Friday, February 22, 2019

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave
Let us see how to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave. In order to make it easier to quickly edit files without any need of opening the associated apps, Apple introduced a few Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave. With the Quick Actions, the macOS desktop becomes more efficient. Just by using the Quick Action feature in macOS, it can make it very efficient in the way we work. It becomes very useful for busy professionals, whereby the task can be fine-tuned with a bit of minor changes.

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave, you first need to view all the Quick Actions that are available. Firstly, you need to enable the Preview panel in Finder. Open a Finder window and then select the View option in the menu bar. Select the Show Preview or you can press the Shift-Command-P keys.

Let us see how to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave 


Basically, Quick Actions are buttons in Finder whereby you can take actions on a file just with a click of a mouse. Regarding the features that are available on Quick Actions, it depends on which applications are installed or any pre-existing Apple scripts that are present. By using the built-in Automator tool, you can create customized Quick Actions.

With Quick Actions, you can rotate a video or image, trim a video or image, create a PDF from a document or open a file for markup.

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave for photos and images 


When looking at a photo or graphic file, the Quick Action tools appear. Two tool buttons appear along with the ‘More’ button. The tool that appears is dependent on the file type.

The default tools that appear are:

Rotate Left: The file is rotated anticlockwise.

Markup: The Quick Look window appears with a range of markup tools. The tools include drawing, text, rotation and crop. In order to resize an image or colour correction, you have to open the file in an app.

Create PDF: In the icon list, if multiple images are selected, then you can make a PDF.

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave for videos 


When looking at a video, there are two Quick Action tools that appear.

Rotate Left: With this the file is rotated anticlockwise. This is very useful in the case you have made videos on your iPhone and the orientation it was saved is not correct.

Trim: A video can be shortened. There is a large trimming view that appears. The tool works in the similar manner as is the case for QuickTime Player.

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave for audio files 


In the case of audio files, only the Trim tool appears by default. With the More button you can customize the tools.

How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave with PDFs, documents, compressed files and other file types

There is no default Quick Actions tools for file types besides graphics, videos and audio. The Quick Actions tool indicates a ‘More’ button that can be customized.

Customizing Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave 


By clicking the ‘More’ button, a Customize pop-up appears. You are led to the Extensions System Preferences. Select an action in the Finder section of the Preference. There are a few options to add.

By using Apple’s Automator app, you can create your own custom Quick Action.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Apple new Smart Battery Cases: Are They for Everyone?

Apple new Smart Battery Cases
The title may be pretty straight forward- These cases are for Apple’s iPhone user’s right? That may be so but are they really for them? You know what’s great about a long life phone? You don’t have to charge it ever so often. Once you have a full charge you’re set to go for a whole day of hard use. But then comes the inevitable charge time and you’re out with no charger in site. That’s when you really wish you had this $129 Apple’s new smart battery case. It’s easy to slip on and that’s it your iPhone charges up, just like that.

But the question to ask yourself is whether it’s worth the $129 or can you just use a power bank to fuel up instead?

Apple new smart battery Cases for iPhone XR: 


A few weeks ago Apple recently released a smart battery case for the XR. Apple’s new smart battery case sells for $129 as mentioned earlier and you can get them for the iPhone XS and XS Max too. Besides that you can get them in black or white. But that’s on the looks side. Coming to it’s functionality- Apple new smart battery Cases besides making your iPhone look a bit chunky, also charges up your phone.

Apple new Smart Battery Cases
It greatly extends the time before you start looking for a wall charger. To be more specific you can get to up to 39 hours talk time from 25 hours and 22 hours of internet time form 15 hours. You can also charge up your phone for video playback to 27 hours from 16. While these are all estimates, we decided to put Apple’s new smart battery case to the test to see what it can really do.

Apple new smart battery Cases adds to the weight of the Phone: 


While the design may not have changed much since the case’s last release, it does still add to the weight of the iPhone XR. Not only weight but Apple new smart battery Cases also looks chunky and feels chunky. The smart case comes with a hump starting somewhere in the middle of the iPhone case till the end of it. The case comes in white or black and nothing else.

Will you be able to fit your iPhone in and out of your pocket, easily? Well no, not really.

New Features added to Apple new smart battery Cases: 


Now you can charge your iPhone as well as charging case at the same time, something you couldn’t do before. Or you could also use the smart charging case as it is supposed to be used and use it to charge your iPhone wirelessly. The 5W brick that comes with the charging case can be used to charge the iPhone first and then the charging case or you could also use a 10W or 12W charger to charge both simultaneously.

These cases also come with a lightening port. So you can charge your phone and listen to your favorite tunes without missing a beat.

While it may do a good enough job of charging the iPhone, Apple’s new smart charging case does add a lot of chunk to the phone. Plus a power bank will do the job with much lesser the amount of money.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Look At Some of the Best MacBook Alternatives

Macbook
When it comes to laptops, there is nothing to beat the Apple MacBook range. However, if you do not like the macOS, then there are various other best MacBook alternatives you can choose from.

