Category Archives: Mac Tips

Easy Ways to Improve Mac Performance: Part II – Making Space (and Keeping It!)

startup-disk-full-warningIn our last blog, we went over some ways to identify how much space is left on your storage drive. If you are experiencing degraded performance on your Mac, this is the first place to begin troubleshooting. So now, let’s go one step further.

OK, you know how much space you have – now what?

Usually when you see advice about freeing up space or improving performance, you’ll get the recommendation to clear your cache or check your CPU usage and see what’s taking up all your flash memory. This will help, but only until you open your browser or run the app that uses the flash. It pays in the long run to take some time and really clear out your storage and organize your files in such a way that it stays clear.

So, from your adventures in determining drive space, you can now make some educated decisions about where to start looking for old files and some you can store off your device. Let’s explore some obvious but often overlooked places.

Obviously, take out the trash.

25 GB in trash light backgroundThis is a good place to start.  Unless you have set it up to empty on a schedule, everything you’ve put in the trash is still in there! If you want to see how much space it’s taking up, open it and then “Command” + “I”.  A large file will take a while to calculate (mine was – ahem – 25.55 GB – embarrassing). If you’re not sure you want to get rid of everything in there, go through and manually delete files (right click or “Control” + click then “delete immediately”).

Let’s go a little deeper, into less obvious places.

itunes logoNext, iTunes. Do you have old backups on your Mac? Open iTunes, then go to the “Preferences” menu and choose “Devices”. You might be surprised to see devices on there that you have replaced, erased and sold! Whatever is in there, if you select it and hover over it you’ll get some more detailed information (model, serial number, phone number, all kinds of stuff!). From this window, you can delete these old backups. Be sure to check “Movies” and “TV Shows” in iTunes, too. You might be surprised! If you purchased it on another device, you may see the cloud with arrow symbol next to a movie, which means it’s available to you but not on your device taking space.

reo essential*WARNING* don’t delete old music while you’re in cleaning mode. You never know when you’re going to need to hear some REO Speedwagon (there is a very specific mood for that and you won’t want to wait for it to download again).

Keep it up! You’re a space making machine!

Now, check your “Downloads” folder. This may be in your dock already, or you may need to open a Finder window to get to it. Much like the trash, there can be a lot hidden in here. There may be apps you downloaded to try and then deleted from your desktop, or documents you had to print .. who knows! This is a good reason to go through this folder (remember the preview trick of selecting files and pressing the spacebar to see a preview without opening) and organize a little better too.

You should see a noticeable difference in your space if you have been deleting files and backups. Sure, you’ve had the time of your life doing this! If you’d like it to stay spacious and performance saving, try these tips for keeping it that way.

Prepare for the future, keep it optimized.

storage recommendations system infoIf you use iCloud (and you really should use some type of cloud storage), consider using the options to optimize storage on your Mac. You can find these in the menu under “About This Mac” then “Storage” then “Manage”. Choosing “optimize storage” will store less accessed data in the cloud to free up space on your drive.

If you routinely back your iPad and iPhone up to your computer, you should choose the optimize option on those devices. Reducing the amount stored on your other devices will reduce the amount of space their backup uses. This will take some time to notice, since the backup size won’t reduce until the next time you back up.

Shrug.jpgSometimes, full really means full.

 

  • On many models, we can still install larger storage drives and if we replace a SATA drive with a solid state drive, you are going to feel like you got a brand new machine for nothing!
  • We can also back up all your data to an external drive and then you can delete big storage items from your device and access them via the external drive.
  • Sometimes it makes more sense to upgrade to a later model and we can help with that, too.

We see issues like this everyday and we know how to help. Hopefully, you found this blog helpful and if you still need some assistance, then contact us.  If you know someone this could help, please share!

We’re TechRestore, and we’re here to help!

Easy Ways to Improve Mac Performance: Part I – Finding Space

Noticing poor or slower response on your Mac?

myfacewhilewaitingforittoloadIf so, the first thing you’ll want to check is free space on the storage drive. Since everything is stored on it, space can run out quickly! In a perfect world, you would never go above 85% usage on your drive. Cloud storage and external drives are very helpful, but still don’t solve the issue completely. In part one of our two part blog on this topic, we offer some tips about how to identify how much space you have. 

