Apple iMac M1

Your Mac has highly effective options below the hood. We’ll present you how to unlock them.

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Regardless if you’ve been utilizing a Mac for a whereas or Apple’s pc platform is new to you, there are loads of options ready to be found. Or rediscovered, for that matter. It’s straightforward to overlook among the extra helpful or helpful apps, shortcuts and instruments. For occasion, did you know you can use the Preview app to signal a doc in a couple of seconds? Or that you can drag settings like Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb from the Control Center to your menu bar? You will quickly. 

And now that we all know extra about MacOS Monterey that will probably be launched this fall, I’m much more excited to proceed discovering new options on my MacGuide Pro. The present software program, MacOS 11 Big Sur, made vital adjustments to the way in which the Mac seems and works. But at its core, the Mac remains to be a Mac, simply with a extra iOS-like interface and borrowed options such because the Control Center. 

Crank your Mac ability stage to (MacOS) 11 with these important tips and methods.

Free working system updates for years 

It’s far too straightforward to take routine software program updates as a right — they’re one thing we simply count on from gadget makers now. Not solely do software program updates add new options, however they proceed to optimize your pc and embody vital safety updates as properly. 

Do your self a favor and make sure you maintain your Mac up to date every time a new replace is launched. It’s completely effective to wait a day or two to make sure no main bugs slipped by testing undetected, however after that click on on the Apple brand within the top-left nook of the menu bar, choose System Preferences adopted by Software Updates

Apple has continued to launch updates for gadgets that are extremely outdated. Here, have a look at the record of Macs that will run MacOS Big Sur, the newest working system. (I’ve a 2011 iMac that was lastly left behind practically 10 years after I purchased it.) 


Keep your Mac up to date for safety fixes and new options. It would not value you something. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Put Control Center and the menu bar to work 

Arguably one of many largest interface adjustments Apple made to MacOS Big Sur is the addition of the Control Center to the menu bar. For those that do not personal an iPhone or an iPad, Control Center is the place you’ll discover all of the, properly, controls for settings like Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and show brightness on that respective gadget. 


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Using the Control Center is simple sufficient, you click on on the icon, choose the setting you need to change and that’s about it. 

But this is a professional tip: If you end up lacking fast entry to any of the settings now included within the Control Center, simply drag that icon out of it and place it in your Menu Bar. 

For instance, I steadily fiddle with Bluetooth gadgets and have to handle what my Mac is linked to. With this trick, I can transfer the Bluetooth icon again to the menu bar (the place it ought to all the time be, ha!) and entry it with fewer clicks. The identical goes for anything within the Control Center. 

When I discovered about this trick my thoughts was blown. Seriously. 

Hidden function: Sign a doc in your Mac

One of my favourite hidden MacOS options is that you can use Preview to signal paperwork. I exploit it on a regular basis to signal paperwork for work or my youngsters’ college. 

The gist of it’s this: Open the doc you want to register Preview, then click on on the pencil icon on the high, adopted by the signature brand. You can then use your iPhone to create and save your signature, which is then added to your doc. 

I’ve a extra full walkthrough you can take a look at if you’re in want of a free device to signal something from a mortgage on a new automotive to a discipline journey permission slip.


Move and resize your signature whereas including it to your doc. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Turn your iPad into an additional show with a couple of clicks 

Apple Sidecar permits you to use your iPad as an exterior show on your Mac. It’s a fully wi-fi connection, and takes simply a second to activate. Your iPad will want to have iPadOS 13 or later put in, and your Mac will want MacOS Catalina or newer. 

With your iPad close to your Mac, you can activate Sidecar a couple of various methods. The best is to go to Control Center > Display and choose your iPad in your Mac. Otherwise, you can open system preferences and open the Sidecar settings panel. 

Your iPad can both mirror your Mac’s show, or act as an prolonged desktop, giving you one other display screen and more room to put home windows and apps. You may even proceed to use your iPad and different apps, then return to the Sidecar view with out breaking the connection. If you’re going to use it for a lengthy time period, I recommend connecting your iPad to your Mac with a cable. 


You can simply share info between your iPad and Mac. 

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Easily swap between your Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad 

Continuity is a function you would possibly already be utilizing and never even understand it. The nondescript identify is what Apple makes use of to hyperlink your whole Apple devices collectively, permitting you to decide up a job in your Mac the place you left off in your iPhone. Or one thing as seemingly easy as taking a cellphone name in your Mac — that’s Continuity in motion. 

