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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.
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Apple takes pride in making its products easily usable by all, including those who have blurred vision or can’t see. Its most recent VoiceOver feature, Screen Curtain, stands testimony to it. While VoiceOver empowers people to use the device by hearing audio feedbacks, Screen Curtain is designed to offer privacy and confidentiality.
Let me tell you more about it and show you how to use Screen Curtain on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
What is Screen Curtain on iPhone?
Screen Curtain, as evident from its name, is a privacy feature that turns off the screen while using VoiceOver. This is helpful when you are in public places and wish to hide what is on your screen. For example, if you are checking your banking information at an airport using VoiceOver, Screen Curtain will ensure that the display is off and no one can see it.
How to use Screen Curtain on iPhone and iPad
Before you begin to use Screen Curtain, ensure VoiceOver is enabled. For this, go to Settings → Accessibility → VoiceOver → enable VoiceOver.
Once VoiceOver is on, use three fingers to tap three times on the screen quickly. You will hear VoiceOver say ‘Screen Curtain on,’ and the iPhone or iPad screen will turn off. You can continue using the device via VoiceOver.
To turn off Screen Curtain, follow the same method. That is, quickly triple-tap using three fingers.
If from Settings → Accessibility → Zoom is on, you will have to tap four times with three fingers to enable Screen Curtain.
If you use a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad or iPhone, press control + option + shift + S to enable or disable Screen Curtain.
Turn on VoiceOver and use Screen Curtain on Apple Watch
Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone and tap My Watch.
Tap VoiceOver and enable it.
Next, toggle on Screen Curtain. Now, whenever you use VoiceOver on the watch, Screen Curtain will be active.
Follow the same steps to turn Screen Curtain off.
Note: You may also open Apple Watch Settings → Accessibility → VoiceOver → Screen Curtain to enable or disable this option.
How to use Screen Curtain on Mac
Before you begin to use Screen Curtain, make sure VoiceOver is on. For this, press command + F5. You may also open System Preferences → Accessibility → VoiceOver → Enable VoiceOver.
Now that VoiceOver is on, here are three methods to enable or disable Screen Curtain on Mac.
Method 1. Quick shortcut keys for Screen Curtain
Press VO + shift + fn + _
VO key will most likely be control + option, or the caps lock key. You can check this by opening VoiceOver Utility and see the keys next to Keys to use as the VoiceOver modifier:.
_ is underscore.
Thus, to enable or disable Screen Curtain on Mac, press: control + option + shift + fn + _
Method 2. Enable Screen Curtain using VoiceOver command help guide
Press VO + HH. That most likely will be: control + option + HH
Type Screen Curtain and hit the enter key. Mac’s screen will turn black.
Follow the same steps to turn it off.
Method 3. Enable Screen Curtain using three-finger triple-tap
You can triple-tap with three fingers on Mac’s trackpad to turn on Screen Curtain. It is similar to Screen Curtain on iPhone.
However, this works if you use TrackPad Commander on your Mac. For this, open System Preferences → Accessibility → VoiceOver → Open VoiceOver Utility → Commanders → Enable Trackpad Commander.Privacy always with Screen Curtain on Apple devices!
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I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.
If you have an iPhone, you don’t need to buy a webcam to do video calls from your Windows and Mac machines. There are ways to turn your iOS-based device into a webcam that lets you see the contents from your iPhone’s camera on your computer’s screen.
These apps that let you use your iPhone as a webcam are free but come with limited features. You can always upgrade to their paid pro versions and get access to all the features they have to offer.
Table of ContentsUse Your iPhone As a Webcam On Mac
If you’re a Mac user, you have an app called EpocCam that allows you to use your iPhone as a webcam for your machine. The free version of the app supports video resolutions of up to 640 x 480 pixels and works over both wired and wireless (WiFi) connections.
You’ll see the live footage of your iPhone’s camera on your screen.Use Your iPhone As a Webcam On Windows
The ability to use an iPhone as a webcam isn’t limited to Macs. If you’re a Windows user, you have an app called iVCam to stream the content of your iPhone’s camera to your Windows machine.
Like Mac, you need to install a tool on your PC and an app on your iPhone to start using your phone as a webcam with your computer.
Open a browser on your PC, head over to the iVCam site, and download the iVCam software to your computer.
Install the iVCam software and reboot your computer when it’s fully installed.
Open the iOS App Store on your iPhone, search for iVCam, and install it.
Launch the iVCam app on both your iPhone and Windows computer.
