7 Easy and Useful Safari Keyboard Shortcuts

Work in Safari a lot and want to be even more productive? Here are 7 easy and useful Safari keyboard shortcuts that can help.

Open a new window with private browsing enabled: Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + N

Now we all know Command + N will give you a new window and that’s nothing new. Something you probably didn’t know is that Command + Shift + N gives you a new window with private browsing enabled.

Private browsing is not really private or hack-proof, especially when you use a browser managed by an organization or if you like clicking on questionable links, but it does save you the trouble of having to delete your browsing and search history, and let’s be honest we all have browsing histories that we don’t want remembered.

Create a new tab: Command (⌘) + T

While Command + N and Command + Shift + N will give you new windows, Command + T will give you a new tab.

Switch between tabs: Control (⌃) + Tab (⇥) & Command (⌘) + number keys

We all like working in tabs but it could be a pain when there are too many of them open. These two shortcuts help you navigate this very situation.

If you want to switch to a tab and you could easily tell which one it is, say the 5th tab, pressing Command and the corresponding number key, 5 in our case, will get you to that tab instantly.

If you want to switch between all your tabs one by one, pressing Control + Tab will do just that trick.

Close a tab or window: Command (⌘) + W & Command (⌘) + Q

Want to quickly close a tab? Pressing Command + W will close the current tab you are on. Want to quit the app and close all open tabs? The good old Command + Q will get you there.

Yes, these two combos have the side effect of making you look suspicious.

Jump to the URL/search bar: Command (⌘) + L

This last shortcut we have gets you to the URL/search bar instantly.

Remember it’s all about muscle memory when it comes to thees Safari keyboard shortcuts or any kind of keyboard shortcuts. Once you’ve trained yourself into using these, you won’t want to go back.

Got a shortcut you want to share with us? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment.

iOS 13 – 3 Things We Like

It’s that time of the year again! One more fall, one more iOS release. With iOS 13 coming out sometime this September, here are 3 things we like based on what we are seeing in the latest public beta release, which is public beta 6 (developer beta 7), build number 17A5565b.

Dark Mode

Well it works. Beg for it long enough, Apple’ll give it to you. Your iPhone will finally have dark mode with the release of iOS 13.

What is so good about dark mode?

For one thing, it looks really cool and it does help you focus. We first saw Apple doing dark mode in macOS Mojave in 2018. I don’t use dark mode on my Mac all the time, but I do find myself toggling it on when I know I need to focus and type away on the keyboard for a while.

The other things is, it just feels good to finally get dark mode on the iPhone. Apple sure has made us wait long enough. Even though we know that’s the way they do things, it still feels pretty darn good.

To activate dark mode, go to Settings, and then Display & Brightness and choose Dark under Appearance. Notice Apple gives you the option to automatically switch between dark and light modes based on the sunset and sunrise time.

Alternatively you could also turn dark mode on using Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom of your device, and 3D Touch or long press on the screen brightness control, you’ll see the option to turn dark mode on or off.

Apple has even made a Control Center control specifically for dark mode. Go to Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls and you’ll see it right there. Add it to Control Center and you’ll be able to turn dark mode on or off with just one swipe and one tap.

Updated CarPlay

CarPlay gets a new interface with iOS 13.

The home button is replaced with a new button to switch between the rows of apps view and what Apple calls the CarPlay Dashboard view.

 New CarPlay Home Button in iOS 13
CarPlay Dashboard

The CarPlay Dashboard view is a doozy. You can glance at multiple things on the same screen – your map on the left filling up the largest tile, your Music controls, calendar items and Siri on the right. 

Speaking of Siri, she now no longer takes up the whole screen. You can keep an eye on things like directions whilst dealing out commands to her – easy commands though, she’s not Alexa or Google Assistant, so go easy on her.

Oh in case you didn’t notice, your album artwork now shows up on the screen as well. 

CarPlay in iOS 13 also gets a new Settings app to change between dark and light display mode, as well as Do Not Disturb and a few other settings. 

One last thing worth noting in the updated CarPlay is, say you have Maps on your dashboard and you pick up your phone (not that we recommend this while you are driving) and quit Maps on your phone, that won’t quit Maps in CarPlay. How awesome is that!

Limited Warranty

Ever wondered how far in you are with your limited warranty for your device? While you could always go to checkcoverage.apple.com, type in your serial number and see your warranty information, now you could also see it right in your Settings app on your device.

