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On January 24, 1984, on the Flint center on De Anza college’s campus in Cupertino, California, Apple formally introduced the Macintosh at its shareholder meeting, in front an audience so packed that colossal numbers of americans who owned Apple stock couldn’t get in at all.
here’s a video of the entire experience, finished with an introduction via then-CEO John Sculley apologizing to the shareholders who were stuck outside:
Drawing closely on notion from Xerox’s PARC lab and different research that got here earlier than it, in addition to Apple’s personal Lisa — but including lots of its own innovations — the Mac become the first successful laptop with a graphical consumer interface, a mouse and the capacity to display you what a printed document would appear to be earlier than you printed it. because the laptop turns 30, it’s tempting to rejoice easily by way of remembering how profoundly its debut modified personal computing.
however as I consider in regards to the anniversary, I’m as a minimum as impressed by using two different information in regards to the Mac:
1) It’s basically existed for 30 years 2) extra crucial, it’s mattered for 30 years
In other classes of products, something being round for many years, carrying on with to evolve and preserving its popularity isn’t all that strange: accept as true with, for example, the Toyota Corolla, which has been with us considering that 1966.
however the Mac is the best very own desktop with a 30-year historical past. aside from Apple itself, the main laptop groups of 1984 included names such as Atari, Commodore, Compaq, Kaypro and Radio Shack — all of which have due to the fact both left the computer company or vanished altogether. Even IBM, personified as the evil big Brother-like overlord within the Mac’s legendary “1984” business, bailed on the computing device trade in 2004. That the Mac has no longer handiest survived but thrived is fabulous.
Technically, the Macs of these days are basically in response to working-device application that originated with the computers made through subsequent, the business Steve Jobs situated after being ousted from Apple in 1985 after which sold to it in 1996. Philosophically, aesthetically and spiritually, though, they’re very much descendants of the long-established 1984 Mac. The same things Apple cared about then — approachability, integration of application and hardware, a willingness to do fewer things but do them more suitable — it cares about today. It’s at all times simply tried to construct the optimal, most Apple-esque very own computers it could with the technology purchasable to it on the time.
And if you trace the background of the Mac from 1984 to 2014, you preserve coming up with ways the platform influenced the relaxation of the business — yes, even during the horrifying length all over the mid-Nineteen Nineties when the enterprise flirted with fiscal catastrophe.
So for this record, I’m skipping the explanation why the Mac mattered in 1984. here’s why it’s not ever stopped being the realm’s most influential personal desktop.1. It made icons into art. GUIdebook
the primary Mac turned into the primary fully mainstream laptop with a graphical person interface, and for this reason the first one with icons. They have been famously designed by way of Susan Kare, who later did icons for Microsoft, facebook and different shoppers. nowadays, icons are in all places — on computer systems, telephones, capsules and the net. And even if today’s designers have extra pixels and colours to work with than Kare did returned in the day, their work, like hers, contains visualizing ideas in a method that’s immediately comprehensible, even at a teensy size.2. Macs have all the time begged to be networked.
starting in 1985, when laptop networking changed into nonetheless a pricey and exotic rarity, Apple made it easy to connect Macs to each and every different the use of a technology called AppleTalk. The original iMac had Ethernet at a time when that become a startlingly superior function for a house laptop. And when Apple unveiled a laptop with developed-in Wi-Fi at Macworld Expo ny in 1999, the suggestion of being able to use the information superhighway with none cords turned into nonetheless so startling that Phil Schiller jumped from an outstanding top onto a mattress whereas clutching an iBook to show that no strings had been attached.three. HyperCard helped inspire the net. Amazon
invoice Atkinson, the genius who did as plenty as any one to make the Mac’s interface high-quality, additionally created 1987’s HyperCard, a Mac utility that let anybody create stacks of on-reveal cards with textual content, photos and hyperlinks. extensively applauded on the time — and bundled with every Mac — HyperCard by no means rather changed the area. however it influenced Tim Berners-Lee’s early collaborator Robert Cailliau, who had a hand in inventing the fundamental technologies of a somewhat HyperCard-like expertise called the everywhere web.4. Microsoft office was born there.
Microsoft home windows and Microsoft workplace have had this kind of symbiotic relationship for thus long that it’s handy to forget that workplace began out on the Mac. again in 1989, Microsoft bundled up the primary edition — with Mac variations of word, Excel, PowerPoint and an email app — as a restrained-time offer. It become a success, so the bundling grew to be everlasting, and a home windows edition arrived in 1990.5. It made pointing portable. Wikipedia
Grizzled tech veterans recall the age when laptop computers didn’t include a pointing device — you either plugged in a mouse, strapped on some sort of ungainly offboard trackball or did devoid of. That changed in 1991 when Apple announced its first PowerBooks, which put a palm-leisure area under the keyboard, with a sizable trackball in the center. Trackballs didn’t last all that long before giving solution to touchpads, but the palm rest remains a standard characteristic on essentially each computing device.6. QuickTime kickstarted digital video. Apple
in case you operate below the conception that Apple didn’t do the rest of lasting magnitude all through the eleven years that Steve Jobs became in exile, believe this: QuickTime, which put easy, remarkable video on a Mac’s screen, became groundbreaking when it debuted in 1991. Its descendants are in each Mac, iPhone and iPad, and the standards it formed led to the era of YouTube and Netflix.7. Touchpads took over. Apple
As valuable as constructed-in trackballs were, they'd their downsides: They took up lots of area, required periodic cleaning and had been prone to mechanical failure. And their period became out to be quick. In 1994, Apple shipped the primary PowerBooks with touchpads — the enterprise calls them Trackpads — and they quickly grew to become the de facto cell pointing gadget practically all over the place, with the exception of ThinkPads and a few other machines with tiny pointing sticks.8. Macs not ever have situation saying goodbye.
