Tim Hardwick

Tim is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. He has been covering technology for a decade, but will write about anything that interests him, from philosophy of mind to his own brand of bad fiction. Originally from Liverpool, England, Tim can sometimes be found accessing a personal wi-fi hotspot from a ferry somewhere on the Mersey.



How to Use the macOS App Switcher to Open Files, Hide and Quit Apps, and Launch Exposé

Most long-time macOS users will be aware of the Application Switcher. It's invoked using the Command+Tab keyboard shortcut, and lists all of the apps currently running on your Mac, enabling you to quickly switch between them. In this article, we'll run through the Mac App Switcher's most basic functions, and then highlight some of our favorite lesser-known App Switcher tricks that you're bound to find useful once you're familiar with it. Basic Functions of the Application Switcher When you hold Command and press Tab, the App Switcher overlay appears above all other open windows on your desktop, and remains visible until you release the Command key. Letting go switches you to the last active application, prior to the one you were just using. As you might expect, repeating this action switches you back to the previous active app. Repeatedly tapping Tab with the Command key held down cycles you through the list of apps in the App Switcher from left to right, while releasing Command takes you to the selected app. If you hold down Shift when tapping Tab, the selection moves right to left. You can also press the right and left arrow keys to move the selection box forwards and backwards. A two-finger drag on a trackpad does the same thing, or you can use your mouse cursor to highlight an app in the list and then click to select it. Invoke Exposé and Open Files From the App Switcher If you press the up or down arrow keys with an icon highlighted in the App Switcher overlay, Exposé will be activated for the selected app, which causes all of its windows to fan

Apple Starts Removing Apps That Share Location Data With Third Parties

Apple has stepped up its policy of removing apps from the App Store that violate its guidelines by sharing location data with third parties without explicit consent. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple appears to have ratcheted up its software scrutiny in the last few days by informing affected developers by email that upon re-evaluation, their app violates two sections of the App Store Review Guidelines and will therefore be removed from sale: Apple finally decided to start enforcing guidelines on selling location data via @jeromep1970 pic.twitter.com/YKAWfMBq35— Thomasbcn (@Thomasbcn) May 7, 2018 Legal - 5.11 & Legal 5.1.2 The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the users and for unapproved purposes.Apple's contention is that the apps in question don't provide enough clear information to users regarding what their data is used for and how it's shared once it's been collected. There also seems to be concern that the data collection isn't specifically for improving the user experience or enhancing app performance. The company's retrospective action is likely related to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets the rules for how businesses manage and share the personal data of customers. GDPR is a European Union rule to protect EU citizens, but as with its website cookie consent policy, basically every company with an online presence is affected by the law. An updated version of the GDPR goes into effect on May 25 to underline this applicability. Interested readers can find a summary of the key changes to the

How to Create File Templates on Your Mac With Finder's Stationery Pad Feature

Stationery Pad is a handy way to nix a step in your workflow if you regularly use document templates on your Mac. The long-standing Finder feature essentially tells a file's parent application to open a copy of it by default, ensuring that the original file remains unedited. Stationery Pad doesn't get much attention these days, but it's a neat alternative to repeatedly editing templates and using the "Save As..." command, which can lead to overwriting the original file if you're not too careful. Almost any file type can be defined as a template with Stationery Pad – it could be used to streamline common Photoshop jobs, create skeleton HTML/CSS files, or help with Word document invoicing. To make use of Stationery Pad, create the file you want to use as a template, then follow the steps below.

Philips Hue 3.0 App Update Brings Overhauled Interface, Picture-to-Light Feature, and 30 New Scenes

Philips has announced Hue 3.0 for iOS and Android, a major update to the smart lighting system app that introduces a new-look interface, new scene options, and a redesigned color picker. "In designing the upgrade, we took advice from lighting designers, user experience specialists and, most importantly, from our customers," said Philips Lighting marketing chief Jasper Vervoort. "The result is an app befitting the world's most loved smart lighting system for the home."The new interface allows Hue owners to change the brightness, color, and shade of white of individual lights, and includes more convenient shortcuts for adjusting lights in fewer taps. For example, pressing and holding on a room setup or individual lights lets you change the color or set your four last used scenes. The new color picker lets you group and ungroup lights in a room, and choose an exact shade of white or colored light from the palette. The app also comes with 30 new scenes, as well as a much-requested picture-to-light feature that lets you extract relevant colors from your favorite pictures and apply them to your lights. Elsewhere, the app includes lighting routines to automatically dim lights at night and gradually turn them on in the morning, while the location awareness feature means lights can be set to turn on when the owner arrives at home or turn off when they leave. Meanwhile, the timer function activates lights after a specified time by triggering a scene or simply flashing the lights. Philips hasn't given an exact release date for the Hue 3.0 update, which is said to

