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

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

One of the new feature in macOS Sierra is the Picture-to-Picture mode for Safari. First appeared in iPad, Picture-in-Picture allows you to detach a video so that it is always viewable while using other apps.

It is easy to enable Picture-to-Picture mode for YouTube video. First right-click on the video to bring up a menu. Then right-click again on the menu to bring out a different menu. Select “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the menu. 

The video will now detach, and stay on top so that you can watch it while using other apps. You can control the video as usual, and also resize and reposition it on the screen.

Hand draw to search special character in Google Docs

Handdraw to search special character in Google Docs

If you’re trying to type a certain scientific symbol on your computer, it is at times tedious to browse through pages of special character pane to locate the symbol that you need. Google Docs has a helpful feature where you can hand draw your character to narrow down the search. 

On Google Docs menu, select Insert > Special Characters to bring up the dialog box. On the right panel there is an empty area for you to hand draw your symbol. Your input will then be used to narrow down the search with the filtered search result display on the left panel.

This tool is handy even if you’re not a regular Google Docs user. Simply use it to locate the symbols that you need, then copy and paste them from Google Docs to Pages, Word or whatever editor you’re using.

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Google Chrome on the desktop is admittedly a memory hog compares to Safari and Firefox. Beside removing non-essential Chrome add-ons, one way to release Chrome’s memory usage is to restart the browser.

Here’s a handy way to quickly restart the browser with a Chrome URL. Simply key in “chrome://restart” on the address bar and hit Enter key.

To make it one step more convenient, you might want to bookmark (Command-D) the URL “chrome://restart” and save it to your Bookmark Bar for quick access.