a part of Apple’s design minimalism comprises casting off facets it’s determined aren't any longer integral — and nearly always, it errs on the aspect of disposing of them too early as opposed to too late. When 1998’s usual iMac ditched the three 1/2-inch floppy power — a know-how delivered 14 years past by way of the first Mac — it provoked a good quantity of affliction and even conspiracy theories. however within half a decade or so, the floppy become gone in all places.9. For logos, it proved upside-down is right. Bloomberg / Getty photographs
nowadays, just about all laptops have prominent trademarks on the returned of their displays. From the point of view of the clients, they’re upside-down — which ability that they’re right side-up should you flip the desktop open, allowing them to serve as tiny billboards that display a branding message to each person else around you. but notebooks didn’t at all times have those emblems, and even Apple machines, at the start, had them the other way around. In 2012, former Apple employee Joe Moreno defined how the trademarks obtained flipped, a design decision that the rest of the business ended up following.10. The Apple shop become at first a Mac keep. Apple
When the primary two Apple shop locations opened on may also 19, 2001 in Tysons nook, Va. and Glendale, Ca., they weren’t stocked with iPhones or iPads. They didn’t even raise iPods, which didn’t exist except October of that yr. No, they offered simplest computer systems and related products — which meant that Apple’s revolutionary approach to electronics retailing originated as a method to promote more Macs.eleven. Steve Jobs’ media hub vision got here real. Apple
again in the early a part of this century, when Apple changed into busy growing apps equivalent to iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie, Steve Jobs spent loads of time pitching the thought of the Mac as a media hub — a tool you’d use to manage digital music, photographs, video and other content you created and consumed using numerous then-new gizmos. The concept labored. And if it’s much less of a given these days that you simply’ll use a computer for these projects, it’s handiest because the iPhone and iPad proved that phones and pills can even be extraordinary media hubs.12. It gave Bluetooth a lift.
In 2002, when phones began including a instant know-how referred to as Bluetooth, there wasn’t a lot you could do with it. but you may use it to transfer records between your mobilephone and a Mac — at the beginning the usage of Apple’s Bluetooth adapter and, almost immediately thereafter, by the use of Bluetooth developed into new Macs. The expertise under no circumstances grew to become all that regular on home windows PCs, however it continues on as a typical Mac function to this present day.13. Macs maintain proving that you could beginning clean. Wikipedia
In 2001, Apple dumped Mac OS — the normal Mac operating gadget, which had grown old-fashioned and creaky — and replaced it with the state-of-the-artwork OS X. If the business hadn’t been willing to try this, it’s not going that Macs would exist these days. Two other identical shifts — the movement from 680×0 processors to PowerPC chips, after which the flow from PowerPC chips to Intel ones — had been equally daring. surprisingly, Apple’s fearlessness about such transitions, a hit though they’ve been, is one component about the company that few of its opponents ever imitate.14. It help you see your keyboard at the hours of darkness. Apple
The 17-inch PowerBook that Apple launched in 2003 had the greatest screen any one had put into a laptop up until that time — and it did encourage in a similar way humongous windows laptops. however I’m bringing it up right here since it turned into the first moveable computing device with a backlit keyboard and lightweight sensors, which let it activate the illumination most effective when indispensable. a variety of other fashions have considering followed its lead, to the element the place lack of illumination is a sign that a laptop suffers from extreme can charge-reducing.15. iTunes constructed commerce into a computing equipment. Wikipedia
In 2003, Apple started selling digital song downloads. They have been essentially intended to finally end up on your iPod, however initially you vital a Mac to purchase them, on the grounds that the transaction took place in iTunes, which ran only on a Mac at the time. I consist of this development right here no longer on account of its influence on the track industry — which became epic — however because it introduced the idea of a digital content material keep being constructed into a computing gadget — whatever which eventually grew to become general practice everywhere, for track, video, apps, video games and books.16. The iMac defined the modern all-in-one. Apple
within the earliest days of personal computing, there were machines with the reveal and electronic guts developed into one case, comparable to Commodore’s PET 2001. Then the design dwindled away until Apple revived it with the original Mac. Then it dwindled away once again until 1998’s iMac revived it. When Apple released the iMac G5 in 2004 — with a big flat screen developed right into a slab-like laptop on a pedestal — the relaxation of the industry gradually copied the design. A decade later, if you’re purchasing a desktop computer, there’s an outstanding chance it’s an iMac or certainly one of its clones.17. It made strong-state storage make feel.
for the reason that the 1980s — when NEC launched an early computing device referred to as the UltraLite — pc makers had tinkered with the concept of replacing rotating storage gadgets corresponding to tough disks with legit, speedy, compact, vigor-effective strong-state memory. but solid-state most effective became really mainstream in 2010, when Apple made it a common feature on the 2d-era MacBook Air. It’s still a ways pricier and extra limited in skill than a hard disk, however it’s now the handiest variety of storage Apple uses for moveable Macs — and, in the end, a general technology in other manufacturers’ laptops.18. Retina is an outstanding soar forward for the eyeballs.
