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At WWDC, Apple Unveils Apple Intelligence and Previews New OS Features

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote was a lightning-fast (even in the full 1:44-long video—or try the 3-minute recap) look at what Apple is bringing to the software side of the Apple experience in the next year. Although some past keynotes have introduced hardware like new Macs and the Vision Pro, this year’s keynote stuck to new operating system features before previewing a suite of AI features collected under the umbrella term “Apple Intelligence.”

Apple previewed a boatload of new features and listed even more on its website. We’ll focus on those we think will make the biggest splash in your Apple experience, but we recommend that you scroll through Apple’s pages for each operating system to see more of what’s coming. Those are linked below, along with basic hardware requirements so you can see if your devices will be eligible to upgrade (not all features will be available on all devices):

  • macOS 15 Sequoia: iMac Pro from 2017, MacBook Pro and Mac mini from 2018 and later, iMac and Mac Pro from 2019 and later, MacBook Air from 2020 and later, and Mac Studio from 2022 and later
  • iOS 18: Second-generation iPhone SE, iPhone XR, and later (same as iOS 17)
  • iPadOS 18: Seventh-generation iPad and later, fifth-generation iPad mini and later, third-generation iPad Air and later (including M2 models), first-generation 11-inch iPad Pro and later, and third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and later, and all M4 iPad Pro models
  • watchOS 11: Second-generation Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 6 and later, and Apple Watch Ultra and later
  • tvOS 18: Apple TV HD (with fewer features), Apple TV 4K
  • visionOS 2: All Vision Pro headsets

Here are a handful of new features we think Apple users will find most interesting. Then we’ll look at Apple Intelligence.

Personalize Your iPhone and iPad Home Screen

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 introduce significantly enhanced Home Screen customization options aimed at letting your creativity shine through. You can leave blank spaces between icons and arrange icons and widgets however you like. Additionally, you can change the size of icons and widgets and apply color tints.

Screenshot

Tile Windows Automatically in Sequoia

macOS has long had a subtle window alignment effect that makes it easy to line up windows, but in macOS 15 Sequoia, when you drag a window to the side of the screen, macOS suggests a tiled position on your desktop, intelligently sizing it for the window’s content. Window tiling makes it easy to put windows side-by-side and fill the screen without wasting space. Keyboard jockeys will appreciate new keyboard shortcuts for window tiling as well. (If you don’t want to wait for Sequoia, numerous utilities offer similar features now, including  Amethyst, BetterTouchTool, Magnet, Moom, Rectangle, and Yabai.)

Notes and Phone Gain Audio Recording and Transcription

If you find yourself wanting to revisit what was said in a lecture, appointment, or phone call, a pair of upcoming features can boost your recall. The Notes app on all platforms will record audio and create live transcriptions, allowing you to pay attention during a talk rather than furiously taking notes. Plus, the Phone app in iOS 18 will let you record and transcribe a live call—when you start recording, participants are automatically notified so everyone knows it’s happening.

Mirror Your iPhone on Your Mac

If you frequently pull out your iPhone while working on your Mac, you’ll appreciate Sequoia’s new iPhone mirroring feature. It lets you use your Mac’s pointing device and keyboard to interact with all your iPhone apps in a window on your Mac while the iPhone remains locked or in StandBy. Audio from the iPhone plays through your Mac, and you can share data between devices with drag and drop. A related Continuity feature displays iPhone notifications on your Mac—when mirroring your iPhone, clicking those notifications opens the associated iPhone app.

Passwords Breaks Free of Settings

At long last, Apple has given us a dedicated Passwords app in Sequoia, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and visionOS 2. The company’s password management features have become quite good over the past few years, but they are awkward to access in Settings on the iPhone and iPad and System Settings on the Mac. We don’t anticipate significant feature changes beyond the addition of categories, but the Passwords app should make managing your logins even easier. Passwords still won’t fully match up to the likes of 1Password, but you won’t go wrong with Apple’s built-in solution. Remember that if you use a Web browser other than Safari, you’ll need the iCloud Passwords extension we’ve mentioned previously. You can also share your passwords with a Windows PC using iCloud for Windows.

