By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 6, 2013
As someone who records podcasts and records videos, I constantly find myself switching between the various audio input and output devices on my Mac. You can do this by venturing into the System Preferences and clicking on the Sound option, but that can really slow down your workflow when you need to switch between audio devices many times each day.
I’ve found a tool that runs in the menu bar that makes switching between the different audio devices on the Mac a cinch; in fact, doing so is just a mere two clicks away. The utility is called Audio Switcher—a free tool available for anyone who wishes to switch between audio devices more efficiently. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 6, 2013
Lots of people have asked me how I go about recording footage directly from the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The process is one that is simple and straightforward with the help of a couple of hardware and software tools.
From time to time I will record footage directly from an iOS device, while at other times, I like to record the screen using an external camera so that you can see my hands as I work with the device. Depending on the circumstances, I’ve been known to switch up my methods for doing so.
The bottom line is that there are times in which you should definitely go the direct feed route as opposed to recording the screen externally. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat, but the method that I’ve been using has been working quite well for me. Have a look inside as I spill the details on what makes a successful iOS device recording setup. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 5, 2013
iCloud Keychain is a nice new addition to iOS 7, because it allows you to save username and password combinations to the cloud. This means that it’s possible to save login information for sites you frequent and auto login to those sites using the saved username and password info.
iCloud Keychain has been criticized by the tech press for being half baked. While that is certainly true—it has many opportunities for improvement and refinement—it’s better than nothing if you ask me.
Some have lamented about the fact that certain sites force passwords to go unsaved. Web sites have the option of requesting passwords not to be saved, and many sites—especially financial services like banks—have opted in to this. This feature, among other issues, is a thorn in the side of many iCloud Keychain users. Fortunately, it’s an issue that can solved with relative ease. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 4, 2013
I wouldn’t call myself a Nest Learning Thermostat early adopter, but I did acquire one fairly early in the game, and I haven’t looked back. The Nest, as you’re likely well aware of, is the new-aged thermostat from iPod designer Tony Fadell. The Nest allows users to control the thermostat from anywhere in the world using a web browser, or by using an iOS app for the iPad or iPhone.
Mac users have sort of been left out in the cold; pun intended. Desktop users have basically been relegated to using the web browser in order to control the Nest, as there is no official Nest app available for OS X. The good news is that developer Joseph Workman has taken the initiative to wrap the Nest’s web interface into a handy utility called Climate, and it runs in the Mac’s menu bar. This makes it so that you can quickly access the Nest’s temperature controls and other features from anywhere on your Mac.
We’ve taken the initiative to create a video walkthrough in order to showcase to you how Climate works, and why it’s so beneficial to Mac users. Jump past the break to see all the details. Read More
By Lory Gil on Dec 4, 2013
My sister-in-law has finally come over to the Dark Side. That is, from my brother’s point of view, who is a diehard Android user. She recently invested in the new iPhone 5s. Now, she has a shiney new phone, but doesn’t know a thing about what apps to get.
So, being the app expert that I am, it is my job to help her find the perfect games, photo editors, and social networking enhancements to make her iOS experience the best it can be. This year, she’ll be getting apps for Christmas.
If you are new to iOS, or have never thought about giving an app as a gift, you may not know how to do so. We have a quick tutorial to explain how to send an app to your friends and family through iTunes on your computer or through the App Store on your iOS device… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 3, 2013
It’s an unfortunate eventuality that virtually every Mac user has to face: the dreaded problem of having way too many items in your menu bar. So many menu bar items clutter the top right hand corner of your screen, that they’re starting to flood into the app menu items on the left-hand side of the screen. That, folks, is the sign of a serious problem.
But don’t worry, we’ve all been there. For me, it got to the point where it was downright embarrassing when I would take screenshots and my menu bar would appear in the shot. I had a real problem keeping my menu bar organized, and many of you reading this probably do to.
I needed help, but I couldn’t fight this uphill battle without assistance. Thankfully, that helping-hand came in the form of an awesome little Mac utility called Bartender. Bartender is a utility that lets your organize and tidy up the contents of your menu bar with relative ease. It can turn an overweight and overstuffed menu bar into a svelte menu akin to a stock OS X installation. It’s the tool that you need if you’re like me and you sufferer from menu-bar-itis. Watch our full video walkthrough after the break, and you’ll see what I mean. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013
In episode 002 of Let’s Talk iOS we talked about Pinboard, and why it’s such a useful service for saving bookmarks. I won’t get too much into the specifics about Pinboard on this post, so I urge you to listen to that episode if you haven’t already. The episode does a good job of explaining the methodology behind Pinboard, pricing, etc.
What I do want to talk about is an awesome Pinboard utility called Shiori. A free download for OS X, Shiori is a Pinboard utility that allows you to quickly add new bookmarks to your Pinboard account and just as quickly search all of the contents of your account.
Shiori runs in the menu bar, and both its add and search functions can be accessed by a pair of useful keyboard shortcuts. Have a look inside as we go hands on with Shiori on video. If you’re at all interested in saving bookmarks for the longterm, then I’m positive you’ll find Shiori useful. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013
When you initially install OS X, there are a few items that are placed in your menu bar by default. There are a couple of ways to go about adding or removing stock OS items from your menu bar in an effort to keep it tidy and organized.
In this tutorial, we’ll cover some of the basic menu bar management tips for stock menu bar items. This includes basic tips on rearranging, removing, and adding items back to the menu bar. We’ve also got a handy video showcasing some of the basic concepts of stock menu bar item management. Have a look inside for more details. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 16, 2013
A few weeks ago, we explained how to set up iCloud Keychain so that your username and password information can be stored and synced across all of your compatible devices, including Mac desktops and laptops running OS X Mavericks.
