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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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Using Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 With Desktop Macs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 09-11-2015

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Trying to use your new Magic Trackpad 2 on your Mac desktop? Well if you’re having trouble then let me be of assistance. The Magic Trackpad 2 requires you to be using a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled Mac desktop with OS X v10.11 or later. Obviously this means that not every Mac is going to be able to take advantage of this peripheral. If you’re wondering about your Mac, most made in 2012 or later and some made in 2011 should be compatible with the Magic Trackpad 2. There are a few notable exceptions, including the late 2011 MacBook Pro models and the late 2011 iMacs. There are reports that you can finagle the trackpad to work on these older devices though Apple doesn’t recommend it.

So, if your Mac is compatible then you should connect the trackpad to the Mac using the Lightning to USB cable. Once you’ve done this, switch the trackpad on and the device should automatically pair with your Mac in Bluetooth Preferences. Once you’re all setup the trackpad works similar to an iPhone, offering you a Force Touch surface that you can use to move the pointer and issue gesture-based commands. In addition to that, the trackpad is also capable of telling the difference between non-imperative hand rest positions and actual commands. You can set up gestures and even create your own optional commands by going to System Preferences > Trackpad.

If you’ve used Force Touch on the latest Apple laptops then you will already have a feel for how this trackpad works. The UI features allow you to access items while reducing the steps it takes to get there. Multitouch is also supported and there are different commands you can issue, including Click, Force Click, Two-Finger Click, Pinch-to-Zoom, and Swipe. Click allows you to press anywhere on the trackpad and utilize it like a mouse click. You can also enable “Tap to Click” in the preferences. Force Click allows you to firmly click anywhere on the trackpad until you feel a deeper click. Use this to have more contextual information about an on-screen item or to access things like word definitions or a preview on Maps. Two-Finger Click allows you to click with two fingers to open shortcut menus. Tapping with two fingers allows you to do the same thing if you have Tap-to-Click enabled. Pinch to zoom works the same as it does on the iPhone. If you swipe left or right with two fingers you will scroll through web pages, documents or iBooks.

In addition to tall of that, the trackpad also offers a lot of tools for getting around apps. If you pinching closed with four or five fingers allows you to open Launchpad to find and launch apps. Swiping left or right with three or four fingers will switch between full-screen apps, and swiping up with three fingers will gain you access to Mission Control. If you go to Help > Mac Help in the finder menu and search for “Trackpad” you can access more information about using the device.

Hopefully, this helps you get through using your trackpad on a Mac. None of these things are really complicated and it should be easy for almost anyone, even those unfamiliar with Mac devices, to jump right in and start using their new Magic Trackpad 2 right out of the box with no hassles.

Content originally published here


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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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Cool OS X Tricks Every Mac User Should Know

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 20-03-2015

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ThinkstockPhotos-484765389There are all kinds of things that make iOS awesome, but some of the coolest features are also some of the ones that are least known. You’d think they would include them in the instruction manual, right? Well, for those of you looking to get the most out of your Mac, here is a list of 5 awesome tricks that you probably didn’t know anything about.

Recording your iOS 8 device’s screen

This little trick can come in pretty handy for a lot of different reasons. You can actually record whatever is happening on you iPhone’s screen straight to your Mac. All you have to do is plug the device into your Mac using a Lightning cable. Then you can open up the QuickTime player app on the Mac, choose File and then New Movie Recording, and then select you iPhone or whatever other device is plugged in and hit the record button.

Print faster in shared offices

Doesn’t it suck when you are in a shared office and you have to wait forever to print your files? With this trick, you can skip the line and automatically print from the first available printer. Launch System Preferences>Printers & Scanners, then select all of the shared printers in the office and create a printer tool that includes all of them. Now, every time you print just remember to select the pool, and your print job will get printed out on the first available printer. Pretty sweet, right?

ThinkstockPhotos-166107706Summarize

Your Mac has the ability to summarize long tracts for you. All you have to do is select the text, right click, and then click on “Services”. Then you can enable Summarize in the Shortcuts section under Text.

Apple Dictionary

A lot of people don’t know this, but Apple actually has their own dictionary for all of the Apple related terms. You can access it by launching Dictionary and selecting the Apple tab at the top of the window. Now you can learn lots more about your computer and your operating system in general. This comes in handy for just about everyone.

Command

If you press Command and hit tab you can move between apps, everyone knows that. But what most people don’t know is that if you hold down Command and use the Q and H keys with it, you can either quit or hide the selected applications.

Pretty cool stuff right? There are a ton of little tips and tricks like this that Mac users can utilize, these are just a few of our favorites. Enjoy!

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Apple’s MacBook Air Leads 18% Increase To Mac Sales

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, Computer | Posted on 07-08-2014

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Back in June Apple announced that it sold 4.4 million Macs during the month, the most ever for that quarter of the year. In addition to that, the company also announced that those figures also showed a year-over-year growth rate that the rest of the industry hasn’t seen since 2010. Apple sold 18% more Macs in the quarter than the same quarter the previous year with revenue from the oldest line of Macs contributing 15% of the company’s $37.4 billion in total sales.