Five More Welcome Features

For more reasons to upgrade once these new operating systems are out and stable, consider the following additional features:

  • Customize Control Center: iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 feature a thoroughly revamped Control Center, accessible with a continuous swipe down on the Home Screen. You can create custom groups of controls—some from third-party apps—with resizing and mixing options.
  • iPad Calculator app and Math Notes: Not only does the iPad finally get a Calculator app, but it also introduces Math Notes. You handwrite an equation with an Apple Pencil, and when you write an equals sign, Calculator solves the equation. Math Notes works with keyboards, too, and you can also find it in the Notes app.
  • Lock and hide iPhone apps: New privacy features in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 let you lock apps with Face ID or Touch ID so the friend who’s scrolling through your vacation photos can’t also read your journal. You can also move apps to a hidden folder in the App Library that can’t be opened without biometric authentication.
  • More tapbacks: In Messages, when you want to use a tapback to acknowledge a message without typing out a reply, you’ll be able to use any emoji or sticker, or a new AI-powered Genmoji.
  • Vitals app collects overnight data: When you wear your Apple Watch to sleep, a new Vitals app in watchOS 11 collects and displays your overnight health metrics on your wrist, including heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, blood oxygen, and sleep duration. It might help you rest up to fight off that cold that’s going around.

Apple usually releases its new operating systems in September or October; we’ll write more about them as we get closer. Generally speaking, it’s OK to upgrade to everything but macOS shortly after release; with macOS, we recommend caution to ensure your existing apps and workflows won’t be impacted.

Apple Intelligence

Apple devoted a large chunk of the keynote to introducing Apple Intelligence, a collection of AI-powered features coming to the Apple ecosystem over the next year. These features will enable your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to understand language and create both text and images, plus take actions aimed at simplifying your interactions with apps. What sets Apple Intelligence apart from AI efforts from other companies is its focus on—and understanding of—your personal context. Apple Intelligence will know about your contacts, schedule, email, messages, photos, and much more.

The most significant use of Apple Intelligence will come with Siri, which will let us speak more naturally and understand what we mean if we make mistakes. We’ve trained ourselves to say only things Siri is likely to be able to handle, but that won’t be necessary when Siri gains Apple Intelligence capabilities. You’ll be able to search for photos of your child holding a fishing rod, for instance, or ask Siri to find something when you can’t remember if it was in Mail or Messages. Siri will also gain context awareness, so you can ask what the weather will be like at the beach tomorrow, and if the response is good enough, have it schedule a trip there. Siri will even know a lot more about your Apple devices and can help you use them. For the most part, though, Siri won’t have global knowledge. If Siri can’t answer your query directly, it will offer to send it to ChatGPT for free.

Apple Intelligence also includes writing tools, but unlike ChatGPT, it’s not aimed at creating text from scratch. Instead, it can rewrite text you’ve written to help you fine-tune the wording or adjust the tone to be more appropriate. It can also proofread text, helping you with grammar, word choice, and sentence structure (if you need this now, check out Grammarly). Even when Apple Intelligence does create text, such as the Smart Reply feature coming to Mail, it asks you questions to guide its response.

Text summarization powered by Apple Intelligence shows up repeatedly. In Notes, you’ll be able to summarize a transcription. If you save a long article to Safari’s Reader, it can provide a table of contents and summary. In Mail, instead of the first few sentences appearing in the message list, you’ll get a short summary. Apple Intelligence can even prioritize and summarize notifications.

Unsurprisingly, Apple Intelligence lets you create and edit images, but it’s a far cry from the AI artbots that let you create photo-realistic images. Instead, Apple Intelligence lets you create custom emoji, called Genmoji, which let you express yourself graphically in ways that standard emoji can’t support. Image Playground lets you create images for inclusion in conversations and documents, but it limits you to three styles: Sketch, Illustration, and Paint. Apple doesn’t want anyone making deepfakes with Apple Intelligence. A new Image Wand feature in Notes even turns your rough sketches into polished images.

Apple took great pains to emphasize the privacy aspects of Apple Intelligence. Most Apple Intelligence tasks will take place entirely on your device, hence the need for powerful Apple silicon chips with their Neural Engines and Secure Enclaves. Some tasks require more processing power; to handle those, Apple has developed a highly secure system called Private Cloud Compute. It relies on Apple silicon servers, transfers only the data necessary to the task, and stores nothing.

