Today I want to show 10 features that will boost your productivity.
Enhanced Dictation: This one may change the way you work on your computer. Dictation has been built-in to OSX for years, but the new Enhanced Dictation will show you the dictation in real-time as you’re talking—no more “thinking” ellipses. Regular dictation is ready to use when you upgrade to Mavericks, but you must unlock the enhanced version. To do this go to System Preferences > Dictation & Speech and selected Enhanced Dictation. This downloads the dictation engine so its faster and accessible when you’re offline. When you’re in the preferences, be sure to select a keyboard shortcut that you’ll remember to quickly launch dictation.
Tabbed Finder: If you’re like me you have 10 different windows open from the various projects you’re working on simultaneously. Now, instead of launching a new window as you dig around for that file you can open a new tab (Command + T) within your existing window. Even better (and my favorite aspect of this feature), you can click Window > Merge All Windows and it will consolidate all of your open Finder windows into a single tabbed window.
Website Notifications: By now you’re probably use to the notifications you receive on your smartphone from social networks and websites alerting you of breaking news. Now, you can get website notifications on your desktop too—even when you’re offline! Of course, this means websites need to offer them. This feature may be in its infancy, but I suspect within the next few months many websites will begin offering notifications announcing sales, new products, etc. (
Do Not Disturb: Since you can now get notifications when you’re online, offline, from websites, mail, messages, etc. it’s nice to know you can quickly mute the noise when you need to buckle down and focus. This works just like Do Not Disturb on iOS devices. One trick to quickly access this is to type “Do Not Disturb” into Spotlight (the system-wide search). Appearing at the top of the results should be Notifications. Click this and it takes you right where you need to be to turn it on. If you have a regular time when you don’t want to be disturbed, you can set that up here as well.
Install Tonight: Honestly, is there anything worse than flipping on your computer and/or getting deeply involved in a project when you get hit with an alert telling you there’s a software update? You would normally either ignore it or shut down the application you’re using and wait for it to install, restart your computer and then get back to work. Now, you can click Try Tonight and it will conduct the install between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. If it needs to restart your computer it will bring everything back up just the way you left it after the restart.
Remote Highlighting: This feature is fantastic when you’re working on projects. Using the Screen Sharing feature (accessed through Messages), you can now highlight and point to areas on the screen to help walk a colleague through what you’re talking about. This new feature is also great when you’re training a remote workforce (love this)
Airplay Display: If you live in the Apple ecosystem and also have an Apple TV device, you can now use your TV as a second screen through Airplay. Just select the Airplay icon at the top of your screen and choose Apple TV > Extend Desktop. This acts as one wide screen—just keep moving your mouse to the right and you’ll see it pop up on your TV like magic.
Share Maps: The Apple ecosystem-love continues with the shared maps feature. You can now look up directions to your next meeting on your desktop with the Maps app and then click the Share button at the top of the map and send it directly to your iPhone. An alert will pop up on your phone almost immediately. You can also share the directions through e-mail, Messages and AirDrop.
Password Generator: Everyone hates passwords, which is why I endorse anything that makes them more secure and easier to use. Using a combination of tools, Safari can now generate more secure passwords when you’re signing up for a service and then remember that password across all of your iOS devices. To enable this feature you’ll need to enable Keychain within iCloud (System Preferences > iCloud > check Keychain). Since a lot of websites don’t like you saving or autofilling your passwords, you’ll also need to override their request. To do this go to Safari > Preferences > Passwords > and select the box that says “Allow AutoFill even for websites that request passwords not be saved.” The next time you visit a site that requires you to set up a password, Safari will automatically suggest one, store it, and make it available across all your devices so you never need to remember it.
So enjoy this new features and like always if you have any comments please just share them below.
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