We hope all of you had an excellent start to 2023. As always, you will be looking forward to being productive and fruitful this year. And things are supposed to be easier when you have invested in the Apple ecosystem. On the hardware and software side, devices like Mac, iPad, and iPhone offer you definitive advantages.
But you should know how to make the best use of these integrations. So we thought we would do a quick guide on preparing your Apple ecosystem for 2023—if you still have not. This will contain a few steps to help you get the maximum productivity out of your Apple ecosystem setup.
RELATED: 30 Mac apps to Make 2023 Your Best Year Ever
#1 Update iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
This point may sound like a no-brainer if you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem. But if you missed any of the recent software updates, you should update your devices to the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Given below are the latest versions of each of these software platforms:
- iOS 16.2
- iPadOS 16.2
- macOS 13.1
- tvOS 16.2
- watchOS 9.2
Why? One, updating the latest software version ensures that your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch are safe from security threats. You can also enjoy additional privacy features that Apple offers, but this varies according to the region. Two, your devices should be running the latest version if you want to use all the productive features from Apple, especially for integration.
For instance, features like Sidecar—which lets you use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse to control the iPad—do not work if your devices do not run the latest version. You may also have trouble with Universal Control and Continuity Camera, which we think is one of the best integration features from Apple yet. So, if you want a seamless way to enjoy these benefits, enabling automatic software updates on your Apple devices is great.
#2 Install (New) Essential Apps
Merely updating your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to the latest Apple software is not adequate when you need maximum productivity. You should also install and use the essential apps from Apple. It will ensure you can benefit from features like cross-device synchronization and Handoff. To begin with, you must try these apps:
- Freeform: a collaborative whiteboard app that lets you draw, brainstorm, and sync content between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac
- Apple Calendar: This native Calendar app lets you connect a variety of calendar services and sync all information between devices
- Safari: Even though Handoff works with many popular web browsers, you may consider using Safari if you want all the syncing-based options
In addition, you should start using features like Universal Clipboard if you still have not. One nice thing about Universal Clipboard is that you can find third-party apps that support Universal Clipboard. So, if you need a clipboard manager, you should consider something like Paste.
You should also remember that these official apps from Apple offer maximum security. Since everything is done through Apple’s secure servers, you can stay safe from threats affecting third-party vendors. So you will not have to worry about something like the LastPass data breach.
#3 Clean and Optimize Your Mac
You’d be wrong if you think Mac devices cannot become slow. As we have understood from experience, all Macs generate temporary/junk files, residual files, and other elements slowing down the system. So, if you do not clean your Mac regularly, New Year means you have an opportunity to clean and optimize your Mac.
You can go about cleaning and optimizing your Mac in two ways.
One is the manual option.
In this case, you have to manually remove junk/temporary files from your Mac, uninstall unwanted or unused apps, and optimize the performance. Of course, you can do it, but it will consume a lot of time. You also have a higher chance of deleting something important—like system files or configuration logs.
It’s why the automatic option is more fun.
As you can guess, our recommended choice is to use CleanMyMac X. This powerful cleaning and optimization utility can help you eliminate junk files, scan your Mac for security threats, uninstall apps, delete files, etc. It can also help you revive your Mac, especially if you have an older Mac. In addition, you should consider using the app to free up space on your Mac before upgrading or getting a portable SSD.
#4 Free Up Space, Transfer Files
Limited storage space on your iPad, iPhone or Mac can hinder productivity. So before upgrading your Mac, you can try a few things to free up space. And there is an easy solution if you own an iPhone or iPad. Here is how it goes:
If your iPhone or iPad has more storage space, you should consider moving files from your Mac to your iPad or iPhone. You can use AirDrop or a USB/Lightning cable to transfer data. In addition, some third-party management apps help you sync data between your Mac and iPhone using a local WiFi network. Of course, this method has its good share of advantages. Most importantly, you do not have to spend money on iCloud storage.
You can use this method the other way if you have trouble finding free space on your iPhone or iPad. You can transfer not-so-frequently-used files to your Mac or a connected storage drive. Thus, your iPhone/iPad will have enough space for performance and processing.
#5 Use Stage Manager (Or Alternatives)
At this point, we have to assume that you have heard about Stage Manager. This feature allows you to manage multiple apps and windows on your Mac and iPad better. Therefore, if you have an M1-based Mac or iPad, make sure you turn on the feature. You can do it from the Control Center interface.
But, hear us out. Stage Manager is not perfect; not everyone may find it as useful as others.
So, if you need a more intuitive tool for window management on your Mac, you can consider alternatives. A personal favorite of ours is OneMenu, which is light but makes window management better than ever. You can also find additional window management apps like Mosaic and Magnet.
We understand this is not the end of productivity tips for your Apple ecosystem. If anything, it is just a point of jumpstart. But you should see whether the tips and the recommended apps will help you get a smoother iPhone, iPad, and Mac experience.