Apple Intelligence features will start arriving in the fall and continue to roll out in feature-release updates over the next 6–8 months. They will run only on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPads and Macs with M1 or later chips. Intel-based Macs and less-powerful iPads and iPhones need not apply. Apple Intelligence will also require Siri and the device language to be set to US English in the early releases, with other languages to follow.

Overall, Apple appears to have put a great deal of thought and effort into integrating AI into the Apple experience in focused, helpful ways that offer new capabilities while preserving user privacy. We won’t know how well these features will work until they ship, but we look forward to seeing how they can improve interactions with our Apple devices.

(Featured image by Apple)

Social Media: At yesterday’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced a treasure trove of new features in its upcoming operating system upgrades, including practical, everyday improvements and impressive AI-based capabilities.

Quickly Catalog Books or Other Named Items on Shelves

If you have trouble finding particular items across multiple shelves of books, labeled boxes, or anything else that’s clearly identified with a text name, take carefully composed photos that capture all the titles without glare. Later, you can search for any text in those photos to find them—tap the Search button in Photos on the iPhone or iPad, or use the Search field in Photos on the Mac. Photos highlights the search term on the found photo. (If Photos on the Mac doesn’t surface an expected photo, try again on your iPhone, which seems to get more hits on harder-to-read text.) This capability comes courtesy of Apple’s Live Text feature, which uses machine learning to identify text in photos. Think of it as the lazy person’s database!

(Featured image by Adam Engst)


Social Media: You can take advantage of Apple’s Live Text feature in Photos to catalog books, boxes, or any other items with text names. Think of it as a lazy person’s ad hoc database.

Find Some Ham Amidst Your Email Spam

Spam filters work pretty well—99% of the messages in your spam mailbox are probably spam. But it’s frustrating to miss an important message that was caught by an overeager spam filter. Here’s an easy way to find many good messages, also known as “ham,” amidst all the spam. Think of keywords that might appear in legitimate email to you: the name of your city, major employers in your area, nearby colleges, companies whose products you use, their products, and so on. Then search for those terms inside your spam mailbox, either one at a time or, if your email app supports it, as a single search with OR statements for each keyword, like this Gmail search (use your actual town name and so forth): in:spam townName OR employerName OR clubName OR companyName. Of course, your keywords will appear in some spam messages, but if the searches reveal ham messages you would otherwise have missed, they’re worthwhile. Be extra cautious around any message that wants you to click a link, log in, or provide private information. The fact that your spam filter caught a message is a red flag.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Igor Kutyaev)


Social Media: Rather than frequently skimming your entire spam mailbox for incorrectly captured messages, try searching for specific keywords that are likely to appear in legitimate email.

Share 2FA Setup for Team Access to a Single Account

When your team or family shares access to a single account (such as for banking or social media, which seldom offer multi-user access), using two-factor authentication via SMS is awkward—whose phone receives the 2FA codes? One solution is to use an authentication app. Authentication apps are more secure, and multiple people can add 2FA support to the same account by scanning the QR code at setup or adding the 2FA setup URL later. (In both 1Password and Apple’s iCloud Keychain, edit the login to see and copy the setup URL.) An even better solution is to use a password manager that supports both 2FA codes and password sharing. That way, one person can set up the account with 2FA and add its login to a shared vault or collection. 1Password, Bitwarden, Dashlane, iCloud Keychain, and others provide such features.

(Featured image by iStock.com/May_Chanikran)


Social Media: For better results when a team or family group needs to share 2FA codes to log in to a website, try to use an authentication app instead of SMS, or better yet, use a password manager that can both generate 2FA codes and share logins with a group.

Working Late on Your Mac? Turn on Night Shift to Help Your Sleep

Research suggests that exposure to blue light fools your body into thinking it’s daytime, making it harder to fall asleep if you work late on a Mac with a bright white (which has a lot of blue light) screen. To help, a macOS feature called Night Shift subtly changes the colors of the screen as the sun sets to reduce the amount of blue light hitting your eyes. In essence, everything gets slightly warmer. To configure your Night Shift schedule—so it turns on and off automatically—go to System Settings > Displays > Night Shift. You can set any times, but Sunset to Sunrise adjusts for the sun’s movement in your location throughout the year. One warning: if you edit photos or videos, or work on graphics where specific colors matter, Night Shift’s color changes may be problematic.

