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.

How to use the Mac’s secret emoji panel

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emoji text replacements
The Mac's emoji panel is even better than the iOS emoji keyboard.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Finding emoji on the iPhone and iPad is easy — you just tap the little emoji key in the corner of your keyboard, and there they are. Emoji are fully supported on the Mac, too, but where do you find them? If you don’t already know, then this trick is going to blow your mind, because it’s just as easy to get to the emoji panel on the Mac as it is on the iPhone.

How to give your Finder window superpowers

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finder
No wonder this little chap is so happy...
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Finder has been with the Mac since day one, way back in 1984. But just because it’s old, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some new tricks. Did you know, for instance, that you can add a path bar to the bottom of the window to show the path of the current folder on your Mac? Or that you can add a status bar in the same spot so you always know how full your drive is? Or that you can add a permanent preview pane over on the right side of a Finder window, even in icon and list views?

Let’s take a look, and see what else you can do.

How and why to redirect email instead of forwarding it

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redirect email
This photo is not email, nor is it even regular mail, but it has to do with directions.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We all know about forwarding email. It’s the electronic equivalent of putting a received letter in a new envelope and sending it on to someone else. But did you know that you can also redirect emails so that it seems like they arrived from the original sender? You could, for instance:

  • Redirect instructions from your boss to a co-worker.
  • Pass an email to someone else without getting caught in an inevitable and endless Reply All mess.
  • Send a customer enquiry to the correct person, with their reply going direct to the customer.

Unless the final recipient is really brain-dead, then this will never work as a scam to trick them into doing all the work your boss assigned to you, but it’s a very practical alternative to just forwarding emails.

Pro Tip: How to use Safari’s super-quick pop-up tab history shortcut

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Safari pop-up tab history
Here's Safari's pop-up tab history
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug When you want to get back to a previously viewed page in Safari on your iPhone, what do you do? Do you keep tapping the back button until you find the page you want?

If so, you can forget that nonsense right now, because there’s a super-quick way to see a list of all the web pages you’ve recently viewed in a Safari browser tab.

Pro Tip: See full-screen Quick Look slideshows in macOS Finder

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projector Quick Look slideshows
You don't need a projector to do a slideshow.
Photo: Kali Motxo/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugQuick Look is one of the Finder’s best features. Whenever you have a file selected in the Finder, just hit the space bar and you’ll see a preview of that file. It’s a great way to quickly view photos, or read the contents of a document, without opening it in an app.

But did you know you can pull up full-screen Quick Look slideshows just as easily?

Fine-tune your music with Visual EQ in GarageBand for iPad

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the equalizer
Nothing says '1980s' like a stereo with a giant graphic EQ.
Photo: Pete/Flickr public domain

One great recent addition to GarageBand for iOS is the Visual EQ, an equalizer that is about as far away from the 1980s-style bank of sliders as it’s possible to get. The Visual EQ also shows you a waveform of the actual sound you’re adjusting, so you can see as well as hear the effects immediately. This visual element, combined with a clever three-“band” EQ, makes this a very powerful tool for shaping your music.

How to make the Mac’s Launchpad useful again

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mac Launchpad
Launchpad is totally worth a second look.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Try this: If you’re reading on a Mac, go ahead and pinch in on your trackpad with all five fingers. If it’s enabled, then you’ll see a grid of apps. lots of apps. That’s Launchpad, which is kind of like an iOS home screen for your Mac.

The problem is, it shows all your apps, in seemingly random order. There’s a search bar to narrow things down, but by the time you’ve got that far, you may as well have used Spotlight to launch your app. Happily, the Launchpad is quite customizable. You can make iOS-style folders, and organize the apps into any order you like. Here’s how.

9 ways to strengthen your Apple products

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Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Photo: Free Photos/Pixabay CC

How to speed up your iPhone if the Spectre patch slows it down

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ghosts
Ghosts are a bit like spectres.
Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr CC

Spectre is the worst kind of security flaw. Not only do the partial fixes not even protect against attacks, but they also slow down your iPhone, or other device. But things aren’t quite as bad as they seem. You can take steps to speed up your iPhone once again, and one of the fixes not only makes the web faster, but also fixes Spectre’s biggest attack vector.