Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Apple Runs iPhone “Moms” Ad for Mothers Day

Apple "Moms" ad
Apple is running a new iPhone ad that emphasizes the devices camera capabilities, this time focusing on pictures and videos of various Moms and aspects of motherhood.

The ad features a soft song playing in the background as it goes through a variety of pictures of mothers, showing the names of the photographer attached to each image. At the end of the commercial, the words “Moms” followed by “Shot on iPhone” appear, naturally followed by the  Apple logo.
Text accompanying the video, which is embedded below, reads “”Celebrating motherhood through the lens of iPhone users around the world.”
This is a much more touching ad and a bit more serious than the ‘Onions’ and ‘fingerprint’ donut in-the-face-guy ad that Apple is running concurrently.
The general theme of the Moms ad is similar to some of the other ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads running previously in other Apple commercials.
Since everyone love Moms, and Mothers Day is arriving shortly, this should be an understandably popular commercial. Oh and hey, don’t forget to call your Mom!

Source Url and Image: Apple Runs iPhone “Moms” Ad for Mothers Day
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Save Pictures Automatically from Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger
If you’re an avid Facebook Messenger user who sends a lot of pictures back and forth, you may appreciate having the app automatically save those photos and images directly to your iPhone, without having to manually do so yourself. With the help of a simple settings switch, you could do exactly that.

For this trick to work, the Facebook Messenger app needs access to the camera roll and iPhone Photos app, otherwise the feature can’t be enabled since it won’t have access to save pictures to the Photos app.

How to Automatically Save Photos from Facebook Messenger to iPhone

This will keep a copy of all Facebook Messenger pictures locally on the iPhone. The feature works the same on Android as well, but we’re obviously focusing on iOS here.
  1. Open Facebook Messenger, then click on the Settings gear icon
  2. Scroll down in Settings to find “Save Photos to Camera Roll” and flip the switch to the ON position
Save Photos to iPhone from Facebook Messenger automatically
Toggling this setting will save all photos from all conversations in Facebook Messenger automatically. You can confirm it’s working by returning to the Facebook Messenger app and having someone send you a picture, it will then appear in your Photos app Camera Roll automatically.
This prevents you from having to save pictures from Facebook manually using the tap-and-hold trick, which works the same in Facebook app as Facebook Messenger.
If you want to stop this behavior, simply return to the Facebook Messenger settings and switch “Save Photos to Camera Roll” to the OFF position.

Source Url and Image: Save Pictures Automatically from Facebook Messenger
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8 iPhone 3D Touch Tricks That Are Actually Useful

3D Touch Tricks for iPhone
Many iPhone users with a 3D Touch display use the feature sporadically, if at all, often because it’s a bit of a guessing game as to what actions are available with the activation of the push and pop abilities. While 3D Touch may seem a bit gimmicky at times, there are some legitimately useful cases for 3D Touch where it has the potential to enhance workflow for iPhone users, and so with that in mind we’re going to run through some of the best uses of the feature.

Obviously this requires a 3D Touch equipped iPhone. The 3D Touch feature must be enabled, and for many users, accessing the ability can be improved upon by adjusting the sensitivity of their screen touch pressure.

Quickly Adjust Battery Settings

Since prolonging battery life remains of primary importance to many iPhone users, the ability to quickly turn on and off Low Power Mode is essential. From the unlocked iPhone screen, 3D Touch press on the “Settings” icon and select “Battery”, from here users can flip the switch for “Low Power Mode” to the ON (or OFF) position as usual, or access other battery settings and details.
3D Touch settings

Get an Instant Link Preview, Nearly Anywhere

You can 3D touch any link on iOS to get a preview pane of the URL in question, without having to load the entire thing. This is particularly useful for scanning blankly referenced links that are sent to you in messages or emails to see if they’re worth visiting or not, but the feature works nearly anywhere that links are visible and clickable.
3D Touch link preview

Jump to New Private Window in Safari

Private browsing mode in Safari for iOS is a great feature, but rather than open the app and then toggle into the privacy mode, you can use 3D Touch for quicker access. All you need to do is 3D Touch on the Safari icon and choose “New Private Tab”, and away you go.
3D Touch Safari
No cookies, history, caches, or other data is stored on the device when in privacy mode – perfect for when you’re shopping for someone, reading spoilers to Game of Thrones, or just reading embarrassing content that you’d rather not someone else discover.

