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How to check the battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices on Mac

February 20, 2019
Low Battery Level Mouse on Mac
If you use Bluetooth devices like a keyboard and mouse with your Macbook, keeping an eye on their battery levels is important. And for iMac users, its essential. There’s nothing worse than having a dead battery when you’re in the middle of something critical on your computer.
You might be in the midst of an online business meeting sharing a presentation, doing a job interview using an app like Skype, or trying to make a crucial deadline and have no time to spare.
So, for keeping a watch, here’s how to check your Bluetooth device battery level on Mac.

Check your battery levels from the menu bar

One of the quickest and easiest ways to check battery levels for connected devices is with the Bluetooth indicator in your menu bar.
To show Bluetooth in your menu bar, follow these steps.
1) Click Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar.
2) Select Bluetooth.
3) Mark the checkbox for Show Bluetooth in menu bar.
Show Bluetooth in Menu Bar Box
Now to check those battery levels, click the Bluetooth button from the menu bar. Select your device and the pop-out menu will display the battery level.
Check Bluetooth Battery Levels Menu Bar

Check your battery levels in your System Preferences

If you would rather not show Bluetooth in your menu bar, you can see your battery levels in the System Preferences for each device.
1) Click Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar.
2) Select Keyboard.
3) At the bottom of the window, you’ll see the Keyboard battery level.
Check Bluetooth Battery Levels Keyboard Preferences
To check your mouse, go back to the main System Preferences screen.
1) Select Mouse.
2) At the bottom of the window, you’ll see the Mouse battery level.
Check Bluetooth Battery Levels Mouse Preferences
If you use another Bluetooth device, such as a Trackpad or headset, you’ll go through the same steps to open the device in System Preferences and view the battery level there.

Check your battery levels using Terminal

If you’re up for using Terminal, then you can easily run commands to check your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse battery levels with it too.
ioreg -c AppleBluetoothHIDKeyboard |grep '"BatteryPercent" ='
ioreg -c BNBMouseDevice |grep '"BatteryPercent" ='

Check Bluetooth Battery Levels Terminal

iTunes movie deals: 4-film bundles under $20, classic hits $5, and much more

February 20, 2019
Apple on Tuesday updated its iTunes Store with new discounts on movies and other content. Among the deals are 4-film bundles for less than $20 and Oscar-winning pictures in 4K HDR under $10. Check out our full roundup below.

Award winning bundles under $20

4K HDR Oscar winners under $10

Best Picture Oscar winners under $10

Best Director Oscar winners under $10

Hit movies for just $5


How to enable and use Personal Requests for Siri on HomePod

February 20, 2019

Personal Requests Enabled on iPhone
Using Personal Requests with Siri on your HomePod, you can send text messages, call your contacts, check your calendar, and create notes and reminders. This is a very convenient way to use your Apple smart speaker because you don’t have to lift a finger to do any of these things.
If you’re interested in setting this up, here’s how to enable and use Personal Requests for Siri on HomePod.

Enabling Personal Requests

There are several pieces involved for enabling Personal Requests. And, you may have some of these turned on already.
1) Open Settings and tap your Apple ID.
2) Select Share My Location.
3) Enable Share My Location and the top and select From This Device.
4) Go back to the main Settings screen and select Siri & Search.
5) Make sure you have either Listen for “Hey Siri” or Press Home for Siri turned on.
Enable Location and Siri on iPhone
6) Open the Home app and press and hold your HomePod.
7) Select Settings.
8) Make sure you have Listen for “Hey Siri” and Touch and Hold for Siri turned on.
9) Scroll down a bit, tap Personal Requests, and then move the slider to enable the feature.
You can change the Require Authentication to Never or leave it as For Secure Requests. This applies to the Notes app. For Secure Requests means you’ll need authenticate before having Siri read your Notes, whereas Never means Siri can read them without authentication to anyone who asks.
10) Tap Done.
Enable Siri and Personal Requests on iPhone

Using Personal Requests

Once you’re set up, you can make Personal Requests that use the Messages, Phone, Calendar, Reminders, and Notes apps.
Here are some examples of what you can ask for:

Messages

  • “Hey Siri, send a message to Abby that says {message}.” When Siri asks if you want to send it say “Yes” or “No”.
  • “Hey Siri, send a message to Abby and Julie.” Tell Siri what the message should say and then confirm you want to send it.
  • “Hey Siri, read my messages from Abby.”
  • “Hey Siri, do I have any new message?”

