best Mac tips, tricks and timesavers interesting too.

Instantly Add Movies and Music to iTunes

Instantly Add Movies and Music to iTunesIf you use third-party software to download or rip music and movies to your computer, you’ll be familiar with the rather lengthy process needed to add them to your iTunes library – you have to start iTunes, then ensure the correct music or movie list is visible, and finally drag and drop the files onto the program window….

However, there’s a hidden folder you can use to import music and movies straight into iTunes. All you need to do is configure any app you use to download files straight into this folder, and they will be instantly imported – even if iTunes isn’t running at the time.

To find the folder, open Finder, hit Shift+Command+G, and then type ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/. One of the folders you should see will be Automatically Add to iTunes. As its name suggests, any files copied into this folder will be added to iTunes automatically. Assuming you have kept the default preferences setting of iTunes organizing your media folders, any files placed there will be moved out of the folder and automatically filed within the Music folder whenever iTunes is running, so it should appear empty most of the time.

You can create a desktop alias of the folder by clicking and dragging it to the desktop, before pressing Alt (Option)+Command and releasing the mouse button. You can then simply drag and drop files onto the alias instead.

Add Magical Links to Start iMessage conversations, and More

Add Magical Links to Start iMessage conversations, and MoreYou might be used to inserting web hyperlinks into documents or when composing emails (click Edit > Add Link and type the address). Whenever anybody clicks the link, they’ll visit the site you specified, just like in a web page.

In addition to links to websites, MacOS lets you create app-specific links. For example, you could include a link in a mail message that, when clicked, will start within the Messages app an instant messaging conversation with somebody. You could create a link in a document that, when clicked, looked up a particular word in the Dictionary app.

To create a link in a TextEdit document or new mail window, highlight the text you want to turn into the link, and click Edit > Add Link, or hit Command+K.

Then look to the following list for what to type into the Create Link dialog box.

http://—You can insert links to web pages by simply typing the address, including the http:// component. For example, typing http://keirthomas.com will create a link to that site.

imessage://—This will start a Messages conversation within the Messages app. For example, typing imessage://07912345678 will open Messages and attempt to start an iMessage conversation with that phone number – or send an SMS if you have Handoff enabled. You can also specify IM handles: if you have a Yahoo buddy whose handle is johnsmith, you could create the following link: imessage://johnsmith. This assumes you’ve configured Messages to log onto your Yahoo account, of course.

facetime://—This will start a FaceTime conversation within the FaceTime app. For example, facetime://keir@example.com will attempt to start a FaceTime conversation with the individual whose FaceTime account is registered to that address. Apple IDs and phone numbers can also be specified, although as with iMessage, the phone number should be typed without any spaces or symbols in it.

dict://—This will cause the Dictionary app to start and look up a particular word. For example, dict://epicurean will open Dictionary with the word definition for Epicurean displayed, as if it had been typed into the search field.

vnc://—This will open a screen-sharing session with whatever address is specified, although the user will still have to click the Connect button in a dialog box that appears when the Screen Sharing software starts. vnc://macbook will attempt to start a screen-sharing session with the computer whose network name is macbook.

x-man-page://—This will open the man page for the specified term within a Terminal window. For example, x-man-page://sharing will open the man page for the sharing command.

When used without any specified address (that is, if you simply type imessage:// or facetime:// in the link dialog box), the apps will be activated when the link is clicked, as if the user has clicked their app icon in the Dock.

It’s also possible to insert other, typical URLs that are used in web pages, such as mailto://ssh://, and telnet://.

Keep your Mac wide awake

Keep your Mac wide awakeIf you need to leave your Mac unattended for a while but want to temporarily stop it going into sleep mode, open a Terminal window (this app is in the Utilities folder the Applications list in Finder), and type the following:

caffeinate -di

For as long as the Terminal window is open and the command is still running, the computer won’t go to sleep through inactivity, and nor will the display. Technically you’re turning off idle sleep mode, which occurs when OS X detects the user hasn’t done anything for a while.

To end the wakefulness, switch back to the Terminal window and hit Control+C or simply close the Terminal window.

Rather than running caffeinate indefinitely, you can specify a time limit, although this must be specified in seconds. If you wanted your computer not to sleep for two hours, for example, then you’d first need to work out the number of seconds (2 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds = 7200 seconds) and then specify it after the -t command-line option, as follows:

caffeinate -dt 7200

Again, you can bring this to a premature end by tapping Control+C or closing the Terminal window.

Save Text Snippets for Quick Reuse

Save Text Snippets for Quick ReuseHere’s a neat trick for those who work with words on their Macs.

If you highlight text in an application and click and drag that to a folder or to the desktop, the text is turned into a file. These are called text clippings, and they will take their filename from the first few words of the excerpt. If there’s any formatting applied to the text, it will be saved too. This is an excellent way of filing away anything you’ve had to edit out of a document but want to keep for other purposes.

To view the contents of the clipping, just double-click it or select it and hit Space to bring up Quick Look. Note that you won’t be able to edit the file. However, to reinsert the text into a document, just click and drag the clippings file on top of the program window after positioning the cursor where you’d like it to be inserted.

Once reinserted in this way, the text clippings file won’t be deleted, so you can use the clipping again in other documents as many times as you wish.

How to hide files

How to hide filesThere are two ways of making files invisible on your Mac. Neither is bulletproof from a security standpoint, and anybody with know-how would be able to uncover them in seconds. But for quietly hiding a file or two for a short period, they’re worth considering.

Hiding Files via Unix: Your Mac’s operating system, MacOS, is actually a version of Unix at its heart. In Unix, you can make a file invisible by adding a full stop (.) in front of its filename, and this works on Macs too. This means the file won’t show up in Finder windows, in file open dialog boxes, or on the desktop. Those browsing at the command line won’t be able to see it unless they specifically request to view hidden files (that is, ls -a).

For example, typing a filename of .document.docx when you’re saving a file will render it invisible. You’ll probably be warned that putting a full stop in front of a filename is reserved for system files, the type of file this technique is typically used to hide, but you can still choose to save the file.

Hiding Files So Mac Apps Can’t See Them: The chflags command can be used to hide files so they don’t show up in graphical user interface (GUI) applications. However, they’ll still be visible if anybody browses files using a Terminal window.

To hide files in this way, open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and use the chflags hidden command, specifying the file or folder name immediately afterward. For example, to hide secret.doc, type the following: chflags hidden secret.doc

To unhide the file so it’s visible via GUI software again, use the chflags nohiddencommand:

chflags nohidden secret.doc

Viewing Hidden Files: So, if a file is hidden, how can you see it in order to open it again? In expanded file open/save dialog boxes within apps, hitting Shift+Command+. (full stop) will display hidden items in the file listing. Hitting the key combo again will hide them. However, be aware that you’ll suddenly see lots of system files that are hidden in this way. (Steer clear of these—don’t delete or open them.)