But maybe my favourite and most used facet of Continuity is Handoff. If you’ve ever seen an app icon seem after which disappear on the far proper aspect of the app dock in your Mac — that’s Handoff. If you had been to click on that app icon, it could open no matter app you’re utilizing in your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad in your Mac. 

For instance, if you’re writing an e mail in your iPhone however need to end it in your Mac, click on the Mail app icon and the compose window will open, along with your draft prepared for you to end. 

I usually will copy a string of textual content on one gadget, however want to paste it into a textual content discipline on one other gadget. Continuity contains a Universal Clipboard function, so so long as each gadgets are close to one another, you can copy in your Mac and paste in your iPhone with out doing something particular in any respect. Try it. It’s really superior. 

Share MacOS document

It’s true. You can share your Apple-created paperwork identical to Google docs. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Forget about Google Docs with these built-in Mac apps

Every Mac comes with Pages, Numbers and Keynote put in out of the field. Those three apps are the Google equal of Docs, Sheets and Slides, or Microsoft’s equal of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 

One of the largest attracts to Google Docs is the power to share and collaborate in actual time with fellow customers utilizing your favourite net browser. It’s a helpful device, little question, and one I exploit each single day. 

However, Apple’s suite of apps have a collaboration device of their very own constructed proper in, and the individuals you’re working with do not even have to personal a Mac. You can ship an invitation to any doc by clicking on the Collaborate button and sending your invite. From there you may set permissions, and require a password to entry the hyperlink. 

You can then work collectively on a doc in actual time, identical to you would in Google Docs. Whoever you’re working with can open the hyperlink, add their identify so adjustments are credited and begin working within the doc in Chrome or Microsoft Edge. 

Use your iPhone as a scanner

Speaking of Apple’s creativity suite, this is an oft-forgotten function constructed into MacOS that makes scanning a doc or importing a photograph into a doc a breeze. 

To verify if an app helps this function, right-click in any textual content discipline and search for a part along with your close by iPhone listed. Under that part would be the possibility(s) supported by the app. For instance, once I right-click in a Pages doc, I’m proven three choices for my iPhone 12 Pro: Take photograph, scan paperwork or add sketch. 

Select the choice that works finest for you, after which unlock your iPhone or iPad. It will mechanically open the right display screen primarily based in your choice, and when you’re executed it will likely be added to your doc. 


Sharing a folder out of your Mac takes a couple of clicks. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Create and share iCloud folders with ease

Apple made it potential to share iCloud Drive folders with the launch of iOS 13 a couple of years in the past. It works identical to sharing a folder on Dropbox or OneDrive does, solely as a substitute of utilizing a third-party service, you’re utilizing one thing that’s constructed straight into your Mac. 

I coated how to share a folder and all its caveats when the function made its debut. Make sure to test it out, particularly if you’re uninterested in paying for a number of cloud storage providers. 

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It’s true. You can use your favourite iPhone and iPad apps in your Mac

Apple’s newest Mac computer systems all use the corporate’s personal processor, the M1. Because it is the identical kind of processor that powers your iPhone or iPad, and thanks to adjustments Apple has made to MacOS Big Sur, you can set up and use the identical apps you do in your cellphone or pill straight in your Mac. 

There are a few other ways of getting iPhone and iPad apps onto your M1 Mac, however I coated all the particulars right here


iPhone and iPad apps aren’t included within the default search outcomes. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

GarageBand and iMovie: Not only for professionals

Each Mac contains GarageBand and iMovie, Apple’s core audio and video modifying instruments, respectively. It’s straightforward to have a look at both app as one thing for professionals or artistic individuals, and whereas there’s some fact to that, each apps are straightforward to use and get began with. 

I’ve personally used GarageBand to file podcasts and interviews, each of which don’t have anything to do with musical devices. As for iMovie, I’ve created numerous trailers utilizing the inbuilt scenes and instruments with my youngsters. I used every a type of classes as a approach to educate myself how to use iMovie and edit video, again once I was doing CNET How To movies.

I admit, it is simple to get intimidated by each apps. But if you’re trying to decide up a new passion, open both one and begin experimenting. 

There’s a lot extra the Mac can do apart from this record. Like the remainder of the new options on Big Sur. There are a number of hidden options you ought to know, too. If you simply received a Mac, make sure you set it up the suitable approach

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