Quick Access to Selfies, Video Capture, and Slo-Mo

Most iPhone users have their Camera app open directly to the default photo camera, and though the app remembers the last camera option you used, it’s pretty nice to be able to jump to the feature you want to access with 3D Touch. Just 3D Touch on the Camera icon and select what you want to do; take a selfie, record a regular video, capture slow motion video, or, just take a picture as usual.
3D Touch camera

Scan a Message Without Sending a Read Receipt

Since iOS Messages app has yet to provide us with contact specific Read Receipts, one option to scan a message without sending one is to 3d touch the message to preview it, which will not send a “Read” indicator to the sender. This is really useful if you use the Read Receipts feature but don’t necessarily want to engage in a conversation with someone.
A read receipt in Messages for iOS

Access iOS Multitasking

Using a sort-of-challenging-to-master 3D Touch press on the far left side of iPhone display will gain quick 3D touch access to the multitasking app switcher in iOS. Whether this is faster than simply double-tapping the Home button is a matter of how well you can access this feature, but it is handy and feels reasonably intuitive once you get the hang of it.
The App Switcher multitasking screen on iPhone can be accessed with 3D Touch

Update All Apps, Redeem Gift Cards

Using 3D Touch on the App Store icon allows you quick access to the “Redeem” feature, where users can quickly scan a gift card to add it to their iTunes account. This is particularly great because accessing Redeem otherwise requires a bit of digging around in the App Store app. Another great 3D Touch trick on the App Store icon? The ability to quickly update all apps in iOS that have changes available.
3D Touch App Store

Use the iPhone Screen as a Scale

Thanks to a simple web app, you can turn the iPhone into a scale that is able to weigh things in grams. Seriously! This isn’t particularly useful for most people, unless you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or uh, elsewhere, but it’s a neat demonstration of what the 3D Touch display can do, and how sensitive the display truly is.
iPhone 3D Touch scale
Know of any other particularly handy uses of 3D Touch for iPhone? Share them with us, or just let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

Source Url and Image: 8 iPhone 3D Touch Tricks That Are Actually Useful
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Where is the Option Key on Mac Keyboards?

Where is Option / ALT key on Apple keyboards
Using the Option key is an essential part of the Apple keyboard experience for issuing many keystrokes, accessing various hidden features, and a myriad of other functions on both Mac OS X and iOS. All Mac and Apple keyboards have the Option key, it’s just not always labeled as such, which is what offers confusion from time to time. It turns out that certain Apple keyboard layouts have the option key labeled as either a symbol, or as the alt key. This often differs per region and per keyboard, and sometimes even on the age of the hardware itself, but regardless of how they look, every Apple and Mac keyboard includes the option and alt key, including any MacBook, Apple external keyboard, Smart Keyboard for iPad, or other hardware keyboards from Apple.
Below is where you can find the OPTION / ALT key on the major Apple keyboards you are likely to encounter. And yes, in case it wasn’t evident; the OPTION key is the ALT key, which is also represented by the funny looking symbol ⌥ on Apple and Mac keyboards.
The Option / ALT Key on European and UK keyboards actually looks pretty similar to Japanese keyboard layouts and many others:
Option ALT key location on Apple Euro and UK keyboards
Option / ALT Key on US & North American keyboards
Option ALT key location on Apple US keyboards
Option / ALT key on iPad Smart Keyboards:
The Option and ALT Keys on Smart Keyboard

The Option / ALT Key Symbol is “⌥”

This is what the option and alt key symbol looks like, it’s kind of like a backslash with a flag coming off of it. It’s admittedly not very obvious, which is perhaps why Apple has been spelling out alt / option on modern keyboards for many markets.
The Option ALT key symbol on Apple and Mac keyboards

Remember: the Option / ALT key is always between the control key and the command key on Apple & Mac Keyboards

That means on new Mac keyboards you’ll have “Control ^” followed by “ALT / option ⌥” followed by “Command ⌘ ”
The lack of a clearly (and consistently) labeled ‘option’ key puzzled a friend of mine recently who bought a MacBook Pro with a European keyboard layout, and that had a Japanese external Mac keyboard included. Of course those keyboards work with other languages too, but the keys can be labeled differently. In those situations, the Option key is labeled as ALT and the strange looking symbol, it is not clearly labeled as ‘option’ as it is on modern Mac keyboards from the US and many other countries. This isn’t totally unusual however, as long time Mac and Apple users will undoubtedly recall that earlier versions of the Apple Keyboard also didn’t label the alt or option key, and simply used the symbol instead, and on some Mac keyboards symbols were used exclusively.
This should be particularly helpful information to international users and IT staff who encounter machines from other regions, and to newcomers to the Mac and Apple platforms as well. ⎇