The only way to see hidden files in Finder windows is to activate a secret setting that shows them alongside other files. This will cause them to always be visible within Finder windows and on the desktop, although hidden files will have a washed-out appearance to indicate their status. Open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE;killall Finder

Even after making this change, you’ll still have to hit Shift+Command+. within file open/save dialog boxes to see hidden files.

To revert to hidden files being hidden within Finder, type the following:

defaults delete com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles;killall Finder

Print in Every Which Way

Print in Every Which WayDid you know you can print just about any file straight from Finder – without hassle? This tip is blindly obvious but little known: selecting one or more files in Finder and then click File > Print on the menu. This will automatically open the file(s) in the default editor (that is, a photo will open in Preview and so on) and automatically print it/them.

But wouldn’t it be useful to be able to print a file instantly, without even having to click File > Print?

As you might expect, your Mac lets you do just that. Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences) and then click the Printers & Scanners entry. In the list of printers that appears on the left, simply select a printer and drag and drop it to the desktop. This will create a shortcut to the printer, which will probably be an icon-sized photograph of your actual printer.

To instantly print any file, simply drag and drop it on top of this new shortcut. Double-click the new icon to view the print queue.

You can also add to the Finder toolbar a shortcut to your printer(s), which will let you drag and drop files to instantly print them or allow you to click the icon to see the print queue. Start by right-clicking the toolbar in Finder, and selecting Customise Toolbar. Then open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences), click Print & Scan, and then drag and drop any of the printer(s) from the list to the toolbar of any open Finder window. Then click Done to close the customise toolbar dialog box.

See EVERYTHING Your Mac Knows About Somebody

See EVERYTHING Your Mac Knows About SomebodyBy selecting an individual’s entry within the Contacts app and then clicking Edit > Spotlight, you can instantly find every email you have from them (and to them), every instant message conversation you’ve had with them, every document they’ve created, every web page you’ve visited that mentions them, every file you’ve tagged with their name, and so on (provided relevant details are contained within their card within the Contacts app. You won’t be able to find their instant message conversations if their IM address isn’t on the contact card, for example).

Calm a bouncing dock icon

Calm a bouncing dock iconSome apps bounce their Dock icons when they want to tell you something, such as when a task has completed. Some apps bounce their icons for a short while, while others will keep bouncing the icon until you do something about it. This can be annoying if you’re busy doing something else.

While clicking the Dock icon to activate the app is one solution, another is simply to move your mouse cursor over the icon. It will instantly stop bouncing, and you can then return to the task at hand.

Force-Open a File

Force-Open a FileYou can drag and drop files onto any Dock icon to open them, but only if that application believes it can understand that particular type of file (for example, doc files are understood by Microsoft Word). Unfortunately, some applications don’t realise they can read certain types of files when they actually can.

To force an application in the Dock to at least attempt to open a file it doesn’t believe it can, hold down Alt (Option)+Command before clicking and dragging the file to the Dock. If the application genuinely can’t understand the file, either nothing will happen or you’ll see an error message.

For a higher probability of success when dragging to the Dock icon as described earlier, you might also try removing the file extension from the file before opening it as described (that is, the part after the dot in a filename, such as .jpg). To do so, select the file and hit Command+I. In the Name & Extension field of the dialog box that appears, remove the extension.

Note that removing the extension by simply renaming the file by any other method probably won’t work, depending on your system’s settings—the file will retain the extension but give the appearance of not doing so.

Don’t forget to restore the file extension after attempting to open it!

Lock Files for Safety

Lock Files for SafetyYou can manually lock any file on your Mac, which will prevent edits or deletion until the file is specifically unlocked. This can be useful if you have a master version of a file, for example, that you want to ensure remains sacrosanct. Folders can also be locked, which will prevent the folder or its contents from being edited or deleted.

If you try to edit a locked file, you’ll be warned and will have to specifically opt to unlock the file.

Locking Files via File Info: There are several ways to lock a file or folder. The easiest is simply to select the file or folder in Finder or on the desktop and hit Command+I to open the File Info dialog box. Then put a check in the Locked box under the General heading.

To unlock a file or folder later, simply repeat the steps and remove the check.

Locking Files via Applications: Certain applications, including those built into macOS such as TextEdit, support file locking from within the application. Click the filename in the window’s title bar, and select Locked from the pop-up menu that appears.

Where does this file live?

Where does this file live?Sometimes I open a file for editing, perhaps one attached to an email, and I have no idea where it’s stored on my computer. One option is to click File > Save to see this information in the Save As dialog box, but a much easier solution is to right-click the filename in the title bar of the program window.

This will show a hierarchical display of folders. The top one nearest the file’s icon will be where the file is stored. The second one from the top will be where the parent of that folder is, and so on, going right back to the name of the hard disk and then the name of your computer, which should be the last in the list.

Selecting any entry in the list will open that folder (or disk) in Finder for browsing.

Print Envelopes

Print EnvelopesIf your printer is compatible with envelopes, you can use the Contacts app to print addresses on them. Just select a contact, and then click File > Print. Selecting multiple contacts will let you print more than one envelope at a time. This tip works well if you create groups of contacts.

Quickly Upload Files within Safari

Quickly Upload Files within SafariIf you’re uploading a file to a website in Safari, you might see a button on the webpage that—when clicked—opens a file-browsing dialog box in which you can choose the file.

To save a little time, you can usually just drag and drop the file from the desktop or a Finder window onto the button, saving the need to use the file browser. Click it to begin the upload procedure.

Switch Apps while editing a file

Switch Apps while editing a fileLet’s say you’re tweaking a photo in Preview and decide you need the full power of Adobe Photoshop.

Look at Preview’s title bar. You’ll see the name of the file currently being worked upon. To the left of this will be a small icon representing the file. This is known as the proxy icon. Click and hold it for a few seconds, and then drag and drop the icon to the Photoshop icon on your Dock or to the Photoshop icon in Applications. The most recent version of the file will open in Photoshop.

It’s a good idea to close Preview following this, although it should update each time the file is saved in the other app.

Instead of dropping the proxy icon onto the Dock icon, while still in the process of dragging the icon you can tap Command+Tab to bring up the application switcher and drop the proxy icon on top of the program’s icon in the switcher display.

Note that this same technique of dragging and dropping the proxy icon also works if you want to insert an image you’re working on into a word processing document (although this example could be any file type and any kind of document). In the image editor, save the file if you haven’t already, and then drag the proxy icon on top of the word processor or layout program’s window where you’d like to insert it. It will be inserted instantly.

