How to Use Thread HomeKit Devices with Apple TV and HomePod mini

Apple’s HomeKit controls many smart home devices: from lights to thermostats, from doorbells to home security systems. Many users may never see the Home app, while others may use it regularly with dozens of devices, but and can use Siri to turn these devices on and off.

HomeKit has slowly grown since its introduction, and Apple has expanded its reach through new devices. Yet they don’t publicize this much. One technology, called Thread, enhances the way smart home devices can work, and two Apple devices – the Apple TV 4K and the HomePod mini – provide special features for Thread networks.

In this article, I’ll explain what Thread is, why you should care, and how the smart home is getting smarter.

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

Bad Breakup? How To Stop Sharing Data with Your Ex on iPhone and iPad

Relationships are hard; some last forever, some end amicably, and others end in conflict. If you break up with a spouse or partner, you have to make a lot of changes in your life. After sharing so much, the separation involves changes, including to the data you may have shared. To ensure a clean break, you need to remove your ex from your digital life, and this can mean changing passwords, adjusting settings, and deleting apps.

In this article, I’m going to tell you how to check and change sharing settings on your iPhone and iPad, so you no longer share your location, your calendar, or your apps.

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

How to Set iCloud Account Recovery Contacts, Legacy Contacts, and Trusted Phone Numbers

If you use Apple devices, your iCloud account is one of your most important repositories of your personal data. You don’t have to use iCloud, of course; you may use Google services for your calendar and photos, or Microsoft for email and online storage. But most Apple users store data in an iCloud account, and if you get locked out of that account, you may need a way to access your data.

Also, in the event of your death, you may want to ensure that your spouse, partner, or children can access your photos, emails, and other data.

In this article, I’ll explain how to nominate contacts to help you recover your iCloud account, if you get locked out, and how to access your account in the event of your death.

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

How to Use Two-Factor Authentication for Your Apple ID and iCloud Account

Protecting the data in your accounts is essential, and no account is more important to users of Apple devices than their Apple ID account. This account covers many features, from email to calendars, from online storage to online purchases. We have long recommended the use of two-factor authentication whenever possible, and these days it is almost essential that you set this up for your Apple ID.

In this article, I’m going to explain how Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) works, how to set it up, and how to prepare for situations where you may not be able to get 2FA codes.

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

How to Keep Kids from Making Purchases on Your iPhone or iPad

iPhones and iPads don’t have user accounts, so if you lend a child your device, they could make purchases, even accidentally, as well as access a lot of your personal data.

A story grabbed my attention recently: a father in Sydney, Australia, gave his phone to his four-year-old, to keep him occupied, and was surprised to later find that the child had ordered $1,139 of gelato and cakes which was sent to the father’s workplace. The child didn’t do this intentionally; he was just tapping things, as children do on portable devices. It turned out that he had been tapping images in the UberEats app, and, since there was no password or passcode required to approve purchases, there was nothing to prevent the child from doing this.

There are many ways that children could make purchases – either intentionally or unintentionally – on an iPhone or iPad. In this article, I’m going to explain how you can prevent your kids from spending all your money on your device.

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

Understanding iOS and iPadOS App Privacy Report

Apple’s new App Privacy Report, in iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.2, gives you lots of information about how apps and websites collect data.

A new feature in iOS and iPadOS 15.2 is the App Privacy Report. Your iPhone or iPad can record and display activity carried out by apps, such as which apps access your location, contacts, or photos, which apps access a network, websites that contact trackers, and more. You can then view a detailed report of this activity over the past seven days.

In this article, I’ll explain how to enable the App Privacy Report, and how to understand the data it presents.

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

How to Use Live Text on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

One of the useful new features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey is Live Text. This feature converts text in images to text that you can copy. You can use this to point your iPhone’s camera at a phone number, then immediately make a call to that number; to zoom in on an address, then find that address in Maps; or even translate text on signs into one of a number of languages.

This also works in macOS; not with a camera, but with photos or screenshots. In the Photos app, or in Preview, you can select and copy text from images.

Here’s how to use Live Text.

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

Why doesn’t Apple want people to upgrade to iOS 15?

Apple released iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on Monday, September 20, and, as usual, many people updated their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches to the new operating systems. But unlike in the past, Apple is not pushing people to make the upgrade. For the first time, Apple is going to maintain the previous operating system for users who don’t want to upgrade. You can choose to remain on iOS 14, and still get essential security updates, if you’d rather not move to iOS 15. (When I mention iOS in this article, I also include iPadOS.) This is similar to the way Apple manages macOS; you can upgrade to the new version, or continue to receive security updates on the previous version.

While we’re only a few days into the new operating systems, it’s clear that fewer people are making the transition. In general, the uptake is pretty quick, but after two days, it seems that iOS 15 adoption is much lower than for iOS 14. Last year, in the first two days, 14.5% of users had updated, but this year, over the same period, only 8.5% of users had made the switch.

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

Easily Transfer Files to an iPhone or iPad with Waltr Pro

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I haven’t synced my iPhone to my Mac in a couple of years. On my iMac, I have my main music library, with about 70,000 tracks that I’ve ripped and purchased over the years (from the iTunes Store and other outlets). I don’t want to mix my carefully curated library with my Apple Music library, because there are often problems with metadata getting messed up with matched files.

But sometimes I want to sync music or videos to my iPhone to have in addition to content that’s in my Apple Music library. The new Waltr Pro is one of the best ways to do this. Connect your device, drag a file, and the app recognizes which type of file it is – music, video, ebook-, photos, etc. – and copies it to the appropriate app. If you have multiple apps that can play the file, drag the file while holding the Option key, and Waltr Pro lets you choose which app it copies to.

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Waltr Pro can also convert audio and video files to formats you can play on a Mac. It can convert to a local folder on your Mac, or to your device, and you can edit metadata before converting. It supports tons of file formats too.

Waltr Pro was just released today; check it out here.

How to Remove Wi-Fi Networks from Your Mac and iOS Device

If you travel regularly with your Mac or iOS device, you likely find yourself connecting to new Wi-Fi networks: at airports, in train stations, in hotels, restaurants, pubs, or at clients’ offices. Whether you connect to these networks with your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, miraculously, your devices will remember these networks and sync them via iCloud — so your other Apple products can access them too, if you use iCloud Keychain.

Your Apple device’s ability to remember previously connected to networks can be both good and bad. While it means you don’t have to search for or remember login credentials when you connect to a known Wi-Fi network on a different device, it can lead to a surfeit of Wi-Fi networks stored in your keychain and potentially allow you to unknowingly connect to a Wi-Fi network that might not be secure. You can cull these Wi-Fi networks, but you can only really clean them out on a Mac.

In this article, I’ll show you how to remove these Wi-Fi networks so your Macs and iOS devices forget them.

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