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Need to Save Bandwidth on Your iPhone? Try Low Data Mode

Even as we get 5G cellular connectivity and high-speed Wi-Fi networks, there are plenty of times when you might want to reduce your data usage. Perhaps you’re trying to avoid running over a data cap while traveling, or maybe you’re sharing a Wi-Fi network with a very slow Internet connection. Either way, you can prevent your iPhone from using more data than necessary by enabling Low Data Mode. For cellular, find the switch in Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options. For Wi-Fi, in Settings > Wi-Fi, tap the i button next to the network you’re using. In either case, make sure to turn Low Data Mode off once you no longer need it to avoid getting confused about why background sync tasks don’t complete.

(Featured image by Hilary Clark from Pixabay)

Flash Is Dead—Uninstall Flash Player to Keep Your Mac Secure

In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would stop distributing and updating Flash Player on December 31st, 2020. Web standards like HTML5 provide a viable alternative to Flash content, and organizations that relied on Flash have had three years to replace it. Because Adobe will no longer be addressing security vulnerabilities in Flash with updates, Flash Player now prompts users to uninstall. We strongly recommend doing so—just click the Uninstall button if you get this alert. If you don’t, a Flash Player Install Manager app in your Utilities folder should be able to remove Flash Player as well. Adobe also provides instructions to uninstall manually.

(Featured image based on an original by Gary Meulemans on Unsplash)

Did You Know That Your iPhone Can “Name That Tune”?

Several years ago, Apple bought a company called Shazam, which made an app that identified songs by listening to the music playing nearby. Since then, Apple has built Shazam into Siri in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. Most recently, Apple added it to Control Center in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 as well, so you can invoke it without speaking. To use Shazam, whenever you want to identify a song that’s playing nearby, just ask Siri, “What’s playing?” or tell it “Name that tune” or have some fun and say “Shazam!” To add Shazam to Control Center, navigate to Settings > Control Center, and tap the green + button next to Music Recognition. Then, from Control Center, tap the button to start it listening—you can return to whatever you were doing. When the song is identified, a notification appears with its name. Tap the notification to open the song in the Music app.

(Featured image by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

Pinch to Zoom in All Photos View in iOS 14

Photos in iOS 14 provides four views of your library: Years, Months, Days, and All Photos. For the first three, Photos picks representative images that may not include particular shots you’re looking for. The All Photos view shows everything, but it can be overwhelming. What’s not apparent is that you can navigate All Photos more easily by pinching in to shrink the thumbnails and then pinching out to make them larger again. At the largest size, a single photo takes up the entire width of the screen.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

A Quick Shortcut to Create an Instant Slideshow from a Folder of Images

You probably know that you can select an image in the Finder and press the Space bar to preview it in a Quick Look window. And you may know that you can use the arrow keys to preview other files in the same folder without closing and reopening the Quick Look window. But did you know that if you select multiple images in the Finder and hold down the Option key when pressing the Space bar, the Finder will run a full-screen slideshow with a 5-second interval between images? Move the cursor to display slideshow controls, including a button to bring up an index sheet. This feature isn’t something most people need every day, but it can be a lifesaver when you need to run a quick slideshow at a party or presentation.

(Featured image by 祝 鹤槐 from Pexels)

Amazing New Tips for Rearranging Apps on Your iPhone or iPad

You’ve likely seen our tip on using the Dock on an iPhone or iPad as a temporary holding place that makes rearranging apps easier. We’ve learned two new tips that help even more! First, you can move multiple apps at once. Start by touching an app, waiting to feel a tap, and then moving it (or just touch and hold and tap Edit Home Screen to enter jiggle mode first). Once you’ve picked up an app, drag it down to the blank spot on the right side of the Home screen just above the Dock so you can see what you’re doing while keeping your finger down. Then, with a finger on your other hand, tap other apps to “stack” them on the first app. Now move the stack to the desired location and lift your finger. Second, instead of laboriously dragging the stack to another Home screen, before you lift your finger to drop the stack, use that other finger to swipe left or right to move between Home screens—in essence, you’re moving the Home screen under the stack you’re holding. For a visual demo of these tips, see the TidBITS video.

(Featured image by ammiel jr on Unsplash)

Don’t Worry about an Occasional “Not Charging” Message on Your MacBook

Starting with macOS 10.15.5 Catalina, Apple introduced a battery health management feature that improves your battery’s lifespan by adjusting charging patterns to reduce the rate at which the battery chemically ages. (Find it in System Preferences > Energy Saver > Battery Health.) One thing to be aware of with battery health management is that it might cause your MacBook to display “Battery Is Not Charging” in the battery status menu even when it’s plugged in. That’s normal, and it’s nothing to worry about. Of course, if you regularly see that message, it’s a hint that you may not be using the proper power adapter and cable or that the power source isn’t delivering enough juice.

(Featured image created with originals by cottonbro from Pexels and OpenIcons from Pixabay)

How to Make Sure Your iPhone Doesn’t Make Noise in the Night

You likely know that you can use Do Not Disturb to prevent random notifications on your iPhone from waking you at night—it’s easy to set a Do Not Disturb schedule for your usual sleeping hours. Another setting in there is important but often overlooked. If you ever use your iPhone during those Do Not Disturb hours—perhaps to read a book while a partner or roommate is asleep—you don’t want it to make any noise. To prevent that, in Settings > Do Not Disturb, make sure to set Silence to Always instead of While iPhone Is Locked.

(Featured image by Kristina Flour on Unsplash)

Use These Settings to Show or Hide Filename Extensions

On the Mac, nearly every file has an extension, a set of characters after a period that indicates what type of file it is and determines which app opens it. So, .png indicates a PNG graphic that opens in Preview by default, .pages denotes a Pages document, and .docx identifies a file as belonging to and opening in Microsoft Word. Plus, the extension for all applications is .app. Depending on what you do, how often you exchange files with people on other platforms, and your personal preference, you may wish to see more or fewer extensions. You control that in Finder > Preferences > Advanced, with the “Show all filename extensions” checkbox. Individual files can override the setting, so if an extension isn’t doing what you want, select the file, choose File > Get Info, and check or uncheck the Hide Extension checkbox in the Info window.

(Featured image created with originals by Patrick Ward on Unsplash and Mateusz Zdrzałek from Pixabay)

Remember to Enable Text Message Forwarding When You Get a New Mac or iPad

You’ve long had text messages forwarding from your iPhone to your Mac and iPad, but after you get a new device, it might be a while before you realize that it’s not receiving texts sent to your iPhone. It turns out that, when you get a new Apple device, you must manually enable it to receive forwarded texts from your iPhone—the setting is off by default. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and flip the switches for the new devices.

(Featured image by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels)