Archive for January 2013

Quick Access Shortcut from Lock Screen

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

notification-center-lockscreenWhen your iDevice is locked and you receive a call, text message, Whatsapp, Facebook update or most other kinds of updates, you will usually receive a notification on your lock screen (depending on your Notification settings of course).

There's a super little shortcut to allow you to go directly to the item you want, instead of having to slide to unlock, then enter your passcode (if relevant), then find the app you need in order to view the message.

Simply swipe the item itself, i.e. swipe on the message instead of the "swipe here to unlock" bar at the bottom.  Swiping the message or item you want will have the same effect as swiping on the bar at the bottom, but it will take you directly to that message or item once the phone is unlocked!


Saving photos from the Web on your iDevice

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

Now here's a really cool tip that many people don't know about and almost all of you will surely have wanted to do!

You're surfing the net, doing some research for a new sofa, or some nice house designs.  Maybe even just looking through some friends photos or an interesting news article or blog post!  You see a photo that you really, really like and you want to save it to show someone later, or just for yourself.  So can you do it and if so, how?

In fact you can.  It's very simple.  Hold your finger on the image for a second or two, then lift your finger and a context menu will appear.  In that menu, you will see an option to Save Image  or Copy.  Just hit the Save Image button.

"Ah yes!" you say, but it doesn't work!  Oh yes it does.  Have a look in your Camera Roll in the Photos app.  It saves the photo or image there for easy access later on, like as if you had taken it yourself 🙂  Clever or what?

Problems with Mac Mail 6.2 in Mountain Lion

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Ever since I've updated to the latest Mac Mail program, I'm having nothing but problems with sending mail.  In the outgoing server list, when you disable SSL it simply re-selects itself.  You can't turn it off.  This creates significant problems as there are no SSL certificates installed for the mail server.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Any solutions?  I've tried pretty much everything and still the same.  Others I know are starting to have similar problems.  There have been Mac OS X updates since and no fix for this problem as yet.  It's not cool.

Selecting A Startup Volume in Mac OS X

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Sometimes you will want to start up your Mac from a volume (hard disk, CD/DVD, pen drive etc.) which is different to the one you usually use.  The Mac is configured to start from the internal hard disk by default, so how do you tell it to start from somewhere else?

startup-diskThere are a couple of ways to do it.  If your Mac is starting normally, you can simply go to the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.  Then, look for the Startup Disk panel.  This panel will show you all the disks that you have available to startup from.  Select the disk you want, then click the Restart button.  The Mac will restart and it will attempt to boot up from the disk you've selected.

If your Mac is not able to start normally and you therefore can't get to the Startup Disk panel, you can use the other method.  First, switch off the Mac.  Then, make sure you have connected the disk you want to start up from.  (If it's a DVD, you will have to quickly slip the DVD into the drive immediately after pressing the power button.)

bootNext, you need to hold down the Option Key on the keyboard.  Sometimes it's labelled as Alt.  Keep holding down this key while you switch on the Mac and keep holding it until you see the Boot Volume Selection Screen.  This screen will show you all the available volumes that you can use to boot, much like the Startup Disk panel.  Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select which volume to boot from, then press the Enter key or click the arrow to start booting!

This is the same procedure that you should use if you need to boot from the hidden Recovery Partition on your Mac.  Booting from the Recovery Partition will allow you to run tests on your disk and perform other disk related actions, as well as providing the facility to completely re-install your copy of Mac OS X if that's what you need to do.

