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📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 Messages, doc scanning, Watch tricks, and more

📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺
📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 Messages, doc scanning, Watch tricks, and more
By David Chartier • Issue #59 • View online
Hey Finer Readers! In this issue I continue the iOS 13 train of tips, but added a couple new cars for watchOS 6 and macOS 10.15 Catalina. There’s plenty more to cover where these came from, so let’s dive in.
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💡 Tips
📱 Messages Info panel separates media, links, and attachments
In the Messages app, you can tap the person(s) at the top of a conversation, then the Info button to view details about said conversation. This screen includes things like the option to share location, controlling alerts, and recently shared photos.
In iOS 13, Apple has split out the media section into three categories: photos (which I think includes videos), links, and locations. This is a super useful way to track down that one thing you shared that one time.
📱 Long tap App Store for Updates option
In iOS 13, Apple replaced the Updates tab with Apple Arcade. Fortunately, updates are still pretty easy to reach. After launching the App Store, simply tap your profile icon in the upper right.
You can also skip right to the updates tab by long tapping on the App Store icon, then selecting Updates from the popup menu.
📱 Quickly scan documents by tapping in a Files app folder
Long tap in a folder in Files app, and the popup menu that appears will offer to Scan Documents. This opens what appears to be a custom version of the camera that can automatically detect documents in frame.
This document camera can scan multiple pages, then save them together as a PDF in the folder you started with.
📱 You can still drag apps instead of tapping ‘Rearrange Apps’
Rearranging and deleting apps has changed in iOS 13. Now, long tapping on an app will display a menu of commands and possibly a widget, if the app developer made one available. One of the menu commands is “Rearrange Apps.” This will toggle the familiar Jiggly Mode, where you can move and delete apps.
But you can also skip the menu popup and start moving apps more quickly. If you start a long tap on an app, notice that your device waits a beat, then displays the menu and any available widgets (on iPhones, you get a haptic nudge too). But if you learn the timing and start moving the app just before that beat is done, you’ll skip the popup menu and toggle Jiggle Mode.
⌚️ Search the web from your Watch
With watchOS 6, the Apple Watch can now handle a good number of actual web search requests beyond direct partnerships Apple made for things like Yelp locations or WolframAlpha data.
I just asked my Apple Watch to “search the web for pictures of happy dogs” and “What’s the capital of Vanuatu?”. It’s pretty useful in a pinch.
⌚️ Get a warning in loud environments
With watchOS 6, your Apple Watch can now check your environment for loud, potentially damaging sound. You can also enable continual background monitoring, and Apple states that none of that data is actually recorded, saved, or uploaded anywhere. As I understand it, the monitoring is all done on device.
If you just want to check your current environment, look for a yellow app icon with an ear. For continual monitoring, head in Settings either on the Watch or the iPhone app.
⌚️ Apple Watch finally supports native cycle tracking
Apple finally added menstrual cycle tracking to watchOS and Apple Health. This new, dedicated app allows for easy tracking, symptom logging, and fertility window predictions (which, of course, Apple states should not be used as birth control).
To get started with it, open the Health app on iPhone first.
💻📱 10.15: See attached iOS devices in Finder sidebar
With iTunes retired, Apple moved Mac-based iOS device management and sync options to the Finder. Plug your device in (you may have to tell it to trust your Mac), and open a Finder window. Your device should be listed in the sidebar, and the UI seems very much pulled from the last version of iTunes.
💻⌚️ 10.15: Authenticate with Apple Watch
In macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple expanded the Watch’s role in authenticating on our Macs. Previously, we could unlock our Macs simply by waking them and wearing our unlocked Apple Watch. Now, the Watch can be used as a proxy for our Mac admin password in some places, such as approving app installs and viewing our list of passwords in Safari.
Like Apple Pay, it’s just a double-click of the Watch’s side button. Enable this feature in System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
🔗 Links
On the concept of escapism and modern entertainment
Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?
I Used to Fear Being a Nobody. Then I Left Social Media.
Paris 9/19 on Vimeo
Paris 9/19 on Vimeo
Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars VIII, Looper, and other films, shot an impressive short film on iPhone 11 Pro.
🤩 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 MastodonTumblr, 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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