How to browse all the auto-saved versions of your Mac documents

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versions twin zebras
Like these twin zebras, the Mac auto-saves versions of your files. Twins!
Photo: Marta Miguel Martínez-Soria/Flickr CC

Did you know that your Mac keeps older versions of the documents you work on, auto-saving them in the background so you can go back to a previous revision, any time you like? It’s just like Time Machine, Apple’s Mac backup feature, only it’s for individual files. It even lets you compare old and current versions of your file, side-by-side. It’s called file versioning, and it’s pretty rad.

Today in Apple history: OS X Panther claws its way onto Macs

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Mac OS X Panther brings Exposé and other new features.
Do you remember OS X Panther?
Image: Gudebookgallery/Apple

October 25 Today in Apple history October 25, 2003: Mac OS X Panther arrives on Macs, bringing a number of useful new features.

Exposé lets users instantly view all open windows at once; iChat AV allows users to talk with audio and video as well as text. The new Mac OS also makes Safari Apple’s default web browser for the first time.

How to use the most useful Finder keyboard shortcuts

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useful keyboard shortcuts
Ditch the trackpad and use the keyboard instead.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You probably spend a lot of time in the macOS Finder. Much of it is likely spent pointing and clicking, using the trackpad pointer to duplicate files, or to click back to the folder you were in a moment ago.

But, like most Mac apps, the Finder offers a ton of useful keyboard shortcuts — to create new folders, navigate files and change what you see in the Finder window. If you learn a couple of them, you can spend a lot less time dithering with your mouse. You will also look like a cool TV or movie hacker if you click on the keyboard instead.

Today, we’ll look at the most useful day-to-day Finder keyboard shortcuts.

How to use the Finder’s powerful bulk renaming tools

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file renaming mac finder
You might be surprised by how much the macOS Finder's renaming tools can do.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Renaming a single file in the Finder isn’t too bad. You can click on its name and type in a new one. But what if you want to rename a whole bunch of files at once? Maybe you want to add the same text to the beginning of every file, or add a number to the end of a folder full of MP3 recording to keep them in the right order. Do you have a folder full of photos named IMG_00xx.JPG that need to be called dads_wedding_00x.jpg instead? Or perhaps that intern spelled the company name wrong on every single one of a hundred files, and you need to correct that word on every file?

In the olden days, you would have to either a) research, download, buy, and learn to use a new bulk-renaming app or b), punish your intern by making them correct everything by hand, before finally resorting to a) anyway because the intern screwed it up again. Now, the Finder has powerful bulk-renaming tools built in, so you can just take care of it all in a couple of minutes, and have your intern make you a coffee instead. If they can be trusted to do it, that is.

macOS 10.13 Wish List: What we want from Apple’s big update

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macOS-dark-mode
A system-wide dark mode for macOS has been rumored for years.
Photo: Guilherme Rambo

There are less than two weeks until Apple introduces the next version of macOS at the WWDC. While the rumor mill has been busting out tons of hardware leaks, details have been scant on the software side of things.

Apple is expected to reveal some amazing features for the Mac with the new software update. We still don’t know everything that will be included in macOS 10.13, but of course, we have our own wish list of the features that we really hope make it onto the Mac.

This is what we want to see in Apple’s next big update:

iOS 11 wish list: Features we’d love to see

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iPhone 7
Here's what to expect from the next version of iOS
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With WWDC 2017 right around the corner, it’s that time of the year when Apple can fix all the annoyances of iOS 10 and unveil something truly revolutionary for the next generation of iPhones and iPads.

Apple is expected to show off all the major features of iOS 11 at the WWDC in a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, the rumor mill has been quiet on what to expect, but that hasn’t stopped a flurry of speculation. We’ve got some ideas of our own too that we really want to see come to iOS 11.

This is what we want in Apple’s next big update:

Beautiful iOS 11 concept shows big changes iPad needs

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They call it
They call it "The Shelf".
Photo: Federico Viticci

Apple hasn’t exactly given the iPad first priority when it comes to iOS updates, but that could change next month at WWDC where the company is expected to unveil iOS 11.

Most of the iOS 11 concepts we’ve seen have been all about the iPhone, but iPad power-user Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett created a beautiful concept that shows some big and simple changes that would transform the iPad from a fun tablet into a pro machine. Features like Finder, Drag and Drop between apps, multi-channel audio and more are on display in the fantastic mockup.

Apple, if you’re reading this, please steal these features:

Siri comes to Mac and opens up to developers

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Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Photo: Apple

Big changes are coming to Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated assistant. For the first time, Siri will be available on the Mac and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.

While Siri was one of the first voice-controlled AI assistants on the market, it’s fallen behind competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now, largely because it was a closed system that worked only in Apple’s apps. Opening it to developers makes it much more functional, and presents a more serious challenge to upstarts like Viv that promise to help with a wide range of services and tasks.

This app is everything OS X Finder wants to be

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Commander One is the app Finder wishes it could be.
Commander One is the app Finder wishes it could be.
Photo: Eltima

Maybe it’s just me, but Finder is one of the default Mac apps I find most annoying. Even though Apple introduced tabs to the default experience a few years ago, Finder still makes it harder than it should to move files from one folder on your computer to another.

Commander One, a Finder alternative for OS X 10.9 and above, makes Finder better for power users. It adds the ability to drag and drop files between two folders displayed in side-by-side panes, not windows or tabs. But there’s more to it than just that.