Select Text like a pro

Select Text like a proIn some built-in Mac apps like TextEdit, as well as in Microsoft Office and Mozilla Firefox, it’s possible to select text in a variety of useful ways above and beyond simply clicking and dragging. (It doesn’t work in Pages).

Selecting Noncontiguous Regions: Holding down Command while clicking and dragging lets you select disparate sections of text. You could highlight one sentence at the beginning of a paragraph, for example, and while holding down Command, select another sentence at the end of a paragraph. Hitting Command+C will copy both to the clipboard. If you hit Command+V to paste, the two sentence components will be pasted on two separate lines.

Selecting Square or Rectangular Blocks of Text: Holding down Alt (Option) will let you select rectangular blocks of text within a paragraph. This is hard to describe, so give it a try by holding down Alt (Option) and clicking and dragging within a paragraph of text (hold Alt (Option)+Command in older versions of Microsoft Word). This is another tip that may or may not work in your app.

Again, hitting Command+C will copy it, and hitting Command+V will paste it. It’s hard to imagine how this would ever be useful, but you might find a use for it!

Selecting Without Dragging: By clicking at the beginning of the region of text you want to select and then holding Shift and clicking at the end of the region, you’ll select everything in between. This works best when editing a document, and not on web pages.

If you’ve already made a text selection, you can hold down Shift and click either side of it to add text to the selection. Clicking within the selection while holding down Shift will let you subtract letters and words from the selection.

See Numbers in Huge Type for Easy Jotting

See Numbers in Huge Type for Easy JottingHave you ever wanted to jot down a phone number from the screen but found it difficult because you had to keep looking back and forth from screen to page, constantly losing your place on the screen?

In TextEdit and the Contacts app you can simply highlight the telephone number, right-click it, and select Large Type. This works in Mail messages too, although you might also be able to hover the mouse over the phone number until an arrow icon appears and click it, selecting Large Type from the menu that appears. Note that this works only for messages you’ve received in Mail and not for ones you’re composing.

This also works when using Calculator, letting you view the result of calculations—right-click the numbers on the LCD screen and then select Large Type.

In each case, the text will then be displayed in large floating text that fills the width of the screen. To get rid of it, just click anywhere

Cancel Dialog Boxes Instantly

Cancel Dialog Boxes InstantlyOne of the oldest Mac keyboard shortcuts is Command+. (full stop), which on very old Macs was used to cancel the current task.

In macOS it was deprecated but still lingers when it comes to dialog boxes—hitting Command+. will click the Cancel button for you, saving you the bother of reaching for your mouse.

Use Safari while booted to the recovery system

Use Safari while booted to the recovery systemHold down Command+R before the Apple logo appears during booting, and you’ll boot to the recovery system. Here you can perform disk checks, restore the system via Time Machine, and even reinstall OS X.

You can also unofficially launch apps that are installed within the main OS X installation, provided it’s still accessible (that is, your system isn’t damaged beyond repair). It isn’t intuitive to do this, but you might want to launch Safari to be able to research a problem you’re having.

While booted to the recovery system, click Utilities > Terminal, and then type the following:

/Applications/Safari.app/Contents/MacOS/Safari

Once you’ve finished, hit Command+Q twice to quit Safari as well as the Terminal window that launched it. This will return you to the main recovery options dialog box. To restart the computer, click the Apple menu, and then select the Restart option.

Invert a selection of files

Invert a selection of filesLet’s say you’ve just downloaded 100 images from your digital camera. You want to copy all but three of them to another folder. How would you select just the 97 you want to copy?

Finder features a neat little trick to let you do just that quickly and easily. However, it works best on the desktop or in Icon view within Finder.

Start by selecting the files you don’t want to include in your selection. In my previous example, that would be the three files that we don’t want to copy. This can be done by holding down Command and selecting each.

Then press and hold the Command key and use the mouse to rubber-band select all the files—including the three you’ve already selected. You should find magic happens—the selection inverts so that files that weren’t selected now are and those that were are automatically unselected. In my example, 97 files would now be selected.

[“Source-macworld”]

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan

Apple’s strategy of making macOS updates available for free from the Mac App Store and providing access to public betas of upcoming new versions has been very successful in encouraging us to keep our Macs updated. However, sometimes enthusiasm for the newest features can get the better of us and we upgrade in haste only to repent later.

There are several possible scenarios in which you may want to reverse and downgrade to an older version of macOS (or Mac OS X). You might install a public beta of a new version of macOS, and then discover it’s got bugs in it which break apps you depend on. And even when you upgrade to a new full version of the OS, you may find that features you relied on work differently or have disappeared.

Regardless of the specifics, the clear solution is to undo the update and revert to the version of macOS you were using before – but that’s sometimes easier said than done. In this article we show you how to downgrade macOS. Read next: macOS Sierra vs Mac OS X El Capitan

How to remove a macOS beta

The guide below works for both beta and full release versions of macOS. But there are some slight differences to the way you will approach the situation.

When you install a beta version of a new macOS upgrade, it’s good practice to install it on a separate hard drive. You can find out how to do that here: How to run macOS from an external hard drive.

That way you can test the beta while keeping your files and data safe from any bugs.

Nevertheless, if you’ve already installed a beta on top of your existing system, the process for reversing it is exactly the same as for a full version. Follow the instructions below to wipe your startup disk and re-install the latest full version of macOS.

Preparing to downgrade macOS

As with anything else, the key to minimising difficulty later is to prepare before you start.

The simplest way to reverse an OS update is to restore from Time Machine. So, if you’re not using Time Machine to make regular backups, start now, before you upgrade.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Time Machine

Make sure you have a recent, complete backup of your system. That backup can be on a directly connected external disk, hooked up by USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt. Or it can be on a Time Machine compatible network drive, like Apple’s Time Capsule. If you’re running macOS Sierra, the network drive can use the SMB protocol; older versions of macOS only support AFP for Time Machine backups.

If you’ve got a Time Machine backup and need to revert to an older version of the OS, read the next section. If not, skip ahead to Downgrade without a Time Machine backup.

Restore from a Time Machine backup

Before we begin, it’s important to note that when you restore from a backup, you’ll wipe everything on your startup disk. That means any work you’ve done since you upgraded will be lost. So… back it up.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: CarbonCopyCloner

You can use Time Machine to do this, too. If you don’t use Time Machine, clone your startup disk to a spare external drive or at the very least make a copy of any files you’ve created or modified since you upgraded. If you’ve got photos in the Photos app and you don’t use iCloud Library, manually export them to an external disk so you can re-import them later.

Once you’ve backed up everything you want to keep from the newer version of the OS, restart your Mac with the Time Machine disk connected and while holding Command and R until you see the Apple logo.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Utilities

When the options appear on screen, choose ‘Restore From Time Machine Backup’ and click Continue. Then select the Time Machine disk and select the backup you want to restore from – in most cases, it will be the most recent backup prior to installing the newer version of the OS. Follow the onscreen instructions.