Source Url and Image: Where is the Option Key on Mac Keyboards?
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Speed Up Time Machine by Removing Low Process Priority Throttling

Speed up Time Machine







It’s well known that all Mac users should set up Time Machine to automate backups of their computer, and while most Mac users let OS X go about backing up to Time Machine at it’s own pace, which sometimes borderlines on glacial, some users may wish to speed the backup process up a bit. With the help of the command line you can do just that and dramatically speed up the Time Machine backup process, but there are some major caveats to this trick because it applies beyond Time Machine, making it appropriate for advanced Mac users only, and used on a limited basis.
First, understand that Time Machine is meant to run in the background automatically, and to not be a total nuisance it runs at a reduced priority so that it doesn’t consume all available system resources to get the job done. This makes the Mac usable while Time Machine is backing up, but it has the downside of making Time Machine taking longer than it theoretically could. The way this trick works is by removing that reduced priority, but, the caveat with this approach is that it impacts more than simply Time Machine, it removes the low priority throttle from anything at the kernel level. Thus, this is why it’s only recommended for advanced users, and for limited use cases, because you could easily find yourself with all sorts of tasks taking up inordinately high CPU as a result. This is why this is not really a recommended approach, and no, this isnot intended to be a solution for when a Time Machine backup is going slower than it should, which typically requires minimal troubleshooting to resolve.
Don’t mind the caveat and potential issues with adjusting processor priority? Then launch Terminal app found in /Applications/Utilities/ and run the following command:
sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0
Using sudo requires the admin password as usual, once entered the effect is immediate. You can either let a backup begin on it’s own, or manually start oneyourself.
If you run this command and check the time remaining on a backup you’ll notice the number remaining should speed up considerably, but CPU use goes way up for the backup daemon and Mac performance takes a hit.
The change can be reversed with a reboot, or by issuing the following command syntax in the terminal:
sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=1
If you like the general idea behind this and don’t mind taxing CPU to complete backups with Time Machine, a better approach would be to target Time Machine and backupd directly, you can adjust an apps CPU priority specifically with an app like reniceor if you’re savvy in the command line, directly with the nice and renice commands themselves. We’ll cover the renice command separately in a separate article, but in preliminary testing it certainly works to achieve the same objective, but on a limited basis to Time Machine processes.
Remember, this is not a solution to slow Time Machine backups in general, which can be fixed through troubleshooting methods.
Thanks to MacKungFu for the uncovering this interesting trick. And if you really love this idea and want to have it enable itself automatically after a reboot, you can drop this plist file into /Library/LaunchDaemons and load it with launchctl, but we do not recommend doing that.
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Opening DOCX Files on a Mac, Without Microsoft Office

Mac users may encounter DOCX files from time to time, often sent from a Windows user as an email attachment or otherwise, as the .docx file types are standard document files created in newer versions of Microsoft Office. But what if you don’t have Office on the Mac? That’s ok too, even if you don’t have Office installed in Mac OS X, you can still open, read, and edit docx files on modern versions of Mac OS X, most often without any added software.

We’ll show you how to open a docx file in Text Edit and Pages in Mac OS X. Of course, if the Mac has Microsoft Office, then you can use Office to open the .docx file too.

How to Open a DOCX File in Mac OS X with Text Edit

The Text Edit application is surprisingly versatile and can easily view and edit the vast majority of docx files on a Mac. This is also the easiest way to open a docx file in OS X, which some modern versions serving as the default opener for .docx file type, but sometimes you may need to
  1. Go to the /Applications/ folder and open TextEdit
  2. Locate the .docx file you wish to open in TextEdit and drag and drop the file on the TextEdit icon in the Dock *
Opening a docx file in TextEdit on Mac
* Some versions of Mac OS X will default to associating and opening a .docx file with TextEdit
The TextEdit method works to open, view, and edit the vast majority of Docx files that a Mac may encounter. For simple text based docx files, this can often be an adequate solution to view and adjust a docx file, save it, and then return to the sender or whatever else is necessary to perform with the file in question.
There is one potential hiccup however, in that some complex docx files or those with significant formatting may render inappropriately in TextEdit, making it less than an ideal environment to edit a docx file in. If you encounter that type of display errors when loading a docx file into TextEdit, you can turn to the Pages app, which comes installed by default on most Mac computers otherwise is available from the Mac App Store.

