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Turning the iPad into a second display for a Mac is the sort of proposition that tickled my fancy right from the day one I put my hands on the behemoth 12.9-inch iPad Pro. While I could use third-party services like Air Display 3 ($9.99) and Luna Display ($49.99) to fill up the void, I was kind of longing for a native offering.
Better late than never, Apple has introduced Sidecar to provide an official way to use the iPad as a secondary monitor. And from what I have experienced, it’s right on the money. So, if you are willing to give this feature a shot, let me walk you through the complete breakdown!How to Use Your iPad As A Secondary Monitor for Mac
Make sure that your Mac and iPad Meet the Sidecar System Requirements
First things first, make sure both your Mac and iPad are fully onboard. I mean to ensure that the iDevices are compatible with Sidecar.
The Below-Mentioned Macs Running macOS Catalina Support Sidecar:
MacBook Pro introduced in 2024 or later
MacBook 2024 or later
MacBook Air 2023 or later
iMac 2023 or later
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2024)
Mac mini introduced in 2023 or later
Mac Pro 2023
iPad Pro: All models
iPad 6th generation or later
iPad mini (5th generation)
iPad Air (3rd generation)
Other Essential Requirements:
Both Mac and iPad must be signed in with the same Apple ID
Two-factor authentication must be enabled on both the devices
On iPad: Settings → Profile → Password & Security. Now, make sure Two-Factor Authentication is enabled.
On Mac: System Preferences → Apple ID → Password & Security. Now, be sure Two-Factor Authentication is enabled.
When using Sidecar wirelessly, make sure both the devices are within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other
Ensure that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff are enabled on both the macOS and iPadOS Devices
On iPad: Open Settings app → General → AirPlay & Handoff → Handoff.
On Mac: Open System Preferences → General → Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
Ensure that the iPad and Mac are not sharing the cellular/internet connection
When using Sidecar over USB, ensure that your iPad is set to trust the Mac
Side Note: Though Sidecar works pretty well wirelessly, you might not get the desired picture quality at times. There could also be stuttering issues due to poor internet connection. If it’s the case, try using Sidecar over the wired connection.Set Up Sidecar on Mac
Step #2. Now, select the option to connect to your iPad.
The iPad will now appear as an extension of your Mac. Now, go ahead use the tablet like any other display.Move a Window to your iPad Display
To move a window to or from your iPad display, hover your pointer over the full-screen button of a window. It not only resizes the window perfectly but also works faster than the dragging option.Use Sidebar on Mac
With the help of the sidebar, you can carry out many commonly-performed tasks faster. Thanks to the availability of Command, Shift, and other modifier keys, you get the flexibility to select commonly used commands with your finger or Apple Pencil. For a more personalized experience, you can also use Sidecar preferences to turn off the sidebar or even tweak its position.
Downward arrow: Tap on it to show or hide the menu bar when viewing a window in full screen on the iPad
Command: You can touch and hold to set the Command key. To lock the key, simply double-tap on it
Option: Likewise, touch and hold to set the Option key. And if you want to lock it up, just double-tap on it
Control: Again, touch and hold to set the Control key and if you want to lock it up, double-tap on it
Shift: To set the shift key, touch and hold. And double-tap on it, if you want to lock the key
Keyboard icon: Tap on the keyboard icon to show/hide the onscreen keyboard
Undo: Tap on the left arrow to undo the last action
Disconnect: Tap on the disconnect icon to end the Sidecar sessionCustomize Sidebar in macOS
Get the Most Out of Smooth Gestures
In a typical Apple fashion, Sidecar offers several smooth gestures to simplify the whole affair. So, if you want to get your work done efficiently, make sure to get a good hang of them.
Better still, you can also use gestures for scrolling. As for other multitasking gestures, they work in the same way when using Sidecar.
Scroll: Use two fingers to swipe
Copy: Simply, pinch in with three fingers
Cut: All you need to do is pinch in with three fingers twice
Paste: Simply, pinch out using three fingers
Undo: Just swipe left with three fingers. Alternately, you can also double-tap with three fingers
Redo: Just, swipe right with three fingers or double-tap with three fingersUse the Touch Bar on iPad
One of my favorite features about Sidecar is the ability to use the Touch Bar on the iPad.