Latest WhatsApp Update Touts Instagram and Facebook Video Support

WhatsApp for iOS has been updated to support inline Instagram and Facebook video playback, according to the messaging platform's latest release notes. YouTube videos have been playable for some time in WhatsApp, which also offers a Picture-in-Picture mode for continuing to watch while switching between chat threads. However, clicking on an Instagram or Facebook video link kicks users out of the app and into the respective hosting platform. The WhatsApp changelog for version 2.18.51 indicates support for Facebook and Instagram videos has now been greenlighted by the developers, although our tests suggest the feature is still being rolled out. The group administrator functions have also been tweaked in the latest version of the app, so that group admins can now revoke admin rights from other participants. To remove an admin, select the user in "Group Info" and select "Dismiss As Admin". In addition, group admins can now choose who can change a group's subject, icon, and description. These options can also be found in Group Info under the "Group Settings" section. At the recent Facebook F8 developers conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed WhatsApp will soon support group video calling, although he offered no timeline for the feature's introduction. The messaging platform is also set to support stickers "soon", including third-party ones made by

How to Remove Third-Party Accounts Like Facebook From Your Mac

With the release of iOS 11, Apple nixed its built-in integration with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo, a feature that allowed iPhone and iPad users to store their third-party account information and access it within apps that needed to use those services. Apple has yet to remove the equivalent feature from macOS, although this is likely to change in a future version. In the meantime, this article shows you how to manually remove third-party accounts like Facebook from your Mac, which some users may find a germane step in light of the recent data scandal. Note that the following guide only deletes associated third-party accounts at the system level of your Mac – you'll still be able to access your Facebook account and related data by logging into Facebook.com (where you can delete your account permanently) or via the official iOS app, for example.

Berkshire Hathaway Bought 75 Million Additional Apple Shares in Q1 2018

Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million additional Apple shares in the first three months of 2018, CEO Warren Buffett told CNBC on Thursday, signaling the billionaire investor's continuing confidence in Apple. In February last year, Buffett revealed that his holding company held around 133 million shares in Apple prior to the company's record-breaking earnings results on January 31, 2017, worth over $17 billion at the time. Today it holds 240.3 million shares worth $42.5 billion. "If you look at Apple, I think it earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States," Buffett told CNBC.Historically, Buffett has shied away from investing in technology companies, but the business magnate has suggested he sees Apple more as a consumer company. Reuters reports that Berkshire's latest Apple investment serves as a way of reducing the corporate group's $116 billion in cash and equivalents, without having to acquire a whole company. Apple posted revenue of $61.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.8 billion in the first quarter of the year, up from revenue of $52.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.0 billion in the year-ago quarter. Apple said it will start a new share buyback authorization of $100 billion following the record revenue and profit

Nest's $39 Room Temperature Sensors Now Available to Order

Nest's new Temperature Sensor, which works with the company's latest Learning Thermostat and the Thermostat E, is available to buy online from today. The battery-powered, inch-wide sensors are designed to be placed in different rooms around the house where they silently monitor how warm or cold it is. The white puck-shaped sensors continually relay this information to the companion thermostat, which responds by adjusting the central heating system to keep those rooms at the temperature level the user specified. Nest started taking pre-orders for the Temperature Sensor in March, but is now selling them direct from the website. Each sensor costs $39, or $99 for a three-pack, and comes with wall mounting screws and up to 2 years of battery life. Up to six sensors are supported per connected thermostat, and up to 18 are supported per home. Customers looking to pick up a Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Thermostat E can also order the Temperature Sensor as part of a bundle pack, which gets them $20 or $10 off the standard price for a single sensor, respectively. Nest products don't integrate with Apple's HomeKit setup, but are popular competing connected home solutions. See the Nest website for more

