It was great while it lasted, but I finally broke up with Gmail. Though I had relied on Google’s popular email service for years, my level of satisfaction had been dropping steadily for a while, and changes in the Mavericks version of Mail (about which I’ve ranted at some length) were the last straw. Now I’m returning to a good old-fashioned IMAP server, and I’m not looking back.
Lots of people are blissfully content with Gmail. If you’re one of them, far be it from me to change your mind. But I want to tell you what I found problematic about Gmail—and exactly what I did about it.
Apple’s new iCloud Keychain aims to solve an irritating problem: even if you've entered usernames and passwords on your Mac, you still have to reenter every single one manually on your iPhone and iPad (as well as any other Macs you use). As of OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3, however, iCloud Keychain keeps these account credentials, along with credit card numbers and other personal information (including your account settings for email, contacts, calendars, and social networking services) in sync across your Macs and iOS devices automatically.
Plus, Safari on both platforms now sports new features that integrate with iCloud Keychain, such as a built-in random password generator and an improved autofill capability. (Third-party apps may add support for iCloud Keychain in the future.)
The setup process for iCloud Keychain is suprisingly involved, and has a couple of less-than-obvious steps. However, once you’ve done this for each of your devices, iCloud Keychain syncs invisibly in the background, just like other iCloud data, and normally requires no manual intervention.
Dan writes about OS X, iOS, troubleshooting, utilities, and cool apps; and he covers hardware, mobile and AV gear, input devices, and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and been a policy analyst. More by Dan Frakes
Inside your home folder is a Library folder—commonly written in Unix syntax as ~/Library, which means “a folder named Library at the root level of your home folder.” This folder is accessible only to you, and it’s used to store your personal settings, application-support files, and, in some cases, data.
The files and folders in ~/Library are generally meant to be left alone, but if you’ve been using OS X for a while, chances are you’ve delved inside. Perhaps you wanted to tweak something using a tip from Macworld, Mac OS X Hints, or elsewhere on the Web. Or maybe a developer asked you to delete a preference file, or grab a log file, while troubleshooting a program. Whatever the case may have been, up until Lion (OS X 10.7), you simply opened your Home folder to access the Library folder.
Finding just the right page among the billions on the Web requires not only a search engine but also a bit of know-how. Here is a selection of my favorite tips for searching the Web.
1. Search for a phrase
To search for an exact, complete phrase and not just its constituent words, put it in quotation marks. For example, instead of typing at sunrise on my birthday type ”at sunrise on my birthday”. The number of hits will shrink dramatically, as you’ll see only pages that include that exact phrase.
Sometimes it can be just as challenging to find a file on your own Mac as on the Web. A few tips will put you on the right path.
1. Brush up on Spotlight basics
You can access OS X’s built-in Spotlight search capability in several ways, including via the systemwide Spotlight menu (Command-Spacebar), the Finder’s File > Find (Command-F) command, and the search fields in individual Finder windows.
Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. More by Christopher Breen
Increasingly we find video monitors in offices and stores that play looping slideshows. All too often these things must either be started by the first people to arrive at work in the morning (and stopped by the last person leaving) or, worse, are left running 24 hours a day. With Automator you can make presentations automatically switch on and off at exactly the times you specify. Here’s how.
Fine-tune your presentation
To begin, create a presentation in Apple’s Keynote that includes all the slides you desire. Within Keynote choose View > Show Inspector and click the Document tab (the first one) in the resulting Inspector window. Enable the Loop slideshow option and from the Presentation pop-up menu choose Self-playing. Configure the Transitions and Builds fields so that each slide plays for the length you want before moving to the next one. Save the presentation and quit Keynote.
You’re probably familiar with using Siri to make calls on your iPhone, as well as toopen apps on your iOS device, get information, and set up appointments. But you may be less familiar with iOS’s other dictation feature, the one that lets you talk to your iOS device while it converts your words into text.
I’ve long used dictation on my iPhone, because I have fat thumbs and find the keyboard too slow to use. As long as I’m in a not-too-noisy environment, it works quite well. I have to make corrections at times, but I can dictate long emails, short text messages, and even use dictation to enter search terms in Safari or to enter text in text fields on webpages. Better still, in my early tests, dictation in iOS 7 seems much more accurate. Here’s how you can use dictation on an iOS device and save a lot of time typing.