By using commands in your Mac’s built-in Terminal app, you can quickly change settings you probably didn’t even know existed.
Some of these Mac settings are just shortcuts — you can enable them in the usual way, using the mouse. But Terminal makes things simple. Instead of opening the System Preferences app, then finding (or remembering) a setting you want to change, and then searching further until you actually find the right checkbox, you can just type (or paste) a command, then hit return.
Most of these are secret settings, though. They are impossible to change without Terminal. Let’s check them out.
Apple’s Mail app has gotten pretty good. And one of its best features is mail swipe gestures: being able to swipe an email in your message list and quickly delete, archive, move, or flag that message, and lots more besides.
With gestures, you can speed through your inbox, deleting the cruft, archiving boss mails, and filing messages, all with single swipes. It makes dealing with mail easy, if not actually fun.
The default swipes gestures are fine, but you can customize them to do exactly what you want. Let’s see how.
A few months back, we started hearing a lot of creepy stories about folks having real-life, in-person conversations with friends, and then getting Facebook ads on the same subject soon after. Was Facebook using their iPhone/iPad’s microphone to eavesdrop on them, then serving ads based on what it heard? Technically, it’s not much different to Google scanning your email and serving ads based on their content. In reality, it’s a whole ‘nother level of creepy.
Talking to Siri can be a bit embarrassing when you’re in crowded public spaces, but with iOS 11, Apple is finally allowing users to submit questions to the digital assistant via text.
Apple didn’t mention the new feature during its WWDC 2017 keynote, however it’s already become one of our favorite additions in the new beta because it gives iPhone and iPad owners the closest thing yet to a command line.
The iOS Settings app is more like a chaotic junk drawer that a neatly-organized filing cabinet. Back when the iPhone launched, it was tidy, with only a few items, all methodically arranged. Then, as more and more features were added to iOS, their settings were tossed in there like you toss spare keys into that kitchen drawer with the rubber bands and spare fuses. Unlike a real junk drawer, though, which will slice your fingers with hidden tools and pieces of broken teacup if you rummage too hard, the Settings app has a way to ignore the detritus and get straight to the setting you want: Search settings. This feature is essential, but very few of the folks I asked about it this week even knew it existed. This how-to is for them, and for anyone else who hates changing settings.
Perhaps the best way to ease yourself into the relaxing, time-saving bathtub of increased productivity that is 3D Touch is to start by pressing a little harder on Apple’s own app icons. Specifically — in today’s article at least — the Settings app icon, where you will find quick-access shortcuts to your most often-used settings. Let’s take a look:
What if you could type out any of your email addresses just by tapping on the same key a few times? Or do Google searches over and over on a favorite website just as easily? What about easily typing that special symbol that’s so hard to reach on the iOS keyboard that you usually never bother? All this, and more, can be yours, if only you’ll spend a minute or two setting up some text replacement shortcuts. Let’s do it right now.