If you backed up files from the newer OS using Time Machine, when your Mac restarts, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Enter Time Machine. You can now navigate to the most recent backup and the files you want and retrieve them.

If you used another tool to back up your files, use its restore facility. If you copied them manually, copy them back.

Downgrade without a Time Machine backup

Do you have a bootable installer of the OS you want to revert to on an external disk?

If so, you can plug that in, select it as the startup disk and reboot. When your Mac has restarted, launch Disk Utilities, select the Erase tab and choose your Mac’s regular startup disk (the one with the new OS on it).

When the disk has been erased, restart while holding down Command-R and select Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window and select your regular startup disk. Follow the onscreen instructions and wait for your Mac to restart.

Normally when you re-install macOS and have a backup, you’d choose the option to migrate data from the backup to the fresh installation, but in this case the backup is a later OS than the one you’ve just installed, so migrating data is likely to lead to compatibility problems. If, however, you have a clone of your Mac’s startup drive from before you upgraded, you could migrate data from that. You’d still be without the files you created while running the newer OS, but you’d at least have a base from which to start.

You would then manually copy files created while you were running the newer OS from the backup you made before you wiped your Mac’s startup disk.

How to create a bootable installer

Haven’t got a bootable installer? Don’t panic. You can download installers for earlier versions of macOS from the Mac App Store, provided you’ve installed them from there in the past.

So, for example, if you downloaded and installed macOS Sierra from the Mac App Store then installed the public beta of High Sierra and now want to revert to Sierra, you can search for Sierra on the App Store and download it.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Installer file

Older versions of macOS won’t appear through normal search, unfortunately, but you can find them in the Purchased section.

Download Yosemite from Purchases

The important bit is that once it has downloaded, it will try to install. Don’t click anything that allows the installation to proceed, just quit the installation and a copy of the OS installer will remain in your Applications folder.

You’ll need to do this before you wipe your startup disk, obviously.

Here’s how to download and create a bootable version of an earlier version of macOS.

Once you’ve created a bootable installer using the instructions on that page, you can follow the instructions above to reverse a macOS upgrade.

Fixing common problems

Reversing an upgrade carries with it a number of wrinkles and pitfalls.

Most of these are due to changes in file formats and settings between versions of the OS. So, for example, if you create a document or work on a file in a new version, whether it’s a beta or full release, of macOS and then try and open it in an older version, it may not work.

To mitigate this, it’s wise to export any documents you’ve created or worked on in the newer OS in a standard file format. So, for example, if you use Scrivener or Ulysses, export documents as RTF files. That way, if the native files don’t survive the reverse upgrade, you’ll be able to re-import the RTF files.

Take screenshots of preferences and settings

Whenever you perform a clean install of macOS, which is what you’re doing here, it’s a good idea to take screenshots of any custom settings you’ve created in apps or in System Preferences. That makes it easier to re-create them later.

You should also make a note of user account and password details for anything you’ve set up while running the new version of the OS. If you don’t use iCloud or Chrome to synchronise bookmarks, it’s a good idea to export those and make a copy.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Export bookmarks

And unless you’re using the migrate data option outlined above, you’ll also need installers and licence codes for apps you use. If those are downloads from the Mac App Store, you can just re-download them from the Purchased section in the App Store. If not, make sure you can download them from the vendor’s website. If you don’t use a password manager to store licence codes, make sure you’ve got a copy of them before you start.

Synchronise

If you use Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or any other form of cloud storage, make sure your data is in sync before you start the process of reversing an upgrade. It’s easy to forget that the files that live in your Dropbox folder, or example, are local files and that while synchronisation is frequent, the loss of an internet connection will prevent it and you could have files in your local folder that haven’t yet been copied to the cloud.

Clicking on the cloud service’s logo in your menu bar should tell you whether synchronisation completed successfully and files are up to date.

If you use Gmail, iCloud mail or any other IMAP server for your email, make sure it’s up to date and any drafts you’ve composed recently have been synchronised. If you use a POP3 account you’ll have to manually back up the mail database and restore it after you reverse the upgrade. Or, if you only have a few messages you need to keep, forward them to a Gmail account – you could set one up especially for that purpose.

[“Source-macworld”]

Love Mac and Cheese? But What About the Sprinkling of Harmful Chemicals in it?

Love Mac and Cheese? But What About the Sprinkling of Harmful Chemicals in it?

Talk about comfort food and the sinful Mac and Cheese comes to mind. Easy to make and delicious till the last bite, it has been a favourite dish across the globe. There are even readymade Mac and Cheese packs available in the stores to make life easier. But along with your spoonful of macaroni, have you been also taking in a sprinkling of chemicals? In a recent study, experts at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute joined hands to examine over 1000 male participants who were consuming such cheese products as part of their diet. Traces of phthalates, a harmful chemical commonly used in plastic products, adhesives, soaps, etc, were found in close to 99.6% of the participants.

The prevalence of lifestyle and metabolic ailments like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure was found to have increased in participants with high phthalate levels. The presence of such chemicals in the body was attributed to consuming food items packed in plastic.
As per a recent study conducted by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, 29 out of 30 cheese products were found to have traces of phthalates with natural cheese products recording the least and processed cheese items containing highest amount of phthalates. “Phthalates can migrate into food products during processing, packaging, and preparation. Phthalates tend to be found at higher levels in highly processed or fatty foods.” noted the report as stated on Kleanupkraft’s webpage.

phthalate via kleanupkraftImage via Kleanupkraft
Though the group of chemicals is never intentionally added to food products, they travel easily from food containers or bottles to the actual food items. These are easily absorbed by body cells and get absorbed into the system.
Phthalates are also capable of disrupting the hormonal balance and cause fertility issues in both men and women. Cheese products were tested for phthalate content as dairy products have been tied to being one of the greatest sources of direct exposure to phthalates (DEHP) in young children and women. The report called for further research to measure phthalate content in various food items and formulation of relevant policies to regulate and monitor the same in food products.

[Source:-NDTV]

Look back at Mac OS X’s history with 5K versions of all the default wallpapers

Mac OS X / macOS has been a fundamental part of Apple’s modern-day renaissance. Throughout the years, the company has graced each version of its computer operating system with default desktop wallpaper that has ranged from instantly iconic to, well, some really nice pictures of mountains.

But most of the older wallpapers were never really designed to be used on a higher-resolution screen, so if you’ve been looking to use the classic Aqua wallpaper from OS 10.3 Panther or 10.5 Leopard’s famous Aurora on your fancy new 5K Mac, you’ve been pretty much out of luck.