Accept the prompt by tapping OK on your iPhone. This’ll let the app use your iPhone’s camera.
You’ll instantly see the live footage of your iPhone’s camera on your computer.
iVCam comes with features like the ability to take a screenshot and record your iPhone’s camera footage. You can use the icons in the app’s toolbar on your PC to access these features.
On the iPhone app, you have features like turning the flashlight on and off, flipping your camera angle, and switching the cameras. You can tap the X icon when you want to stop streaming video to your PC.What To Do If Your iPhone Doesn’t Work As a Webcam
If you can’t see your iPhone’s footage on your computer, there might be issues with the iPhone restrictions. You can verify and change these restrictions, if required, on your iPhone as follows.Allow Apps To Use Your iPhone’s Camera
You need to enable an option on your iPhone, if you haven’t already, to allow the installed apps to use your camera.
Launch the Settings app, scroll down, and tap Privacy.
Select Camera on the following screen to change your camera settings.
Turn the toggle for your webcam apps to the ON position. This’ll allow these apps to use your iPhone’s camera.Allow Apps To Use Your iPhone’s Microphone
If you can’t hear your iPhone’s audio on your computer, make sure you’ve allowed the webcam apps to use the microphone.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Privacy.
Tap the Microphone option to view the apps that can use your microphone.
Enable the toggle for your webcam apps to allow them to use the iPhone’s microphone.How To Set Your iPhone As The Default Webcam In Various Apps
If you want to use your iPhone as the primary webcam on your computer, you’ll want to set your phone as the default webcam in your video calling apps.
The following shows how to set your iPhone as the default webcam in various video calling apps on Mac. The steps for this procedure should be similar for Windows.Setting Up Your iPhone As The Default Webcam In Skype
Launch Skype on your computer.
Select Audio & Video from the sidebar on your left.Using An iPhone As The Default Webcam In Zoom
Launch Zoom on your computer.
Select your webcam app from the Camera dropdown menu.Using An iPhone As The Default FaceTime Camera
Open the FaceTime app on your Mac.
If you’re someone who stays online on your Mac more than your phone, you may have used WhatsApp’s web app for sending and receiving messages without picking up your phone. While this functionality has existed for a few years, one downside to that has been that your phone was always required to stay online for you to use WhatsApp on a computer.
Besides this, some features weren’t available on the Mac app or WhatsApp’s web client which made it all the way less convenient. WhatsApp has now changed this experience with its new native Mac app which lets you use the messaging app without any of these restrictions.
In this post, we’ll explain to you what’s new about the new WhatsApp app, how you can download it and start using it on a Mac.
What’s new with WhatsApp on Mac
Although WhatsApp has been available as an app on macOS, this app was more or less a web-wrapped version that would look and feel similar to WhatsApp on the web. Thanks to recent developments, the company has now developed a native version of the messaging app, one that offers all the features that you’d otherwise get on its iOS app without any restrictions.
The main difference between this app and the old version is that you no longer require your phone to be connected to the internet to use WhatsApp on your Mac. The older app relied on your phone’s internet connection to relay the same messages to your Mac. In the new version, you will be able to use it as a standalone app, meaning you can send and receive messages directly from the Mac without needing your iPhone to connect to a network.
Instead of a two-panel window, the new WhatsApp app for Mac will offer an additional third panel which will be available on the left-most side of the window. This panel should resemble the bottom navigation bar on the iOS version of WhatsApp, offering quick access to chats, calls, archived & starred messages, and app settings.
Related: Top 2 Ways to Lock Photos on Mac
How to install the WhatsApp app on a Mac
The new native app for WhatsApp on Mac is available directly on WhatsApp’s website but the version that’s currently installable is still in beta. This means, you may not be able to use all the features on the app or you may end up facing an issue or two during your usage.
Before you install the native WhatsApp app on your Mac, you need to make sure that your Mac is running on the latest version of macOS available on it. This is important because the new WhatsApp app can only be installed on macOS Big Sur or newer versions.
You should now see the WhatsApp Installer window on the screen. To install the downloaded app, drag the WhatsApp app icon to the Applications folder inside the WhatsApp Installer window.
Related: How to set up and use Split View on Mac
How to sign in to your WhatsApp account on Mac
When you’ve installed WhatsApp on your Mac, you can start using it but before you do that, you first need to log in to your WhatsApp account on the app. To do that, first open the WhatsApp app on your Mac from the Dock, Launchpad, or Spotlight.
