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

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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

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                      Last Updated on November 25, 2021

                      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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                      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

                      There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

                      Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

                        What Does Private Browsing Do?

                        When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

                        For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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                        The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

                        The Terminal Archive

                        While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

                        Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

                        dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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                        Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

                        Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

                        However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

                        Clearing Your Tracks

                        Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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                        dscacheutil -flushcache

                        As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

                        Other Browsers and Private Browsing

                        Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

                        If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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                        As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

                        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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