Mac Tips

5 super hot tips for iOS 8!

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

Apple have released their latest and greatest operating system for their mobile devices but many people have been experiencing issues with the early iOS 8.0 release. All sorts of complaints from the device not powering off, to being unable to send text messages and the list goes on.  We've decided to put together a list of 5 things that you absolutely have to know about iOS 8 in order to get the most from it!  So here we go:

5 super hot tips for iOS 8

Tip #1 - Update to iOS 8.0.2 before you do anything else!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.29.01Make sure you update to iOS 8.0.2!  The initial bugs as reported with iOS 8.0 have been addressed and resolved in the iOS 8.0.2 update.  I didn't update to iOS 8.0 myself, especially after the initial problem reports, and having waited for iOS 8.0.2 I've now updated my iPhone and other devices and all is well!

Tip #2 - Quick Reply

replyA super new feature has been added that allows you to interact with notifications without actually needing to unlock the device or go to the app.  For example, if you receive a text message, just swipe to the left and click the "Reply" button.  You can enter your message and send it immediately!

Tip #3 - Hey Siri!

heysiriThis is a really cool feature, but it only works while your device is connected to mains power.  You need to enable "Hey Siri" by going into Settings -> General -> Siri on your device and choosing to "Allow Hey Siri".  Now, when your device is connected to mains power, just say "Hey Siri" followed by your command or question and Siri will activate immediately and respond!  You should say "Hey Siri" followed by your question in one fluid sentence, don't wait for Siri to start listening or it'll actually not hear what you say!

Tip #4 - Voice & Video in Messages

videoJust like in WhatsApp, you can now send voice and video messages from the Messages app directly. For voice, tap and hold the microphone icon next to the typing space while you speak. For video or photo, hold the camera icon on the left and swipe across then choose the photo icon, or press the red button to record video.  Couldn't be simpler 🙂

Tip #5 - Time Lapse & Slow Motion Video

timelapseYou can now shoot time-lapse and slow-motion videos using the Camera app. When you're about to record a video, scroll to the time-lapse or slow-mo feature and start recording. This is a really fun feature and after a while you should be able to get some really great clips with this. Spend some time experimenting, it's really awesome!

Team Treehouse!

Posted by on in Mac Tips, News Articles.

For the past year now, I've been using Team Treehouse as an excellent learning tool for many different technologies.  It's based on video tutorials that are very high quality and easy to follow. Real views for better search results were provided by professional and trusted The Marketing Heaven. Except that, they provided also real followers for YouTube channel, so you can now find it, follow and stay posted with all news. Each tutorial is followed by a quick quiz to make sure you were paying attention and they courses are designed cleverly so that you follow a clearly defined path to success.

I can't recommend this service highly enough and as they are running a special offer at the moment, I thought I'd share it with you all.  You can use the link below to get 50% off your first month's subscription and they offer a full 30-day money back guarantee in case you aren't fully satisfied.  I don't think you'll need that though!  Have fun 🙂


Windows to Mac made easy – training course at!

Posted by on in Mac Tips, Updates, News Articles.

imageExciting news! We've just finished a brand new video course which is now available at!

The course is aimed at users that currently use Windows and are considering moving to Mac. It covers such things as:

• Why you should switch to Mac
• Commonly asked questions and concerns
• Similarities & Differences between Windows & Mac
• Super cool Mac features that you MUST know about

The course contains over 3 hours of content, delivered using high-tech screen recording technology to allow us to present both Windows and Mac operating systems side-by-side, delivering the best comparison available!

If you are a Windows user, or you know people that use Windows and that should be using Mac, this course is for you! It's even possible to gift the course to a friend if you wish.

To all our Facebook likers & Twitter followers, we are offering a very special promotional discount - you can use the link below to get a whopping 25% off the list price! For a limited time, you can also share this link with your friends and they can benefit from the discounted price also!

So get clicking and we'd be delighted to hear your feedback

Send items directly from the Finder

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Mac OS X (10.7+) has a really neat new feature which allows you to send items directly from the Finder.  It's very easy to use and can be a real time-saver.  To use this feature, simply go to the Finder and open a new Finder window.  Find the files that you want to send and select them.

