Category : Apple

Turn Voicemail into Text with iOS 10


Apple has always had a productive approach to voicemail, first with the visual listing of voicemails with the contact name, date and time attached, making it easy to browse past or go directly to the voicemail you would like to hear. The upgrade to iOS 10 takes this a little further, allowing for voicemail transcription, that can be shared or saved. When you have a voicemail you would like transcribed, open voicemail and select the voicemail you wish to be written. The voicemail should automatically start playing. If the person has just left the message, iOS will start the process automatically, showing a “Transcribing” message, to tell you what is taking place. Once the voicemail is transcribed, the written message will be displayed within the original voicemail, in other words in the visual list of voicemail. This could be helpful in those instances when raising a phone to your ear is not allowed, perhaps during a presentation, work meeting, event, important dinner, etc. The transcription of the voicemail might be a little off, but at least this gives a general idea as to why the person is calling, aka emergency or non emergency. This feature is currently considered a beta feature, therefore after transcription has taken place you will see a tiny typed question asking “Was this helpful?”, which Apple will use to decide if the feature will be a permanent one.



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Turn off read receipts for specific conversations in iOS 10

abbI have my read receipts on and I love the transparency. In a world where we are always accessible, I hope that my read receipts provide my friends and coworkers reassurance that I am not simply ignoring their messages but rather I am not on my phone (which happens!!). I’d like to think this also applies to my family members. Mom, if I haven’t read your texts yet, I am probably not available for a phone call, just saying. But regardless of the read receipts and the reasons behind it, sometimes you don’t want the same features to apply to everyone in your contacts. Perhaps I’ll let you discover that reasoning on your own… 😉

iMessage lets you toggle between showing read receipts and not showing, but that’s as far as the customization goes. In iOS 10 however, users have been given the option to turn off read receipts within each conversation, meaning you can show read receipts to your bff and not your boss. Or vice a versa.

To discover this feature, send read receipts has to be on to start with, meaning if the thought of read receipts alone is too weird for you, you might want to find another iOS 10 feature to play with. First, go to the settings in your iPhone, then messages, and find the send read receipts toggle and implement. So if you are like me, after updating to iOS 10 you can skip this step entirely. Now comes the fun. Begin customizing who will get to see read receipts and who won’t by switching to the Message application in your iPhone. Within each conversation, in the top right corner, tap the information icon. Where you see “send read receipts” with a toggle option, choose how you would like to proceed for that conversation. Proceed with all conversations that you want to not show your read receipts.

As a user, I am torn. I think the accessibility of the feature can be viewed in two ways. Navigating the feature within each conversation could become tiresome if the user is looking to show read receipts for only a few contacts, such as with a significant other or family members. In this regard the user would have to go through every conversation and turn off the feature. What about those contacts that you haven’t texted recently enough to have a conversation to go back to? Will you remember to turn off this feature for each new communication? Probably not. It would be ideal if the feature had better audience control within iMessage settings. In retrospect, for users like myself that already have read receipts in use for all contacts, being able to turn off read receipts for individual conversations is a great bonus.

Nice feature, could have better audience selection.


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Pegasus Spyware Detected – Upgrade to iOS 9.3.5 ASAP


Malware that spies on user phone calls and text messages, has been alleviated thanks to the latest iOS mobile operating system upgrade, and the wise proceedings of a human rights activist. Canadian cyber security research group, Citizen Lab, published a report that a human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, received a text message with a malicious malware link attached. Thankfully Mansoor was not tempted to click on the link.

Rather he passed the link to Citizen Lab where researchers identified the correlation between the link and the NSO Group, an Israeli company notorious for selling a government-exclusive spyware product, Pegasus, that is described as a “lawful intercept”. Most have dubbed this the most sophisticated spyware software detected and Apple, Android and Blackberry smartphone users are the target. The main difference between this malware and others is Pegasus’s ability to infect the powerhouse of the operating system, the kernel of the phone. This allows the software to intercept any conversation before encryption ever takes place, so encrypting such apps proves pointless against Pegasus. The link would have been capable of jail breaking the iPhone and installing surveillance software used to access the camera and microphone. Mansoor’s WhatsApp and Viber calls would have been especially vulnerable in addition to his GPS location services.

Citizen Lab wrote in its report that “[w]e are not aware of any previous instance of an iPhone remote jailbreak used in the wild as part of a targeted attack campaign.”

Last Thursday Apple released the latest version of iOS 9.3.5, which I highly advise upgrading to if you have not already done so. The update improves how iOS devices access memory and adds a patch that prevents visits to maliciously crafted websites from remotely executing arbitrary code.



