How to add a Smart Folder to your Mac’s Dock (and why you’ll want to)

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A Smart Folder can make a powerful addition to your Dock.
A Smart Folder can make a powerful addition to your Dock.
Photo: Dan Counsell/Unsplash CC

I have an app I use every day, but whenever I open it, it opens to a new, blank document, instead of the project I was working on when I closed the app. To open that project, I have to mouse up to my Mac’s menu bar, click on File > Recent Items…, and find it in there.

To fix this, I set out to find a way to easily access the last few projects from this app. What if I could put this list of recent projects into my Mac’s Dock? It turns out that you can easily do this, using a quick Spotlight search, a Smart Folder and a drag to the Dock.

SwitchGlass is a supercharged Dock replacement for Mac

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SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
Photo: John Siracusa

SwitchGlass is a handy new Mac app from John Siracusa. It’s like a superpowered dock, conceptually honed from the regular macOS dock by removing some annoyances, and adding some extra subtleties. It’s certainly not the most powerful dock-replacement app out there, but if your needs align with Siracusa’s, then you’re going to love it.

How to master the Apple Watch Dock

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Apple Watch dock

Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are two buttons on the Apple Watch. You can press the Digital Crown, and you can press the side button. If you press the side button when your watch is displaying its watch face, then you’ll pop up the Dock. But what, exactly, is the Apple Watch Dock?

Just like the docks on macOS and iOS, it provides quick access to your most-used apps. But the Apple Watch Dock doesn’t work like the docks on Apple’s other devices. Here’s how to use it — and how to customize it.

Pock puts your Mac’s Dock in the Touch Bar

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Pock dock and settings
In deep with Pock.
Photo: Pock

Pock is a very neat little utility for folks with Touch Bar MacBook Pros. All it does is replace the Touch Bar’s tools with swap-in “widgets,” or sets of tools. One of these puts the Mac’s own Dock into the Touch Bar, which is an amazing idea. But there are several other widgets available, with more to come.

Belkin’s gorgeous dock charges iPhone XS and Apple Watch with style

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Belkin
This is one of the prettiest docks we've ever seen.
Photo: Belkin

iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4 owners looking for the perfect chargers to both of their new devices just got a lot of love from Belkin with a dock that works on both iPhones and Apple Watch.

Belkin introduced its new BoostUp wireless charging dock for iPhone + Apple Watch today that not only keeps your new tech juiced up, but it’s also so pretty you won’t be ashamed to have it on full display in your house.

Here’s another angle:

How to use a blank home screen on iPad, and why you’ll love it

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

What’s on your main iPad home screen? Is it organized so that you can find your most-used apps quickly? Or have you decided to arrange the icons by color? Or divided up the grid by adding a row of blank spaces? Those are pretty neat ideas, but today I’m going to suggest you do something even more radical. How about keeping your home screen entirely blank? No icons, no folders, nothing. Just the Dock, Spotlight search, and an easier-to-use iPad.

How to add AirDrop to your Mac’s Dock

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AirDrop is somehow conceptually related to balloons
AirDrop is somehow conceptually related to balloons.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

AirDrop is a fantastic Apple feature. You can use it to share files of pretty much any size with anyone nearby, even in the middle of a desert with no Wi-Fi and no cellular. It Just Works, and once you get used to it, any other way of sharing files seems primitive.

Today, we’ll make AirDrop even easier to use on your Mac, by adding AirDrop shortcut to the Dock.

Pro tip: Stop iOS automatically adding suggested apps to the Dock

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suggested apps dock
Suggested apps are a great Dock feature, but you can still switch them off.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugI love the new iOS 11 Dock. Do you love the new iOS 11 Dock? I bet you totally dig it. But maybe we love it a little too much, and end up jamming it so full of apps that every icon becomes too small to tap. If that’s the case, then you might appreciate this tip. Did you know that you can remove the three-app section on the right side of the dock? The one where iOS automatically shows apps it thinks you might want to use right now?

How to add a stack of recent documents to your Mac’s Dock

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recent documents stack
Like a tidy stack of documents, right in your Dock.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Left to its own devices, the Dock on your Mac is little more than a list of running apps, plus a trash can. You probably already know that you can force apps to stick around in the Dock for quick-launching, and that you can drag any folder to the Dock and just click it to see inside. But did you know that you can add special folders that show you your recent documents, applications, your favorite items, and more?

The recent documents folder is worth the price of this tip alone (which is $0 BTW), because it keeps track of all your recently-used documents, anywhere on your Mac, and gathers them into one place. If you’re the kind of person who has a desktop cluttered with pretty much all your documents, then fast access to that file you were using one moment ago — and you swear it was right here, oh God where has it gone — is a lifesaver.

Here’s how to add it.