Tag Archives: macos

How to Install the Latest Apple Betas if You’re Not a Developer

Screenshot: David Murphy

It’s time to try out all the new features and tweaks Apple has been cooking up back in its Cupertino labs—if you’re a developer, that is. While Apple is now previewing the latest and greatest versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS as betas, you can only (officially) access them if you’re paying Apple $99 a year to partake in its developer program.

It’s a little trickier than it used to be to get yourself enrolled in the developer betas if you’re not a developer, but it’s still possible. The usual caveats apply, though. First off, these are early, early versions of Apple’s newest operating systems, a fact Apple highlights on its developer site:

Screenshot: David Murphy

Second, you’ll be downloading the various beta profiles (or .IPSW firmwares) from a third-party site. That’s not a thing you’ll normally want to do, for security’s sake. I’m not going to make a big stink about it, though, because if you’re not bothered by your device potentially bricking from an early operating system beta, you probably don’t care how you’re getting these files. (I’m hoping you aren’t planning to install iOS 13 on your primary smartphone, but I’m not going to stop you, either.)

macOS Catalina / iOS 13 / iPadOS 13

We’ll start with macOS Catalina, because you currently need to install it first before you can slap iOS 13 on your iPad or iPhone. (A beta profile for iOS devices wasn’t available as of this article’s writing, so we have to do things the old-fashioned way.)

To get started with macOS Catalina, head on over to betaprofiles.com and grab the macOS Catalina Beta Profile.

Install that on your Mac, which is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’re done, you’ll be immediately asked if you would like to start downloading macOS 10.15, otherwise known as macOS Catalina.

Screenshot: David Murphy

The download and installation process should take a bit of time, but it’s all routine. Once you’re done and you’re up in your brand-new version of macOS Catalina, there’s one more step you’ll want to take. Some iOS 13 users have reported that you might also need the latest beta of Xcode on your system before you can install iOS 13 on your device. (For safety’s sake, I went through this process without testing to see if it was necessary, so feel free to try installing iOS 13 without it if you want.)

Installing the Xcode 11 beta is simple. To start, grab it from Apple’s page. You’ll have to sign in with your Apple ID, but you won’t need a developer account to download and install the beta. (The archive you download took my system some time to expand, FYI.)

When you’re ready to get crackin’ with iOS 13, I don’t believe you even have to open up the beta version of Xcode first, but you can do that as a side step if you’re feeling tentative. Go find your iPad or iPhone, grab your charging cable, get whatever dongles you need to use to connect it to your Mac (if applicable), and plug it in.

Since this is macOS Catalina—killer of iTunes—you’ll now need to pull up Finder to access your connected device.

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you’ve done that, go back to your browser and revisit betaprofiles.com. You’ll now want to click on the iOS 13 IPSW link—again, a simple beta profile for your device wasn’t available when I wrote this article—and grab the correct file for your specific device. If you can’t remember what generation of iPad you have, for example, you can always pull up Settings > General > About, and then type your device’s “Model Number” into your favorite search engine to figure out exactly what it is.

Screenshot: David Murphy

If you’re finding that the betaprofiles is taking way too long to download your .IPSW file, you can always use another site to grab the same file—I like udid.in and iosbetas.org, personally. (The latter allows you to download it directly from Apple, too, which makes me feel a lot better.)

Once you’ve downloaded the correct .IPSW firmware file to your Mac, pull up Finder again. You should still be looking at your connected device but, if not, click over to that. Before you get started with the iOS 13 update, you’ll need to disable “Find My” on your device. As well, now is a great time to make a local backup of your device in case everything goes horribly wrong. Click on “This Computer” and select “Encrypt local backup,” then click on “Back Up Now” to do that.

(I also recommend having a recent iCloud backup of your device, as that makes it easy to set up your device with all your apps and settings once you’ve installed iOS 13.)

Once you’re ready, hold down the Option key on your keyboard, click on Restore iPhone/iPad, and then go find the .IPSW file you downloaded. Get ready for some fun, as your device will do the usual rebooting-and-updating process to install iOS 13.

