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Many of you may use the excellent Picture-in-Picture mode on the Mac to watch a video or movie while doing something else on the computer. In doing so you have likely noticed that the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) windows snap into one of the four corners of the Mac display.
But what if you want to move your Picture-in-Picture window somewhere else on the Mac screen?
You can do that by holding down a keyboard key while attempting to move the window around.
To locate the PiP window anywhere on the Mac display, simply hold down the Command key while dragging the Picture-in-Picture video player window elsewhere on the screen.
As long as you are holding the Command key you can locate the PiP video window anywhere.
To try this out yourself, open a Picture-in-Picture video playing as usual and then hold down the Command key as you drag and locate the PiP window where ever you’d like it to be.
This should come in handy anytime you’re watching a PiP video on the Mac but the video player is blocking an interface component or some important data on the screen.
The macOS Sierra 10.12.2 update improves the stability, compatibility, and performance of your Mac.
• Improves setup and reliability of Auto Unlock
• Allows addition of a Chinese Trackpad Handwriting button to the Touch Bar Control Strip
• Adds support for taking screenshots of the Touch Bar using the Grab app or Cmd-Shift-6 shortcut
• Fixes an issue that caused the Touch Bar emoji picker to appear on the display
• Resolves graphics issues on MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers
• Fixes an issue where System Integrity Protection was disabled on some MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers
• Improves setup and opt-out experience for iCloud Desktop and Documents
• Fixes an issue with the delivery of Optimized Storage alerts
• Improves audio quality when using Siri and FaceTime with Bluetooth headphones
• Improves the stability of Photos when creating and ordering books
• Fixes an issue where incoming Mail messages did not appear when using a Microsoft Exchange account
• Fixes an issue that prevented installation of Safari Extensions downloaded outside the Safari Extensions Gallery
• Adds support for new installations of Windows 8 and Windows 7 using Boot Camp on supported Macs
Siri has the ability to read anything on the screen of an iPhone or iPad to you. And yes, that means Siri will quite literally read aloud whatever is open and on the display of an iOS device, whether it’s a web page, an article, an email, a text message, anything on the screen will be read out loud by Siri, and you’ll even have controls for speeding up and slowing down speech, as well as pausing and skipping sections
To get the excellent Siri Speak Screen ability working on your iPad or iPhone, you will need to enable a little appreciated accessibility feature called speak screen, and then it’s just a matter of initiating the proper request with Siri.
How to Have Siri Read Screen Text to You on iPhone, iPad
First we’ll enable the Speak Screen feature and then use Siri to access it in iOS, here’s how it works:
Open the ‘Settings’ app and go to ‘General’ and then to “Accessibility”
Go to “Speech” and flip the switch for “Speak Screen” to the ON position
Now from just about any screen in iOS, whether settings, a webpage, messages, email, summon Siri and say “Speak Screen” to have Siri read the screen and all screen contents to you
Use the onscreen controls to stop reading or adjust the reading speed, section, or stop (or ask Siri to stop reading)
For a practical example of how this can work, let’s imagine you have found a great article on the web and you’d like it read to you aloud. All you need to do is load up the web page in Safari (or another browser of iOS) and then summon Siri and say “Speak Screen” and Siri will start reading the text of the article to you.
Using the onscreen controls you can skip slow down Siri speech, skip backwards to a section to have it re-read, pause the speech, skip forward a section you don’t want read, or speed up the Siri voice reading.
This trick pairs really well with either the iPad or iPhone if you have the volume turned up enough to hear the reading out of the built-in speakers, but it also works wonderfully with headphones or speakers. Using this trick you could have Siri read you an article, an email, a web page, anything on screen, while you commute, or are out and about, or even just laying around.
You can even use this trick with the Hey Siri voice activation feature, making it one of the better accessibility features available in iOS.
Have any other screen speaking tips or ideas for how to use this great tip? Let us know in the comments.
Rarely, the Mac App Store may report erroneous app download statuses or even offer a malformed file leading to an app that doesn’t launch or is partially downloaded. These situations are almost always the result of an interrupted or corrupted download, but can occur in some other scenarios as well.
Sometimes simply deleting the app in question can resolve any surrounding difficultly, but on some occasions that isn’t possible or isn’t effective. These type of unusual errors can typically be resolved by manually clearing out the Mac App Store cache, and then re-downloading the app, or re-visiting the Mac App Store. This tutorial will walk through completing that process.
Accessing the Mac App Store Temporary Download Caches
Be sure to backup your Mac before beginning this process, it’s unlikely something will go wrong if you follow the instructions but because you are editing a system level cache directory it’s always good practice to backup and be sure your data is safe. Don’t skip backing up.
