Apple MacOS – How to Enable View Scroll Bars

In recent years, software, operating systems, and web interfaces have embraced a design trend where menus and controls are hidden unless you reveal them. When you move your mouse over just the right area of the screen, some controls, icons, or menu options will appear. You’ve likely seen this on your computer.

With Apple Mac computers, if you have a laptop or iMac with a trackpad connected the vertical and horizontal scroll bars will only appear if you move your fingers on the trackpad. If you’re not quick enough. The scroll bars disappear before you can click on them.

The default setting for showing scroll bars is set as: “Automatically based on mouse or trackpad.”

This is particularly a problem if you’re in a spreadsheet. With a mouse, you can move the scroll wheel on the mouse to reveal the vertical scroll bar. However, to move left and right within the spreadsheet, you’ll need to use a trackpad to reveal the horizontal scroll bar.

To have both the vertical and horizontal scroll bars visible all the time regardless of whether you use a mouse or trackpad, go to System Preferences > General and choose “Always” as shown below.

Apple iCloud iPhone iPad Photos Missing Not Synchronizing

In the past three days, I’ve had three different people experiencing problems with photos disappearing from their devices and missing from iCloud. I usually hear from my Apple customers once every 5 years when it’s time to upgrade to a new device. So, hearing from three in one week, all having the same problem, seemed unusual to me.

Problems Observed

Here is some of what’s being observed regarding the iCloud Photos synchronization issue:

  • People with multiple devices have noticed that photos recently taken on their iPhone won’t show up on their iPad.
  • Photos taken weeks ago on the iPhone will only have partially synchronized with other devices.
  • Mac computers synchronizing with iCloud may not show all photos.
  • The iCloud.com website may show all photos under the Photos folder, but photos will be missing under the All Photos folder.
  • On my own iPhone recently, I took a photo, saw it appear in the thumbnail preview as it was being saved, then looked in Photos but it was missing.
  • When going to the iCloud.com website, you may see a banner alert stating “Network unavailable or slow. Photos is taking longer than expected.” This can show up even if you have a tested network speed of 200 Mbps or higher. It’s presumably not an issue with local network speeds, but an problem with Apple’s network or servers.

Synchronization issues can be very challenging because a person may not notice if a few random photos go missing, particularly those from a few weeks ago.

User Interface

It’s important to know the difference between the “All Photos” display of photos and the “Moments” display. Because Moments and All Photos are organized differently, it’s possible at a glance to think some photos are missing. In Moments view, photos are listed by the date and time associated with them. In All Photos, pictures are listed in the order they were added.

On an iOS device, Moments are accessed by tapping the Photos icon. All Photos are found by tapping the Albums icon. These are found at the bottom of the screen on your iPhone or iPad while in the Photos app. By default, an option to “Summarize Photos” is turned on in Settings > Photos as shown below.

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All Photos. Under Albums, if you select All Photos, you will see all photos in your collection listed in the order they were added.

Photos > Moments.There are three levels of zoom in Moments view.

  • Year. When viewing Moments, the overview shows groups of photos by year with individual photos representing events or collections. These tiny thumbnails are about 1/8″ (.5cm) in size, and too small to see.
  • Collections. When you tap on an image in Year view, you will then see photos grouped by location and a range of dates with individual photos representing a group of similar photos (based on location, date, time, and image). So in this view you won’t see all your photos.
    • If you tap on a location title you can explore an automatically grouped collection of photos for the location(s) and dates selected. Note that the title text is white, so the title won’t show up for photos that are predominantly white or light colored. If you tap on the title, you’ll see a slideshow of that collection.
  • Moments. If you tap on a photo in the Collections view, you’ll be taken to the zoomed in view of Moments which is all photos listed in chronological order grouped by location, date, and time. If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a total count of photos and videos, as well as an indication of when the last update happened, or the progress of any current uploads or downloads.

Apple Support Experience

Working with someone this evening, I called Apple customer service (at 1-800-MYAPPLE) and was routed to what seemed to be an overseas call center. The support representative wanted the user information for the account with the corrupted photo collection. They said they wouldn’t have access to the user’s account, but they wanted the account information. The support person seemed uninformed about the nature of the problem, but said they could look into the account in more depth to try and fix the problem — contradicting what they’d said previously. Needless to say, no account information was provided to this support person.

