Monday
Sep132010

Launch iPad Apps Using Spotlight

With so many apps available for iPad, you likely have a whole lotta apps installed. So, finding an app you want to use might take a while, especially when you have multiple screens of apps - even if you've given some thought to organizing them.

Spotlight to the Rescue
You can launch any app, fast, using iPad's Spotlight Search feature. (iPhone and iPod touch have this feature, too.)

Using Spotlight to Find an App
From any home screen, press the Home button. (It'll take you to the first Home Screen.) Then, press the Home button again. Now, you're in the Spotlight Search screen.


Start typing the name of the app you want into the search field. As you type, you'll see matches below the search field. You'll see matches for apps, as well as Mail messages, music, contacts and calendar events. The apps will be listed at the top. Tap the app you want and it will launch.

By the way, Spotlight Search is also a great way to quickly find and play a song on your iPad.

Friday
Sep102010

Mac Tip: Show Paper Tape in Calculator

When you're balancing a checkbook, working on a budget or just calculating lots of numbers, it's difficult remembering what you've entered, or if you had entered a number incorrectly. The Calculator application in Mac OS X has virtual paper tape that'll let you see what you've input.

Launch Calculator and then select "Show Paper Tape" from the Window menu.

Now, as you enter numbers and perform calculations, you'll be able to see and check the numbers to confirm you've input them correctly.

Wednesday
Sep082010

iOS 4.1 Software Update for iPhone and iPod touch

Apple released an update for the iPhone. The iOS 4.1 Software Update for iPhone has a number of fixes, features and improvements, including:

  • Game Center
    - Send and receive friend requests
    - Invite friends to multi-player games over the Internet
    - Play multi-player games by auto-matching with other players
    - View Leaderboards and Achievements
    - Discover new games from friends
  • High dynamic range (HDR) photos on iPhone 4
  • Support for TV show rentals on iTunes
  • Ability to upload HD videos to YouTube and MobileMe over Wi-Fi on iPhone 4
  • Additional support for AVRCP-supported accessories, including next & previous track control
  • FaceTime calling directly from Favorites
  • Bug fixes, including:
    - iPhone 4 proximity sensor performance
    - iPhone 3G performance
    - Nike+iPod fixes
    - Bluetooth improvements

The iOS 4.1 Software Update is available for download from the Apple Support web site and via iTunes. This software update is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd generation, or later.

Tuesday
Sep072010

Create iPhone Ringtones in GarageBand

Ringtones are a fun way to personalize your iPhone. GarageBand, on every Mac, lets you create ringtones from music in your iTunes library.

Create a Ringtone Project
Launch GarageBand, select "iPhone Ringtone" (in the left column) and then double-click "Example Ringtone." Name the new ringtone project as you like.

Next, GarageBand will open the new project with a single track named "Jingles." In the track is a music snippet named "Pastel Slide Medium." Click on the snippet and press the Delete key to remove it.

Choose a Song
Click the Media Browser button (in the lower right corner of the window) and then drag a song from your iTunes Music library into the "Jingles" track. A bar with the title of the song will appear in the track.

Most songs are too long to use as ringtones. GarageBand uses a yellow bar (above the track) to let you specify an 18-second piece of the song to use.

Drag the yellow bar over the portion of the song you want to use for the ringtone. If you like, you can drag the ends of the yellow bar to create a longer ringtone. While the default 18 seconds is a nice length, 30-45 seconds is typical and let's you include more of the song.

Ringtones loop. So, if you let a  ringtone play long enough when your phone rings, it'll play again from the beginning.

Send Ringtone to iTunes
Select "Send Ringtone to iTunes" from the Share menu. GarageBand will convert and export the ringtone to the Ringtones library in iTunes. The next time you sync, the ringtone will be installed onto your iPhone for you to use.

Saturday
Sep042010

iPad Not Charging? Maybe it is.

When you connect your iPad to your Mac, you may have noticed that it displays "Not Charging" next to the battery icon.

The iPad is not able to charge from the low-powered USB ports found on some older Macs (and PCs) and some USB hubs. However, in many cases, the iPad will actually charge, but only when the iPad screen is off.

So, if you’re getting the “Not Charging” message, try leaving your iPad plugged-in and see if the battery has recharged a little after an hour or so.