How to disable location suggestions in macOS Sierra

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Location Based Suggestions
Here's what to do if you don't want localized suggestions.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Much like Google offers personalized searching, macOS Sierra delivers location-based tips as part of its suggestions within Spotlight, Siri, Safari and Maps. That means Apple will try to recommend relevant services within your immediate vicinity.

If you don’t want this feature, however, there is a way to get rid of it. Check out our guide below to show how to do this — and how to turn it back on again if you change your mind.

This emoji iOS trick will change the way you search

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Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Emoji have rapidly changed the way we conversate in the digital age and now thanks to a new feature in iOS, they’re about to change the way we search too.

iPhone and iPad users can now use emoji as search terms in the iOS spotlight feature that’s accessible on any home screen by swiping down.

The feature is actually super-useful, though it doesn’t work with all emoji. Looking for a place to have a beer with a buddy? All you have to do is tap the beer emoji icon and Spotlight will bring up suggestions for drinking holes that you can open in Apple Maps.

Here are some of the emoji you can use for search:

Skip the calculator and use iOS Spotlight for all your math needs

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Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a quick bit of math to figure out on the go, why bother tapping into the Calculator app, which you’ve probably got stuffed in some sort of folder on your third page or so?

Even though we’ve been using Spotlight on the Mac for years now to figure out quick mathematical facts, it’s also included in the iOS version of Spotlight, making doing quick bits of math super easy.

Here’s how to use it.

Apple is getting into search? Pleeease

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Could Apple really dump Google search? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Search? Don't make us laugh. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple needs to go a long way before it thinks about launching its own search engine. Smartphones? Sure. Tablets? Absolutely. Search? Fuggetaboutit!

As much as we all love Apple, nobody can deny that its search products are oddly bargain basement in quality. iTunes discovery is horrible, the App Store is abysmal and Siri’s painful.

Could Apple fix it? Sure it could, but it’s going to take a lot more than one poor new employee to do it. Here are the worst offenders when it comes to all things Apple Search:

Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with Wi-Fi and Spotlight fixes

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A new OS X Yosemite beta is here
Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Along with this morning’s iOS 8.1.3 update, Apple also has some new goodies for Mac users with the release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2.

The update fixes a problem that caused Wi-Fi to disconnect. The latest version also includes a number of bug fixes for Spotlight, Bluetooth headphones, iCloud Drive and VoiceOver, while also improving stability and security in Safari.

The update is available now in the Mac App Store. Here’s a full list of the changes:

Indie productivity app Alfred refuses to let Apple steal its thunder

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ipad-and-imac-on-desk

Well, there goes Alfred.

That’s the first thought I had when I saw the new Spotlight in OS X Yosemite. I feared Apple had basically made my favorite little app launcher obsolete (we nerds call it “sherlocked”).

I was wrong.

It’s six months later, and Alfred is doing just fine, thanks largely to a vibrant community built around its power features, or workflows. Spotlight may be able to quickly launch an app from anywhere, but Alfred can tell the weather, eject attached hard drives, and control your Nest thermostat.

And now, after five years on the Mac, Alfred is making the leap to iOS with a new companion app called Alfred Remote. Released today, it’s not going to be useful for most people, but serious Alfred users will love it. If anything, it’s evidence that you can still build a great app and community around core features offered by Apple.

3 super-easy ways to convert currency with your Mac

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Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

As the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to the global marketplace called the internet, you may sometimes need to know exactly how much your dollar will get you in the wider world. Is that £15 widget really worth it? You’ll only know if you convert it to some form of currency that you understand better.

Your Mac has at least three ways to do this sort of calculation: with a Dashboard widget, the built-in Calculator app, and even with Spotlight. Here’s how to convert currencies into something that makes more sense, right from your handy Mac computer.

Yosemite’s Spotlight glitch could reveal your details to online spammers

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Spotlight Search could be so much better than it already is. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Spotlight Search could also shine a light on your personal details. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is normally pretty hot on security, but a new glitch discovered in OS X Yosemite’s search threatens to expose the private details of Apple Mail users — including IP addresses, and more —  to online spammers and phishers.

The privacy risk occurs when people use Spotlight Search, which also indexes emails received with the Apple Mail email client. When performing searches on a Mac, Spotlight shows previews of emails and automatically loads external images in the HTML email.

So why is this dangerous?

5 basic OS X Yosemite tricks everyone needs to know

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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).

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV for all our latest videos.