Using the Option key is an essential part of the Apple keyboard experience for issuing many keystrokes, accessing various hidden features, and a myriad of other functions on both Mac OS X and iOS. All Mac and Apple keyboards have the Option key, it’s just not always labeled as such, which is what offers confusion from time to time. It turns out that certain Apple keyboard layouts have the option key labeled as either a symbol, or as the alt key. This often differs per region and per keyboard, and sometimes even on the age of the hardware itself, but regardless of how they look, every Apple and Mac keyboard includes the option and alt key, including any MacBook, Apple external keyboard, Smart Keyboard for iPad, or other hardware keyboards from Apple.
Many iPhone users with a 3D Touch display use the feature sporadically, if at all, often because it’s a bit of a guessing game as to what actions are available with the activation of the push and pop abilities. While 3D Touch may seem a bit gimmicky at times, there are some legitimately useful cases for 3D Touch where it has the potential to enhance workflow for iPhone users, and so with that in mind we’re going to run through some of the best uses of the feature.
If you’re an avid Facebook Messenger user who sends a lot of pictures back and forth, you may appreciate having the app automatically save those photos and images directly to your iPhone, without having to manually do so yourself. With the help of a simple settings switch, you could do exactly that.
The display on the new iPad Pro includes a feature called True Tone, which uses ambient light sensors to automatically shift and change the displays color hue and intensity according to the surrounding light, shifting from cooler to warmer as the surrounding lighting environment changes. It’s kind of like a smarter real-time adapting version of Flux for Mac or Night Shift for iPhone, and it’s definitely a great feature on the iPad Pro for users who take the device into different lighting conditions on a regular basis. It’s a handy enough display feature that it’s likely coming to upcoming iPhones and Macs as well, but for now it’s baked into the latest iPad Pro only.
Perhaps the only problem with the True Tone Display is if you’re trying to perform color accurate work, since the on screen color will look different to you as the display shifts it’s hue. Accordingly, designers, artists, and even this who just like to sketch for fun, may want to toggle the True Tone color display off or on as needed.
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It’s often only a matter of time before Mac users wind up seeing the dreaded “startup disk almost full” warning message in Mac OS X, which often leads to a frantic dash around the Downloads folder as users trash unnecessary files to attempt to free up disk space. While there’s nothing wrong with going on a manual mission of tracking down where your disk storage vanished to, there are an entire category of disk space analyzer apps available which make the job easier, offering a visual experience that is quickly scannable and actionable.
We’ll cover three of the best and most popular disk space analysis tools available for the Mac, each of which is either free or offers a free trial version to give a good test run with.
Many Mac users running a modern version of OS X El Capitan have noticed the Secure Erase Free Space feature has gone missing from Disk Utility. What the “Erase Free Space” feature did (and still does in prior versions of Mac OS X) was overwrite the free space on a drive to prevent file recovery, adding a layer of security and privacy to file removal, much in the way that Secure Empty Trash performed a similar function of overwriting data after removal.
For those wondering, these features were removed from the modern version of Disk Utility in Mac OS X because they do not work on SSD volumes, which are becoming more commonplace and nearly all Mac laptops ship with them by default now. But not everyone has an SSD drive, and thus some users may still wish to perform a secure erase of free space on their Mac hard disk. To achieve the same secure erase in modern versions of Mac OS X you’ll need to turn to the command line. And yes, this works to erase free space on older versions of Mac OS X too, but since they can do the same task with Disk Utility it’s perhaps a bit less relevant to the prior releases.
Apple Watch includes a variety of default glances, including a battery monitor, heart rate monitor, a calendar, a media playback adjuster, stocks, maps, a world map, amongst others. Additionally, many of the apps installed onto Apple Watch include a Glance feature with them, which allows users to quickly see a glimpse of what that app offers without having to open the app itself. While some of these glances are helpful and useful, some aren’t, and if you install a fair amount of third party apps onto the Apple Watch you’ll quickly find the Glances screen to be busy.
A simple solution is to hide and disable Glances that you do not use or do not find useful on the Apple Watch, this is done quickly in settings.
The Night Shift feature of iOS shifts the display color profile to be warmer, which reduces blue light output, and makes using an iPhone or iPad display much more pleasant in the later hours of the evening (or early morning). While you can toggle Night Shift mode on and off through Control Center anytime in iOS, perhaps a better approach is to set Night Shift to turn on automatically on a schedule, enabling itself as sunset, and turning itself off at sunrise.
This walkthrough will guide you in setting Night Shift to activate automatically on the sun schedule, though you can choose a custom time schedule as well if desired.