Go to Settings, General, About and now you’ll see a row called Limited Warranty where you could see when yours is about to expire.

This is such a small thing, but Apple sure knows how to make these incremental changes to keep their users happy.

iOS 13 comes packed with loads of new features and these 3 are some of our favorites.

Want to find out if your device could run iOS 13 come its release date? Here is a list of compatible devices:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

Can’t wait for the public release? Check out this page to join the Apple Beta program and test out iOS 13 today. The public beta is at beta 6 right now so it’s pretty safe even for your daily driver. Although the lawyer in me is telling me to also mention you should try it at your own risk.

Got a iOS 13 feature you want to share with us? Or have a question regarding iOS 13? Leave comment and let us know! 

4 Settings to Change on Your Mac

Whether you just got a new Mac or have been using one for a while, you’ll want to change these 4 settings.

1. Show your hard disk on your desktop

Steve Jobs had a line that’s deeply embedded in Apple’s attitude towards the file management system on their devices. The famous line goes like this: “there is an app for that”. Apple does not want you to worry about your file management system. They want all your files managed by apps, preferably apps they developed. 

By default, your Mac does not have its hard disk icon show up on the desktop. On your iPhone and iPad, you do have the Files app but do you even remember the last time you opened it? You might think the iPad must be a good place for a full blown file management system. Well no. Not according to Apple. The iPad was first released in 2010, but it’s not until later this year in 2019 with the release of iPadOS that the iPad will finally be able to properly read a USB drive.

Bottom line is, people do want to interact with their file management system on a device like the Mac, and having the hard disk icon show up on the desktop is a good start. Luckily Apple does give their users this choice.

To see your hard disk on your desktop, go to Find Preferences and select “Hard disks”  under “Show these items on the desktop”.

Want to also see how much free space you have on your hard disk? Tap or click on your desktop with two fingers and select “Show View Options”, and then make sure the “Show Item Info” option is selected.

2. Tap to click on your trackpad

When you set up your new Mac for the first time, you need to click on the trackpad for an action to register. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tap on the trackpad to achieve the same goal? Well you can.

Go to System Preferences, and then Trackpad, under the Point & Click tab, make sure “Tap to click” is selected.

3. Three finger drag

Dragging a windows around on your screen with three fingers is just the natural thing to do, so natural it makes you wonder why Apple did not enable it by default. Not only did Apple not enable the option by default, they buried it deep in Accessibility settings.

To enable dragging with three fingers, go to System Preferences, then Accessibility. Scroll down to Pointer Control. Under Mouse & Trackpad, tap on “Trackpad Options” and make sure the “Enable dragging” option is checked with “three finger drag” selected.

4. Double click/tap on title bar to minimize a window

Now this one is a personal favorite of ours so it’s a goodie.

Just in case you were wondering what the title bar is –

By default when you double click or tap on a window’s title bar, the windows zooms in or out, but it just so happens when we double tap the title bar, we want the window to go away (minimize). Fortunately, this is also an option Apple allows.

Go to System Preferences, and then Dock. Make sure “Double-click a window’s title bar to minimize” is selected, and while we are at it, let’s also select “Genie effect” for when we minimize windows. The “Scale effect” is no fun, trust us.

What do you think of these tips we have shared? Do you find them helpful? Got tips and tricks you want to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment. 

Spotify Stations: A Quick App Review

If you want to stream music but feel too cool to curate your own playlists, you should try the easy and simple Spotify Stations app.

Spotify Stations App Login Screen

Spotify

Music streaming is nothing new. Countless companies have had their crack at it. Few are as successful as this freemium service from Sweden that is Spotify.

With 232 million monthly active users including 108 million paying subscribers as of July 2019, Spotify has a user base way larger than its major competitors – Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and the likes.

One of the reasons of Spotify’s success is they are good at serving up music you like. Their website’s tagline says “Music for everyone” and their mobile app tagline says “Discover new music”. I’ll just say those are not false advertising.

Download the Spotify app, give it the names of a few artists of your choice as you start and then heart songs as you go, you’ll have a constant flow of pleasant surprises delivered right into your ears.

Sounds easy and painless, right? Actually, no.

Even that is too much for a lot of people, myself included.

