How to get AppleTV screensavers on macOS

Apple products have always had a beautiful UI. Regardless of which Apple product you use, an iPhone, a Mac, an iPad, the Apple Watch, or the AppleTV, you will always find a gorgeous interface.

The AppleTV has some excellent screensavers. They’re short, HD videos that play on the screen with information on where they were shot/recorded. If you like these screensavers, you can use them on your Mac with the help of a third-party app called Aerials.

AppleTV screensaver on macOS

To use AppleTV screensavers on macOS, you need to install Aerials. Follow these steps to install the app.

  1. Make sure the System Preferences app is not open.
  2. Download Aerials from Github.
  3. Extract the zipped file (it will extract automatically if you downloaded the file in Safari).
  4. Double-click the extracted file.
  5. The System Preferences app will open asking how you want to install the screensaver: single user or all users. Pick the option that suits you and the app will be installed.

Configure AppleTV screensaver on macOS

You now need to configure the screensaver. It isn’t complicated but since the videos are large in size, you can choose which ones to download in 4K and which ones to disable. You can also customize what information is shown on the screensaver.

  1. Open System Preferences. 
  2. Select Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Select the ‘Aerials’ screensaver.
  4. Click ‘Screen Saver Options’.
  5. On the options panel, go to the Videos tab.
  6. Click the plus button next to the an image to download it in 4K.
  7. Uncheck an image/video and it will not be shown in the screensaver.
  8. Go to the Displays tab, and select which display(s) the screensaver should appear on. It can appear on multiple/all displays.
  9. On the Info tab, add a message, a clock, the date, location, battery information, weather, a countdown, or a timer to the screensaver.
  10. You can configure screensaver videos for day and night time from the Time tab.

Set custom video

If you have a custom video that you’d like to use as the screensaver, you can set it using Aerial.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Select Aerials.
  4. Click ‘Screen Saver Options’.
  5. On the Videos tab, click the cog wheel button at the bottom of the left column.
  6. Select ‘Custom video’.
  7. Select the video you want to use.

Conclusion

Aerials does an excellent job of bringing AppleTV screensavers to macOS. It’s a shame Apple doesn’t make it easier for users to access cross-platform wallpapers and screensavers. You will find that Aerials is light-weight and far more customizable than most screensaver apps.

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How to change audio input/output on macOS

A Mac, whether it’s an iMac or a MacBook supports multiple audio input and output devices. These devices can be connected to the system through various ports and users can switch between them whenever they like. There’s also a stock MIDI app that allows users to create an aggregate audio device and output audio to multiple devices at once.

Change audio input/output on macOS

Connecting audio input and output devices to a Mac is simple; it supports connections through HDMI or Thunderbolt ports, the audio jack, and Bluetooth. You can have more than one audio device connected to the system and change them on the fly.

1. System Preferences – Sound

To change the audio input/output device on macOS from System Preferences;

  1. Make sure the device is connected to your Mac.
  2. Open System Preferences.
  3. Go to the Sound preference.
  4. Select the Output tab and select the device you want to use.
  5. Go to the Input tab, and select the device you want to use.

2. Menu bar icon

For a much easier way to change the audio input and/or output device, you can add a sound control to the Menu bar and change the devices from it.

  1. Make sure the audio devices you want to use are connected to the Mac.
  2. Open System Preferences and go to Sound.
  3. At the bottom of the Sound preference panel, enable the ‘Show volume in menu bar’ option.
  4. Hold down the Option key, and click the speaker icon.
  5. Select an audio input and an output device to use and macOS will switch to it.

3. Ears – Third-party solution

If you want to change the audio input and/or output device via the keyboard, you can use a third-party app called Ears. Ears is not free; it costs $1.99 for a lifetime license but it has a demo/trial version that you can use to see if it suits your needs.

  1. Download and install Ears.
  2. Run the app, and go to its preferences.
  3. Set up a keyboard shortcut to activate the app.
  4. Use the keyboard shortcut to open the app’s audio device selection window.
  5. Use the up/down arrow keys to select an audio device, and use the left/right arrow keys to switch between the list of audio input and output devices.

Conclusion

macOS can switch between audio devices on the fly. Regardless of which method you use to switch between audio devices, the change will be made instantly however, there may be some exceptions with apps. If you’ve changed an audio input or output device, and an app isn’t detecting the change, quit and launch it again.

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How to use the Web Inspector on Safari for iOS

Websites aren’t always accessed from a desktop system. Mobile devices have browsers too and they are used to access websites just as often, if not more, than on desktops. In rare cases, popular websites will have a mobile app but most websites do not have one. That’s why a website needs to work somewhat reasonably on both desktop and mobile browsers. To make sure they do, websites need to be debugged during development on mobile web browsers which is where you run into problems since they do not have a console like desktop browsers.

Need to access the Console for mobile Chrome on Android? Check out our guide.

Web Inspector on Safari

If you’re debugging websites on Safari on iOS, you can use Safari’s built-in web inspector. The only restriction is that you need to have a Mac. The web console on mobile Safari is accessed via Safari on a Mac. Setting it up takes a while.

iCloud account

In order to use the web inspector on Safari, the iOS device and the Mac must be using the same iCloud account and set to sync Safari.

macOS

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to Apple ID (take note of the ID that is in use).
  3. Select iCloud in the column on the left, and make sure Safari is enabled in the pane on the right.
  4. Open Safari.
  5. Click Safari in the menu bar and select Preferences.
  6. On Safari’s preferences, go to the Advanced tab.
  7. Enable the ‘Show Develop menu in menu bar’.

iOS

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your account at the top.
  3. Make sure the Apple ID that is used is the same that is being used on the Mac.
  4. Tap iCloud.
  5. Enable iCloud for Safari.
  6. Return to the main Settings app screen.
  7. Go to General and scroll to the bottom.
  8. Go to Reset>Reset Location & Privacy.

