This feature evokes one of those “living in the future” moments for us. The recently released HomePod Software 16.3 now supports Find My, which means you can ask Siri to locate one of your devices or a friend or family member who shares their location with you. If you have a HomePod, ask Siri, “Where is my iPhone?” Assuming your HomePod has updated (and if not, update it manually in the Home app), Siri will respond by causing your iPhone to play a sound. Or ask where someone is—Siri will respond with more details for nearby people and city locations for those far away.
(Featured image based on an original by Apple)
Imagine that you’re working with a bunch of files, and you want to put a set of them in a new folder. You could stop what you’re doing, make a new folder, select all the files, and drag them into the folder, like an animal. Or you could take advantage of a slick Finder command that Apple added in macOS 11 Big Sur. Simply select the files you want to put in a folder, Control-click one of them, and choose New Folder with Selection (X Items) from the top of the contextual menu. A folder called “New Folder With Items” appears, with your selected files inside. This feature may not be life-changing, but some people use it often.
(Featured image by iStock.com/ArLawKa AungTun)
There are many reasons you might want to get rid of apps from your iPhone or iPad. To begin, touch and hold on a blank spot on a Home Screen to enter “jiggle mode.” Then tap the ⊝ icon for any app to see the question about whether to delete the app entirely or merely remove it from the Home Screen. Delete the app if you don’t want to use it anymore or need to reclaim the space it occupies. (You can download it from the App Store again.) Remove the app from the Home Screen if you want to reduce clutter, keep the app on your device, and don’t mind opening it from the App Library (swipe left past all the Home Screens) or from Search (swipe down from the middle of the screen).
(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/Photosbypatrik)
Deleting contacts on the iPhone and iPad used to be a pain, especially if you wanted to trash multiple contacts. You had to open the contact, tap Edit, scroll to the bottom, and tap Delete Contact. Although you still can’t swipe left on a contact in a list, as you do when deleting in Mail and Messages, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 provide a simpler method. Touch and hold a contact in the Phone or Contacts lists, and then tap Delete Contact at the bottom.
(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/anyaberkut)
It’s all too easy to end up with duplicate photos and videos in your Photos library. The most common way is to use the Duplicate command, but we’ve seen duplicates appear due to accidentally repeated actions in other apps, repeated screenshots, multiple imports that include the same image (much as Photos tries to prevent this now), and buggy behavior in iCloud Photos.Read More
In early December, Apple made a surprise announcement: Advanced Data Protection for iCloud. It’s not as though iCloud’s standard data protection is problematic, but it hinges on one architectural decision that makes some iCloud data theoretically vulnerable: Apple holds the encryption keys necessary to decrypt iCloud data. Because Apple controls those encryption keys, an attacker or rogue Apple employee who could gain access to them could theoretically steal iCloud data. (There are many more safeguards; it’s not like there’s a big printout of keys anywhere.) Plus, since Apple has the technical capability to read that data, law enforcement agencies could legally compel Apple to hand it over.Read More
We heard from a client that AutoFill in Safari suddenly stopped entering her name and address in Web forms when she chose Edit > AutoFill Form or pressed Command-Shift-A, forcing her to enter her contact information manually, like an animal. (And yes, the “Using information from my contacts” checkbox was selected in Safari’s AutoFill preferences.) Although we have no idea what caused the problem, the solution turned out to be simple. She went into Contacts, found her personal contact card, and chose Card > Make This My Card. Give this a try if you’re having trouble with AutoFill or haven’t yet started using it in Safari.
(Featured image by Adam Engst)
On occasion, we all need to scan a document—an invoice, a recipe, instructions from a book—but far more people have an iPhone or iPad than a hardware scanner. Luckily, Apple has built a scanning capability into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for some years now. The next time you’re faced with a piece of paper that you need in digital form, follow the instructions below.Read More
Everyone—or at least everyone reading this article—knows how to use a Web browser. But just because you can click links, search for websites, and type URLs doesn’t mean that you’re surfing the Web as smoothly and effectively as you could. We all have sites that we visit regularly—a local newspaper, perhaps, or a social media service that’s the only place to connect with far-flung family members. Plus, the rise of Web apps like Google Docs means that we may spend hours every day in a Web browser at a particular site.Read More
Earlier this year, some of our clients received an email from Google reminding them that they have Web & App Activity turned on. Those with a healthy dose of caution were concerned that it might be a phishing attack, but no, it’s legitimate. Their next questions were often, “Wait, what is Web & App Activity, and do I want it enabled?” Here are some answers.Read More