Archive for September 2012

Video Tutorial – Changing Your Mac User Account Password

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

This may seem like a simple task to some people but many Mac users actually don't know where to go if they want to change their user account password, or even how to set a password if they don't have one.

Welcome to our first online Video Tutorial for Mac users!  Today, I'm not going to describe to you how to carry out this task.  I'm going to show you.  Just click on the link below and see for yourself!

Change Your Mac User Account Password - Video Tutorial

Feedback is always good, so please feel free to leave your comments below.

CMD-TAB: Switch Quickly Between Apps in Mac OS X

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Most of us often have many Mac apps open at the same time, flicking from one to the other as we need to do different things.  In reality, many of us don't even close our apps once we're done with them.  We leave them open for quick access should be need them again. There's no real problem with doing this nowadays, since the hardware is generally fast and memory is readily available.

There are various ways to switch from one app to another, like clicking one of the windows belonging to that app, using exposé, clicking the app's icon in the dock and so on.  However, there is another way.  Many people probably don't know about this one and it's really, really useful.

At any time, you can press and hold the CMD key and while still holding the CMD key, simultaneously press the TAB key once.  You will see a new menu appear in the middle of the screen, which looks a bit like the dock, but this menu shows you all the open apps.  As long as you keep pressing the CMD key, this menu will stay on-screen.

To move from one app to the next, just keep tapping the TAB key.  When you get to the app you want, release the CMD key and that app will come to the front.

This feature also has another nice benefit, which is that you can actually issue commands to the apps while using CMD-TAB.  For example, if you want to quit various apps quickly, you can hold the CMD key and press the TAB key until you reach the first app that you want to close.  While still holding the CMD key, simple press the "Q" key.  This will ask the currently selected app to quit.  You can then, while still holding the CMD key, use the TAB key to move to the next app.  Again, press "Q".  If you repeat this a few times, you will see what a powerful way it is to close multiple apps in just a few keystrokes!

iOS6 is here

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips, News Articles.

Apple have released the latest version of their mobile operating system iOS 6.  

It claims to have a much improved Maps interface which now has the appearance of a SatNav and not of a simple maps application.  Siri has been improved and expanded to allow opening of apps and instant posting to Facebook from many parts of the iOS.

Facetime is now available over cellular networks making it a great choice for on the go communication.  New Phone features include the ability to hang up and send a message to the caller (via SMS) with either a default message or a custom message of your own.

The Mail app has been redesigned and Safari now has iCloud integration.  The camera now has the possibility to take a panoramic photo which looks very interesting!

All in all there do seem to be some very nice new features in this version, I'll be keen to update and see it for myself!

iPhone 5 Pre-orders Smash Records

Posted by on in News Articles.

The iPhone 5, which features a bigger screen, faster chip and a lighter body, sold 2 million units in first-day orders, more than double a record set by the previous model, Apple said.

Since its 2007 debut, the device has become Apple's top-selling product, accounting for about two-thirds of profit. Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the biggest company in the world by market capitalization last year after overtaking Microsoft as the most valuable technology provider in 2010.

"It leaves me in awe," said Rex Ishibashi, chief executive officer of Callaway Digital Arts, which develops games for the iPhone. "It's reflective of how important these devices and these digital technologies have become in our lives."

Before his death in October, co-founder Steve Jobs mastered a strategy of pushing Apple beyond its core business of selling computers into new markets, including digital music and mobile phones.

a2z Conversions App – Way cool!

Posted by on in Coolest Apps, iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

One app that I use on a very regular basis is the a2z Conversions app from Western ITS Limited.  It's very easy to use and converts so many things......

a2z ConversionsYou can convert all sorts of things, such as distance, speed, pressure, area, energy, length, angles, temperature and even currency!

You simple choose the type of thing you want to convert, then select the units that you want to start with and the number of units you have.  You can then see those units converted to all the other types available.  For example, you can choose Currency as the type of conversion you want to do, then choose the starting currency, say Euro for example.  Entering 10 into the quantity box will show you how 10 euro converts to all the other available currencies.  These are updated live.

Equally, you could choose Distance as the type of conversion, choose Kilometers as the unit and enter 10 as the value to convert.  You can then see the results in miles, meters etc.  It's an incredibly useful tool and best of all - it's free!

Making Folders in iOS

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

You know all those pages and pages of icons you've got on your iPhone or iPad?  Well, you can tidy them up if you wish.  Organise them into folders and save yourself some flipping of pages!

iOS FolderTo make a new folder, simply go into Edit Mode by holding your finger on one of the icons on the home screen until they all start to jiggle.  This mode allows you to move your icons around, delete them, or organise them into Folders.