After all, we just want to stream our music and we don’t want to begin by what feels like answering a million questions, and then have to lift our fingers to tell the app we like a song. Our phones should know our music preferences, period. How else could they take over the world and become the overlord they were always destined to be? Oh, they’ll use us for batteries too.

Spotify Stations

If you want to stream music but feel too cool to curate your own playlists, you should try Spotify Stations. The Stations page on Spotify’s website says “Music made simple” and that is exactly true.

The Stations app was launched in 2018, a decade after the world was first blessed with Spotify.

Stations did not make a big splash at its release.

However, people everywhere had the same reaction upon using the app – you did not have to wait long before the music started playing.

Download the app, log in using your Facebook or Spotify account, or create a new account and within seconds you’ll hear your music going.

You do have some of the usual playback controls like play/pause and skip. A free account has ads and allows six skips in one hour which is pretty good.

If you like, you could also thumb up or down a song and with that Stations learns your music preference. You don’t really have to interact with the app too much though. With what they know about the music preferences of hundreds of millions of people and their massive library of 35 to 40+ million tracks, chances are the tunes Spotify serves up will be to your liking.

Spotify Stations also works with CarPlay in case you were wondering. Your commute will be less intolerable. I even find myself singing along when I don’t have a passenger with me.

Spotify Stations App Interface with Playback Controls, Thumbs Up and Down

Spotify Stations in Apple CarPlay

Spotify Stations Now Playing View in Apple CarPlay

Now here’s the question, do you think the Spotify Stations app is sent back in time by the evil Skynet to ease us into letting machines control our lives and ultimately take over? Let us know in the comments.

How to Use iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain is Apple’s take on modern cloud password management.

If you take a few minutes to think about one thing you hate the most about the internet, chances are the one thing will be dealing with passwords.

Humans, unlike computers, tend to forget things, very easily. This is why we need help managing our passwords, whether it’s writing one down and sticking it to your computer screen, or saving all your passwords in an Excel spreadsheet and password-protect the spreadsheet with “password” as the password – believe it or not, this is exactly what Sony did when they got hacked by North Korea in 2014.

Another form of password management is apps like 1Password. In the case of 1Password, like the name suggests, all you need to remember is one password, your master password, to open the app where all your other passwords are saved. The app then auto-fills passwords when you log into your favorite internet services. And of course, 1Password is available across different platforms and browsers, just as you’d expect in a subscription based service. 

iCloud Keychain is Apple’s take on modern cloud password management. It is available on both Mac OS and iOS. Your passwords are saved and synchronized between your devices via iCloud. Unlike 1Password, iCloud Keychain is a free service as long as you have an Apple ID and a device running iOS 7 or later, or Mac OS X Mavericks or later.

To use iCloud Keychain, make sure you are logged into your iCloud account on your device and have iCloud Keychain turned on.

Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then tap into your Apple ID, then iCloud, scroll down and you’ll see Keychain, tap into it and toggle it on if it’s off. If your device asks for your Apple ID password, follow the onscreen instructions.

With iCloud Keychain turned on, try signing up with an online service. Notice when you create your password, your device is going to recommend one. The recommended password is a strong one, so strong that you won’t be able to remember it, but worry not, because your device is going to remember the recommended password for you, should you choose to go with it. Of course, you still get to type in your own password if you like.

Once you go through the song and dance of the signup process, head to Settings and then Passwords & Accounts, and then Website & App Passwords. You’ll be asked to authenticate, do that and search for the new service you just signed up with using your user name or the website address, and you’ll see your newly created account and password. You’ll even get to copy the password if you like, but know that whenever you try logging into the site, your device is going to remind you that you have a saved password you can use with just one tap and a quick authentication with your device password, Touch ID or Face ID.

The beauty of iCloud Keychain is it synchronizes your passwords between your devices via iCloud. Set up an account on one device, your password is going to appear on your other devices as well as long as you are signed in using the same iCloud account.

Try logging into the same website on your Mac, you’ll be prompted to use the password you just created on your iOS device.

Even though you can’t remember the recommended password and really you don’t need to, you can still see it on any of your devices when you feel like it.

On your Mac, launch the Keychain Access app and search for the new service you just signed up with, again using your user name or the website address, and you’ll see the same record on your Mac. Double click on the record, check “Show password”, type in your Mac password and voila you’ll see your new password right there.

Got a question regarding iCloud Keychain? Feel free to leave a comment.