Category Archives: Mac OS

Tips and Tricks for Mac users!

Apple mac book pro pic 1

Tips For Mac Users

If you own a Mac computer, then there is something you should know. The following tips will show you some alternative ways of doing things.

To begin with, when you don’t feel like speaking to Siri, command-space shortcut on your keyboard will get you to Spotlight search.

If you are interested in a quick conversion all you need to do is launch Spotlight and type the figure you wish to convert such as money or a unit of mass. However, you should be mindful that certain things like currency conversion will only work when your Mac is online.

If you wish to take a screenshot of a specific part of your screen, you just need to tap Command + Shift 4. After you do that a box will appear when you click; you should then drag the box to the location on the screen that you want to take a picture of.

How about exporting an image in a format that’s not listed? What you need to do here is hold down the Option key while clicking the Format drop down list; a selection of new image export options will be shown.

What if you try to fill in forms? The best and most efficient way is to go to System Preferences>Keyboard, clicking the All controls radio button for Full Keyboard Access.

When you resize your Windows using Split Screen view, hold down the Option key and that will enable you to see both windows clearly.

Next tip is useful if you are working with numerous documents on your Mac but need to find a specific one. You will get to it fast by just tapping the F3 button to obtain a minimized view of all your documents.

When listening to your favorite song or watching a movie, you can tap Option and Shift while raising or lowering volume for much more sensitive control.

Renaming files can be quickly accomplished by selecting them in the enclosing folder and right clicking on them. If you then choose an option Rename items, you will be able to assign them any name that you might want along with an appropriate number.

Now, let’s say you get stuck on a particular application. You can get out of it by tapping Command + Option and pressing Esc. Force Quit dialog box will appear when you do this.

Are you at times having trouble finding your work folders? You will resolve this by launching a new Finder window, selecting Show Sidebar and just dragging and dropping your work folder into the sidebar. That will also allow for easy access to the folder.

As a Mac user, you probably know how to navigate between apps using Command and Tab on your machine but do you know that you can also quit an app by simply selecting it and tapping Q? Other hidden features can be unlocked when you try using Command in your Menu bar.

You are also able to move Menu icons by clicking on one while holding down the Command key. However, you must be really careful while doing it in order not to pull it from the Menu bar.

Don’t feel like receiving any Notifications? In such a case, just press the Option key and tap the Notifications icon in the top right. The icon’s color should then change to light gray thus showing that it has been disabled.

The final tip is regarding the length of time it takes to back your data up on your Mac. Normally, such processes can be quite lengthy because they are designated as a background activity. It is in a way good for you as it is assumed that you are doing something else with your Mac. So how do you speed the process up, you might ask? By launching Terminal and pasting in the following:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0

The process will be initiated when you type in your login password. Unfortunately, your data backup settings will revert back to their lengthy original state once you reboot your machine unless you follow the instructions found on the following website:

http://www.mackungfu.org/massively-speed-up-time-capsule-time-machine-backups

Mission Repair Centre is hoping that you found the above tips useful. However, if you are having any problems, please bring your Mac to us and we will try to assist you further.

Darius Romanek

Mission Repair Centre Team 🙂

 

 

Flagship feature of the new MacBook Pro

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Usefulness of the Touch Bar, Flagship Feature of the New MacBook Pro

Sam is finally home after a busy day at work. He has some time and as he is sitting down at his new computer, Apple’s latest MacBook Pro, he is thinking that he might explore the Touch Bar, its flagship feature.

What is the Touch Bar then? It is an OLED display strip replacing the physical row of function keys. As Sam begins his investigations, he quickly discovers that this dynamic zone at the top of his keyboard allows apps to display custom buttons, sliders, switches and scrubbers, thus adding a new way to his interaction with Mac applications that goes beyond text input and mouse pointers.

So what does he first observe? Well, he notices that the Touch Bar’s main interface is split into 3 sections: a system button, the area for variable app controls and the Control Strip.

The system button, controlled by macOS Sierra, displays a Cancel, Done or virtual ‘esc’ key.

The ‘app region’ in the middle will light up with contextual buttons and actions of different kinds, depending on the type of currently activated app. The keyword here is flexibility and some of the things Sam will be able to do are ones like expanding, contracting and customizing system controls, answering his iPhone or FaceTime call from the keyboard without moving his cursor, selecting palette and tap to choose a color for text and objects, getting quick access to text suggestions and emoji in apps like Messages and Mail or accessing the function keys by holding down the FN key on the keyboard among others.

