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Updated: 30 weeks 5 days ago

Get to know iOS 10's radically new lock screen

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 13:03

There are tons of changes coming in iOS 10, but the most dramatic, immediately visible change is happening on your lock screen. Nothing works the way it did before. Things are about to get weird, but we’ll get through it together.

Raise to Wake

If you have a new iPhone—6s, 6s Plus, or SE—the changes will appear instantly. When you pick up your phone, your screen will wake to display the time. It’s a small change, one already in use on the Apple Watch (and on Android phones), but it eliminates the pain point of having to press a button just to see the time.

Relearning how to swipe

The launch of Touch ID made Slide to Unlock, a now-quaint feature that delighted audiences when the iPhone debuted, a little unnecessary. Slide to Unlock was still essential in rare cases when Touch ID failed (if your hands were damp or you were wearing gloves), but now it’s gone. In iOS 10, you press the Home button to unlock your device with a passcode if Touch ID doesn’t work. It’s a little awkward to unlearn this ingrained behavior, and to be honest, I kind of hate press to unlock. But it’s happening.

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The Week in Mac Apps: Get you desktop just the way you want it with Black Light's custom settings

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 13:00
Too bright or too dark? Get you desktop just the way you want it with Black Light's custom settings

This week’s roundup of new Mac Apps brings you insightful weather forecasts, better integration with Android, gorgeous train simulators, photo managing tools, and much more.

Alinof Archives 4.1.0

Alinof Software’s $40 Alinof Archives (Mac App Store link) allows you to organize all your virtual receipts, warranties, and documents in one convenient place. With its user-friendly interface, the app lets you add useful information-like vendor, date, amount and type of transaction-right beside each item’s scanned image, and can then automatically group your records in folders for quicker access.

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Facebook brings end-to-end encryption to Messenger with ‘secret conversations’

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 11:34

Facebook’s following the encrypted messaging trend set by other apps including Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Viber, and Google’s Allo. On Friday, the social network announced a limited beta version of Messenger for Android and iOS with an end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature dubbed secret conversations.

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Amazon teases Prime Day deal bash with free Prime trials

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 11:00

One year ago, Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary with a sale event/Prime membership promotion dubbed Prime Day. Now the online retailer wants to make Prime Day an annual tradition. Amazon recently announced that Prime Day for 2016 would take place on Tuesday, July 12.

The catch? Only Amazon Prime members can partake in Prime Day deals. As with last year’s promotion, if you’re not a Prime member you can get the deals by signing up for a Prime 30-day free trial.

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Snapchat sued over ‘sexually offensive’ content in its Discover channels

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:57

Snapchat is being sued for exposing minors to sexually offensive content on the Discover feature it offers in tandem with media partners.

The messaging and multimedia sharing service, which was at one point at the center of a controversy over surreptitious “sexting” by users with disappearing text and images, is now being charged with engaging through Discover “in an insidious pattern and practice of intentionally exposing minors to harmful, offensive, prurient, and sexually offensive content, without warning minors or their parents that they would be exposed to such explicit content.”

To sign up for Snapchat, users must claim they are at least 13 years old, which is the same minimum age set by social media rivals like Facebook.

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Who benefits from Apple's public betas? We all do

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:02

With the release of the public betas for macOS and iOS, we venture into that undiscovered country that is called…prerelease software. (Gasp!)

The public beta program is a fairly recent development for Apple—despite a brief flirtation in the earliest days of Mac OS X—with a prerelease of Mac software first arriving in 2014 with Yosemite, and the first iOS public beta, iOS 9, a year later in 2015.

The company has of course long offered prerelease software to developers who need to build in compatibility for Apple’s newest features, but expanding that to the realm of anybody who really wanted to participate has opened up a lot of possibilities for the company, developers, and users alike. It also hasn’t been without its challenges.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Shuffle secrets, iTunes’ color schemes, and more

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:00

When is shuffle not shuffle? When it shuffles things you don’t want shuffled. iTunes’ shuffle feature is great, but not when you want to listen to audiobooks. I explain how to use shuffle and how to keep books in order. I also mention the secret command to turn off iTunes’ hideous algorithm-generated color scheme, and give a bit more detail about how Apple Lossless files can be smaller than the original music on CD.

Shuffle or not

Q: I have a mix of songs, albums and audiobooks, all in playlists in my iTunes library. I would like to have the playlists that contain music shuffle all their songs, and the audiobooks play in chapter order. However, when I switch shuffle on it affects all playlists, which obviously plays audiobooks out of order. It there anyway to set up iTunes so shuffle is on for some playlists and off for others?

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How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 07:32

Apple uses its App Store to distribute its software, like new Mac operating systems. It’s convenient, but sometimes it can take a while for a download to finish. And if you have multiple Macs, it’s inefficient to download the new OS to each and every Mac.

That’s why I like to make a bootable external drive for the sole purpose of installing the Mac operating system. When I need to tend to a bunch of Macs, it’s much faster to use a bootable drive instead of going to each Mac, launching the App Store, searching for the operating system, downloading it (after entering my Apple ID), and then running the installer.

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How to use Siri in macOS Sierra

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 07:30

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s conference earlier this month, we learned that Siri would be the marquee feature in Apple’s next operating system for the Mac—macOS Sierra. Yes, Siri: Apple’s voice interface that was introduced nearly five years ago on the iPhone (and was a stand-alone iOS app before the company was acquired by Apple). If you use Siri often on your iOS device, then you’ll find Siri on the Mac to be quite similar. But since the Mac experience involves file management, you’ll notice that Siri can be a handy tool for finding, opening, and organizing files.

(Note: This article originally covered how Siri works using the developer preview of macOS Sierra, the next version of the Mac operating system. It has been updated to reflect changes made with the macOS Sierra Public Beta. Since this is pre-release software, Apple could makes changes to Siri between now and when Sierra is officially released in the fall. If Apple makes any changes, this article will be updated appropriately.)

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