I usually write and publish blog posts from my iMac. The other day I happened to be using my MacBook instead. So, after I wrote and published the article I wanted to view it. After viewing it I noticed that WordPress.com was counting my own views in stats. I was surprised that this was happening because it had never happened on my iMac.
The rule for WordPress.com is as long as you’re logged into your WordPress.com account your own views are automatically not counted. So why were my views being counted when I use my MacBook?
Here’s the reason. My iMac is running Sierra. My MacBook is running High Sierra. The privacy settings in Safari 12 are different for each macOS.
iMac running Sierra and Safari version 12
MacBook running High Sierra and Safari version 12
On my MacBook running Hight Sierra when Preferences > Privacy > Prevent cross-site tracking is enabled WordPress.com won’t recognize my site as logged in. It’s being blocked. So to prevent WordPress.com from counting my views I had to temporarily disable Prevent cross-site tracking.
I’ve been having problems with iCloud sync on my MacBook. The odd thing is, it seems to only affect certain apps. For example, Bear always syncs and almost simultaneously. Ulysses almost never syncs unless I first trigger a sync by editing or starting a new sheet.
Today I saved a new file to iCloud from my iPhone so that I could edit it later on my MacBook. When I went to my MacBook to edit the file it wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure how to get the file to sync so on a whim I edited a file that was already on my iCloud Drive. That forced a sync and the file appeared.
This issue has been frustrating me for some time. So, today I disconnected iCloud Drive on my MacBook and then re-enabled it. After everything synced back up I ran a test to see if that might have fixed the problem. As a test, I created a file in iCloud Drive on my iPhone and then went to iCloud Drive on my MacBook to see if the file was there. It was. Fingers crossed my MacBook iCloud sync issue is now fixed.
Sometimes I have several tabs open in Safari when I’m searching for something to write about. When I’ve settled on something I often want to close all the other open tabs. Rather than closing each tab individually, I do the following:
Right-click (or Control+Click) on the tab I want to keep open
Choose “Close Other Tabs” to instantly close all the other open tabs
Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!
So You’ve Frozen Your Credit Files. Here Are Tips on Unfreezing Them.
People who had already established security freezes, and now want to thaw them to apply for a loan or credit card, will see a difference. With the new law taking effect, two bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion — this month abandoned the use of personal identification numbers, or PINs, to manage freezes online. (PINs are still needed, though, if you want to lift a freeze by calling on the phone.) Via New York Times
Sneaky subscriptions are plaguing the App Store – TechCrunch
Subscriptions have turned into a booming business for app developers, accounting for $10.6 billion in consumer spend on the App Store in 2017, and poised to grow to $75.7 billion by 2022. But alongside this healthy growth, a number of scammers are now taking advantage of subscriptions in order to trick users into signing up for expensive and recurring plans. They do this by intentionally confusing users with their app’s design and flow, by making promises of “free trials” that convert after only a matter of days, and other misleading tactics. Via TechCrunch
How To Set Up An Appointment At An Apple Store – AppleToolBox
Is your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple Product not working or behaving as expected and you need to make an appointment at your local Apple Store? But can’t figure out how to do that? If so, we got you covered with these easy steps to help you set up an appointment at an Apple Store with those Apple Geniuses! Via AppleToolBox
Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out next year – The Verge
If you’ve ever bought a Wi-Fi router, you may have had to sort through specs that read like complete gibberish — like “802.11ac” or “a/b/g/n.” But going forward, Wi-Fi is adopting version numbers so that it’ll be easier to tell whether the router or device you’re buying is on the latest version. Via The Verge
One complaint I and many others have had with Safari was the lack of Favicons in tabs. Well, with Safari 12 on Mac and iOS complain no more.
To enable Favicons on tabs in macOS:
First off you will need to have updated to Safari 12 and be running either Sierra or High Sierra. Now open Safari and go to Preferences > Tabs > Show website icons and check the box.
To enable Favicons on tabs in iOS:
First off you will need to running iOS 12. Now open Settings and go to Safari > Show icons in tabs and turn it on.