Now, you should see a QR code on the screen. This QR code is what allows your WhatsApp account on your phone to get added to the app on your Mac.
The next step is to open the WhatsApp app on your Android device or iPhone.
When the app opens on your phone, tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner on Android or tap on the Settings tab at the bottom right corner of your iPhone.
On Android, when an overflow menu opens on the screen, tap on Linked devices.
On iOS, select Linked Devices from the Settings screen.
Inside the Linked Devices screen, tap on Link a Device.
In the Scan QR code screen that appears, tap on OK.
You should see your camera viewfinder in a square box. Now, point your phone’s main camera to the code on your Mac so that the WhatsApp app on your phone can capture the code and read it.
On your Mac, you should see the Customize Notifications window on top of the WhatsApp widow. From here, you can disable notification banners and message previews by unchecking their boxes on the right-hand side or leaving them enabled if you’re okay with it. Once you’ve configured how you want to receive notifications from WhatsApp on your Mac, tap on Done at the top right corner of the Customize Notifications window.
WhatsApp is now successfully installed on your Mac and you can start using it to send messages.
Related: How to Zoom In and Zoom Out on Mac
How to use WhatsApp on Mac
Once you’ve installed and logged into your account on WhatsApp, the app should be open on your Mac’s Dock at all times and you can open it from there.
If you can’t find the WhatsApp app on Dock at the bottom, you can launch it by searching on Spotlight or from the Launchpad screen.
When you open the new WhatsApp on your Mac, you will see a three-panel window on the screen.
On the left-most panel, you will see different tabs to access your Chats, Calls, Archived (messages), Starred (messages), and Settings. The subsequent panels on the middle and right side will then show you chats by default or the content from the selected tab from the left panel.
Open chats and send messages
In the New Chat window, scroll through your list of contacts or groups and select the chat or person you want to send a message to.
When you open a conversation, all the past messages in the conversation should be visible on the right-most panel. When a chat is open on the right panel, you will see all the messages inside it. To view older messages in a selected chat, scroll upwards on this panel.
When the contact’s info screen shows up, you can access the media shared in the conversation, check for starred messages, or search the conversation for keywords.
You can scroll down on this screen for other actions sharing contact, clearing or exporting the chat, or blocking the contact from messaging you.
Make calls and view your WhatsApp call log
When you do that, the call should commence and you should see the call screen on top of the WhatsApp window.
Access your archived messages on WhatsApp
View messages you starred on WhatsApp
When you do that, you should see where the message appeared inside the conversation on the right panel.
How to change WhatsApp Settings on Mac
Modify your WhatsApp profile
Inside WhatsApp’s Settings screen, you can change how your profile looks to others on the app in the same way you would on a phone. You can change your profile picture, name, and the “About” section and update them to something new.
When you do that, you should see your profile details appear on the right. Inside the Edit Profile panel is where you can make changes to your profile.
Make changes to your privacy
Regardless of the section you select, you can choose one of the following options to configure your account’s privacy.
In the Default Message Timer panel that appears, select a duration after which you want messages to get deleted from individual chats.
This will not affect your existing messages and they will continue to stay on your chat history for as long as you want to keep them.
Change how you receive WhatsApp notifications on Mac
This will open the Notifications panel on the right where you can change how you receive messages and group notifications on your Mac. To enable notifications for all messages in a chat, check the Show Notifications boxes under “Message Notifications” and “Group Notifications”.
To get notified everyone someone reacts to your messages, check the Reaction Notifications boxes on both sections.
WhatsApp notifications will appear as a banner by default on a Mac. If you want the notification banner to preview the message you received, you can check the Show Preview box.
View your network and device storage
The selected items will be deleted from the specific conversation. You can repeat these steps to delete media from other conversations as well.
On the next panel, you should see the full details of the amount of data consumed and how it was used.
On the next screen, select your preferred quality from the following options.
Export, Clear, or Delete all your chats
On the next screen, select a chat you want to export from the list of conversations visible.
You will see a prompt on the screen asking whether or not you want to save media in addition to your messages. Select your preferred option from this prompt to proceed.
If you wish to use WhatsApp from scratch, you can choose any of these options inside the Chats panel – Archive All Chats, Clear All Chats, or Delete All Chats.
How to log out of your WhatsApp account on Mac
When you no longer want to use the WhatsApp account on your Mac, you can log out from it to unlink your account on the Mac. There are two ways to log out of WhatsApp on a Mac – from the Mac or the connected phone.