Once you have selected the items you want to send, simply click the Share button that's located in the title bar of the Finder window.


You'll be presented with a list of options which can vary depending on the type of files that you've selected.   Choosing Email will open a new email in the Mail program and attach the files, ready for sending.  If you choose Message, a new message will be created in the Messages app with the files attached.  If you've selected photos, as in the image above, you can post them directly to Facebook or Flickr.

Using these quick access features can really speed you up and help you to get the most from your Mac!

iMac running very slowly

Posted by on in Mac Tips, News Articles.

Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.

Symptoms can include your iMac running very slowly - much more slowly than normal.  Also read/write errors occurring while copying files, backing up, migrating etc.  It can also cause the iMac to suddenly no longer start up, showing a "no-entry" symbol on the screen instead.  While using your iMac, you may also notice that you see the spinning "beach ball" much more frequently than normal and it stays for much longer than expected.

Apple have accepted that there is an issue with a particular batch of hard drives used and they have extended the warranty on affected iMacs to cover the replacement of the hard drive.  If you think you have been affected, you can check your iMacs eligibility for the hard drive replacement program here:

Moving from Windows to Mac OS X – eBook

Posted by on in Mac Tips, Updates, News Articles.

It's lovely to see so many people making the move from Windows to Mac these days and rightly so!  It's probably the best decision most people will ever make with regard to their computer needs.

It can be challenging from some people though, since they've always used Windows and are a little reluctant (dare I say nervous or even afraid!) to make the change because they think they'll have to start all over again, learning a whole new operating system and way of working.  What they don't realise is that it's just not like that anymore!

Mac OS X has been absolutely revolutionary in terms of its features, stability, security and overall usability.  In the past 5 years or so, I have not met one person that has made the move to Mac and regretted it.  In fact, the majority tell me that it's the best thing they've ever done and they wonder why they ever used Windows.

One thing that most of these people have in common though, is a difficulty in equating the way Windows used to do things to the way the Mac does them, or rather how you do something on the Mac that you used to do on Windows.  To be honest, the differences are not that great.  But there are some, and without the proper knowledge and a simple explanation of the differences, it's easy to get frustrated.

That's why I decided to write an eBook on the subject.  It's not going to be a massively thick book with millions of pages, it's going to be concise and cover the core issues that people face when moving from Windows to Mac OS X.  Keep it simple, but solve the problem.

If you are thinking of changing to Mac, or you know someone that is, and you're interested in pre-registering so that you can be informed as soon as it's released, just click through to the following page:

Moving from Windows to Mac - Made Easy!

Not only can you register your interest in being notified when the eBook is ready, but you will also receive a Free PDF which will explain why I believe moving to Mac is the best thing you will ever do.  Take a look - I think you'll enjoy reading the free PDF either way!

What is DHCP?

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

Some of you will have had occasion to poke around in the network settings of your Mac, iPhone or iPad and you may have come across the term DHCP and wondered what it meant.  In most situations, you will find the network configuration of your device will be set to Configure Using DHCP.  So what is DHCP and what does it do?

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.  Sounds complicated right?  It's not!  What it means is simply this: instead of you needing to know all the settings that your device will need to connect to the network and internet, there is some device already on the network that can give you those settings automatically so that you just don't need to know!

Usually, the device that does this is the router that connects you to the internet.  Your own device, say your Mac or iPhone, simply sends out a message on the network asking if any device out there can provide it with the settings it needs.  Usually there is one and it sends back a message which says "Hi! I'm your router and I'd be pleased to help.  Here are the settings you need.  Have a nice day!"

Once this happens, your device is automatically configured with those settings and Voila! you are connected to the internet.  Clever eh?

airport-exclamSometimes, if there is no DHCP Server available (the device that gives out this information, such as a router), your device will not be able to get these settings and will not be able to get on the internet.  On the Mac, you will usually see this indicated as an exclamation mark in the Airport menu (on the menu bar).  If you look further by going to Apple Menu -> System Preferences and then choosing the Network pane, you will see more indicators that this is the problem.


As you can see in the image above, the status will show that it has a self-assigned IP address and the IP address will usually start with in this case.  When you see this, you can be sure that the problem is that your device is not able to get an IP address from the router (or DHCP server).  There are many reasons why this could be the case, but it's an excellent first step in finding the problem!


