How to Enable COVID-19 Exposure Notifications on iPhone

Apple and Google have joined forces to help governments and health authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They have released the first version of their exposure notification software for both iOS and Android devices. The State of Colorado just announced their participation today, Sunday October 25, 2020.

The tech giants want to assist developers who’re working for health authorities in creating apps that can alert users if they’ve been in contact with an infected person. This is made possible by using Bluetooth to securely share your random ID with nearby devices. These IDs are then deleted after 14 days, which is the above-average incubation period for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to opt-in to this anonymous logging and notification system (we recommend that you do). This article will show you how to enable COVID-19 exposure logging and notifications on your iPhone.

How to Enable COVID-19 Exposure Logging & Notifications on iPhone

This feature is only available to iPhones with iOS 13.5 and later; earlier phones will not have this functionality. Note that availability depends on many factors including regional support. Go to Settings > Exposure Notifications > United States > Colorado (or your country/state).

Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad

Once enabled, public health agencies can quickly inform users if they’ve been in contact with an infected person. With this, they can determine how long the users were in proximity and the approximate distance between their devices using Bluetooth signal strength.

Not all states, countries, and health authorities are using this yet. Here is a page with a current listing of all participating countries.

If you wish to learn more about this feature, the State of Colorado has a very informative page here. This page also includes instructions for enabling this functionality on Android devices. Apple and Google have created an excellent explainer video, viewable here. You can also learn more in general about what Apple is doing regarding COVID-19 on their COVID-19 page.

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Can I Do Dictation on My Mac? Yes!

Most everyone is familiar with how to do dictation on an iPhone by activating the microphone within the keyboard and/or using Siri. This has your phone interpret your speech and turn that into text, as if typing on the keyboard. But did you know you can do the same thing with your Mac? It’s true! Apple has continued to improve upon this service over the years. Any Mac with OS X from Mojave 10.14 and beyond, has the ability to do dictation with high accuracy.

Whether you are composing an email, sending a message through iMessage, or writing a long Word document, your Mac can take dictation for you – no typing required.

Set up your Mac to Listen

  1. Under the Apple menu, open System Preferences.
  2. Select “Keyboard” and when that opens, click on the “Dictation” tab on the right.
  3. For the “Dictation” radio button, turn that to “On.”
  4. On the left, select “Internal Microphone” or other preferred mic. You will see the microphone animation responding to the ambient sound.

To get started, open your email, Word document, or iMessage window and place your cursor where you want to begin. Press the Function or “fn” key in the lower left-hand corner of your keyboard twice in a row. A small window with a microphone will appear and will indicate that your Mac is now listening and waiting to dictate your speaking.

Similar to Siri or dictation on the iPhone, you will need to speak your punctuation as well, such as saying “period” or “question mark” at the end of a sentence. Fortunately, Apple put together a handy list of Commands for Dictating Text on Mac.

When you are finished, either press the Done button text just below the microphone icon, or press the function or “fn” key once to have your Mac stop listening.

The quieter your surrounding environment can be, the more accurate your Mac’s dictation will be.

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How to Clear Your Mac’s Browser Cache

Fast Browsers

Your browser cache is responsible for storing the data of previously viewed websites. While the purpose behind the cache is for quicker loading times of the sites you visit, it can work against you over time.

Clearing your cache might not be completely necessary, nor need to be done often. However, clearing your browser’s cache can prove helpful for several reasons. Mostly, purging the stored data in your cache automatically forces your browser to seek and retrieve the most recent webpage elements instead of recycling the same old components, whether they’re up-to-date with the developer’s standards or not.

Why should I clear my cache?

Not only can it slow down your browser, but it makes your private info more vulnerable to breaches. Furthermore, resetting your cache will potentially help in the event of 404, 502, and other errors that may possibly result from a corrupt cache, and clear any private data you have stored in the form of login IDs, passwords, and additional sensitive information you’d rather not save on your machine. It’s also a simple trick you can employ to shed any unnecessary data, which could slow down your browser.

Clearing the Cache in Safari

Step 1: Open settings — Launch Safari, click Safari in the upper-left corner of the main menu bar, and select the Preferences option near the top of the drop-down menu. Then click the Advanced tab located in the top navigation bar and check the box directly on the bottom that says Show Develop menu in menu bar. This will add a new menu to Safari by default.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Develop menu near the middle of the main Safari menu bar and select the Empty Caches option.

Clearing the Cache in Firefox

Step 1: Open settings — Open Mozilla Firefox, click the button with three bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window and select Options from the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Privacy and Security tab located on the right side of the navigation bar and head to the Cookies and Site Data section underneath. Click the button labeled Clear Data. You’ll want to make sure that the option for Cached Web Content is checked, and then press Clear. You can also check the box next to Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed to do so automatically when you close the browser.

Clear the Cache in Google Chrome

Step 1: Launch Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu icon represented by three horizontal bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window, and click Settings near the bottom of the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Then, click the link for Privacy and Security in the left sidebar. You’ll then want to click that and look for the Clear browsing data option. Click it, and make sure the box for cached images and files is checked. You can uncheck the other boxes for browsing history or cookies and other site data if you only want to clear the cache.

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