Once you are in Edit mode, you hold your finger on one of the icons, then drag it on top of another one.  You will see the border thickens to show you that a folder will be created.  When you take your finger off the icon, a folder is created with a suggested name for this group of icons.  A grey border indicates that this is a folder and the name of the folder is show beneath.

iOS Folder OpenIf you click once on the folder icon, it will open and display its contents, using a cool sliding movement.  You can also have folders inside folders if you wish.

When the folder is open as can be seen in this image, you can click on its name to change it.  Click anywhere on the home screen background and the folder will close, revealing once again you home screen.

A folder will usually store 12 apps so you can significantly reduce your space and organise your experience.  Folders also display badges to alert you to items that need updating or that have sent you notifications.

To extract an icon from a folder, simple open the folder that contains it and drag the icon back onto the Home screen background.  The item will then move out of the folder and back to the Home screen.

New Apple iPhone 5 Announced

Posted by on in News Articles.

iPhone5Apple have finally announced the new iPhone 5 at a substantial press event in the US.  The new phone is slimmer and weighs less than its predecessors, with a large (4") screen effectively permitting the display of 5 rows of icons plus the dock (the previous models could only display 4 rows of icons.)  The iPhone 5 has the new, faster A6 chip, it supports 4G which is the new mobile data network and will apparently be able to provide substantially better battery life, even when using 4G to surf the web.  The headphone jack has been relocated to the bottom of the phone and the dock connector has been replaced with a smaller version (adaptors will be available to use your old cable and accessories!)

Users will reportedly now be able to use Siri to post to Facebook using their voice, but aside from that there does not seem to be any major technological advances in this phone and I personally think it will leave users a little disappointed.  Until I actually get to use one for myself, it's hard to say, but at first glance I think I'll be sticking with my 4S for now.  One interesting point however is that the prices for the new phones seem to have dropped dramatically.  It looks like the basic model may enter the market for as little as $199 (around £123 or €155) which will certainly hot up the competition on sales!  The phones are due to be on sale in the US and the UK from September 21st.

Useful Apps – TomTom

Posted by on in Coolest Apps, iPad Tips, iPhone Tips.

I have to say the TomTom is probably one of my most used apps when I'm on the road.  I've had a TomTom device before, a physical SatNav that I put in the car.  I believe it was a TomTom One.  What a load of rubbish that was!  I couldn't use the touch-screen as it was too hard to press and too easy to hit the wrong button.  I always ended up cancelling what I was doing by mistake.  Very frustrating.  Then, to add insult to injury, the TomTom would take up to 15 minutes to find the satellites if I hadn't connected it to a computer within the pervious 7 days.  All of this really put me off the TomTom - until I eventually installed it on my iPhone.

TomTomSuddenly, a game changer.  The iPhone picked up the satellites instantly, with hardly a blink, the very first time I opened the app.  It was very simple to use thanks to the amazing iPhone touchscreen and in fact the interface was much more user friendly.  I popped in a destination and off I went.  It was amazingly accurate and took me to my destination without delay.  From that day forward, I've had no complaints, other than a few map details that could be corrected.  The TomTom has been my faithful companion, always getting me where I need to go, or even just showing me where I am!

Something that's worth considering if you are a new TomTom user is this - I never really bothered to add locations to my favourites if they were places that I clearly knew how to get to.  What was the point?  Well, as it turns out, sometimes it can be very useful.  Let's say there's a place that you go fairly often and you usually go there from the same area, so you know where to go.  But what if you are somewhere completely different, say the other side of the city, the side you don't know so well, and you need to get to that location.  All you have to do is tell your TomTom to go there and it will guide you through the unknown areas like a dream.  I'm not saying add every single place to your favourites, clearly there is no need, but on occasion you'll find it useful to have those local places bookmarked!

Quickly Preview Files in Mac OS X

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Mac OS X has a fabulous feature built-in for previewing files.  It's so easy to use it's ridiculous 🙂  In the Finder, locate any file that you want to preview.  Click it once and press the Spacebar.  This is known as QuickLook and it will instantly open a window in which you can see a preview of the contents of the document.

This feature has now also been integrated into the Preview pane which appears when you select a file in the Finder.  For any supported file, which is most files such as images, movies, Word documents, Pages documents, PDFs etc., a preview will appear in which you can either flick through the pages of a document using the arrows provided, or even watch a movie file by pressing the play button.

QuickLook Preview

This allows you to quickly check if it's the document you're looking for, or watch a quick clip from a movie to be sure it's what you want.  It's very clever and very fast, hence the name QuickLook...