Enable Web Inspector

You’re now ready to connect the iOS device to your Mac.

  1. Using a data cable, connect the iPhone (or iPad) to the Mac.
  2. On your iPhone, you will see a prompt asking if the computer it’s been connected to should be trusted. Tap Trust, and enter the passcode to your device.
  3. Open Safari on the iPhone and visit the website you want to debug.
  4. On the Mac, open Safari and go to Develop. Your iPhone should show up in the sub-menu. Select it, and select the website that you want to debug. It will show up in the sub-menu.
  5. A new window will open with the web inspector.

Troubleshooting

In some cases, the above method may not work. This is a bug with macOS. The one thing that works in almost all cases is the fix below howeve, do the following AFTER you’ve followed the steps in the previous section.

  1. Disconnect the iPhone from the Mac.
  2. Open the Settings app on the iPhone.
  3. Go to General>Reset>Reset Location & Privacy.
  4. On the iPhone, turn Off WiFi, turn On Bluetooth, and turn on Mobile Hotspot.
  5. Connect the iPhone to the Mac. Trust the computer when prompted to on the iPhone.
  6. Open Safari on the iPhone, and visit the website you want to debug.
  7. On the Mac, open Safari.
  8. Go to Develop>Your iPhone>Connect via Network.
  9. Next, go to Develop>Your iPhone>Select the website open in Safari on the iPhone.

Conclusion

Debugging a website in Safari for iOS can only be done with you have a Mac. You need to make sure that the version of Safari on iOS is the same as that on Mac. A good rule-of-thumb is to always run the latest stable version of iOS and macOS when you debug a website. This will ensure that the version of Safari is the same on both platforms.

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How to calibrate an external display on macOS

MacBooks can work with external displays but unless you’re using an Apple display you are highly unlikely to get the same colors on it as you do on your internal screen. That said, Apple isn’t the only company that makes a good monitor. There are plenty of great external monitors that you can use with a MacBook.

If you’ve connected an external display to your MacBook and it looks washed out, you might benefit from calibrating it.

Calibrating external display

To calibrate an external display on macOS, follow the steps below.

  1. Connect the display to your MacBook. Make sure it is detected i.e., your desktop is displayed on it.
  2. Open the System Preferences app.
  3. Go to the Display preference on the last row.
  4. Go to the Display preference window that is open on the external screen. Ignore the one that is open on the internal screen.
  5. Go to the Colour tab.
  6. You will see multiple color profiles. You can select any one of them though it’s best to select one that is supported by the monitor. Click the Calibrate button.
  7. Follow the on-screen steps. You only need to stop and provide input for the White Point step. You can leave it set to the native point, or you can change it to a higher or lower value.
  8. Enter a name for the new profile, and the display will be calibrated.

Undo display calibration

A display calibration may or may not leave you with better colors on the screen. If the calibration has made things worse, you can undo it by selecting a different color profile.

  1. Open the System Preferences app.
  2. Go to the Display preference on the last row.
  3. Select the Display window that opens on the external screen.
  4. Go to the Colour tab.
  5. Look at the profiles in the Display Profile column and select the profile that was created when you calibrated the display.
  6. Click Delete Profile.
  7. Alternatively, just select a different profile from the ones listed.

Conclusion

Apple’s displays are hard to compete with but that doesn’t mean no one is trying. HP makes some excellent displays as does Samsung and Dell has a few models that can perform just as well. It’s hard to say that there are many displays out there that are better than what an iMac or a MacBook have but you do not have to buy a $5000 display just to get a good looking screen.

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How to manually switch to the GPU on macOS

Macs have both an on-board graphics card and a dedicated GPU. Apple has tried to release models that can be used for gaming but it hasn’t had much success. It’s only managed to add a GPU to its line-up. Still, it is there. macOS chooses on the fly whether to use the GPU or the on-board graphics card. Most apps that need to use the GPU are able to use it without any trouble. If you want to manually switch to the GPU on macOS, you won’t find a built-in option that lets you do that. You need an app for the job.

Switching to the GPU

Before we show you how to switch to the GPU, you should know that unless you know what you’re doing, manually switching the display device like this can cause problems. The developer of the app doesn’t assume any risks so use it at your own peril.

In order to manually switch to the GPU, you need to download a free, open-source app called gSwitch. Move the app to the Applications folder before running it to avoid problems down the line. Run gSwitch. It runs in the menu bar. Click the gear icon that it adds and you’ll see a menu that allows you to select which graphics card to use.

Integrated is the on-board graphics card. Discrete is the GPU. Select which one you want to use, and macOS will switch over it.

gSwitch doesn’t just let users switch the graphics card. It can set the GPU state so that macOS switches automatically. To do that, you need to access the app’s preferences and select the advanced preferences from there. Click the question mark icon in the Set GPU State box, and you will be able to view the various arguments you can use to set the GPU state.

gSwitch can be set to run on start up but if you’re using the app to switch to your GPU, it might not be a good idea to enable this option. If you run into trouble, restarting your Mac might be the only viable solution and if the app starts again the second you boot to the desktop, you’ll have to go through Safe mode to disable it.

gSwitch works but it may not work for all apps. macOS can still force an app to use the integrated graphics card. Likewise, an app that can’t use the GPU can’t be forced to do it.

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