Why is the MacBook popular with the masses?


The Apple MacBook range consists of powerful laptops combined with beautiful design and macOS, making it popular among the masses. The Apple MacBook range comes with brushed aluminum, powerful components and software that make them the most sought after laptops.

However, there are many users who don’t like the macOS and instead prefer the Windows OS. Though the macOS has its own advantages, the Windows OS is a stable platform which has made regular improvements over the years. There are some best MacBook alternatives with comparable specs and are much cheaper than their Apple equivalents.

Let us take a look at some of the best MacBook alternatives



Dell XPS 13 Laptop


MacBook Alternatives
This laptop from Dell is slim and is considered better than the MacBook Pro. This laptop is one of the best MacBook alternatives as it offers a higher resolution (4K) display along with a longer battery life and touchscreen controls. This laptop weighs a mere 2.65 pounds. It costs $1,000 and up.

The Razer Blade Laptop


The new Razer Blade laptop is just 0.66 inches thin. Though all the Razer laptops are targeted for the gaming fans, the new Razer Blade Laptop can be used for everyday purposes. The mightiest Mac notebook is nothing in comparison to the Razer Blade laptop. The laptop comes with a 15.6 inch display and 4K resolution. The RGB-backlit keyboard,a six-core Intel processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 graphics make it one of the best MacBook alternatives. The Razer Blade laptop also has USB-A ports, Thunderbolt 3 and RAM that you can upgrade. The laptop costs $1,899 and up.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop


As an alternative to the slimmer Macs, you can go in for the Microsoft Surface Laptop. They come with the latest chips, a 13 inch display, a nice design and a wonderful keyboard. It is a premium notebook and as one of the best MacBook alternatives it is selling at $799 and upwards.

The Dell Precision 7820


This laptop comes with a six-core Xeon powered workstation. This laptop can be upgraded with powerful processors, with dozens of cores, latest graphics and up to 384 GB of RAM. For additional storage it offers an external caddy. This laptop is one of the best MacBook alternatives and there is a three year repair agreement for the Dell’s pro machines. You can purchase the Dell Precision 7820 for $1,659 and upwards.

Asus Zenbook UX330UA


This laptop is a great notebook and also affordable. This laptop is the best MacBook Air alternative with a great keyboard and display. It is packed with the latest 8 generation Intel i5 processor and has 11 hours battery life. The Asus Zenbook UX330UA is thinner than the MacBook. For $750, you get a powerful and long lasting laptop.

The Lenovo Yoga S730 Laptop


If you are looking for a laptop that is small and yet powerful, then go in for the Lenovo Yoga S730. It is 11.9 mm thick and weighs just 2.6 pounds. It comes with an 8th Generation Intel i7 processor and 10 ½ hours of battery life. This laptop is one of the best MacBook alternatives and retailing at $750 is much cheaper than the current Mac.

Google Pixelbook


If you mainly use the internet for your work and a few other applications, then the best 12 inch MacBook alternative is the Google Pixelbook. It runs on Chrome OS and you can access everything available in the Google Play Store app. The Google Pixelbook comes with powerful hardware, a beautiful screen and a long battery life that lasts through the day. The Google Pixelbook is selling at $883 on Amazon.

HP Spectre x360 15


In case you are looking for a bigger screen, then the HP Spectre x360 15 would be the best MacBook alternative. The laptop comes with an Intel i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 graphics and 12 ½ hours of battery life. The screen could be folded backwards enabling you to use the Spectre x360 as a big tablet. It is selling at $1,400.

Dell XPS 15


The best MacBook Pro 15 alternative is the Dell XPS 15. It has an ‘Infinity edge’ display and more powerful hardware. The $1,200 model comes with an i5 quad-core processor, 8 GB memory, a 1080p display. The Dell XPS 15 also offers a hybrid hard drive with 1TB of storage and GTX 960M graphics.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop


Though there is not much to look at in terms of design, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 makes up for with its features. This laptop has a carbon fiber chassis and a 14 inch QHD display with support for Dolby Vision. The other features include an 8thgeneration Intel Core i5 and i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM and up to 2TB of PCLe SSD storage. It comes with Thunderbolt 2 and 15 hours of battery life. It is selling from $1,709.

Surface Laptop 2


The second generation laptop by Microsoft, builds on the first version. It is a perfect laptop which is a best MacBook Pro alternative. It has a nice design and is available in lots of colors. The greatest advantage is that it is much cheaper than the MacBook Pro. It is suitable for students with a selling price of $999. It comes with 8th gen Intel Core processor, up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. The 13.5 inch display supports touch and Surface Pen. The Surface Laptop 2 by Microsoft has a 14 ½ hours battery life.

