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Nov
02

New Back Tap Feature in iOS 14 Provides Two Customizable Shortcuts

New Back Tap Feature in iOS 14 Provides Two Customizable Shortcuts

We all have things we do regularly on our iPhones, whether it’s checking the weather, searching Google, or invoking the magnifier. Apple has long provided ways of making your most common actions easier to access. You might put an app on your Dock, open Control Center, or take advantage of the triple-press Accessibility shortcut. With iOS 14, Apple has opened up a new and customizable way of triggering actions: Back Tap.

With a double or triple tap on the back of any iPhone 8 or newer running iOS 14, you can invoke any one of a variety of actions, including custom Shortcuts. Sorry, Back Tap isn’t available in iPadOS 14.

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Oct
01

Stop Snoops with Private Browsing and by Clearing Your Web Browsing History

Stop Snoops with Private Browsing and by Clearing Your Web Browsing History

With so many of us working at home these days, it’s worth remembering that spouses, children, and housemates may have easy physical access to your Mac. And, particularly if you share a Mac with them, you might want to consider how you protect your browsing privacy. Even if you wouldn’t be embarrassed if your spouse were to see what sites you visited, you might not want a nosy pre-teen or housemate’s snoopy friend scrolling through your browser history. Or you may just want to keep research into someone’s birthday present a secret.

All major Web browsers provide two features to help you protect your privacy from people who can access your Mac: private browsing and clearing your browsing history.

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Oct
01

Too Many Home Screens in iOS 14? Here’s How to Hide Them!

Too Many Home Screens in iOS 14? Here’s How to Hide Them!

The App Library in iOS 14 ensures that you can find all the apps installed on your iPhone without having to hunt through Home screens. So if you already have a lot of Home screens that contain a random assemblage of apps, it might be easier to hide those screens than to remove all the apps on them. To do this in iOS 14, touch and hold any empty spot on the Home screen to enter jiggle mode. Then tap the lozenge around the dots that represent your Home screens. In the Edit Pages screen, tap the checkmark under any Home screen to hide it (or tap an empty circle to add a checkmark and show that Home screen). To save your changes, tap Done. As a bonus tip, notice that swiping on that lozenge of Home screen dots is now a quick way to navigate between the Home screens.

(Featured image based on an original by cottonbro from Pexels)

Oct
01

Our Four Favorite Features of iOS 14

Our Four Favorite Features of iOS 14

Harvest season is here again, and Apple has deemed iOS 14 (along with iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14) ready for the picking. Although the betas have been pretty stable and no major problems have appeared in the first few days, we still recommend waiting at least a few weeks before installing via Settings > General > Software Update. In large part, that’s because many developers were taken by surprise by Apple’s release, so they’re working hard to release updates that work properly with iOS 14 and take advantage of its new features.

When you decide to take the leap and install—be sure to make a backup first, just in case—here are four features we recommend you check out right away.

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Sep
01

Advice for Successful Online Schooling

Advice for Successful Online Schooling

In a normal year, most kids would be back in school by now. But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many schools to offer online instruction, and many families are now settling into a remote back-to-school arrangement. We’ve provided some advice on working from home in previous posts, but what about schooling from home? Here are some suggestions.

Create a Dedicated School Workspace

It’s hard enough for kids to pay attention when they’re in school. Just think how difficult it will be for them to pay attention to online classes if they’re surrounded by distractions. Even worse, just as you need to create some mental space between home and work, your kids need to separate home from school.

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Sep
01

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14?

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14?

As we get into September, it’s a good bet that Apple will soon—either this month or next—be pushing out major upgrades for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Apple previewed these new versions at its Worldwide Developers Conference back in June, and they’ve been in public beta for a few months. Once Apple makes macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 available, the question looms large—when should you install them?

(Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying a major operating system upgrade until Apple has squashed early bugs. But waiting too long puts you at risk from security vulnerabilities and prevents you from taking advantage of compelling new features. Plus, when you buy a new Mac, iPhone, or iPad after these operating systems have shipped, you’ll get the new version, and it may not even be possible to downgrade. It’s best to be prepared in the event that you’re forced to replace one of your Apple devices unexpectedly.)

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