macOS Features – CompTIA A+ 220-1002 – 1.9

There are many macOS features that you’ll use on a daily basis. In this video, you’ll learn about Keychain, Spotlight, iCloud, and other useful macOS features.

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If you’re like me, you run a lot of applications at the same time on your desktop. In MacOS, one way that you could view all of these applications is using Mission Control. This is a way to quickly view everything that happens to be running. It creates a single view that spreads all of the applications so that you can see all of them at the same time.

To start Mission Control from your desktop, you would swipe upward with three fingers or hold down the Control key and press the up arrow. Not only are you able to view this spread out view of your applications, but you can also move those applications to completely different desktops. This is called Spaces, and it’s a feature that’s right at the top of the Mission Control window. You can drag and drop applications into multiple desktops. You can add desktops and remove desktops, and it makes it very easy to separate what you’re doing into separate logical desktops on your screen.

Here’s my desktop. If I hit Control up arrow, it separates out all of the different applications. I can drill down into a particular application or hit control up arrow and drill back. If I want to create a new space, I can go the top of the screen, and there are multiple desktops here. And I can add or remove different desktops from this view. If I’d like to place one of these applications inside of a separate desktop, I can then move it to that desktop and now that’s the only application running in that particular view. If I switch back to the other desktop, I still have all the applications still running in that view.

MacOS includes a centralized password management utility called Keychain. All the passwords you save on website, certificates from your browser, and other important information is saved in this Keychain. This is integrated into the operating system, which means any of the applications running on your computer can take advantage of the stored and secure passwords in your Keychain. Everything that’s in your Keychain is encrypted with 3DES, which means that you have to have the right password to be able to access this information. And by default, MacOS uses your log in password to encrypt everything that’s in the Keychain.

MacOS includes a search utility built into the operating system called Spotlight. From Spotlight you’re able to search for anything in any document. You can simply click the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand part of your screen or hold down the Command key, press Space, and then begin typing in exactly what you’re looking for. You can customize exactly what appears in that Spotlight search under System Preferences and Spotlight. This will show a list of categories, and you can enable or disable those categories from the Spotlight search.

iCloud is Apple’s cloud-based service that allows you to integrate MacOS and iOS devices into one single cloud-based service. This allows you to share information between these different operating systems so you can add a calendar entry on your phone and then come back to your desktop and see that the calendar entry has been updated there as well. This allows you to share documents or contact information and synchronize everything between those two different platforms. This also allows you to backup iOS devices, so your iPhone or your iPad can have all of that content stored in iCloud. iCloud is integrated into MacOS. So as you’re creating documents in your MacOS desktop, that information is also stored in iCloud.

The Gestures feature inside of MacOS allows you to extend the capabilities of a trackpad. Instead of using a single finger and clicking on a trackpad, you can use one, two, or even three fingers in different ways to control what happens with your operating system. You can enable, disable, or customize these gestures under System Preferences, Trackpad.

In Windows, you have the Windows Explorer or the File Explorer. In MacOS, you have the Finder. The Finder is the centralized file management system for the OS and allows you to launch applications, modify files, or change file names. There are other features integrated into Finder. You can find all of your file servers and other devices on the left-hand part of the screen, or you can click on the name of a device and connect to that device using screen sharing.

As you’ve probably seen, it’s becoming less common for new computers to include a DVD-ROM player inside of the device. Fortunately in MacOS, if one device does have a DVD-ROM reader, you can configure the operating system to share that one DVD-ROM with anybody else on the network. This is a feature called Remote Disk. It’s a way that you can transfer files from some of those DVD-ROMs to any other system on the network. It’s important to note that this does not work with audio CDs or video DVDs. It’s really designed for the transfer of data.

If your computer is the one with the DVD-ROM drive, you would go into the System Preferences under the Sharing option, and inside that view would be DVD or CD sharing. And from there, you can enable or disable the Remote Disk functionality. You can also decide to choose Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive so that you have some control over who connects to this optical drive. This Remote Disk feature is integrated into the Finder. So if you click Remote Disk in the left-hand sidebar, you’ll see all of the available remote disks on your network.

In MacOS, there is a dock that is by default at the bottom of the screen that shows applications that are commonly used, and you can launch applications from this view and see which applications may be running. Any application that has a dot underneath it is an application that’s currently active in the operating system. You can keep folders in this dock so you’ll have quick access to the folders that you commonly use, and you can move the dock to different parts of the screen or have the dock automatically hide when you’re not using it.

You may run into situations where the application you need to use runs exclusively in Windows. In those situations, you can take advantage of Boot Camp. Boot Camp allows you to dual-boot your MacOS operating system so that you’re able to boot into MacOS or boot into Windows. The underlying architecture on Apple’s computers is based on Intel, which is very similar to many computers that are also running Windows.

This makes it very easy to be able to move back and forth between one operating system and another. But you do have to have specialized device drivers that understand the Apple hardware. The Boot Camp Assistant will build out a partition for Windows and then ensure that you have all of the correct device drivers to be able to run Windows on this Apple hardware.