You can hide the macOS Sierra upgrade banner in Mac App Store

You can hide the macOS Sierra upgrade banner in Mac App Store

If you’re still running an old version of macOS, you’re likely be annoyed by the big macOS Sierra banner that appears on the top of the “Updates” tab of the Mac App Store app. This is especially true for those with older Mac which technically is not able to upgrade to macOS Sierra. Fortunately you can easily get rid of the banner. Just right click on the banner and select the menu option “Hide Update”. The big banner will disappear.

You can send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

Messages app for iOS 10 comes with a neat tool that allows you to scribble and send handwritten message. This feature is build right within and there is no need to install additional plugin or app.

The handwriting ability for Messages app is a little hidden though. To activate it, start by tapping into the text entry box. Then rotate iPhone into the horizontal position.

You can send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

You should now see a full screen blank panel that you can scribble text on it. There is an even a handy “Undo” button on left-top corner. Once you’ve scribbled enough, tap the “Done” button on right-top corner. This will bring you back to the familiar chat screen. Simply hit the up arrow button as usual to send the handwritten message.

send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

If you can not see the handwriting input panel while on horizontal position, tap the cursive loop icon button on right bottom corner of the keyboard.

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Just about all macOS users are aware that you can add items to the dock by dragging the item from Finder into the dock. There is a quicker way by using a handy keyboard shortcut.

First select the item in Finder, be it an app in the Applications folder, a file or document, or even a folder. Enter Command+Control+Shift+T. The selected item will now be in the dock. Applications will be added to the left/top side of the dock, whereas documents or folder will be at the right/bottom end of the dock.

Use + in your Gmail address for easy label and search

When you send an email to a Gmail address, Google’s email system will disregard anything you put after a “+”. For example, emails send to will be sent to There is no need to create another email account.

This feature is handy for labelling and tagging purpose. For example you can use the email address for subscribing to newsletters. You can then label “davidwest+mailing” to easily group and find newsletter emails.

In addition to “+” plus symbol, Gmail also ignore any period in an email address. Thus emails send to “” and “” will all be sent to “”.

Instapaper Premium is now free

Instapaper Premium is now free

Instapaper has killed off its $29.99 per year Premium subscription service, making all the Premium features free for everyone. This put Instapaper well ahead of its competitor Pocket.

Instapaper Premium includes an ad-free Instapaper website, full-text search, unlimited notes, text-to-speech playlists, unlimited speed reading, send to Kindle and Kindle Digests of up to 50 articles.

To migrate from Pocket, run the export tool at Then at Instapaper go to Settings > Import

You might wonder how can Instapaper be an on-going concern with no subscription income and ads revenue. These are the replies from Instapaper:

There’s no catch. Our operational overhead is low, and now that we’re owned by Pinterest we can focus on just delivering the best product to our users.

The value that Pinterest gets from Instapaper are improvements to our text parser and aggregate information about links on the web. We have no plans to serve ads.

How to check if System Integrity Protection (SIP) is enabled on your Mac

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a macOS feature that is designed to safe-guard malware by restricting the access to protected files and folders. You’re not able to edit or remove protected files and folders even if you’re a root user.

SIP is available since macOS El Capitan and is enabled by default. However it appears that SIP is turned off for some users of the new MacBook Pro late 2016. Apple is aware of the issue and will likely issue a fix in a future update.  

You can check the SIP status of your Mac using the following Terminal command:

$ csrutil status
System Integrity Protection status: enabled.

You should get back an “enabled” status. It is advisable to pay Apple Support a visit if SIP in your brand new Mac is disabled by default. 

Enable App Extensions in Apple Maps for iOS 10

In iOS 10, Apple Maps has a neat App Extensions feature that allows for third party apps to integrate with the Maps app. You can for instance call a ride with Uber and book a restaurant with OpenTable all without leaving the Maps app.

Enable App Extensions in Apple Maps for iOS 10

App Extensions for Apple Maps however are not enabled by default. Go to Settings > Maps and scroll down to the Extensions section. Toggle the switch to turn on any apps you want enabled.

How to enable the expanded file save panel as default in macOS

How to enable the expanded file save panel as default in macOS

When saving a file in macOS, it is common practice to click on the dropdown arrow to expand the save panel to make it easier to navigate and save the file to a different location. If this additional click annoys you, you can set the expanded file save panel as a default.

Open Terminal apps and enter the following two commands:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool true
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode2 -bool true

That’t it. The next time when you do a File Save…, the expanded save panel will be displayed. To revert back, simply enter the same commands with the bool value set to ‘false’ like so:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool false
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode2 -bool false