Use a 4K Monitor in Retina Mode on Your Mac

In the old days when you purchased a monitor you had to decide between higher resolution and larger text. If your monitor’s native resolution was too high, you were plagued with either living with small text or running the screen at a lower resolution. People buying a 4K monitor today see the same issue, but there is an easy way to get that running in Retina mode. Apple’s solution to this issue was to introduce what they call “Retina displays” on Macs, and macOS allows you to achieve the same effect with your third-party, 4K monitor, as well. We’ll show you how.

iOS: Long Press Icons For Safari Shortcuts

You might not know it, but Safari has some hidden shortcuts tucked behind some of the icons. This will let you perform certain actions a little faster. Safari shortcuts will save you plenty of time. Andrew tells us how he discovered these shortcuts by accident.

iOS 10: How to Make Home Button Touch ID Work Like it Used to

iOS 10 brought a big change to the way the Home Button worked by requiring users to press it, even after your fingerprint has been recognized. But, there’s a feature tucked away under Settings > General > Accessibility that allows you to make your Home Button work like it used to. When this option is turned on, your iPhone or iPad with Touch ID will unlock with just a touch from the lock screen. Here’s how to do it.

Make Your iPhone Night Photography Stellar With These Tips

Jeff Butts loves iPhone night photography, but it took a while for him to really get the hang of it and start capturing great shots. In this article, he shares with you what he’s learned, including his favorite tips and accessories for getting stellar iPhone night images. Whether you’re shooting the city skyline or the stars at night, you’ll want to read these tips and tricks.

macOS: View and Grab GIF Frames with the Preview App

Did you know you could use Preview to view a GIF’s separate frames? You can use this method to save a frame as a separate image. Preview is the most common method to view GIFs and watch them animate, but you can go a step further and capture frames. This tip comes courtesy of The Mac Observer’s Jeff Gamet.

Self Publish Your Books With iBooks

If you’re an author, you can self publish your books on iBooks. You’ll want to leverage multiple platforms to increase your visibility, but don’t forget Apple. As The Mac Observer editor-in-chief, Bryan Chaffin, wrote, Apple’s eBook platform isn’t perfect, but it is worthwhile to use.

macOS Photos: Create Smart Albums Based On Camera Type

A handy tip for macOS Photos users is to create Smart Albums. A Smart Album automatically organizes your photos based on certain criteria that you choose. Today Andrew shows us how to create a Smart Album based on camera model. The album is perfect if you use multiple cameras and need to separate them easily.

How to Install ddrescue and Recover Files for Free

Recovering files from a failing hard drive is stressful and it can be pretty expensive, too. Reliable backups can help with the stress part, and ddrescue can help with the rest because it’s good at recovering files, and it’s free. The catch is that it requires a little command line mojo, but we’ve got you covered. Follow along to learn how to install and use ddrescue, plus we’ll show you how to give it a graphic interface, too.

iOS Tip: Create Your Own Live Wallpaper with LivePapers

When Apple announced the iPhone 6s, they debuted a new way to interact with your iPhone, called 3D Touch. 3D Touch lets you “peek” and “pop” your way around apps. The company also introduced Live Photos—animated pictures that you capture and bring to life by 3D touching the photo. Apple provided a handful of Live wallpapers to use, but many people wondered if it was possible to make your own. That is what we’ll explore in this tip.

How To Use Email Aliases In Apple Mail [Update]

At some point in your life, you might find yourself juggling multiple email addresses. Maybe you have several personal addresses, or a personal address and a work address. In any case, it can be a bit of a hassle to manage all of them. A way to solve this is to use an email alias. [Updated for clarity when setting up aliases in the web version of Mail on iCloud.com]

For Geeks Only: Hey Alexa, Tell Sonos to Play Stevie Wonder in the Kitchen

Sonos and Amazon jointly announced their Alexa integration earlier this year and the world rejoiced. Voice control of your Sonos system is one of those holy grails. The integration is expected to be available at some point in 2017. But I’m an impatient geek so, while I’m waiting for official support to be available, I spent an hour yesterday getting this working using freely-available open-source tools. You can do this, too, and I’ll walk you through what you’re doing and how to get started.

Podcasters: How to Log Chapter Timestamps with Keyboard Maestro

Many podcasters – and especially podcast listeners – have come to appreciate having chapters in podcast episodes. Putting chapters into a show can be a real chore for podcasters, though, especially for a show that’s recorded live. For all the podcasts I host, I employ a few Keyboard Maestro macros that, used together, allow me to have an internal clock running that simply pastes the existing timestamp wherever my cursor is. Here’s how I do it… and a download link to the macros I’ve already created for you!

macOS Sierra: Enabling Your Mac's Firewall and Stealth Mode

Your Mac is pretty safe on your private home network, but what about when you’re surfing the Web in coffee shops? Anyone with a computer and rudimentary hacking skills could target you, which is why it’s important to make sure your Mac’s built-in firewall is enabled—and that Stealth Mode is turned on, too. Read on to learn how.

How to Share an iTunes Playlist with Apple Music

Most of us have made our fair share of playlists in iTunes. With Apple Music, you can share those playlists for your friends or the world to enjoy with you. In that playlists are the mix tapes of today, Bryan Chaffin shows you how to share an iTune playlist using iTunes 12.5.x.

How to Control Which Messages Photos Save to Camera Roll

Messages in iOS 10 changes a fundamental way your iPhone (or iPad) camera works: if you take a photo from the preview camera, it doesn’t save to your camera roll. But if you use the full camera app, it does. Here’s how to understand, manage, and control what gets saved where and what doesn’t get saved.