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📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 iMessage threads, Apple Watch tips, Big Sur emoji trick, and more

📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺
📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 iMessage threads, Apple Watch tips, Big Sur emoji trick, and more
By David Chartier • Issue #71 • View online
Hello all you wonderful readers and welcome to the first Finer Tech Newsletter of 2021! I hope you all had as nice of a holiday as possible in these bizarre times. I got to (safely) see some family, but spent most of the time relaxing, gaming, and reading.
In this issue, I have for you a mix of iOS, Mac, and Watch tips, as well as some good links.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this issue on MastodonTumblrMicro.blogTwitter, or email. If you know people who would enjoy my newsletter, I’ll owe you a beverage if you recommend it to them.

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💡 Tips
📱 Use your Apple Watch as a vlogging viewfinder
Say you want to do some personal vlogging, either for yourself or your #InfluencerAudience. Maybe you want to use the best camera on your device, but that means you lose a viewfinder.
Not anymore.
Thanks to a clever trick from Peter Sciretta, you can wrap your Apple Watch around your phone and open the Camera Remote app to create a makeshift viewfinder on the back of your iPhone.
While I’ve used the Camera Remote Watch app in the past for actually taking pictures remotely, I can’t imagine sustained use like this will do wonders for the Watch’s battery. Still, if you don’t need much time to film and go prepared with extra juice, it’s a great little hack.
Photo via Jeff Roy
📱 Fantastical for iPad: Write anywhere with Pencil to create a new event
Start writing anywhere on Fantastical on iPad, and it will create a new event. Your written text will be translated and parsed in that clever Fantastical way. Including a date and time, for example, automatically sets those options for the event.
📱💻 iMessages support threads so you can focus on a topic
Notice the line Messages draws on the left between threaded messages in a conversation
Notice the line Messages draws on the left between threaded messages in a conversation
To create a thread in any iMessage chat, long-press (iOS) or right-click (Mac) on a message. This works in one-on-one chats and is even more useful in group chats.
Type and send your reply. While it will still appear in the conversation for all to see, it will include a visual reference to the original message. Tap either your reply or the original message to view the full thread.
It’s a welcome way to respond to an old message, or create a chat within a chat about something important.
📱💻 Ulysses: How to search in a specific group of sheets
Yes the documents you create in Ulysses are called ‘sheet’
I use Ulysses for nearly all my writing, including this newsletter. While it has a fast search tool, I only recently learned how to focus it on a specific group of sheets or part of my library.
On iOS: Open search with Cmd + O or tapping the magnifying glass at the top. In the search tool that appears, swipe down to reveal controls at the top for your entire library, the current section (like iCloud, Dropbox, etc.), or just the currently selected Group.
On Mac: When any Group is selected, press Cmd + Shift + F to open a search bar at the top of that Group. To search across a specific section (like iCloud or Dropbox), select any Group in that selection and use Cmd + O.
💻 Big Sur: Turn the Fn key into the emoji key
Unless you’re a lucky owner of a shiny new M1 Mac, your Fn key is just a plain, old, boring, non-emoji key. That is, until you install Big Sur.
If you want one-tap access to the emoji picker, you can tie it to the Fn key (M1 Macs ship with a language picker icon on the Fn key). Simply go to System Preferences > Keyboard and toggle the “Set Fn key to” option.
Bonus tip: For some time now, the default macOS keyboard shortcut for the emoji picker has been Ctrl + Cmd + Space.
💻 Quick Look is back in Spotlight
I’m not sure when this changed about Spotlight on Mac, but it seems its older Quick Look behavior is back. After searching for something, press Tab to open a Quick Look panel on the right. For supported files, a preview should appear, giving you a peek at what’s inside before waiting for a full app to open.
Side note: I’m not positive, but I suspectSpotlight Quick Look might not work on iCloud Drive files that do not have a local copy.
⌚️ A Watch face that displays mobile network signal strength
For Apple Watch users cutting the iPhone cord, the new Explorer face can display mobile network signal strength. Look for the (hopefully) four dots in the top middle section of the Face.
🔗 Good Links & Reads
We Know That Working from Home Works. Is a Four-Day Week the Next Step?
Photography at Home
The best video essays of 2020
It’s time to stop measuring productivity in hours
🤩 Thanks for reading
How did you like this issue? Was it useful and bite-sized enough? Are there certain kinds of tips or apps you’d like to see here? Let me know what you think on MastodonTumblrMicro.blogTwitter, or email.
Did you enjoy this issue?
David Chartier

Quick productivity boosters for apps and Apple devices, served with a side of humor, links, and videos across culture, science, and more.

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