Mac Tricks: Sync iMessage, Speed Up Mission Control, How to Use Picture-in-Picture

Mac Tricks: Sync iMessage, Speed Up Mission Control, How to Use Picture-in-Picture

How to Sync iMessage Across All your Apple Devices

Apple users have a privilege of picking up a conversation from iMessage that they started on iPhone, right on MacBook, or vice versa.

But the last few month a problem appeared. iMessages stopped synchronizing chats between MacOS and iOS. The messages received via iPhone, didn’t show up on Mac, and no messages received on Mac appeared in iPhone’s iMessage app. It began looking like chatting with friends from 2 devices. Fortunately, there is a way to make things go rightly!

The fix for iPhone

Head to Settings application on your iPhone and tap on Messages. Swipe down to Send & Receive button and open it. You will see the numbers and e-mails you have registered with your ID. You can tap on them to check or uncheck the lines. In this case, we needed to check off the emails, as there was some unchecked ones.

The fix for Mac

Click the ‘Messages’ and head to Preferences. You can use the Messages menu or Command-Comma keyboard way to do this. Choose the Accounts tab. It’s at the top. Do the same things we did with iPhone. Check all the phone numbers and email addresses.

Toggle Messages

Restart the Messages application after doing all the things we described above on your Mac. Go to iPhone’s Settings and turn iMessage off. Turn it on after a few seconds. The changes will apply.

If everything goes well, continue iMessage conversations via all Apple devices. If now, do the things we described in this article once more. Make sure you haven’t missed some important part.


How to Speed Up Mission Control with Enabling of Reduce Motion in Mac OS Sierra

MacOS is very user-friendly system and it makes users happy with attractive animated features of the interface. They make working process nice looking. But there are people who prefer simplicity and speed to that aesthetic animations. Mission Control is one of the areas where UI animations can be unnecessary. It is a feature on every Mac desktop where a user can find all opened applications or swap virtual desktops and full-screen apps.

In the latest OS X this feature has too many animations. You couldn’t do anything to it until this moment. Sierra gives us a chance to turn animations off or just to simplify them to make working with Mission Control more efficient and convenient.

Let’s use Reduce Motion

We are talking about Reduce motion feature now. It was introduced in iOS 7 for the first time. It was aimed on simplifying animations for users who find them difficult to track visually. Practice showed that many people prefer to use Reduce Motion to get rid of such difficulties.

MacOS Sierra has brought this option to the Mac. The effect is rather noticeable and here is an example of how Mission Control looks in Sierra:

Want to try this simple approach?

Head to System preferences, next choose Accessibility and then go to Display. Check the Reduce Motion box there. You even won’t need to save your settings or logout. The changes will happen immediately.

Now go to your desktop and turn on Mission Control. That’s what you’ll see:

Sliding desktops and windows will fade in a moment and then pop into the proper place. You will notice how fastly your Mission Control works. And no visual distraction! For those who is used to old animated version this one can seen too jarring. If you think so, go to System preferences and return the default settings there by un-checking Reduce Motion.

Note, that Reduce Motion affects not only Mission Control, but also Notification Center and some little things like minimizing windows or hiding the dock.


How to Use “Picture-in-Picture” for Safari Videos and iTunes in MacOS Sierra

Sierra supports video on the Mac. This function was adapted from iOS and it gives user a chance to shrink a video to a window that remains on top of all apps and opened windows. So, user can enjoy some videos while working or doing other things, for example, web-browsing, etc. This article will teach you how to work with this useful feature.

What videos does MacOS Sierra’s picture-in-picture support?

Note, that not every video is suitable for picture-in-picture mode. The list of readable formats is growing constantly, but now it is limited to iTunes and HTML5 files from websites opened in Safari. Apple’s website, Vimeo and YouTube work out of the box. But no worries! They will be surely added in future. And today, developers made Mac users happy by adding Netflix, Plex and Hulu to the list.

Let’s use this magical mode in iTunes!

For trying picture-in-picture, open iTunes application and start some Movie or TV Show. Open the playback controls with a mouse and choose the picture-in-picture button there. It is on the right. Click it and see how your video window turned into a small one and went to the corner of the screen.

Using the picture-in-picture mode on other websites

There are websites that were coded for this mode at the start and they have the same button that will help you to turn the mode on. But other popular resources such as YouTube do it in a different way. This website runs HTML5 videos. So, open them in the Safari browser and do the right-click on it. The control panel should appear. Do the right-click again and the default YouTube menu will change to a MacOS one. Here you can select the mode you want, including picture-in-picture.

Managing picture-in-picture

Open the mode in iTunes or Safari. Now you can resize it by dragging the edge of the window. But the size has its limits too. You won’t be able to make it larger than a quarter of the screen.

You can move your video to any corner you like. Just click in the middle and then drag it wherever you want. You have to hold the button while dragging the video all the time. If you will let the window go, it will appear in the previous position.

When you open video in picture-in-picture mode, it will appear above all the open windows even if they are switched to full-screen mode.

Do you want to exit picture-in-picture? Just hover the mouse cursor over the window with the video and open the control panel. There will be options of pausing it or sending it back to original application. You can also close it by clicking ‘x’ in the left corner in the top.

Origins of the picture-in-picture mode

It was introduced in iOS 9 for the iPad for the first time. Users could never multitask the video before and finally it became possible. Now people could work and watch something interesting simultaneously.

But things went different for the MacOS, as it is a multitasking platform. Users could watch videos side-by-side to other windows. Only iTunes could keep the window above all other ones. But in the same time, some third-party players had this option too.

PIP feature that appeared in MacOS Sierra is not so flexible. Other players allow to change the size of a window, to move it to different places of the screen. But it has many advantages too! Easy viewing of web-based videos and working on the top of the other applications are the main ones. It helps to unify MacOS and iOS platforms either.

Of course, picture-in-picture was made for iPad and performs better there. There are some limitations on Mac, but still some users will enjoy this mode.