Unlike before, several macOS apps support Touch Bar controls that make it pretty easy to perform common actions. What’s more, you will get Touch Bar on your iPad screen even if your Mac doesn’t support it.
Not to mention, it works in the same way as the Touch Bar on Mac. So, you can tap its controls using a finger or Apple Pencil to get your work done faster.
Depending on your needs, you can make the Touch Bar appear on the bottom or top of your iPad screen. And if you aren’t a fan of it, you can also turn it off. To do so, open System Preferences → Sidecar. Now, customize the Touch Bar feature as per your needs.Make the Most of Your Apple Pencil
In what could be pretty handy for the folks who like using Apple Pencil, Sidecar also supports double-tap gesture.End the Sidecar Session
There you go! So, that’s how you can get the most out of Sidecar and use the iPadOS device as a handy display for your Mac. Both in terms of flexibility and productivity, I find it a welcome addition. And I’m sure your story may be pretty much on the same line.
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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.
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If you enjoy watching English videos on your phone, but have trouble deciphering the accent or hearing the sounds, Google allows for captions to be added to videos playing on Android phones. Here are the steps to enabling this feature.Turn On Live Captions
Go to the Settings page on your Android phone.
Scroll down the list of options until you get to the Accessibility section and tap on it. In some phones, the Accessibility section is found on the main Settings page, while in others it is located within the System option.
The Accessibility section is the part of the phone’s settings that controls the options designed to make the phone easier to use for people suffering some sort of a handicap, such as being unable to hear, see or use their hands properly.
On the accessibility page, search through the various options until you find the Captions tab.
The bottom half of the page carries various options to customize the style and presentation of the captions. These include:
Language: This lets you choose which language to translate the video into. Note that the meaning of the spoken words can often get muddled when getting translated into a different language.
Text Size: You can choose to have the captions show up in a range of sizes, from very small to very large.
Captions Style: This controls the look of the captions, and the colors used for the caption letters and the background for the letters.
The Google Captions feature is now active. Whenever you watch a video on your phone, live captions will be automatically added to the bottom of the screen. This feature works on videos, but it will not work on music files, or during phone calls.
Also, Google will not store information relating to your use of captions, and the feature will still work in the absence of an internet connection. Lastly, the captions will still appear onscreen even if the sound is low or muted.
You can drag the captions using your finger around on the video screen to relocate them to a point where they are less distracting, or you can remove the captions entirely from the screen on a particular video by dragging the captions to the bottom of the screen and dropping them there.Conclusion
Google Live Captions is a useful feature to have when viewing videos in a language you are not very familiar with or are suffering from some form of hearing impairment. It uses the same technology used by Youtube to provide closed captions on a video. Some words may occasionally get garbled while translating spoken words in the video into written words in the captions field, but the end result is still a fairly reliable captioning of the dialogues.
Content writer with a keen interest in global technology and pop culture trends.
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iPhone and iPad users can further safeguard their privacy by using a private MAC address feature in iOS and iPadOS. This should be particularly useful if you’re frequently connecting to different public wi-fi networks, and you don’t want the devices MAC address tracking to be used.
For some technical background, every time you connect to a Wi-Fi network regardless of the device you’re using, your device has to identify itself to the network using a MAC address. The MAC address is typically a hardware address associated with your device, and by default the same MAC address is used as you switch between different Wi-Fi networks, which could be a security or privacy risk since it identifies your device. Furthermore, network operators and observers can easily track your activity and access your location over time since the same MAC address is used. However, Apple has managed to address this issue with the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and later system software versions, by allowing devices to use a unique MAC address for each network. This is sort of like spoofing a MAC address with a random address, if you’re on the geekier side and familiar with that process, except it’s automated and doesn’t require any tinkering at a command line.
If this feature sounds compelling to you, read along and you’ll learn how you can randomize and privatize your MAC addresses on iPhone and iPad.How to Use Private MAC Address on iPhone & iPad
Make sure your device is running iOS 14/iPadOS 14 or later before going ahead with the procedure, since this privacy feature isn’t available on older versions.
It’s important to note that each time you disable and re-enable the Private MAC Address feature, a new Wi-Fi MAC address will be used with the network. This is why you’re prompted to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network.
