D. Griffin Jones - page 15

Caviar for breakfast? How Apple plans to pamper WWDC22 attendees.

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Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Photo: Arne Müseler, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons; Image: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Lucky attendees who get to visit Apple Park for a special WWDC22 developer day are getting the red carpet treatment, including caviar for breakfast.

The menu for the event includes a smoked salmon and caviar bagel made from “house smoked salmon, mascarpone cream, Tobiko black caviar, Persian cucumber, [and] micro horseradish,” which asks more questions than it answers. What on earth is micro horseradish?

Get the most battery life out of your MacBook

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Get the most battery life out of your Mac.
Get the most battery life out of your Mac.
Image: Apple

How do you kill that which cannot die? The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro boast industry-leading battery life. In the PC world, the high power consumption of Intel processors means you generally must choose between battery life and performance.

The latest MacBooks use Apple’s own custom chips, cut from the same cloth as the iPhone and iPad chips Apple has been designing since 2010 (and, in a roundabout way, the one they made for the Apple Newton in 1994). This is what powers them to last all day at full speed.

If you want to take your M1 Max MacBook Pro to the coffee shop to get work done, and you leave your power cable at home — even if you’re editing 8K ProRes video streams in Final Cut Pro — you still might be ordering lunch and staying through dinner. How could one possibly need more battery life, and how do you get it?

How to make Twitter fun again

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Twitter can be… fun? Preliminary research suggests it can.
Twitter can be ... fun? Preliminary research suggests it can.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Twitter: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. People have been talking quite a bit about Twitter lately.

When friends of mine complain about how they don’t enjoy using Twitter, I used to be confused. Twitter is what you make it. If you don’t like Twitter, you can simply follow different accounts and get a completely different experience.

It’s important to note that none of my friends have tens of thousands of followers and/or are regularly harassed on Twitter. That can be a very different experience outside of one’s power to control, to put it lightly.

Twitter has changed, and now, the people you follow might have very little bearing on what you actually see on Twitter at all. Here are my tips on how to take back control of your timeline and make Twitter enjoyable.

How to make Podcasts use less storage

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Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can clear up a big chunk of your iPhone’s storage space by limiting how many podcasts you keep downloaded.

iOS 15.5, which Apple released Monday, introduces a feature to automatically limit the number of episodes you have downloaded in your podcast library. If you struggle with storage on your iPhone, enabling this setting will give you more space. It’ll automatically clear out downloads if you don’t listen right away, along with any backlog of old episodes.

Get started with Focus modes and eliminate unwanted distractions

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These are my custom Driving and Writing Home Screens.
Find out how to use Focus modes on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Your frazzled nerves will thank you.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Focus feature is like Do Not Disturb on steroids. It is much smarter than the Do Not Disturb of old. Since not all work or relaxation is created equal, you can set up Focus modes for specific situations to keep unwanted distractions at bay.

When you’re working, you might want email and Slack to come through, unless you’re in a meeting.

When you’re at home, you may want most notifications to come through, but not if you’re having have friends over, playing games or watching a show.

This article will cover setting up Focus modes on iOS 15. If you have the latest iPhone, a brand-new Mac or you’ve kept up with software updates, you’ll want to check out our guide for iOS 16.

If you have an old device and you want to see how Focus modes work, keep reading.

Your iPhone can alert you to breaking glass, smoke alarms and other dangers

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Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The other day I was walking with music blasting through my AirPods when I almost stepped in front of a speeding ambulance.

Luckily, the magical Sound Recognition feature on my iPhone was turned on and my AirPods recognized the wailing sirens. They silenced the music and piped the sirens into my ears instead, saving my bacon. It was amazing and quite magical.

Your iPhone can also listen and alert you for crying babies, running water, knocks on the door, barking dogs and more.

Here’s how to use it.

Stop following me! Tweak iPhone location settings to keep spies at bay.

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You can see all of the locations your iPhone thinks are significant and turn off the location features in Settings.
Your iPhone keeps track of locations you visit frequently.
Photo: Rawpixel Ltd, CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’re uncomfortable with social media apps tracking your movements, here’s how to stop them using your iPhone’s built-in Location Services.

Or if you’re moving to a different city or to a new job, it can be annoying seeing travel suggestions to the wrong place. Resetting your location history will start from a clean slate.

If you find yourself traveling to a country with an authoritarian government, as everyone attending this year’s Olympics were, clearing your phone’s location history is a safe bet.

These moves may also protect you from shady data brokers, who spy on and sell your movements.

Here’s how to do it.

Meet friends, track kids, send your ETA: How to use location sharing on iPhone

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How to share your location on iPhone: Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Location sharing is a highly versatile and useful feature of iOS. When you’re trying to meet up with someone, traveling in a new place or spending a day out with friends, you can quickly share where you all are. It proves super-handy in big public spaces like malls, amusement parks and stadiums.

Giving directions on precisely where to pick up someone along a street block or in a parking lot is made much easier by sending a pin in an iMessage chat. With Family Sharing, I can see if my wife is on her way home without first sharing her ETA in Apple Maps. Another benefit is that I can use Find My to ping her phone if it’s lost in the house.

Here’s how to use location sharing.