How to Open DOCX Files with Pages in Mac OS X

Pages for Mac does a very good job of rendering complex formatting found within more complicated docx files, and thus if the document looks weird or doesn’t show up properly in TextEdit, Pages is the solution (aside from installing Microsoft Office, of course):
  1. Open the Pages app in Mac OS X (found in /Applications/ folder)
  2. Pull down the “File” menu and choose “Open” (or “Import” depending on the version of Pages)
  3. Navigate to and select the target .docx file you want to open in Pages and choose to open that from the file browser
Opening a docx file in Pages for Mac OS X
Pages should display the docx file without any formatting issues or problems, and it should look exactly as it arrived from the Windows or Microsoft Office world.
Another significant perk to opening a docx file in Pages is that you can save any Pages file as Word doc and docx format, making it easy to save and transmit the file to users on Windows or in a Microsoft Office environment, knowing that it will be fully compatible on their end. If you prefer the way Pages handles the files, you may wish to change the file app association for all docx types to open with Pages rather than another app on the Mac.
If you’re still having trouble viewing the DOCX file correctly in Mac OS X (or opening the file at all), you can turn to the command line and convert a docx file to simple doc format with textutil, which is admittedly a more complex task than using TextEdit or Pages since it involves a terminal command. The same terminal utility also allows for batch conversion to text (TXT) format as well, just in case you have a ton of files you want to read the contents of, but don’t care about the formatting attached. Those situations can be great for standard document files where the data contained within the file is important, but the formatting or rich media of a document is not.
Finally, another option for some stubborn files is to use a free tool from Microsoft calledOpen XML Converter. Open XML Converter allows you to convert Open XML files that were created in Office 2008 for Mac or Office 2007 for Windows so that you can open, edit, and save them in earlier versions of Office for Mac. This can be an ideal solution for users who are spanning many release versions of Office, Mac OS X, and Windows, as it allows for greater compatibility in many cases.
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How to Enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone with ATT
Most major cellular carrier networks support a feature known as Wi-Fi Calling, and now you can enable wi-fi calling on the iPhone as well.
For the unfamiliar, Wi-Fi calling essentially uses an available wireless network for phone calls to improve the connection quality, rather than relying entirely on the cellular network. The result is generally cleaner and crisper sounding call quality, similar to the difference audibly observed through other Voice Over IP services like Skype and FaceTime Audio.
Another significant perk to wi-fi calling is that you’ll be able to make and receive phone calls even if your iPhone is in an area where you otherwise wouldn’t have cellular service, assuming the area or region does have wi-fi. This is a really common scenario in many cities and buildings, and this is really where wi-fi calling is at its best.
Wi-Fi calling is available now on most new iPhone models with most cellular carriers, though some devices may need to be running the latest version of iOS to have access to the feature.