You’ll then go through the standard iOS setup process, which will also include asking if you’d like to set up your device using other nearby Apple devices—a nice little timesaver—as well as whether you’d like to restore from the recent iCloud backup I hope you made.

watchOS 6

Compared to the process it took to get macOS Catalina and iOS 13 installed, this is going to feel trivial. Pull up your iPad or iPhone, fire up the Safari browser you’ve long since forgotten about, and navigate over to betaprofiles. Click on the link for the watchOS 6 beta profile and install that on your device. It’s as easy as that. You’ll now be able to use the normal update mechanism in the Watch app to download and install watchOS 6.

There’s one caveat to this process, however. I haven’t installed iOS 13 on my iPhone, but I did install watchOS 6 on my Apple Watch. Now, I get semi-frequent notifications that I need to update my Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS—even though it’s running that—which I suspect has to do with the fact that my iPhone is still on iOS 12. It’s not a huge annoyance, and you can easily ignore the occasional prompt, but it might be enough to get you to wait until the full public betas for all of Apple’s operating systems drop later this month / early next month.

tvOS 13

I don’t have an Apple TV, so I haven’t done this process myself. However, betaprofiles has a great, quick guide containing everything you need to know about getting the tvOS 13 beta on your device:

  • Open the Settings app and move to General – Privacy – Send Apple TV Analytics.
  • When you have Share Apple TV Analytics selected, don’t click on it. Instead, press the Play/Pause button on the remote and it will open the Add Profile menu, press Play/Pause button again on this option.
  • n the text field that pops up, type http://bit.ly/tvos_13 (This is a short link, it’s completely safe), then click Done and select Install.
  • When you are prompted to reboot do so.
  • The software should then appear in Settings – System – Software Update. Additionally, you can still download the file to your computer for manual installation.

If you want to go the manual route—installing the update via Xcode—Apple has great instructions on its website:

  • Download the tvOS beta software configuration profile for the new Apple TV from the download page on your Mac.
  • Make sure you are running the latest version of Xcode 10 or later on your Mac as well as macOS 10.13.4 or later.
  • Check that your Apple TV is plugged in and turned on.
  • Connect your Apple TV and Mac to the same network.
  • In Xcode, choose Window > Devices and Simulators, then in the window that appears, click Devices.
  • On Apple TV, open Settings, then choose Remotes and Devices > Remote App and Devices. Apple TV searches for possible pairing devices.
  • In Xcode, select your Apple TV in the left column under Discovered. The status of the Apple TV connection request appears in the detail area.
  • Enter the verification code displayed on Apple TV and click Connect. Xcode pairs with Apple TV and a network icon appears next to your Apple TV in the left column.
  • Make sure your Mac is running the latest version of Apple Configurator.
  • Open Apple Configurator.
  • To set up an Apple TV for the first time, click Prepare and follow the onscreen instructions. To add profiles for an Apple TV that you’ve previously set up, click Add, then select Profiles. You can also drag a profile from the Finder and drop it on the icon of your Apple TV.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Biggest Questions Apple Might (or Might Not) Answer at WWDC 2019

Illustration: Apple

On Monday, a host of developers and press will gather in the heart of San Jose to learn about Apple’s software plans for the coming year. Here’s a collection questions we hope Apple answers at this year’s WWDC.

Will iOS finally get a REAL dark mode?

Almost certainly. With macOS getting a dark mode in last year’s Mojave update, and rival Android getting an official dark mode at Google I/O, it stands to reason iOS will finally get one too. Particularly after pictures of the mode leaked to 9to5Mac earlier this week.

iOS currently has something like a dark mode, thanks to its ability to invert every color on the screen and make white things black, but the new dark mode should be more visually attractive. It’ll also likely be well received by anyone with an OLED display in their iPhone. Dark images on OLED displays use up less battery.

Besides a dark mode, Bloomberg has outlined many new features likely coming in the next version of iOS. They include an improved Mail app with the ability to block emails from certain accounts, an updated and more complex To Do app, and a better Bedtime tab in the Clock app.

Will my iPhone or Watch finally track my sleep?

