Tips, Tricks & News Articles

Kids And The App Store

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

One of the challenges of new technology, including iPhones, iPads and iTouch devices,  is that inevitably the younger generation are keen to get their hands on them, mostly for games.  Whether the games are free or not, you still have to have an Apple ID to be able to "purchase" and download them.  That's all very well, but if you have an Apple ID with your credit card attached, you certainly don't want to take the risk that the kids might download loads of stuff without your knowledge, or even by accident, costing you an absolute fortune!

There's a good way to deal with this, but first you need to know one of the tricks of the App Store.  When you first receive your iDevice (iPad, iPhone or iPod), you need to create an Apple ID.  Many people do this at the prompt during setup of the device.  Once you've filled in all your details, you are then asked for payment information.  At this point, there is no option to choose None as the payment method.  You are forced to enter some credit card information in order to be able to continue.  For some people, this is not ideal - maybe they don't have a credit card, or maybe they simply don't want to use it!

The best thing to do is to use a different means to create your Apple ID.  Simply skip the Apple ID at the setup stage and go directly to the App Store.  Find a free app, any free app, even the iBooks app that you'll automatically be offered.  When you choose to download it, select the option to Create An Apple ID.  At this point, because you are downloading a free app, you will be given the option to choose None as the payment method.  Now we're talking!

Of course, you can easily add payment information afterwards if you wish, but that's not the point.  The point is, for example, that you can create an Apple ID for your child with no payment information attached.  This means that they can never spend money by mistake.  This is most useful when they have their own iDevice and you want them to be able to download free apps.

But what if they then want to pay for some apps?  Simple.  You buy them a Gift Certificate from the iTunes store using your own Apple ID (which has payment information attached) and then credit it to your child's Apple ID.  Now they have a credit balance that they can use to buy apps, but they can never spend more than what you've given them.  This gives you excellent control over their spending and also helps them to learn the value of money!

One more thing to remember, and this is a really, really important one - when you download an app from the App Store, or you are asked at any point to enter your Apple ID and password, there is a certain period of time after you have entered the password in which you will not be asked to enter it again.  For example, you decide to update all the apps that have updates waiting, you hit the Update All button and you enter your Apple ID and password.  Once the apps are all up to date, you give your iPhone to your child to play on.  For a certain period of time (maybe as much as 30 minutes), you will not be asked to enter your password again, even if you decide to buy an app.  This means there is a period of time where your child could download anything they want, deliberately or otherwise, without needing to enter your password.  Be careful, it happens - A LOT.  I know people whose kids have spent €300+ in a very short time using in-app purchases, because the password had already been entered and the adult wasn't aware of this problem.  So watch out, be careful and - have fun!

Interesting iPhone Apps – Whatsapp Messenger

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

whatsapp
While there are many different messenging apps out there for the iPhone, of the ones I've tested I have to say I find Whatsapp to be the best by far.  It's very quick, very simple to use and has lots of nice features.  More importantly, it seems like virtually everyone with an iPhone is using it now, for business and personal use alike.

Using Whatsapp, you can quickly text your friends, share photos and contacts with them, or even send them your exact location!  This "location" actually interfaces with the Maps app on your iPhone so if you someone sends you their location and you tap it, the Maps app opens showing you their location as well as your location.  Now that, for me, is a really nifty feature that I've used many times.

It also integrates directly with your contacts on your phone, showing you who's on Whatsapp already and allowing you to invite those that aren't.

Of course, like most messenging apps, you need internet access to use it - but most of us do have internet on our phones these days.  The app costs only €0.79 and is worth every single penny in my opinion!

 

Free Credits at MacHelpline.net!

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips, Mac Tips, MacHelpline.net Updates, News Articles.

MacHelpline.net, the net's top support service for Mac, iPhone and iPad users, is now offering all new customers a Free Credit to allow them to try the service at absolutely no cost! You can get straight through to a support operator who will be able to answer your question immediately.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain - why not register yourself today for free!  If you want to see what it's all about, just head on over to the registration page and see for yourself.............  You'll be glad you did!

MacHelpline.net

Magnify Your Mac Screen – Anywhere, Anytime!

