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  • How to create simple, one-step tasks in Automator to save you time on your Mac

    yeah, frustrating! that whole combine pdf one step action would be perfect if it actually worked. Sure I can make it as a step and sure I can drag and drop PDF files on it. but where does the final combined pdf go? My mac seems to do something, but it never shows what and the final combined PDF doesn't appear to actually exist. Maybe this one step solution needs a couple more steps?
  • How to get started with a new HomePod, and get more out of it

    we have 6 HomePods and it feel like Siri is still in beta. When I want to bypass Siri and get actual concrete results, I can set alarms in the Home app and I can see which music to play in the Music app (as long as I go through a two minute dig and tap routine every time I launch Music). To really use Siri on HomePod to listen to music, you have to have Apple Music. Having an extensive iTunes collection and Music Match isn't good enough and becomes very difficult to manage. When the HomePods haven't been rebooted for 30 days or so, they begin to require us to say everything twice, and they begin to get less accurate. "Hey Siri, Next Track. [wait a couple of seconds] Hey Siri, Next Track" will make it go to the next song most of the time, but about 20% of the time it responds with something from left field like "Who do you want to send it to" or the like. Since there is no reboot command anywhere that I can find, we have resorted to plugging all of the HomePods into HomeKit enabled smart plugs so we can turn them off and on to reboot them. Once they are rebooted they work like magic again for 20 to 30 days until they start getting confused again. Apple really needs to give us a dedicated HomePod app that can play music on the HomePods, monkey with settings like alarms and timers, offer to update the software when needed, and give us a manual way to reset them. Here's hoping that we'll get that with updates this year...
  • How to get more Aerial Apple TV videos or change your screensaver outright

    The whole screen save settings thing annoys me. In order to use my own photos, they have to be in a shared iCloud album. Never mind that I can manually see every photo stored in photos, they have to be in an iCloud album to be the screensaver. Also, it randomly resets back to the default aerial screen saver all on its own about three times a month. I have 3 4th gen models and they all do it. The 2nd and 3rd gen models always reset back to the default slideshow after a week or two as well. I really wish there was a better way to show my photos on my tv screen than to rely on the buggy screensaver in the Apple TV.