Mac and iOS Tips

If you use a Mac or iPad or iPhone, you may find the following tips to be quite useful. The first link lists 33 of the best tips for the Mac. The second link lists 41 great tips for the iPad and iPhone. One can spend a fair amount of time browsing and trying the various tips. 

As one example, I found that outside air quality can be found by opening the 'Weather' app on the iPhone and scrolling to the bottom. I hadn't tried this previously. Unfortunately, the air quality where I live in Scottsdale showed "Very Unhealthy". Yuck! Air quality is an issue we often face in the wintertime due to thermal inversions.

Anyway, I hope you find these tips to be helpful.

Jim Hamm

iPhone X Tips

If you've had your iPhone X for a while, you've probably got the settings set the way you want them. I thought so, also, but out of curiosity I read the following two articles and found some that I changed. 

One setting in particular was aggravating to me: every time I touched my iPhone X the display woke up and consumed battery power. I didn't like or want that. Way too sensitive I thought. I found a tip in the second article on how to turn that feature off. It took me so long to get that setting set to my preference.

HERE and HERE are the two articles in case you'd like to review the settings in your iPhone X.

Jim Hamm

Is Your Mac Running Slower Than It Did When You First Bought It?

If that is the case, chances are that you have clogged up your Desktop with dozens of files. Placing all your "must have” files on the Desktop isn’t the best way to use your Mac, but if you insist on doing it that way, you’ll see some improvement in speed by collecting those files into categories and creating folders for each category. The fewer files and folders you have in the Desktop, the faster your Mac will run.

Sometimes simply restarting the Mac will improve speed performance.

Another option is to perform a PRAM reset (NVRAM on SSD’s) and a SMC reset  Check the links here for additional information and instructions on how to perform the task.

Try this: log out of your normal account and log in with a different account. If that other account seems to be running fine, then you need to perform some system maintenance on your account.

More memory does not necessarily speed up a computer unless you have the minimum or less than what the OS version requires. Even then, more memory is really only for the gamer or video editor. I always recommend the maximum memory for any computer just to be totally certain that low memory is not going to be a problem. If you’re running several applications at the same time (when it is loaded into memory, there’s a dot under the icon in the Dock) and you are low on memory, the system has to temporarily swap them out to the hard drive to make room for the one application that you are actually using. This swapping back and forth slows things down considerably, and more memory can improve on that.

Replacing a hard drive with an SSD will speed things up, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of why your computer is slow.

If you have installed additional fonts on your computer, that will definitely slow down starting up the computer and starting up applications that use fonts, especially word processors. Use Font Book to remove fonts that you really know you’re not about to use, but be aware that you cannot remove any system fonts.

Declutter your disk by emptying your Trash often, including the Trash in Mail - they are not the same Trash.

Perform routine system maintenance. Junk accumulates on any computer. You might have deleted an application by just dragging it to the Trash - and that does not delete all the files associated with the application. Cache files and log files build up over time. Really old email messages and messages with attachments simply use up space, although they can slow down a search somewhat if you have thousands of old emails hanging around. A free utility called ONYX can do the job, but takes some manual intervention. There’s a different version for each version of mac OS X starting with 10.2. CleanMyMac 3 does all the same things with a single click and has some additional utilities that are well worth the price.

Do you shut off your Mac every night? That might not give Spotlight the time it needs to build a snapshot of the files on your Mac. If Spotlight doesn’t have a current build, it takes longer to find things on the Mac. It might take a couple of days for Spotlight to build a complete snapshot on a large file system, so be sure to give Spotlight plenty of time to do its job - and often!

Malware on a Mac can slow things down because some Malware constantly runs in the background snooping on what you are doing and reporting back to its owner. Malwarebytes (not free) or Sophos Home or Avast can ensure that malware doesn’t stay on your computer. Do NOT use more than one anti-virus application on your computer (such as Sophos Home and Avast). Malwarebytes isn’t an anti-virus app, so it can run alongside an anti-virus app. However, do NOT let Malwarebytes run in the background as this will slow down your computer. Only run Malwarebytes manually when you feel like letting it check out your computer’s status.

For additional tips, see MacAttorney’s “Macintosh OS X Slowdown Solutions.”

John R. Carter Sr.

iPad Tips

Here are two tips for your consideration. First, I've watched two episodes of an interesting documentary on PBS: "Islands in the Sky". This covers the infrastructure necessary to support safe airline flights. Very informative and interesting. During the program they state that at any one time there may be as much as a million people in the sky at one time! 

The second tip is you can watch the documentary on your iPad. Just download the PBS app from the Apple Store and open it. Not only is this documentary available, but many other TV shows as well, such as Nova, et al. And even though the iPad screen is small, viewing a program such as this works quite well. This PBS app may be available for an Android tablet as well, but I'm not sure.

Give this a try -- you'll be amazed at how many interesting programs are available on PBS.

Jim Hamm  

14 Mac Tips

      " Here's an article with some helpful tips (they refer to them as 'hacks') for your Mac," Jim Hamm introduces his latest email to us.   "You may already be knowledgeable of these tips, but a new one (to me) I just tried was the terminal command 'purge' to free up memory. I'm not sure what it exactly did, but the command definitely freed up memory on my MacBook Air and my apps and music kept right on running. 

        "My 'Air' only has 4GB of memory, and free memory tends to disappear after using my Air for awhile, so this tip is helpful and quick to use. The article refers to a video wherein the author mentions a free App from the App Store titled 'FreeMemory,' which purportedly does the same thing. The app gets good ratings in the App Store."  
        (And if you come to PMUG on Saturday you can chat with Jim. He's the speaker this month.) 

Ten Google Tips to Try

        Today's email tip from Here's The Thing shows 10 quick searches you can make on Google. It simplifies package tracking, converting currency, getting movie showtimes, looking up a definition, tracking a flight, converting units of measurement,  getting a weather report, doing math, check time zones, confirm a quake.  Ben Patterson’s daily email of tips covers iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Facebook, Gmail, Windows, and Mac. See here. 

An Assortment of Top Tips

        Here's a bunch of tips that you'll want to try!  Jim Hamm writes, "For your possible interesthere's the top tips in 2012 for OS X per the osXdaily newsletter." 
        Here's a few titles: Tips for maintenance,  Command line tricks  tips to free up disk space, How to speed up an older Mac,  Protect Mac from viruses, trojans and malware,  11 must-have free apps,  Keyboard shortcuts for iTuness,  How to navigate the Mac OS X Dock, and 43 gorgeous secret wallpapers in Mountain Lion.