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Another lovely feature of Mac OS X is the ability to magnify the screen no matter which application you might be using.  This is a feature that is usually enabled via the Universal Access control panel.  To access it, you would go to the Apple Menu located in the top left corner of your screen, select System Preferences and then look for the Universal Access panel.  The zoom feature is usually located in the seeing section of the Universal Access panel.  You should ensure that Zoom is enabled.

If you are using a scroll mouse, you can hold down the Control Key and use the scroll button on your mouse to zoom the whole screen in and out.  You can, in fact, configure which modifier key you wish to use, if you prefer not to use the Control Key.

If you are using a MacBook or MacBook Pro, you can use the Control Key with the Two Finger Scroll to achieve the same zoom result.  You need to enable this feature in Universal Access also.  The Universal Access panel is also sometimes named Accessibility.

The beauty of this zoom feature is that it zooms the entire screen, so it does not matter what you are looking at or which program you are using.  You can also choose the Zoom In Window option which effectively gives you a small floating window that moves with your mouse arrow and magnifies everything it finds underneath - a bit like a big magnifying glass.  This is very useful for magnifying only certain parts of the screen at a time.

You can also use command keys to switch the Zoom feature on and off, as well as to zoom in and out.  To toggle the Zoom feature on and off, use CMD+OPTION+8 (the option key is sometimes called the ALT key).  To Zoom In, press and hold the CMD key and the OPTION key and then press the = key repeatedly to zoom in more and more.  To Zoom Out, do the same thing but pressing the key instead.

Amazing Portable Scanner for your Mac, iPad & iPhone

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

Now here is a really amazing product.  Someone really put some thought into this one.  I was recently looking for a scanner that might suit my requirement to scan all my existing photos (you know, the ones that we all have sitting in drawers and who knows where...) into my Mac.  What I was really looking for was something simple, not a flatbed where I have to scan each photo, crop it and save it etc.  I came across the Doxie Go portable scanner.

DoxieGo

This scanner will connect to your Mac or PC via USB to transfer the scanned documents.  It can also connect via Wifi with an optional adaptor.  But that's not all!  You can even connect it directly to your iPad using Apple's camera connection kit or wirelessly to your iPhone or Android device.

The beauty of it is that it has its own battery.  It is completely stand-alone and it is a feed scanner which allows you to feed in any documents up to A4 size, such as standard A4 paper, photographs etc.  These are then scanned directly to the Doxie's internal memory and can be transferred to your iDevice as and when you are ready, via USB or any of the other means described above.  It takes about 2 hours to charge and the battery is good for about 100 scans.  Nice for on-the-go scanning!

What's more, it charges directly via USB, so you can connect it to your Mac to charge, or use a USB power adaptor to plug it into the mains for heavy duty scanning that will take a lot of time.  Doxie Go works with wireless SD cards from Eye-Fi™ and SanDisk™. With a wireless SD card, Doxie can transmit scans via Wi-Fi to your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device –  no wires!

Have a look at more detailed information and photos on their website at www.getdoxie.com.

Use Spotlight To Quickly Launch Your Apps

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Spotlight is a lovely little search feature built into Mac OS X which you can find in the top right corner of your screen.  It looks like a magnifying glass which, when clicked, presents a search box.  You can type in this search box and your Mac will search everywhere, including within your email and documents if you prefer, to find what you are looking for.

A very quick way to find and open an App on your Mac is to simple use the shortcut key to open Spotlight (hold the CMD key and press the Spacebar at the same time), then type the name of the app (or part of the name) into the search bar.  The app should appear as one of the first search results, which you then simply click in order to open it.

If Spotlight does not find the Application you were looking for, it's probably because you need to include Applications in the search results.  To do that, or to configure spotlight searches in general, go to the Apple Menu which is located in the top left corner of your screen, select System Preferences and then click the Spotlight icon.  You will be presented with a list of all the things that you can have spotlight search, or not, as the case may be.

Apple Wins Case Against Samsung And Is Awarded More Than $1bn

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple Computer has one its legal battle with Samsung in a row over infringement of intellectual property and Samsung has been ordered to pay compensation of more than $1 billion.

The jury decided several of Samsung's devices had infringed Apple's software and design patents relating to the iPhones, and counter-claims by Samsung over use of its 3G technology were rejected.