It’s getting closer. Right now, there are many third-party sleep tracker apps, but nothing native. And that will likely remain the case post WWDC. The Bedtime tab in the Clock app should be a little more extensive and is meant to better support new sleep tracking features available on the Watch. It seems sleep tracking won’t come just yet.

Instead, Bloomberg suggests Apple will announce a Sleep Mode for the phone which should automatically mute notifications, turn on Do Not Disturb, and even dim the lock screen, so it doesn’t blind you at three in the morning.

Will the Apple Watch get better battery life?

Unlikely. While an updated watchOS could improve battery life on existing Apple Watches, it’s doubtful it will be a significant enough improvement to get excited about.

And perhaps that’s just one reason sleep tracking won’t be live on the Apple Watch any time soon. Right now, the watch gets 18 to 24 hours of battery life. Battery life will need to improve substantially if Apple wants people wearing the watch to bed every night.

Will the iPhone Health app finally be useful?

Signs say yes. The current belief is that Apple will finally refresh the app and update the landing screen for it. Apple will also reportedly add a new feature for “hearing health” so you can know if you’re listening to stuff too loudly. As with health wearable rival Fitbit, Apple will finally embrace period tracking.

Will Apple finally show off the new Mac Pro?

There’s a good chance. Apple has promised a new Mac Pro for over two years now. The tower was last revamped in 2013, and most of the internal components found in the Mac Pro available on Apple’s site today date back to 2015. There have been a lot of advances in the desktop space since then, and with Intel releasing new Xeon processors earlier this year, and AMD expected to launch new GPUs in July, the time is right for a new Mac Pro with cutting edge tech packed in.

It’s also important to note that over the last few weeks, Apple quietly refreshed both the MacBook Pro and the iPod Touch. It could have saved either of those refreshes for WWDC itself, but instead, it updated the hardware ahead of its major showcase. If we wanted to speculate, using nothing but circumstantial evidence, we might suggest Apple was clearing the way for even bigger hardware news.

Even if the Mac Pro is a no show, Apple will almost certainly be showing off a new external monitor with HDR and wide color gamut support. It’d be neat all by itself, but a perfect partner for a refreshed Mac Pro.

Is Marzipan coming?

Yes, in a way. Marzipan is the internal name for a set of developer tools that will allow devs to develop a single app that works across iPhones, iPads, and macOS devices. Such a set of tools would enable Apple to unify iOS and macOS, eventually, combining them into a single operating system that works across a multitude of screen sizes and processor types.

Apple has repeatedly denied the unification rumor, with Craig Federighi spending a chunk of last year’s WWDC promising that iOS and macOS would never merge. But Marzipan itself definitely exists. Apps that will work across platforms are already here, in the form of the News and Voice Memo apps that appeared in Mojave last year (both were originally iOS exclusive apps). We should expect to see more Apple developed universal apps at WWDC this year, including Podcasts and Screen Time.

According to Bloomberg, Apple will also announce that third-party developers can create a single app for the iPad and macOS. The apps would be available on the iPad and macOS stores respectively, but devs would only have to code the app once to work across both types of devices—and hopefully, we’d only have to buy it once too. It’s not quite what Marzipan is rumored to be (still no explicit cross macOS/iPhone support), but it’s a step closer.

Will Apple kill macOS?

Absolutely not. macOS is safe for another year. Though, as noted above, developers will soon be able to develop a single app for macOS and the iPad at the same time, and Apple is rumored to be adding mouse support to the iPad Pro. With mouse support and a full version of pro apps like Photoshop, the iPad Pro would be a much more viable alternative to macOS. Still, with an updated Mac Pro hopefully coming this year, macOS’ days are hardly numbered.

What about iTunes?

Not exactly. It’s hard to believe that Apple will straight up kill iTunes entirely, though, with the launch of a standalone TV app and the rumored Apple Music standalone, it seems possible that Apple will enter the early stages of phasing iTunes out. It’s about time.

Will we get more details on Apple Arcade?