because the 1980s, desktop displays resolutions were getting higher — usually in child steps that made new screens a simply little bit improved than historic displays. but when Apple released the first MacBook seasoned with a Retina monitor in 2012, it quadrupled the pixels of its predecessor, among the many most mind-blowing one-fell-swoop advances in notebook history.19. the place would laptop design be devoid of it? Apple, HP
virtually each desktop that runs windows owes whatever to the Mac, however in some instances — as with definite models in HP’s appropriately-named Envy line — the economic-design debt is so absolute that it’s embarrassing. A goodly percent of Ultrabooks — and a few Chromebooks — additionally knock off Apple designs to a degree that, frankly, looks utterly needless.20. No Macs, no iPhones or iPads. Apple
If Apple hadn’t made Macs, it wouldn’t have had a fraction of the economic-design chops it necessary to drag off the iPhone and iPad. And it wouldn’t have had the necessary utility, either, since iOS is in line with the Mac’s OS X.
within the “1984” commercial that delivered the Mac, Apple recommended that a world without its new computer can be grim and dystopian. That became a fable designed to sell computers, now not an announcement of truth. but have the final 30 years of lifestyles on Planet Earth been meaningfully improved as a result of that first Mac — and the entire ones which have adopted — existed? You wager — and i hope that there’s a whole lot extra to return.
At CES 2019, wonderful has announced that it's including HomeKit support to its marvelous handle product. The astounding manage is a sleek replacement in your existing mild switches and lines a dash screen and digicam. HomeKit support further expands its capabilities.
The unbelievable handle works by means of integrating sensible home products from the likes of Amazon, Nest, Ecobee, Ring, August, Philips Hue, Sonos, Honeywell, and Wemo. at long last, the handle will additionally soon help HomeKit.
What this ability is that you simply’ll be capable of control HomeKit-enabled accessories using the extraordinary monitor. extra, amazing says that clients will capable of “discover and handle any gentle linked to the remarkable manage via voice the use of Siri or with the Apple home app.”
particulars here are somewhat sparse still, but the basic concept is that with unbelievable handle acting as your sensible domestic centerpiece, that you can combine accessories from HomeKit, Alexa, and a host of different wise domestic platforms. Siri itself won’t be integrated directly into the wonderful control, but rather you’ll use Siri in your iOS equipment to handle accessories linked to the amazing handle.
The extraordinary control is obtainable in four different configurations, depending on the measurement of the mild change you are replacing. expenditures delivery at $299 and range as much as $449.
Watch a video showcasing what stunning is able to below, and check out the total press unencumber for its HomeKit announcement. There’s no observe on when exactly HomeKit support will rollout.
striking publicizes Apple HomeKit Integration
handle Any light connected to the superb control the use of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod and Mac
LAS VEGAS – JANUARY 8, 2019 – THE international client ELECTRONICS demonstrate (CES) – awesome, maker of the award-successful surprising domestic control, the area’s first smart home controller that you simply swap out a lightweight swap for, nowadays introduced their plenty-expected integration with Apple HomeKit™, enabling clients to discover and control any gentle connected to the extraordinary control by means of voice using Siri® or with the Apple home app on any Apple gadget.
Leveraging Apple’s software authentication for HomeKit, existing excellent consumers could be capable of get HomeKit aid by means of an automated, over-the-air firmware replace to be issued Spring 2019 at no further can charge.
“excellent unifies handle of wise home instruments in a method it really is seamless, fundamental and available right through the home,” said Aaron Emigh, CEO and co-founding father of impressive. “This new integration with HomeKit will quickly provide astonishing house owners who have invested within the Apple ecosystem even more functionality and convenience.”
The Apple domestic app permits users to set scenes, which allow distinct accessories to work in aggregate, all with a single command. So clients can manage lights connected to awesome Controls, along with different services reminiscent of locking the doorways and reducing the thermostat.
amazing currently works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Sonos, Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, Ring, Philips Hue, August smart locks, Wemo smart plugs, with extra brought on a month-to-month groundwork. wonderful additionally supports hubs akin to Samsung SmartThings for connecting Z-Wave or Zigbee items, and may connect at once to bridge products from Philips Hue and others. starting at $299, awesome comes in six shades to blend into any decor seamlessly and is available for buy at www.wonderful.tech.
dazzling creates expertise that unifies the home experience via fundamental and thoughtful interaction. Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Aaron Emigh, remarkable is produced from experienced entrepreneurs and engineers from groups reminiscent of Apple, Philips, Sonos, Cisco, Jawbone, PayPal, Palm, and shopkick. spectacular is based mostly in San Mateo, California, and is funded by way of August Capital, Miramar Ventures, The container neighborhood, and different fashionable buyers.
Apple has at all times packed lots of decent application into OS X, however long term users might also bear in mind when the developed-in options sucked so unhealthy you had to installation primary alternate options, like a PDF reader or image viewer, just to get whatever thing that labored well. times have modified, and if you haven’t seemed currently, it’s time to try a few of these constructed-in productiveness tools once again.
Apple’s not always frequent for its successes in its inventory apps. Calendar is relatively subpar. iTunes is a joke. photos is a disaster. Maps is ready as advantageous as getting hit with a stick within the face. The truth is, one of the stock apps aren’t awesome. some of them are. and a lot of, just like the ones below, was fairly bland, however have considered some big advancements over the years.Apple Notes Is a Goldilocks Notes App Between Evernote and undeniable textual content
we all poked a bit enjoyable at the time Apple spent speakme up the brand new Notes app in El Capitan, but the certainty is, Notes is relatively powerful now. It’s now not somewhat in Evernote territory when it involves customization, but as MacSparky pointed out last yr, the wealthy text revamp of Notes makes it a lot greater useable. which you could add in photographs to notes, layout textual content, create bulleted lists, add in net page previews, and heaps greater that you simply weren’t in a position to do before.