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There IS a way to activate Siri with your voice, here’s how

So if virtual activation isn’t available on the macOS Sierra Public Beta through the Siri system preferences, then how do I get Siri to activate when I say “Hey Siri”? Through the Sierra Accessibility system preference that’s how.

The default Siri keyboard command in the Sierra Public Beta is to hold down the Command and Space buttons. You have to change, purely because the Accessibility feature doesn’t have a way to hold down a keyboard combination. Duh.

Okay first how to change the Siri keyboard shortcut

  1. Open the Siri system preferences  Apple menu > System Preferences  
  2. Find keyboard shortcut. A few options here for you, choose customize in order to create your own shortcut for the keyboard to acknowledge. siri-keyboard-shortcuts-100672179-large

Creating a Dictation command to activate Siri 

Now that you’ve tweaked the keyboard shortcut, you are ready to make “Hey Siri” work.

  1. System Preferences Apple menu > System Preferences 
  2. Click on Keyboard icon
  3. Click on the Dictation tab. If nothing happens, click on another tab and then click Dictation again (essentially just try it again)
  4. Look for a setting called Dictation. Turn it on. Select Use Enhanced Dictation. 
  5. If you have multiple microphones, you can select the one you prefer to use by clicking the pop-up menu under the microphone icon. sierra-beta-heysiri-keyboard-dictation-100672183-large
  6. Now click the Show All icon at the top of the window, then click on the Accessibility icon. Or, select View in the menu bar and select Accessibility.  sierra-beta-heysiri-accessibility-system-preference-100672184-large
  7.  In the left column of the Accessibility system preference, scroll down to find Dictation and select.
  8. Check the box “Enable the dictation keyword phrase” and type in “Hey”                                                                     A Blog
  9. Click the Dictation Commands Button.
  10. An overlay window appears with a selection list in the left column. Below is a box for “Enable advanced commands” Check this box.
  11. Click the + button. This will allow you to create a custom command.
  12.  Blogg
  13. Click Done.


Thank you mac world for the steps! Check out for the full article.

What should I use to run Windows on my Mac?


It pays to know how to run Windows on Apple machines as there will most certainly be times when running Windows is a must in order to run an application. Here are 5 easy ways to run Windows and Windows applications on your Mac.

Boot Camp – OS X allows you to install Windows directly onto your hardware and boot into the operating system, using a feature called Boot Camp. If you have ever run a dual-boot PC then this should ring a bell. No additional software is needed as everything is already built into the device. Even better, since Windows will run as the native operating system you will have access to the full power of the system. The downside of Boot Camp is that you can run only one operating system at a time, which means you also cannot run Apple and Windows applications at the same time. Switching between operating systems means going back into Boot Camp, which can be time consuming.

Virtual Machine – Another option would be via a virtual machine. A good software choice that comes highly recommended is Parallels Desktop. If you want to be able to run Windows and OS X at the same time this is the perfect software for you. At $80 for a license, this software is super fast and easy to use. In addition, you can make snapshots and backups for your virtual machine easily in case something goes wrong. Although this method does require additional software it is a worth it purchase.

Remote Desktop – This is a good option for those that already have a PC running Windows. You can easily access the PC remotely via your Mac, giving you access to all the data and applications on that system. Microsoft even has a free tool that helps you remote in. I would not advise buying a separate PC just for this purpose, but if you already have a PC running Windows you should give this a try and utilize all your free resources. Just remember your files aren’t saved locally using this method.

Wine – By the glass or the bottle? Not quite. Wine is a program that is actually a compatibility layer rooted in Linux and works on OS X. This is a free method  and is fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Captain. You don’t even need Windows or a license to utilize Wine. It can have a few problems now and again, after all it is free so patience is key with this one.

CrossOver for Mac – CrossOver is compatible with thousands of Windows applications, but it is not free, subscriptions start at $40. This commercial option provides better coverage than Wine but does not guarantee that every application will work. In comparison to a virtual machine this is an easier option.

Many that switch between OS X and Windows become frustrated by the track pad not working in the same way. Trackpad is a utility for Apple’s Multitouch and Force Touch track pads on Mac machines. It supports 2, 3, and 4 finger OS X gestures and also supports Windows gestures. In addition it has the ability to detect and ignore accidental touches of the track pad. Pretty cool.



