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Design

At first glance, this app is similar to Microsoft’s remote desktop application. The main screen features 14 colorful rectangular action buttons, each with a different name and icon. Some buttons have white dots at the bottom. Those buttons include subsets with additional actions. For example, if you tap the email action button, three additional buttons will appear at the bottom of the screen. These are action subsets related to emailing.

The app is gesture based. To reveal your set library, swipe downward with three fingers. To move between sets, swipe three fingers left or right. To edit a current set, tap the pencil icon at the top right corner of the screen. To create a new set, swipe down with three fingers to access the set library and then tap the edit icon.

In addition to the current sets, actions, and subsets, you can create your own. This gives you nearly unlimited access to everything available on your desktop or laptop computer.

App Use

In order to access your computer from your iPad, you’ll need to download the Actions client onto your computer from the company’s website. When it has downloaded, a shortcut icon will appear in your action bar on your computer. Until you open the app on your iPad, the server will be disconnected.

When you open the iPad app for the first time, you will be given a code that you must enter on your computer. Then, the two will be connected.

The action buttons allow you to perform actions on your Mac or PC. For example, the Mission Control button will activate Mission Control on your computer. If you tap the Power button, you’ll be able to shutdown, put to sleep, restart, lock, or log out of your computer from the list of subsets.

To start a new set, swipe downward with three fingers. At the top of the screen, you will see “My First Set.” This is the current set with the pre-made buttons. To add a new set, tap the pencil in the upper right corner. Then, tap “Create.” A new window will appear with a few controls. Rename the new set to reflect the types of action buttons you want to include in it. For example, you could have a set for music, a set for games, and a set for productivity.

Then, either select a magnet application, or leave it blank so you can add different applications. If you include a magnet application in the set, all of your actions will be defaulted to be relating to that app. For example, if you choose a mail application, you can create a list of action buttons specifically related to that mail app. When you are done creating a list, tap the check mark in the upper right corner.

If you create a shortcut, you will be able to select what you want the action to be. For example, select “Command P” to print a document in Word, or “Command Delete” To throw a photo away.

If you create a snippet, you will be able to type out what you want the snippet to read. You can also select a section of copied text from your computer in this section by tapping the arrow.

The media controls are intended to be used with applications like iTunes, Quicktime, VLC, and others. You can pause/play, skip tracks, mute, and increase or decrease the volume of a media app.

The system controls are for opening Dashboard, Mission Control, Notifications, Exposé, and Launchpad, as well as, showing the desktop, emptying the trash, launching the screensaver, putting to sleep, restarting, shutting down, and powering off your computer.

You can also hide, minimize, maximize, move, and close windows in a specific application. If you want to quickly access a particular website, add a link to the Webpage action. If you regularly send identical emails, create a template that includes recipients, the subject, and body text. Then, you can quickly send the email to someone with a single tap.

You can also load application presets to your set instead of creating new ones. In the edit window, select “Load.” Then, select the application you wish to load. You will then be able to select the action you wish to perform. For example, if you select iPhoto from the available applications, you can then select editing tools, access files, start a slideshow, and more. You can select multiple actions at once to create a group of buttons.

When you are done creating and editing actions, you will be able to perform all kinds of quick actions on your Mac or PC with the touch of a button.

The Good

This app works flawlessly with the Mac. I was able to easily create and execute a number of actions with a single button. Instead of going into my applications file, finding a particular app, launching the app, and then performing an action, I was able to go straight to the action with a single tap.

The Bad

The app runs a little bit slow. It is not too bad, but there is a lag when loading applications during the editing process.

There is also a list of gestures to copy, paste, redo, and undo using two fingers. I don’t know why this is necessary. I accidentally activated undo and redo a couple of times because I forgot I needed to use three fingers to swipe between sets. The extra fingers seem unnecessary to me.

Value

Actions for iPad is available for $3.99. Considering Fast Toggles costs $9.99 at full price and doesn’t even give you access to actions from your iPad, I’d say four bucks is a steal for this kind of application.

Conclusion

If you have any interest in increasing productivity by being able to create one-touch controls to applications and services on your computer, this is a must-have app. You have complete control over what actions you want to perform in any app on your desktop or laptop. Currently, this app is only available for the iPad. However, the developers are working on an iPhone compatible version for release in the near future. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Microsoft Remote Desktop lets you access your Windows-based PC. Air Display creates a second screen of your desktop or laptop on your iPad or iPhone.

