OS X Yosemite is packed with new features. Unfortunately, not everybody knows every single trick to squeeze the latest, greatest functionality out of Apple’s new system software.
In today’s instructional Cult of Mac video, we share five basic OS X Yosemite tricks that everyone needs to know. We’ll show you how to make phone calls from your Mac, switch to Yosemite’s “dark mode,” use Spotlight like a pro, easily record video from your iOS device screen, and let other people control your Mac (and vice versa).
On the other hand, every time you type in Spotlight, your location and local search terms are sent to Apple, and, according to developer Landon Fuller, other third parties like Microsoft.
Fuller’s created a website, Fix Mac OS X Yosemite, where he’s posted up a way to stop Yosemite from sending such private data out. He’s also been contributing to a developer project on GitHub to find out and fix other ways that OS X phones home.
Spotlight in OS X Yosemite (Photo: Roberto Baldwin/ The Next Web)
App launchers on the Mac have always been geared toward power users, and lately tools like Alfred have become even more sophisticated, with user-created scripts and extensions. When Apple debuted the new Spotlight in OS X Yosemite at WWDC, it took many of the best features from existing launchers, like the ability to find any app you have installed with a couple keystrokes.
LaunchBar was the original app launcher on the Mac, and today a brand new version was released with a themable interface and new features.
Will tools like LaunchBar and Alfred live on when millions of Mac owners start using the new Spotlight this fall? Now that Apple has capitalized on the more consumer-friendly aspects of what makes a good launcher, third-party alternatives are going after power users like never before.
Spotlight is crazy useful to find stuff on your Mac. Just hit Command-Space on your keyboard and type in the name of files, words from in text files, the kind of document you want, or even the date when you think it might have been created or modified, and you’ll find it in an instant.
I rarely organize stuff into fine-grained folders anymore due to the power of this one simple to use feature in OS X.
Sometimes, though, I want to know where a found document is — here’s a cool trick to do just that, sent to us from Cult of Mac reader Ivan Manzanilla.
I’m kind of a stickler for a clean hard drive, especially since I started using Macbook Airs a few years back, what with their tiny little SSD units. I’ve moved most of my music to the Cloud and my iPhoto library to an external hard drive, but there’s still a ton of cruft that ends up on my system.
So, once a month or so, I sort my Movies, Applications, and Downloads folders by size, and delete the biggest things I don’t need anymore. Or I move them to an external hard drive for access later.
What I’ve never done before is use Spotlight to find these files easily across all my folders.
You know what I miss? Those pre-defined search items that used to hang out over in the Finder sidebar window. You know, the ones that said, “Files Created Today” or “Yesterday” or what have you. They were super handy.
Turns out, you can get the same sort of search power right in Spotlight. All you need to know is a little syntax, and you’ll be looking for stuff created or modified on specific dates or within certain date ranges. There’s even a way to request stuff done before or after dates. Yay!
Searching for stuff is a big part of what we do on our computers, right? I know that I use Google daily for searching, both for topical information as well as just plain old “where is that website” search. Both Safari and Chrome search right from the address bar, and Spotlight has been in the upper right corner of Mac OS X for several iterations now.
There’s a faster way to access your preferred search engine and Spotlight, however, using only your keyboard.
You can hit Command-F to find anything on your Mac, or you can hit Command-Space to invoke Spotlight, which took over for Sherlock as the built-in searching system many moons ago. In Windows 8, you can use the Search “charm.”
On the iPhone and iPad, however, some might be a little confused. There’s no keyboard commands in iOS, and Apple has even moved the Search functionality in iOS 7 from the furthermost left icon page.
What’s an iPhone owner to do when she wants to search for that specific app that she’s buried in a folder somewhere on her device, or needs the phone number of her best friend, because she’s always just used Siri to call her and has no idea what her number actually is?
Have you ever wanted to copy and send files to and from your Mac at any time…and from any device? Cult of Mac Deals has got you covered – thanks to Spotdox.
With Spotdox, you can access any file on your Mac from anywhere. Spotdox is an add on for Dropbox that gives you remote access to all of your files, any time, from any device so you’ll never get stuck without that important file or folder again. And Cult of Mac Deals is offering Spotdox for life for only $19 – a savings of 66% – during this limited time offer.