Make sense of your epic screen recording by adding a voiceover

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Combine microphone audio with your screen recordings to add voiceover.
Combine microphone audio with your screen recordings to add voiceover.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 11 added screen recording to the iPhone and iPad, allowing you to make videos of your device’s screen. You can use it to copy videos you can’t just download, record game play, show someone how to use an app and more. Personally, I use it most often to record bugs and crashes in the apps I use so I can submit bug reports.

But did you know that you can record a voiceover, too? Here’s how.

Make your iPhone read text out loud

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Spoken Content Settings (Big)
Your iPhone can read text from websites and iMessages (and even words in photos). Here's how to make it happen.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is renowned for its many accessibility features. Accessibility settings can make text on the screen bigger, buttons easier to identify, animations less jarring and sound easier to hear.

An accessibility feature that is useful for everyone is Spoken Content. You can have your phone read out loud anything you have on-screen. This feature was designed for people who have trouble reading small text, but you will find it handy even if you don’t — in lots of situations.

You can have recipes read to you while your hands are busy cooking, quickly hear how to pronounce a word you don’t know — that’s what I use it for most of all — and more. You can even hear what you’re typing as you write.

Here’s how to turn on Spoken Content.

How to take screenshots on Mac

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Screenshot.app on macOS
The Screenshot app in macOS provides a useful toolbar offering advanced screenshot features. Here's how to use it.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Mac offers a lot of options for taking screenshots without installing any third-party apps. You can take a screenshot of the entire screen, get a clean image of a specific window or select specific areas to capture.

There’s also a built-in way to take a video of your screen and even record a voiceover from your microphone, headset or AirPods.

We’ll show you various ways to take screenshots on Mac, so you can decide what’s best for your needs.

How to start a collection of classic Macs

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Collecting vintage Macs: My Macintosh Classic with matching ADB keyboard and mouse.
My Macintosh Classic with matching ADB keyboard and mouse.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

What makes people start collecting vintage Macs? There are many reasons. Some folks want to play abandoned games or use old software on original hardware. Some simply don’t know how to transfer files, and thus keep their old machines as a giant backup, just in case.

I collect old Macs because I care deeply about history. I want to have an informed perspective on the past so I can better understand trends of user-interface design and the evolution of technology.

My first vintage computer was a Macintosh Classic I bought on eBay for about $80. After lifting it out of its shipping box, I reached around the back to flip on the power switch and watch it boot. I loved hearing the whir of the hard drive, the fans humming and the delightful blip!-blip!-blip! noise the disk drive made when reading a floppy.

Apple computers are highly collectible. They span the entire history of personal computing. The company’s unwavering design philosophy, always pushing ease of use, means even the oldest and weirdest Apple computers are never hard to figure out. The historical lineup spans all different kinds of form factors and designs. Not to mention, they look rad.

So, you want to collect old Apple computers, too? Where do you start, and what do you want? Here’s a quick guide to buying classic Macs. These tips should get you started and help you avoid common pitfalls. (If you want to go even deeper, we also provide some links to further reading on the subject.)

How to get the new gender-neutral Siri voice in iOS 15.4

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri doesn’t have to sound female.
Image: Apple

One of the new features in iOS 15.4, released earlier this week, is a new, gender-neutral voice for Siri.

Apple developed the gender-neutral voice in response to criticism for using female voices as the default for the virtual assistant. If you want Siri to use a voice that is not explicitly female or male — maybe if you don’t identify that way yourself, or if you just want a nongendered voice assistant — now you have the option.

Here’s how to switch to the new voice on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

How to set up Face ID with a mask (and glasses) in iOS 15.4

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iPhone setting up Face ID with a mask
You will be prompted to set up Face ID with a mask after installing iOS 15.4.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

New in iOS 15.4, released today, Apple is extending Face ID to authenticate your face while wearing a mask. In my testing, it has increased the reliability and the number of situations in which Face ID works.

This feature is arriving late into the pandemic — it would have been great to have this for the past couple of years — but as new COVID variants surge, we may still need it for the foreseeable future. Plus, in some countries, wearing a mask when you’re sick has been standard for many years.

Here’s how to set up Face ID with a mask on your iPhone.

How Apple Studio Display stacks up against Pro Display XDR and others

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The Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, iMac 24″ and 16″ MacBook Pro.
From left to right: The 16″ MacBook Pro, the 24″ iMac, the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.
Photo: Apple

We have been blessed to live in interesting times. For the first time since 2010, we have not just one, but two external monitors from Apple.

How does Apple’s latest offering — the Studio Display, introduced during Tuesday’s “Peek Performance” event — stack up against the high-end Pro Display XDR, the outgoing LG UltraFine 5K and the displays of other Macs?

Let’s dive in.

Apple Studio Display brings high-end monitor down to affordable price

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Apple Studio Display
The new Apple Studio Display.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Studio Display, revealed Tuesday alongside the new Mac Studio desktop, finally brings a high-end Apple monitor at a more-affordable price point.

Like the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR, the new 27-inch 5K monitor features TrueTone, P3 wide color gamut, studio-quality microphones, a six-speaker sound system, a thin bezel and optional nano-texture glass. But at $1,599, it costs just a fraction of the Pro Display XDR’s eye-watering price.

“The Studio Display is in a class of its own,” said Nicole Kordes, Apple’s engineering program manager for Mac, during Tuesday’s Peek Performance event. “Along with a gorgeous screen. It’s loaded with incredible features that no other desktop display can deliver. And it provides that integrated experience Mac users love.”