If you’re running High Sierra or later, your Mac uses APFS (Apple File System) to store files more efficiently than ever before. If your Mac has a solid state drive (SSD), your smaller drive space goes a lot further, too. But even if you’re still on the old school SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) HDD (hard disk drive), you can improve performance and extend the life of your drive for *free*.

 

First, how much space do you have?

preview card for HDThe age old question. Let’s start by opening a Finder window. If your storage drive doesn’t already show in the left pane of the Finder window, you can grab the icon from the desktop and drag it there, it will automatically make the shortcut for you (it will still stay on your desktop, too). You can also go to the “Preferences” tab of the Finder menu and under “Sidebar” choose “Hard Disks” from the “Show these items in the sidebar” menu.

Now, if you select the drive from the sidebar and press “Command” + “I” a pop-up information card will show. Here you can see the file format type, size of the drive, when it was created .. you can even add comments to it if you like. If you want to know all the time how much space is on your drive, close that pop-up card and go back to the Finder window. Go to the “View” menu then select “show status bar”; this puts a line of information at the bottom of the Finder window showing various counts and the available space (if you use iCloud, some windows will show how much space is available in iCloud).finder-window-with-space-avail-showing-4115863596-1560295037911.png

As you’re knee deep in Finder windows now, do you see any that you don’t recognize? Is there a file with a name you don’t recognize? Is it a recipe or a Christmas list? Well, to quickly find out without opening another application (and potentially going down the proverbial rabbit hole), click on it ONCE to highlight it and then press the spacebar. This opens a preview window that should show enough to satisfy your curiosity without taking you too far off track. The window will also have a button in the upper right showing which application would open the file. You can close the window by clicking the “x” in upper left or just pressing the “Space” bar again. Pretty cool! (While you’re there though, you can select the file again – slowly – and change the name if you like.)

about this mac disk info viewDo you need color graphic representation and detailed graphs showing what kind of data is stored on your Mac? We got you! If you’re running Yosemite or later OS, click the Apple icon in upper left of your screen, select “About this Mac” then “Storage”. There is a LOT of information (hence the name) in this menu. You can check some other performance indicators here like flash memory and OS version. There are external links as well to see full specifications, check you Apple Care warranty status and several others. 

OS-X-El-Capitan-Disk-Utility-icon-full-sizeLastly, there is “Disk Utility”. Another simple graphic with much less detail about what type of files there are. From this summary window, you can also run “First Aid” to fix any potential errors on the drive and you can partition your drive. (If you are not sure what partitioning is, then now is not the time to play with that option button.)

In our next blog, we’ll show you some ways to weed out unneeded files in order to free up space. Not the temporary fix you can get by emptying a cache or the long drawn out (never finished) project of going over every single file. As you see in the screen shot above, there are some recommendations from Apple built into your OS, too.

Just so you know you’re not the only one who fills their computer with unknown files, check out this comedian’s perspective.

Wait, I have lots of space on my drive but my Mac is still slow!

If it looks like a full drive isn’t the problem after all, have us take a look at it for free. Our techs will perform a diagnostic to find the most common causes of degraded performance, then give their recommendations to fix it. Typically you will have an answer the same day. In many cases, we can even upgrade your storage to a higher capacity (not on some later models). In any case, you already know that TechRestore is here to help!

Apple is Not Calling – iCloud ‘Hack’ Scams

iCloud iconHave you received a call from Apple Tech Support or Apple, Inc? How about an email letting you know that there has been suspicious activity on your iCloud account? Or a text message that your ID has expired or been compromised?

Let us just answer that for you: NO! You have NOT!  angry woman screaming at phone

No, we’re not watching you. We know that Apple will not call you (unless you have initiated a call from them). There is no strange activity in your iCloud or iTunes account; but there will be if you give these posers any information.