I broke my rule of waiting a few days before updating to a new OS on my iPhone. I went ahead and installed iOS 12 on it and my iPad this morning. I figured I would be safe based on everything I’ve heard from those who have been running the beta and so far everything is working fine.
To get up to speed I’m working my way through Federico Viticci’s MacStories iOS 12 review. It is well written and illustrated. I highly recommend it. Give it ago because there are some nice new features like Screen Time and Shortcuts that you’re going to want to learn how to use.
I was ticked off this morning after updating Bear on all my devices. All my notes were looking a little strange. I first noticed it in my todo lists. The checkboxes didn’t look right and bold was no longer bold.
Here’s the solution. Go into Settings > General and turn Markdown compatibly mode back on and everything will be okay. You’ll need to do this on each device that you have Bear installed on.
This is a bad move by the developer. They should know better.
If you have been following my blog for a while you know that I’m a big fan of Alfred. I use it all the time for finding and opening files. One thing I didn’t know though is that when searching files you can do a Quick View. In the past, I’ve always opened the file in the appropriate app to view it. With Alfred Quick View I can press ⇧ or ⌘Y to bring up a quick view of the file. This is a nice time saver.
The good news is that you can make their Mac experience as enjoyable as yours by simplifying it for them. And that’s where the following list of macOS tweaks comes in handy. Via MakeUseOf
How to Prepare Your Digital Legacy
What will happen to all the digital content you own after you die? Will a loved one be able to access your Dropbox folder to get copies of your personal documents? And how can your next of kin get access to your iCloud account to save copies of your photos? What will happen to your music collection when you pass? These are all great questions that I’ll answer in this article, including your options for securing your digital assets and passing them on to your family.
Here’s how to prepare your digital legacy and ensure that your loved ones can access your information left online after you die. Via Intego Blog
Few Alexa owners use voice to shop, despite big projections
Analysts have been aggressively optimistic in their predictions about the growth of consumer shopping via virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, but a new report claims that only a small fraction of Alexa device owners shop with voice commands. And most of those who do only try it once or stick to a limited range of products. Via ars Technica
Switching between multiple open windows in the same application has always been a pain point for me. Go to Window in the application Menu Bar and then select the window I want from the list of open windows. Or right click on the application in the Dock and select the window from list of open windows.
I just learned that there’s an easier way. Use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + Tilde to quickly switch between open windows in the same application. So, for example, there are times when I have several Safari windows open at the same time. I can quickly sort through them with this keyboard shortcut.
Next time you have several windows open in the same application give it a try.
The other day I was checking the available storage on my 2015 13” MacBook Pro which only has 128 GB of flash storage. While doing so, I noticed something strange. In the Storage tab of About This Mac GarageBand was using 2 GB of storage. I found that odd since I don’t have GarageBand installed on this Mac.
With only 128 GB of flash storage, I wanted to reclaim the space. This TekRevue article by Jim Tanous, Delete GarageBand to Save Gigabytes of Mac Storage, helped me find some hidden GarageBand folders. After I removed them, High Sierra doesn’t show anymore GarageBand content in About This Mac.
These are the folders that I deleted.
HD/Library/Application Support/GarageBand (995MB)
Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Logic (880MB)
Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Apple Loops (up to 10GB)
You should read the article and follow the instructions before deleting these folders.
The default way to open files or folders on the Mac is with Finder. Using Alfred I’m able to launch files and folders with fewer mouse clicks. I do this with Alfred’/s Quick File Search. I activate Alfred tap the space bar and start typing the name of the file or folder I’m looking for. I also use Alfred to navigate through my Mac’s file system. To start, I type: / (slash) to go to the root folder on my Mac, or ~ (tilde) to go to my user directory. This is a great way to quickly make my way through folders without using the Finder and my mouse.
For my most often used folders I’ve created a workflow that lets me open them with keyboard shortcuts. For example ⌃⌘ right arrow will open my Dropbox folder.
I find that using Alfred to search and launch files and folders to be much more productive than using the Finder.
Bear has several special searches that I find useful.
The other day I imported a large number of files without tags into Bear. Once imported I did a @untagged search to find them and then added the proper tag(s). This saved a lot of time. I also do a @untagged search every week or so to find notes that I’ve added and forgot to tag.