Notes now falls between both large types of notice taking apps: “every little thing buckets” like Evernote, and the minimalist simplicity of undeniable textual content. It sits in a form of Goldilocks zone in order to likely work well for most americans who don’t need the trouble of getting their arms around whatever thing large like Evernote, and want more than a simple plain text list. Even more advantageous, one of the most large problems with early types of Apple Notes, syncing system faults with iCloud, are long past now.
Of direction, Apple Notes isn’t excellent. it lacks a tagging system, so company will also be challenging. Search, whereas robust for a notes app, doesn’t let you avert searches to a single folder, which becomes challenging the more notes you keep in it. As all the time, Apple Notes also best makes sense in case you’re fully invested in the Apple ecosystem. It syncs with iCloud, and is just available on the iPhone and the Mac. still, if you're in Apple’s garden and also you haven’t checked out Notes in a long time, it’s neatly price yet another seem.keep away from "everything Buckets," aka Why I can't Get into Apps Like Evernote
when I first all started the use of Evernote two years in the past, i was actually excited concerning the usual seize …study greater examine spotlight Is the best App Launcher You’ll Ever want Now
Apple revamped spotlight (faucet Command+house to tug it up) returned in Yosemite with a ton of latest points that make it as a lot an software launcher as it is a file search device. for most people, this new characteristic-set can exchange third-birthday celebration launchers like Alfred or Launchbar, both of which we nonetheless love, however are function dense compared to what many of you probably use them for.
past just launching apps, there are a ton of additional search parameters you could use in spotlight. which you could do fundamental math calculations, outline words, get the present weather (and the forecast), see what films are enjoying local, look for regional companies or eating places, grab a cell quantity from a contact, use natural language to look the net or your laptop, pull up YouTube videos, and heaps greater. significantly, in case you’ve been the usage of a 3rd-birthday celebration app launcher and haven’t tried highlight in a while, are attempting it now. It’s probably quicker and more bendy than you remember, and it won’t eat reminiscence operating in the history in view that it’s bundled with OS X.
Of path, Alfred and Launchbar nevertheless have a whole lot aspects that make them attractive. They’re customizable, that you may always launch specific scripts to trigger a collection of automation actions, and the familiar search is often slightly more desirable than highlight. however most of us don’t need all that, and in case you do, you doubtless know it already.All of OS X El Capitan's New points in Two Minutes
OS X El Capitan is here, and while you’re expecting that download to complete, you might as smartly…read extra study Preview Makes Third-birthday celebration PDF Readers (and a few workplace Apps) useless
Preview has long been considered one of my favourite apps on the Mac. For the generic public, it makes bloated, obnoxious apps like Adobe Reader completely needless. It’s additionally a type of surprising apps that Apple continues so as to add new aspects to.
At its core, Preview’s an app that may open quite a lot of picture codecs and PDF files. With it, that you may do some basic picture and textual content editing, crop or resize photos, and make minor adjustments to colour ranges, brightness and contrast, and greater. It can even open Microsoft workplace files, however you definitely can’t edit those.
greater recently, Apple’s introduced in the ability to signal PDF info, annotate PDFs, and add annotations to photos. in case you haven’t used Preview in a while, it could do very nearly every little thing most of us need it to. really, unless you’re interested by making PDFs or images, Preview is the most effective app you should contend with them. Even then, if you are keen on MS Paint style visuals, Preview can handle that as smartly.entry Your Mac's Hidden Paint application In Preview
Preview is remarkable for a few motives, and writer Dave Winer aspects out that it additionally makes a…examine more read QuickTime Makes quick monitor Recording and editing a Snap
On the floor, QuickTime is an easy, satisfactory video player that still struggles with several average video types. beneath that tough, just-deploy-VLC exterior even though are its constructed-in screen recording skill and its primary enhancing alternate options.
The best part of using QuickTime for reveal recording is that you just don’t need an additional heavy, often high priced app simply to make a screencast. With QuickTime, you can also create a screen recording of your iPhone’s reveal if it’s connected to your laptop. Open Quicktime and click File > New film Recording and select the digital camera and microphone you wish to use. if you just need to make a quick monitor recording for someone—let’s say you wish to display a person how to do anything, otherwise you deserve to record an issue to tech help-here is a simplest way to do it.
once you’re performed with that recording, QuickTime also packs in some primary modifying alternatives to trim, split, cut/reproduction/paste, or flip/rotate the video. It’s definitely no competitors for specialised apps that charge lots of and pack in manner more elements, however most of us don’t want those.Reminders Is Blissfully elementary, and To-Do Syncing and Deep Integration Set it aside
When Reminders first launched, it become an exquisite naked-bones little to-do checklist that’s simplest actual appeal turned into its deep integration with OS X and iOS. The most appropriate feature of Reminders is its assist for location-based mostly reminders, but through the years, this essential little to-do app has come alongside approach. Syncing across devices works smartly now, the simplistic folder constitution for to-dos makes it effortless to navigate, and its sharing facets make it handy to create lists with distinctive individuals (provided that they’re in Apple’s ecosystem, of route.)
but my personal favorite use for Reminders in reality comes from third-birthday celebration integration in another app: my calendar. a number of calendar apps, together with Fantastical and Calendars 5, integrate Reminders into your calendar. For me, here is the place I need them. i will be able to see my time table for the day alongside my to-dos. It makes experience. Heck, it’s even the way it works with Google Calendar with their reminders application.
despite whether you in fact use the calendar integration characteristic, Reminders is still a pretty strong little app. in case you haven’t touched it because the preliminary, lackluster launch in OS X Mountain Lion, it’s value an additional seem.
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iPad Diaries is a regular series about using the iPad as a primary computer. You can find more installments here and subscribe to the dedicated RSS feed.