The bad news is: bad people will probably be using these same tricks on our grandkids someday. The good news is: they leave it all in your hands! The easiest way to avoid it: don’t answer, DON’T CLICK THE LINK, don’t answer the email. Enable two factor authentication; that way, if they do get your information, they still can’t get in.

If they call, we recommend just hanging up or not answering at all (again, Apple won’t be calling you unless you asked them to). Fortunately, most cell providers show the Caller ID as “Scam likely” so they’re a bit easier to spot.  These latest bold would-be thieves will even leave you a voicemail!

a-funny-kid-on-a-phoneOf course, if you’re feeling particularly feisty and have some pent up sarcasm, keeping them on the phone is a great outlet (you can waste some of their time and still be a good person, just do it with kindness; imagine the life that has brought them to this dirty work).

If they email you, move it to your spam folder and delete it. Don’t reply or open it (again, Apple will not email you unless you’ve initiated it, like a receipt or reply to an email you sent). You can also report it to the real Apple, Inc by sending an email to: reportphishing@apple.com.

If you do receive one of these calls, texts or emails, Apple has a lot of information and precautions you can take to keep your information and account safe.  kal-visuals-686507-unsplash

The scammer calls and emails are fairly easy to spot. Still, some are very official looking and sounding. The best practice, with anything that involves a log in ID and passcode is to visit the official website yourself (not clicking a link).

The bad guys get smarter, too and sometimes they’ll still get you. If you suspect identity theft, here is some useful information on spotting, stopping and reporting it.

If you haven’t received any calls or emails, but you’re getting pop-ups on your computer about viruses or other “urgent” security matters, those are FAKE too.

Want to know what’s real? The amazing service, breadth and depth of experience, low prices, lifetime repair guarantees and BIG SMILES you’ll find at TechRestore! We’re here to help.

 

TR new banner with phone number

Have You Replaced the Battery in Your iPhone?

Apple gave haters the best belated Christmas gift ever last year. “Proof” that Apple was slowing down phones to “force” users to upgrade.  *MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA*

It’s not always easy being a Mac advocate. We love our iMacs, Mac Minis, Mac Pros, MacBooks, MacBook Pros and Airs, iPods, iPads and iPhones! We love the closed, secure, dedicated ecosystem. We love the company and its values, commitments and innovations. We even love the haters (and we love watching them realize they were wrong  come around). Every Mac fan knows that Apple does things we don’t immediately understand and we’ve learned over the years to …

… wait for it. (Steve Jobs taught us well with his “one more thing“.)

What Apple did in the wake of the controversy is what Apple Faithfuls knew they would do. They made it right! They issued an explanation and an apology for not being more transparent. A short time later, they started offering reduced cost battery replacements, then partial refunds to people who paid full price. In the next big iOS update, they introduced a “Battery Health” feature that lets you see what state your battery is in. Learn more on the Apple support site about how this feature works.

We have been surprised lately by the number of people who are still experiencing slow performance but haven’t taken any action. Your iPhone is a technological marvel (and priced accordingly!) and you ought to be getting every last drop out of it. Well, let us help you!

First, let’s clarify “battery life” and “battery lifespan”.

Your iPhone battery uses lithium-ion technology, which means it can pack faster charging, longer lasting, power density into a light, thin package. It charges up to 80% or so very quickly, then moseys along the last 20% to not strain the battery too much and extend it’s lifespan.

Battery life refers to the amount of time your device runs before needing a recharge. If it seems like your battery is not lasting as long as it should, there are lots of things you can do to prolong it. Here is quick list of the ones we think are most effective:

  • Turn off “Background App Refresh”. This function allows apps to refresh even when you’re not using them. You can either disable it entirely or leave it on and allow on selected apps to refresh. You can adjust this in >Settings >General >Background App Refresh
  • In iOS 11, you can go right to “Battery” settings to make energy saving changes. If your battery is low or you know you’ll be unable to charge it for a while, you can put your phone in “Low Power Mode”. You can also see (if you dare!) what processes are using your battery in % from highest to lowest. This is helpful, because you may be able to tweak how a certain app behaves if it’s hogging the battery.
  • Keep you phone’s iOS up to date. Apple is constantly improving, getting feedback, adjusting. Keeping your iPhone up to date (if you’re a stickler, wait a few days and read about what people are saying good and bad before you update) is a great way to make sure your device is being the best it can be!