Do you use application shortcuts? What kind of actions would you use with Actions for iPad?

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Remote Buddy Review: Control Your Mac From Apple Tv Via Siri Remote

Don’t you wish there was a hassle-free way to bring your Mac apps, documents, media, games and more to the big screen—and control them? Enter Remote Buddy, a sweet little app by Roth, Germany based developer Felix Schwarz.

Building on the latest GPU and CPU technologies, Remote Buddy uses a proprietary engine to deliver up to 60 frames per second with a latency of around 0.1 seconds so you really get a smooth, high-speed screen sharing experience.

Having taken Remote Buddy for a quick spin, I’m happy to report that it works incredibly well and really comes in handy when you want to do simple tasks on your desktop-bound Mac without actually sitting in front of your computer.

Getting started with Remote Buddy

To begin, fire up Remote Buddy Display on your Apple TV, select Preferences in the Remote Buddy menu, choose a password to protect your connection on the Mobile Access tab and tick the box next to Enable Mobile Access.

By the way, you cannot use the app without a password. Your Mac should now appear in the Remote Buddy Display interface running on your Apple TV, as shown below.

Simply select your computer, enter your previously created password and just like that, its display gets shown on your TV as if you were using AirPlay Mirroring.

The Mac helper app serves as a conduit that sends everything displayed on your Mac’s screen as a compressed, live video feed to the Apple TV app. Here is my MacBook Air’s external 27-inch 2560-by-1440 resolution Thunderbolt Display, as shown wirelessly on my telly through my Apple TV.

Remote Buddy even supports multiple displays and various zooming modes.

You might ask yourself, “How’s this different from OS X’s built-in AirPlay Mirroring?”

Glad you asked.

Trackpad, mouse and keyboard

These include: Remote, Trackpad, Keyboard, Help (instructions for using touchpad gestures on the Siri Remote), Behaviors, Actions, Power (sleep and shutdown options) and Logout (disconnects you from the Mac helper app).

When some text needs inputting, simply select the Keyboard option to bring up a full-size on-screen QWERTY keyboard with modifier and cursor keys. Using my Siri Remote, I can easily enter, say, a query into iTunes’ search field.

Using the Siri Remote as a trackpad lets you simulate the right mouse button with the Play/Pause button, drag-and-drop by pressing and holding the Siri Remote’s button for two seconds, enter Scroll mode by pressing and holding Play/Pause and more.

I am particularly fond of the Mouse Spot mode, which you enter by touching the Siri Remote’s Touch surface for two seconds, as shown above. This will produce a neat spotlight-effect, which can be useful for presenters as it helps them direct audience attention exactly where they want it.

Actions

For frequently used features, Remote Buddy provides quick shortcuts for more than a hundred Mac apps that can save you a ton of time. Just select Behaviors on your Apple TV and up pops a menu with per-app shortcuts.

In iTunes, the available shortcuts include adjusting volume, choosing ratings, play/pause/stop controls and more. In Photos, you get a set of useful slideshow controls.

In Safari, actions let you increase/decrease font size, navigate to the previous/next link, select the previous/next tab, scrolling one page up/down at a time and more. Your frequently used actions can be marked as favorites for quick access.

Last but not least, the app supports a Night mode which can be activated automatically between sunset and sunrise, calculated based on your Mac’s current location and time zone.  It’s an eye-friendly, dark color scheme optimized for use in dark environments.

The video embedded below shows off Remote Buddy in action, controlling a late-2012 Mac mini’s screen at 1080p resolution during full-screen video playback.

The full list of supported hardware for Remote Buddy is available here.

I have included a few more screenshots further below which will help you grasp the richness of options available to you in the settings interface of the Mac helper app.

Remote Buddy Mobile for iOS and watchOS

In addition to Remote Buddy Display for Mac, developers have provided mobile companion apps for your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple Watch in the form of Remote Buddy Mobile for iOS and watchOS.

These apps let you control Mac apps with the Apple Watch and iOS devices. Many marquee features of Remote Buddy Display for Apple TV are supported in iOS and watchOS companion apps, including screen sharing, actions and app control, Night mode, virtual remote, trackpad or keyboard (through dictation on the Apple Watch), and much more.

Availability

Remote Buddy requires an Intel-based Mac and is fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Remote Buddy can be purchased through the official website for €24.99, which works out to about thirty bucks. A free 30-day trial is available.