After several years without updates to a product that, somewhat oddly, "remained in Apple's lineup", the Mac mini was revived by the company last November with a major redesign geared toward pro users and designed for flexibility. As listeners of Connected know, one of the show's long-running jokes was that I would buy my last Mac ever as soon as Apple released a new Mac mini; when it happened, I took the opportunity to completely rethink my home office with a new desk, well-specced Mac mini, and 4K display that supported both modern Macs and iPad Pros via USB-C.
Effectively, I had never owned a desktop Mac until this Mac mini arrived. I always preferred portable Macs to workstations, and over the years I moved from a late 2008 MacBook Pro to a 2011 MacBook Air and, in 2015, back to the (now Retina) MacBook Pro again. Over the past couple of years, however, and particularly since the introduction of iOS 11, my penchant for Mac laptops started clashing with the realization that the iPad Pro had become my de-facto laptop. I was using a MacBook Pro because I thought I needed a portable Mac machine just like when I started MacStories in 2009; in reality, the iPad had been chipping away at the MacBook's core tasks for a while. Eventually, I saw how my MacBook Pro had become a computer I'd open twice a week to record podcasts, and nothing more.
With the iPad Pro as my primary computer, the Mac's role in my life evolved into a fixed environment that was necessary for multi-track audio recording and Plex Media Server. And as I shared on Connected on several occasions, I realized that my workflow in 2018 wasn't the same as 2009 anymore: it no longer made sense for me to have a Mac laptop when what I really needed was a small, but powerful and extensible Mac desktop. That's why I started waiting for a new Mac mini, and my wishes were granted with the 2018 relaunch of the mighty desktop machine.
For the past three months, I've been busy setting up the Mac mini and optimizing it for the tasks that inspired its purchase. I bought external SSD drives (these two) to use for Plex and Time Machine backups; I set up a homebridge server to add unsupported accessories to HomeKit (such as our 2017 LG TV) and turn iTunes playlists into HomeKit scenes; I rethought my podcasting setup (I now have a Zoom H6 recorder and a taller microphone stand) and arranged my desk to make it easier to use the same UltraFine 4K display with the Mac mini and iPad Pro (I just need to plug in a different USB-C cable). Because this Mac mini is fast enough to handle 4K transcoding for Plex without breaking a sweat, I started using youtube-dl to enjoy 4K YouTube videos on iOS devices with the Infuse or Plex apps. I'm trying to take advantage of a powerful, always-on Mac server in any way I can, and I'm having lots of fun doing it.
This doesn't change the fact that the iPad Pro is my main computer, and that I want to interact with macOS as little as possible. Aside from recording podcasts using Mac apps, I rely on the Mac mini as a server that performs tasks or provides media in the background. Any server requires a front-end interface to access and manage it; in my case, that meant finding apps, creating shortcuts, and setting up workflows on my iPad Pro to access, manage, and use the Mac mini from iOS without having to physically sit down in front of it.
In this multi-part series, I'm going to cover how I'm using the 2018 iPad Pro to access my Mac mini both locally and remotely, the apps I employ for file management, the custom shortcuts I set up to execute macOS commands from iOS and the HomePod, various automations I created via AppleScript and Keyboard Maestro, and more. Let's dive in.Get More iOS Productivity Tips and Shortcuts
With a Club MacStories subscription, you'll gain access to weekly iOS shortcuts, app recommendations, and other exclusive extras.
Starting at $5/month, Club MacStories includes MacStories Weekly – a newsletter delivered every Friday with a focus on iOS productivity and showcasing new and interesting iOS apps. One of MacStories Weekly's regular sections is the Workflow Corner – a weekly assortment of iPad shortcuts, iOS automation tips, and tutorials curated by Federico and the MacStories team.
As a new member, you'll also receive complete access to our back catalogue of over 180 newsletters starting from September 2015. You can find out more about Club MacStories here, or subscribe directly below.Table of Contents Accessing macOS Files from iOS: FileExplorer and the Files App
When Panic announced Transmit for iOS was going to be discontinued last year, I set out to find a suitable alternative for connecting to FTP servers on iOS, and I ended up choosing FileBrowser. While I initially approached FileBrowser because it offered native support for SanDisk's iXpand USB-Lightning flash drive, I decided to start using the app full-time because, unlike Transmit and other similar apps, it embraced modern-day iOS with a file provider extension.
The ability to log into an FTP server or local macOS computer and export documents directly from the Files app (and any other app that integrated with Files) was the perfect example of the benefits provided by the system-wide Files framework. Although I remain convinced that Apple should offer built-in connectivity options in Files to support FTP/SFTP/WebDAV and other server types, FileBrowser was an acceptable solution that I used for months, despite some limitations.
As I noted in my initial coverage of FileBrowser, the app's Files extension didn't support logging into servers unless you launched the main FileBrowser app first and opened the connection from there. Between having to do this every time the iPad restarted or the FileBrowser app had been suspended in memory by iOS, the issue got annoying fast. But I didn't know where else to look for an app that supported exposing servers to Files without requiring additional layers of authentication.
Thankfully, MacStories reader Matthew brought FileExplorer to my attention last December; having used the app every day for over a month now, I can say this is my new gold standard for integration between Files and external servers.
FileExplorer shares more than a few similarities with other third-party file managers for iOS. Its icon and user interface aren't what I would describe as "pretty" – the UI is functional at best, though it sometimes veers towards Android-ish traits (such as the odd contextual menu); the app comes with its own local storage space that can accept any kind of file passed by other apps; like Readdle's Documents, FileExplorer offers its own photo viewer and built-in web server to receive files wirelessly from nearby devices (I never use these features); there's even the ability to play music and videos inside the app. All of these options are now common among Files alternatives for iOS and they're not the reason why you should pay attention to FileExplorer.
