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Working Together

In a direct challenge to Google Docs, Apple has introduced collaboration to the iWork suite of apps. Pages, Numbers and Keynote now support collaboration through iCloud.

You can use iWork collaboration with these devices:

  • A Mac with macOS Sierra and Pages 6.0, Numbers 4.0, or Keynote 7.0 or later
  • An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10 and Pages 3.0, Numbers 3.0, or Keynote 3.0 or later
  • A Mac with Safari 6.0.3 or later, or Google Chrome 27.0.1 or later
  • A Windows PC with Internet Explorer 11 or later, or Google Chrome 27.0.1 or later

If you find collaboration is not available to you, make sure that you have the latest versions of the iWork apps. I have run into this issue a few times here at Small Dog. I am always a bit ahead of the rest of the team in terms of running Apple software so if I send a Pages 6.0 document sometimes I get push back from those that haven’t upgraded. I do recommend that you update to the latest versions in order to take advantage of the new features, especially collaboration.

To invite others to collaborate on your document in Pages, Numbers or Keynote you must be signed into iCloud and have iCloud Drive turned on. I was struggling a bit as we were testing this because collaboration is very dependent upon iCloud addresses. You need to use the iCloud email address to invite someone or it may get stuck in the “verification link cannot be sent” bug.

Keep in mind that the title of the document will be included in the link that you send so if it is confidential- like “www.icloud.com/pages/09aMdbLCQ5naCrMpHaqAfxUoQ#firingemily” you might want to tell the recipient to not forward that link.

You can invite people to collaborate on your Mac, iOS device or from iCloud. To invite from the Mac simply click on the handy “collaborate” button in the menu bar. By default, people that you invite can edit your document. You can change share options and limit who can access it. If you set Who Can Access to “Anyone with the link”, and you want to add a password, click Add Password. Type your password and hint. You and other participants need this password to open the document.

Then choose how you want to invite others to work on your document. If you choose to email your invitation, type an email address or phone number for each person you want to invite. Add any other information, then send or post the message.

To invite from your iOS device, tap the ***, then tap Collaborate With Others. Again, you will be given the options to limit access or add a password. Click on Add People and you have the same choices on how to inform them via email, Messages, copying the link, Twitter or Facebook.

Inviting from iCloud in Safari is the same as doing so from within Pages on the Mac.

You may not want everyone to be able to edit the document but do want them to be able to read it. You can set this all up when you share. When you invite others to collaborate on your document, you can set restrictions on who can view and make changes to your document.

In the Who Can Access menu:

  • Choose “Only people you invite” if you want only specific participants to access the document. To open it, those participants must sign in to iCloud or iCloud.com with an Apple ID. If they don’t have an Apple ID, they can create an Apple ID after you share the document with them.
  • Choose “Anyone with the link” if you want anyone who has the link to the shared document to be able to open it.

In the Permissions menu:

  • Choose “Can make changes” if you want anyone who can access the document to be able to edit and print it.
  • Choose “View only” if you want anyone who can access the document to be able to view and print, but not edit it.
    You can change share options at any time by clicking or tapping the Collaborate button, then choosing Share Options.

It is usually important to be able to track everyone’s edits on the document and know when changes have been made. If you click on the collaborate button you can see to whom the document is shared and who is currently viewing or editing it.

Edits that you and others make to the document appear in real time. Look for colored cursors and colored selections of text and objects to see what others are currently editing. Tap or click the colored dot next to the person’s name in the participant list to jump to their cursor. If you don’t see a colored dot, that person has the document open, but isn’t editing.

If you are really confident in the editors you can hide collaboration activity on your Mac by going to Choose View->Hide Collaboration Activity or View->Show Collaboration Activity. On your iPhone or iPad tap *** and turn Collaboration Activity on or off.

You can continue to edit even if you are offline but others will not see your edits until you have re-connected.

You should note that currently not all functions are available in collaboration mode. As an example, in Pages you cannot insert, cut, copy, paste, delete, duplicate, reorder or edit sections. You cannot adjust margins, use “replace all”, create delete or reorder styles.

Once you have had enough of the sharing edits on the collaborated document you can turn off sharing by clicking on the collaboration button and hitting Stop Sharing. When you stop sharing it is removed from iCloud drive for all participants.

iWork Collaboration is still in development and I expect we will see a lot of improvements before it is a real competitor to Google Docs but it is coming along. Check it out and let me know how it works for you!

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Revert to iOS 9 Home Button Behavior

Ever since upgrading to iOS 10 and getting my iPhone 7 Plus I have been amazed with how fast the fingerprint recognition works. I must admit, however, that I was a little thrown off with having to press the Home button before unlocking my phone.

iOS 10 changes how you use the Home button to unlock your iOS device from the lock screen. Previously, you could unlock it by merely resting your finger on the Home button when the lock screen is showing. In iOS 10, however, you must press the Home button and then use Touch ID to unlock the device. With newer iPad and iPhone models, Touch ID reads your fingerprint so quickly that you can usually press the Home Button instead of just resting your finger on it.

If you’re like me and find this to be more of a hassle than convenience and prefer to skip the requirement to press the Home button I’ve got good news for you. You can change it! To revert to the previous, and one could argue faster, behavior go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Home Button and enable “Rest Finger to Open.”

