iOS

16 things you should know how to do with Siri

Siri is, of course, a marvel of modern technology. But it’s also one of those things that a lot of us don’t use as much as we could or should. So a couple of Macworld editors, particularly Senior Editor Dan Frakes, put together the following list of 16 things we think everybody should know how to do using Siri.

1. Search for stuff on the Web Siri can perform Web searches (using Google, Bing, or Yahoo), get answers to more specialized questions using Wolfram Alpha (“What’s the square root of pi?”), find reviews of businesses (using Yelp), search Wikipedia, and so on. Just phrase your question in natural language, and then tap a search result to go to the source site (or app) for more information.

2. Control system settings: Siri’s become a bit smarter across the board in iOS 7. One of its major improvements is in its ability to control your device's settings. You can ask Siri to turn Bluetooth on or off, open a specific Settings pane, and even turn on Airplane Mode (though Apple’s voice assistant gets a little snarky if you ask for that last one). If you need to change a setting Siri doesn’t directly support, and you can’t quite remember how to get to that settings screen, you can also open many top-level settings groups, and some second-level screens, in the Settings app—for example, “Open Notification Center settings.” This feature doesn’t work for every section of the Settings app—especially those related to security—but it’s worth trying when you need to quickly tweak the way your device works.

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iOS

Build a custom lock screen to save your iPhone, your iPad, or even your life

If someone finds your lost iPhone or iPad, the first thing they’ll do is turn it on. If you’re in an accident, or you have a medical emergency, first responders often look for your phone or tablet to identify you and learn important information such as allergies and blood type. In this video tip, we show you how to easily create a custom lock-screen image that can save your device—or you.

Transcript

I’m Macworld senior editor Dan Frakes.

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10

Bring a smile to your Macs and iOS devices by enabling emoji

You could just write all your emails, Twitter posts, and Facebook missives in plain old text, but where's the fun in that? Monkeys, planes, and cups of coffee are where it's at these days, and they’re all just a click away, thanks to emoji. If you’re a Mac or iOS user, setting up these icons (which originally hail from Japan) is dead simple.

Transcript

Hi, this is senior editor Dan Moren. While the old colon-dash-close-parentheses smiley face may be universal, emoticons are so 20th century. You’ve probably run across emoji, the small icons that now pop up on the Web, in emails, and of course, on Twitter. Maybe you’ve even wondered how you can populate your own social networking posts with an adorable Home Alone kitten face.

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How to create networked backups with OS X Server

In this short video I show you how to create a backup server capable of handling all the Macs on your local network. Cost? Just 20 bucks.

Transcript

We’ve pretty well established that everyone should back up their data, right? Good. Now let’s talk about easily backing up the data not only on your main computer, but those computers connected to your local network. There are a variety of remedies for doing this, but I want to show you one that uses Apple’s Time Machine technology and costs just $20.

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