How to Use the Console App for Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting computer problems can be quite complex, but fortunately there are some tools that are included with macOS that can help. One of these is Console, located in your /Applications/Utilities folder. Console displays logs and error messages that, in some cases, can help you pin down the cause of your troubles. Here’s how you can use this app to help troubleshoot issues with your Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Intego Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 60: How to Choose the Mac You Need

We discuss how to choose a new Mac among the broad line-up of Apple’s products. We also look at some recent security issues, including a clever Touch ID scam, some new Mac Spyware, and more. And, Tom Cruise is in the news.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Apple HomePod Compared to Sonos One

Many people buy smart speakers because of their smarts: Apple’s HomePod provides access to Siri, Amazon’s Echo and some devices from other manufacturers let you talk to Alexa and Google Home lets you query Ok Google. If you want a speaker to listen to music but are wedded to one of these “smart” ecosystems, then your choices are limited.

But if what matters to you is sound quality and you want a standalone speaker that you can stream music to, then you have a lot of options. I reviewed Apple’s HomePod here, and, while the sound is good, it’s not as good as it could be. I now have two HomePods which I use in my bedroom as a stereo pair, and I wanted a speaker for the kitchen to listen to music while I cook. But I didn’t want a Bluetooth speaker because their sound quality is limited; since I use Apple Music and iTunes, having AirPlay access was essential for me. Rather than spend the $350 for another HomePod, I decided to buy a Sonos One. At $200 (and I got it at the $25 discount Black Friday price), it’s more accessible; you can get two to make a stereo pair for just a bit more than a single HomePod.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Choose the Right Mac for Your Use Case

When it’s time to buy a new Mac, you are faced with many options, making it hard to choose which computer best meets your needs. You may need a desktop Mac and you currently have four options. If you want a laptop, then you have three options. But you might want to use a laptop on your desk as well, increasing the number of possibilities. In this article, I’m going to help you choose which Mac you need according to your use case.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 59: Is Apple Changing from a Hardware Company to a Service Company?

This week’s news include info about an Instagram data breach, an Amazon data breach, a new class-action lawsuit against Apple, and an expensive way to get access to your iPhone if you get locked out. Then we discuss whether Apple is morphing from a hardware company to a service company.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Apple Doesn’t Care About Apps that Violate the Company’s Rules [Updated]

I own a Netatmo weather station, which I use to monitor the temperature in my garden, and in my office. This weather station uses an iOS app, which can send me notifications, such as when the temperature goes above or below certain thresholds that I set.

On black Friday, I received this notification:

Netatmo

This sort of notification is against Apple’s App Store guidelines; in section 4.5.4, about push notifications, these guidelines say:

4.5.4 Push Notifications must not be required for the app to function, and should not be used for advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes or to send sensitive personal or confidential information. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges.

So I contacted Apple’s iTunes Store support. Here’s what they replied:

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for contacting us. I can certainly understand your concern regarding this issue.

In this case, I would recommend you to contact the app developer as they are the creators if [sic] the app.

I would also like to inform you that, iTunes Store is just a store front where we sell the contents provided by the content provider.

It seems like Apple doesn’t care what an app does; you can probably report any type of violation and they won’t do anything about it. This is quite surprising, given their stringent guidelines for apps. But, hey, too much work, I guess.

Update: I replied to that reply, saying:

So you’re saying that an app that violates your App Store Guidelines won’t have any problem because you don’t care about it?

And I received a reply back:

Thank you for providing this information about an app that may be violating the review guidelines. We take these cases very seriously as we care about our customers and App Store. We have escalated the information you have provided to our App Review team. They will investigate the app using the information you have provided and follow up directly with the developer if the app is in violation to fix the issue. Please understand that we cannot provide you any updates on the investigation as we can only communicate with the developer of the app.

We thank you for the information and if you can provide anymore information to help with the investigation it will be appreciated greatly.

So it seems the first-level support doesn’t care, and that you need to be more forceful to get some action. This said, there is no easy way to report this sort of thing; you have to go to the app’s page and report a problem; and, of course, you can only do this on iOS since there is no longer an App Store in iTunes. I’ll post more info here if I hear anything back.