What sets FileExplorer apart is its excellent integration with the Files app, which, unlike FileBrowser, is fully independent from the main app and doesn't require a separate authentication step. Connections you create in FileExplorer (and I tested this with FTP, SFTP, and macOS servers) show up as folders in the FileExplorer location in the Files app; even if the main FileExplorer app has been force quit, selecting a server inside its Files extension will open a connection in the background and display the contents of the connected server, allowing you to browse its file structure.
Coming from FileBrowser's constant authentication errors, FileExplorer's reliable integration with the Files app is a game-changer: (S)FTP or SMB servers can be accessed from Files (and therefore any iOS document picker that uses Files, including Mail, Safari, or Slack) with just a couple of taps, as if they were a native feature of the Files app. Thanks to FileExplorer, any compatible server can become part of Files' UI and integration with the rest of iOS, which includes functionalities such as drag and drop, multiple views and sorting options, asynchronous transfers, and the share sheet. Technically, this was possible with FileBrowser too; FileExplorer's superior Files extension makes the whole experience faster and more pleasant to use.
I've been taking advantage of FileExplorer's support for the Files app in a couple of ways. I set up multiple locations for different folders on my Mac mini such as Home, Downloads, Desktop, and the youtube-dl folder where I download YouTube videos offline. These are folders that I don't sync with iCloud Drive or Dropbox and that contain files or sub-folders I still want to access from iOS.
To add multiple locations, I started from an initial macOS connection in FileExplorer and duplicated it multiple times, changing the initial path to different folders of my macOS user account. In the Files app, these connections appear as special folders with an 'X' logo in the FileExplorer location and I can tap on one to start browsing the contents of a folder on the Mac mini from my iPad Pro.
In addition to local connections to the Mac mini, I also added SFTP servers to FileExplorer to connect to my web server as well as my Mac mini when I'm outside of my home network. The latter is based on a dynamic DNS service that gives me a unique domain (whose IP address is constantly updated by my ISP's modem) that points to the mini's internal address on the home network. This way, even when I'm not at home, I can SSH into the Mac mini and, say, grab a file from its Downloads folder without having to upload it to cloud services such as Dropbox first. Again, none of this is necessarily new to iOS power users, but the ability to do so from Files or a Files picker without authenticating inside another app first is unprecedented.
This is not to say that FileExplorer is perfect. As I noted above, the app isn't the prettiest to look at and I've spotted a handful of typos throughout the UI. FileExplorer can't sync connections across devices with iCloud, doesn't support Picture in Picture for video playback, and doesn't integrate with the Open-in-Place API for files and directories yet. This means that, for now, you won't be able to edit FileExplorer's documents in-place inside other apps. There's also an argument to be made about the fact that FileBrowser offers more contextual options for selected files, supports Siri shortcuts on iOS 12, and provides an overall nicer app experience than FileExplorer.
But that's exactly the point: I don't want to spend time in a third-party file manager because my iPad already has one that can be enhanced with extensions. Considered through the lens of Files integration, FileExplorer beats FileBrowser thanks to the speed and reliability of its Files provider, which requires no management once it's been set up. With FileExplorer's Files integration, my most-used Finder folders are always a couple of taps away, which has dramatically simplified how I can exchange files between the Mac mini and iPad Pro.Mixed Automation: iOS Shortcuts for macOS Automation
Ever since I got the Mac mini, I was interested in exploring an idea I had long been putting off: blending iOS and macOS automation using Siri and the Shortcuts app.
For lack of a better name, I'm calling this mixed automation – which I'm going to use to indicate a series of techniques to trigger AppleScripts, Keyboard Maestro macros, shell commands, or even BetterTouchTool actions on the Mac by mixing them with actions and native iOS features via Shortcuts.
At a basic level, mixed automation consists of using the 'Run Script Over SSH' action of Shortcuts to send a command to a Mac on the same local network and execute an action included in the script itself. This method in itself is not new to Shortcuts (it was possible with Workflow before too) and, in the case of AppleScript, relies on the well-oiled machine that is the osascript command. However, I've been trying to expand this approach further by going beyond AppleScript alone and triggering Keyboard Maestro macros (which I find easier to put together than AppleScript); more importantly, I am trying to combine the automation possibilities of the Mac with iOS-only features of Shortcuts, such as the ability to activate these commands with Siri, present native UIs with dialogs and lists, or activate other native iOS app shortcuts in addition to sending commands to a Mac.
Mixed automation is a topic I plan to cover on a regular basis going forward here on MacStories as well as Club MacStories. For this reason, the shortcuts in this article are only an initial batch of the ones I've been working on; there's lots more I'd like to share in the future and other solutions I want to test and explain when it comes to fusing Shortcuts and Mac automation.
That being said, allow me to detail some examples of shortcuts for macOS that I've been using for the past couple of months.A Note on Mojave's Privacy Controls
As part of Mojave's revamped privacy controls, upon executing a shell command from Shortcuts via SSH you'll be asked to grant a given process access to the macOS feature or app you want to control.
After granting access, you can review these permissions under System Preferences ⇾ Security & Privacy.Wake Mac
This is the shortcut I'm using most frequently when I want to access my Mac mini from the iPad Pro. Built using the caffeinate command of the macOS shell (which sends a request to wake the computer from sleep), the shortcut wakes the Mac mini, bringing up the login screen.