Quit out of the Mac App Store
Open the Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and type the following command exactly:
Hit Return and the com.apple.applestore folder will open in the Finder of Mac OS
Move the contents of this folder onto the desktop of the Mac (or if you are confident, move the contained temporary data into the Trash)
Importantly, do not delete or adjust any other files outside of this directory, when finished close the com.apple.applestore folder
Relaunch Mac App Store
Now you should be able to download or re-download the apps or Mac OS installer files again, and they should work properly as intended.
This process can help if you’re unable to download something from the Mac App Store, if it’s showing up erroneously as downloaded when it’s not, or if there are constant verification errors or other problems with the downloaded app or installer file. For example, you may need to do this if you notice that the Mac App Store is persistently showing a Mac OS installer as “Downloaded” despite not having completed the download as discussed in this Sierra troubleshooting detail. If you delete the temp cache data, it will allow you to re-download that Mac OS installer again in such a situation.
This troubleshooting trick will not resolve user level cache issues with the App Store, which are typically superficial behavior like the App Store not loading pages or behaving in an inordinately slow manner.
For those wondering about alternatives that do not involve the command line, you can also approach this temp cache directory through the Mac App Store “Debug” menu, but the latest versions of Mac OS and Mac App Store do not seem to support the current defaults write command to reveal the option. If you happen to know an updated defaults string that works with modern Mac OS releases, be sure to leave a comment.
A feature added in macOS Sierra is handy for those who frequently switch among two languages while typing.
Twitter buddy Michael Fessler alerted Mac 911 to a great help for those who frequently type in keyboards for two different character sets, like Latin and Hebrew, Chinese, Arabic, and many others. You can make a quick-switch option from the keyboard without resorting to a menu, by turning a tap of the Caps Lock key into a keyboard swap.
The option appears in the Keyboard system preference pane in the Input Sources tab. It has a lot of explanation: “Use the Caps Lock key to switch to and from U.S. Press and hold to enable typing in all uppercase.”
This won’t appear when you have two keyboards that use the same basic underlying set of characters. That may be confusing, because, for instance, you can add a French keyboard that uses a different layout, like AZERTY, and it’s not an option. Both the U.S. and French keyboards derive characters from the same Latin set.
Pick a non-Latin keyboard, and the option appears. If you have multiple non-Latin keyboards, the first one you added is the only one that Caps Lock swaps between. If you add more and then delete the first or more, the most recently added or the last one remaining becomes the swappable keyboard.
The Keyboard preference pane now lets you set a simpler way to swap for certain keyboards.
This doesn’t work for all non-U.S. layouts, however. If you add Japanese, as my friend Matthew Amster-Burton did, the checkbox doesn’t appear. That’s because macOS’s default input method for Japanese is Hiragana, which relies on the underlying roman syllables, according to Matthew.
You can seemingly predict this: if the keyboard preview in the preference pane shows Latin (or “Western”) characters, the keyboard option doesn’t appear; if the preview shows non-Latin characters, it does.
Now that macOS Sierra has Siri built directly into the Mac operating system, you’re probably wondering what exactly you can do with the handy virtual assistant on your computer.
It turns out that Siri has many abilities unique to the Mac, which you can’t perform on an iPhone or iPad with the virtual assistant. Of course nearly all of the traditional Siri commands from iOS work in macOS as well, which is just one of many reasons we think Siri is one of the features in macOS Sierra that you’ll use most.
Accessing Siri on the Mac
Before issuing commands to Siri, you’ll want to summon the virtual assistant. The easiest way to do this are by clicking on the menu bar item in the upper right corner, the Dock icon, or by hitting the Option + Spacebar keystroke.
When you click to activate Siri, Siri will stick around until you either click the icon again or close the Siri window in the corner of the display.
Now that yo just a taste of the type of commands Siri can perform on the Mac. You can substitute obvious things as well, for example you can ask about different settings or preference panels, Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, any application the Mac, ask to show any file type or document name, and so much more.
Mac Siri Commands List
This list will give you an idea of what to try and where to start with Siri on the Mac:
Put my computer to sleep
Activate the screen saver
Make the screen brighter
Make the screen dimmer
Is Bluetooth on?
Turn Bluetooth off / on
Lower the volume
Increase the volume
Show me privacy settings
Show me location settings
Show me network settings
What is my desktop wallpaper
I forgot my iTunes Password
How fast is my Mac?
How much memory does my Mac have?
How much free disk storage is available?
What is my Mac serial number?
What OS version is this?
How much iCloud storage do I have?