Phone

  • “Hey Siri, call Abby.”
  • “Hey Siri, hang up.”
  • “Hey Siri, answer my phone.”
  • “Hey Siri, who just called me?”
  • “Hey Siri, play my voicemails.”

Calendar

  • “Hey Siri, what’s on my calendar for today?”
  • “Hey Siri, do I have any events at 2pm today?”
  • “Hey Siri, where is my 2pm event today?”
  • “Hey Siri, create an event named {event name} for {date and time}.”

Reminders

  • “Hey Siri, remind me to do laundry at 2pm today.”
  • “Hey Siri, mark do the laundry complete.”
  • “Hey Siri, what are my reminders for today?”
  • “Hey Siri, remind me to pick up milk when I leave work.”

Notes


  • “Hey Siri, create a note that says {note text}.”
  • “Hey Siri, add {new item} to my {existing} note.”
  • “Hey Siri, read my {folder name} notes.”

Apple Pay is now accepted in Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic

February 20, 2019
Apple Pay launched in Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic today.
Customers in these countries can now add their credit or debit card from a participating issuer to the Wallet app for contactless payments in stores, apps and on the web.
Apple’s yet to officially announce the expansions although regional Apple Pay websites are now live and local users have reported being able to use the system as of this morning.
Supported banks in Saudi Arabua include the National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, the Saudi Payments Network (MADA), Alinma Bank, Bank Aljazira and Riyad Bank.
The list of retailers that accept Apple Pay at launch includes large chains Carrefour, Krispy Kreme, IHOP, McDonald’s, Swarovski, Zara and more, with more than 28 local retailers accepting the mobile payments system for in-app payments.
In the Czech Republic, financial institutions supported at launch include Air Bank, Ceska sporitelna, MONETA Money Bank and payments company Twisto, with Komercni bank, Monet, mBank, Fio, Equa, Creditas and CSOB expected to integrate the technology later in 2019.
Read Apple’s support document for the list of participating banks. The rollout marks the 33rd and 34th markets where the company’s mobile payments system is now officially accepted.
The full list of countries where Apple Pay is officially accepted as a means of contactless payment can be found in the iOS Feature Availability webpage on Apple’s website.

US customers can use Apple Pay to buy prescriptions and more at CVS, the nation’s #1 pharmacy, as well as shop electronics at Target. 74 of the top 100 US merchants now accept Apple Pay, according to Apple itself, with the exception of notable holdouts like Walmart.

Epic Games introduces the eagerly awaited Drifboard into Fortnite

February 20, 2019
Although it was originally supposed to arrive before the holidays, a new Driftboard item is now finally available in Fortnite for iPhone and iPad thanks to today’s version 7.40.2 update.
Available in Red Supply Drop, these Driftobards are limited-time items that can be found scattered all over the map.
Driftobards aren’t just for going from point A to B: you can pull some tricks while riding on one. And speaking of riding, you’ll pick up some decent speed with the Driftboard.
Heck, you even can loot and revive allies without having to set your foot off the board. And with a time-limited Driftin’ mode, two teams of 32 players can battle it out by riding on boards.
Building is not possible whilst riding on the Driftboard.
Other changes in Fortnite 7.40.2 include a new Infantry Rival, a Catch mode that limits you to using throwable items like grenades to wipe out your competition, plus a bunch of other tweaks and improvements listed in Epic’s blog post.
Previous Fortnite updates brought controller support and much-needed tweaks to the planes, zippiness, RPG and hand cannon that many members of the community have been asking for.

Apple acquires voice app startup Pullstring

February 17, 2019
Apple has agreed to purchase voice app startup Pullstring, according to a report from Axios. The San Francisco-based company was founded by a group of former Pixar executives in 2011 and its technology has been used in everything from interactive voice apps for toys, to Amazon Echo and Google Assistant products.
Background: Pullstring was founded in 2011 by a group of former Pixar executives, and originally was used to power interactive voice apps for toys (including Hello Barbie in 2015). It later broadened its approach with the introduction of such IoT products as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. 
It raised around $44 million in venture capital, from firms like CRV, Greylock, True Ventures, Khosla Ventures and First Round Capital. According to PitchBook, its most recent post-money valuation was just north of $160 million.
The upfront deal value is said to be around $30 million, plus around $10 million in potential earn-outs for management. That would include CEO Oren Jacob, who once served as Pixar’s CTO.
Despite Apple being the first major handset-maker to deploy an on-device digital assistant, it has since fallen well behind Google, Amazon and others in the space. Purchasing a company like Pullstring, which specializes in building apps with voice integration, might help them bridge the gap—a tall task to be sure.

Source: Axios