If you’ve started using iCloud Keychain, you may have noticed that you will be prompted to use the service for certain additional features, like creating new passwords and automatically storing credit card information through Safari’s AutoFill feature.
We have a quick tutorial to show you how to turn on the AutoFill feature on your iPhone, and how to manually add credit cards so that you can use it to fill in online purchase forms faster… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 12, 2013
As we covered in an earlier tutorial, the app switcher in iOS 7 provides the ability to do some pretty cool things that you could never do in previous firmware.
For starters, there’s the ability to use swipe gestures to kill apps — even multiple apps at the same time by using more than one finger. Next, you have the ability to see what’s going on in each of the running apps, courtesy of the switcher’s new full screen app snapshots.
One of the positive side effects of this new app switcher view are the “multitasking” possibilities that stem out of it. First, let me clear the air and state the obvious — this isn’t true multitasking; but as we showed you already, by thinking outside of the box, you can stretch the app switcher’s abilities to meet your needs.
One such need was stumbled upon by reader Matthew Seltzer. After watching our initial app switcher tutorial, he discovered a handy way to get even more out it. If you happen to have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to your iPad, you can take advantage of the last app’s focus in order to continue to type while the app switcher is open. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 11, 2013
To improve the quality and performance of its iOS devices, Apple routinely collects diagnostic and usage information from customer’s iPhones and iPads. Diagnostic data includes information about system performance, such as the popular low memory warnings, and other details about your specific device and OS specifications.
End users have the option of sharing this information automatically with Apple, but it can also be turned off. You’ve probably all seen the option during the initial setup of your iOS device to automatically send diagnostic and usage data to Apple.
Inside, we’ll show you where you can go to view your device’s logged diagnostic data, and manage how it is used. We’ll also show you how to completely remove the diagnostic logs from your device. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 9, 2013
Even people who love reading books all of the time will sometimes get too busy to sit down on the couch and spend a few hours with their nose in their favorite novel. Sometimes, running around, baking cookies, knitting sweaters, and exercising gets in the way of quality reading time.
You could invest money and digital storage space into downloading audio books from iTunes or a third-party digital audio book supplier. Or, you could just get your device to read to you using the iOS accessibility feature, VoiceOver… Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 3, 2013
There may be a number of great alarm clock apps in the App Store, but thanks to Apple’s recent iOS 7 update, the native clock app looks good and works great. So, if you want to give the native alarm option a try, you may find that it is the only app you need to wake you up in the morning.
Apple also added a plethora of new chimes and tones to keep your ears interested. But if you are tired of “Night Owl” and “By the Seaside” you will be happy to know that you can add your own music as the alarm sound… Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 1, 2013
With the recent update to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7.0.3 brought with it iCloud Keychain, which keeps track of your various account usernames and passwords for you so that you only have to remember one password, instead of dozens.
After you downloaded and installed the 7.0.3 update, you were probably prompted to set up iCloud Keychain. Perhaps you choose to wait until later. Perhaps you did activate it on your iPhone, but not on any other compatible device. What next?
We have a short how-to guide to help you set up iCloud Keychain on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac for the first time, as well as how to connect the password keeper across all devices, including Macs running OS X Mavericks… Read More
By Emil Pakarklis on Oct 27, 2013
As the leaves turn from green to bright yellow and red, the fall is one of the best times of the year for landscape photography with the iPhone. When ordinary landscapes change into magnificent vistas, it’s really hard not to take photos of all that beauty.
However, when you look back at your photos, you’ll often be disappointed to see that the iPhone hasn’t reproduced the fall colors as you expected, and the photos just look boring in comparison to the same scene in real life. Fortunately, this can be corrected in post-processing, and in this article I’ll show you a simple Snapseed post-processing workflow that will bring your fall photos back to life by making their colors much more vibrant.
While the fall is well on its way in most of Europe and North America, other parts of the world have different seasons. It’s spring in Australia and permanent summer in tropical regions. However, the same editing workflow can also be used to greatly improve sunset photos, so you should also give it a try if you live in other parts of the world… Read More
By Lory Gil on Oct 10, 2013
Do you remember that time you went out with your friends and you gave that guy/girl your phone number, but when you woke up the next day you realized that you weren’t as into that person as you were when you were looking at them through your beer goggles?
I’ll bet you wish you could block that person from calling or texting you. Especially if that person is kind of nuts and won’t leave you alone. Apple has finally given us a way to stop unwanted calls by making it possible to block callers in iOS 7 and we are going to show you how to enable it… Read More
By Lory Gil on Oct 10, 2013
Apple offered up a few new Mail app features in iOS 6, but it surely wasn’t much. One addition was the VIP inbox, another was the ability to attach pictures and videos to messages from within the app. That was about the extent of the new features in iOS 6.
In iOS 7, however, Apple added some fancy new features to the Mail app that make it possible for you to get more out of your daily email connections. One of those new features is the ability to edit, reorganize, and hide your mailboxes. If you don’t know how to do this, we’ve got a short tutorial to explain it to you… Read More
By Lory Gil on Oct 3, 2013
When new operating systems and devices come out, it starts to get our brains-a-whirling about warranties, tech support, and consumer protections against faulty equipment.
If you can’t remember the exact date that you purchased your iPhone, or don’t recall whether you added AppleCare for the extended warranty on your iPad, there is an easy way to find out the status of your device without having to dig through that shoebox of old receipts… Read More
By Lory Gil on Sep 28, 2013
We have some pretty diehard fans. Quite a few of our readers boast about not being able to go to work until reading our news and jailbreak articles. Some have even mentioned adding our RSS feed to their SMS notification through IFTTT.
For those that don’t already know how to use the trigger-and-action service, we have a quick tutorial for creating an IFTTT recipe from both the website and the iOS app. This will allow you to receive SMS notifications every time an article is published on iDB… Read More