Fortunately, Apple aficionado Stephen Hackett of 512Pixels, in partnership with Twitter user @forgottentowel, has created a centralized place to find upscaled 5K resolution versions of every main OS X wallpaper ever made. They’re ideal on a Retina display with your current-gen iMac or MacBook Pro.

Image: Apple

As a warning, there’s only so much you can do even with upscaling the older images to modern resolutions, so while you shouldn’t expect razor-sharp crispness, it’s still better than using the original 1024 x 768 OS 10.1 wallpaper that natively shipped with Cheetah.

[“Source-theverge”]

Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers – these are the ones you shouldn’t buy

Image result for Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers - these are the ones you shouldn't buy

Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.

While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don’t warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.

I’ve listed the Apple computers you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.

Some of these computers are part of Apple’s recent back-to-school promotion , where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren’t worth your time or money.

[“Source-businessinsider”]

Slow Mac? Could be a hidden memory gobbler in macOS

macos sierra homescreen

Just hours into using my new 27-inch iMac with 32GB of memory, the system felt sluggish. I checked memory usage via the top -u command in Terminal, which showed all 32GB was full. Exclamation point, I said aloud, and launched Activity Monitor to dig in more easily than at the command line.

Sure enough, all memory was in use, and the culprit was something I’d never seen before: com.apple.MediaLibraryService. Turns out that this service relies on Apple plug-ins to make music and other audio, photos and video, and GarageBand files available throughout macOS, including via the options in the Media section of the Open dialog box’s sidebar.

For some (like me), this service goes out of control and consumes all available memory. It may be related to how large your various libraries are. I have over 50,000 images (225GB) in my Photos Library, 120GB in my old iPhoto library, and 240GB in iTunes (including video recorded over the air).

The amount of memory this service consumes is clearly the result of a memory leak—software that loses track of what memory it’s employing, and keeps burning up more—or out of control activity that’s also a bug. Some folks started reporting problems back in 2014 with the then-new versions of Pages and Numbers.

Fortunately, you can at least halt the runaway train, even if you can’t solve why it’s happening.

  1. Launch Activity Monitor.
  2. In the Memory tab, click the Memory column. That’s where you’ll find any service if it’s eating memory. (You can also use Process Name to find it alphabetically.)
  3. Select the process and click the X button in the upper left.
  4. When the confirmation dialog appears, click Force Quit.

This calms things down for the moment, though it may respawn or become a problem anew the next time you restart your Mac. For a longer-term solution, follow these steps, which will disable some of the import/export options and the Open dialog’s Media browser:

  1. In the Finder, select Go > Go To Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support/iLifeMediaBrowser/ and press return.
  3. In that folder, you’ll find a Plug-Ins folder. Rename it to Plug-Ins (Disabled).
mac911 media plug in library items

The iLifeMediaBrowser folder has a bunch of plug-ins to help import and export files from Apple software.

Now macOS won’t be able to find and load these plug-ins. If you find you’re missing a media-handling feature you rely on, some people have reported success with re-creating the Plug-Ins folder and only moving selected plug-ins back in to see which is required.

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to mac911@macworld.com including screen captures as appropriate. Mac 911 can’t reply to—nor publish an answer to—every question, and we don’t provide direct troubleshooting advice.

[“Source-macworld”]

Apple’s upgraded iPad Pro, Mac hits Indian market post GST today

New Apple iPad Pro and Mac sales begin in India on Monday. Photo: Bloomberg

New Apple iPad Pro and Mac sales begin in India on Monday. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: The new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pros and Macs hit the market on Monday. The long-awaited upgraded range is available at Apple showrooms at a cheaper rate, post GST, says a report in Indian Express.

The new upgraded devices were showcased at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, held in June, said the report.

After the introductions of the goods and services tax (GST), all the mobile phones have attracted 12% taxes. A report in India Todaysaid with the implementation of GST, Apple iPhones, iPads, iMac, MacBook, and other products by Apple have undergone a major price cut. The report suggested that the GST imposed on Apple products will be almost 7.5%.

Apple introduced two different iPad Pro models—the one with the 10.5 inch display and the other with a 12.9 inch display. Both are offered in Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + Cellular variants, said a BGR report. The Wi-Fi only iPad Pro 10.5-inch 64GB model is priced at Rs52,900, while the 256GB and 512GB variants are priced at Rs60,900 and Rs76,900, respectively, said the report.

The Wi-Fi + Cellular variant of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro , on the other hand, costs Rs11,000 more. The 64GB, 256GB and 512GB variants are priced at Rs63,900, Rs71,900, and Rs87,900, respectively.

The price range for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi only) for the 64GB, 256GB and 512GB variants are Rs65,900, Rs73,900 and Rs 89,000, respectively. Similarly, the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at Rs76,900, Rs84,900 and Rs100,900 for the 64GB, 256GB and 512 GB variants, respectively.

[“Source-livemint”]

Mac Pro 2018 (or 2019) preview

Mac Pro 2018 (or 2019) preview

The last time Apple updated the Mac Pro it made a big deal about how it was revolutionary and proof that Apple could still innovate. The 2013 Mac Pro was built around a thermal core that cooled a 12-core Xeon processor, a 256GB flash drive, up to 64GB RAM, and two GPUs, all squeezed into a tube that was 9.9in by 6.6in. Read our review of the 2013 Mac Pro here.

While some joked about its resemblance to a trash can, the 2013 Mac Pro certainly did have all the looks. But when Apple had made its design choices it had made some assumptions about the path that future workstation technologies would take, and unfortunately, while the design of the Mac Pro did a great job keeping it cool, thanks to the thermal core, the internal design just couldn’t accommodate the processors and GPUs that were to arrive over the years that followed, and as a result Apple was unable to update the Mac Pro in its current form.

This might have been forgivable but for the fact that those people who did purchase a Mac Pro couldn’t update their models either. Much better processors and GPUs have arrived since the ones that Apple used in the 2013 Mac Pro, but no Mac Pro user was able to take advantage of these.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Mac Pro when it launched back in 2013, and finally went on sale that Christmas, was the fact that it was not user upgradable.

The old ‘cheese grater’ Mac Pro (pictured below) had been popular because it could be upgraded with faster graphics cards, better CPUs, extra storage space thanks to the internal drive bays and PCI Express expansion slots. With the 2013 Mac Pro Apple tried to tell pros that the Thunderbolt 2 ports provided on the Mac Pro would give them all the upgradability they needed. Pros laughed at the idea and wondered how they would find the desk space.

As a result, in the four years since the introduction of the trash can Mac Pro many Pros have been creating their own ‘hackintoshes’ with the CPUs and graphics cards they need. Those pros who aren’t desperate to run macOS (or Mac OS X) have just switched to the Windows of Linux workstations that have left Apple’s Mac Pro for dust.