Nokia to Sell Digital Health Division Back to Withings Co-Founder

Nokia has revealed plans to sell its digital health business back to the co-founder of Withings, the French health tracking company Nokia bought in 2016. Finland-based Nokia originally acquired Withings for $192 million in an effort to re-establish a presence in the consumer electronics market, rebranding Withings' iOS-compatible smart connected home products as well as a range of health and fitness wearables. However, it looks as if the acquisition simply didn't pay off for the erstwhile mobile phone powerhouse. In 2017, the digital health division earned just $62.4 million in revenue, but the rest of the company posted sales of $27.9 billion. Now Nokia is handing back the business to Withings' co-founder, Éric Carreel. The sale will likely be at a significant loss, although the Nokia press release didn't mention figures: Nokia announced a review of strategic options for the Digital Health business in February 2018. The planned sale is part of Nokia's honed focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company. The transaction is subject to terms agreed in the negotiations and completion of the information consultation with the Works Council of Nokia Technologies (France) SA., with the deal expected to close in late Q2 2018. The announcement follows recent reports of layoffs from the company, as well as a leaked memo that revealed the digital health division was in a bad way with little prospect of turning things around. Then in October, Nokia announced a $164 million write-down of the division's assets. Google and Samsung were reportedly looking into

How to Snap Back to Your Search Results When Browsing in a Safari Tab

Say you want to look up a topic online, so you type a search word or phrase into Safari's address bar. The first link in the returned results looks promising, so you click it. On the site you're sent to, you see another link about a related topic, so you click that, too. Moments later another link grabs your attention, and you check it out. Soon you're distracted by some other tangential subject, and before you know it you've fallen down a rabbit hole of clicks and links without finding out much about what you were actually looking for in the first place. If that sounds familiar, Safari SnapBack can help you. It's a long-standing feature of Apple's desktop web browser that's often overlooked, but saves having to tediously click the previous page button multiple times to return to your original search results, or start rooting through your web history to locate where your latest online meander began. You can find it in Safari's menu bar, under History -> Search Results SnapBack, or even better, use its Command-Option-S keyboard shortcut. As the name suggests, SnapBack instantly takes you back to your original search results, although the function's availability depends on a couple of conditions. First, SnapBack only works if your wayward browsing occurred in the same tab that you used to initiate the search, so if a link you clicked on opened a new tab and you continued browsing in that, the SnapBack menu option will be grayed out. Second, the search needs to be performed from Safari's address bar or from the website of the search engine that Safari is set

Microsoft Announces New Features for Outlook on Mobile, Desktop, and Web

Microsoft is rolling out several new features for Outlook users this week and in the next couple of months. The announcement comes hot on the heels of Google's recently launched Gmail redesign, and promises changes to the company's Outlook desktop and mobile apps, as well as its webmail service. First up is new support for synced draft folders, which will allow Outlook users to draft a message on their mobile device and finish it on their desktop computer, or vice versa. Another addition is a new chat-like Quick Reply box at the bottom of the screen, for quickly responding to messages while keeping their content in view. Microsoft is also introducing a "Favorite people" feature to go with its existing support for identifying groups and email folders in Outlook. It's a lot like the way VIPs work in Apple Mail, but uses tags rather than stars. Elsewhere, the company is adding the ability to view Office 365 Group events in Outlook, as well as access to a group's OneNote Notebook. Events will be trackable in the group's contact card, while the Notebook access relies on the OneNote app being installed. Other business-focused features coming to the mobile app include the ability to add organization directories to your Outlook contact information, and proxy support for companies who choose to block direct access to the internet from mobile devices. Improvements to Outlook Calendar have also been announced, including bill pay reminders for Outlook.com that appear as calendar items if a bill is identified in a received email (similar to how travel reservations

Bear Notes 1.5 Gains Archive Feature, Custom Tag Icons, New Export Options, and More