(Featured image by iStock.com/PeopleImages)


Social Media: If you regularly work at your Mac late at night and have trouble falling asleep, consider turning on Night Shift to reduce your blue light exposure. By default, it makes the colors of your Mac warmer from sunset to sunrise.

Tame the Tangle! Quick Cable Management Tips

Take a moment and look behind your Mac. Do you see a tangle of cables? The main downside of a mess of cables is that it’s a cluster of chaos that attracts dust bunnies. However, it’s possible for power cables—especially when tightly bundled or looped—to emit electromagnetic interference that can disrupt or degrade the signal carried by nearby data or network cables. They can also heat up, which is generally best avoided. Plus, the more tangled the cable nest, the more likely you’ll cause harm if you pull too hard while attempting to remove a cable from the tangle.

Also, consider cables that extend beyond your desk. Do you have power cables that run across the ground or Ethernet cables that loosely snake up into the ceiling? To protect both people and equipment, ensure that cables aren’t a tripping or catching hazard.

If your cables are a complete disaster, take some time to shut down your devices, disconnect all the cables, clean underneath, and reconnect them in an organized fashion, removing unused cables and replacing damaged or unnecessarily long cables with new ones.

To keep your cables under control going forward, follow these tips:

Select and reduce cables:

  • Buy and use cables that are only as long as they need to be.
  • When buying new cables, prefer braided cables, which catch less and last longer.
  • If you have many cables, try to trim the number with judicious use of docks or hubs.
  • Upgrade to wireless accessories, like the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, that only need to be plugged in occasionally to charge.

Pay attention to cable location:

  • Try to keep cables off the floor, but use a floor cord cover if it’s unavoidable.
  • Attach long runs of network cabling to the wall or floor to reduce the chance of accidents.
  • Run cables through raceways or inside cable trays to keep them together under desks.
  • Add adhesive cable clips to the back or underside of desks without cable management options.
  • Ensure cables don’t interfere with workstation ergonomics, especially with movable sit/stand desks.
  • Keep power adapters away from other cables for better heat management.

Group your cables:

  • Use Velcro straps or cable ties to bundle power and data cables separately.
  • Avoid bundling too many power cables too tightly to avoid heat buildup.
  • Label cables with their type and use so you can easily distinguish between them.
  • Store extra cables in clear zip lock bags or bins, one per cable type.

Maintain your cables:

  • Throw out any damaged or suspect cables right away.
  • Periodically check and reorganize your cables, removing any that aren’t in active use.

You should be able to find a wide variety of cable management accessories, such as Velcro cable ties, cable labels, cable clips, and floor cord covers, at your preferred electronics retailer.

None of these suggestions are difficult to follow, and you’d be surprised how much you will appreciate having neatly organized cables in use and available when you need them.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)


Social Media: Do you have a rat’s nest of random cables behind your Mac? Follow our quick tips to bring order to the mess, reduce the chance of accidents, and avoid degraded data signals.

Apple Introduces New iPad Air, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil Pro, and Magic Keyboard

After no new iPads throughout 2023, Apple has unveiled new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air and iPad Pro models, plus a more capable Apple Pencil Pro and a redesigned Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. The company also refined the iPad lineup by dropping the ninth-generation iPad and reducing the price of the tenth-generation iPad to $349. Only the iPad mini was left untouched. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a new iPad and iPad mini before the end of 2024.

iPad Air Adds 13-inch Model and Moves to the M2 Chip

The 11-inch iPad Air has long been Apple’s mid-range iPad, offering more power and better specs than the iPad while leaving the high end to the iPad Pro. With this refresh, Apple significantly enhanced the lineup by adding a 13-inch model of the iPad Air, a screen size previously limited to the iPad Pro. Both iPad Air models now position their front-facing camera on the longer landscape edge, so you appear to others on landscape-orientation calls as if you’re looking directly at them rather than off to the side, as happened with the previous shorter portrait edge location. They continue to use Touch ID via a top-mounted sensor.