There are approximately a BILLION articles with tips for saving battery life.  Here is one we really like that includes simple and pro level tips.

Battery lifespan refers to the amount of time your battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. Lithium-ion batteries chemically degrade over time. There is no magic way to make them last forever. There are many, many factors involved in determining how long a battery will last. How is it used? Heavy cpu and gpu usage will take a higher toll on a battery than phone calls, text, email and FaceBook surfing. Where is it used?  On a hot day, if you leave your iPhone in the car .. it may never come back. Repeated exposure to extreme heat or cold will shorten the lifespan of your phone battery.

  • Check your battery health in the >Settings >Battery >Battery Health (Beta) tab on your phone (iOS 11).
  • Don’t stick it on the charger every time you’re not using it. Let the battery get lower before giving it a full charge.
  • Keep your iOS up to date (maybe wait until the first update to a whole new version).
  • Check out Apple’s own performance enhancing tips.

Don’t give up on your iPhone!  TechRestore has been dedicated to Apple devices and the people who use them for many years. We see broken, degraded, abused, vintage, unlucky devices all day, six days a week! So what may seem like a deal breaker annoyance may only require a quick and inexpensive fix. For example, battery replacement on most models is just $29.99 and comes with a one year functional warranty.

 

Take it to an expert who cares. We also have gently used, Certified Restored products on sale all the time AND, if you are ready for an upgrade, we buy used devices for MORE than Apple and our closest competitors. We are also dedicated to a no landfill policy and will responsibly recycle at no charge.

Here’s hoping these tips have helped your iPhone battery

Live long and prosper“!

*disclaimer – beware the rabbit hole of video compilations for Live long and prosper ….

 

Silencing Your Apple iOS or OS Device

There are so many sounds coming from your iPhone and Mac: mail notification, camera shutter, lock sound, plugged in sound, volume up and down quack – the list goes on.  You may not consider these particularly bothersome, but there’s a chance that sometime you may want extra quiet.  Besides the physical “mute” button on the phone and going into system preferences on your OS desk or laptop, how can you do it?

For iPhone and iPad, you can quickly and easily disable the “plugged in” chime or vibration by swiping your locked screen left to activate the camera.  Then plug in silently, press the home button to get back to your lock screen and check the upper right corner to make sure the lightning bolt charge indicator is on.

Have you ever felt like “If I hear one more quack today, I’m going to SNAP!”?  Well, on those days, you may have avoided listening to music or relaxing to YouTube videos, because when you adjust the volume – QUACK!  Fear not!  Simply press the “Shift” key at the same time as the volume up or down and enjoy the unaccompanied adjustment.  This is only a temporary mute.  If you want to mute your volume controls long term, go into System Preferences >Sound and uncheck the “play feedback sound when volume is changed” >Exit.  Now, if you press “Shift” while adjusting the volume you will hear the “quack”.

Now, of course, there are some notifications you actually want to get all the time.  Good news! There are endless ways to customize when and how you hear (or don’t hear) these sounds.  If you click this link, you’ll learn how to quiet the new mail notification on iPhone/iPad. If you have time, read the “Related Articles” at the bottom – there’s a rabbit hole of all the customizing you could ever want to do.  We’re grateful to the good folks at OSXDaily for offering up all these tutorials.

Here’s to a weekend filled with as much quiet or sound as you wish for, and to making your iPhone, iPad or Mac the quiet minion it’s meant to be!  Happy Friday!

From your friends at TechRestore.

Setup Emergency Contact (ICE) on Your iPhone

Most people know about ICE (in case of emergency) contacts in their phone.  But what if your phone is locked?  While you may never need it, having your emergency contact information available for anyone to find could come in handy.  If you have a medical condition or severe allergies, it could save your life! In the latest Apple Watch OS, you can call emergency services and text your emergency contacts just by pressing and holding the side button .

