How to Recover from Overzealous Auto-Correct Curly Quotes

How to Recover from Overzealous Auto-Correct Curly Quotes

Most of the time, it’s appropriate when an auto-correct feature turns single and double hash marks into single and double curly quotes. However, there are times when the curly quotes are awkward for some reason or actively wrong. For instance, hash marks indicate feet and inches, as in 5′ 6″. You could attempt to disable the auto-correct feature or copy and paste a hash mark from some other place, but the simple fix is to type the hash mark, watch auto-correct change it, and immediately press Command-Z to revert to the hash mark. We can’t guarantee this will work in all situations, but it’s generally effective.

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Easily Share Wi-Fi Passwords with Other People and Devices

Easily Share Wi-Fi Passwords with Other People and Devices

You’re on vacation with your family, staying in an Airbnb, with multiple Apple devices to connect to the apartment’s Wi-Fi. Typing the password repeatedly would be a pain, but happily, Apple has added a password-sharing feature to all its operating systems. Once you enter the password on your iPhone, whenever someone else—or another of your devices—tries to connect to the Wi-Fi network, your iPhone will prompt you to share the password. Tap Share Password and then Done. It’s also a great way to share your home Wi-Fi password with a visitor. (For password sharing to work, both devices must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and Personal Hotspot disabled, and you and the other person must have each other’s Apple ID email address saved in Contacts.)

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

Use the iPhone Camera’s Zoom to Avoid Glare, Reflections, and Shadow

Use the iPhone Camera’s Zoom to Avoid Glare, Reflections, and Shadow

We increasingly need to take photos of documents—vaccination cards, driver licenses, passports, etc.—to submit for online verification. That’s often easier said than done, especially when taking a photo at night under lights that obscure the text with glare and shadows. Similarly, when photographing a screen to document a problem for tech support, it’s often difficult to capture it without a problematic reflection. For a possible solution, back up from the thing you’re photographing and use your iPhone’s zoom feature to enlarge the document or screen. The extra distance often lets you adjust the angle and positioning to prevent glare, shadows, and reflection.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

Where to Find Lyrics in Apple’s Music Apps

Where to Find Lyrics in Apple’s Music Apps

It’s often tough to figure out exactly what a singer is saying (which can lead to some amusing mistakes), but for many songs in Apple Music, you can bring up full lyrics in the Music app, regardless of which device you’re using. On the Mac, click the speech balloon button in the upper-right corner to display the lyrics pane on the right side of the window. On an iPhone, tap the playback controls at the bottom of the screen to bring up the Now Playing view, then tap the speech balloon button in the lower-left corner to show lyrics. Music on the iPad is similar to the iPhone, but the speech balloon button is on the right side. With many songs, the lyrics will scroll as the song plays, but with others, you’ll just get a static display. Either way, you’ll know that the ants, my friends, are not blowin’ in the wind.

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Apple Discontinues macOS Server—Start Your Migration Plans

Apple Discontinues macOS Server—Start Your Migration Plans

In a move that should surprise no one, Apple has discontinued macOS Server, which started out as a server-focused version of Mac OS X and eventually morphed into a set of add-on network servers for macOS. Exactly what was in macOS Server varied over time, but in 2018, Apple trimmed it to just Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan. That was made possible in part because Apple integrated Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server into every installation of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later. If you’re still using macOS Server, you can continue to download (look through your purchases) and use the app with macOS 12 Monterey, but it’s time to start planning your migration since Apple says macOS Server won’t work at all in the next version of macOS. Contact us if you need advice on the best way to proceed.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Daniel Megias)

iOS 15 Brings Back the Text Magnifier, but Trackpad Mode Is Easier

iOS 15 Brings Back the Text Magnifier, but Trackpad Mode Is Easier

Prior to iOS 13, when you were editing text on an iPhone or iPad, Apple provided a magnifying glass that showed the position of the insertion point. It worked, but was clumsier than just moving the insertion point directly, which is what Apple enabled in iOS 13 and iOS 14. The only problem? Your finger usually obscures the text you want to edit. In iOS 15, Apple brought back the text magnification bubble to show you where the insertion point is in the text under your finger. If you’ve missed that feature, touch and hold on some text and drag the insertion point. Even easier is trackpad mode on the iPhone, which lets you touch and hold the Space bar to turn the entire keyboard area into a virtual trackpad that lets you move the insertion point above.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Ralf Geithe)

Put Files in the Mac’s Trash Using the Keyboard

Put Files in the Mac’s Trash Using the Keyboard

You know that you can drag files or folders to the Trash icon in the Dock for later deletion. And you probably know that you can select multiple items on the Desktop or in a Finder window by Command-clicking each one in turn (Shift-click to select a sequential range of items in a list view), after which you can drag them all to the Trash. But there’s no reason to expend effort mousing if you prefer to keep your hands on the keyboard—just press Command-Delete to send one or more selected files and folders directly to the Trash. Finally, if you need your disk space back right away, press Command-Shift-Delete to empty the Trash. However, we recommend not emptying the Trash frequently—that way, you have a chance to recover something you discover that you needed after trashing it.