Apple switched the iPad Air from the M1 to the M2 chip, improving performance by 50%. Storage has also increased, with the base level jumping from 64 GB to 128 GB. For those needing more space, Apple now provides storage tiers of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. Finally, Apple updated the iPad Air with the latest wireless technologies, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

Those who want a keyboard can purchase the current Magic Keyboard for $299 (11-inch) or $349 (13-inch), and the new iPad Air models are compatible with the new $129 Apple Pencil Pro and the $79 USB-C Apple Pencil.

The 11-inch iPad Air starts at $599, and the 13-inch iPad Air at $799. Adding 5G cellular connectivity increases the price by $150. Moving to 256 GB bumps the price by $100, 512 GB adds $300, and 1 TB costs $500 more. You can choose from four subtle colors—blue, purple, starlight, and space gray—and you can order now with units arriving next week.

iPad Pro Gains M4 Chip and Ultra Retina XDR Display in Thinnest Apple Product Ever

While the new iPad Air models feel like modernized versions of the previous iPad Pro models, the new iPad Pro models break new ground. They boast new Ultra Retina XDR displays that leverage OLED technology that promises brighter highlights, deeper blacks, and faster response times. They’re noticeably better and brighter than the iPad Air Liquid Retina screens, which are already pretty good. Because Apple targets the iPad Pro at professional photographers and cinematographers who need the best display accuracy, there’s even a nano-texture glass option that reduces glare.

As with the iPad Air, the front-facing camera is now located on the longer landscape edge, along with the Face ID sensor. Surprisingly, the rear-facing camera isn’t as capable as the previous models, which sported Wide and Ultra Wide cameras and supported 2x optical zoom. The new models drop the Ultra Wide camera and retain just the 12-megapixel Wide camera. However, they now feature an adaptive True Tone flash that improves document scanning by stitching together multiple photos to eliminate the shadows that plague most camera-based scans.

In part because of the Ultra Retina XDR display, the new iPad Pro models are thinner than before, so much so that the 13-inch iPad Pro is the thinnest product Apple has ever made at 5.1 mm thick. More impressive is that the 13-inch model also shed nearly a quarter of a pound in weight—103 grams. Ignore the fact that the iPad Pro is now thinner and lighter than the iPad Air, and that the iPad Air is the mid-range iPad, but the MacBook Air is the low-end MacBook. Air is just a name now.

To power the Ultra Retina XDR display and make the iPad Pro models as thin as they are, Apple leapfrogged a chip generation, moving from the M2 to the new M4, which hasn’t appeared in any Macs yet. Apple says the M4’s CPU is 50% faster than the M2 in the previous models, and its GPU is up to four times faster.

For those who want a keyboard, the new iPad Pros are compatible only with the just-released Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro ($299 for 11-inch, $349 for 13-inch). As with the iPad Air, you can use either the new $129 Apple Pencil Pro or the $79 USB-C Apple Pencil.

Pricing for the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $999, with the 13-inch iPad Pro at $1299. 5G cellular connectivity adds $200. Storage starts at 256 GB, up from 128 GB, and Apple offers tiers of 512 GB ($200 more), 1 TB ($600), and 2 TB ($1000). The nano-texture glass also adds $100 and is available only for models with 1 TB or 2 TB of storage. The only available colors are black and silver.

Apple Releases Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

For artists, students, and others who like precise stylus input, the new Apple Pencil Pro offers a variety of new sensors and capabilities. A sensor in the barrel detects a squeeze that brings up a tool palette, and a gyroscope notices when you roll the barrel to change the orientation of shaped pen and brush tools. A new haptic engine provides confirmation of actions like squeezing, double tapping, and snapping to a Smart Shape. When used with the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil Pro pairs, charges, and is stored on the side using a magnetic interface. If you lose it, you can now locate it with Find My.

While the new iPad Air models work with the existing Magic Keyboard, the new iPad Pro models are compatible only with the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. It retains the design that floats the iPad Pro above the keyboard but adds a function row of keys for features like screen brightness and volume. The palm rest is made of aluminum, and it has a larger trackpad with haptic feedback, so it feels more like using a MacBook. It attaches magnetically and uses the Smart Connector to connect power and data without Bluetooth—there’s also a USB-C connector in the hinge for charging.