Setting up Medical ID on your iOS device is simple.  You can add as much information as you like (just remember, it’ll be visible to anyone who knows how to access it without unlocking the screen).

First, open the “Health” app (it should be on your iPhone iOS 8 and newer and you can’t delete it).   If you can’t find the icon on screen, swipe down and search for it.

Now in the bottom right corner, select “Medical ID” and then “Create Medical ID”.  Be sure to allow “Show When Locked”.

              

Now you will have the option to add all sorts of useful information, which emergency personnel may need to know, especially blood type, allergies, existing conditions, etc.

 

                                     

Scroll down to “Emergency Conctacts” and choose “add emergency contact”.  You can add as many people as you like from your contacts here, and designate their relationship to you.

Now, when your phone is locked, press the home button, and instead of entering your passcode, choose “Emergency” and on the bottom left corner, you will see “Medical ID” in red. When you choose it, it will show all your emergency contacts and allow you to call by pressing their name.  If you use the SOS feature on Apple Watch, it will text them your location after you contact emergency personnel.

                    

Here is a helpful guide to setting up the SOS feature on your Watch.   How to set up SOS on Apple Watch

And, if you’re still not convinced, here’s a story of the Medical ID/SOS in action!  College student credits Apple Watch with saving his life.

We hope you never have to use it, but being informed can make a difference.  Be sure your loved ones have this useful feature enabled, too!

Be careful out there.  From your friends at TechRestore.

How to Disable Apple Music Auto Renewal

If you’re like me and you want to try out Apple’s new music streaming service but aren’t sure if you want to keep it or don’t want to forget to opt of the automatic payments, then this tip is for you. I found this over at The Mac Observer and I found it helpful so I wanted to post it here.

Follow these steps to disable automatic payments:

 

  1. Launch the Music app on your device.
  2. Tap the Account Profile icon in the upper left corner.

account profile screen

  • Tap View Apple ID.

2015-07-01 18.25.36

  • Scroll down to Subscriptions and tap Manage2015-07-01 18.26.47
  • From there, tap the Automatic Renewal switch to turn off auto payments and then tap done.2015-07-01 18.29.14

You’ll still have access to all of Apple Music’s features during the 90 day trial period. If you decide that you like using Apple Music and want to pay for it, you can head back into your settings and turn Auto Renewal back on.

 

 

Adware Removal

os x finder security logoIf you’ve used the internet long enough, chances are you’ve encountered ad-injection software or adware. Adware presents itself in many annoying forms such as pop-up windows, ads, changing your homepage, and extra banners or toolbars when using your browser.

Adware is usually picked up when installing third-party software, it is disguised or bundled with other software that you intend to install. If you think your Mac has been infected with adware then use these steps to rid yourself of this issue.

Check Safari settings and extensions

  1. Open Safari
  2. From the menu bar select Safari > Preferences
  3. Select the General icon and make sure that the Homepage field contains the website you want.
  4. Select the Search icon and make sure that the search engine setting shows your preferred search engine. Some versions of Safari have this setting in the General pane instead.
  5. Click the Extensions icon. If you don’t want an extension or don’t recognize it, select the extension from the list and click Uninstall.

 Removing Adware

Downlite, VSearch, Conduit, Trovi, MyBrand, and Search Protect are all common adware that are found on Macs. You can use this “Go to Folder” method to find and remove each item listed in the sections below, one item at a time:

  1. Drag to select an entire line in the lists below, starting with /System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework, for example.
  2. Choose Edit > Copy.
  3. Open a Finder window, then choose View > As Columns.
  4. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
  5. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the line you copied into the text field.
  6. Press Return.
  • If the item is on your Mac, a window opens with the item you searched for already selected. Drag only that item to the Trash. If you’re asked to enter a password, enter your administrator password.
  • If the item is not on your Mac, you’ll see a message that the folder can’t be found. Continue to the next item in the list.

Repeat the steps above using the files listed below:

/System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework
/System/Library/Frameworks/VSearch.framework
/Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/Jack
/Library/InputManagers/CTLoader/
/Library/Application Support/Conduit/
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ConduitNPAPIPlugin.plugin
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/TroviNPAPIPlugin.plugin
/Applications/SearchProtect.app

After you remove the items above, restart your Mac. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove them.