So really there were only two things Apple could do. Either it had to pull out of the workstation space all together and face the onslaught of bad press about turning its back on the creatives who made the company popular in the first place, or it needed admit to its failings and go back to the drawing board and start again with the Mac Pro.

At a briefing with a select few journalists in April 2017 Apple admitted that it had made a bit of a mess of the Mac Pro and explained that it was “completely rethinking” the design and its approach. Creatives cheered, or at least those ones who were still listening. There is more information about this briefing here: New Mac Pro latest news.

But what do we know of this “completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display,” as Apple’s VP of marketing Phil Schiller described it?

It would seem that the company isn’t far along in its reinvention of the Mac Pro, there was no prototype to show off at WWDC in June 2017, and no more information given at that event, other than a reiteration of the promise that something is in the pipeline.

What we did see at WWDC was the other pro machine that Apple promised at that same April briefing. The iMac Pro is due to launch later in 2017 and it offers some clues as to what we can expect from the new Mac Pro when it arrives.

In addition the comments made by Schiller and the two other Apple VPs present at the briefing in April give us some insight as to just how much of a revamp Apple is conducting. Apparently it’s a “radical revamp” if you were wondering.

The most important aspect of the redesign is that Apple’s not going to back itself into a thermal cor-ner again (surely someone else has made that joke). Schiller said: “We want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.”

So that’s great; Apple won’t take another four years (probably by the time it launches, five years) to update the Mac Pro with the next round of processors and GPUs… But what about user upgradability. That’s that the pros have been crying out for.

Upgradability

Apple does promise that it will be a modular system. This suggests that the Apple workstation will have easily replaceable parts that use standardized interfaces.

Apple being Apple, the fear is that the company will use proprietary connectors, meaning that the computer can only be upgraded with parts that it approves. We can only hope that this won’t be the case.

There is some indication that Apple is going to allow users to upgrade the new Mac Pro: the new iMac Pro when it launches (and the current iMacs) are upgradable. Apple has been listening! Read our preview of the new iMac Pro here.

Design

What seems likely is that the new Mac Pro will look like the 2013 Mac Pro. Will it look like the old cheese grater-style Mac Pro. We expect that the new design will fall somewhere between the two.

There is no need for Apple to make a Mac Pro that is as large as the old-old aluminium Mac Pro. The old machine needed space for a 3.5in drive bay, internal storage bays, and optical drive bays. The new machine will just need room for the SSD cards, GPU, a CPU socket to feed multiple cores, four RAM slots, and a motherboard. In addition to that some Thunderbolt 3 pros and, the pros will be hoping, some PCIe expansion slots. All that should fit neatly inside a relatively small case.

Cooling

Cooling is obviously the key with the Mac Pro design. Apple said that it had decided on the components of the 2013 Mac Pro before it set upon the black cylindrical design, rather than trying to squeeze the components into something with an inflexible design.

We expect that the company will also take the same care over the design of the new Mac Pro: ensuing that the machine is built around the components, and in such a way to accommodate future components, rather than the design coming first and the components being squeezed in.

Fundamental to the design will be the thermal core, as was the case last time. Apple spoke about the thermal cooling of the new iMac Pro at WWDC in June 2017, which emphasises just how important it is.

Obviously right now we don’t know what this will entail, but we can take a look at the design of the upcoming iMac Pro and the way it is cooled to at least get an idea of how effectively Apple will address the issue. We’ll be able to draw conclusions here once the iMac Pro launches.

Noise

Related to the way the Mac Pro keeps itself cool is the noise it makes, and this was one of the things Apple did get right with the Mac Pro in 2013.

The current Mac Pro remains silent even during the most demanding operations, meaning it is ideal for audio workflows and music production. It’s the reason why some audio professionals are still choosing the Mac Pro over the MacBook Pro, which can get pretty noisy when it’s working hard.

You can expect Apple to place similar emphasis on keeping the noise down with the new Mac Pro.

Processor

Since Apple introduced the 2013 Mac Pro there have been a number of new generations of processors from Intel that Apple hasn’t been able to take advantage of.

When the Mac Pro was first unveiled in 2012 it used Intel’s Xeon E5 V2 Romley processors, a processor generation from 2011. Since then Intel has introduced Xeon’s under the codenames of Grantley (Xeon E5 V3), and now Purely, with Skylake (V5) and Cannonlake (V6) branded variants.

Those Cannonlake Xeons may not arrive until 2019 though, which might coincide nicely with the launch of the Mac Pro. Although, Apple may not be so keen on waiting for Intel to make the new chips available.

The current Mac Pro offers 6, 8, or 12-core versions. When it launches this winter, the iMac Pro will offer 8, 10 r 18-cores. Given that next-generation Xeons are heading towards 28, or even 32-cores, it is a fair bet to suppose that the new Mac Pro will offer more than 18-cores as an option.

Graphics

The 2013 Mac Pro uses Dual AMD FirePro D500 or D700 graphics processors. Since this was a product name created for the Mac Pro, it’s necessary to do a little sleuthing to find an equivalent that could be used for the next Mac Pro.

The D700 matches the AMD FirePro W9000, which at the time was AMD’s best performing workstation GPU.

AMD has since introduced the Radeon Pro as a successor to the FirePro line up. Apple is already bragging that it is using the Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor in the iMac Pro, a chip that isn’t actually available yet.

So, when it comes to predicting what the next big thing will be after the Radeon Pro Vega we’d need a crystal ball and since we don’t have one we’ll have to wait.

That said, maybe what really matters is whether pro users will be able to update their Mac Pro to take advantage of the latest and greatest graphics cards when they launch. If Apple allows this then it matters less what’s inside the Mac Pro at launch.

RAM

Officially the 2013 Mac Pro handled up to 64GB RAM spread over four slots (four 16GB RAM modules). However, it is possible to upgrade it to take 128GB RAM with third party solutions.

Given that the iMac Pro is configurable to take up to 128GB RAM, it would be very peculiar if the Mac Pro didn’t offer that option this time round.

We’d hope that Apple continues to make is easy to install more RAM when required.

Storage

There have been requests that Apple should provide some bays for internal hard drives in the new Mac Pro. This might seem a bit backwards, but while flash memory is still expensive, the most cost effective option for anyone working with large file sizes is going to be a hard disk.

Perhaps Apple will offer a Fusion Drive as a build to order option.

As for solid state storage, this was the only option on the 2013 Mac Pro and while the machine shipped with 256GB as standard, it was possible to opt for 512GB or 1TB build to order options. Given that the iMac Pro will offer 1TB, 2TB or 4TB of fast flash storage the new Mac Pro will surely top that.