Popular plain text note-taking app Bear reached version 1.5 on Monday, bringing a handful of user-requested features to the platform on iOS and Mac. First up, it's now possible for users to give all their created tags custom icons, which can be selected from a library of 169 "TagCons". When a tag is selected on iPhone and iPad, Bear will now display its TagCon in the Notes List header, to remind users of the tag they're currently viewing. A new archive notes feature is also being introduced in this version, allowing unused notes to be hidden rather than straight-up deleted. Helpfully, archived notes can be searched at any time from the Sidebar, which also gets new Untagged, ToDo, and Today sections. Elsewhere, the Export options have been expanded to allow the exporting of all notes of a specific tag, where sub-tags automatically become subfolders. There's also a new EPUB export option for users looking to publish in the digital format. In addition, the developers of Bear have added a new iPhone and iPad gesture that lets users pull down to search notes and close preferences, and there's a new theme for all devices called "Ayu". On the Mac side of things, the iPhone X-optimized Dieci theme is now available in macOS, and it's now possible to float individual notes on top of all others, simply by double-clicking a note in the Notes List. Bear is available to download on the App Store for iPad and iPhone [Direct Link], as well as on the Mac App Store [Direct Link].

Apple Said to Delay Production of New MacBook Air With Retina Display to Second Half of 2018

Apple has postponed production of its rumored 2018 MacBook Air model to the second half of the year, according to supply chain sources (via DigiTimes). A new version of Apple's most affordable MacBook was expected to go into mass production in the second quarter, but the company has reportedly already informed supply chain partners of the deferment, without revealing its reasoning behind the decision. The sources said that Apple has informed supply chain partners that mass production of its new notebook model for 2018 will not kick off until the second half of the year, yet without explaining the rescheduling move. Some partners speculated that the postponement might be caused by problems with some key components such as processors.DigiTimes was first to report on Apple's intention to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook, due in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Two months later, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming Apple has a "more affordable MacBook Air" set to be released at some point in 2018. Kuo didn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but DigiTimes believes Apple could upgrade the MacBook Air with a Retina display, which has led to speculation about whether the machine will be an updated MacBook Air or a lower-cost MacBook. Bolstering these claims, Taiwanese site Economic Daily News believes Apple is working on a more affordable version of the MacBook Air with a price point of $799 to $899, while Bloomberg claims

New Twitter Timeline Feature Groups Together News Links

Twitter has updated the way its main timeline treats trending news stories, so that tweets from users linking the same story get grouped together (via BuzzFeed). The change means users will now see a banner at the top of their feed that lists links to a particular story from people they follow, and should prevent users from seeing multiple shared links to the same story in their timeline. The update represents the latest move in an ongoing strategy to make the social media platform more news-centric, with recent experiments focusing on algorithmically curated timelines for major events, combining news reports with tweets by the public. Image via BuzzFeed Twitter has also been testing a "camera-first" feature that's designed to put more emphasis on video and images. The feature combines location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments around notable events, with companies able to sponsor events or put ads between tweets. Twitter already shows live news broadcasts in a live-streaming window next to its timeline during major breaking news events. In 2016, the app also got moved to the News category in the App Store to highlight the change in direction for the

How to Look Up a Word Definition in iOS 11

iOS 11 includes a neat built-in dictionary feature that lets you quickly look up the definition of words on your iPhone or iPad, even if an internet connection is unavailable. It's a handy recourse if someone breaks out a "big word" during a conversation, or you come across an expression in a book or on the web that you don't quite understand. There are a couple of ways to access the dictionary which we've outlined below. Keep them in mind, and with a little luck, you won't have to consult a physical dictionary, a third-party dictionary app, or an online definition service the next time you want to know the meaning of a word. How to Get a Word Definition in iOS 11 On your iOS device, swipe right on the Lock screen or Home screen to display the Today view. Alternatively, swipe down on the Home screen to invoke the Search screen. Tap the search field if it isn't already active, and begin typing the word that you want to define. (You can also tap the microphone icon and say the word – if you know how to pronounce it.) Read the dictionary definition preview that appears in the search results, or tap it to see the extended definition. In our experience, these definitions can occasionally get mixed up with Wikipedia suggestions from Siri. If you want to increase the chances that you get a dictionary definition first, go to Settings -> Siri & Search and toggle off Suggestions in Search. How to Look Up a Word Within an App in iOS 11 If you come across a word you don't know in a document or email, or even when browsing the web, use the following method to look

Google Rolls Out Gmail Redesign for Web Browsers, Featuring Email Snoozing, Confidential Mode, and More