According to a statement from Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil, “I was pleasantly surprised by the Mac numbers. The rumors of the death of the personal computer are, of course, highly exaggerated.” When Chief of Research and Head of U.S. Business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech Carolina Milanesi was asked for her reaction, she stated, “No, I’m not surprised by the Mac numbers. The PC business is almost all mid- and low-end, and that’s not where Apple plays, so they’ll continue to outperform.”

The sales of Apple’s Macs came in significantly higher than the predictions of nearly every single Wall Street analyst polled by Fortune. Apple beat the 3.9 million average of nearly three-dozen analysts by 12% . None of the 34 financial experts surveyed by Fortune had placed a bet higher than what Apple had recorded. “We had a record June quarter for the Mac, and demand has been very strong for our portables in particular,” stated CEO of Apple Time Cook.

In addition to that, Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri praised the fact that Apple was able to beat the PC industry average in 32 of the last 33 quarters. The one quarter in the last eight years that Apple failed to match or beat the average was Q4 od 2012, which was caused by a production fiasco which left the company without iMacs to sell for several months.

Research firm IDC stated that global PC shipments for the June quarter, with a majority of them running Windows OS, fell to 2% with Gartner noting that the shipments fell flat compared to last year. Gartner’s Van Baker believes the increase in sales was caused by the MacBook Air, the company’s thinnest and lightest notebook. Baker stated, “The MacBook Air is still a very strong product and people like it a lot. It puts them in a good position for continued growth.”

Gotheil and Baker both believe that Apple benefited from the minor bounce back in the overall PC business from the previous quarter, though for different reasons. Gotheil believes that users with aging PCs running Windows (likely ones bought around 2008-2009) picked a Mac as a replacement/upgrade whereas Barker believes there is a different reason for the spike.

“Some of these Macs, I think, went to people who had bought a tablet thinking that it would be a replacement PC,” said Baker. “But then those consumers said, ‘Tablets are nice and I like tablets, but a notebook is still a better idea.’ In the developed economies, that’s a dynamic that is operating.”

In addition to that, all three analysts noted that one potential reason for the increase in sales was the price drop that Apple instituted for the MacBook Air line back in April. Apple decreased prices of all four stock model MacBook Airs by $100 and, for the first time, offered a sub-$900 Air, selling the 11″ 128GB Air for $899 to consumers and $849 to college students and parents of students. Gotheil added, “The MacBook Air is a more attractive choice with those price cuts, and it’s a pretty robust notebook.”

Apple Refreshing MacBook Pro and Air

Posted by Joel Thompson | Posted in Computer | Posted on 29-04-2013

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According to Ming-Chi Kuo KGI Securities analyst, Apple’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air will include Intel’s latest Haswell processor in its new models. The processor provides a 10 percent increase in processing speed and a 50 percent increase over the original integrated graphics chip.

Unfortunately it appears Apple will not include the expensive new  Retina display on all new models. This coming after Kuo Predicted Apple would move away from non-Retina models in 2013.

“Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13” MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives.” Kuo said.

Both models are to be introduced at Apples Worldwide Developers Conference, and should be available for shipping shortly after.

Source MacRumors

Mountain Lion Upgrade Not Compatible with Older Macs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 08-08-2012

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OS X Mountain LionApple’s newest OS X, Mountain Lion, has officially been released, albeit with its fair share of problems, like draining battery power and having excruciatingly long load times on some devices. In spite of  that, the official system requirements for the update are also all over the internet and, according to the specs, some Apple devices won’t be getting the Mountain Lion update.

According to the requirements on Apple’s website, some older Macs won’t be able to handle the Mountain Lion upgrade due to the fact that they are simply outdated. Apple’s website has a list of all the devices that are eligible for the Mountain Lion treatment, which includes:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

The reason that some devices are incompatible with Mountain Lion is that the new operating system is 64-bit. Even though some of the incompatible Macs have 64-bit capable processors, their EFI firmware remains at 32-bit and will only work with a 32-bit OS kernel. So essentially, if your system is unable to run a 64-bit kernel and the extensions, it cannot run Mountain Lion.

In addition to that, the drivers for the older Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics that are in a number of these incompatible Maces are still 32-bit versions as well. That means they probably won’t be able to handle the more graphics intensive Mountain Lion while Apple also probably doesn’t feel like it is worth the time and resources to support them.

Even if your Mac is unable to upgrade to Mountain Lion, you can rest easy knowing that Apple will continue to support Lion for quite a while, including updates. Although, if you really want that Mountain Lion update then you are going to have to replace your Mac. A full list of eligible and ineligible Macs can be found here.

