You’re no longer a slave to this full screen window behavior. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
As of OS X Yosemite, the little green button in the upper left-hand corner of all your apps and windows has recently undergone a change in function. Instead of maximizing or re-sizing the windows, as in all previous versions of OS X, now the green button will take your window or app full screen.
If you’re tired of going full screen every time you click the green button, here’s how to avoid the screen take over.
Passwords can lock you out, too. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Let me save you a huge headache — don’t set an EFI password on your Mac unless you have the original receipt for that machine.
If you buy your Mac off Craigslist, like I did, and your daughter writes half a novel for her high school class but never backs it up elsewhere (note – always back up your stuff!), and then her MacBook Air suddenly won’t boot up, the EFI password the previous owner put on the laptop will prevent you or Apple from accessing the hard drive or ever using the computer again.
Hypothetically, of course.
If you don’t want to have to tell your daughter she loses her computer and will need to wait a week while you find a way to connect her SSD to another Mac and find her files, disable that EFI password now.
Get your game on — wirelessly — with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Now just might be the best time ever to be a Mac gamer, as a ton of big titles for PC and console are also available for Apple computers via the Mac App Store, Steam or GoG.com. It’s a golden era of cross-platform goodness, and it’s easier than ever to find a game you’ll love on the Mac.
Some of today’s hot titles demand a good controller, though. One of the best is Sony’s DualShock 4 controller (the same one that comes with the PlayStation 4). If you’ve got one, you’ve got easy access to a fantastic, ergonomic and just plain great gaming controller that will work with your Mac, requiring very little setup to make it happen.
All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
If you dig creating fresh beats and smooth grooves on your Mac, you’ll likely love GarageBand. It’s a fantastic bit of musical creation kit for anyone, regardless of native ability or experience. You can use loops to make new songs, play your own music with MIDI keyboards–even make your own ringtones for your iPhone. It’s quite versatile.
When you download GarageBand from the Mac App Store, you’ll immediately get 50 sounds, 500 loops, 1 drummer, and 2 basic lessons for guitar and piano. Likely, though, you want the full package, which is available as a free download that expands the content to 200 sounds, 2,000 loops, 15 drummers, and 40 basic lessons for guitar and piano.
Want to see all the songs you’ve found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.
But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.
Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.
Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.
Tweetdeck, now an official Twitter app, is one of those social networking clients with a ton of features that may be a bit of overkill if you’re a casual user. It’s got a columnar interface with tons of customizability, letting you decide what, specifically, shows up in each column.
If you’ve got multiple accounts on the big bird service you might want to save some column space by merging all your accounts into the columns you’re interested in.