Just to clarify, this was a call we placed to the correct Apple support number — not an incoming call from a fake support center.

System Failures

As a technology support consultant, I have an insight into wide spread epidemic problems. I’ll sometimes get a flood of support calls for similar issues and patterns of system failure become apparent. Or, I’ll write an article (like this one) about a technical problem and it will get thousands of page visits from around the world searching for an answer to a problem — which suggests many people are impacted by that problem.

Lack of Transparency

What’s frequently frustrating is that companies are very reluctant to inform customers of system failures and security breaches for fear of losing customer trust which could adversely impact the sacred ‘bottom line’ and shareholder earnings. So, there’s a lack of transparency. As a result, customers are left dangerously uninformed about massive looming data loss or privacy issues. Were customers to be informed about system failures, they could take the appropriate action to protect their data and personal information. This isn’t just a problem with Apple. It’s the nature of the self-preserving collective ‘narcissism’ found in corporate profit-driven culture. We’re all familiar with news of security breaches impacting millions of people who are only informed years later of the breach.

Actions

Here’s what I’d suggest for those experiencing the above issues or wanting to avoid them:

  • Archive Photos. In addition to using cloud synchronization, it’s a good idea to maintain a local archive of your photos. Windows users can copy photos directly from the camera. Apple users can import photos using the Image Capture program and save them to an archive folder on your computer or an external drive. You’ll want to have the optimization feature turned off (explained below).
    • In this scenario, you would use an archive location for all photos, saved by date and place or event name.
    • For editing and sharing photos, you can use your photo editing software of choice. If anything goes wrong, you can go back to the archive to get your untouched originals.
  • Backup. If you don’t already have your computer system backed up, consider setting up a local hard drive to backup your photos.
  • Check iCloud. Login to your iCloud.com account page and check to see if any missing photos are showing up in the main database. If you see photos in iCloud that aren’t showing up on your devices you might try the following:
    1. Use a friend’s computer to setup a local user account with your iCloud account.
    2. Start the Photos program and put the Photos Library on an external drive and synchronize with your iCloud photos with Optimization turned off.
    3. This process may take a long time if you have a large collection of photos in your iCloud storage.
  • Disable Optimization. When storage is limited, the photo optimization feature removes your pictures from your devices and puts the originals on Apple’s cloud servers. Thumbnail images remain. When in effect, when you click on an image, there may be a delay as the full resolution image or video downloads. If you have a slow internet connection this can take a long time. To disable the optimization feature, go to settings on your iOS device or Preferences in Photos on your computer.
    • A possible configuration would be to have a computer designated as your primary library with optimization turned off. If your mobile devices have optimization turned on, this can save space. In this way, the storage consuming photos can be on your computer’s drive or an external drive where your Photos library file can be maintained.
    • With optimization turned on, for all your devices, it means that you might not have any original photos anywhere, at least not  your entire collection. If your iCloud account gets hacked or corrupted, your photos will forever be lost.
  • Leave Computer On. If you leave your computer on, and the Photos program running (Apple users only), then the photos you take on your iPhone should appear on the computer, be stored, and also get backed up.
  • Traditional Camera. For important photos that you don’t want to possibly lose, consider using a traditional camera and manually copying all of your photos to two hard drives for redundancy.

Share Your Experiences

Please feel free to post a comment below about your own experiences with synchronization issues. Thanks!

Apple Pay Cash Promo Video Misses Critical First Step of Instructions

With the value of Bitcoin having gone from about $4,000 to $15,000 in recent weeks, there’s  been an increased interest in person-to-person payment systems. Demand for simplified payment systems is at an all time high. On 6 December 2017, Apple announced Apple Pay Cash, a peer-to-peer payment system.

This announcement came just hours after news of a major heist in the cryptocurrency world that resulted in numerous people collectively losing over $50M in money. No doubt, consumers will be looking for more secure ways to exchange money with friends and family.

