Apple computers are sleek and functional, and macOS has a number of built-in features to make your user experience as pleasant as possible. That said, Macs are quirky machines, and a little extra work can help you optimize the way you use your device.
A few simple software changes and physical additions can make a remarkable difference. So let's take a look at the best ways to make using a Mac more convenient.
1. Use the macOS Accessibility Features
Accessibility features aren't just for those who need them. Once you understand the features and how to use them, you can take advantage of almost all of macOS 'built-in utility tools.
Using the best features at the right moment can streamline your workflow and increase productivity. Let's take a closer look at some of the most useful accessibility tools.
You don't have to be visually impaired to benefit from VoiceOver. While many of us cannot avoid prolonged computer use, too much screen time and constant reading can be eye strain. Fortunately, VoiceOver offers much-needed relief.
Instead of reading everything yourself, you can use VoiceOver to use. activate Command + F5 and select the text you want. A friendly robot voice then reads the information provided. VoiceOver is also a great tool for proofreading documents because reading the content aloud will help you spot mistakes.
macOS voice control
Voice control is another nifty tool that increases productivity and provides physical relief. Dictation lets you speak words in a document or application, and with additional spoken instructions, you can quickly work on your work. With the voice control you can protect your wrists and have your hands free for other tasks.
Additionally, you can use spoken commands to perform other functions in macOS and your applications, which can increase productivity. However, if you work in a shared room, it is best to stick to traditional control methods as not everyone will want to hear you chatter on your computer.
To activate voice control, scroll to System settings > Accessibility > Voice control and tick that Activate Crate.
While we can't list all of the major accessibility features here, we mention one more that anyone can use: Zoom. Set your control style in System settings > Accessibility > Zooming, and you have an easy way to enlarge any section of your Mac screen with a quick gesture or keyboard shortcut. Knowing how to use Zoom is a must for every Mac user.
2. Night shift and dark mode for macOS
Since research has shown that blue light affects sleep quality, Apple and other software developers have tried to mitigate the damage with built-in tools. Night Shift and Dark Mode are two examples of this.
macOS night shift
Blue light is the enemy of a good night's sleep, and Night Shift aims to reduce interference by allowing your display to emit light in a warmer spectrum. If you have ever used this feature, you will find that your screen takes on a more yellowish hue.
When using Night Shift, you can set a schedule or automate the feature to enable it at sunset and disable it at sunrise. The automatic setting may be sufficient to sufficiently reduce blue light pickup in later hours. In addition, the warmer color spectrum can help avoid eye strain in low light.
To access your Night Shift settings, navigate to System settings > To sue > Night shift.
macOS dark mode
Dark mode is a bit more controversial. Apple presents this tool as a focus booster rather than a way to reduce blue light or eye strain. As you wander the rabbit hole of dark mode research, you will find inconclusive and contradicting information that makes it difficult to draw a conclusion.
Our advice is to give this tool a try if you want and form your own opinion about the implications. At least the darker style looks good.
To enable dark mode in macOS, do the following:
Navigate to System settings > Generally.
Choose Dark as the Appearance.
3. Use a cooling mat for your MacBook
While software tools can make your Mac experience more comfortable, some situations require a physical solution. Apple's MacBook range consists of many slim but powerful devices, and these devices can generate a lot of heat. Granted, your Mac can handle high temperatures, but your lap can't. Many people refer to them as portable computers rather than laptops for a reason.
If some resource-intensive task is heating up your Mac, a cooling pad can make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Cooling pads are functional, lightweight, and inexpensive on the simpler end of the spectrum. Not only do the accessories keep your Mac off your lap, but extra fans also help keep your device cool, which can extend battery life as less work for your built-in fans means less power is used.
As MacBooks get faster and slimmer, an effective cooling pad is essential.
4. Get a standing desk for your Mac
Nobody would argue that sitting extensively is not healthy for the average person. Unfortunately, many of us cannot avoid long computer use for work or study. Whatever your reason for longer screen time, a standing desk can provide a healthier, more comfortable experience. Even Apple's iMac desktops lack the ability to adjust screen height, which means customizing your setup requires creative solutions.
When buying a standing desk, you have several options. Adjustable standing desks are similar to normal desks, but offer the option of adjusting to a desired height. While portable versions allow you to place them on another flat surface as an add-on. If you want a more versatile and affordable option, this design is worth a look.
Customize macOS to suit your style and needs
Customization is key to a comfortable macOS experience, but you need to understand the tools on offer first. Accessibility features can optimize your workflow and, in certain cases, reduce physical discomfort. Also, features like Night Shift and Dark Mode can alleviate problems caused by blue light. In addition, a cooling pad can help you avoid problems caused by a hot MacBook, and a standing desk is the ideal solution for long periods of sitting.
Overall, macOS is a versatile operating system that you can customize for convenience and productivity.
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About the author
(21 articles published)
Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes to one day write a well-published novel.
By Matt Moore
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