How to download a copy of your data from Apple

Apple recently allows its users to download a copy of their data from Apple apps and services. This is likely an effort to be compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The data contains all your info stored and collected on Apple servers, including app purchase and usage, and data from Apple apps such as Notes, Calendar and Photos.

Note: The feature to download a copy of your data is not available in all countries.

To request a copy of your data, head over to Apple’s Data and Privacy site at privacy.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID. Once sign in, click the “Continue” button to skip the first notice screen.

Download a copy of your Apple data

Under “Manage Your Data” > “Get a copy of your data”, click on “Get Started” link.

Your personal data on Apple servers

You will then see a long list of various Apple apps and services. Click the selection box next to each category to include them in your download. Click on the “Continue” button once you’ve completed you choices.

Apple effort to be compliance with GDPR

On the next page, you have to choose a maximum file size (1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB, or 25GB) for the download. Apple will split your data into files with your chosen size or smaller. Click the “Complete request” button to submit your download request.

See what data Apple has collected on you

Apple will email to confirm that it has received your request and the preparation can take up to seven days.

Change the default macOS screenshot format

By default macOS saves the screenshots you take in PNG format. You can change the file format to JPG, GIF, TIFF or PDF.

To change the default screenshot file format, launch the Terminal app. To change the format to JPG, enter the following two commands in the terminal:

$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
$ killall SystemUIServer

The killall command basically reloads the macOS SystemUIServer software to effect the changes.

To change to PDF format:

$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture type pdf
$ killall SystemUIServer

Similarly, to change to other formats, just replace the format string in the command above.

You can disable Dock app icon animations when opening Mac apps

When an app is launched on macOS, the app icon on the Dock will animate with soft bounces. This is a helpful visual indicator that the app is launching. The animation is on by default, but you can turn it off if you so choose to.

To disable the animation, go to System Preferences > Dock. Uncheck the box “Animate opening applications”.

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.

5 things Apple did not mention in WWDC 2017 keynote

5 things Apple did not mention in WWDC 2017 keynote

It was a jam packed WWDC 2017 keynote by Tim Cook and his team. Besides new version of iOS 11, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11, Apple also launches new update to iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro, new iMac Pro, new 10.5” iPad Pro and new Siri-powered $349 smart speaker HomePod.

This WWDC also signals Apple’s inroad to being an AR (Augmented Reality) platform, there is an emphasis to GPU processing in its Metal 2 API. And high end iMac are now boosting GPU good enough for AR/VR play and production. In addition, Apple is making it easier for developers to add Machine Learning (ML) into their apps wth its Core ML SDK and Visions API.

Here are 5 things that Apple did not mention in its keynote:

1. iOS 11 does not run 32-bit apps

Apple has been displaying warning message in iOS 10 when you run a 32-bit app. Apple actually advised its developers to upgrade to 64-bit since mid 2015. In iOS 11, 32-bit games and apps will not run. Check out this post on how you can identify if your favourites apps are 32-bit.

2. New Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Kind of surprising to get a full-size wireless keyboard from Apple. Its $129.

3. New iCloud storage pricing

Apple has updated its iCloud storage pricing by increasing what you pay $9.99 per month for from 1 TB to 2 TB. The rest of pricing tiers remains unchanged.

– 5GB free
– 50GB $0.99
– 200GB $2.99
– 2TB $9.99 

4. MacBook Air is updated with faster processor

MacBook Air is not dead. The processor gets a speed bump from 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz.

5. MacBook Pro is still limited to maximum 16GB memory

One of the major complaints with the redesigned 2016 year end MacBook Pro is its 16GB configuration limit. This limit supposedly pissed a number of “pro” users to switch to use Windows notebook. The latest update to MacBook Pro is sticking to the 16GB limits.

Recover hard disk space on your Mac by removing unused Xcode Simulator

If you’re Xcode user, especially if you’ve been running Xcode for few years, you might have outdated versions of iOS Simulator sitting on your precious hard disk doing nothing. Open up the Terminal app and enter the following command to remove those unused Simulator.

xcrun simctl delete unavailable

You can easily recover 2 to 8 GB of hard disk space, depending on how many Xcode Simulator you’ve installed in the past.

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Siri on the Touch Bar can get in the way if you have the habit of hitting the edge of the Touch Bar. It can be annoying if Siri is turned on accidentally.

If you do not use Siri on a regular basis, you can remove it from the Touch Bar. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Click on “Customise Control Strip”. The Mac is now treating the Touch Bar as an external display where you can move your cursor into. Use the trackpad or mouse to drag the Siri icon on the Touch Bar out into the main screen. 

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro comes with a brand new start-up feature. When the notebook is powered off, it will automatically start up when you open the lids or connect to the power supply.

Specifically, when MacBook Pro is power off, it turns on when:

  • Open the lid of your Mac, even if it’s not connected to power. This is provided the MacBook Pro isn’t completely out of power.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is open.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is closed and it’s connected to an external display.

Source: Apple Support Article