In the video below, that was posted on YouTube for Apple’s 5.6 million subscribers, the simple instructions leave out a very important step. The user must upgrade their device to Apple iOS 11.2 which adds the Apple Pay Cash capability. At present, over 75,000 people have watched the video and were likely perplexed by it since most people will not have performed the upgrade. Some older devices can’t be upgraded to iOS 11.2 so Apple Pay Cash won’t ever work on those devices.

To enjoy Apple Pay Cash, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Software Update
  2. Click Download and Install
  3. Enter your passcode
  4. Agree to the Terms and Conditions
  5. The update will download.
  6. Then the update will install.
  7. You’ll get a message “Verifying Update” and your device will restart.
  8. You’ll see the Apple logo with a progress bar.
  9. Once your device has restarted, then you should be able to follow the instructions provided in the video below.
  10. Whoever you send money to will also need to perform the above steps to get the money you send them.

Video

The Missing Announcement

An announcement on Apple’s website provides the missing information, but it should have been included at the introduction to the video or at the end.

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Conclusion

After some initial confusion and possibly frustration, hopefully users will figure out what they need to do to make Apple Pay Cash work.

The release of a major product feature, with incomplete information is disconcerting, particularly just weeks after a major security vulnerability and oversight in Apple’s macOS High Sierra that required an emergency update to 10.13.1. That bug allowed anybody to gain full administrative super-user control over any Apple computer from the login screen. Another less significant oversight recently was the inability to easily enter numbers into their program called Numbers.

Let’s hope that Apple does a better job going forward in fully testing everything they are pushing out to the public.

How to Cancel iPhone App Subscriptions

Some of the programs we use on our desktop or laptop computers have subscription services associated with them. An example is Evernote Premium.

Perhaps you signed up for premium service on your iPhone, and subsequently began using the product on your laptop or desktop computer. Now, almost a year later, you’re cutting back on some of the many unnecessary monthly and annual fees that can really add up to a lot. So, you’re wondering how to cancel a subscription.

You can follow these steps to review and cancel subscription services being paid through Apple iTunes. It’s a great way to discover hidden ongoing payments you may have long forgotten about. These instructions assume you have the latest iOS software update on your device and you’ve signed into your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings.
  2. At the top, tap on your name to access Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store.
  3. Tap on iTunes & App Store.
  4. Tap on your Apple ID displayed at the top of the screen.
  5. Choose View Apple ID from the pop-up list.
  6. Tap on Subscriptions (you may need to scroll down).

You will have now discovered a treasure trove of monthly and annual subscriptions you’ve been paying perhaps without knowing. Tap on any subscription for more information or to cancel.

Be careful to only cancel subscriptions you’re sure you don’t need. You don’t want to inadvertently cancel something and then later realize that you were using some feature or enhancement provided by the subscription.

Q: My AirPods Aren’t Showing on My Apple Computer

If you use Apple’s new AirPod earbud headphones, you may have noticed that they will show up as available on your Apple iCloud connected devices, including your Apple computer. You’ll see them as an available audio output device under the volume control.

However, sometimes the AirPods won’t show up in the dropdown menu under the volume control.

In such cases you’ll need to click on the Bluetooth dropdown menu. If the Bluetooth menu isn’t showing, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and check the box that says “Show Bluetooth in menu bar.”

From the Bluetooth menu bar there’s an option to Connect to the AirPods.

Also, in System Preferences > Bluetooth, you’ll notice the ability to configure options for the AirPods such as selecting what tapping on the AirPods will do (activate Siri or play/pause audio). You can also set how the beam forming microphones will work (left, right, or automatic). Automatic Ear Detection can also be turned on or off. This is the feature where the AirPods automatically sense when they have been put in your ear and they can start or resume playing music automatically.

Tip: Double-click window in Apple macOS Sierra to expand and fill

Here’s a cool feature hidden in Apple macOS Sierra. If you double click on the left, right, top, or bottom of a window, the program window will expand to fill the width or height of the screen.

Here’s How

  1. Move your cursor to the edge of a window.
  2. Wait until your mouse pointer icon is showing up as a left-right or up-down arrow.
  3. Then double-click and your program window should fill the height or width of the screen depending on where you clicked.

