Adobe Analyticstells us AirPods and Apple notebooks are two of the top three electronics gifts this holiday season, so I thought a few Mac tips might come in useful as we get into holiday season.
I always mention Command-Space in all my hint collections. It’s the keyboard combination I use most on Macs (and iPads) to open search, where I can quickly find apps, content or even do quick sums.
Use this to quickly move through your active applications.
5 Siri shortcuts
There are many ways to make use of Siri; here are five to save you time.
Open [App name].
Turn up/down brightness or volume.
Find any named file.
Open System Preferences [name of preference]
What’s my Mac’s serial number?
Use those icons
Almost every document/file you work with will show a small icon at the top of the window beside the file name.
This tiny icon acts as a form of alias – you can drag-and-drop that alias (and hence the docment/file) into different folders on your Mac, the Dock, or even drop it into other apps – use it to place an image in a document, for example.
Got some text you use frequently? Select it and then drag it to the Desktop. You’ve created a text clipping. You’ll be able to place that text in other documents by dragging the snippet into the document.
How to save screengrabs in a different format
Your Mac saves screengrabs as PNG files by default – but I bet you use these to illustrate blog stories, send to people in messages and more and would prefer to save them as JPGs.
The great news is you can:
Ask Siri to open Terminal
Exactly as written, type: defaults writeapple.screencapture type JPG
Now you will save JPGs, not PNGs. Smaller files, easier to use.
Print in one swipe
Here’s how to print any document in one swipe, though first you need to set it up:
Open System Preferences>Printers & Scanners.
Look to the Printers list and select the printer you want to use.
Drag-&-drop the printer icon from the list to your Dock
The printer icon will now be in your Dock.
In future, all you need do to print any document you are in (or find in Spotlight) is drag-and-drop the document icon to the printer icon in the Dock.
Find those accents
If you need to type an accented character, such as è, just tap and hold the letter you want to add the accent to. After a short delay a menu that shows all available accented characters will appear, tap the one you want or type the corresponding number below the character to type it.
Use text clippings
As I wrote here, I make lots of use of text clippings. I think they are even better than keyboard shortcuts for pasting regularly used text into any app.
It’s very easy to make them – select the text you want to use and re-use, drag-&-drop the text to the Desktop and a text clipping will appear there containing the copy you want to use.
In future all you need to do is drag-&-drop that item from the Desktop into any app and your text will automatically be entered.
Where am I?
If you’ve used Spotlight to find a document it is possible you don’t know in which enclosing folder that document is situated. It’s easy to get this info – just Control-click the file name in the app title bar and you should see it there.
What the ¿
Shift + Option + ? = ¿
Option + Shift + k to type an Apple logo:
Make forms great (?) again
Do you get annoyed because your Mac won’t accurately move between sections when you try to fill in forms? Go to System Preferences>Keyboard, and click the All controls radio button for Full Keyboard Access.
The importance of Thanksgiving goes beyond the fact that you get off from work. It’s also not the beacon for the arrival of Christmas. The holiday is a relaxing detour from the busyness of our lives.
The Pilgrims had a hard time setting up their homes, but today we just have to take a breather and work on our relationships. As always, technology is here to help with these five Thanksgiving sites.
Make a stress-free journey, cheer yourself up with some music, eat well, shop heartily, and then say thanks before you give something back!
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year. You will be part of serpentine lines of cars on the highways and the cavalcade of shoppers on the sidewalks. But Google doesn’t look at it like that. It wants to make your life easier with data.
Search analytics and Google Location History from last year are used to compile a map of all the places people visit during the holiday week. This is compared to a non-holiday week and what emerges is a deep insight into the best and worst times to be on the road.
The data here can help you tweak your plans and have a stress-free holiday or road trip.
For instance, you can do a city-wide scan for crowds at bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, movie theaters, and shopping centers. Avoid them during peak hours indicated in the “map”. Another little tool on the page calculates the best and worst times to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip.
Road trips come with their own set of decisions. Often, the quality and memories of the ride can be decided by simple things like a song playlist. A classic Thanksgiving road trip can exhaust the better part of even two days.
It can be just a couple of hours too. But why waste the occasion when you can call upon Spotify to design the perfect playlist for you.
Soundtrack Your Ride is a new tool from Spotify that creates a custom playlist of any length based on a few answers to the questions it asks you.
For instance, Spotify will quiz you on who are you traveling with? Then you will be asked to pick a genre, your particular kind of drive vibe, your ultimate driving song, and type of car.
The screenshot above shows a 30-song playlist Spotify made for me based on a three-hour imaginary road trip. It’s a mix and match of songs that are also influenced by your previous listening history. Although, I have no idea why the quiz asked for my car type.
