Mastering Your Mac – Programming Insider

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Introduction

Apple recently launched its most powerful MacBook Pros ever at its latest October event. These MacBook Pros are powered by the latest and greatest chipset from the Cupertino-based brand – M1 Pro and M1 Max

Apple claims that these chipsets are the most powerful ever and have been supercharged for professionals. They feature up to 64GB of unified memory, 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, ProRes acceleration, and unrivaled power efficiency that betters even that of the M1 chipset from last year.

Not just that, Apple also updated its Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro apps to match the power offered by the new chipsets. To the extent that these machines can play an astonishing seven streams of 8K ProRes or color grade 8K HDR video – a first! Apart from that, creators can author spatial audio music to mix and export songs in Dolby Atmos and three times more plug-ins for music recording. 

Apple is sending a message to all creators that they no longer need a bulky gaming laptop for their creative requirements, instead, they can rock the sleek MacBook Pros for that. However, MacBooks involve a steep learning curve and there are dedicated Apple classes to familiarise you with these machines. Here are some useful tips to master your Mac.

Multi-Touch Gestures Are Your Friend

The biggest learning point for any new Mac user involves understanding how the navigation on macOS works. You’ll notice that every MacBook has a rather large and very sleek touchpad and there’s a reason behind it. Just like a smartphone or tablet, your MacBook’s touchpad supports multi-touch, which means you swipe to navigate, pinch to zoom, and more using the trackpad. 

You can configure and also learn about all gestures supported, by clicking on the Apple logo at the top and then clicking on System Preference, where you will find the Trackpad option. It won’t be an exaggeration to say half the battle is won once you have mastered the gesture navigations on a Mac.

Understanding Right-Click

One of the most important and useful features of the Windows OS is the right-click functionality, which brings up the contextual menu. These menus give you the right options that you need at the given time or context, which is quite convenient. When switching to MacBook, many users hit a roadblock since right-clicking on a MacBook does nothing. 

Fortunately, macOS does have the equivalent of right-click functionality. Your MacBook’s trackpad is also capable of multi-finger clicks, which can be configured from the same settings as mentioned above. Coming to the point, macOS’ equivalent of right-click is a two-finger click on the trackpad, which you can set to a one-finger click to replicate Windows.

Get Fast Results With Spotlight

When you are on Windows, if you need to look up something on the web, you need to open a browser and type the query in the search bar. Additionally, when you need to search for a file on your computer, you will need to open Explorer or click on Start Menu and search from there. 

Apple has unified this entire process in one single functionality called Spotlight Search. And it’s as easy as pressing the “command” and “space” keys together on your keyboard. This will launch the Spotlight Search bar and you can then search for whatever you want, from a file on your MacBook to some information online. 

The Spotlight Search is also capable of automatically doing calculations, currency conversion, and more. For example, if you simply type “$6,099 to”, it will automatically show the amount in your native currency where you are.

Get More Done With Siri

Everyone has heard of Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant known for her witty responses and effective on-device task management capabilities through just voice commands. The best part is that Siri is integral to the entire Apple ecosystem, which means not just iPhones and iPads but your new MacBook also has it. 

You can simply click on the Siri icon in the upper right corner of your desktop to access Siri. Since it uses AI, Siri learns more about your usage and behavior pattern as you keep using it and can help you get more things done with just voice. You can use voice commands like increase the volume, FaceTime Tim, check the weather, and more.

How to Find All Your Apps?

Now that you’re aware of the most important change factors you’ll encounter while switching from Windows to MacBook, let’s end with the question you probably are wondering about now. Where the hell are all my applications? Unlike Windows, macOS doesn’t add shortcut icons of new apps on the desktop. Instead, you get a dock, where you can choose to pin your frequently used apps. 

On the dock, you will see the LaunchPad icon, which looks like a square icon with multiple colorful icons of the same shape inside it. Click on this and you will see all your apps listed. 

You can also pinch on the trackpad with all five fingers to access your apps. Swipe horizontally with two fingers on the trackpad to navigate through the list and click to open. Once you have the app open, you can go to Desktop and double-finger click on the app icon in the dock to access the option to keep it in the dock.

Conclusion

These are the most basic tips that anyone would need to know to get started with their new MacBook. However, there’s more to macOS than just basic navigation and voice commands. If you’ve purchased the MacBook for professional usage, you’ll benefit a lot from knowing every nuance there’s to know.

Things like how to deactivate from a Wi-Fi network without turning off your Wi-Fi during recording or how to take a complete backup of your MacBook using Time Machine feature. Moreover, there are additional features like iMessage, FaceTime, iCloud, Photos, and Family Sharing, which need to be managed otherwise you’ll end you wasting a lot of your precious cloud storage space. Taking a professional Apple class for MacBook will help you get acquainted with all of these and more.

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