Google launched its redesigned Gmail web interface today, introducing several new features including some the company trialed in its Inbox for Gmail app. The launch is a phased rollout, so not all users will have immediate access to all the changes listed below, and those who do will need to opt-in to them. The major visual difference comes in the form of a new right-hand sidebar that provides multiple options for customization. Users can choose to add Google Calendar, Google Keep, or Google Tasks in the side window, or collapse it completely and focus only on their inbox. Likewise, the left-hand panel can be collapsed now, too. The inbox view has also been updated with the ability to perform actions on messages without opening them. Hovering over an email with the mouse cursor displays buttons to archive, delete, mark as read, and a new "snooze" feature. Opting to snooze an email hides the message until later in the day, tomorrow, or later in the week. The function has been brought over from Inbox for Gmail, but currently there doesn't seem to be any way to activate it for an email that's currently open. Google has also introduced a new AI-powered feature that "nudges" the user to follow up and respond to messages it thinks are important, offering up quick reminders for them to take action. Also, the smart reply function has been brought over from the Gmail mobile apps, allowing users to respond to emails quicker. In addition, Gmail is rolling out a number of security/privacy features in the coming weeks, one of which is a new confidential mode. This

How to Float Notes Over Application Windows in macOS

In the Notes app in macOS, it's possible to float individual notes over other windows so that they stay visible regardless of which application is active. This makes for a convenient way to reference an existing note while writing an essay or report, for example. It also comes in useful if you want to take notes when researching something online. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

Apple Watch Series 3 With LTE to Launch in Denmark, Sweden, India, and Taiwan Next Month

Apple is launching the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE in at least four more countries next month. The company plans to launch the cellular version of the smartwatch in Denmark, Sweden, India, and Taiwan on May 11, with pre-orders starting on May 4. Network operator "3" is currently the sole cellular provider option at the point of sale on Apple's Danish and Swedish websites, while regional operators Reliance Jio and Airtel appear to have exclusive rights to sell Apple Watch LTE models and provide cellular connectivity for customers in India. As part of its LTE deal, Jio is offering a new JioEverywhereConnect service, which allows customers to use the same Jio number on both their iPhone and Apple Watch at no extra cost. Airtel is also offering a special introductory cellular trial. Customers can pre-order from either company in-store or online from May 4. Apple Watch Series 3 models with LTE launched September 22 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and the UK, with more countries to follow this year. (Thanks Jonas, Martin, and Handlaren!)

How to Enable Markup Annotation Tools in macOS

Recognizing the utility of Markup annotation tools, Apple has extended their availability in recent versions of iOS, but it's worth bearing in mind that you can access a similar and equally useful annotation toolset within several native Mac applications. In macOS, accessing an application's Markup toolbar lets you draw on and annotate images or PDF documents within the app using arrows, shapes, and text. You can also use it to quickly sign a document with your digital signature. We've highlighted which native apps support Markup in this article. But before you can access the toolset in desktop apps, you'll need to check that the relevant extension is enabled on your Mac. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

Apple to Close Last Remaining Apple Watch Pop-Up Shop Next Month

Apple is set to close its last remaining pop-up shop dedicated to Apple Watch next month. Signs displayed at the Tokyo shop, located in Shinjuku's high-end Isetan department store, were shared on Twitter announcing the closure. やっぱり伊勢丹のApple Watch Storeは閉店か… pic.twitter.com/moYjXCfYRp— Shotaro Akiba (@ShotaroAkiba) April 21, 2018 The message reads, "This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage." The closure of the pop-up shop follows last month's opening of Apple's Shinjuku store, which is situated directly opposite Isetan and offers the full range of Apple products and services, including Apple Watch. Japan's pop-up shop is notable for being the first of its kind to open, coinciding with the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015. Apple has only operated three pop-up shops worldwide selling Apple watches and bands. The other two operated out of Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Selfridges in London. Both closed in 2017. The closures appear to be part of Apple's recent strategy of promoting Apple Watch as a health and fitness accessory first and a haute couture fashion detail second. The pop-up shops specialized in selling Apple Watch Edition models, gold versions of which sold for at least $10,000 and up to $17,000 when they hit the market. The pop-up shops were essentially outlets for Apple's remaining inventory of 18-karat Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition models, which were discontinued in 2016 and replaced with the ceramic Edition models the