Archive for February 2013

Changing the language on your Mac

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Unlike Windows, it is very easy to change the language on your Mac.  If you prefer to use your Mac in a language other than English, you should go to the Apple Menu, select System Preferences and then locate the Language & Text  panel.

languagesIn the first tab, which is marked "Languages", you will see a list of the available languages on your system.  Simply drag the languages into the order that you prefer, putting the language that you want to be the main language for your system at the top of the list.

You can also use the "Region" tab to set your region, so for example if you wanted the language to be Spanish but the Region to be UK, using the standard UK layout for times, decimal points and currencies, you would select United Kingdom from the Region tab.

Now all you have to do is logout of your account and log back in again, or restart your Mac if you prefer, and the language will have changed just like that!  The beautiful thing about Mac apps is that the majority of them also change language according to the system language that you've set, so you most likely will now find all your apps in that language too!

Sync Gmail Contacts with your iDevice

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

add_gmailMost people can probably work out for themselves how to set up their Gmail account on their iPhone, iPad or iTouch.  It's fairly straight-forward and to be honest the iOS does most of the work for you.  Going about it the easy way will allow you to sync you Mail, Calendars and Notes.  That's great!

However, something is missing from this picture.  Did you notice that you don't have any option here to sync your Gmail contacts?  So what do you do?  The answer is, you go about it a different way.

When you go to Settings and choose Mail, Contacts & Calendars, you get an option to add a new account.  Immediately you are presented with a list of possible options, one of which is Gmail.  It would seem logical to select Gmail, as you are trying to add a Gmail account.  And yes, that would be the normal procedure.  However, Gmail can also be added an a Microsoft Exchange account - and that's where you get the extra features.

add_exchangeSo, by selecting Microsoft Exchange as shown in this image, you can add your Gmail account as an Exchange account and get access to contact syncing.  The thing is, you need to know a couple of extra settings to do that and that's a bit tricky if you don't know where to look.  So here they are:

Email: put in your gmail address
Domain: you can leave this blank
Username: put in your email address again
Password: enter your gmail password
Description: enter something like "Gmail"

Now here's the trick.  When you press the Next button, a new field will appear called Server.  In this field, you need to enter "" (without the quotation marks).  Then press the Next button.

Voila!  You can now enable contact syncing on the as well as Mail and Calendars.  If you now go to your Contacts app you will see your contacts starting to appear.  They will continuing appearing until the sync is complete and you have all your contacts!


Multiple Keyboard & Languages including Emoticons

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

ios_keyboardsUsing multiple keyboards and languages on your iDevice is actually very easy.  First, you need to set up the keyboard that you want to use.  For example, if you regularly write in both English and Spanish on your iDevice, you would be well advised to set up both keyboards and the use the quick access tip below to use the relevant keyboard and language whenever you need to.

To set up your keyboards, go to Settings -> General -> International -> Keyboards.   To add a new keyboard layout, press the Add New Keyboard... button and select the language you want, for example Spanish.  There is also a special keyboard layout in there called Emoji.  This special keyboard layout allows you to use emoticons in your messages (like smiley faces and so on).  You might as well enable that one too!

Once you have your new keyboards enabled, all you have to do is use them!  So, go to any app that allows you to type.  Messages for example, or Whatsapp, Mail or even Notes.  Tap in the text field where you want to type and your keyboard will appear.  Now here's the tip:

ios_keyboardLook at the bottom of the keyboard, where the spacebar is.  Usually, when using the English keyboard, this has the word "space" written on it, in English of course.  To the left of this, you will see another icon that looks like a little globe.  This is the keyboard selector icon.  Press this once to toggle to the next keyboard, or hold your finger on it to choose the keyboard you want.

If you choose Spanish for example, the space bar will now have the word "espacio" written on it.  This is a great indicator as to which keyboard you currently have selected.  Now, the important thing to know is that having a different keyboard does more than just give you access to symbols that relate to that language.  It also enables the Dictionary for that language.  So, when you are typing with the Spanish keyboard enabled, the spell checker will actually be looking for Spanish, not English.  As soon as you change back to the English keyboard, your spell checker will automatically be looking for English!  Very, very cool.

emojiFinally, to use emoticons in your messages, you simply change to the Emoji Keyboard when you want to insert an emoticon.  Press and hold your finger on the globe icon, choose Emoji and you will straight away see a load of emoticons that you can choose from.  There are more options for emoticons available by clicking the different icons at the bottom of the screen.  Have fun!