The Control Strip on the right contains media keys and brightness controls. It can be expanded or collapsed depending on how much of the Touch Bar screen real estate Sam would wish to dedicate to app content.

Sam could also configure his Touch Bar to display a virtual set of normal function keys.

According to Apple, the Touch Bar contains a custom T1 chip powering the Touch ID and Apple Pay features.

Next, Sam notices that its controls always take up the full height so he is only dealing with a movement along the X-axis.

Then he realizes that the buttons appear with vibrant and saturated colors.

As his Touch Bar experience continues, Sam discovers that Apple’s Developer API enables third-party developers to create unique but relatively-static controls for their individual needs.

Sam feels that the Touch Bar is as responsive to his touch as his other device that he keeps carrying with him every day, namely his iPhone. He also sees that it blends in beautifully with the rest of the keyboard. His wide color OLED display is responsible for making his virtual keys appear real.

Mission Repair Centre recommends that just like Sam, you too should explore your Touch Bar feature on your MacBook Pro, if you have one. You will be happy to know that there are already many apps with Touch Bar support which are currently being developed and will be released before the end of this year.

Time will only tell if this flagship feature shall become an essential part of each future Mac. For now, it is something that is really worth exploring.

Darius Romanek

Mission Repair Centre Team 🙂

macOS Sierra – The new Mac OS

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What Can You Expect From macOS Sierra?

You are currently using Mac OS X but as Apple has recently rebranded its desktop and laptop OS, you can now upgrade your operating system to macOS Sierra (also known as macOS 10.12).

So what can you expect from it?

Let us start by summarizing the design of this new operating system. Design-wise, macOS Sierra is almost identical to its predecessor El Capitan. The ‘flattened’ visuals still exist. However, there are some exceptions. User interface differs a little bit. You can now use tabs in a wide range of first- and third-party apps rather than just Safari and other web browsers.

First-party apps that support tabs from launch include Maps, Mail, Text Edit and all three iWork apps. Third-party apps need to support multiple windows.

You can now enjoy a new picture-in-picture viewing mode. Picture-in-picture allows a video from Safari or iTunes to float in a window over your desktop as you work. You can pin this video mini-window to one corner of your screen, where it will stay even if you switch spaces. What does it mean to switch spaces, you might ask? Space feature (introduced with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in 2007) allowed a user to create multiple virtual desktops which act as individual workspaces. So switching spaces is essentially switching tasks. When you switch tasks, you simply move from one workspace (like Calendar) to another (like Word).

How about the new features of macOS Sierra? There are 6 of them.

One of the top features is Siri on Mac. This one is significant as you can now speak to your Mac using the Siri voice-recognition engine from the iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV. A particularly useful application of this is that you are now able to verbally search through documents using Siri. Another useful feature is Apple Pay on Mac. Unfortunately, as Mac does not come equipped with a fingerprint scanner, you will need to tap your iPhone or iPad in order to verify your identity. Apple Pay icons will now be visible on the buy pages of certain merchants. You will just need to verify your purchases with Touch ID on your iPhone or using your Apple Watch.

In addition, you are now able to Auto Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. How could I do that, you might ask? Well, within a certain distance, your Mac will detect your approach and unlock if you are wearing an unlocked Apple Watch.

MacOS Sierra now also gives you the ability to share your entire desktop (and Documents folder) with other devices such as your iPad or iPhone’s iCloud Drive, another Mac’s desktop or Documents folder or PC’s iCloud for Windows app.

Optimized storage removes certain duplicate files for you such as caches, logs and so on, automatically storing seldom used items in iCloud.

More emphasis is now placed on Messages’ emoji and visual effects. Photos have a new Memories feature which recognizes and understands people, places and events. Finally, Apple Music has been redesigned visually.

With all the benefits and upgrades of the new macOS Sierra, its operating system is more demanding than El Capitan so it won’t work on every Mac. Following Macs enable you to install the macOS Sierra upgrade: MacBook (Late 2009 or later), MacBook Air (2010 or later), MacBook Pro (2010 or later), Mac mini (2010 or later), Mac Pro (2010 or later) and iMac (Late 2009 or later).

As early impressions of macOS Sierra are good, Mission Repair Centre recommends that you make the upgrade as soon as you can.

Darius Romanek

Mission Repair Centre Team 🙂