Display iOS on your Mac - Yosemite

When Apple demonstrated AirPlay a few years ago I got excited. The ability to travel with your iOS device and use it as a way to present information on another screen was awesome. Unfortunately this feature only works for other AirPlay devices (AppleTV, Airport Express or other iOS device.)  

Apple lists the requirements as:
To use AirPlay, you need these:
  • iPhone 4 (or later), iPad, iPad mini, or iPod touch (4th generation or later)
  • For videos or photos: Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation)
  • For music: Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation), AirPort Express, or AirPlay-enabled speakers or receivers
So Airplay is convenient if you have a device that supports AirPlay mirroring, but Apple's current line of Macs don't have this feature. Here's the good news, if you updated to Yosemite you can now display your iOS screen on your Mac with ease. You can even record it if you want to! All you need to do is connect your iOS device to your Mac using a USB cable and use the new version of QuickTime.

After you connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via the USB cable start QuickTime select "New Movie Recording" from the drop down menu.
Once the "Movie Recording" has been selected a screen will pop up. I don't know why Apple has made the UI so difficult to understand in some Yosemite applications but the selection of the screen isn't obvious. 

Next to the red record button is a small down arrow. If you click that button you will need to select the camera to use,the Microphone and the quality. 

Once you make your selections your iOS device screen will appear. 

If you just want to view what's on the iOS screen you don't need to do anything. If you want to record what you do on your device just place your mouse in the middle of the iOS window and hit the red record circle. 

Make sure to hit the "stop" button when you are done recording and save the file. 

Another of the great reasons to update to Yosemite. Enjoy!


iTunes 12 - Managing the Mini Player

I'm one of those people that loves new things but at the same time I like the status quo. Today Apple released iTunes 12 and I'm conflicted. I like the new looks but I struggle with all the changes. One of the biggest for me was the Mini player. 

I love the Mini player. My family loves the Mini Player. When I used the old version of iTunes getting into and out of the Mini player was second nature. Because iTunes 12 changed everything I'm going to take you through a quick tutorial on how to manage the Mini player window. 

When you first open the new iTunes you are greeted with a much different screen. The look and feel has changed and the sidebar has, for the most part, disappeared. I won't go into the changes here but for those that haven't loaded it yet here's the new look.

Notice that the normal minimize button on the upper right of the window is now gone. So how do you switch to the Mini Player. You could use the "Window" menu.

If you are a die hard keyboard user you can also use the key combination listed in the menu. But if you are used to just clicking a button like me you can use the secret hidden button I finally discovered. 

If you hover your mouse in the center of the iTunes window where the Apple logo is located a small icon appears. Click on it and your view will change to the Mini Player.

Voila, Mini Player!

So how do you return to the normal player you ask?  Good question, and counter to intuition all you need to do is hit the "X" in the upper left corner of the Mini player. The Mini player window will close and the full sized view will return. 

So what happens if you are playing music? What then? Well the look changes a bit but the action is the same. Again hover the mouse in top, center of the screen but this time over the album artwork.

There you have it. A quick guide to handling iTunes and switching between the large view and Mini player view of your media. Aren't you glad I figured it all out for you? I know my family is. And since I don't handle family insurrection well I am too. Now everyone is happy.


Boys Day Out

This past weekend Seattle held BrickCon. The most awesome collection of LEGO I've ever seen. Being a long time LEGO lover myself it didn't take a lot of persuasion by my 12 year old son to convince me to go. 

Just like my geek day off at the Emerald City Comicon I thought I would share the adventure with the MacITHelp readers.


 My son Samuel had a great time!

Brickcon was filled with Castles, Robots, Spaceships & Pirates. There was a lot to see.

The even had LEGO Art

Batman was well represented

Other Movie & TV Shows were also around

Berk from How to Train your Dragon

STTNG - Borg


The Goonies

The Simpsons Time Toaster




There were also a ton of great cars and other vehicles

Of course there was lots to buy

Eventually we had to leave be I think I know where I will be next year

Seattle Brickcon


App-Specific Passwords

Ok all you Mac users out there, it looks like Apple is upgrading security and will start using app-specific passwords for all iCloud Data

They aren't the first company to require this but as everyone becomes security conscious they won't be the last either. The move to app-specific passwords is both a good and bad thing. It means that your Apple ID will be more secure but it also means that if you use a 3rd party app to access your iCloud data (like your mail or calendar) you will need to generate a password that only works with that specific application rather than using your Apple ID password. 

If you are a Mac user you probably already got the Apple email but here’s part of it:

If you are currently signed in to a third party app using your primary Apple ID password, you will be signed out automatically when this change takes effect. You will need to generate an app-specific password and sign in again.

To generate an app-specific password:
    • Sign in to My Apple ID (https://appleid.apple.com)
    • Go to Password & Security
    • Click Generate App-Specific Password

For complete instructions, read Using App-Specific Passwords. If you need additional help, visit Apple SupportThis requirement will start on 10/9/2014. 

It sounds like this only applies to non-Apple software so if you use Apple mail as your main mail client you shouldnt have an issue. If you do use some other application for mail, calendar or other iCloud data you will need to set an application specific password for it. Heres a quick step-by-step.

1) First step is to log into your iCloud account from a web browser.


2) Once you log on you will be required to enter your two-step verification code. You can get this sent to your iPhone or other Apple device.

3) Go to “Password and Security” and select Generate an App-Specific Password

4) Label your password for the app you are using and click “Generate”

5) Enter the password that was generated into your application and make sure it works!!!

6) It looks like you are limited to 25 App-Specific passwords but you can revoke one or all of them if you need to. You can find out more about things here:

Good luck and I hope this helps!