Here's why this shortcut is a good example of Apple's seamless integration of different pieces of its ecosystem: because I'm wearing the Apple Watch and my apartment is small enough for the Mac to consider the Watch "nearby", as soon as the shortcut has finished running I feel a series of taps on my wrist that tell me the Apple Watch has unlocked the Mac mini.
Of course, we can go even further and remove the need to run the shortcut from the Shortcuts app altogether. I assigned a "Wake my Mac" phrase to the shortcut, so I can now ask any permutation of Siri around the house (iOS, Watch, or HomePod) to wake my computer before I even walk into the office. "Wake my Mac" should be a native Shortcuts action, but caffeinate works well enough for now.Wake Mac with Login
There are times when I need to log into my Mac mini but I'm either not wearing an Apple Watch or sitting too far from the mini for the proximity-based Watch unlock to work. Fortunately, there's still a way for Shortcuts to call a script on macOS and log in by "typing" the user's password; it's not elegant, but it gets the job done.
By telling System Events to keystroke the Mac's password as text, it's possible to create a shortcut that wakes the Mac first (with caffeinate), waits a second, then pastes the password in the secure text input field that is selected by default when a Mac is awoken from sleep.
I don't run this shortcut often (like I said, my apartment is small enough for the Apple Watch login to never fail, and I'm rarely without my Apple Watch), but it's good to have the option if needed.Sleep Mac
This shortcut is the exact opposite of Wake Mac and I use it whenever I don't want to wait for the Mac mini to go to sleep on its own. Maybe I'm about to fall asleep and am bothered by the display's light, or perhaps Silvia and I are watching a TV show and don't want to see another light source in our field of vision. With this shortcut, I can instantly put the UltraFine display connected to the Mac mini to sleep.
Sleep Mac uses the pmset shell command with the displaysleepnow setting. The pmset command is used to modify and interact with power management settings of a macOS machine, and it supports a variety of options including network sleep, Power Nap, disk sleep, proximity wake, and more. In my case, I don't want to put the entire computer to sleep – just its display. With this shortcut, the display is turned off immediately and, if activated via Siri and voice, I even get a response back saying "The Mac's display is off". It's nice to be able to say "Hey Siri, sleep Mac" on iOS and see an instant result on another computer running a different OS.Set Mac Clipboard
I, like others at the time, was not completely satisfied with Universal Clipboard when it launched as part of the Continuity initiative for Mac and iOS. For a long time, Universal Clipboard just straight up didn't work or was too slow to paste the contents of another device's clipboard; the feature was, at least for me, "fixed" at some point last year, and I would say it now works about 80% of the time, particularly if I'm copying and pasting between iOS devices. Still, there are occasions when Universal Clipboard just doesn't want to sync the clipboard between platforms, and because I noticed the issue was more frequent when attempting to paste on the Mac something that had been previously copied on iOS, I decided to fix it myself with a shortcut.
At a high level, the shortcut works by chaining the printf and pbcopy shell commands so that the iOS clipboard is formatted as a string of text and "piped" to the Mac's clipboard, ready to be pasted in any text field. As you can imagine, the shortcut takes advantage of the fact that Shortcuts comes with a native 'Get Clipboard' action that passes whatever has been copied on iOS as input for the next step.
Before sending the iOS clipboard over to the Mac's shell, however, the shortcut performs some cleanup tasks: line breaks are replaced by \n and both single and double quotes are escaped. Then, it's just a matter of running a script over SSH with a pipe character (|), passing the output of the first command to the second one. Considering the manual Find/Replace that I do in the shortcut itself, the printf step is probably not even necessary, but I stole this approach from the excellent Mac Maestro shortcut launcher, and I prefer the additional check it involves.Check YouTube Formats
This is part of a longer story about how I'm using youtube-dl to download YouTube videos on the Mac mini and watch them in 4K on iOS (which I am going to write about at a later date), but I wanted to mention this shortcut because, despite its simplicity, it's become one I run on an almost daily basis.
I have a whole setup (consisting of iCloud Drive, Hazel, shell scripts, Pushover, and Shortcuts) dedicated to converting YouTube links to audio or 4K video using my Mac mini. For those unaware of youtube-dl, it's an amazing command line program that can download YouTube content in a variety of formats with support for dozens of custom settings and different scenarios (such as YouTube playlists). While the program can download the file behind a YouTube video and can do so automatically provided the right configuration flags, I prefer to use my own syntax to download – whenever possible – 4K videos in the WebM format with the highest frame rate available. However – and this is quite common for newly uploaded videos – 4K versions aren't immediately available for download (or streaming) because YouTube is slow at processing high-quality formats. Which means I usually have to check if the format I want is actually available, otherwise I won't bother with the download at all. For this reason, I had to write a shortcut to make it easy to check available video formats from iOS with two taps.
This is easy to do with youtube-dl thanks to its -F flag, which returns a plain text list of formats, resolutions, and file sizes for each version of a video available for download. My shortcut does the following: assuming there is a YouTube link in the system clipboard, the shortcut runs youtube-dl -F on the Mac mini via SSH and returns the output from the shell, which is cleaned up a little by adding the line breaks between each format. This takes about two seconds to run and it's faster than any alternative I've tried on iOS (including running youtube-dl via iSH and Pythonista, but we'll get into that in the future).
The result isn't pretty, but it's easy enough to scan the list for "2160p" or "2440p" entries once you get used to how the output is formatted. If the format I want is available, I'll run another shortcut to start a download on the Mac mini, but I'm not covering that aspect today.
Apple’s Training and Certification site is featuring new documentation and an exam for those looking to integrate a Mountain Lion Mac into an existing Windows or other standards-based network.