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Take iPhone and iPad Photos with the Volume Buttons

Annoyed by having to tap the on-screen Shutter button to take a picture in the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad? Happily, there’s another way—press either of the physical Volume buttons on the side of the device to snap a photo. You can even press and hold a button to take a burst of photos. Be a little careful with an iPhone 6 or later, since it’s easy to press the Sleep/Wake button on the other side of the case accidentally, putting your iPhone to sleep instead of capturing that perfect shot.

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Hey Siri! Now on Your Mac

Have you upgraded to Mac OS X Sierra yet? I know that some people wait awhile to upgrade but I have been running Sierra for some time and you will want to upgrade. It is a rock-solid upgrade, it is free and it brings a lot of new features to the Mac. In the words of one big loser, “what do you have to lose?”

Okay, political commentary aside, one of the most exciting and useful features of Sierra is that Siri, finally, has come to the Mac! You know I have been playing around with Amazon’s Echo and I can definitively tell you that Siri is way smarter than Alexa. I still like Alexa but she pretty much is good for telling me dog and pirate jokes.

You can access Siri by clicking on the menu bar icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Mac’s screen or by clicking on the Siri icon in the dock. If you do not see those, you might not have Siri activated so go to System Preferences > Siri and check the box to “Enable Siri”. There you will find the check box to “show Siri in menu bar” which you can toggle on and off as well as options to choose Siri’s language and voice. You can also choose a keyboard shortcut if you would like, F7 is the default.

But, don’t you want to just say “Hey Siri”? That doesn’t necessarily work out of the box but you can make it work! Make sure you activate enhanced dictation in the keyboard system preference. Then, you can go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Dictation to set up the voice command that will activate Siri with a “Hey Siri”.

So, what can ask Siri to do for you? Well, start out by asking her what she can do. You will get a nice long list of things. You can ask Siri to launch apps, tell you the weather, get the Cubs score, FaceTme a friend, get directions to your meeting and so much more. I have been using Siri to find particular files, launch my apps and most of all to settle trivia bets.

Remember PDAs? Not public displays of affection, the other PDA – Personal Desktop Assistant. Well, Siri finally has made that a reality on your Mac. Use Siri to manage your calendar, remind you of appointments or bills to pay, play music for you or just a huge range of tasks. Here’s one huge list of Siri commands.

One of my favorites is searching mail. I can say “find me emails from Hapy” and Siri will give me those almost instantly. Better yet, I can ask Siri to email someone about that Kibbles & Bytes special or set a calendar appointment for the meeting with my service team. I think you are going to like Siri on the Mac!

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What’s Coming to the Big Screen and the Little Screen

Despite the focus on iOS 10 and macOS 10.12 Sierra, Apple isn’t forgetting about its other hardware lines, the living room-focused Apple TV and the wrist-based Apple Watch. For those who own a fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 10 is here now, and all Apple Watch owners who are running iOS 10 on their iPhones can install the radically revised watchOS 3.

Although Apple jumped the gun on tvOS 10 by releasing the new Siri-savvy Apple TV Remote app for the iPhone, tvOS 10 brings plenty of enhancements to the Apple TV itself. Siri gets smarter, enabling you to search for shows or movies by topic or theme. It will also find YouTube videos and find live TV playing in supported apps, like ESPN.

We particularly like tvOS’s new Photos app, which provides a big-screen experience for viewing Memories slideshows or the new albums for People and Places. Those who find the Apple TV’s main screen too bright in a dark room will appreciate the new “dark mode.” A new option to download apps automatically ensures that you get any Apple TV apps associated with your iOS apps without additional effort. And, finally, a new single sign-on feature should make it a lot easier to log in to those apps that require a paid cable or satellite subscription. If only we’d had that for the Olympics!

These tvOS changes are welcome but not earth-shattering. With watchOS 3, however, Apple rethought how you interact with the Apple Watch, throwing away both glances and the Friends screen and giving the side button an entirely new function. When you add in significantly faster app launches, additional watch faces (including Minnie Mouse!) with more complications, and a simplified way of replying to messages, watchOS 3 essentially gives you a whole new Apple Watch.

Taking a cue from iOS, swiping up on the Apple Watch screen now displays Control Center for quick management of common settings. And, instead of showing the Friends screen, pressing the side button displays the Dock, to which you can add your most used apps. Swipe left and right in it to navigate between apps, which are kept up to date and launch instantly, making for a far better experience than poring over the app cloud. You can also swipe left and right on watch faces to switch between them, which makes it easier to choose the face that best matches your mood.

New apps include Reminders and Find My Friends, which let you glance at your wrist instead of pulling out your iPhone to check to-dos and the location of your friends. Entirely new is Breathe, which guides you through deep breathing sessions to reduce stress. For those who find social pressure motivating, the Activity app now lets you share workout and activity information with friends and family. Activity also now supports wheelchair users, encouraging them with “time to roll” instead of “time to stand” reminders, and providing wheelchair-specific workouts and wheelchair-aware calorie tracking.

To increase peace of mind, a new SOS feature will call emergency services when you press and hold the side button (set it up in the Apple Watch app on the iPhone). Then it notifies your emergency contacts, providing them with a map of your location. The Apple Watch can also display your Medical ID (set that up in the Health app on the iPhone), which provides information about allergies and medical conditions.

Last, but far from least, after some setup, wearing your Apple Watch will be all that’s necessary to unlock recent Macs running macOS 10.12 Sierra. It might be worth getting an Apple Watch just to avoid having to type that login password multiple times per day!

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