Apple begins automatic rollout of High Sierra to older Macs

If you’re running macOS 10.12 Sierra or earlier, and do not wish to upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra, be careful as Apple is now downloading High Sierra update automatically to your Mac in the background, making it all too easy to upgrade inadvertently.

This is a change of behaviour from Apple. In the past, only minor changes or security updates are forced into users like that. Apple explained this change in its support article:

If you’re using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, High Sierra conveniently downloads in the background, making it even easier to upgrade your Mac. When the download has completed, you receive a notification indicating that High Sierra is ready to be installed. Click Install in the notification to get started.

If you want to install High Sierra later, just dismiss the notification. Install it at any time by opening the file named Install macOS High Sierra from your Applications folder, Launchpad, or Spotlight. Or delete the installer by dragging it to the Trash. You can always get it again from the App Store.

Please note that this ‘convenience’ imposed by Apple is an automatic download of a 5.21 GB Installer in the background. Apple does not bother if you have limited disk space or bandwidth for the download. This could cause users some extra telco fees without them agreeing.

Please note that even if you’ve configured your Mac to prevent downloading updates in the background, the High Sierra Installer will still be forced into you.

If you’re not ready to upgrade to High Sierra, you may want to search under the Applications folder and remove the large “Install macOS High Sierra” file.

macOS High Sierra, together with iOS 11, are the most unpolished releases from Apple in recent years. It is advisable to upgrade to them when their .2 versions are released. Wait for macOS 10.13.2 High Sierra and iOS 11.2.

Reduce system animations in iOS 11

If you’ve been using iOS for a few years, you might notice that Apple has tuned up system animations up a little in iOS 11. This is Apple saying it has a brand new animation library and want you to take notice.

Some people might find the animation annoying. Good thing is there is a setting for you to reduce the motion.

Goto Settings app > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn on the “Reduce Motion” switch. You will notice opening and closing apps are now almost instantaneous. Try it out, you might prefer the less motion setting.

Use iOS Restrictions to hide system apps

iOS Restrictions is build for the use case when you want to restrict usage of phone features when someone else is using your phone. It is very useful for example to restrict “In-App Purchases” while your kid is using your phone for some games.

You can however use Restrictions for yourself by hiding unused system apps from the home screen. For example to reduce web browsing time or you use primarily other browser, you can hide Safari. If WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is your video chat apps, you can hide the FaceTime app. Or hide the Podcasts app and use one from third party developer. Sometimes disabling “In-App Purchases” for yourself is a good choice when self-control is not enough.

To use it, go to Settings app > General > Restrictions. Tap “Enable Restrictions” to switch it on, and iOS will prompt you for a passcode to access this settings.

Simply turn off the switch to disable the feature you want. Not all Apple apps are available for you to disable. If you like your home screen tidy, go ahead and hide some unused apps and features.

Share your live location in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has just launched a new feature to allow you to share your location in real-time. This is a simple way to let family and friends to know your whereabout and that you’re safe.

To get started, open a chat with the person or group that you want to share your location. Tap the “+” button at bottom left corner and select “Location” on the popup menu.

There is now a new “Share Live Location” option. Choose the duration (15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours) and tap Send to let people in the chat see your real-time location in a map. If more than one person in the chat group share their live location, all locations will appear in the same map.

Your live location will be updated to the chat even when you’re not using WhatsApp. You can choose to stop sharing at anytime.

You can not trust the Calculator app in iOS 11

If you rely on the system Calculator app for your day-to-day living, please take note that you might not always get the correct calculation especially if you have quick finger.

There is a bug in Calculator app for iOS 11. Try tapping quickly “1+2+3” and you will not get the correct result.

This sounds scary indeed as your iPhone is basically a computer and it can’t get such basic calculation right.

Triple tap Home button to trigger Smart Invert in iOS 11.1

iOS 11 comes with a brand new feature called Smart Invert where it “reverses the colours of the display, except for images, media and some apps that use dark colour styles”. When activated, Smart Invert gives you a pseudo system wide “dark theme” which might be useful in dark places or in situation where you want lesser attraction due to the bright phone screen.

To enable Smart Invert, go to Settings app > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colours. Tap the “Smart Invert” switch to turn it on.

With the point release iOS 11.1, Apple added a short cut to enable Smart Invert. Simply triple taps on the Home Button to toggle Smart Invert on or off. iOS 11.1 is currently still in Beta 4, and is expected to be released together with iPhone X.

How to use the built-in screen recorder in iOS 11

iOS 11 comes with a built-in screen recorder. There is no app for this functon, instead it is hidden in the Control Center.

In order to use the screen recording function, you need to add its button into the Control Center. Go to Settings app > Control Center > Customize Control. Scroll down to bottom section and tap the “+” button for “Screen Recording”. This will add the screen recording button to Control Center.

To start screen recording, activate Control Center and tap on the “Screen Recording” button. After a timer of 3 seconds, the recording of your screen activities will start. When iOS is actively recording what you do on your iPhone, the status bar will be red in color.

To stop the recording, tap on the red status bar and select “Stop” when prompted. Alternatively you can tap the same “Screen Recording” button in Control Center to stop the recording. The screen recording is saved as video into iOS Camera Roll.

You can clear out the cache storage of Twitter for iOS

Twitter for iOS has introduced a feature to allow you to manually clear out the cache storage used by the app. This is especially useful if you’re a heavy Twitter user or own a 16G iPhone. 

From the Twitter for iOS app, tap on the “Me” tab. Look for the gear icon beside your profile picture and tap on it. From the popup menu, select “Settings and Privacy” > “Data Usage”.

You can clear out the cache storage of Twitter for iOS

Under Storage section are listing for the cache usage for Media Storage and Web Storage. Tap on it for option to clear out the cache.