If you found the above steps to be difficult, then you should try this adware removal tool called AdwareMedic that will do the leg work for you. AdwareMedic was created by Thomas Reed, a computer enthusiast and Mac fanatic. Thomas has a blog, thesafemac.com, dedicated to  malware and adware prevention and removal. His website is a valuable resource and worth checking out, as well as his comprehensive adware removal guide.

 

Apple ID

heroAn Apple ID is your user name for everything you do with Apple: Shop the iTunes Store, enable iCloud on all your devices, buy from the Apple Online Store, make a reservation at an Apple Retail Store, access the Apple Support website, and more.

It’s important to set up an Apple ID if you want take full advantage of all your Apple devices useful features. Security features like Find My iPhone which allows you to track your stolen or lost device, and cool features like  Handoff which allows you to seamlessly  pick up where you left off from on one device to another aren’t accessible without an Apple ID.

Any questions you might have in regard to Apple ID such as how to create one, how to change your ID, or set up and ID on all your devices can be answered here by reading this FAQ.

Using the iCloud Keychain

iCloud keychain iphoneiCloud Keychain is a useful utility in iOS and OS X that allows you to securely save and store your passwords, account names, and even credit cards to your Keychain across multiple devices. I find the password management utility to be one of the most helpful myself. The iCloud Keychain helps make managing and remembering multiple social media and email login credentials simple. In this quick guide I’ll show you how to setup the keychain to store your passwords, how to view your saved credentials, and how to generate a password using the Keychain.

 

How to Enable iCloud Keychain in iOS

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Keychain.
  4. Toggle iCloud Keychain to On.
  5. You will be asked to either set up an iCloud Keychain password or enter the existing one. You can also choose to verify with another device.

This is the first step you would take get started with iCloud Keychain, granted you have created an iCold account and have upgraded your devices to iOS 7.0.3 or later and OS X Mavericks or later.

How to generate a password  in iOS

  1. Launch the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Navigate to the site you’d like to create an account and generate a password for.
  3. Fill out any information that’s needed and then tap on the password field where you’d normally enter a password.
  4. A popup should appear. Tap on Suggest Password.
  5. A popup menu will now appear, tap on Use Suggested Password.

How to generate a password  in OS X

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac running OS X Mavericks or above.
  2. Navigate to the website you’d like to create a login for or change the password for.
  3. Once you’re in a password field, you will see a popup from iCloud Keychain suggesting a strong password for you.
  4. Click on Use Safari suggested password.

Coming up with and remembering multiple unique passwords for multiple accounts can be difficult. While the passwords generated by Safari aren’t the strongest, they are better than using the same password for multiple sites.

 

How to manually view passwords stored to Keychain in iOS 

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Safari.
  3. Tap on Passwords & AutoFill under the General section.
  4. Tap on either Saved Passwords.
  5. Enter your 4-digit passcode if you are prompted to do so.
  6. In this list, find the login you’d like to view the password for and tap on it.
  7. Here you can see the login credentials for that specific account.

 

How to manually view passwords stored to Keychain in OS X

  1. Open your Applications folder.
  2. From there open the Utility folder.
  3. Click on the Keychain Access app.
  4. When the Keychain Access window opens, find and click Passwords in the left sidebar.
  5. Find the account you wish to display the password for and double click it.
  6. A window displaying  the login credentials will open, though the password is still hidden. Mark the checkbox near the bottom to display password and finally enter your Keychain password to view it.

Being able to manually view your login credentials can be useful for remembering  your password or username when logging into public terminals or a device that that you’ve never used before.

 

 

Quick Tip: How to Block Favorites When Clicking on Safari Search Bar

By default, when clicking on the Safari 8 search bar, a popup window of your favorites appears in a scrollable grid. That new feature is a departure from previous behavior and could be distracting. If it is for you like it is for me, here’s how to block that feature.