A lower-priced Remote Buddy Express can be purchased in the Mac App Store, but this app does not have some of Remote Buddy’s features, especially drivers, due to Apple’s sandboxing rules. You also cannot upgrade from Remote Buddy Express to Remote Buddy since Apple does not support paid upgrades in the Mac App Store.

Remote Buddy Mobile requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8 or later. The watch app requires an Apple Watch with watchOS 1.0 or later. Remote Buddy Mobile is available on a freemium basis in the App Store.

In-App Purchases will enable premium features such as screen sharing ($2.99), Night Mode ($1.99), unlimited favorites ($1.99), numeric keypad ($1.99). A one-time $4.99 In-App Purchase unlocks all premium features.

The free of charge tvOS companion app for Remote Buddy is available in the App Store on your Apple TV (search for “Remote Buddy Display”).

How To Control Your Mac With Hand Claps

Are there times or situations when you find it hard to control your Mac? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could control your Mac, such as opening iTunes, just by clapping your hands? Well luckily you can with iClapper.

iClapper is a semi-free Mac app that recognizes your hand clapping commands by analysing the sound input of your Mac’s microphone. As the website states, you can assign any action to a certain number of recognized claps, as well as to a combination of claps. The app is free, but there is also a Pro version that supports custom Applescripts.

Let’s see how it all works.

Getting Started

1. Download iClapper from the Mac App Store and open it up on your computer.

2. You’ll be able to watch a short introductory video and go through a quick calibration process, which involves a series of single claps that you’ll have to do – so make sure you’re in a quiet room/location.

3. Once you’re done with the calibration, you’ll be able to add presets and rules under the Actions tab in Preferences.

Actions

1. The Preferences window should already be open on your computer, if not you can select it from iClapper’s menu bar icon. Under the Actions tab in Preferences, you can create various presets and you can use different rules for each one.

For instance, you can have a set of rules for at home and a different set of rules for when you’re at work.

2. As stated above, you can create a set of rules for each of your presets. Your rules will contain a command, action, and optional confirmation message.

4. For commands you can choose a certain number of claps or combinations of claps. If you choose a certain number of claps, you can choose how many claps to use (2 to 5).

If you choose combination then you can choose how many claps to have in your first set and how many to have in the second set (1 to 5 per set). You’ll need to put a noticeable break between each set of claps for iClapper to recognize it.

5. For actions, you can choose to have your Mac say something such as the time or date. You can also choose to run or play iTunes, check your email, or play/pause QuickTime. If you want even more actions, you’ll have to pay for them.

6. If you want a confirmation message to pop-up before an action is performed, you can enable it on a rule-by-rule basis. This is especially useful if you choose to have iClapper put your computer to sleep or shut it down.

You can purchase individual sets of actions for $0.99 each, or you can get all current and future available actions packs for just $3.99 (the better deal).

Other Features

1. You can have iClapper notify you about clap recognition, performed actions, and confirmations; it even supports Growl if you’re still using it on your Mac. You can customize them under the Notifications tab in the Preferences window.

2. You can select the input device that you want iClapper to use. For instance, you may have a built-in microphone and external microphone on your Mac, but you want iClapper to listen for claps on the extrenal microphone. In this case, you can set iClapper to use the external microphone under the Input Device tab in the Preferences window.

3. From the iClapper menu bar icon, you can stop iClapper when you want it to stop listening for claps, and then start it again when you’re ready.

Conclusion

iClapper is very easy to set up and use – anyone can clap their hands whether loudly or softly. iClapper works with all types of claps and you can even customize it based on the amount of sound that’s in the room where you’re using it.

iClapper

Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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‘Other’ Storage On Your Iphone And Ipad Explained

For most users, the ‘Other’ iOS storage category—reported after connecting an iOS device to desktop iTunes—is something of a mystery. ‘Other’ storage starts at one to five percent of total device capacity but can quickly creep in to a few gigabytes.

This post will unravel the mysteries behind ‘Other’ iOS storage, explain what it’s used for, how iOS manages it and what you can do to decrease it.

Can I see how much space is lost to ‘Other’ storage?

Yes, you can.

iTunes will scan what’s on the device and display its storage graphically at the bottom of the window. Mouse over the yellow section of the graph to see how much space is taken up by ‘Other’ storage.

Sadly, iOS won’t let you see how much space is wasted to ‘Other’ storage.

What is ‘Other’ storage used for?

‘Other’ iOS storage includes mostly everything that doesn’t fit into the existing categories, as reported by iTunes: Apps, Audio, Books, Documents & Data, Movies, TV Shows, Photos and Podcasts.