Apple Cinema Display Brightness Control Missing Not Working

If you’re using an Apple Cinema Display as a secondary monitor for your MacBook laptop computer or iMac, you may have noticed that sometimes the brightness control is missing from System Preferences > Displays.

There may be a variety of reasons for this, but one cause is easy to fix. If the USB cable from the display isn’t attached to your computer, the brightness slider will be missing. The display will continue displaying the brightness that it last had until you connect the USB and change the brightness level again.

This was tested and documented using a 2008 era 24″ Apple Cinema Display connected to an Apple iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013). The issue likely impacts other system configurations.

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Read iPhone App Update Notes Before Proceeding to Avoid Data Loss

When you update your iPhone apps you’ll notice under each app there’s an option to read “What’s New” to find out what has been introduced with this new update.

It’s good to read those notes for the following reason:

  • New Features. Sometimes it’s the only way you’ll learn of a useful new feature.
  • Critical Warning. Developers will sometimes put an important message in those notes such as “We’ve received feedback that this update will cause your phone to crash. We’ll get a revised one out soon.” That was a message recently with an app update.
  • Update Advice. There may be some advice from the app developer regarding the update. Some updates may require a backup of your data. See the example below.

It doesn’t take long to read the update notes, and most of the time it’s worth it because you’ll learn about some important new features and bug fixes.

For this reason, you may want to disable any automatic updates not just on your phone, but on your other devices and computers so you can be fully informed about the updates and make sure there are no known problems associated with the updates.

iPhone Updates – Screen Shots

Below you can see an example of how important update information isn’t visible until you tap “What’s New” to reveal it. In the example below, the app developer suggests users make a backup of their data before updating.

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Apple iPhone Buying Guide

A common question people have these days is with regard to which mobile device to purchase. I typically recommend the Apple iPhone using AT&T. I’ll briefly share about my choice of phone and carrier, then get down to choosing which iPhone is best. For Fall 2016 the choice is relatively easy.

Mobile Carrier

Verizon has good nation-wide coverage for making voice calls, but in my own testing for my area, I found the high speed data services have been about the same or better with AT&T. The ability to use wi-fi for phone calls on AT&T has made the effective coverage and usability inside of buildings and other areas much better. The Verizon pricing seemed much higher than AT&T for what you get, and their shared data plan (last I checked), had limits per device. So, even if you have 15 GB shared, no device could use more than 3 GB in a month (for example). The prices and offerings are always changing, but in general I’ve found AT&T to be the best out there.

On a side note, we had a weird customer service experience with Verizon where it took us months of emails and phone calls to get our service disconnected – long after we’d returned the Samsung phones to their store they were still billing us for wireless service. They said their records didn’t show that we’d returned the phones, even though we had receipts and paperwork to prove all this (and a sales person who confirmed it). We finally had to bring in the district manager to get it all straightened out. Even then, they kept promising it was taken care of, and weeks would go by and nothing was taken care of. Finally they stopped charging us for the service and we got the money refunded. Anyway, not the best experience.

Android or iOS

I tried Android for about a year and still have an Android device for testing. In general, I find the Apple hardware better and the Apple operating system more secure. The Android environment is very similar to a desktop computer operating system which has advantages (customizable with multiple brands of hardware to choose from) as well as disadvantages (viruses, and less standardization). So, overall, for people that just want to get their work done, I’d recommend the Apple iPhone.

Apple iPhone Models and Pricing

If you go to the iPhone page on Apple’s website you’ll see that as of Fall 2016, the iPhone 7 is the latest model available. The iPhone 6s and iPhone SE are also available.

