Last week, Lucas led a workshop in Atlanta open to the public at General Assembly Atlanta located in Ponce City Market (if you’re ever in town, this is definitely a must see). The title of the workshop was Hack Your Mac. For those of you that weren’t able to make it, we wanted to share what was covered so you can be a part of it from afar.
Auto Unlock (w/ Apple Watch)
It’s worth noting that in our experience, setting up this particular feature can be a bit tedious and time consuming. Make sure you’ve got a solid 30-45 minutes to spare when you sit down to set this up.
You’ll need your Mac to be running macOS Sierra, your iPhone running iOS 10, and your Apple Watch running watchOS 3. You’ll also need to have two-factor authentication setup for the iCloud account associated with your Mac and Apple Watch.
Please note that two-factor authentication is DIFFERENT than two-step verification. For Auto Unlock to work, you must DISABLE two-step verification and ENABLE two-step authentication.
Once you’ve enabled two-step authentication follow the rest of the steps in the article above to help complete the process. Once you get beyond the two-factor authentication setup, the rest is of the process is relatively easy as long as all your devices are using the same Apple ID! If you have questions, feel free to hit us up!
With the introduction of macOS Sierra and iOS 10, a feature called Universal Clipboard was introduced. This particular feature allows users to copy something on their iPhone, go over to their Mac, paste the same content on their Mac, and vice versa.
In order for this feature to function properly, take the following steps:
- Sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both devices
- Turn Bluetooth
- Turn on WiFi
- Have both devices physically close to each other (feature is dependent on proximity)
After you’ve done all of the above, Universal Clipboard should be ready to use!
For us, it’s a great step forward, but leaves a bit to be desired. There’s plenty of room to innovate with Universal Clipboard, like not having to rely on proximity, bluetooth, AND wi-fi to have the feature work properly. It would also be great if it gave you the option of the 10 most recent things you’ve copied and allowed you to choose what to paste. We’ll give this feature some time to develop.
iCloud Desktop & Documents
This robust feature allows users to the ability to access everything in their Mac Desktop and Document folders from iCloud. This means you can access your Desktop from any other computer or from your iPhone whenever you need it. It also acts as a backup for those files on your Mac should something happen to your device.
This is an exciting feature. With macOS Sierra, Apple has taken a big step forward in helping users manage the storage on their Macs. However! Please be very cautious of how you use iCloud Desktop & Documents if you have two Macs and they’re using the same Apple IDs! This could get messy for you quickly!
It’s about time.
We’ve all clicked > About This Mac > Storage and been terribly confused at how “Other” or “Documents” are taking up hundreds of precious GBs of storage. Now when you see the breakdown of storage, you have an option to “Manage” that storage and dig deeper. 🙌
Purgeable data is a new category that shows up. It is your Mac is telling you the files exist elsewhere and you can safely delete a copy to save space. Optimized Storage is a great, new feature and we can’t wait to see it evolve.
Good Ole Mac Tips
Dock & Window Management
During this part of the workshop Lucas went over some oldies, but goodies. Many of you may already be familiar with some of these so if you need to skim over it, go right ahead!
Full screen apps are fantastic for productivity and if you need to multi-task just open Mission Control and drag two open apps to be side by side in the same window. I actually wrote this postusing Safari and Keynote at the same time. With macOS Sierra, you can even multitask using the same app. So if you need to be writing a document in Pages while referencing another Pages doc, you can do that!
It’s also worth noting, that we now have window snapping! It’s very subtle, and if you’ve got a strong mouse hand then you may not notice. When you put two windows up next to each other on your desktop, they’ll run along each others edge. The windows will do the same with the ledges of the screen as well. This is great for organizational control and window management.
Lucas also covered FileVault. If you don’t have FileVault enabled to encrypt your hard drive, you should heavily consider doing so. FileVault makes it so only you can access your encrypted drive should something happen like your Mac getting stolen or your computer dying. But please, oh please! Do NOT forget your password! That can be quite a mess if you forget your FileVault password and it’s required down the road at some point to unlock your computer!
Don’t forget how useful Spotlight can be! Just hit Command+Space to bring up your Spotlight bar. You can use it to search for files, use it as a calculator, or even ask questions like “What’s the weather?”
For those who like getting work done with minimal interruptions you might want to consider holding down Option and clicking the far right icon on your menu bar at the top of your Mac. That button is your notification center, but when you click it while holding the Option button, you put your Mac in “Do Not Disturb” mode, so you don’t receive any notifications in the top right corner of screen. This one is invaluable for me as I’m easily distracted!
If you’ve got other great tips, we’d love to hear them!
This app has been amazing for our team. You remember one password as your master password and it unlocks all of the other login info that you choose to save. You can save secure notes, credit cards, and more. It’s been invaluable to our team. The iOS version is $10 and the Mac app is $64.99 and it is worth every single penny.
Soulver is a great calculator app that uses natural language. It’s simple yet robust and you should check it out! $2.99 on iOS and $11.99 for your Mac.
A clipboard manager that holds on to more than one copy/paste at a time (what we want Universal Clipboard to do). This app is free (for now). The alternative app you might want to check out that is free is called CopyClip. Both are great apps.
This Apple app got a big upgrade over the last year. It can handle more files, has a great search tool, instant sync between devices, to-do bullets, and you can now share your notes with other people and collaborate. We’re excited to see how this continues to evolve. And using it on more than 2 devices doesn’t cost money like other note apps (cough*evernote*cough)…
Better Touch Tool is an app that allows you to configure gestures for your Magic Mouse, MacBook Trackpad, Magic Trackpad, or even a normal mouse. It also allows users to configure actions for keyboard shortcuts. The companion iPhone app allows you to control your Mac remotely (which can be very handy for presentations and other various scenarios).
This app lets you organize your menu bar apps (hide them, rearrange them, or move them to the Bartender Bar). The Mac app costs $15, but for those who care about aesthetics and organization, this might be one you need.
Lucas covered quite a bit in this workshop. It’s always our goal to help you make the most out of your Apple products. If you’ve got questions, we’d always love to hear them and share what we know. Thanks for sticking with us and have a great week!