How to easily batch-convert images to black and white

Today I’d like to show you how to quickly turn a bunch of color images into black and white. And not just once, but any time you like simply by dragging your images into a folder. Here’s how it works.

We’ll start by first creating two folders on the desktop. We’ll call the first Convert to B&W and the second, Converted.

Launch Automator and in the template chooser, select Folder Action and click Choose.

Read more »


How to copy items between your Mac and iPad using AirDrop

With Yosemite, Apple has tried to make it easier for you to move files between devices. This is something we’ve been able to do with File Sharing between Macs and PCs, but now we have the option to move files between Macs and iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 8. The means for doing this is AirDrop and this is how it works.

On your iOS device running iOS 8 or later, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You’ll see an AirDrop entry. Tap on it and you have three options—Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. Off means, of course, that this device will be invisible to others using AirDrop. If someone who’ve you added as a contact on your iOS device would like to transfer a file, they can when you select Contacts Only. And the Everyone option lets anyone use it. We’ll choose Everyone. Now let’s move to the Mac.

On your Mac, open a Finder window and select AirDrop. Anyone around you using the same Wi-Fi network that has AirDrop enabled for Everyone (or if you’re in their contacts) will appear. To copy a file from the Mac to the device, just drag the file on top of their icon. The recipient will be asked if they want to accept or decline the transfer. When they accept, the file is copied to their device.

Read more »


How to command your Mac with your voice

As a power user I’m keen on Apple’s Automator—a tool that allows you to do as the name suggests and automate certain processes on your Mac. With Yosemite, Automator introduces a cool new feature—the ability to command your Mac with your voice. Let’s see how that works.

To begin, go to System Preferences and choose Dictation & Speech. Turn on Dictation and enable Use Enhanced Dictation. This will cause an approximately 800MB file to download to your Mac.

Now go to the Accessibility preference. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and select Dictation. Click on Dictation Commands and in the sheet that appears check Enable Advanced Commands. Click Done.

Read more »



Capture the action on your iOS device with Yosemite

Today’s tip is short but sweet— how to capture the video and audio of an iOS 8 device that’s attached to your Mac that’s running Yosemite. This isn’t the kind of thing that everyone will want to do, but it’s great for app demos and presentations where you want to incorporate iOS capture. And the quality is better than anything I’ve achieved with methods that leverage AirPlay.

To begin, connect your device to your Mac via the syncing cable—note that your iOS device must use a Lightning connector as a device with a 30-pin connector doesn’t work. I’m using an iPad Air.

Next, launch QuickTime Player and from the File menu choose New Movie Recording.

Read more »



How to edit photos with iOS 8's Photos app

Here at Macworld we’ve talked a lot about iOS 8 and its new features. One of them that I wanted to focus on today is the Photos app and the editing capabilities you find there.

Unlike in the past where Photos was basically just a shoebox for holding your images, you can now perform some cool image manipulation there. Let’s take a look.

We’ll start by launching Photos. Here’s my image. We start by tapping on Edit. The top tool is the magic wand. Using it Photos will make its best guess at how it can improve your image. If you don’t want to use it, just tap it to turn it off.

Read more »