How to install the macOS Sierra public beta the right way

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Install macOS safely with this handy how-to video.
Install macOS safely with this handy how-to video.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been thinking about downloading and installing the latest macOS Sierra public beta, but you’re worried it might be too difficult, Cult of Mac is here to help.

Although using beta releases on your primary computer isn’t recommended, a lot of people (including myself) just can’t wait until the public release later this fall to try out the latest features Apple has to offer.

We’ve gone ahead and installed the public beta to bring you this handy step-by-step tutorial video. Check it out below.

How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.

How to make sure your iPhone fireworks photos go off with a bang

These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
Photo: Richard Dongses/Flickr CC

Last year’s Fourth of July fireworks made you say ooh and ahh, but when you look at your iPhone photos from that night, the sound you make is more of an ugh.

Don’t blame Siri or some engineer in Cupertino. The iPhone camera, as mighty as it is, can’t do all the thinking for you, especially in challenging lighting conditions like a fireworks display. But with a little thought and preparation, you can make this holiday one worth reliving on your iPhone camera roll.

Below are some simple tips to make your fireworks photos sizzle.