As per Apple, the ‘Other’ iOS storage includes the following items:

Your device’s settings

Siri voices

High-quality VoiceOver voices

System data

Cached files

Things like Safari Offline Reading List, files created within apps and app content such as contacts, calendars, SMS and iMessages, emails and their attachments and other items are not part of ‘Other’ storage. Instead, these items are lumped into the ‘Documents & Data’ storage category in iTunes.

Here is the full list of iOS storage categories and the data each category encompasses, as reported in iTunes:

Audio: Songs, audio podcasts, audiobooks, voice memos and ringtones

Video: Movies, music videos and TV shows

Photos: Camera Roll content, Photo Stream and Photo Library

Apps: Installed apps

Books: iBooks books and PDF files

Documents & Data: Safari Offline Reading List, files created within apps and app content like contacts, calendars, iMessages, text messages, emails, Mail and Messages attachments

Other: Settings, Siri voices, system data and cached files

By far, the biggest portion of ‘Other’ storage is occupied by various cached files.

Why are caches in ‘Other’ storage?

Apple says that iOS creates cached files when you stream or view content like music, videos and photos. “When you stream music or video, that content is stored as cached files on your iOS device,” says the company.

On iOS devices, most caches are not visible to users in per-app sections in Settings → General →  Storage & iCloud Usage, though some are. For instance, Safari’s Offline Reading List cache can easily be deleted through the Settings app. On the other hand, caches that iOS manages automatically, like streamed audio and video content, are not exposed to end users and cannot be deleted in Settings.

A quick experiment can easily prove this. Imagine there’s absolutely nothing stored in the stock Videos app on your iPhone. Say you then launch Videos and stream a five-gigabyte movie that was purchased on the iTunes Store.

The reported storage usage for the Videos app in Settings won’t increase at all.

But if you glance at the amount of free device storage reported in Settings, you’ll notice it has dropped by five gigabytes due to that streamed video being cached automatically by iOS, thereby taking up five gigabytes of ‘Other’ storage.

Because the amount of device storage wasted on the ‘Other’ category cannot be directly checked out in iOS, less experienced users may be left scratching their head, puzzled as to why their reported free storage isn’t higher.

How iOS manages caches

iOS was conceived to manage storage automatically. Cached content may live in ‘Other’ storage for as long as system circumstances allow. iOS does flush the caches intelligently, especially if the system runs low on storage.

‘Other’ storage on my iPhone 6s, as reported by PhoneClean. Most of it are caches of previously streamed video content.

‘Other’ storage on my iPhone 6s, as reported by PhoneClean. Most of it are caches of previously streamed video content.

The other thing to keep in mind are apps. All apps create a residue of temporary files on your device, so they load faster. For example, the stock Camera app and third-party photo editing apps create their own photo caches.

These temporary files, along with other app items that are marked for the system as safe to delete, are caches inside ‘Other’ storage, too. Even the most mundane things, like a failed iTunes sync, may add up to Other storage by littering the device with temporary files and media junk.

Purging caches, manually or with a third-party app, won’t delete apps nor will it remove your documents. These items—app data, settings and your documents—are kept in separate databases which aren’t part of system caches.

Why storage amounts on iOS devices differ from what iTunes reports

That’s because iTunes categorizes cached music, videos and photos as ‘Other’ iOS storage instead of actual audio, videos or photos—that’s why the reported usage for Music, Videos or Audio sections might differ.

As an illustrative example of this, iTunes reports that the Audio section is taking up 856 megabytes on my iPhone 6s. On the device itself, however, the actual reported storage amount for the Music app is 565 megabytes.

NOTE: The screenshot below is meant for illustrative purposes and does not reflect the current amount of storage space taken up by music on my device.

The 291-megabyte difference between the 856MB seen in desktop iTunes and 565MB reported by my iPhone is actually caches for the songs I had streamed via Apple Music. Cached media lets the Music app instantly play any previously streamed song, enhancing the experience at the expense of reported free storage.

People who use iCloud Photo Library with the ‘Optimize iPhone Storage’ option may observe a similar discrepancy in the ‘Photos’ storage section between iTunes and iOS Settings, due to large caches of photos in device-optimized resolution.

Your mileage may vary, depending on how you consume media on your devices. To view the storage usage on your iOS device, go to Settings → General → Storage & iCloud Usage → Manage Storage under the Storage heading.

Can I decrease ‘Other’ storage?