Live Streaming In Your Home – AppleTV & More

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

It was quite a while before I actually got to try an AppleTV and I hadn't had much time to even look at what it was.  One day a friend gave me one that he was having trouble with and told me to hang on to it and have a play if I wanted.  Well, as a matter of fact, I did want.  Unfortunately, I forgot about it for a whole year before I finally took it out of the box! I was glad I did. apple_tvAside from anything that you might hear about the jailbroken versions, the AppleTV itself is actually an amazing device, if you use it right.  You've got YouTube and NetFlix right there, as well as the Apple Store where you can rent movies and the lot.  That's all wonderful stuff, but then you've got Airplay.  Playing what's on your iPhone, iPod or iPad, even your laptop, directly to the AppleTV and onto your lovely plasma TV.  That too is wonderful, but you have to have the content on your device to be able to play it to the TV.  Getting it on there can sometimes be a time-consuming task and you usually have to convert the content to a specific format like .mp4 before you can put it on there anyway!  That's not so wonderful. servetome-largeEnter ServeToMe and its fantastic counterpart StreamToMe.  Download ServeToMe for your Mac (or PC), in my case I have a Mac Mini in my home office with lots of storage space.  So I installed ServeToMe and in a couple of seconds I had a folder shared for streaming.  I threw a few of my movies in there in various formats from .avi to .mp4 and .mkv. streamtomeNext, straight over to the iPad.  Now I didn't need to convert anything to any specific format, nor download it to the iPad.  All I needed to do was download StreamToMe from the App Store and bam!  Straight away I see my shared folder on my Mac Mini.  Select any movie, any format and it plays on the iPad immediately!  But that's not the best part -- it even supports AirPlay so I can send it straight to the AppleTV and onto the plasma!  So now, all my media is stored on and streamed from the Mac Mini.  It doesn't matter if my iPad is 16gb or 64gb, I never download the media to it anyway.  And I get to watch it all on my lovely plasma TV in the comfort of my own sofa. Just for the fun of it, I thought I'd open a port on the router and see if I could stream the movies over the net straight from my Mac.  From another country, I was able to stream my media straight to my iPhone and iPad.  It's amazing stuff, it works really well and ServeToMe is absolutely free!  You only have to pay for the StreamToMe app on the iDevice of your choice.  It costs less than €3.  Best €3 I ever spent, by a mile !

How To Restore Your iPhone/iPad/iTouch

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

Sometimes you'll need to restore your iDevice.  There's no two ways about it.  There are many reasons why and many situations that have no other solution.  For example, in my previous post I discussed a situation where you could find your iDevice disabled but with such a long wait time until your next try at entering the passcode that you would possibly be dead before it would give you that chance!

So without going into all the possible reasons why you might need to restore your device, here are the ways to actually do it.  Please be aware that restoring your iDevice will remove ALL your data including contacts, calendars, photos etc. So make sure you have a backup before doing so, if you can.

itunes_restoreThe first option (and the most straight forward) is to restore directly from iTunes.  Simply open iTunes and connect your iDevice so that it appears in iTunes. Click the iDevice to select it.  You will see options to Update if there is a new version of software available, or to Restore to completely restore it to factory settings.  Restoring your device through iTunes will remove all your data and will also update the device to the latest version of the iOS software.  Just click the Restore button and follow the instructions.  If there is a new version of the iOS software available, iTunes will download it before restoring.  Once the restore completes, you will be left with, for all intents and purposes, a new iDevice.  This is perfect if you are selling your iDevice and want it to be like brand new for the new user.

So what happens if you can't get access to your device in iTunes?  For example, if you have the aforementioned problem where the iPhone is disabled, or perhaps it is locked with a passcode that you don't remember?  There is a solution for that and it's pretty straight forward too.

connect_to_itunesFirst, switch off your iDevice.  If you can't switch it off for some reason, hold the Power button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds.  This will force the device to reset itself.  The important thing at this stage is that the device must not be connected to the computer using the USB cable.  You must start with the device switched off and not connected to anything.

Once you have the device switched off, simply hold the Home Button (the round button at the bottom of the screen) and at the same time connect the USB-Dock cable to connect the device to the computer.  Don't let go of the home button! You need to continue holding the home button until the Connect To iTunes logo appears on the screen.   At this stage, when you open iTunes, you will see a message saying that iTunes has detected a device in Recovery Mode.  The only option you will have is the Restore option, which is exactly what you want.

Once again, clicking the Restore button will remove all your data and will update the device to the latest version of the iOS software.  If you had a backup of the device, you will be able to use that to Restore From Backup in iTunes once the restore process completes.  Restore from Backup in iTunes is a different process, which restores your own data from an iTunes backup and is not to be confused with the Restore option which restores the actual software of the iDevice.