Open Mail application
Open the website for OSXDaily.com
Open the webpage (site name or site URL)
Send a message to (name) saying (message)
Open the Documents folder
Open the Pictures folder
Show me files named “screen shot”
Show me files from yesterday
Show me image files from last week
Show me documents from two days ago
Show me what I was working on yesterday
Show me my music
Play (song name) in iTunes
What song is playing?
Skip this song
Remind me to call (name) in 20 minutes
Show me pictures from last October
Show me my photos from Hawaii
Your best bet to mastering Siri on the Mac is to simply play around with the virtual assistant, asking various questions, changing command language, asking for different types of documents or apps, requesting different information, just have fun.
In fact, nearly every one of the commands from this Siri commands list work on the Mac as well, though obviously iPhone and iPad specific tasks and features are not possible on the Mac, though some will adjust accordingly. Explore and have fun.
The Siri Commands List, Courtesy of Siri on the Mac
Another option is to ask Siri directly, what can you do for me? This works to reveal many additional command options as well, since Siri for Mac has a little help guide that comes along for the ride, you can access the details by opening Siri and pressing the info ? question mark button, or if you ask Siri on the Mac what the assistant can do for you. This shows a variety of menu items showing different types of commands to ask Siri, some of which are Mac specific and others which are generalized for Siri.
Those menus from the Mac showing giant lists of Siri commands have been posted below for easy browsing, check out the screen captures and try them out yourself:
Have any particular favorite Siri commands for Mac? Let us know in the comments.
With MacOS Sierra now available, Mac users can now get Siri on their computers, have improved iCloud integration, unlock their Macs with an Apple Watch, use Apple Pay on the web, and much more. Before you go diving right into updating to macOS 10.12 though, you should take a few precautionary steps to prepare for the software update.
We’ll walk through some simple steps to prepare for updating to macOS Sierra so that you can install the new Mac OS system software with ease.
1: Check Hardware for Support
Is your Mac supported by macOS Sierra? If it’s relatively new and built in the middle of 2010 onward, the answer is probably yes, but you’ll want to be sure by viewing the macOS Sierra compatibility list first.
Most apps that are compatible with El Capitan are compatible with Sierra as well, just be sure you update your apps after you install macOS Sierra. If you have any mission critical apps, you may want to reach out to the developer to investigate if a particular application has any issues or not.
2: Backup, Backup, Backup
No matter what system software you update, you always should backup first. Don’t skip making a complete and thorough backup of your Mac before installing MacOS Sierra.
Setting up Time Machine on a Mac is easy and allows for simple backups and restoring in the odd event something goes haywire.
Don’t skip a backup, it’s important.
3: Installing macOS Sierra
Did you backup? Did you insure your Mac is compatible? And you backed up the Mac completely so that all of your data is secure? Don’t skip the backup. Then you’re ready to update and install macOS Sierra. The simplest way to update is by letting the installer run after downloading, this will bring the current version of Mac OS X up to date to the Sierra, it’s a pretty easy process:
Go ahead and download macOS Sierra now from the Mac App Store
When the Installer launches, go through the simple steps and select your Mac hard drive to update to macOS Sierra
macOS Sierra will download and install, rebooting the Mac when completed
Typically a macOS Sierra installation takes a bit over an hour, but it can vary depending on computer speed, what version is being updated, and how much stuff is on the Mac.
When it’s finished installing, the Mac will reboot itself into macOS 10.12 Sierra, ready to go and enjoy.
Additional macOS Sierra Installation Notes
If you were in the macOS Sierra beta testing program, you might want to opt out of Mac OS X beta software updates after you get to the final version, otherwise you’ll keep getting minor beta releases offered as updates
If you need to re-download macOS Sierra, delete any existing beta installers on the Mac, reboot, and you should be able to get the latest macOS Sierra installer
Want to make a bootable installer drive? You can create a macOS Sierra boot drive easily with these instructions, you’ll need an 8GB or larger USB drive and the original installer handy, that’s about it
Users can perform a clean install of MacOS Sierra if desired as well, we’ll cover that in the future
If you’re skittish about updating, waiting until the first minor point release version (in this case, macOS Sierra 10.12.1) is a relatively common conservative strategy to try and avoid any potential bugs that may linger in the final release
As long as you made a backup beforehand, you can downgrade from Sierra if need be after the fact
If you want to use the iOS-to-Mac and vice versa clipboard feature, you’ll need to be sure the iPhone or iPad is updated to iOS 10 or later
Are you prepared for Sierra? Did you jump right into the update? Do you have any thoughts on installing macOS Sierra? Let us know in the comments!