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Things You Need to Know About Mac OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10)

Things You Need to Know About Mac OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10)

The newest operating system for Apple Mac computers, OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10), brings a slew of impressive new features. The free update boasts exciting steps forward for users, especially for those with other Apple devices in addition to their Mac desktop. Since this update makes the most of multiple Apple devices, it may seem intimidating. However, the newest features are designed to integrate seamlessly with the programs you already use, so moving forward should be a breeze. To make the transition effortless for you, here are the top 10 things you need to know about Mac OS X Yosemite.

1. Added Mail Functions

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    The new and improved mail client in OS X Yosemite includes an intelligent way to add text and shapes to images or PDFs. This eliminates the need for an extra program to mark up or annotate these types of files. Not only that, you can also sign PDF forms right in Mail. You can quickly use your trackpad to draw your signature with your finger, or even capture it using the camera on your Mac.

    2. Handoff

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      Perhaps the most talked about new feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to “hand off” files between your devices. With Handoff, emails, documents, notes, reminders, and many other programs let you switch devices smoothly without needing to email yourself or remember a web address.

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      3. Screen Sharing and Airdrop

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        The new OS X Yosemite also integrates screen sharing using your Apple ID. With screen sharing you can share what is on any Apple device with any other Apple device. This means you can now pair your computer with your Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone wirelessly, just by entering your Apple ID. Additionally, Apple’s simple system of transferring files wirelessly between mobile devices now works with desktop too. Known as Airdrop, sending files between desktop and mobile is easy, even if an app or program doesn’t support Handoff.

        4. Access Maps Anywhere

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          On top of Handoff and Airdrop, one little-known tool that OS X Yosemite brings to the table is sure to be a real time saver. Maps, the desktop version of Apple Maps, now pairs effortlessly with your Apple mobile device. This means you can view directions you previously looked up on your computer using only your device on the go. This eliminates the need to save or email a copy of directions, plus you can view locations or directions you previously searched on any of your Apple devices connected to your Apple ID.

          5. Text

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            Another new exciting feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to send and receive text messages. Similar to Handoff, you can read messages sent to your iPhone on your Mac (regardless of whether your friend uses Apple products). Impressively, you can click a number in Address Book, Calendar, Mail or Messages and your computer will automatically make a phone call using your iPhone.

            6. Phone

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              This powerful connectivity with your phone also works the other way around: if a friend calls your iPhone, you can answer it directly from your computer. Sure to maximize your productivity, OS X Yosemite also lets you start a call on one device and finish it on another. Plus, OS X Yosemite includes a way to merge two calls to start a conference call, and your computer rings with the same ring tones assigned to the contacts in your phone. Finally, clicking a contact on your computer from any program also brings up the option to FaceTime that friend instead of call. You can also answer phone calls from a friend with Apple devices with video, immediately converting any call to FaceTime.

              7. Spotlight

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                This OS update also brings impressive new features to Mac’s native search client called Spotlight. Now when you press that magnifying glass in the top right-hand corner of your screen, you will not only be able to search your files, applications and emails, you will also be able to find nearby movie showtimes, unit conversions, books, news, and even Wikipedia entries.

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                8. Family Sharing

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                  One new feature designed with families in mind seeks to make many things easier around the house. Family Sharing lets you set up one account with up to five other family members. Members simply agree to an email that makes them part of the group. Immediately, everyone in the group is able to access each other’s purchased music, movies, TV shows, books and shared information from apps. In addition, a family calendar is automatically set up in Calendar so each member of the group sees the same thing. Each member can edit or add dates on the calendar. iPhoto also lets users create a shared family photo album, and parents can set up alerts to control kids’ App Store purchases. Finally, the reminders app automatically includes a shared list for your family group. Each person receives alerts for a reminder set, and can edit or add reminders themselves. Especially for busy families, this stands to make scheduling and day-to-day life much easier.

                  9. Night Mode

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                    Another lesser-known feature with OS X is a new way to display your desktop. Perhaps most helpful for those in photo and video environments, you can now set the dock and menu bar to a “Night Mode,” making viewing the screen in the dark easier. Now there’s finally a way to make long nights of studying, emailing, or editing less strenuous on your eyes.

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                    10. Safari History

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                      Last but not least, some major improvements come to Apple’s newest version of Safari. Safari now lets you access your web browsing history from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch via iCloud. You can also view the open tabs and history from all of your Apple devices. In addition, the browser now plays videos from most websites without needing additional plug-ins.

                      Learn more about OS X Yosemite with Apple’s complete list of features.

                      Featured photo credit: Mike Deerkoski via flickr.com

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                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on February 19, 2020

                      11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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