If the For You section of Apple’s iOS News app overwhelms you with stories that are boring, depressing, or offensive, you can clamp down on it with a new setting in iOS 11. Go to Settings > News and enable Restrict Stories in For You. From then on, most stories in For You will come only from channels you follow. That setting also removes Top Stories, Trending Stories, and Featured Stories, since they rely on publications you may not like. (To follow a publication’s channel, in the News app, tap the publication’s name at the top of a story and then tap its heart icon. Verify your selections in the Following section, accessed by tapping Following at the bottom of the main News screen. Be aware that News may still suggest unwanted topics; you can delete those in Following too.)
When you’re in a huge mall or airport, it’s all too easy to take a wrong turn and get lost. Happily, your iPhone will increasingly be able to help prevent that. Maps in iOS 11 now knows about some indoor places, such as the Philadelphia International Airport and the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall. Zoom in to such a place in Maps, and it shows you a detailed floor plan. In an airport, you can view terminals, boarding gates, security checkpoints, baggage claim carousels, parking garages, and restaurants. For malls, Maps lets you filter the view by store type or to show restroom locations. Notice the icon that lets you switch floors! Apple is adding more airports and malls all the time.
The writing is on the wall: Apple doesn’t want us downloading or managing iOS apps on our Macs anymore. Most of the changes in iTunes 12.7 revolve around features Apple removed, including ringtone management and iTunes U. But the kicker is the removal of the iOS App Store and support for app syncing. This means you won’t be able to click a link on a Web site on your Mac to download an iOS app to iTunes, nor will you be able to use iTunes to choose which apps are on your iOS device. You can’t even customize Home screen layouts from within iTunes. All those tasks must now be done on your iOS device. You can still back up your iOS devices to iTunes—but if you have to restore, your apps will be downloaded from the App Store. Sorry!
We’ve been hearing reports from people whose Macs have been locked remotely via Find My Mac, with the criminals responsible holding access to the Mac hostage until they receive a ransom in Bitcoin. First, if this happens to you, do not pay the ransom! Any Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store can unlock your Mac for you if you bring it in and provide proof of purchase. Second, if you ever used your iCloud password on another site, change it immediately, since if that site was hacked, your iCloud account is now vulnerable. Unfortunately, Apple’s two-factor authentication, which is otherwise great, does not currently protect against this problem! Learn more at TidBITS.
If your MacBook’s battery charge is dropping faster than you think is reasonable, it’s time to look for the culprit. Click the Battery icon in the menu bar and wait a few seconds for the Battery menu to display power information, including which apps are using significant energy. Obviously, you can’t quit apps you’re using, and you can’t control some items that may appear here, like Spotlight, but if an app like Photos is sucking power in the background, quit it until you can plug in again.
Long gone are the days of ghetto blasters and monster speakers—now we pump music directly into our eardrums with EarPods and AirPods. Noise-induced hearing loss is a real problem, though, with millions of people damaging their hearing by playing music too loud, sometimes inadvertently. Happily, iOS can help protect your ears, and those of your loved ones. Navigate to Settings > Music > Volume Limit and lower the slider. If you’re doing this for a child, you can prevent them from changing it in Settings > General > Restrictions > Volume Limit > Don’t Allow Changes. This requires first setting a Restrictions passcode that only you know.
It’s a lot easier to take photos than it is to delete them, particularly in Photos on the Mac. You’ve done the dance: select a photo, press Delete, and press Return when Photos asks if you want to delete the photo. But you can sidestep that annoying dialog with this simple trick: press Command-Delete instead of Delete on its own. That sends the photo to your Recently Deleted album instantly.
The iPhone’s Maps app automatically records where you park your car as long as the iPhone is connected to the car’s Bluetooth system. It even notifies you of this when you get out of the car. But how do you get back to the car after you’ve done your errands? Just bring up Maps, and you’ll see Parked Car in the recent locations list at the bottom. Tap it, tap the Directions button on the next screen, and then tap Go (tap the Walk button first if necessary). Then just follow the blue brick road and the directions that Maps gives you.