Enabling Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

Assuming your iPhone and cellular provider supports wi-fi calling, here’s how to enable this feature:
  1. Open the Settings app and go to “Phone”
  2. Tap on “Wi-Fi Calling” and toggle the switch for “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” to enable the feature
  3. Read the confirmation dialog and tap on ‘Enable” to enable wi-fi calling, you’ll then be brought to a few pages of terms and conditions and important details* about the wi-fi calling feature dependent on your cellular provider, agree to the terms to continue enabling the feature
How to enable Wi-Fi calling on iPhone
Once enabled the Wi-Fi calling button will be green.
Enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone
You’ll want to be sure to review the emergency information, because if you were to dial emergency services from a location with wi-fi calling, it’s the information that is relayed to the responder. This is important and not something to overlook or ignore, and also shows the potential downside to the wi-fi calling feature, since the set address doesn’t change with your location, whereas a typical cellular signal can be triangulated for a general idea. If you decide this is not appropriate for your situation, you can always turn wi-fi calling back off again.
Once Wi-Fi Calling is active and you join a wi-fi network with the iPhone, you should see the cellular carrier data change in the upper left corner of iPhone to demonstrate the feature has been enabled and is active. This looks like AT&T Wi-Fi, Sprint Wi-Fi, Verizon Wi-Fi, T-Mobile Wi-Fi, and so on (for those who may be wondering, the numbers next to the carrier name are the cellular signal strength as shown from Field Test Mode, which can replace the usual signal dot indicators if you’d like).
Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone with ATT
As mentioned before, wi-fi calling is really most helpful if your cellular connection service is poor, but you have a wi-fi network to connect to. This can help to eliminate the no-signal zones that are often found in office buildings and parts of a town where some obstruction blocks a clear cellular signal.
* All cellular providers will relay some important information to the user when enabling wi-fi calling. Perhaps the most important element pertains to emergency services and the requirement of setting an emergency address. For AT&T, the entire notification for enabling wi-fi calling is as follows:
“Important Information
Using Wi-Fi Calling. Wi-Fi Calling allows you to communicate through calls and text messages over an existing Wi-Fi network. To use Wi-Fi Calling, your device must be set up for AT&T HD voice, and you must have access to the Internet through your device’s Wi-Fi connection. Your device will only route calls and texts over Wi-Fi Calling when cellular coverage is limited or unavailable (for example, in some indoor locations where it is difficult for a strong wireless signal to reach or when your device is in airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled). If you lose your Internet connection during a voice call with Wi-Fi Calling, your call will disconnect unless you are also within AT&T HD Voice coverage. You can disable Wi-Fi Calling by toggling it off in your device settings menu.
You can use Wi-Fi Calling for voice calls within the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands at no additional charge. However, if you have a capped or pay-per-use text messaging plan, your text messages sent through Wi-Fi Calling will be billed at standard messaging rates in accordance with your messaging plan. If you make international long distance voice calls using Wi-Fi Calling, you will be charged international rates consistent with your applicable rate plan or optional international long distance calling package that you have purchased. For a list of AT&T international long distance calling rates and packages, please visit att.com/worldconnect. You cannot use Wi-Fi Calling outside of the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands. Due to technical limitations, Wi-Fi Calling cannot be used to initiate calls to 211, 311, 511, and 811.
TTY Limitations for 911 Calls. Due to technical limitations, Wi-Fi Calling cannot be used with TTY devices and will not support 911 calls over TTY devices. Persons with communications disabilities can still reach 911 services by either (1) calling 911 directly using a TTY over the cellular network or a landline telephone, or (2) sending a text message to 911 directly (in areas where text-to-911 is available) using a wireless device over the cellular network, or (3) using relay services to place a TTY or captioned telephone service (CTS) call over the cellular network or a landline telephone, or (4) using relay services to place a IP Relay or IP CTS call over a cellular data or other IP network.
911 Call Routing. If you make a 911 call using Wi-Fi Calling, we will attempt to route your call to the emergency response center for your location using automatic location information obtained from your device and the existing Wi-Fi network. If we are unable to route your call using automatic location information, we will use the Emergency Address stored in the Wi-Fi Calling settings on your device. During initial activation of Wi-Fi Calling your current billing address will be shown as the Emergency Address. You can change your Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address during activation or at any time after activation by selecting “Update Emergency Address” in the Wi-Fi Calling menu on your device. Your Emergency Address cannot be a P.O. Box. 911 service may be limited by comparison to traditional E911 service, delayed or unavailable if we are unable to locate you using automatic location information and you use Wi-Fi Calling at a location different from the Emergency Address you stored in your device. To ensure proper routing of emergency calls please keep your Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address up to date. If you lose your Internet connection during a Wi-Fi Calling 911 call, your call will be disconnected even if you are also in AT&T HD Voice coverage. To print a warning label as a reminder of these 911 limitations press-hold, copy and print the following text on a label that can be affixed to your device:
Emergency service from this device using Wi-Fi Calling may be limited in comparison to traditional 911 service.
By selecting “Continue” below, you acknowledge that you have received and understand the foregoing limitations regarding the ability to place 911 calls using Wi-Fi Calling, and you further agree that if you dial 911 on this device using Wi-Fi Calling, AT&T may treat the automatic location information transmitted by your device as your temporarily updated Wi-Fi Calling Emergency Address.”
Other cellular providers will have a similar notification, be sure to read and understand the limitations and details before using the wi-fi calling service on any network.
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