Ports

The current Mac Pro sports six Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new Mac Pro is obviously crying out for an upgrade to Thunderbolt 3 which has the added benefit of doubling up as USB Type-C.

What Mac Pro users have been asking for since the 2013 Mac Pro arrived is PCI slots though. If Apple shipped a Mac Pro with PCI slots (a feature the prior Mac Pro had) this would allow users to easily add faster SSDs and better video cards.

Of course this may be less necessary than it was when the only ports on offer were Thunderbolt 2, because Thunderbolt 3 is being widely adopted by the rest of the PC industry due to the integration of USB Type-C. This should pave the way for a diverse and competitive accessory ecosystem.

Another feature that’s coming with the iMac Pro is 10 gigabit Ethernet, we have no doubt that we’ll be seeing this with the new Mac Pro too.

OUR VERDICT

Just how will the Mac Pro differ from the iMac Pro? We think one key way will be Apple’s desire to make this a modular system, allowing users to perform their own upgrades to keep the model fresh for years to come.

We are quite confident that Apple won’t fall into the same trap as it did with the 2013 Mac Pro – Apple is sure to design it with future upgrades in mind so that its own upgrade cycle for the machine doesn’t slip. We would hope not to see the Mac Pro miss out on generations and generations of graphics processors and CPUs just because Apple couldn’t fit them inside.

“We want to architect it so we can keep it fresh with regular improvements,” said Apple’s Phil Schiller and we’re pretty sure it will be attempting to do exactly that.

[“Source-macworld”]

APPLE MACOS HIGH SIERRA PREVIEW: THE BIGGEST MAC UPDATE YOU’LL NEVER SEE

There’s no avoiding it: High Sierra, the next major release of macOS, is going to feel like a somewhat boring update to most people. It’s full of foundational refinements and new technologies that will prepare your Mac for very cool things that are coming over the next few years. There’s a whole new file system underneath everything! But feature-wise, High Sierra lacks any new apps or consumer-facing changes that will make it all that exciting for Mac users.

If you’re a photographer, you’ll certainly appreciate the revamped Photos app and its more powerful editing tools. Mail, Safari, Notes, Spotlight, and Siri are all slightly better on High Sierra, too. But even Apple’s other refinement-focused macOS releases — such as El Capitan or Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard — contained more new stuff. This time, the most important changes are all happening under the hood. And even if you’re unlikely to notice all of them, some are pretty monumental for the operating system’s future. You can install the public beta for High Sierra as of today.

THE SMALL CHANGES YOU CAN SEE

PHOTOS

Photos is the app that’s received the most attention from Apple in macOS High Sierra, and the payoff for that work is significant. Over the last couple years, Photos has focused largely on simplifying the hassle of managing your photo library and syncing your pictures across devices through the cloud. But with High Sierra, it’s once again starting to feel like a capable, robust piece of editing software. The sidebar is now persistent and displays your library, Memories, Live Photos, and albums. You can view your photos based on media type (burst shots, selfies, panoramas, slow-mo, etc.), and GIFs are finally supported, too.

The edit view has been totally reworked and now offers a wider selection of tools including curves (for finer adjustments) and selective color, which lets you change the color of a specific thing in your shot without affecting the entire image. A new “Compare” button in the upper left corner makes it easy to reference the before and after of each adjustment you make to be sure you’re not ruining everything. And similar to iOS 11, the app’s built-in filters have gotten more natural and subtle.

Plus, if Photos still falls short for your image processing needs, Apple now lets you kick an image out to your editor of choice — Photoshop, Pixelmator, etc. — and saves any edits you make non-destructively. That way, you’re not left with multiple copies of the same photo on your Mac, and your edits sync across your devices just as they would if you’d been working in Photos the whole time.

High Sierra gives Photos the same, new Live Photos tricks as iOS 11 including the loop, bounce, and long exposure effects. Apple is also ramping up its continued war with Google Photos by making the Memories feature smarter; Photos will now create memories involving pets, babies, birthdays, sporting events, outdoor activities, weddings, and anniversaries. And Photos supports the new file formats meant to save space when you’re shooting images and video on a device running iOS 11. To round things out, you can now publish books (and even websites) with third-party companies like Shutterfly and Wix.

SAFARI

Apple has declared war against annoying auto-playing videos and creepy ad tracking across the websites you visit. In High Sierra, the company has ramped up Safari’s capabilities to shield you against both. And these auto-playing defenses are incrediblyeffective. You can set preferences for individual websites or a blanket rule that bans all autoplay, only stops content with sound, or lets everything play.

And it works! I’ve been unable to find any site that can successfully break through Safari’s new safeguards against unexpected media playback. For most, I’ve had to manually hit the play button or at least take some action. In other instances, loading animations made clear that sites were trying to auto-play something, but they still failed. This feature alone might make many give Safari another try as their primary Mac browser. Apple insists it’s way faster than Chrome, remember.

Another new, great Safari feature is intelligent tracking prevention. Apple’s browser will now use machine learning to identify the advertisers that track you around the web and remove the cross-site data that’s responsible for your Amazon browsing and other brief shopping sessions following you for days and weeks on end. You’ll know it’s working when ads start seeming less creepy and directly relevant to that thing you just searched for. Advertisers will no doubt try to circumvent this pro-consumer feature, setting up a game of cat and mouse in future updates to macOS and Safari.

Safari is also adding more granular controls over content blockers and privacy controls for your Mac’s camera, location, microphone, and notifications. And you can now set the Reader mode, which strips pages of everything but article content, as the default whenever it’s available.

MAIL

Right off the bat, the updated Mail app should save some space on your Mac’s hard drive. Once you upgrade to High Sierra, Mail will compress all of your messages that it stores. Apple says this could result in Mail taking up to 35 percent less space compared to whatever amount of room it’s eating up on your computer right now.

Mail also gets one significant new feature that’ll come into play when you search through your inbox for that one important email: Top Hits. The idea here is to make search much more accurate by factoring in how often (and recently) you’ve read a message and whether the sender is a favorite contact or someone you’ve set as a VIP in Mail preferences. It also takes into account how frequently someone emails you and your rate of actually replying. Apple says that Top Hits will get more relevant and helpful the more you use it and search in the Mail app.

NOTES

Notes can now be pinned, so you can keep the important ones at the top of your list. Tables can be added to notes, too. I had to think long and hard about what I’d need a table for when coming up with the fake travel schedule below, but I’m sure there are some of you who’ll find this small thing very useful. And now when you search for a word in notes, it’ll be highlighted so you can easily located it in results.

SIRI

With High Sierra, Siri is getting the same, more natural voices that are also coming to iOS 11. The assistant is also better at music-related requests. Aside from the straightforward play this song by this artist stuff, you can ask Siri to “play some music” for a personalized playlist or ask her to play something sad or genre-specific.