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iPhone 7 – 256 GB? Dual Lens? Waterproof?

iphone 7
Alright. Lets break down some of those rumors, here’s a few of the prospects for whats to come with the iPhone 7.  First of all we know that the 16 GB model is out and the 32 GB model is in. Rumors suggest that Apple will offer 32 GB, 64 GB and..wait for it… a 256 GB model! Who will use that much space and how much will it cost? No one knows. Another rumor with credible plausibility is the integration of a dual-lens camera. Based on the LinX technology that Apple acquired this past year, the dual-lens feature will allow for wide-angle lens and zoom-in with the telephoto lens. The camera would be able to take two separate pictures at the same time, or in the same accord use one lens to shoot video and the other to take still photos. This technology is already present on the Galaxy S7, which leads many to believe Apple will do the same in order to compete. Also exciting to many, the space gray might be replaced by the space black, as seen with the Apple Watch Sport. Silver has always been one of Apple’s favorite color themes so the odds of doing away with silver are small, but the probability that they will bring back a black iPhone is high. The iPhone 7 might have a flat home button that will send a small vibration rather than a click when pressed. The new home button would use Force Touch with haptic feedback. It is expected that Apple will continue to tweak the home button as a part of making new iPhone models more durable. In this same effect, rumors have circulated that Apple is looking at making this next model waterproof. The iPhone 6s had waterproof features not talked about, and not marketed as a fully waterproof device. It only seems right that Apple would increase this waterproofing effort with the next model. Two rumors that have people upset are the doing away with the headphone jack, and changes to the Lightning port. The headphone jack, I totally understand. Many use that jack to connect an AUX cord to play audio in the car, and although wireless headphones are widely available, not everyone has a spare pair lying around. When you purchase an iPhone from the Apple Store, included is a pair of headphones. I wonder, if Apple does away with the headphone jack, will a complimentary pair of wireless headphones be included? Might lessen the blow. The Lightning port is said to change as well, but this will not actually affect the Lightning cables, so those with lightning cables now will not have to buy connector replacements. The change is said to affect mostly phone case makers who will have to accommodate the new smaller cutout around the port.

September is just around the corner Apple addicts!

iphone 7


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Mac Malware blocked if you fix this simple Setting

mac malware

In the last week two different types of OS X malware made their debut and it has Mac users biting their nails about the possibility of an unprotected Mac. Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor and OSX/Keydnap, the two newest Mac malware, are both blocked from execution if managed with the appropriate Mac settings.

As MacWorld points out to us, with some malware there is little that can be blamed on the user. The software that leverages vulnerabilities in the operating system to install without verification or that has the ability to mask itself as an application that it is really not, is usually to blame. But how easy is it to really spot this in the act? Most of us can’t, and have to rely on an operating system, or researchers  in order to find out about the malware and by that time who knows whats happening on the device.

The Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor is a Trojan horse distributed under the name EasyDoc Converter. Masking itself as a file converter application through reputable websites that offer Mac software, users think they are downloading valuable Mac software when really, they are in for a big surprise. This is the time when I advise you the user, to be careful when downloading software from sites that are not the direct developer. Nowadays many download sites package software inside of installers that also install adware or other unwanted apps. The OSX/Keydnap  malware vector distribution is unknown. We do know that it arrives in the form of a ZIP archive that has to be extracted, with the file inside double clicked.

OK the goods. Unsigned apps can only launch by either right-clicking the app after it is downloaded, selecting Open from the contextual menu, and agreeing to launch the app even though it is unsigned. OR If the Security & Privacy system preference pane’s General tab has Allow Apps Downloaded From set to Anywhere. This should be changed to Mac App Store and Identified Developers.  In the new macOS Sierra, this won’t be a problem as the Anywhere option has been removed for this very reason. Remember, Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor and OSX/Keydnap will be blocked if these settings are in place, so even if you mess up and don’t take any of my advice to heart, your Mac will still be safe.



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macOS Sierra – New Goodies for Apple Users

macOS Sierra

If you upgrade from OS X 10.11 El Captain, to version 10.12 this fall, you’ll be upgrading to macOS Sierra not OS X. You can try an early version of OS now, here’s the goods if you decide to give it a test. macOS Sierra will be a free upgrade and works on any mac from 2010 and on, and MacBooks and iMacs from 2009 and on.

Siri finally comes to Mac. Off the tails of Microsoft’s integration of their built-in speech assistant Cortana. The Mac doesn’t listen to you all the time so she won’t respond to “Hey Siri”. Rather she pops up with a keystroke, the default keystroke being Fn +space, or a mouse click works just the same. Siri will be there in a second to help you find nearby restaurants, closing times, weather reports, sports scores, news, a picture, whatever you name it. You can drag Siri’s answers from a pop-up window to the notification pane or drag images into documents. A new preference panel allows you to decide whether you would like Siri to respond to questions with voice or typed responses. Perfect for work folks. You can also choose Siri’s gender and nationality.