 

Screenshot 2015-02-19 12.22.11

You can see what I’m talking about from the screenshot above. Some may find this a bit intrusive. If you want to disable this feature just head into the Safari preferences: Safari > Preferences > Search > “Show Favorites.”

 

20150209Safari-search2

 

Just deselect the checkbox if you don’t want that grid of favorites popping up when you click in the URL bar. Voila! Now you can browse the web with a little less visual clutter getting in your way. While you’re exploring Safari’s preferences, why not take a look at a post we published on how to get the full Safari web address back.

 

 

Apple’s First Quarter Results Conference Call

Apple will be streaming its FY 15 First Quarter Results Conference Call on January 27 at 2:00 p.m. PST.  Earnings and figures for the companies first quarter of 2015 will be announced. Investors, stockholders, and Apple fans alike should be eagerly awaiting the news.

Apple set sales records during last year’s first quarter, selling roughly 51 million iPhones worldwide. That record is likely to be broken this year with the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus having been released this past September.

global iPhone sales by quarter

Quarterly iPhone sales from 2007-2014

 

The event can be viewed here starting at 2:00 p.m. PST, and will be available for reply approximately two weeks thereafter. Streaming the broadcast requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or above, a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or above or a PC running QuickTime 7 or later.

 

 

Essential Hotkeys For Mac To Make Your Life Easier

Mac-logoHotkeys exist to make your life easier, but often go unused  or forgotten by many users. Hotkeys make things like managing files,applications, and other system task a mere tap of the fingers. I’ve compiled a list of the many useful hotkeys I use on a daily basis when working on my Mac.

These following hotkeys are useful for managing windows and open applications. They can help to reduce onscreen clutter or quickly move between programs.

Command-W — Close the current window

Command-Q — Quit the current program

Command-M — Minimize the current window to the Dock

Command-H — Hide the current program but keep it running

Command-Tab — Cycle through open programs

Command- Tilde — Cycle between open windows for current program

 

This set of commands is useful when working with the Finder application or otherwise managing files.

Command-I — Get information on a file or folder such as timestamps, file size, or file type

Command-N — Create a new Finder window (can also be used with programs like Safari)

Shift-Command-N — Create a new folder in the current window

Command-delete — Move any selection to the trash (hold Shift with this hotkey to empty the trash)

 Command-P — Print the current document, or any selection of documents in the Finder (works with most applications as well)

Command-O — Open any document, or any selection of documents in the Finder

 

Save your self the trouble of having to drag and drop multiple files from place to place.

Command-C — Copy the current selection to the clipboard

Command-V — Paste that selection, copying it to the specified location. Include “Option” here to move the item instead of copying

Command-Space — Open a new Spotlight window

Command-F — Open a Finder Search starting at the current location (useful for quickly finding specific info in a word document or on a webpage)

These final hotkeys are especially useful when troubleshooting or trying to solve a problem with your mac.

Option-Command-Esc — Show the force-quit window to close frozen applications

Control-Eject — Shut down

Command-R— hold while starting your computer to boot to the recovery partition and access options for repairing your Mac like Disk Utility or reinstall OS X

Again, these are just hotkeys that I find exceptionally useful and help to make my work easier. Are there any  other useful ones that you use that you didn’t see on our list? Let us know down in the comments below.

How to Improve Performance of iOS 8 On Older Devices

When I installed iOS 8 on my older iPad 2, I noticed something. It got a bit slower. Launching or switching between apps just didn’t seem as fast and animations didn’t seem as smooth. Although I can’t expect my older iPad to keep up with a newer model, there are a few small tweaks that I can make. So here’s what I did.

ipad settings icon

change a few settings to improve performance

Reduce Motion

Turning on the reduce motion feature in iOS removes some animations and the parallax effect, which frees up resources and can add a small boost to performance. To turn on this feature go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tap to turn Reduce Motion on.

Reduce Transparency

The next thing  you could do is reduce the transparency. Reducing the transparency will replace the frosted glass look of some areas and replace it with a solid gray. To change this go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency > On.