I also use @task, @todo, and @done to manage tasks. You can see the definition of what each one does below.
Here’s a list of all Bears special searches:
@tagged : shows the notes which have at least one tag
@untagged: shows the notes without tags
@today: show the notes modified the current day
@yesterday: show the notes modified the day before the current
@images: shows the notes which contain images
@files: shows the notes which contain files
@attachments: shows the notes with files or images
@task: shows the notes which include at least one todo element, either complete or not
@todo: shows only the notes with not completed todos
@done: shows only the notes with all the todos completed
@code: shows the notes which includes at least one code
There are a number of text expansion apps available for the Mac the most popular being TextExpander. I considered it but the monthly subscription was a deal breaker for me. I also didn’t need anything that powerful. All I needed was basic text expansion and sync across both my Macs. After exploring several alternatives I settled on using the text expansion feature that was already a part of the Alfred app.
Alfred’s text expansion feature allows me to quickly type out frequently used snippets of text, my email addresses, my name, my phone number, my address, markdown syntax, special keyboard symbols (⌘, ⌥, ⇧), the date and time, and more with a short keyword. For example, I can type ,ddate and get the current date or I can type ,rwr and get “Run, walk, run miles @MAF” which is a text snippet I use for logging my runs in Garmin Connect. Text expansion is all about saving time and increasing productivity.
Sometimes websites that I regularly visit have a font that’s so small my aging eyes have difficulty reading it. Safari 11 for Mac has a nice feature that lets me set a permanent zoom level for those websites. Now, the next time I visit the site it’s already zoomed to the level I need for easy reading. Safari does this automatically, but the zoom can also be controlled from Safari Preferences Safari > Preferences > Websites > Page Zoom. You’ll see all the websites that are open, and those that are already configured (if you’ve already changed the zoom).
There are times when I need to go back to something that I copied to the clipboard and use it again. The macOS clipboard only holds my most recently copied item. So in order to go back to something I need to have a clipboard manager that holds my history.
On my Mac, I use Alfred’s built-in Clipboard Manager. It’s really handy and easy to use. My viewer hotkey set to ⌥⌘C. So all I have to do is type my hotkey and the viewer pops up with my history ready for me to select what I need. If my list is fairly long I can either scroll the list or do a search for what I’m looking for.
One of the things I like about Alfred is the ability to clear items from the history. I have mine set to clear an item after it has been in history for 24 hours. That helps keep my history cleaned up. If I want to clear the history before the 24 hours I can clear my clipboard history by typing “clear” in Alfred’s main search box and choosing whether I want to erase the last 5 minutes, 15 minutes or all of Alfred’s history. By default, Alfred ignores popular password applications like the macOS Keychain Access and 1Password, so that you don’t inadvertently copy a password to your clipboard.
I also have Copied which is a more advanced clipboard manager. Since Alfred is Mac only I use it to copy items between my Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I could use Copied in place of Alfred on my Mac but I prefer the quick access and simplicity of Alfred.
To learn more you can check out these Alfred articles:
If like me you have more than one iOS device using the same Apple ID you may have noticed that if you download an app on one device the same app will download to the other device. This started happening to me after I got my iPad a few months ago. When I download an app for my iPad it would also download it to my iPhone if it was an app that wasn’t already on my iPhone. Since I don’t always need or want the same apps on both devices I was having to delete apps from my iPhone. Then I discovered that there’s a setting called Automatic Downloads that’s on by default. I went into Settings and turned it off on both devices. Now app downloads only happen on the device I’m using.
Here’s how you do it. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads and toggle the switch next to apps to the off position.
If you been following my blog you know I’m a big fan of Alfred. It does an amazing array of things on my Mac. It’s without a doubt my most used app.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a series of articles about the ways I’m using Alfred. As a heads up, some of them require the Powerpak.
If you’re new to Alfred the basic app is free. The Powerpack is $26 US, which I highly recommend. If you would like to follow along go ahead and download the free version now. That way you’ll be ready to follow along when the first article in the series is published.