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#iACast- 121 Apple Productivity Progress

Show description

On this episode of the iACast, Aleeha, Jason and Michael discuss more about WWDC and how Apple compares with its competitors in the market place.  They also consider what may need to be improved in the future.  Additionally, they debate the comparability of Mac Os and I-pad OS.  

Picks

Jason Alt Frequencies

Aleeha: HomePod

Michael: Avengers: Endgame

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New Features in macOS 10.14 Mojave

MacOS 10.14 Mojave has been in the wild for quite some time, but we felt that it still bears discussion, as it comes with a few changes that will change how we view the Mac ecosystem.

Features

There are several features in macOS Mojave; however, only a few of these will be discussed. In this article, we will focus on the significant features that will keep changing in the future.

Dark Mode

MacOS 10.14 brings dark mode to the Mac, which allows applications to show content with a dark theme. This is different from smart invert for iOS as it only changes the interface and text colors. The one drawback to this is that developers must enable dark mode in their applications and it does not work out of the box.

Dynamic Desktops

One feature worth mentioning is Dynamic Desktops. Dynamic Desktops are modified desktops that can change based on certain conditions. Right now, this means that the desktop can change based on the time of day, so you can have a lighter background and skin while it is bright outside, or you may have a darker background with dark mode enabled at night. This is really useful if you would like to adjust your working environment based on the time of day.

Desktop Stacks

So, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could make a stack of items on your desktop instead of just in the Dock? Well, you can now! Mojave supports the ability to make stacks on your desktop.

Continuity Camera

macOS Mojave allows you to take pictures with your iPhone or iPad and have that picture go directly to your Mac. One issue that users have found is that the phone can not have personal hotspot enabled when this is used.

Mac App Store

The Mac App store received a full redesign this year, with an all new interface.

iOS Apps On The Mac

An ongoing project was started in 2018 to allow iOS apps work on the Mac. This is a huge change for the Mac, as it allows iOS developers to run their apps on the Mac. Unfortunately, this feature is only enabled in certain apps from Apple like Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memos. Apple has stated that they would be bringing more support to iOS apps on the Mac in 2019.

Accessibility Improvements

VoiceOver and Zoom did not receive much of a noticeable update this year, but there have been obvious under the hood changes to VoiceOver to support the new iOS apps that have been added to the Mac. We noticed these changes throughout the Mojave beta process.

Conclusion

While Mojave has not seen the most accessibility updates, it surely has several updates to pay attention to, and lets be honest, Dark Mode is a great feature for low vision users if the brightness of the screen is too much or if the added contrast helps you read the interface easier.

MacOS Mojave has set the stage for future versions of macOS, but we will definately see even more changes to the OS later this year when we receive macOS 10.15.

 

Let us know what your thoughts are about macOS by emailing us at feedback@iaccessibility.net

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 83 – WWDC PreShow

On this episode of the #iACast, Allison, Jason, Aleeha, Scott and Michael discuss what we would like to see announced at Apple’s WWDC 2018.

In the news, we discussed a critical T-Mobile bug that allowed hackers to hijack users’ accounts. Another hack we talked about was the ability for Comcast routers to be exposed so that SSID’s and passwords could be compromised. For rumors, we discussed an article from AppleInsider suggesting delays on the shipment of Mac orders until June 6th, and rumors regarding Apple’s Project Star. We also discussed an article fromThe Verge asking if Apple will talk about its problems with the Butterfly keyboards on the Mac line. We also talked about issues using function keys in Windows on a Mac with touch bar. We ended by talking about issues experienced while trying to run Windows through Boot Camp after Apple switched to APFs.

Our featured Ad was Michael’s book, “Finding Success in the Digital Age through Problem Solving”, which is currently being written.

We discussed what we would like to see at WWDC from iOS 12, macOS 10.14, and watchOS 5. We also talked about hardware changes we’d like to see and the rumors that NFC might be unlocked on supported devices. We even touched on improvements we would like to see with Siri.