Yes, but not completely.

You cannot manually purge cached files from ‘Other’ iOS storage. Even though iOS was designed to clear the caches when it needs more space, it doesn’t do this aggressively enough. And sometimes caches aren’t dumped properly either.

For instance, Kevin Hamm found out that streaming a four-gigabyte iTunes movie will temporarily take up four gigabytes in iOS caches. Should iOS for any reason fail to delete that cached movie, the four gigabytes will get stuck in ‘Other’ storage.

Making matter worse, neither iTunes nor the iOS Settings app provide necessary controls for users to manually delete all the cruft that has accumulated on their devices.

RELATED: How to reclaim ‘Other’ iOS storage

The good news is, specialized third-party applications can clear the caches which are clogging up ‘Other’ iOS storage. Any of these Mac apps should get the job done:

Some of the aforesaid programs will identify storage-hogging iOS apps so you can then delete and re-install them, which in most cases will remove 100 percent of app-specific junk from your device.

If you’re jailbroken, do yourself a favor and manage your ‘Other’ iOS storage using iFile or Ryan Petric’s smartly done cache-cleaning tool.

RELATED: 40+ ways to save storage space on iPhone and iPad

Restoring your device from an iCloud backup can also drastically decrease the size of ‘Other’ storage because iCloud backups have been found to store fewer temporary files and caches than those created by iTunes.

In some cases, restoring your device from an iTunes backup might bring over caches and temporary files that haven’t been deleted properly. In iTunes’ defense, iOS crash and log files will be transferred to a computer and deleted from an iOS device during the syncing process so there’s that.

And lastly, restarting a device may prompt iOS to clear some cached content. To restart your device, hold down the power button until a “Slide to power off” message appears, then slide to restart.

Force-restarting, however, might force iOS to purge more caches. To force-restart your device, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until an Apple logo appears.

Ipad Air Vs. Ipad Pro

Last Updated on October 20, 2023

If you’re planning on buying a brand-new iPad, you’ll face the eternal dichotomy: iPad Air versus iPad Pro. Which one is better? Which one should I buy? Here you’ll learn the primary differences between the two and which one might be the best option for you.

To determine precisely which iPad will suit you the most, you will have to consider the bare necessities of the product first. Whether you’re a student using the iPad for reading, taking notes, and doing assignments, or you are a professional who’s going to need an iPad to replace a computer to do more high-demanding work on it, we’ll present to you a direct comparison of both devices so you can make the aptest decision for your needs.

Design

Apple has made a standard design for all of its latest releases. Both the iPad Air and the iPad Pro come in an industrial build with squared-off edges made of an aluminum alloy. The main difference in regard to their design is the variety of colors. The iPad Air is available in Blue, Purple Space Gray, Starlight, and Pink. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, has only two colors, Silver and Space Gray. If colors are what matters the most to you, you might want to go with iPad Air.

Regarding dimensions, the iPad Pro has two different versions, 11 inches and 12.9 inches (although, for the most part, we’ll be talking primarily about the 12.9” model). The iPad Air has one single presentation of 10.9 inches. A bigger screen is usually better, and 12.9 inches is a size that is both manageable, comfortable, and amazing for drawing, gaming, and streaming.

Display

Here comes one of the biggest differences between the two. The iPad Pro 12.9 has a 12.9-inch screen with Liquid Retina XDR display, Pro Motion technology, and True Tone, while the iPad Air sports a 10.9-inch display with only Liquid Retina and True Tone. 

This difference means that the iPad Pro has a 120Hz Refresh rate, thanks to the Pro Motion technology, while the iPad Air will only provide 60Hz. The higher the refresh rate is, the smoother the screen will look while in action. Having a display with 120Hz means that the screen will refresh the image 120 times a second, so videos and overall images will look noticeably sleeker and more natural over an average 60Hz screen. If you are a gamer or want to enjoy the highest potential out of a device’s screen, the iPad Pro is the best option.

Cameras

Apple has always taken great lengths with its devices’ cameras, so both products offer quality photo-taking tech. The iPad Pro has two rear cameras: a 12MP Wide and a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, accompanied by a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with a TrueDepth system.

The iPad Air has a 12MP Wide rear Camera and a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera. It doesn’t leverage a TrueDepth system, so the iPad Pro will take better pictures in low-light environments. If this is important to you, the iPad Pro is the better option.

