For navigation, every Web browser offers back and forward buttons, generally represented by arrows in the upper left of the toolbar. You can also navigate by choosing menu commands and typing keyboard shortcuts—did you know that Command-Left arrow and Command-Right arrow work too? But if you’re using a Mac with a trackpad, you can move back and forth between Web pages—in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox—with a two-fingered swipe left (for back) or right (for forward). If you prefer, you can switch to a three-fingered swipe in System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures. Or, if it’s difficult for you to keep exactly two or precisely three fingers on the trackpad, you can choose to swipe with two or three fingers.
Apple’s Photos app is remarkably good at identifying people in your snapshots and collecting all the pictures that contain a particular person into a group in its People view. At its top level, the People view shows a thumbnail photo for each person, picking one automatically from all the available photos. Needless to say, it doesn’t always pick the photo you want, so if you dislike what’s there, you can change it easily on the Mac. In Photos, click People in the sidebar and double-click the thumbnail of the person you want to change. If necessary, click Show More to see all their photos, then Control-click the desired photo and choose Make Key Photo from the contextual menu.
Do you create reminders with Siri on the iPhone? Those reminders are automatically added to your default list, which you set in Settings > Reminders > Default List. That’s great generally—“Hey Siri, remind me to update watchOS tonight at 11 PM”—but less good when you want to maintain different shopping lists. For instance, create a list called “Grocery,” and then you can tell Siri, “Put chocolate-covered bacon on my Grocery list.” Want to get fancy? Make a list called “Hardware,” and then tell Siri, “Add birdseed to my Hardware list, and remind me when I arrive at Home Depot.” You may have to pick the correct Home Depot location from a list, but then you’ll receive an alert reminding you to buy birdseed when you pull into the parking lot. To look at any list via Siri, just say something like “Show my Grocery list.”
Wondering what happened to the numeric battery percentage indicator on the iPhone X? The notch takes up enough space at the top of the screen that there was room only for the battery icon, which can be hard to interpret. If you want to see precisely what percentage of your battery is left, swipe down slightly from the top-right corner of the screen. That gives you the full set of indicators, including battery percentage. You don’t have to keep swiping down enough to show Control Center, but if you do, all the indicators will be there too.
A $99-per-year Amazon Prime membership provides various perks, including free 2-day shipping from the Amazon online store and streaming access to Amazon’s media libraries. But for Apple TV users, accessing Prime Video content has been frustrating, because there was no Amazon app for the Apple TV. That has all changed now, and if you have an Amazon Prime membership and an Apple TV, it’s time to download the new Amazon Prime Video app. It gives you a boatload of additional video content, including Amazon’s original programming (like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is hilarious). Find it on your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K in the App Store app. If you are still using a third-generation Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video should appear automatically on your Apple TV Home screen.
Since the iPhone X lacks a Home button to press twice for the app switcher, you’ll need to switch apps in a new way. To bring up the app switcher, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to about halfway, and then pause until the app thumbnails appear. Then you can scroll through your launched apps by swiping horizontally and switch to an app by tapping its thumbnail. While in the app switcher, you can also force-quit a frozen app: press a thumbnail to get a red minus button and tap that button. Alternatively, you can skip the app switcher entirely. Instead, swipe right on the very bottom of the screen to switch to the previous app—swiping left switches to the next app.
Did you hear about the battery-related controversy swirling around Apple at the end of 2017? There has been much hue and cry about how, starting with iOS 10.2.1, iOS has been slowing down iPhones with old, weak batteries to avoid unexpected shutdowns. In response, Apple posted A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance to explain what was going on. Apple announced that it would reduce the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and later from $79 to $29 through December 2018. The company also said that an upcoming iOS update would give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone battery. The practical upshot of this is that if you have an iPhone 6 or later that suffers from short battery life or unexpected shutdowns, make sure to take advantage of the $29 replacement price this year.
In macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Apple significantly enhanced the editing capabilities of Photos, adding tools for adjusting specific colors, fine-tuning color and contrast via curves, and even focusing an image with vignetting. But it still lacks many features found in other image editors, including applying a filter to an arbitrary portion of an image and adding text to an image. Happily, the latest version of Photos brings back a feature from iPhoto that lets you edit any image with any editor on your Mac. Just Control- or right-click a photo and choose Edit With > YourFavoriteImageEditor, and the photo opens in that app. Make your changes, and when you save, those changes are reflected in the version in Photos.