For this week’s picks, Aleeha talked about Timecrest. Jason told us about his Logitech Slim combo case with keyboard for 10.5 inch iPad Pro. Scott talked about one of his favorite food ordering Apps, Grubhub. Allison mentioned an app she was playing with multiple games, Dice World. Last but not least, Michael told us about his latest purchase, the iPod touch. Be sure to send us feedback by emailing feedback@iaccessibility.net. You can also follow us on Twitter @iAccessibility1. If you enjoy what we are doing, please consider donating to our Patreon and help keep good content coming.

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iA Cast

#iACast 70: Not A Very Smart Speaker

On this episode of the iA cast, Aleeha, Jason, and Michael talk about the following news topics.

We also discuss some topics related to iAccessibility since this is episode 70.

Want to leave feedback about this episode? email us at feedback@iaccessibility.net, or use the hashtag #iACast on Twitter.

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iA Cast

#iACast 68: CES 2018 and Combined Apple Apps

Welcome back to the latest episode of the iACast. We’ve been gone for a while, but here’s an episode sure to inform and entertain. This week, it’s all about the Consumer Electronics show, held in early January. We’re joined by hosts Michael, Aleeha, Jason, Matt, and, for her iAccessibility debut, Allison Hartley! Here’s some of the stuff we found among the many products from this year’s lineup.

Kohler’s $6,000 smart toilet

Kohler’s smart mirror

This $16,000 robot uses artificial intelligence to sort and fold laundry …

Somnox’s robotic pillow is designed to snuggle

Our second topic of the show deals with Apple reportedly merging iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps in 2018. Join us for a very lively discussion, and leave your feedback in the comments or on social media.

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iA Cast iA DemoCast

iA Democast 12: Twitterriffic 5 for Mac

On this episode of the iA DemoCast, Matt Dierckens demonstrates Twitterriffic 5 for Mac, which brings accessible Twitter features to macOS.

Twitterrific 5 for Twitter on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 42 OSWars Mac VS Windows VS Linux

Several weeks ago we published our last major podcast on the differences between iOS and Android as our first OSWars podcast. This time we compare the differences between MacOS, Windows and Linux and what everyone uses. Join Aleeha, Thomas, Michael, Matt, and Buddy Brannan as we debate what desktop OS works best.

While all of our guests had their favorite OS to use, It was determined that everyone should have an understanding of how to use Windows to be competitive in the world of business.

MacOS X
Windows 10
Linux

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Some of My Favorite #macOS Sierra Features

Sierra has been out for awhile now, and while I haven’t had the chance to play with it as much as I would like, I have found some interesting new features and changes. If you’ve been following macOS Sierra news, or if you are using the new OS yourself, you’ll probably know about most of these. However, there’s a chance you might find a few mew gems.

Siri

First and foremost, let’s get the big one out of the way! Yes, we now have Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, in macOS Sierra. The functionality is more limited than I would like, and there are a few accessibility issues with it, but it is a great start! I can’t wait to see future improvements made to Siri on the Mac.

For more coverage on Siri in macOS, check out these articles:

Unlock Your Mac with Apple Watch

Another feature we also have covered on iAccessibility is the ability to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. This is a huge step for convenience and security, and those who have tried this feature absolutely love it!

However, there are some limitations, such as:

  • You must have a 2013 Mac or newer.
  • You must have two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID.
  • You must have watchOS 3 on your Apple Watch.

Some of these limitations may be show stoppers for some users, such as myself. Unfortunately, I own a 2012 MacBook Pro, so I am unable to use this feature.

Picture-in-Picture

One of the great features from the iPad is now available on the Mac! If supported in the app, or if you are watching video in Safari, you will be able to continue watching video while working in other apps. The video will take up a corner of your screen, and you can continue working. Even if you have little or no vision, this is a great feature, because it means your audio will continue as well! Nice!

Tapbacks

Wait, what backs? LOL! Basically, reactions to iMessages is available in macOS. Want to know more about iMessage in iOS 10, check out this article.