The recipe carousel on Bing’s search page has existed for some time. But it’s time to draw attention to it again this year because it can be a time saver. Thanksgiving dinners mean huge feasts and a variety of them. Use Bing Search to find the right recipes.
Bing’s recipe search collects them from the best recipe sites on the web and gives you a few more filters to sift through them. The photos of the dishes are a big help too. Use the Total time, Nutrition, and Best match filters to find a dish you can cook without trouble.
Click on a dish and it opens to reveal a card with a list of ingredients, nutritional facts, and the substitutions you can make. Of course, a button leads you to the source site and the full set of instructions.
Now, you have enough time to set your table before the guests arrive.
Thanksgiving leads to Black Friday and this announces the first day of Christmas shopping. Promotions, deals, and the mad scramble ensue. It’s tough to keep up where the best offer is coming from.
Of the many sites that showcase Black Friday deals, we are going with this one. It aggregates ad scans from all the popular stores like Walmart, Macy’s, and Target. You can click on any of them to dive into the catalog of discounts and offers from that store. Choose a deal and click through to the site for the purchase.
You can shop by category too instead of going to each store. But signing up for deal alerts and fresh ad scans could be another way to jump ahead of the queue.
Thanksgiving and the idea of giving something back to society are always tied together. The day to be thankful is also an important reminder that there are the less fortunate among us. GivingTuesday could just set the mood for the winter holidays.
GivingTuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will be on December 3, 2019. The global celebration begins at midnight local time and runs for 24 hours. One single day is devoted to doing good in any way possible.
The easiest way to jump in is to search for something that helps your community. The site has a search engine that can connect you to many local charities. Take it from there.
The site says that there are over 200 local GivingTuesday movements in the United States and 60 country campaigns. It has the makings of a global movement.
Have the Best Thanksgiving Yet!
A journey, some music, good food, great Black Friday bargains, and generosity represent all the rites of passage you must go through during Thanksgiving. They are as imperative as the turkey or the lumpy mashed potatoes.
There’s no better way to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday than with apps for your iPhone. From tasty recipes to enjoyable games to holiday greetings, these apps will get you ready to give thanks.
Thanksgiving Cooking and Recipes
Whether you like to stick with tradition or try something new, Thanksgiving cooking and recipe apps can help.
1. Thanksgiving Recipes
The Thanksgiving Recipes app helps you create something tasty and traditional, or fresh and flavorful. From main dishes to sides to desserts, you can find exactly what fits your family with helpful recipes and instructional videos.
Each recipe has a photo, ingredients, and directions helpfully displayed. The app lets you save your favorites and share recipes with others. So if you’re in the market to try a new dish this Thanksgiving, this app has you covered.
For a recipe app that you can use during Thanksgiving, as well as other holidays or anytime you need some inspiration, check out Tasty. The Tasty app has a whole section of dish recipes for Thanksgiving. Just enter “Thanksgiving” in the search box and you’re on your way to a delicious holiday meal.
The videos you’ll find in the app provide different recipes in one clip and show you the steps to creating the dish. You’ll also get the written ingredients, nutritional details, and instructions with an option to see them one step at a time. Take Tasty for a spin to boost your Thanksgiving feast.
Take a break from the kitchen or get in the holiday spirit with some entertainment. These games are made just for Thanksgiving.
3. 3D Turkey Run Thanksgiving Infinite Runner
Get ready to race through Thanksgiving Village in 3D Turkey Run. Choose from one of four turkeys, move left and right to pick up valuable coins, swipe up to jump, and swipe down to slide. There are obstacles galore—from logs to fences to pumpkins, you will need to maneuver your turkey well to dodge them.
The game is available at no cost, with in-app purchases for additional tokens. For a little bit of Thanksgiving fun before the guests arrive, save the turkey in this upbeat endless runner.
If you enjoy hidden object puzzle games, then you’re in for a treat. Hidden Objects Thanksgiving Puzzle takes you to harvest time with warm autumn colors, relaxing gameplay, and subtle background music.
Choose from three games modes including traditional, chill, or adventure. Each has different game options like time and hint limits, various scenes, and unique levels. You can also decide to use pictures, words, or collections for your list of objects.
Hidden Objects Thanksgiving Puzzle on iPhone or iPad offers a great way to unwind after your turkey stuffs you.
With 40 seasonal wallpaper options, recipes, and a built-in countdown, Thanksgiving All-In-One has a bit of everything. The wallpaper options include pumpkins, leaves, and the silhouette of a pilgrim. Access the countdown with a tap; it displays the time until Thanksgiving Day arrives.
As added bonuses, the app includes links to YouTube videos of recipes and a small section that has Thanksgiving poems. If you are looking for a simple and free app to get you in the holiday spirit, this is one to check out.
