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Mar
01

Apple Works to Improve Safety in the Wake of AirTag Stalking Reports

Apple Works to Improve Safety in the Wake of AirTag Stalking Reports

Over the past few months, there has been a spate of media reports about how people may have been tracked without their knowledge using AirTags, Apple’s elegant location trackers. Like many mainstream media forays into the tech world, the reports are often short on detail and sometimes unclear on the reality of how the AirTags work. Nor is it clear that there have been many successful cases of AirTag abuse, but the mere fact that people are trying to use AirTags to stalk others is concerning.

Apple put significant effort into preventing such abuses, revolving around three features:

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Mar
01

Please Dispose of Old Electronics Responsibly—Not in the Trash or Standard Recycling!

Please Dispose of Old Electronics Responsibly—Not in the Trash or Standard Recycling!

We all have old electronics squirreled away in our drawers and closets. It’s hard to admit that a computer, phone, or peripheral that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars years ago has little or no value. That’s doubly true if it doesn’t work anymore. Once you’ve decided to get rid of that PowerBook 520 from the 1990s or your first digital camera from 2004, resist the urge to toss it in the trash.

In some places, it’s illegal to throw out electronics because they tend to contain heavy metals like mercury, lead, and lithium, plus other hazardous materials that can pollute the air if incinerated or contaminate the ecosystem if buried in landfills. Even if dumping e-waste is not actively illegal in your area, it’s a terrible thing to do. So what can you do instead?

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Mar
01

Make Joining Your Wi-Fi Network as Easy as Scanning a QR Code

Make Joining Your Wi-Fi Network as Easy as Scanning a QR Code

Whether you have guests who want to get on your home Wi-Fi network, customers who need to join your business network, or attendees who want to use your conference network, it’s always fussy to share the network name and password. If an iPhone user has your Apple ID email address in Contacts, their device should automatically prompt you to share your Wi-Fi password, but that won’t work in many situations.

Here’s another option: a QR (Quick Response, if you’re curious) code that, once scanned, lets the person join your network without knowing its name or password. Once you’ve created this QR code, you can print it on a card to share, post it on a bulletin board, or make a custom sign. QR codes are no longer the curiosity they once were, with usage skyrocketing since the pandemic. One estimate suggests that over 83 million US adult smartphone users will scan a QR code in 2022.

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Feb
01

Where to Check macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and iCloud Storage Status

Where to Check macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and iCloud Storage Status

There’s little more frustrating than running out of space, which always seems to happen at just the wrong time. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to check any time, before it becomes a problem. On the Mac, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu and click Storage. On an iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage. For iCloud, you can look in either System Preferences > Apple ID on the Mac or in Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage on an iPhone or iPad. Once you know how much space is consumed by what, you can more easily clear unnecessary data.

(Featured image by iStock.com/alphaspirit)

Feb
01

In iOS 15, You Can Now Open an App from the Lock Screen

In iOS 15, You Can Now Open an App from the Lock Screen

Most of the time, when you unlock your iPhone or iPad, you want to launch an app. In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, you no longer have to unlock the device, find the app on a Home screen page, and tap it. Instead, you can open an app directly from the Lock screen, assuming Settings > Face/Touch ID & Passcode > Today View and Search is turned on. Just swipe down from the middle of the Lock screen ➊ to access the Search screen, which lists apps from Siri Suggestions ➋. You can tap one of those to open it, or you can use the Search field to find an app by name and tap the search result ➌.

(Featured image by iStock.com/ipopba)

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