In macOS, simply right click on a bubble, choose, tap backs, and then the reaction you want.

This feature is great if you need to reply to a message, but do not want to lose your train of thought and want to return to working quickly.

Rearranging Menu Extras

Yes! Finally! In macOS Sierra, you can now rearrange menu extras. Simply hold down the command key while dragging icons to rearrange them. Note: This feature does not seem to be VoiceOver accessible at this time.

New Notification Shortcut

Now VoiceOver users can quickly access any notifications they have waiting in an easy-to-use VoiceOver menu.

That’s right. Simply press VO+N to access new notifications. Enjoy!

One Row Added?

This is most likely every VoiceOver user’s favorite new feature, especially if they frequent Twitter. One Row Added, One Row Added, One Row Added got annoying very quickly.

Now we have more control over what happens when the number of rows changes under the VoiceOver cursor, and it is awesome! Most users will most likely choose nothing, but you can also have a sound played or have spoken feedback as before. This is great, because there are instances in which you would want to know a row has been added, such as when adding a marker to an audio file.

Related Article: There’s an Activity for That

Simplified Preferences

Take a trip through system preferences and VoiceOver Utility, and you’ll notice that some options appear to be missing, have new locations, or are worded differently. Although it is a subtle change, it is a welcome one. It helps to simplify changing preferences, and remove redundant options.

…and that’s it, at least for me! What do you think? Are there any new features I should have added? Do you think tabbed interfaces for all apps should have made it onto this list? Feel free to share your favorite features in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch

One of the neatest features added to WatchOS 3 and MacOS Sierra is the ability to unlock your Mac with your watch. Apple uses several new technologies to do this that use high encryption, and data speed measurements to determine if it is ok to unlock your Mac. The cool thing about this is that it is easy to set up. Here’s how you do it.

Prerequisites

  1. Your Mac must at least be a 2013 model Mac for this feature to work.
  2. You must first set up two-factor authentication with your iCloud account. If you haven’t done so, the Mac will walk you through this process.
  3. You must make sure you are not using your iCloud password to log into your Mac. This will require you to set a different login password for your user account than what is used for your iCloud account.

Setting up Unlock from Apple Watch

  1. Open System Preferences on the Mac
  2. Find Security and Privacy
  3. Find the check box that says, “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock this Mac”
  4. Follow any instructions given to enable two factor authentication or to set a non-iCloud Password

Screen shot showing how to unlock the computer with Apple Watch

That’s it! Now, when you go to unlock your Mac, you should just have to wait for your watch to unlock the computer. If for some reason the process does not work, or both devices can’t find each other, you will still need to type your password.

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 14: Wi-Pi

Episode notes

ON this episode of iA Cast we discuss the latest Apple news, and we talk about the new version of the Raspberry Pi, a $35 computer that can fit in your pocket We discuss that Sony is bringing their streaming PlayStation game playing service to the Mac, and the latest in gaming news.

We hope you enjoy iA Cast. Please use our social links to leave us feedback about the podcast, and please rate us in the iTunes Store, or wherever you listen to our podcast.

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Speculation: Penciling in OS X?

Many writers at iMore have stated that Mac OS X is not designed to be a touch based operating system. This is because the programs are not built to work with a touch interface, but what if a team were to build apps for iOS that did the same as Mac OS X but for iOS? If these apps were built for the iPad, then the user could use the pencil for an easier touch experience in selecting files rather than using their finger. The Apple Pencil offers a very precise tool for manipulating objects on the iPad Pro, and it would be logical to speculate that it would be an essential tool for bringing full Mac OS support to an iPad or iPad Pro near you.

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Learning Xcode with VoiceOver

Are you a blind or low vision user of the Mac and want to know if you can use Xcode to build apps for iOS or for the Mac? Alex Hall over at AppleVis has written a great guide to show new readers how to use Xcode with Apple’s screen reader VoiceOver.

A VoiceOver User’s Guide to Xcode