If you’re just looking for a nice selection of wallpapers for your Home or Lock screen, take a look at Thanksgiving Wallpaper & Backgrounds by Floor Girls. From artsy and classic to cute and cartoony, you’ll find many cool options.
Once you choose a wallpaper, you can save it to your camera roll or share it with a friend. The app also includes a slideshow option so you can sit back and relax as you browse through the backgrounds. Thanksgiving Wallpaper & Backgrounds also has images for other holidays and seasons, making it useful for any time of the year.
A good coloring book option for the kids is Thanksgiving Coloring Book! from Peep Software. Image options like silly turkeys, young pilgrims, and a perfect pie are available for any age or preference. One you select a picture, switching colors is easy by swiping on the crayons. Then just tap the crayon color you want and let the fun begin.
The app offers both brush and bucket coloring modes, a handy eraser, and simple saving or sharing options. For those images that have a lot of detail, just use the pinch-to-zoom feature. The app is free with an in-app purchase to remove the ads for $1.
Thanksgiving Coloring Book from TickTap has a smaller selection of images, but still provides the enjoyment of coloring and includes delightful background music. Choose a vibrant color from the 16 options and then pick your brush size to get started.
This coloring book app does not include a fill mode, making it more like a real coloring experience. But don’t worry—if you make a mistake or color outside the lines, an eraser lets you clean up. Email your finished masterpieces to faraway family right from within the app.
Additional picture packs are available for a $1 in-app purchase, which also removes the ads.
Send a heartfelt or amusing greeting this Thanksgiving with neat greeting card and photo frame apps.
9. Thanksgiving Cards & Wishes
From the popular 123Greetings.com comes Thanksgiving Cards & Wishes. The app gives you over 1,000 free Thanksgiving greetings to choose from. It also offers video cards, postcards, and GIF cards that you can easily send to your loved ones.
You can also take a look at the bonus features, like scheduling the delivery of your greeting, sending a card to multiple contacts at once, and posting directly to Facebook. Thanksgiving Cards & Wishes makes it super easy to send greetings that share your thanks this holiday.
If you enjoy using your own photos for your greetings, check out Thanksgiving Picture Frames. The app offers over 50 nifty frames, 100 decorative stickers, and a variety of font styles.
Using the app is simple. Just select a photo from your iPhone, add your text, and include a few stickers. Then you can share your creation on Facebook or Twitter, send it in an email, or just save it to your camera roll. This Thanksgiving, send a gobble or a grin with this fun photo app.
Do you still use your oven to roast the turkey on Thanksgiving? If deep-frying a turkey sounds too dangerous or complicated, these fryers might change your mind!
Before you can choose a fryer, though, here are a few things to consider:
Pot size: You can cook all sorts of food in a fryer, but at least once a year, it has to swallow a large bird. The ideal maximum size of a turkey you intend to fry is around 14 to 16 pounds. You want to get plenty of meat from the finished product, but if you choose a turkey larger than 16 pounds, you’ll sacrifice moisture on the outside to fully cook the meat on the inside. This is why we recommend a fryer that can hold 20 to 22 pounds. Expect more people to show up next year after your friends and family spread the word about your fried turkey.
Heat source: Electric cookers take longer to heat up, but you can use them indoors, as you control the oil temperature with a thermostat. Electric deep fryers also tend to use a lot less oil than the propane models. Propane deep fryers heat oil much faster, and you can use them outdoors while tailgating or camping. However, you do have to closely monitor the oil temperature for safety. You have to operate some oil-free fryers outdoors because they use propane to generate heat but, because no oil is involved, they’re much safer to operate.
Oil versus oil-free frying: It’s a trade-off! If you oil fry, it produces a turkey with skin that tastes almost like bacon, and a juicy interior (if done right). If you go oil-free, it’s safer and produces good flavor, but without the extra fat and calories you get from oil.
Additional features: In a bid to add value to a turkey fryer, manufacturers often include additional features and functions. For example, many turkey fryers double as steamers and boilers. Some oil-free fryers can also infuse smoke into the final product.
To select the best turkey fryer, you just have to prioritize the features above. For the picks below, we prioritized safety, easy and predictable cooking, and the overall flavor of a fried turkey.
Best Overall: Masterbuilt MB23012418 Butterball XL Electric Fryer
The Masterbuilt XL electric turkey fryer can handle a turkey up to 20 pounds. While it takes a bit longer to heat the oil with the 1,650-watt heating element, the thermostat maintains the oil temperature, so you can safely deep-fry your turkey, with repeatable results every time. Also, electric deep fryers usually require less oil than the propane models.