Resetting the network settings on your device will also change the private Wi-Fi address it uses for the connection.
Despite all the security benefits of using a Private MAC address like reduced user tracking and profiling across networks, this feature could sometimes prevent you from connecting to certain Wi-Fi networks. For example, some networks may be unable to identify your device as authorized to join, since some networks use MAC address filtering as an authentication to determine which devices are allowed on a network – this is particularly common in institutional settings with multiple layers of security. Also, sometimes the network that allows you to join with a private address might block you from internet access. You can turn off the feature if you have any trouble.
Do you use an Apple Watch alongside your iPhone? Although we were focusing on the iPhone and iPad in this article, you’ll be excited to know that you can enable or disable Private Address on an Apple Watch too, as long as watchOS 7 or a newer version is installed.
Mac users don’t yet have this option natively as a simple setting, but instead they can use the command line to spoof or change a MAC address if desired.
If there’s one thing PC gamers all seem to agree on, it’s that knowing your FPS (frames per second) matters. It’s how enthusiasts measure the performance of their hardware and optimization, and it can actually give you a leg up on the competition in competitive shooters.
There are a lot of options for displaying frames per second, but many are so intensive that they can actually decrease your system’s performance. The good news is that Steam has a built-in FPS counter that you can display whenever you play Steam games. Here’s how to set that up and see it.
Table of ContentsHow to Display Steam’s Built-In FPS Counter Ideal Target Framerate
30 frames per second is considered the bare minimum you should aim for. This is a perfectly acceptable number for single player games, although higher counts can make it more cinematic.
When you play multiplayer, 60 frames per second is the lowest you should go. That many frames will give you a smoother experience and is considered the “target” for performance on most gaming machines.
However, the highest-end machines can hit 300 frames per second and higher on certain games. The more frames generated per second, the smoother the animations on screen. Tests have shown that high framerates translate to better aiming in shooters, too–perfect for doing better in those competitive games.How to Handle Lower Frame Rates
If you enable the built-in Steam FPS counter and see rates lower than 30 on your favorite games, there are a few different culprits that might be responsible. Identifying and eliminating or upgrading these possibilities will improve your performance.
The first thing to look at are the recommended and minimum specs of a game. Make sure your computer has the proper components to at least meet the minimum recommendations. If not, you will see sub-par performance. If you don’t meet the recommendations, your best option is to upgrade the components of your computer.
In many cases, frame rate is affected by the quality of your graphics card. If you’re using an older GPU, you’ll want to upgrade to a newer, more modern option. A good, budget-friendly choice is the GTX 1650. If you want to aim for top-of-the-line, such as the new RTX 3000 series, good luck–supply has been limited, which has driven the cost of these cards significantly higher.
If you upgrade your GPU, you might also have to upgrade your motherboard and power supply to account for the greater power draw, so keep that in mind. Outside of the GPU, you should also consider whether your CPU needs an upgrade.
The final possibility for why your frame rates are lower than expected is optimization. Some people experience lower frames due to the game, no matter how powerful their system is. Take Microsoft Flight Simulator, for instance: It’s intensive on all computers, and very few (if any) gamers are getting perfect frame rates.Alternative Frame Counters
If you don’t want to use Steam’s FPS counter (or you need to count the frames per second of a game that isn’t on Steam), there are alternative options.
FRAPS is perhaps the most popular FPS counter available today. It’s been around for a long time and is broadly compatible with Windows. FRAPS is completely free to download and use, and has a huge number of customization options.
You can choose which corner of the screen to display the counter in, choose the frequency with which the counter is updated, and much more. This is one of the best options for keeping track of your frame rate.
GeForce Experience is more than just a frame counter, though. It gives you full access to your graphics card’s settings and allows you to customize the card to fit your needs and desired performance.
FPS Monitor is another free option for tracking your frames, but the utility doesn’t stop there. FPS Monitor can display a host of other information related to your system performance, including RAM and CPU usage, HDD speed, and more.
You can also customize the overlay to change the way it appears on-screen. This can be particularly useful when tweaking your computer’s performance, as FPS Monitor alerts you if hardware is approaching a critical point.
