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Category: Problem Solving

Adam Engst Josh Centers 15 comments

Apple Updates Advice Regarding Magnetic Interference with Implanted Medical Devices

Concerns about MagSafe in the iPhone 12 interfering with pacemakers, defibrillators, and other implanted medical devices surfaced earlier in the year. Apple now cautions that many of its magnet-using products could cause problems for such devices.

Adam Engst No comments

Steven Aquino Examines Accessibility in Upcoming Apple Features

In addition to the work Apple does in providing explicit accessibility features, Steven Aquino notes that many of the marquee features of Apple’s upcoming operating system updates provide notable benefits to users with disabilities.

Adam Engst 21 comments

Extracting Data from an Old iOS App Broken by iOS 14.5

iOS 14.5 has rendered some old apps inoperable that worked in previous versions of iOS 14. What options are available for recovering data from those apps if you can no longer launch them? Adam Engst spelunks through iPhone backups and numerous erase-restore cycles to see what’s possible.

Adam Engst 8 comments

Clear Space to Fix Catalina Update Restart Loop

After being flummoxed by updates to Security Update 2021-002 for macOS 10.15 Catalina and Safari 14.1 that required a restart but never installed, Adam Engst discovered that Apple’s installer will fail silently if there isn’t enough free space.

Josh Centers 19 comments

Prevent Apple’s Updated Podcasts App from Eating Your Storage

There are numerous complaints about Apple’s latest update to its Podcasts app, but its nastiest surprise may be gigabytes of unexpected downloads. Here’s how to turn off the downloads and recover your space.

Adam Engst 19 comments

Apple Watch Series 3 Update Workarounds

Some people with Apple Watch Series 3 models are having trouble installing watchOS 7 updates because they don’t have enough space available. Here are two ways to free up enough space to install the watchOS updates.

Adam Engst 10 comments

Stanford Research Explains and Helps Prevent Zoom Fatigue

Do you find it tiring to spend a lot of time on video calls? You’re not alone—pretty much everyone does. A Stanford University researcher has now figured out exactly why… and what you can do about it.

Adam Engst 9 comments

A Pair of Books for Learning the Mac Command Line

If you’d like to enhance your command-line skills—either for your personal edification or to support your career as a Mac admin—you won’t go wrong by picking one of two books: the recently updated "Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal" or the new "macOS Terminal and Shell."

Adam Engst 99 comments

Is It Safe to Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur?

Should you upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur from a previous version of macOS? Only you can answer that question for sure, but Adam Engst has upgraded his primary Mac with no significant problems. Our recommendation is that it should now be safe to upgrade, though you might want to wait for macOS 11.3, due soon.

Adam Engst 10 comments

Are Cheap MagSafe-Like Adapters for USB-C Worthwhile?

Adam Engst loves his M1-based MacBook Air but is missing the stellar user experience of the old MagSafe charging technology from his old 2012 MacBook Air. He found a cheap magnetic charging solution from various Chinese manufacturers. 

Adam Engst 13 comments

Can’t Scroll a Message in Mail? Here’s One Reason Why

A report from a reader of the Dutch translation of TidBITS led us to discover both a message viewing bug in Mail and a problem with how we were building those translated issues. Read on to learn what not to do in email and how to work around Mail’s bug.

Adam Engst 48 comments

macOS 11.2.2 Protects MacBook Pro and MacBook Air from Non-Compliant USB-C Hubs and Docks

Some third-party, non-compliant, powered USB-C hubs and docks are bricking recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Apple has updated Big Sur to prevent the problem; the question is if Macs running Catalina or Mojave might still be at risk.

Adam Engst 105 comments

The Role of Bootable Duplicates in a Modern Backup Strategy

macOS 11 Big Sur has thrown a cryptographically signed monkey wrench into the inner workings of backup apps that make bootable duplicates. There are now workarounds, and Apple promises to fix the necessary underlying tool, but Adam Engst suggests that we need to rethink the role bootable duplicates play in a modern backup strategy.

Adam Engst 28 comments

Ensure Sufficient Free Space before Upgrading to Big Sur

If you initiate an upgrade to Big Sur from a previous version of macOS but don’t have sufficient free space—at least 35.5 GB—you could end up in a Boot Recovery Assistant loop that can be exceedingly difficult to escape. Never update macOS without enough space or a current backup!

Josh Centers 5 comments

Apple Replacing Some Batteries in 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro Models

If your 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro won’t charge past 1%, Apple will replace the battery for free, and the company recommends installing macOS 11.2.1 Big Sur or macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update to prevent it from happening to other devices.