Log out from the Mac
Log out from your phone
You can also log out of your WhatsApp account on the Mac by unlinking it from your WhatsApp account on your phone. For this, open the WhatsApp app on iOS or Android.
Inside WhatsApp, tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner on Android or tap on the Settings tab at the bottom right corner of your iPhone.
On Android, when an overflow menu opens on the screen, tap on Linked devices. On iOS, select Linked Devices from the Settings screen.
Inside the Linked Devices screen, tap on macOS.
In the Device Status screen that appears, tap on Log Out.
You will now be logged out of your WhatsApp account on the Mac.
Can you use the WhatsApp Mac app without your phone?
Yes. The new native app for WhatsApp on Mac is designed to run by itself without connecting your phone to any network.
Before this, the older WhatsApp app, just like the web version, relied on your phone’s internet connectivity to show you the same messages on the Mac. If your phone got disconnected, the app would then cease to show newer messages or stop you from sending new messages from the Mac.
With the new WhatsApp app, you can now send and receive messages from within your Mac without needing your phone to stay online. You can even make audio and video calls to someone or receive them directly on the Mac without your phone.
For how long can you use the WhatsApp Mac app without a phone?
You can use the native WhatsApp app on your Mac without your phone as soon as you link your account to the Mac client. WhatsApp allows you to use the Mac client as a standalone app for up to 14 days. This means, your linked devices (including your Mac) will be logged out if your phone hasn’t been online for over 14 days. If you occasionally connect your phone to the internet, you can continue using the WhatsApp on Mac app without your phone for an indefinite period, provided that your phone stays online at least once in two weeks.
That’s all you need to know about downloading and installing WhatsApp on a Mac.
Do you like to use emoticons, images, or symbols to express yourself when chatting or messaging a friend? As a Mac or iOS user, you’re probably familiar with or have at least heard the term “emoji.” For those of you that don’t know, emoji is a popular set of emoticons and images that you can be used in IMs, emails, tweets, text notes and more.
Before Mac OS X 10.7, you could only use emoji characters by installing an app. Luckily, with Mac OS X 10.7 and higher, emoji can be used without an app. If you haven’t found out where emoji is hidden, it’s because Apple has done a pretty good job of hiding it.
So, here’s how to use emoji on a Mac:
1. Go to your app of choice – wherever you want to use emoji characters. Note: There are many apps and Web services that do not support emoji.
3. The Special Characters window will open up. From here select “Emoji” on the left side – the second to last item.
5. If the character does not show up, that means the app or website you’re using does not support emoji.
So there you have it – no apps needed for emoji on your Mac.
Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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Unlike WhatsApp, Signal doesn’t have a web app, but offers desktop apps on Windows, Mac and Linux. However, like WhatsApp, you need to have the Signal mobile app installed and working on your phone (Android or iPhone) for it to work on your PC. So without further delay, let’s see how you can use Signal Messenger on your Windows 10 and Mac computers (desktops and laptops).
Note: I’m using Windows 10 for this demo, but the process is identical on Mac. The process is also similar for Android and iPhone users, but with one slight difference that we will clearly mention in our tutorial.Link and Use Signal on Your PC
To get started, download and install Signal Desktop on your computer (Windows / Mac). Once you open the app, you’ll see a QR code. It has to be scanned by the Signal mobile app to sync chats and messages.
Now open Signal Messenger on your phone and tap on the menu button (three dots) at the top-right corner. Then select ‘Settings’ from the popup menu.
Scan the QR code on your computer screen and the two apps will sync in a moment or two. Once they’re in-sync, tap on ‘Link Device’ as seen in the second screenshot below.
On the desktop app, choose a name for your linked devices and hit ‘Finish Linking Phone’.
Your desktop app will automatically sync your contacts with your phone and you will be able to send and receive messages on Signal Desktop. It might take a few minutes for all your chats, messages and contacts to sync between the two devices.Un-Link Signal Desktop With Your Phone
Signal Desktop is now un-linked with your Signal mobile app. You’ll have to once again link the two the next time you fire up the app on your computer.Use the Best Encrypted Messaging App on Your Computer
One of best alternatives to WhatsApp and Telegram, Signal Messenger has been endorsed by several tech luminaries, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, American whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the world’s richest person, Elon Musk. While you now know how to use Signal on your desktop and laptop computers (Windows and Mac) you’ll probably still use it on your phone more often than not. So check out the best Signal tips and tricks to get the most out of the mobile app. If you’re still using WhatsApp, check out how you can switch to Signal from the Facebook-owned service.
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