Sierra introduces a universal clipboard that lets you save text on a Mac and paste it into your iPad or iPhone, and vice a versa. Tightening up the Apple ecosystem once more. You can also enjoy automatic unlocking of a Mac, when an unlocked Apple Watch is close by.

New to the Mac is picture in picture. On the iPad you can extract a video from a Web page and have it play on your macOS desktop without the surrounding Web page. The video stays playing, in the same position, even when you switch among multiple desktops.

The Finder is also improved. A new option that automatically empties items from he trash after 30 days, should make for more efficient machines. You can also employ the new option to put folders first when the Finder lists files and folders by name. Windows has had similar features for years. Long overdue for Mac.

Unless you turn this new feature off, Sierra will automatically upload to iCloud form your desktop and documents folders. The point here is that all the files that you use most often will be instantly available on any of the Apple devices you use. Even the Windows devices you use that have iCloud installed. Could be a good tool for those switching back and forth between Sierra and Windows machines. Sierra will also advise you on which files you might want to delete from your Mac and store in the cloud, only downloading them when needed. Although this might be a good option for those with limited space on their machines but with loads of space available in the cloud, the 5GB free in the cloud will certainly not be enough if all files are being uploaded to the iCloud automatically. Perhaps a small ploy to get users to entertain more iCloud storage.

The Memories feature in Photos uses facial recognition to combine related photos into movies that pan in and out of your pictures with a soundtrack added. It’s a pretty cool feature, not sure if it will have a profound effect on the average user, but we will just have to wait and see if it takes off.

Maps, Mail, and any application that normally opens multiple windows can now use separate tabs instead. I really appreciate this feature, although small, it significantly de-clutters my screen. When I use Mail and have an average of 3 messages open at once, they are all organized and easy to use with the integration of tabs. Much easier navigation and efficiently.

More to come in 2017…Apple plans to release a new file system to users in 2017, called Apple File System (APFS). This should bring new security, speed, and reliability features. Only available to developers now, Apple is planning to take their time testing and perfecting the file system before it’s release. This will be the biggest file system change Apple has had in 30 years. Stay tuned.



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Apple it’s about time you retire the 16 GB iphone

The Wall Street Journal reported this past week from an inside source that Cupertino is retiring the 16GB iPhone. The base model of the iPhone 7 is expected to double to 32GB. Currently Apple offers the iPhone 6s in 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB models. The 16GB version of the iPhone was long overdue to be retired. Lets be honest, the iPhone can do way more than 16GB can hold. It has been long advised that consumers buy a higher storage iPhone rather than a less expensive 16GB model. I now have a 64GB iPhone 6 and after nearly two years and 11,706 photos, I still have 14GB of storage free on my device. Plenty of room to install future OS updates, and add to my collection of cat photos. Well worth the money in my opinion.

That being said, if I had skimped on the storage model when I bought my iPhone 6, I would have ran out of space long ago seeing as I have used 41.4 GB of storage to date.

“Hallelujah!” writes the Journal‘s Joanna Stern. “I’ve long said that keeping the 16GB iPhone was just a ploy for Apple to get people to buy the 64GB model—for $100 extra.”

Apple rumors are still in full swing as we approach the release of a new model this following year. Reports have been made that Apple plans to incorporate only minor changes to the new iPhone 7, such as the removal of the headphone plug  which should make the device thinner. We have also heard that Apple will keep the same screen size as released with the iPhone 6, the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch models. However, the iPhone’s 10th Anniversary is fast approaching in 2017 which leads many to speculate that big changes are in the works. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!


iOS 10 makes it easier to be an organ donor


In the latest version of the Health app, expected to roll out this fall with the new iPhone 7, users can now add themselves as organ donors. Using the new Medical ID feature users can add themselves to the National Donate Life Registry, managed by Donate Life America. The Medical ID feature within the Health app already allows users to input their birth date, height, blood type, as well as allergy information that is available on the iPhone lock screen in case of emergency. Apple notes that 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a new organ, and hopes that by making it easier to register, this number can decrease drastically.

“On average, one person dies every hour in the United States waiting for an organ transplant because the demand for lifesaving transplants far exceeds the available supply of organs — and one donor can save as many as eight lives,” says Donate Life CEO David Fleming.

The initiative first came about during Steve Jobs’ uneasy wait for a liver transplant. This put a spotlight on the transplant process and the length of time that many Americans wait for a transplant. During this time Mark Zuckerberg was also inspired to add a feature to Facebook which allows users to sign up as an organ donor on their timeline (available since about 2012).

Apple chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, explains the updated Health application will provide education about organ donation while making it extremely easy to register. “It’s a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives.”- Jeff Williams



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