Source: CNET – Older Apple computers left out of Mountain Lion upgrade

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Over Half the Households in America Own Something Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 28-03-2012

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Apple productsCNBC has just commissioned a new survey which depicts exactly why the stock price in Apple has been on such a rise over the past several years. According to the survey, over half of all the homes in the entire United States own a product made by the Cupertino tech giant. In addition to that, 1 out of every 10 homes that do not own an Apple product plan to purchase one in the next year.

According to Vice President of Hart Research Associates Jay Campbell, which conducted the CNBC survey along with Bill McInturff, “It’s a fantastic business model – the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more. Planned obsolescence has always been  part of the technology industries sales model, but Apple has taken it to a whole new level.”

The survey discovered that a total of 49% of the homes in the United States didn’t own a single Apple product. A total of 16% owned a single Apple device with 12% owning 2 devices, 13% owning 3 to 4 devices and 9% owning 5 or more devices, totaling  51% of American homes.

In addition to those findings, the survey discovered that a home’s income level is a strong indicator of Apple product ownership. 28% of homes making under $30,000 per year only own one Apple product while 77% of homes making more than $75,000 per year own one or more.

63% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 and between 35 and 49 own Apple products, whereas only 50% of the 50 to 64 age range do, with those aged 65 older having 26% owning an Apple product. 61% of households with children also own an Apple product, as opposed to the 48% of households without children.

The average home in the South owns 1.2 Apple products, which marks the smallest in any region, while the average household in the country owns 1.6 Apple devices. In addition to that, CNBC noted that the survey polled 836 Americans from March 19th to the 22nd and contained a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

Source: Mac Rumors – 51% of US Households Own An Apple Product

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Sparrow 1.5 Adds Dropbox Integration and Search Tokens

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 08-12-2011

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Sparrow 1.5Sparrow, which was previously updated with CloudApp integration and pull-to-refresh with its latest version 1.4 update, has reached an all-new milestone at Apple. This morning marked the release of version 1.5, an update that allows Sparrow to continually integrate Gmail natively with optional loading for remote images and token-based searching for messages.

One new thing that comes with version 1.5 is Dropbox integration. Dropbox integration uploads large attachments to Dropbox as an alternative to CloudApp. If you would rather use Dropbox instead of CloudApp, you can go to the Services tab in the preferences to choose your option. You will have to log out of CloudApp first if you plan on switching to Dropbox and if you upload an attachment that is larger than 25MB, Sparrow will automatically choose Dropbox over CloudApp.

Gmail users should be familiar with the yellow bar located above their email messages that asks whether or not you would like remote images to be loaded into the document. Sparrow also now includes similar functionality like this to protect you from Spam or unknown senders and allows you to choose whether to always show messages from a particular sender or to only show images when requested.

Last, but certainly not least, Sparrow users will notice search tokens are useful for isolating labels and finding specific messages. Gmail’s powerful shortcuts have also been brought over to Sparrow in the same way as tokens in mail with one difference. Tokens can be specific to message statuses, labels, if a message is flagged, etc… Tokens are very easy to use as well. All you have to do is type a keyword, select a specifier and press the tab key to continue adding keywords.

Sparrow 1.5 continues to add functionality to one of the better email clients on the market today for the Mac. You can get the full version of the client on the Mac App Store for $9.99, or you can try out a free lite version from the client’s website.

Source: MacStories – Sparrow 1.5 Hits the Mac App Store with Dropbox Integration and Search Tokens

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Worldwide PC Market Share Reaches 15-Year High for Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 23-11-2011

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Apple StoreApple continues to break records as the company’s share of the worldwide PC market has reached a 15-year high. The company’s popular Mac computer has reached 5.2%  of worldwide computer sales, a number that is a 15-year high for the tech giant out of Cupertino, California. News of this accomplishment comes by way of a report from Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf.

Even though 5.2% is only a very small percentage of the overall computer space in the world, it is a very important benchmark for Apple, who has been trying to obtain market share from other major computer makers, including companies like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and even Acer. Wolf added that Mac shipment growth in the third quarter managed to outpace the total PC market for the 22nd straight quarter by a margin of 24.6% at 5.3%.

In the home segment, the growth of Apple’s Mac was 25.6%  as opposed to the 4% recorded by the overall market. Among businesses, Mac’s increase of 43.8% outpaced the wider market’s 4.8% by a staggering margin. Wolf also stated that Asia Pacific represented the fastest-growing geographic region for Apple with 57.2% growth for the quarter, something also noted by AppleInsider.

In a statement from Wolf, the analyst stated, “The growth of Apple’s sales in China represent a perfect storm between an iconic brand and a rapidly growing middle class that’s more brand-conscious than consumers in most other regions of the world.”

This benchmark probably has more significance now than it would have as Apple is still mourning the loss of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. With Jobs’ passing, the company will be eager to put the claim that when Jobs died, Apple died with it to rest.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald – Apple’s worldwide share of PC market reaches 15-year high

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