5 of Apple's claims were upheld in court, including the following:

  • Some of Samsung's handsets, including its Galaxy S 4G model, infringed Apple's design patents for the look of its iPhone including the system it uses to display text and icons
  • All the disputed Samsung devices had copied Apple's "bounce-back response", which makes lists jump back as if yanked by a rubber band
  • Several Samsung devices incorporated Apple's facility allowing users to zoom into text with a tap of a finger

None of Samsung's counter-claims were accepted.  Effectively, Apple won hands down.

One of the jurors in the case has spoken out, saying that it was very clear almost from the beginning that infringement had occurred and that Samsung really didn't do themselves any favours in court.

Read an interview with one of the jurors on CNET's website here.

Ejecting A Stuck CD or DVD

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Quite a number of times I have been faced with a disk stuck in the disk drive (a CD or a DVD) and no way seemingly to get it out.  Mac OS doesn't realise it's there and pressing the Eject button on the keyboard has no effect.

Well,  you have a couple of options to get the disk out.  The first would be to try a piece of software that would have access to the drive, like Disk Utility or Toast.  You will find Disk Utility inside the Utilities folder which is located in the Application folder on your hard disk.  Toast is a commercial product that many people use for disk burning.

Both of these programs will allow you to access the drive, as opposed to the disk that 's in the drive.  That way, you can tell the drive to eject whatever it's got and usually it will spit out the disk.

If, however, this does not work.  Then What?  Well, as a last resort, switch off your computer completely.  Then, while you hold down the Left Mouse Button, switch the computer back on.  Keep holding the mouse button down.  After a few seconds you should hear the Mac trying to access the drive and it should spit out the disk for you.  Just like magic! 🙂

Mac OS X Hot Corners

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

The Mac OS has a neat little feature called Hot Corners, which some of you may already know about and use, but others will have possibly encountered it by mistake which can be quite frustrating.

Hot Corners effectively activate the four corners of your screen as hot-spots, so that when you move your mouse arrow to one of the screen corners, a certain feature can be activated.  For example, you can configure your screen saver to activate as soon as you move your mouse arrow to a certain corner, say the top left corner of your screen.

This feature can be very useful but also a bit frustrating if you don't know how to use it or how to switch it on and off.  The Hot Corners feature is located in slightly different places depending on which version of the Mac OS you are using, but you will find by going to the Apple Menu (in the top left corner of your screen), choosing System Preferences and then looking for Expose & Spaces, or in later versions of the Mac OS you will find it in Mission Control.

You will see a button called Hot Corners which will open a window which allows you to choose which feature you want to assign to which "hot corner" of your screen.  So, to use the example above, you would click the menu which is located by the top left of the screen image and choose "Start Screen Saver". Now, every time you move your mouse arrow to the top left corner of your screen, the screen saver will kick in automatically.  Another very nice option is to use "Disable Screen Saver" instead.  This means that if you have your screen saver set to come on after 5 minutes for example, moving your mouse arrow to the top left corner of the screen will now prevent the screen saver from ever activating, until you move the mouse from the top left corner to another location.

There are many other options you can assign to your hot corners, so play around with them and see which ones suit you best.  Some people like to have all four corners enabled, others find that frustrating because they keep activating things that they didn't intend.  You'll need to try it our and find your own style!

Apple Is Now World’s Most Valuable Company

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple has overtaken rival Microsoft as the most valuable company in history based on the value of its shares.

Apple's stock began a steady climb late last week and hit a new high of $664 (£422) a share during Monday trade on the Nasdaq exchange. It eventually closed even higher, at $665.15 (£423.48). It is now worth well over $620bn (£394bn).

The increase began amid rumours that Apple is about to release new versions of its iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices.

Its new market value eclipsed the previous record of $618.9bn (£394.1bn) set by Microsoft on December 30, 1999, at the height of the dot-com bubble.

Apple has actually been the world's most valuable company since the end of last year.

It is now worth some 53% more than second-placed Exxon Mobil.

Apart from the iPhone and mini iPad, analysts are speculating that Apple plans to make a TV set to complete its suite of consumer electronics products.