We’d better. Arcade was announced back at Apple’s weird services-focused March event, and there haven’t been a lot of details since, but given WWDC is a developer conference and Arcade will need lots of developer support to succeed, it seems logical we’d learn more about the tools game designers need. We’ll also hopefully see some of those games. Sonic and Frogger-like games have already been announced, but Apple noted several developers had already signed on to build games for its service. Presumably at least one will be ready to show off on stage.

Will watchOS finally let you download apps from the Watch?

Hopefully. Right now, if you need a new app on an Apple Watch, you have to pull out the phone the watch is bound to, download from a dinky little app store that is really just a subsite of the primary iOS app store, and wait for it to download, slowly, from the phone to the watch.

Apple is reportedly planning to add an actual app store to the Watch itself, making adding new apps a lot easier. Among those should be a calculator watch, so you can make like that one uncle in 1988 and do quick math from your wrist.

Will Siri stop sucking?

Probably not. Siri might be available on nearly every iOS and macOS device, but the system struggles to be as smart as rivals Google Assistant and Alexa, which the HomePod made painfully clear. There are no rumors currently related to improved intelligence, but Siri shortcuts, a feature introduced last year in iOS, should be coming to macOS as well.

Will Apple talk about privacy and security?

Count on it. Facebook might be terrible at caring about your privacy, but Apple has pointedly made privacy and security a selling point. There are no actual rumors about new privacy or security features, but at this point, the surprise would be Apple not mentioning it at least once.

On the security front, there is a rumored rival to Tile expected. Apple supposedly has plans to combine Find Your Phone and Find Your Friends into a single app and start selling a dongle you can attach to non-Apple products so you can find them too.

Will we see a new Apple TV?

Definitely not. The Apple TV is unlikely to be updated any time soon, and the TV app just got a refresh after the March event. However, it is important to note that tvOS hasn’t seen any new features leaked ahead of WWDC. So there could certainly be some surprises left in store.

Will we see the revamped iPhone SE?

Unlikely. While many people I know would love a cheaper and smaller iPhone and there have been rumors of one in the works from Apple since it killed the last one, the chances of Apple showing it off at WWDC are very slim.

Signs point to an iPhone SE 2 announcement in March 2020. So if you’ve got tiny hands, you’d better sit on them.

What questions are you hoping Apple answers?

Source: Kotaku.com

How to Partition Your Hard Drive and Why You Would Want To

Photo: David Nield (Gizmodo)

Partitioning your hard drive sounds like a technically involved task that most people don’t need to bother with—but it’s actually relatively simple to do, doesn’t have to cost you any money, and can make your computing life easier and more productive. Here are the advantages of a partitioned hard drive, and why you might want to do it.

Partitioning splits your hard drive into multiple drives: You don’t actually take a saw to your internal disk, but you do split it up into chunks at the lowest level of the operating system. The end result is that as far as Windows or macOS is concerned, you’ve got two drives installed rather than one.

If you’re using a desktop computer you can, of course, physically install a second hard drive instead. It’s a tidier option than partitioning, though it means opening up your computer case and spending more on an additional drive. As long as you’ve got the storage space to spare, partitioning makes the most sense for most people.

The benefits of partitioning

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Partitioning is usually done with a specific purpose in mind, rather than on a whim. One of those purposes that we’ve written about before is dual-booting operating systems—with two partitions available, you can, for example, run macOS on one of them and Windows on another (Apple has an official tool for this, as we’ll explain).

As long as both partitions are visible to your computer as it boots up, you can choose which OS you want to make use of. All of your applications and files are typically kept separate from one another, though in some situations you can set up a dual-boot system so that files on one drive can be seen and accessed from the other.

Even if you’ve got no interest in setting up a dual-boot configuration on your computer, you can still benefit from a separate partition for your key files and folders—all those photos, videos, documents, music, and other crucial files that you rely on day to day.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Why have them on a separate partition? Quite simply because it isolates them from whatever operating system you’re running—you can reset and refresh Windows without worrying what’s happening to your data, or even switch to a different operating system altogether without affecting the files stored on the data partition. It also makes data recovery easier if your OS partition is damaged or corrupted in some way.

