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Improving Contacts In OS X El Capitan

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, OS X | Posted on 27-11-2015

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Make Your OS X Contacts BetterHaving trouble with your contacts in Apple’s latest OS X update El Capitan? Trying to get to know your contacts better? With every new operating system Apple releases, there are changes and things you are going to have to tinker with. Here are some helpful tips for improving your contacts in OS X El Capitan.

Add Fields

One of the more useful things you will find in Contacts are Fields. Launch Contacts Preferences and then choose Template. Use the Add Field drop-down menu to add fields to your Contacts. You can add things like Twitter handles for contacts as they aren’t enabled by default. All you have to do is select Twitter in the drop-down list.

Birthday

You can use Contacts in conjunction with Automator in order to automate the sending of birthday greetings via email. This is useful for not only remembering birthdays but also for gaining a little insight into Automator and how it can help you in other ways.

Smart Groups Are The Best

You can create Smart Groups by going to File > New Smart Group. From here you can set up different parameters across the four search fields. You can add additional search filters by pressing the + button and you can use this to also create groups that will automatically be updated. This includes Card Contains Apple or Birthday Is In The Next Week. A majority of users don’t realize that Smart Groups is a thing though it can really help when working on a project or with a group.

Get Rid Of Duplications

Contact Books can easily become overloaded by data that we don’t necessarily need. This includes duplicates of contact addresses. In Contacts go to Card > Link Selected Cards from the Menu. This will minimize everything to a single listing.

Use Contacts Cleaner

Contacts Cleaner, which only costs $4.99 from the Mac App Store, is a fantastic tool that helps you fix problems. It will inform you about errors in your database, including duplicate addresses or bad phone numbers. In addition to that, it also offers to resolve problems for you and allows you to edit records if you want or need to fix problems manually.

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Suggested Contacts

In El Capitan, Mail can detect when you receive new information for a contact, allowing you to update the contact card from inside the mail app. It also identifies whenever a new person makes contact. You can find contact info in your Contacts app, which identifies itself as “Found in Mail”.

Siri

Nickname and Related Name are two fields that are very handy. Enable either of these and you will be able to define your relationship with contacts or give them nicknames. After you’ve assigned roles or names to your key contacts you can use Siri more effectively with your iOS device.

Organization

Try organizing your existing contacts into different groups using File > New Group. Create a name for the group and place the appropriate amount of contacts there. Then you can decide what the groups are for, i.e. friends, colleagues, family, etc… This makes it easier for you to find and manage your contacts.

Check Your Default Account

If you don’t seem to be getting regular updates to your Contacts then you should ensure that you have the correct default account configured across all of your Macs and devices. Open Contacts and go to Preferences > General and look for the lowest item in the list marked as Default Account. Set this to iCloud as this is where the new contacts will be added by default.

Links

Duplicate contacts can cause problems, especially when using multiple email accounts. You could very well see two entries for the same person in your address book, one for Gmail and another for iCloud. To eliminate this press Command and select the cards. Then choose Card > Link Selected Cards from the Menu. This will make them a single listing.

That’s really all there is to it. If you are having problems with your Contacts or you simply want to make them easier to navigate and more organized then follow these tips and you’ll have them all sorted out in no time!

Content originally published here


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Tim Cook Squashes Any Hope Of An OS X Merger With iOS

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, iPad, OS X | Posted on 01-10-2015

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Have you been dreaming of having a touchscreen Mac running iOS? Well, I usually don’t condone giving up on your dreams, but you may have no other choice with this one. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, recently dismissed the assumption that Apple will merge the iOS mobile software with its OS X computer software. This means that iPads and Macs are, for the foreseeable future, going to remain separate entities, despite all the new similarities between them.

“We don’t believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile,” Cook stated on Tuesday during a chat with CEO of Box Aaron Levie. “We think it subtracts from both, and you don’t get the best experience from either. We’re very much focused on two.” Box is a company that provides cloud storage for businesses and is hosting its BoxWorks conference this week in downtown San Francisco.

These comments from Cook reiterate what Apple has been saying for years: that it’s PC and mobile systems will continue to be separate. Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi told CNET that introducing Macs with touchscreens was something that Apple had no intentions of doing. “We don’t think it’s the right interface, honestly. Mac is sort of a sit-down experience.”