Mission Control for multiple workspaces

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

mission-controlIn previous versions of Mac OS X, Apple introduced Spaces as a way to have multiple "desktops" or workspaces on your Mac.  This has now been integrated with Mission Control in 10.8 (Mountain Lion).  Mission Control has other features, but today I want to discuss Spaces because I think it's a very useful feature, if you need it.

Spaces is, in one way, a kind of a workaround for not having dual monitors.  If you only have one monitor but need more desktop real estate (more space for all those windows!), Spaces is one way to solve this.  While not quite the same as having two monitors, it certainly can make life easier.

The way it works is by allowing you to create two or more "virtual desktops" which you can switch between whenever you want using mouse gestures or keyboard shortcuts.  So, for example, let's say I have two spaces.  We'll call them Space 1 and Space 2 for want of a more useful description!  In Space 1, I can have maybe my browser window, Skype and Mail windows open.  Then, with a quick key stroke of the hotkeys (which are configurable to your taste), I can quickly switch to Space 2 with a nice sliding animation effect where one screen slides off to the side revealing my new workspace (Space 2).  In Space 2, I decide to put some of my development windows, such as SublimeText and SQL browser, CodeKit and MAMP.  I need access to all these windows while coding and I like them all laid out to my own working style.  What I don't need is to have to move all those windows around when I want to see my Mail or Skype windows.


That's the real power of Spaces.  So with a single keystroke combination I can quickly switch from one workspace to another, as if I was actually switching from one physical monitor to another.  Everything stays neatly arranged on screen in each Space and it makes my working day that bit more pleasurable.  Granted, many people may not have the need to use Mission Control for multiple workspaces, but for those that do it's a real life saver!

One thing to note though is this.  Even though you can kind of use this as a substitute for not having dual monitors, if you do have dual monitors, it gets even better.  If you're using dual monitors in extended desktop mode, when you use Spaces you actually get both monitors in both Spaces.  Now we're talking maximum screen real estate!

I can see that Spaces probably has many different potential applications.  Has anyone else got any great examples of where they use Spaces in a slightly different way?

Move a Tab to a new Window in Safari

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

When using Safari, the default is generally that it uses Tabs instead of a new window for each new page you want to open.  This is usually a great thing in fact, as it keeps everything much more organised on your screen and allows you to make the most of your valuable screen real estate.  A typical tabbed browser window will look something like this:


Notice that there is one tab for the "Apple" page and another tab for the "Facebook" page in this case.  You can open as many tabs as you want and they will squeeze in to fit along the top.  This lets you quickly move from one page to another without having different windows all hidden behind each other and it's a very useful feature.

However, sometimes you'll actually want to have one of those tabs in a separate window.  Maybe you want to compare two web pages side by side, which is difficult to achieve using tabbed browsing.  You have two options to accomplish this.  One, of course, is to open a new window from the File menu and then open the address of the page you want in that window.  But what if you already have the page you want open, but it's in a tab already?  There's a great little shortcut to get that tab out into its own window.  You can either grab the tab by its title and drag it out of the window that's it's currently in, which will move it to its own window, or you can right-click the title of the tab and from the context menu that appears, choose the option Move Tab to New Window.


You can then position your two windows side-by-side if you wish.  So as you can see, it's a pretty simple task to move a tab to a new window in Safari once you know how!

The Magic ESC Key

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Many, many times this has happened to me and I've seen it happen to so many others.  You're just working away, doing something normal on your Mac, when suddenly you hit a key or click something unintentionally and the next thing you know, something weird has appeared on your screen, or half the screen goes dark and the rest is highlighted, or any number of different symptoms.  The Magic ESC key will generally fix this sort of problem for you, in an instant.

esc-keyI call it the Magic ESC key, but actually it's really just the ESC key (pronounced Escape Key).  It does exactly what it says on the tin.  It escapes from whatever crazy mess you've gotten yourself into without even knowing what you did!  So, if this happens to you, the first thing to try is to press ESC.  You'll find it at the very top-left of every keyboard and it can often be your best friend.

If pressing the ESC key doesn't work for you, you've probably got a slightly more serious problem.  However, in my experience it will work more often than not!