The Next Track, Episode #180 – Harpsichordist and Conductor Richard Egarr

We talk with harpsichordist, conductor, and “general music addict” Richard Egarr, about original performance practice in early music.

Help support The Next Track by making regular donations via Patreon. We’re ad-free and self-sustaining so your support is what keeps us going. Thanks!

Support The Next Track.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

Apple Watch Tips: 8 Things You Didn’t Know It Could Do

If you have an Apple Watch, you certainly know about its marquee features. It can track your activity and prod you to exercise more, using its three rings. You can use it to make and receive phone calls and text messages. And you can get notifications for calendar events, reminders, and updates from your favorite apps. You can use it for Apple Pay to quickly buy a cup of coffee or a book. You can use Siri to have your watch react to your voice commands and provide you with information. And you can check the time, with one of dozens of customizable watch faces, where you can add complications to provide data and quick access to apps and features.

But the Apple Watch – which is more a wrist computer than a timepiece – has lots of great features you may not know about. In this article, I’m going to highlight eight things you probably didn’t know you could do with your Apple Watch. Some use built-in apps and features, and some use third-party apps. Read on to find out how to make your Apple Watch do a lot more.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #132: Zero Day, Compromised Ad Servers, and the New iPad Magic Keyboard

Every day is zero day in the security world. Researchers have found some serious vulnerabilities in iOS that affect the Mail app, and a fix is coming. Compromised ad servers allow cybercriminals to serve malware on respected websites. And we discuss the new Magic Keyboard for iPad, which turns the iPad into a new computing device.

Check out The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 66: Manual Focus Lenses and Jeff’s New Luminar Book

The autofocus capabilities in today’s cameras are amazing, so why would anyone buy a lens that offers only manual focus? Jeff and Kirk talk about situations where autofocus isn’t a consideration, such as buying inexpensive fast lenses or using an adapter to mount one brand’s lenses on another brand’s camera (like Nikon lenses on a Fujifilm body). We also chat about Jeff’s just-released book, The Photographer’s Guide to Luminar 4. We’ll be giving away a few copies to subscribers of the PhotoActive mailing list, and we also have a 40% discount code to share.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The Next Track, Episode #179 – Pianist Marc-André Hamelin

We talk with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, whose repertoire, in more than 60 recordings, covers many little-known composers, as well as a number of twentieth-century works, by composers such as Ives, Rzewski, and Feldman.

Help support The Next Track by making regular donations via Patreon. We’re ad-free and self-sustaining so your support is what keeps us going. Thanks!

Support The Next Track.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Magic Keyboard Turns the iPad into a New Computing Device

The iPad has never been a “real” computer, but has always challenged the very idea of what a computer is. We have computers on our desks, on our laps, in our pockets, and on our wrists, though we don’t use that term for all of them. The iPad has always been a hybrid: it can work on a desk, with or without a stand, and with an optional keyboard, or we can hold it in our hands, touching, tapping, and swiping.

It has evolved from Steve Jobs’ original vision to support a stylus, and now Apple’s Magic Keyboard takes the device in ways that couldn’t have been imagined when the first iPad was released ten years ago.

This new keyboard, with built-in trackpad, blurs the lines between computer and tablet, and between macOS and iOS (or, more correctly, since last year, iPadOS, with it’s unique features that set it apart from the operating system used on the iPhone and iPod touch).

The Magic Keyboard is the next step in shifting the definition of what a computer is. This device goes further than the company’s previous iPad keyboard case to include a trackpad, and has a clever way of holding the iPad firmly in the air, allowing it to tilt to different angles (though the tilting is limited).

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Do Everything with the HomePod

As smart speakers go, Apple’s HomePod has a few points that make it stand out. It has better sound than most Alexa and Google Home devices. There are a number of smart speakers made by audio companies that focus on sound quality, and that include the ability to use one or more of the voice assistants, but the HomePod is the only smart speaker that uses Siri. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, this is a compelling reason to use it.

In this article, I’m going to tell you what you can do with your HomePod: how you can tell it to play music, give you information, make phone calls, and more.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Photo: Tea Tray Ensō

Tea tray ensō.

An ensō is a circle in Japanese, and it is used as a symbol for enlightenment in Zen.

As the Grateful Dead song “Scarlet Begonias” says:

Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right

Link to full-size version.

See more of my photos, and follow me on Instagram.

Master Your Apple Watch with the New Book Take Control of Apple Watch

Tc apple watchI’ve been using the Apple Watch since the very first version, and while much of the device is easy to use, there are lots of hidden features that aren’t as simple. Jeff Carlson’s new Take Control of Apple Watch is the most comprehensive book about the Apple Watch since the device was released.

Jeff walks you through getting to know the Apple Watch (including how to pick one out if you haven’t already), along with topics that teach you how to navigate among the watch’s screens with the physical controls, taps on the screen, and Siri. You’ll also find advice on customizing watch faces, taking advantage of the always-on screen in the Apple Watch Series 5, getting the notifications you want, handling text and voice communications, using Apple’s core apps, and monitoring your heart rate, hearing, and monthly cycle to improve your overall health. A final chapter discusses taking care of your Apple Watch, including recharging, restarting, resetting, and restoring.

Among the many topics covered in the book are:

  • Picking out your own Apple Watch—covers models up through Series 5
  • Important actions you’ll want to take when first setting up your watch
  • Making watch face complications work for you
  • Key settings that most people will want to know about
  • Using the Control Center and Dock
  • Understanding how the watch interacts with your iPhone
  • Staying connected using a cellular-enabled Apple Watch model
  • Tracking your exercise, even when you leave your iPhone at home
  • Placing and receiving phone calls on the watch
  • Using the Walkie-Talkie feature to chat with other Apple Watch owners
  • Sending default (and customized) text messages
  • Seeing email from only certain people
  • Adding items to your reminder lists with Siri
  • Glancing at what’s next in your daily schedule
  • Loading your watch with photos and using them to create new watch faces
  • Triggering the iPhone’s camera remotely using the watch
  • Paying at contactless terminals using Apple Pay
  • Putting tickets in your watch
  • Using health-related features such as the ECG, Cycle Tracking, and Noise apps
  • Getting navigation directions (and using the new Compass app)
  • Controlling an Apple TV, or Music or iTunes on a Mac with the Remote app
  • Unlocking a Mac (and authenticating certain actions in Catalina) with your watch
  • Adding apps to the watch via your iPhone or the watch’s built-in App Store
  • Resetting a messed-up Apple Watch and force-quitting an app

Get Take Control of Apple Watch.