Specs

Both slates run on the same cutting-edge M1 chip processor, which is the latest chip made by Apple. This will ensure users have the same speed and power on whichever device is chosen. When it comes to RAM and storage, the iPad Pro can have up to 2TB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM, while the iPad Air can reach 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

Both the iPad Pro and Air have almost the same battery capacity: 29 Watt-hours. That is why Apple lists both devices’ batteries as equal, with “up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching videos and up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network.”

Performance

Performance overall will depend on how much the consumer is willing to invest in the iPad. Due to both devices having the same M1 chip, they both have the reliability of an 8-core CPU, 8-core Graphics, and a next-gen Neural engine, which is nearly equivalent to desktop Mac performance. 

The main difference here comes in the device’s RAM capabilities. The larger the RAM capacity, the faster and smoother the experience. As mentioned previously, the iPad Pro can go up to 16GB of RAM while the iPad Air only offers 8GB. You’ll have to pay for either the 1TB or 2TB version of the Pro to gain that 16GB of RAM capacity at a $1,700 premium.

So, if you need to run demanding apps or want to do some gaming, and money isn’t too much of an issue, then the iPad Pro is the one to go with.

Expert view 

The iPad Pro is a device focused on professional use cases. If you are a graphic designer, an architect, an avid gamer, or have the need to run high-demanding applications, it would be smart to go with the iPad Pro.

On the other hand, the iPad Air offers the best bang for your buck. This is a device with high-end characteristics that will suit the mass majority of users’ necessities. Our expert recommendation is to go with the iPad Air unless you absolutely need something more powerful, like the iPad Pro. Otherwise, you can save that extra money and enjoy the second-best Apple iPad on the market with zero regrets.

Visiting Family For Thanksgiving? Share These Iphone, Ipad, And Mac Tune

Many of us will travel to be with various family members over Thanksgiving. If you are like me, you are the resident “tech person” in your family, so for many family members that you only see once or twice a year, this is their one shot to get you to help with the problems and run routine maintenance on their devices. Here’s our list of family tune-up tips for the Holidays.

iOS

There will likely be no shortage of iOS devices around the Thanksgiving table, so here are some iPhone and iPad family tune-up tips for the Holidays.

iCloud

Next, go back to the main iCloud screen and verify that iCloud Photos is enabled. If it’s not, check to see if they will have enough iCloud space to start using it. Losing photos due to a damaged device is one of the worst things that can happen, and it’s 100% preventable.

If they don’t have enough space, talk to them about upgrade options. If they refuse to upgrade, let them know the risks of losing photos, data, etc. in case of a damaged or lost device. If they are in good shape here, you may mention BestPhotos as a way to clean up their library as well.

iOS Updates Verify iMessage Settings Discuss Parental Control Options

Earlier this year, I wrote a quick guide over at 9to5Toys on protecting your kids when they are online. There are a number of free and paid options, so send them to that article so they can start doing some basic things to protect their kids from inappropriate content. At minimum, be sure to set up OpenDNS Family Shield.

OpenDNS Family Shield involves changing your DNS servers at the router level. Each router is different, so you’ll want to use the instructions that came with it for reference. Look for the DNS Servers section, and change it to this:

208.67.220.123

Once you are done, save it, and then visit this page to test it. Once it’s set up, all devices on your network will be filtered by OpenDNS Family Shield.

macOS

Did your favorite Uncle bring his MacBook to Thanksgiving? Here’s a quick list of family tune-up tips for the Holidays.

Verify they don’t have Malware.

If have a family member who’s complaining about pop-ups or has a weird-looking search page, but sure to run Malwarebytes to clean things up.

Verify Time Machine is working

Verify iCloud and iCloud Photos

After you enable it, launch the Photos app. If it asks about setting up a new database, this means they probably haven’t used the app before. Then go to the Photos preferences to see if iCloud is downloading all items or just storing them in iCloud. If they have enough storage, it’s ideal to store them offline.

Talk about offsite backups

If they don’t want to use Time Machine, you may mention a service like Backblaze (referral link) as an option. I have a few co-workers who didn’t want to deal with having to remember to plug in an external drive to make backups, so they just opted for Backblaze. Backblaze will automatically back up a Mac or PC offsite. Offsite backups are especially crucial in case of fire, flood, or theft. Once it’s installed, there is nothing left else to do.

macOS Updates

If you want to plan ahead for Christmas, you can even make a bootable installer using our guide. Making a bootable installer speeds up the process because you don’t have to download a 5+ GB file ahead of time.

Wrap Up

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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