These laptops are some of the best MacBook alternatives. If you are looking for cheaper laptops and even better features than what is being offered by Apple, then you can choose the best laptop that will suit your budget.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Eavesdropping Using the FaceTime Bug

Eavesdropping  FaceTime Bug
You get irritated when you catch someone eavesdropping. It is a total breach of privacy and space. But what happens if your phone was the one caught eavesdropping? In an embarrassing situation for Apple- Users complained of eavesdropping. To be more specific, iPhone users can call another iPhone user via FaceTime and even when the recipient of the call does not pick up, the one calling can hear everything the other person is saying. Thus turning the iPhone into an Eavesdropping device.

iPhone an Eavesdropping Device:


Last week social media including Twitter and others blew up with Apple users complaining of eavesdropping. But this time it was their iPhone doing the eavesdropping.

An iPhone user can call someone up via FaceTime and get to hear everything said on the other side without the person even picking up the call.

What caused such an embarrassment?


The problem of eavesdropping may have been the result of a bug and until that is fixed, users are advised to disable the app or be eavesdropped on.

The problem of eavesdropping is not limited to just listening in on a person’s conversation but also obtaining a live feed of the person through their camera. FaceTime which is an online app allows users to make video and audio calls to anyone else using the internet. So besides getting a hear into what the other person is saying, you could also see them without them wanting you.

An Embarrassing Situation for Apple:


The Silicon Valley company prides itself on privacy and security of its users. But with this embarrassing situation it has now disabled Group FaceTime- the source of all the eavesdropping. Apple said in a statement that they have identified the issue and are going to fix it in a software update coming later this week.

The glitch has even earned Apple a statement form officials. The governor of New York has urged people to disable FaceTime till the problem is fixed. He went on to say that this was an enormous breach of privacy and put people at risk.

Replicating the Eavesdropping Bug:

 

You can replicate the eavesdropping bug by using two iPhones. You can place the FaceTime call with one and swipe on the screen to add yourself to the conversation. From there you will be able to listen in on the other person’s conversation. This happened without the other person even picking up. If the recipient hit the volume up and down button during a call that he was unaware of himself having, then the other person would also get access to their camera.

What should you do?


If you don’t want to find yourself in an embarrassing situation, then the best you can do for now is to disable FaceTime. This is a short and temporary fix till Apple is able to launch a software update that they say will be coming in a week’s time.

You can disable FaceTime by going into the iPhone’s settings and tapping on FaceTime and Toggling off.

How to Add Videos in Unsupported Formats to iTunes

If you’re an avid iTunes user you probably really like the fact that all the media that you purchase from the iTunes Store is added automatically to its Library. That makes it easy to browse through the content that is available and find what you need.

However if you download videos from other sources or record them yourself – they won’t appear in iTunes automatically and will need to be added. That is where you may run into difficulties if your video is encoded in an unsupported format.

“What Formats Does iTunes Support?” 


Unfortunately iTunes has fairly strict restrictions on the formats that it supports and that it will allow you to add to the Library. The requirements are that the video must use a MOV, MP4 or M4V container, MPEG-4 or H.264 video codec, and AAC audio codec.

Anything that does not meet those requirements will not be able to be added to iTunes. In most cases either an error will appear that tells you the format is unsupported, or it simply won’t appear in the Library even after you try to add it.

Convert to a Supported Format


The only real solution to the problem is to convert your video to a format that iTunes does support – i.e. one of the options listed above.

The good news is that is a lot easier than you might think, and there are many video converter software and online platforms that can convert the videos – especially to MP4 with H.264 as it is the most popular format right now. For example you could use Movavi Video Converter for Mac (www.movavi.com/videoconvertermac/) to convert practically any format to MP4 with H.264.

It should be noted that you can use any other formats if you prefer, but MP4 with H.264 is the most versatile format that iTunes supports.

Import the Video to iTunes


After the video has been converted into a format that iTunes support, you can try to add it to the iTunes Library.

That just takes a few simple steps: 

  1. Launch iTunes. 
  2. Open the ‘File’ menu. 
  3. Click on the ‘Add to Library’ option. 
  4. Select the video and click ‘Open’.
If you want the video to automatically be stored in the default iTunes media folder after it has been added, you should check the ‘Copy files to the iTunes media folder when adding to library’ option. It is located in the iTunes Preferences, under the ‘Advanced’ tab.

Once you have imported the video, you can check that it is listed in the Movies section. If it is then you’ve been successful, but if it is not then there may be an issue with the format still.

Assuming everything checks out however, you can customize the metadata of the video so that it has all the details that you want.

Final Words


Aside from converting videos to an iTunes-friendly format, there is simply no other way to add unsupported video formats to iTunes. In fact your options are pretty slim if you don’t want to convert the video, and you may have to use a different media player instead.

On the bright side it really isn’t that difficult to convert videos into iTunes-friendly formats – even if the original video is in a fairly obscure format.