(Featured image by iStock.com/FabrikaCr)

Don’t Miss the List Views in the iPhone’s Calendar App

Don’t Miss the List Views in the iPhone’s Calendar App

The iPhone’s Calendar app defaults to graphical views for Day, Week (rotate to landscape), Month, and Year, but only the Day view shows information about your actual events, and even then, it’s easy to miss events that are outside the times that fit onscreen. If you find those views frustrating, you may have missed the all-important list view options. In Month view, tap the List button to split the screen, showing the calendar above and a list of events for the selected day below. In Day view, tap the List button to switch to a more easily scanned list for each day.

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Use Face ID While Wearing a Mask in iOS 15.4

Use Face ID While Wearing a Mask in iOS 15.4

Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple made it so your Apple Watch could unlock your Face ID-enabled iPhone when you were wearing a mask. Starting in iOS 15.4, the company has taken the next step and enabled Face ID on the iPhone 12 and later to work even when you’re wearing a mask. If you didn’t already set up Face ID with a mask after updating to iOS 15.4, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enable Face ID with a Mask. You’ll have to run through the Face ID training sequence again, and more than once if you sometimes wear glasses, but it’s quick and easy. Face ID may not work quite as well when you’re wearing a mask, and it doesn’t support sunglasses, but it’s way better than having to enter your passcode whenever you’re masked.

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Reduce iPhone and iPad Data Usage with Low Data Mode

Reduce iPhone and iPad Data Usage with Low Data Mode

Do you need to be careful about how much data you use with your iPhone or iPad, either via cellular or Wi-Fi? That could be true for those with Internet data caps, people using an international plan while traveling, and anyone in an area with slow data speeds. To reduce your data usage, turn on Low Data Mode, which you can do separately for cellular and Wi-Fi. For cellular, look in Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options, where you can either enable Low Data Mode for LTE/4G or take one more step into Data Mode for 5G. If you’re using two plans with a dual SIM iPhone, you can set each one separately. For Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap the i button next to the desired Wi-Fi network and then tap Low Data Mode. Apple lists what you can expect to change in Low Data Mode. If you need a similar capability for the Mac, check out TripMode.

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Export Passwords from Safari to Ease the Move to a Password Manager

Export Passwords from Safari to Ease the Move to a Password Manager

Although Apple has improved the built-in password management features in macOS and iOS (you can now add notes to password entries!), third-party password managers like 1Password and LastPass are still more capable. For those still getting started using a password manager, another new capability will ease the transition: Safari password export. To export a CSV file of your Safari passwords, choose Safari > Preferences > Passwords, and enter your password when prompted. From the bottom of the left-hand sidebar, click the ••• button, choose Export All Passwords, and save the Passwords.csv file to the Desktop. After you import the file into 1Password (instructions), LastPass (instructions), or another password manager, be sure to delete the exported file and empty the trash.

(Featured image by iStock.com/metamorworks)

Hidden Tricks for Navigating the Mac’s App Switcher More Quickly

Hidden Tricks for Navigating the Mac’s App Switcher More Quickly

Although the Mac’s Dock shows all your running apps, it’s often not the most efficient way to switch among them. Instead, turn to the App Switcher. You may know that pressing Command-Tab switches to the last-used app, making it easy to flip back and forth between two apps. However, if you press Command-Tab and continue to hold the Command key down, the App Switcher itself appears, with icons for all running apps. When you let up on the Command key, the App Switcher disappears, and you’ll switch to the selected app. To select an app, while the Command key is down, press Tab or Shift-Tab to cycle through the apps, or hover your pointer over the desired app. You can also click the desired app to switch to it instantly, without letting up on the Command key. And if you want to dismiss the App Switcher without switching apps, press Esc.

(Featured image by iStock.com/SIphotography)

Can’t Rotate the Screen on an iPad or iPhone? Fix the Problem in Control Center

Can’t Rotate the Screen on an iPad or iPhone? Fix the Problem in Control Center

Normally, when you rotate an iPad, the screen happily flips from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) orientation as appropriate. Rotating an iPhone has the same effect in some apps, though many are written to work only in one orientation. If you ever end up in a situation where your device’s screen doesn’t rotate when you think it should, the reason is likely that Rotation Lock has been turned on in Control Center. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen (or up from the bottom of the screen on a Touch ID iPhone) and disable the Rotation Lock button. You can turn it on again later if you ever want to prevent the screen from rotating temporarily.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Jacephoto)