Apple has kept its computer operating system totally separate from its iOS mobile software though it does feature things like “Handoff” from last year’s iOS 8, which allows the two programs to interact better. The feature allows you to start a program on an iPhone and then complete it on an iPad or Mac. According to Kantar Worldpanel Analyst Caroline Milanesi, “Apple continues to see the need for a continuum of experience but not a need for both experiences to merge if that means there is a compromise to make. I think that is the right approach.”

On the flip side, Microsoft has done the exact opposite. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has adopted a “one Windows” strategy. It has ported its new Windows 10 operating system to desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even its Xbox One gaming console.

With the iPad Pro being officially unveiled earlier this month, questions about whether Apple would merge iOS and OS X into a single system resurfaced. The new 12.9″ tablet comes with an optional keyboard and stylus, which allows designers and others to do much more with their iPad. In addition to that, having an iPad with a bigger screen could also allow people to replace their computers with a tablet, which is something that could be vital as Apple works desperately to revitalize its iPad business.

Even if there is no foreseeable future for the merger of iOS and OS X, people can still dream. While the new iPad Pro could push Apple in the right direction with merging the two operating systems, it isn’t something we should hang our hopes on. However, if Apple wants to remain competitive, it should definitely consider merging. Microsoft has already seen great success with it and people are continually trying to find more portable ways to replace their desktops.

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Apple’s New OS X El Capitan

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, Computer, News, OS X | Posted on 08-09-2015

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Apple debuted its newest operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, at the Worldwide Developers Conference back in June. This new operating system builds on the features and design changes that were introduced with OS X Yosemite and while El Capitan may seem like an odd name, it is meant to highlight the operating system’s position as an update that brings under-the-hood improvements and refinements to OS X Yosemite.

In terms of reality, El Capitan is one of the most popular rock formations and landmarks located within the Yosemite National Park. The El Capitan name for OS X 10.11 hearkens back to a long-running OS X naming scheme that is used to denote updates that are refinements to previous updates. Other similar name changes include Leopard to Snow Leopard and Lion to Mountain Lion.

El Capitan shows that Apple is focusing on two major areas: the user experience and performance. Improvements to things like apps, window management, and Spotlight search enhance the way people use their Macs. In addition to that, the under-the-hood additions, like Metal graphics technology, make everyday activities like launching apps much faster.

El Capitan doesn’t change up its aesthetic too much, keeping the same general look as Yosemite. However, it does include a new system-wide font known as San Francisco. OS X’s window management feature, Mission Control, has also been given an upgrade and introduces a Split View feature that mimics the iOS 9 multitasking feature on the iPad. This features also allows for two full-screen apps to be used simultaneously side-by-side.

Spotlight search will now support natural language input with El Capitan as well as gaining deeper functionality and more sources. Safari has also gained Pinned Sites, which will allow users to pin favorite websites on the tab bar. There’s also a nifty new mute button that will mute all sound coming from Safari or quickly identify specific tabs playing audio.

Mail also supports new iOS-style gestures for managing messages while a Smart Suggestions addition will recognize names and events for quick additions to contacts and calendars. Moreover, whenever you are in full screen, there will also be tools that deal with multiple emails one at a time.

Another thing that is gaining support with El Capitan is Photos. Photos will now support third-party photo editing extensions from Mac App Store apps. The Notes app is also being revamped, much like the Notes app for iOS 9 was. This new app will support checklists, content from other apps like Safari or Maps, and an Attachment Browser.

In terms of performance, the addition of Metal improves speeds for the Mac by increasing system-level graphics rendering. This graphics improvement, along with other enhancements, allows many standard apps to perform better and also allows games and pro apps to see significant performance boosts as well.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan was given to developers back in June right after the Worldwide Developers Conference. On July 9, Apple began offering OS X El Capitan to public beta testers. Since then, Apple has given out eight El Capitan betas to developers along with six betas to public beta testers with each one adding small tweaks and improvements to the operating system. The operating system is supposed to be available to consumers sometime this Fall.

Content originally published here


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