Tips, Tricks & News Articles

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.


Tip: Removing Items from the Dock

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

A little tip for removing items from the dock which is usually located at the bottom of your Mac screen.  In the past, you simply had to drag the icon out of the dock and let go of the mouse button, upon which you would hear a little 'puff' sound and the icon would disappear.

In Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion), this still works but it's slightly different and I must admit it caught me out a little at the start.  I was dragging the icon out of the dock and releasing the mouse button, but the icon would not disappear, it would simply jump back into the dock.

It turns out that you now have to move the icon a bit further away from the dock first and then wait a second before the little 'puff of smoke' icon appears.  As soon as it appears, you can release the mouse button and the icon will disappear.  If you don't do this, the icon will jump back into the dock.

At first I thought this was some kind of glitch or bug, but having looked more closely I know realise that this is intended to avoid accidentally removing icons from the dock, which actually was quite easy to do before.  The problem was, it wasn't quite so easy to know which icon you had accidentally removed!

The New Mac Mini – Rocks!

Posted by on in Mac Tips, News Articles.

So just a few days ago I've taken delivery of my new Mac Mini.  My old Mac was just running too slow and I need to upgrade to something powerful.  The trouble is, the MacPro towers are expensive and bulky.  For now, I needed something more portable and economic.  The iMacs are beautiful but not really practical for my needs.  I want multiple monitors and loads of speed.

So I've done some research on the Apple Store and much to my amazement, the new Mac Mini is a powerful little tyke 🙂  Configured with a Corei7 2.3Ghz Processor, 8gb of RAM, a 1Tb Fusion drive incorporating 128gb of Flash Memory, this baby is now eating up everything I give it and more!

Furthermore, it's tiny.  You'd hardly know it was on the desk.  It's quiet too.  Almost silent in fact.  I've connected my two 23" monitors to it and with the desktop spread across the two I can now get back to work.

Mountain Lion too is an excellent product.  Of course, it has a few bugs still as you would expect, but overall I love it.

Well done Apple, hats off to you.  You've just provided me with exactly what I was looking for!

Video Tutorial – Using The Dock in Mac OS X

Posted by on in Mac Tips, Updates.

In past posts I've given some tips on using the Dock in Mac OS X.  This Video Tutorial will show you everything you need to know about using the Dock and its features.

The tutorial resolution is 1280 x 800 and is high quality.  It's based on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion but also applies to most of the recent operating system versions.  Not too much has changed in the dock over the past releases.

Click the link below and sit back and enjoy our latest Video Tutorial:

Using The Dock in Mac OS X Video Tutorial

Have fun!

Rumours of imminent iPad Mini release

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple are rumoured to be on the verge or releasing a new smaller version of the iPad.  The suggested release date of October 17th, with the devices potentially shipping just two weeks later, would put them on the shelves well in advance of the Christmas shopping period.

While Apple have not confirmed the rumours, as is their usual style, the rumours surrounding the iPhone 5 have turned out to be pretty accurate and the rumour of the iPad Mini has been confirmed by a major Apple investor who claims to have heard the news from various sources.

It is suggested that the new device, possibly to be called the iPad Mini or iPad Air, will be have a less than 8" screen size and a housing made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic.

The price is expected to be around half that of the existing iPad range in order to complete with the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7.

We'll all be waiting anxiously to see if this rumour proves to be as accurate!

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.