Unpivot in Google Sheets is a method to turn “wide” tables into “tall” tables, which are more convenient for analysis.
Suppose we have a wide table like this:
Wide data like this is good for the Google Sheets chart tool but it’s not ideal for creating pivot tables or doing analysis. The main reason is that data is captured in the column headings, which prevents you using it in pivot tables for analyis.
So we want to transform this data — unpivot it — into the tall format that is the way databases store data:
But how do we unpivot our data like that?
It turns out it’s quite hard.
It’s harder than going the other direction, turning tall data into wide data tables, which we can do with a pivot table.
This article looks at how to do it using formulas so if you’re ready for some complex formulas, let’s dive in…Unpivot in Google Sheets
We’ll use the wide dataset shown in the first image at the top of this post.
The output of our formulas should look like the second image in this post.
In other words, we need to create 16 rows to account for the different pairings of Customer and Product, e.g. Customer 1 + Product 1, Customer 1 + Product 2, etc. all the way up to Customer 4 + Product 4.
Of course, we’ll employ the Onion Method to understand these formulas.Template
(If you can’t open the file, it’s likely because your G Suite account prohibits opening files from external sources. Talk to your G Suite administrator or try opening the file in an incognito browser.)Step 1: Combine The Data
Use an array formula like this to combine the column headings (Customer 1, Customer 2, etc.) with the row headings (Product 1, Product 2, Product 3, etc.) and the data.
It’s crucial to add a special character between these sections of the dataset though, so we can split them up later on. I’ve used the fox emoji (because, why not?) but you can use whatever you like, provided it’s unique and doesn’t occur anywhere in the dataset.
The output of this formula is:Step 2: Flatten The Data
Before the introduction of the FLATTEN function, this step was much, much harder, involving lots of weird formulas.
Thankfully the FLATTEN function does away with all of that and simply stacks all of the columns in the range on top of each other. So in this example, our combined data turns into a single column.
The result is:Step 3: Split The Data Into Columns
The final step is to split this new tall column into separate columns for each data type. You can see now why we needed to include the fox emoji so that we have a unique character to split the data on.
Wrap the formula from step 2 with the SPLIT function and set the delimiter to “🦊”:
This splits the data into the tall data format we want. All that’s left is to add the correct column headings.Unpivot With Apps Script
You can also use Google Apps Script to unpivot data, as shown in this example from the first answer of this Stack Overflow post.Further Reading
We’ve all been there: sitting and working on our devices when we randomly get a message from an unknown sender. The message usually varies from a sales pitch to a dating request. You can choose to ignore it, but if you start receiving messages repeatedly from the same number, it can be very annoying. Fortunately, blocking messages from a specific sender is very easy on iOS but, it is a bit of a lengthier process on macOS.
Both methods are detailed below.How to Block Messages on iOS
Blocking messages on iOS is very easy. You just need to select the contact information and choose the option to “Block the caller.”
1. In the Messages app, open the message/conversation from the sender that you want to block.
2. Tap on the contact at the top of the conversion.
3. Tap on the small Info button next to it.
That’s it. Do note that this contact will still be able to send you a voicemail, but you won’t get a notification about it. Also, they won’t know that you’ve blocked them, but any messages sent by you or them won’t get delivered.
This method also works for blocking messages by corporate brands (sent by a 5 digit number), so you can easily block all unwanted sale messages.How to Block Messages on macOS
If you’ve tried blocking a number in the Messages app on macOS, you may have noticed that there is no direct option to do so. Blocking messages from a sender on macOS is a bit more tedious, since you can’t directly block a sender. Instead, the sender’s phone number / iMessage email address has to be added as a contact first before it can be blocked. The method is a bit longer but works just as well. We hope Apple considers a more simpler solution like the one for iOS.
1. Open up the Messages app on macOS, and select the conversation with the sender you want to block.
3. Save the number as a contact. We’d recommend using some random name, such as “Blocked.”
That’s it. It’s also worth noting that if your iPhone/Mac share the same Apple ID, blocking an address / phone number on any one device will result in it automatically being blocked on each device using the same Apple ID with Messages. That’s why we recommend using the iOS method described above, as it’s much easier and simpler.
Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube
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