Check Storage

It is possible to see reduced performance if the  storage of your iPad is becoming full. If you notice your iPad’s performance suffering, check the amount of storage you have left. To do this go to Settings > General > Usage > Look at the Available Storage section. If you see that your storage is close to capacity, try deleting a few unused apps.

These tips should help to increase performance if your experiencing trouble after updating.

New WireLurker Malware Attacks iOS and OS X

Security research firm Palo Alto Networks published a research article Wednesday about a new malware that affects iOS and OS X devices.

malware depicted infecting computer

Wirelurker attacks iOS devices and Macs

From Palo Alto Networks:

WireLurker was used to trojanize 467 OS X applications on the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China. In the past six months, these 467 infected applications were downloaded over 356,104 times and may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.

WireLurker works by monitoring any iOS device connected via USB with an infected OS X computer. Once it detects such a device it installs third-party applications or other malicious applications onto the device. Once the malware has affected the device it can steal sensitive information, self replicate, request and receive updates from the creator, and hide itself within the system. This malware’s characteristics make for one  really nasty virus.

But there are steps that you can take to prevent or minimize your chance of infection.

  • Only download apps from trusted sources (e.g. Mac App store)
  • Use an antivirus software and keep signatures up to date
  • Do not pair your iOS device with any untrusted computer
  • Keep your iOS and OS X version up-to-date
  • In your OS X System Preferences under Security and Privacy make sure you have the option “Allow apps downloaded from: Mac App store and identified developers” checked
  • Avoid charging your device your device through unknown or untrusted sources

This shouldn’t be of much concern to most users, so far users have mostly been targeted in China. But precautions should still be taken to be safe.

Devices Compatible With Continuity For iOS and OS X

Continuity is a new feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that allows users to easily move between  their iOS device and Apple computer. With this feature you can receive and answer phone calls and SMS messages directly from your computer, as well as start typing an email on your iPad using the mail app and instantly continue from your computer. Awesome, right?

However, not all devices are compatible with this feature. You’ll need a device with iOS 8 and a computer with OS X Yosemite installed on it. Users with older hardware  will be out of luck, as this feature can only be used on more recent hardware.

handoff mac

Picture curtosey of Apple.com

Continuity is compatible with these Mac Models:

  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

And these iOS devices:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPhone 4s (sharing iPhone calls only)
  • iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Create a Bootable OS X Disk

So maybe you want to install Yosemite on multiple machines or maybe you’d like to have a physical copy to perform a clean install on your Mac. Then you my friend, need to create a bootable install disk. It’s simple, we’ll walk you through the process.

What you’ll need:

  • A copy of DiskMaker X (it’s free)
  • A 8GB or larger flash drive
  • A downloaded copy of Yosemite (App Store)

The DiskMaker X process couldn’t be simpler. Once you have installed and started DiskMaker X, the application will guide you through the process and locate the correct file for you.

First choose the flavor of OS you wish to install and confirm your selection at the next prompt.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.04.26

Next, connect the disk you want to use and choose it from the dialog box.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.05.35

Verify that you’ve chosen the correct disk because it will be formatted and erased at this point. Enter your administrator credentials when prompted to continue.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.06.22

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.09.57

And thats it! Just wait for the application to finish, it may take a while. It took me about 30 minutes.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.33.09

 Screenshot 2014-10-28 16.34.59

You now have a bootable OS X disk. To use the drive, just reboot your Mac with the drive connected while holding the option key, select the install disk, and follow the prompts.

Yosemite Wifi Fix

 

More and more users are adopting OS X Yosemite. But many of those users are experiencing wifi issues. The issues range from network connectivity issues to slow internet speeds.

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While there is no official fix or update from Apple yet, you can try these tips if you’ve experienced any issues.

Get the Safari full web address back in Yosemite

If you’ve upgraded your Mac to OS 10.10 Yosemite and you noticed that Safari now just gives you a general, top level web address (IE eBay.com vs. eBay.com/xxx/xxxx/xxxx), there’s a quick solution to get the real addresses showing again.

Just go to Safari > Preferences > Smart Search Field
Check the box “Show full website address”

Fix Safari short URL problem

That’s it! Now you can go back to being the productive human that you’re used to being.