Buying Advice

All these products are available for order now and will ship next week. Who should buy what? Apple’s comparison page can be helpful, but here’s our advice:

  • iPad: With the price drop to $349, the tenth-generation iPad becomes a remarkable deal, and it’s an ideal iPad for watching videos, browsing the Web, reading email, and other basic tasks.
  • iPad mini: If smaller is better for you, the iPad mini remains in the lineup, starting at $499. It performs slightly better than the iPad, but its size is the main reason to buy it.
  • iPad Air: The iPad Air is the workhorse of the iPad line, with sufficient performance to do nearly anything you want. The addition of the 13-inch model is particularly welcome because it’s $500 cheaper than the equivalently sized iPad Pro. Buy the iPad Air if you want to do more than the basics with your iPad.
  • iPad Pro: The technology in the iPad Pro is impressive, but so is the cost. As with the Mac lineup, the Pro models are mainly targeted at creative professionals who need the ultimate power and are willing to pay for it.

A related question surrounds upgrades. Generally speaking, upgrading to a new iPad may not be worthwhile if you have the previous model. However, once you’re two generations back, the performance increases tend to be significant. The caveat to that advice is that if an iPad isn’t doing what you want, it’s time to upgrade. For instance, if you have an M1 iPad Air that runs your drawing app slower than you’d like, it’s worth considering either an M2 iPad Air or an M4 iPad Pro, depending on how important performance is to you.

Regardless, contact us if you have any questions about what iPad makes the most sense for you.

(Featured image by Apple)


Social Media: Apple has released new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air and iPad Pro models, plus a new Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. We round up the new features and provide advice on what to consider for your next iPad.

Select Non-Contiguous Text in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers 14

The latest versions of the Mac and iPad apps in Apple’s iWork suite—Pages 14, Keynote 14, and Numbers 14—have gained a helpful feature: non-contiguous text selection. By holding down the Command key, you can select chunks of text that aren’t next to each other. For example, imagine you want to make the first part of each item in a bullet list bold. Instead of bolding each one separately, hold down Command as you work to select all of them and then apply bold to the entire selection with a single command. Non-contiguous selection is particularly helpful when applying formatting, but you can also copy non-contiguously selected text or work with it in nearly any way you would interact with a contiguous text selection. (Note that while holding down Command, you can double-click to select words or triple-click to select paragraphs, just as you can normally without holding down Command.)

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

Social Media: A new feature in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers lets you select bits of text that aren’t next to each other so that you can, for example, format them or copy them all at once.

Display an Album of Photos on Your iPhone or iPad Lock Screen

A popular feature of iOS 16 was the Photo Shuffle option for customizing the iPhone Lock Screen. It used machine learning to select photos in four categories—People, Pets, Nature, and Cities—and rotated through them when you tapped, on lock, hourly, or daily. If you didn’t like the automatic selection, you could pick photos manually, but it was clumsy. In iOS 17 (and iPadOS 17, which also added customizable Lock Screens), you can now point the Lock Screen’s Photo Shuffle wallpaper at an album. Touch and hold the Lock Screen, tap Customize, tap the blue ⨁ button to create a new wallpaper, select Photo Shuffle, select Album, choose the desired album from the pop-up menu, set a frequency, tap Use Album, and tap the Add button at the top. Then tap Set as Wallpaper Pair or Customize Home Screen to choose a different image for the Home Screen wallpaper.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)


Social Media: If you like how the Lock Screen’s Photo Shuffle wallpaper rotates through photos but would prefer that it worked from an album you specified, you’re in luck! That’s now possible in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.

Where Can You Control Automatic Smart Quotes and Dashes in macOS?

Most people like smart quotes and dashes, at least most of the time. Your Mac is probably set up to turn the single (‘) and double (“) hash marks and double hyphens (–) that you type into the apostrophes (’) and single smart quotes (‘’), double smart quotes (“”), and em dashes (—) used in professional publications. However, in some situations, like programming, smart quotes and dashes are problematic. To prevent macOS from automatically inserting them, open System Settings > Keyboard and click the Edit button next to Input Sources. In the dialog that appears, turn off “Use smart quotes and dashes.” As a bonus tip, if you occasionally want single or double hash marks, such as to indicate feet and inches, instead of turning the entire feature off, immediately press Command-Z after typing a single or double hash mark to undo the change from straight to curly.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Wirestock)


Social Media: Smart quotes and dashes usually make your text look more professional. But if they’re problematic, you can turn off the feature that inserts them automatically or revert them on a one-off basis.