Extend Your Battery Life in macOS 12 Monterey with Low Power Mode

Extend Your Battery Life in macOS 12 Monterey with Low Power Mode

We’ve become accustomed to our iPhones and iPads switching into Low Power Mode to preserve battery life, and you can enable it manually if you want to reduce power usage for a day. New in macOS 12 Monterey for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a similar feature, though you must enable it manually. Open System Preferences > Battery, click Battery in the sidebar, and select Low Power Mode. It reduces the screen brightness automatically and may decrease CPU performance. Make sure to turn it off once you don’t need it anymore.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Pascal Kiszon)

Delete or Position iOS Apps from Search

Delete or Position iOS Apps from Search

In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple added a feature that would have been even more welcome before the advent of the App Library: the capability to manage apps from Search. But it’s still handy as a way to delete or position an app you can’t find on a Home screen page. Swipe down from the middle of the Home screen to enter Search, after which you can work with any app you see in Siri Suggestions or find with a search ➊. Touch and hold an app to display its contextual menu ➋, including a Delete App option. Or touch and hold it and start dragging to move it to a Home screen page ➌. Bonus: you can even drag an app out multiple times to put it on multiple Home screen pages or in multiple folders!

(Featured image by iStock.com/B4LLS)

Use Reduce Transparency for a Consistently Colored macOS Interface

Use Reduce Transparency for a Consistently Colored macOS Interface

For years now, Apple has made transparency a part of the macOS interface, which has the effect of blending the menu bar into the background and making menus and some windows take on the background hue, as you can see on the left side of the illustration below. For many people, transparency blurs the interface, making it harder to differentiate interface elements from the wallpaper. It also causes problems for screenshots meant for publication because the images end up with unrepresentative color levels. To prevent that from happening, open System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and select Reduce Transparency. It can be a significant difference, as you can see on the right side of the illustration below.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

iOS 15 Allows Rearranging and Deletion of Home Screen Pages

iOS 15 Allows Rearranging and Deletion of Home Screen Pages

Back in iOS 14, Apple added the App Library, which collects all the apps on your iPhone. With everything available in the App Library, iOS 14 was also able to provide the option of hiding Home screen pages, a boon for those of us with too many disorganized pages. In iOS 15, Apple has taken the next step. You can still hide Home screen pages, but if you never want to see them again, you can delete them (apps remain in the App Library). Or, if they’re not in the order you want, you can rearrange them. Touch and hold any empty spot on the Home screen to enter jiggle mode. Tap the dots above the Dock that indicate which Home screen page you’re on. In the Edit Pages screen, you can now tap the – button next to a hidden page to delete it ➊. If you want to delete a visible page, first hide it by tapping its checkmark underneath ➋. Or, to rearrange Home screen pages, drag a thumbnail to a new location ➌. Tap Done or press the Home button when you’re finished.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

Where to Check macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and iCloud Storage Status

Where to Check macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and iCloud Storage Status

There’s little more frustrating than running out of space, which always seems to happen at just the wrong time. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to check any time, before it becomes a problem. On the Mac, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu and click Storage. On an iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage. For iCloud, you can look in either System Preferences > Apple ID on the Mac or in Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage on an iPhone or iPad. Once you know how much space is consumed by what, you can more easily clear unnecessary data.

(Featured image by iStock.com/alphaspirit)

In iOS 15, You Can Now Open an App from the Lock Screen

In iOS 15, You Can Now Open an App from the Lock Screen

Most of the time, when you unlock your iPhone or iPad, you want to launch an app. In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, you no longer have to unlock the device, find the app on a Home screen page, and tap it. Instead, you can open an app directly from the Lock screen, assuming Settings > Face/Touch ID & Passcode > Today View and Search is turned on. Just swipe down from the middle of the Lock screen ➊ to access the Search screen, which lists apps from Siri Suggestions ➋. You can tap one of those to open it, or you can use the Search field to find an app by name and tap the search result ➌.

(Featured image by iStock.com/ipopba)

Does Your Magic Mouse Need More Juice? Here’s How to Check

Does Your Magic Mouse Need More Juice? Here’s How to Check

It’s unfortunate that the most recent iteration of the Magic Mouse has its Lightning charging port on the bottom, making it impossible to use while charging, unlike the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, which work fine when plugged in. To check if your Magic Mouse needs charging before it starts to nag (and starts acting a little funky), look in one of these spots. If your menu bar is displaying the Bluetooth icon, click it, and the charge level should show up. Or click the Control Center icon on the menu bar and click Bluetooth. You can also look in System Preferences, in either the Bluetooth preference pane or the Mouse preference pane. In our experience, the Bluetooth menu is the easiest, but Control Center and the Mouse preference pane are the most reliable—sometimes the charge level doesn’t appear in the menu.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Alex Sholom)