SPOTLIGHT

Spotlight can now track flight status, if that’s a thing you want to do. It’ll show you whether a flight is on time, its path, duration, and the key departure / arrival terminal info you need. You can get this from Google, of course, but if you’re a big Spotlight user, maybe this is just ever so slightly quicker.

OTHER RANDOM NEW THINGS

Messages in iCloud: Just like iOS 11, High Sierra now offers to store your iMessage history in the cloud, making it easier to retrieve all those conversations whenever you set up a new device. Everything is still end-to-end encrypted to ensure privacy.

FaceTime Live Photos: When you’re on a FaceTime call with someone, you can capture a Live Photo that uses the other person’s camera and mic on their Mac or iOS device for greater quality. Both parties on the FaceTime call are notified whenever a Live Photo is taken.

Universal Clipboard between Macs: You can copy something on one Mac running High Sierra and paste it onto a nearby Mac that’s also signed into your account. Universal Clipboard is already a convenient feature between macOS and iOS, and now it works across Macs.

Improved family sharing and shared iCloud storage: Starting with High Sierra, Apple now lets you set up different aspects of family sharing (Apple Music, shared purchases, etc.) as you need them. Also, everyone can take from the same storage plan. 200GB of iCloud storage is $2.99 per month, or you can jump up to 2TB — hopefully enough to cover everyone — for $9.99 a month.

New Touch Bar tricks: The tiny strip of a display on MacBook Pros is getting ever-so-slightly more useful in High Sierra. You can double tap the volume button to mute your Mac’s audio. Swiping to adjust display brightness and system volume is faster since you don’t have to bring up sliders first. And there are new buttons for Night Shift and AirPlay.

MacBook Pro with Touch BarPhoto by James Bareham / The Verge

Better iCloud file sharing: Files saved to iCloud Drive can be shared with other people for collaborative work. Everyone sees the same document and will always get the latest version with any edits and changes. “Compatible” third-party apps can also work on iCloud Drive files and the document is still kept up to date. And now, you can share directly with people from the share sheet.

THE BIGGER CHANGES YOU CAN’T SEE

APPLE FILE SYSTEM

Apple is making some radical changes to the underpinnings of your Mac. High Sierra will mark the changeover to the company’s own, modern Apple File System. iOS users made this transition back in March, and now the Mac’s time has come. APFS is optimized for the flash / SSD storage in most new Mac computers today. It’s faster, more efficient, and advances Apple’s focus on encryption and security. Here are a few examples of the noticeable benefits of APFS:

  • Saved space: As with iOS 10.3, you might notice some freed up storage on your Mac once you’ve made the upgrade to High Sierra. This is a result of the file system’s greater efficiency.
  • Cloning: When files or folders are copied, they are now “cloned,” which happens instantaneously and the duplicated file eats up barely any additional storage on your computer.
  • Fast directory sizing: You’ll no longer have to spend any time waiting for macOS to calculate the size of a particular folder or file in the “Get Info” screen. High Sierra keeps much better track of file / directory size and can display that data right away.
  • Snapshots and crash protections: AFPS can take snapshots, which are read-only copies of the state of the file system at a given time. This makes backups easier and more reliable — both for app developers and Apple’s Time Machine software.

HEVC

The rise of high-resolution displays and 4K video has led Apple to bring support for HEVC (H.265) to High Sierra. The pitch for HEVC is that it enables video streaming and playback of 4K content, but with file sizes that are up to 40 percent smaller than H.264 videos. All Macs will get software support for HEVC, but hardware acceleration, which will improve playback and encoding even more, is exclusive to only the most recent Macs.

EXTERNAL GPUS AND VR

Sometime next year (Apple is saying spring 2018), owners of supported Macs will be able to connect external graphics cards over Thunderbolt 3 and instantly boost the gaming power of their system for far better performance with top titles and — eventually — support for virtual reality experiences. High Sierra is Apple’s initial step into eGPUs and VR, and it’ll be some time before we know how serious the company is about taking the fight to Windows here.

WHAT DIDN’T APPLE CHANGE AT ALL?

iTunes and the Mac App Store. Perhaps more than any other apps on macOS — well, besides Chess, DVD player, and Stickies — those two are in need of some rethinking. The App Store is being completely redesigned on iOS 11 with a bigger emphasis on editorial, but that’s not (yet) true of the Mac. Maybe next year.

Dashboard is also still hanging around and continues to feel largely ignored and unchanged dating back to sometime in 2006. It’s turned off by default. For all of Apple’s efforts to be super efficient, there’s still a lot of ancient software left untouched in High Sierra. Why not just cut the cruft?

There’s got to be more that Apple can do with this.

So that about covers what’s new in High Sierra. Should you install the beta? I can’t see any pressing reason to over the summer. This isn’t akin to the huge upgrade that iOS 11 gets you on the iPad. That’s perhaps worth dealing with some bugs for. But the Mac’s new software features are relatively small in scope, so it’s probably worth holding out until the steady, official release this fall — unless auto-play videos are really bugging you.

High Sierra will be available as a free download for all the same Macs that received Sierra in 2016.

[“Source-theverge”]

New Mac Pro release date rumours UK | Mac Pro 2016 tech specs: Kaby Lake processors expected at March 2017 Mac Pro update

When will Apple release a new Mac Pro? And what new features, specs and design changes should we expect when Apple updates the Mac Pro line for 2016? Is there any chance Apple will discontinue the Mac Pro instead of updating it?

Apple’s Mac Pro line-up could do with an update. The current Mac Pro model was announced at WWDC in June 2013 and, for a top-of-the range system, the Mac Pro is looking pretty long in the tooth. But when will Apple announce a new Mac Pro? And what hardware improvements, design changes, tech specs and new features will we see in the new Mac Pro for 2016? (Or 2017, or…)

There’s some good news for expectant Mac Pro fans: code in Mac OS X El Capitanhints that a new Mac Pro (one with 10 USB 3 ports) could arrive soon. But nothing is certain at this point, and some pundits believe the Mac Pro should simply be discontinued.

Whatever the future holds for the Mac Pro, in this article we will be looking at all the rumours surrounding the next update of the Mac Pro line: the new Mac Pro’s UK release date and pricing, its expected design, and the new features and specs we hope to see in the next version of the Mac Pro.

Updated on 6 December 2016 to discuss the chances of a new Mac Pro appearing in March; and on 15 November with updated processor rumours

For more discussion of upcoming Apple launches, take a look at our New iMac rumours and our big roundup of Apple predictions for 2017. And if you’re considering buying one of the current Mac Pro models, read Where to buy Mac Pro in the UK and our Mac buying guide.

 

 


[Source:- Macworld]