The Cupertino, California-based giant pledges to guide users through the process of setting up their system to take full advantage of network services such as directory services, file sharing, printing, email, and other services and apps in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
The first step is to download the Mac Integration Basics 10.8 PDF and “Learn at your own pace, in your favorite format.”
The PDF covers an overview and prerequisite knowledge, network accounts, file sharing, email, calendars and contacts, security, printing, instant messaging, data management and backup, cross-platform compatibility, and additional resources, such as the Mac Integration Basics Exam, OS X Training Certification, Books, and Support.
“This guide is for people bringing a Mac into a small-business environment that’s predominantly Windows based and most likely using Windows Small Business Server,” the company run by Tim Cook clarifies.
“The guide is also for users replacing a Windows computer with a Mac, and for system administrators supporting Mac users.”
Apple promises to make it easy to learn how to integrate a Mac within your organization’s network environment. This includes configuring your Mac to work with Active Directory and leveraging all the aforementioned key elements that make up OS X.
“You’ll also learn about security at the user, local network, and remote networking levels. You’ll learn about data management, both migrating your data from a Windows computer as well as backing up your important data,” the Mac makers add.
“Finally, you’ll learn how to run Windows programs directly on your Mac, giving you total compatibility and interoperability with your colleagues who use Windows.”
Once you think you’re packed full of OS X knowledge, you can take the Mac Integration Basics 10.8 exam from the comfort of your couch by visiting this address.
ThinkstockShare Malicious Windows EXE Files Infect macOS Users With Infostealers and Adware on Twitter Share Malicious Windows EXE Files Infect macOS Users With Infostealers and Adware on Facebook Share Malicious Windows EXE Files Infect macOS Users With Infostealers and Adware on LinkedIn
Security researchers discovered several Microsoft Windows EXE files using malicious payloads to infect macOS users with infostealers and adware.
Trend Micro found one adware-bearing sample hiding within an installer for the Windows and Mac firewall app Little Snitch, which is available for download from various torrent websites. The sample was able to bypass Mac’s Gatekeeper, since this built-in protection mechanism doesn’t conduct code signature checks for or otherwise verify EXE files on machines running macOS.
Contained within the ZIP file downloaded from the torrent websites is a DMG file that hosts the Little Snitch installer. This installer hides an EXE file that loads an infostealer. The malware then gathers basic system information, such as Memory, BootROMVersion and SMCVersion, and scans the /Application directory for installed apps, such as App Store, FaceTime and Mail. After completing these steps, the malware sends all its findings to its command-and-control (C&C) server.
Additionally, the executable is capable of downloading several files from the internet. These files, in turn, download adware and other potentially unwanted applications.Bridging Windows and macOS With Malware
These files don’t constitute the only instance of a digital threat crossing between Windows and macOS. In May 2017, for instance, Fox-IT identified a Mac OS X version of Snake malware, which traditionally targets the Windows platform. Less than a year later, security researcher Patrick Wardle of Objective-See uncovered CrossRat, a versatile threat capable of targeting Windows, macOS and Linux machines.
In a few cases, researchers have even observed attack campaigns distributing separate threats that target Windows and Mac computers. Security researchers at Microsoft came across one such instance in 2011 containing both the Mac-based Olyx backdoor and other Windows malware.How to Defend Against Malicious EXE Files
Security professionals can help protect against adware-laden EXE files by creating security policies that limit the types of websites from which employees can download applications. They can frame this policy within the context of a larger app approval framework through which security teams follow a logical sequence to upload/review apps and ensure vendor integration. At the same time, security professionals should apply user activity analytics to a long-term data repository to sufficiently protect corporate data against digital threats like infostealers.Tags: Adware | Analytics | App Security | Application Security | Command-and-Control (C&C) | MacOS | Malware | Microsoft | Windows David Bisson David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley... 109 Posts Follow on Continue reading What’s new
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ICDL [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
IEEE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IELTS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IFPUG [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIBA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IISFA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Intel [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IQN [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IRS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISACA [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISC2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISEB [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
Isilon [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISM [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
iSQI [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
ITEC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Juniper [64 Certification Exam(s) ]
LEED [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Legato [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Liferay [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Logical-Operations [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Lotus [66 Certification Exam(s) ]
LPI [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
LSI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Magento [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Maintenance [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
McAfee [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
McData [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Medical [69 Certification Exam(s) ]
Microsoft [374 Certification Exam(s) ]
Mile2 [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Military [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Misc [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Motorola [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
mySQL [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
NBSTSA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCEES [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCLEX [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Network-General [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
NetworkAppliance [39 Certification Exam(s) ]
NI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NIELIT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nokia [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nortel [130 Certification Exam(s) ]
Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
OMG [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
Oracle [279 Certification Exam(s) ]
P&C [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Palo-Alto [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PARCC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Pegasystems [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
PEOPLECERT [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PMI [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Prince2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
PRMIA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PTCB [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
QAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
QlikView [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Quality-Assurance [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
RACC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Real-Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
RedHat [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RES [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Riverbed [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RSA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sair [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
Salesforce [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
SANS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAP [98 Certification Exam(s) ]
SASInstitute [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCO [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCP [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
SDI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
See-Beyond [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Siemens [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Snia [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
SOA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Social-Work-Board [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
SpringSource [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUN [63 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUSE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sybase [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
Symantec [134 Certification Exam(s) ]
Teacher-Certification [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
The-Open-Group [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
TIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Tibco [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trend [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
TruSecure [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
USMLE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
VCE [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veeam [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veritas [33 Certification Exam(s) ]
Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
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