The pricing of these phones is as follows:

  • iPhone SE with 4″ display is $450 (64GB)
  • iPhone 6S with 4.7″ display is $550 (32GB) or $650 (128GB)
  • iPhone 6S Plus with 5.5″ display is $650 (32GB) or $750 (128GB)
  • iPhone 7 with 4.7″ display is $650 (32GB) or $750 (128GB) or $850 (256GB)
  • iPhone 7 Plus with 5.5″ display is $770 (32GB) or $870 (128GB) or $970 (256GB)

Buying Considerations

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • For a few hundred dollars difference, the iPhone 7 offers a faster processor, waterproof protection, and a much better camera. So, it’s a good choice for many people. It comes with an adapter to use older style headphones, and comes with newer style earbud headphones that plug in.
  • In previous years, the $100 price difference between the basic and plus models was simply to get a larger display. This year, the much better camera in the iPhone 7 Plus is something that is definitely worth it.
  • With regard to storage, 32GB is the bare minimum of what you’ll want. The next jump up is 128GB for about $100 more. That’s probably worth doing just to make sure you don’t run out of space.
  • There are lots of colors to choose from. Many people choose black and then add color with their choice of case.
  • The iPhone SE is attractively priced at $450 and it has a nice 4″ tiny size display which some people would like. Yet, the sharper metal edges, and smaller display could also be seen as a drawback. It depends on your preference.

Summary

The reason to choose the iPhone 7 Plus is to have a mobile device that is very fast and water resistant, with a large bright display and great camera.

The reason to choose the other models would be primarily to save some money – there are no other advantages. Their processors are now a year old, so their usable lifespan will be reduced. The few hundred dollars saved now is actually equated with a year or two less usability down the road. So, no savings in terms of long-term cost of ownership.

Video

In the video below, starting at the 54 minute mark, is a presentation about the iPhone  7.

Apple iOS 10 Legacy Operational Issues

Summary

This is a live page being updated regularly with a list of iOS 10 legacy operational issues -problems that existed in previous iOS versions that have persisted and not been fixed yet in iOS 10. Additional items will be listed here as they are discovered.

iOS 10 Legacy Operational Issues

  1. Automatic Case. When typing, if you use a period such as in the abbreviation U.S. in the middle of a sentence, the word that immediately follows that abbreviation will be forced into upper case. The ‘automatic uppercase’ feature, doesnt’ seem to distinguish between a period at the end of a sentence and the period at the end of an abbreviation. Some abbreviations don’t force the next word to be capitalized, such as etc. yet others do. When he upper case letter is forced in the middle of a sentence, it’s necessary to type the word, then as the second letter of the word insert the lower case letter that starts the word, then manually delete the first letter (which was forced to be upper case). It’s a bit of a hassle.
  2. Dictation Keyboard Icon. If you’re using an iPad pro, and the dictation microphone key on the on-screen keyboard disappears, you may need to turn off the iPad and then turn it back on again to restore the button.
  3. Dictation Quote Marks. When dictating text, if you say ‘quote’ the quote mark will be generated immediately preceeding the next word you say. When you want to close the quote, you can’t simply say ‘quote’ to generate another quote mark because that will create a space and then a quote mark. You must say ‘end quote’ to generate a quote mark without a space before it.
  4. Dictation Spacing in Numbers. Usually when you dictate text, the text is dictated as if you typed it. If you’re using the Numbers program, every time you dictate text into a cell, after you press ‘Done’ to end dictation, a space will be inserted before what you just dictated. You’ll then need to awkwardly try to edit that space out of the cell which is more challenging in Numbers than most applications because of the close proximity to other buttons in the function edit area. There need to be no space inserted in front of dictated text.
  5. Email Signature Duplication. We reported this happening in iOS 9 back on 21 March 2016, and the problem has been brought forward into iOS 10. If you are typing a message and then change the ‘from’ account, you’ll end up with duplicate signatures. This also happens if you’re typing a message, and switch to another app, then return to email, you’ll end up with multiple copies of your signature. This happens on iPhone and iPad.
  6. Email Signature Settings. If you use multiple signatures, in Settings, when you go to review them, you may see the video presentation of those signatures overlapping on the screen making them unreadable and not editable. This has been a problem for years, spanning multiple iPhone and iPad models and multiple iOS versions.
  7. Emoticon Tray. When using an external Apple wireless keyboard with the iPad Pro, it’s possible to press the ‘eject’ key to display and hide the on-screen keyboard. Once switched to the emoticon on-screen keyboard, the ‘eject’ key no longer works to hide the on-screen keyboard. It’s necessary to switch back to the text keyboard first.