Macworld April 2020

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

6 min
safari alternatives: five mac web browsers worth trying

If you have a Mac, you have Safari—it’s the built-in default. Apple’s browser is very fast, respects your privacy, and works seamlessly with Safari on the iPhone or iPad through iCloud syncing features. But it’s not the only game in town. Unlike on iOS and iPadOS, Apple is quite permissive about running full web browsers on macOS. Mac browsers can use their own technologies to render webpages and set themselves to be the default web browser. On the iPhone or iPad, they can’t do either of those things. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to Safari, but depending on your own particular needs, it might not be the best browser. Some services, like YouTube TV, won’t run on Safari at all. And some features, like YouTube’s support for 4K video, don’t work with…

4 min
acquiring minds want to know: a peek inside apple’s most recent corporate acquisitions

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it dozens of times: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” When it comes to its corporate acquisitions, Cupertino likes to play its cards very close to its chest. Of course, that doesn’t stop industry watchers from peering at the tea leaves to see if they can divine exactly what the company might be working on. And, hey, I’m no different than those folks, because Apple does so little to telegraph its plans that even a boilerplate statement confirming an acquisition is a rare peek behind the curtain. Apple CEO Tim Cook said not long ago that the company makes an acquisition every two to three weeks, and not even all of those…

2 min
what to do when your external mac display isn’t showing up or displaying color casts

My external monitor was having a moment. It powered up when I woke my iMac from its standby mode with a pink-hued tone over everything. While this was vaguely aesthetically pleasing, it wasn’t particularly beneficial and I thought it would wear on me. My first thought was that some internal circuitry had cracked and pink was its overlaid color from now on. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. Sometimes, external monitors don’t sync up perfectly with a Mac when they are turned on or woken from a standby state. In other cases, the display isn’t recognized by your Mac at all, which thinks it has one (or more) fewer monitors connected to it and relocates windows and icons. These situations seem to happen more frequently with older monitors, but readers regularly report all…

2 min
how to stop getting a reminder to update to catalina in macos

Apple is persistent about software updates. Since the updates are free, it’s not exactly a monetary motivation, though newer versions of macOS have an increasing number of services, like the new TV app in Catalina, which inherits previous features from iTunes and will allow Apple TV+ subscriptions when they arrive. Many people simply aren’t ready for macOS 10.15 Catalina, and may be waiting for a “dot one” release—10.15.1—or for “never.” How can you prevent a persistent update reminder and badge? It involves some command-line instructions. WARNING! Whenever you work at the command line, you need to enter instructions exactly and it’s best to have a current complete backup before you start just in case. WARNING! Disabling notification of updates can mean that you miss important security updates for your current version of macOS. Keep aware…

7 min
1blocker 3: safari extension revamps its content-blocking for macos catalina

Apple introduced content-blocking Safari extensions in 2015 for iOS and 2016 for macOS, offering third-party developers a way to bring rule-based blocking without requiring users to give up privacy. Extension creators can produce and update unwanted lists of URLs, structural page elements, and a few other kinds of items that are unwanted or outright malicious. These lists are loaded into Safari, which handles blocking. User behavior isn’t uploaded—it’s a one-way street. 1Blocker was one of the first to enter this market, producing an app that paired with extensions for flexible control. 1Blocker 3 is an overhaul of the macOS app, intended to provide a simpler interface for users who don’t want to dig into rules and to meet new extension requirements set by Apple for the latest release of Safari. The result…

3 min
juststream: mac utility mirrors, streams video to any tv in the house

AirPlay 2 provides Apple device owners more ways to stream favorite music, movies, TV shows, and home videos around the house. But for anyone without a HomePod, Apple TV, or other compatible hardware, the experience is actually pretty limited. JustStream is a macOS menu-bar app for wirelessly streaming from a Mac to compatible AirPlay or Chromecast devices, including LG, Roku, Samsung, and Sony televisions. This is done two different ways: Mirroring, which essentially livestreams your desktop; or streaming, where one or more media files can be queued up for playback. Running entirely from the menu bar, JustStream automatically detects compatible devices on your local network capable of receiving via AirPlay or Chromecast. Select a target device from the pull-down menu at the bottom of the window—a button that’s hard to see if…