If your iDevice is disabled for 22 million minutes, you need to use this method instead.

iPhone is disabled try again in 22 million minutes

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

ipod_disabledThis seems to be quite a common occurrence, although I have only seen it recently myself for the first time.  It seems bizarre, right?  How can one possibly wait 22 million minutes to try again?  Well, this is somewhat of a glitch in the iOS software.  This is what's happening:

If you have a passcode set on your iDevice, the device will be disabled for a short time if the passcode is entered too many times incorrectly.  This is a security feature, to stop someone from trying passcodes over and over until they finally (maybe) hit the right one.   After entering the passcode incorrectly a number of times, you will have to wait 1 minute before trying again.  Then, maybe 2 minutes the next time.  Then 5 minutes, then an hour and so on.

The reason the message appears which says that your iPhone is disabled try again in 22 million minutes  is because the above mentioned passcode delay has been triggered by someone entering the passcode too many times and the phone has stored a date and time after which you can try to enter more passcodes.  However, before that date and time has been reached, something has caused the iDevice's internal clock to reset to its factory setting.  In this case, January 1st 1970.  If you calculate the number of minutes displayed in terms of years, months, days, hours and minutes, you'll find that it always takes you to the same date.  The factory default date for the iDevice.  January 1st, 1970.  This is the same date that appears when you switch on an iDevice after changing (or disconnecting) the internal battery.  It has no way to remember what date and time it was, so it reverts to its default.

This leaves you in a bit of a mess, because no one wants to wait 40 odd years to be able to re-activate their iDevice.  One way to achieve this is to connect it to the iTunes, but it has to be on the computer that is the "controller" of that iPhone.  That is, the computer that you sync it with.  If you have never synced it, or it was synced with a computer that you don't have access to anymore, you will have to resort to a full restore.  That's fine, except that you will lose all your data.  That means contacts, calendars, photos and videos, SMS messages etc.  Now that can be a bit of a pain and it's a very good reason to always make sure that you back up your iDevice regularly.  To iCloud, or a computer, it doesn't matter - just make sure you do it!

In my next post, I'll be explaining how to go about restoring your iDevice if that's what you need to do.

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You can also contact our Live Support team who can assist you in restoring your iPhone or iPad, however we recommend using our PDF guide first as it's a cheaper and quicker option. If you wish to contact our Live Support team, you can do so by clicking the link below.

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Sending Messages using iMessage or SMS

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

iMessage is a clever messaging system built into your iDevice.  You can use it on Mac OS X, on the iPhone, iPad or iPod.  It sends messages via the internet and Apple's servers directly from one iDevice to another.

imessageIn order to use iMessage, you need to activate it on your device by logging in with your Apple ID.  On the iPhone, you have the possibility to send messages via standard SMS or via iMessage.  The iOS is clever and always tries to send your message via iMessage if it can (if the other person is also using iMessage).  If it can't send the message via iMessage (maybe your internet connection is not working), it will resort to sending it via SMS instead (that's a configurable option).  It's simple and easy and it works.  In most situations that is.


This does have a certain limitation which might not be immediately obvious.  What if the person you are sending the message to does use iMessage but temporarily does not have internet access on their phone.  The message will be sent as an iMessage and will be waiting to be picked up by the receiving party.  However, they are unable to receive it.  The result is - they don't get your message.

So, assuming that you realise this and the reason why (your friend's lack of  internet connectivity on their phone), probably the best thing to do is to turn off iMessage, right?  That way the message will be sent as an SMS instead.  But what about everyone else that you send iMessages to?  You don't want to be turning on and off iMessage every few minutes, so here's a little trick to help you out:

Without having to switch off iMessage, simply create a new message to your friend and send it.  It will send as an iMessage, as expected.  However it will not show as delivered, because your friend hasn't received it.  Now, double tap the message and you will see a context menu appears.  In there, you will find the option to Send As Text Message.  This will immediately send the message as an SMS instead.  The beauty is, all your other iMessage contacts will still receive your iMessages, which is what you want!

For those of you that may not be familiar with iMessage, when it is enabled you will see a different colour scheme used in the Messages app.  Messages with a green bubble have been sent as SMS messages (which cost you money).  Messages that have a blue bubble have been sent as iMessage messages via the internet.  This helps you to easily determine at a glance which messages went as an SMS and which as an iMessage.