In fact many computers now come with an emergency partition all set up instead of the old recovery disc that used to be supplied—if you can’t boot up your laptop or desktop normally, you can boot from this recovery partition instead and get back your data.

Having a separate data partition also makes sense from a backup or encryption point of view: You can focus on this one particular drive without having OS files and applications get in the way. It’s easier to point a backup program to a whole (partitioned) drive than picking out files and folders individually.

How to partition a hard drive

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Both macOS and Windows have built-in partitioning tools that do the basics, and third-party alternatives are available for both OSes if you need something that’s more advanced or professional.

In the case of macOS, the tool you want is Disk Utility (find it in Applications or search for it in Spotlight). You’ll see your main internal drive appear, then your options are to either click the Partition button or the Plus button above the Volume label.

Modern-day Macs make use of a new file storage system called APFS (Apple File System), and it has its own alternative to partitions in the form of volumes (the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, which can get confusing). You still get the choice of either creating a new partition or a new volume in Disk Utility, but Apple is pushing users towards volumes as the faster and simpler option.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

A lot of the differences are behind the scenes: Volumes can change size dynamically, for instance, while partitions have a fixed size. For most purposes you can go ahead and use a volume, though partitions are still useful for maintaining compatibility with non-APFS systems (if you want to install Windows, for instance).

Creating a volume or partition only takes a couple of clicks in Disk Utility. You’ll need to name the new disk space, and specify its size if it’s a partition (you can set a minimum and maximum size for a volume too, but it’s easier just to let macOS manage everything itself).

If you want to create a partition specifically to install Windows alongside macOS, use Apple’s Boot Camp utility—launched from Utilities inside Applications, or the Spotlight search. The setup wizard takes you through the process of creating a new partition and installing Windows on it.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Over on Windows systems, the built-in tool you need is Disk Management—just search for it from the search box on the taskbar (it may well appear as Create and format hard disk partitions, which gives away its primary purpose).

This integrated Windows tool isn’t quite as slick or intuitive as its macOS counterpart. First you need to reduce the size of your existing hard drive partition by whatever size you want the new partition to be: Right-click on it and choose Shrink Volume to do this. Once some space has been cleared, you can right-click on that and pick New Simple Volume to get the new partition formatted and ready to access.

If you’re installing a different operating system on the newly created partition, you can usually skip that last step: The OS installer will do the job for you and get everything set up so the partition is accessible.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

When it comes to choosing how much space to leave for your new partition, it’s not an exact science. Obviously it depends on how much room you have available in total, and what you want to do with your newly partitioned space: A whole separate operating system is going to take up more room than a few documents.

In the case of Apple’s Boot Camp, 64GB is the minimum you need to run a copy of Windows alongside macOS, and 128GB is recommended for the best experience (you wouldn’t really want to buy a Windows PC with 64GB of storage). You can use that as a guide to how big your new partitions should be.

Third-party partitioning programs offer a few advanced features on top of that, like easier partition management, partition merging and resizing, and built-in data recovery tools. They can be worth the outlay, if you’re going to be doing a lot of partitioning and need something more user-friendly.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

EaseUS Partition Manager is one of the best options for Windows: There’s a free edition that’s easier to use than Windows’ own Disk Management, and the Pro version (with cloning, converting, migrating and other advanced features) will set you back $40 (a free trial is available).

Also high up on our list is MiniTool Partition Wizard—as with the EaseUS application, you’ve got a basic free edition and a more advanced Pro version ($40 with a free trial). It’s got perhaps the friendliest interface of all the programs we’ve mentioned here, and includes just about everything you’ll need.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager is a good bet for Mac and Windows and also costs $40 (and also offers a free trial). While the macOS Disk Utility and the Windows Disk Management tool will do the job well enough, Paragon Hard Disk Manager throws in extras like partition recovery, easy disk copying, and easier partition resizing.

Also worth a look is Stellar Partition Manager, $40 for macOS, again with a free trial available—it can work with Boot Camp partitions too, if you’ve created them with Apple’s official tool. It offers a very similar feature set to the Paragon software for macOS, so you might want to check for specific functionality if you know you’re going to be needing it.

Source: Kotaku.com