You lay your turkey flat on the included wire basket for frying. This might leave some fried turkey skin behind for the chef, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! You can deep fry anything in the basket, steam your favorite vegetables, or even boil up some seafood.
Cleaning is easy—the pot and basket are dishwasher safe, and the fryer includes a built-in drain valve.
Best Turkey Fryer
Best for Outdoors: King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Deep Fryer Kit
If you’re a fan of portable propane-style deep fryers, the King Cooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling kit is a great value. Of course, you’ll want to carefully manage the oil temperature on your journey to a great fried turkey, but you can’t beat the go-anywhere nature of propane models.
The King Cooker includes a primary, 29-quart aluminum pot that can fry a turkey that weighs up to 20 pounds. It also includes a punched aluminum basket that’s perfect for deep-frying a vast quantity of chicken wings or Cajun boiling a ton of seafood.
An 11-quart aluminum fry pan and wire basket are included for smaller, family-sized batches.
Best Outdoor Deep Fryer
Best Propane Oil-Free: Char-Broil the Big Easy TRU-Infrared Turkey Fryer
If you want to save a few calories, but still need to be able to cook away from home, look no further than the Char-Broil Big Easy TRU-Infrared Turkey Fryer. With no oil to heat up, the Char-Broil gets to the right temperature very quickly. Infrared heat can cook a turkey that weighs up to 16 pounds very fast—around 8 to 10 minutes per pound. The heat is evenly applied to seal the juices inside, while the outside crisps and browns.
The Char-Broil includes a cooking basket that creates a gap between the turkey and the inner sidewall, further helping the turkey to cook evenly. This also works great for just about any large cut of beef or pork, including ribs. The wire mesh lid allows you to read the temperature on the included thermometer while a removable bottom tray captures most of the drips. The Char-Broil doesn’t have a thermostat to maintain a specific pot temperature, but it does have a flame control dial to increase or decrease heat.
Best Electric Oil-Free: Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Turkey Fryer
The Masterbuilt Butterball Turkey Fryer uses an electric heat source to provide very similar features to the Char-Broil. The big exception is the inclusion of a built-in wood chip box that allows you to introduce a little smoke into the cooking process for added flavor. It includes a punched-hole aluminum roasting basket that can keep a turkey that weighs up to 18 pounds away from the side walls.
This fryer includes a control dial to manage the heat level on the powerful 1,650-watt electric element. A tempered glass lid with a hook is also included, so you can easily read the internal temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer.
The unit also comes with a removable drip pan for easy cleaning, and the stay-cool handles make it easy to move around.
Turkey Frying Tips
There are a few important concepts that will help you achieve a crispy, juicy turkey in a fryer. First, before you deep fry, briefly soak the turkey in warm (not hot) water. This melts any ice-crystals that might be hanging around after defrosting.
Drain the water, and then thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out before you lower it into any hot frying oil. As you probably know, oil and water don’t mix. This is even more true with hot oil. Any excess water hiding deep in the bird can cause a fountain of hot oil to spit out at you from the fryer!
The warm water bath also helps raise the temperature of the bird. When you first drop the turkey into the hot oil, it lowers the oil temperature, so if the turkey is a bit warmer to start with, the oil temp will drop less. This means you won’t have to recalculate the cooking time. If you’re tempted to just leave the turkey out until it gets to room temperature, that’s a bad idea. Bacteria in poultry can quickly multiply to dangerous levels as it warms up.
Whether you fry it with or without oil, an injection of marinade dramatically improves the flavor of a turkey. My go-to marinade recipe is one, 12-ounce bottle of Frank’s RedHot Original with two sticks of butter. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then add the hot sauce. Heat it until it’s hot, but not boiling. Pour some of the sauce into a narrow container, and then load up a good quality injector.
Inject the sauce into many locations in the turkey (some shallow and some deep). Try to avoid injecting directly under the skin as that causes it to burn in that area. While the turkey cooks, the spiciness of the hot sauce is minimized. But the salt and fat in the butter, combined with the cayenne pepper and vinegar in the Frank’s, produce an amazing flavor. If any of your guests want a little more heat, they can grab some of the remaining sauce from the pan for dipping.
Safety is important when you work with hot oil. We recommend you wear long sleeves and gloves and always lower the turkey into the oil very slowly. If something unexpected happens, pull the turkey out, don’t drop it in! Let the oil calm down, and then try again. If you get a strong reaction from the oil, you might have too much excess moisture in the turkey.
Finally, if you’re frying with oil, you absolutely must use peanut oil for the best flavor. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the flavor with turkey is so incredible, you just have to taste it to believe it!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating fried turkey, pick up one of these excellent fryers and make it happen. You’ll be glad you did!