Thursday
Sep022010

iPhone Voice Dialing

When your hands aren't entirely free, you can dial a phone number by voice on your iPhone (iPhone 4 or 3GS).

Hold Down the Home Button
Hold down the Home button for 3 seconds. (If you have the iPhone earphones plugged-in, squeeze and hold the center button on the earphones cord.)

Speak a Phone Number or Name
The Voice Control screen will open. Now, you can say "Dial 555-1234" or "Call 555-1234". Or, you can speak names that are in Contacts on your iPhone, "Dial Shelley" or "Dial Shelley mobile" (if you have more than one phone number for Shelley).

Works even when iPhone is Sleeping
You can bring up Voice Control dialing even when your iPhone is asleep and locked. You don't have to wake it up. Just hold down the Home button for 3 seconds and talk.

Tuesday
Aug312010

Jam with Magic GarageBand on your Mac

Jam with your Mac using Magic GarageBand. Rock, Jazz, Country and other genres are available to help unleash the musician within you - whole songs laid-out by GarageBand to get your creative juices flowing.

On your Mac, launch GarageBand. (GarageBand comes with every Mac.) In the project window, click Magic GarageBand.

Choose a music genre.
Next, choose the genre of music you're in the mood to groove with. There are nine to choose from: Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, Reggae, Funk, Latin, Roots Rock and Slow Blues.

Set the Stage.
Click the Audition button (or the Choose button). The stage will load and you'll see a virtual band, ready to play. You can connect an instrument to you Mac, or click "No Instrument". You can play along - "unplugged" - with a guitar or other instrument or sing along, instead.

Mix it up.
You can change the mix of instruments in two ways. Click on an instrument and then choose an alternate instrument (displayed just below the stage). Or, click on an empty part of the stage and then click the "Shuffle Instruments" button to randomly change all the instruments. Click the play button to hear the new mix.

If you'd like to edit the mix even more, you can click the "Open in GarageBand" button to open the song in Track View so that you can change, rearrange and add to the song anyway you'd like.

Sunday
Aug292010

iPhone 4 Tip: Display Battery Percentage

The battery icon on an iPhone gives you a rough idea of how charged the iPhone battery is. For a more exact indication, you can choose to show the actual percentage of battery charge, as well.

On your iPhone, open Settings and then tap General. Next, tap Usage. You'll see the Battery Percentage setting at the top of the screen. Tap the switch to turn it on.

Now, the percentage of battery charge is displayed next to the battery icon in the upper-right corner of the iPhone screen.

Thursday
Aug262010

iPad Maps with Google Street View: It's Just Like Being There!

The Maps app on iPad (and iPhones running iOS 4) is very useful in helping you figure out where you are and how to get somewhere. It also has a feature that can virtually place you at a location, to actually be able to look around, using Google Street View.

Launch the Maps app and then drop a pin on the map or just use your current location. Tap the location's pin or blue ball to bring up the information bar. In the left part of the bar is an red-orange circle with the icon of a person in it. Tap this icon.

The Maps app will zoom in on the location and present a 360-degree view of the area. Swipe to rotate the camera view. You can pinch to zoom the picture, too. Tap virtual arrows on the street to move around the map, as though you were actually walking on the street.


Wednesday
Aug252010

Navigate Mac Menus Without a Mouse

One thing that makes the Mac so easy to use is the mouse. You can use it to move and open files and folders and navigate menus. Still, when you're in the middle of composing an email, report or story, moving your hand from the keyboard to move the mouse can be enough to break your train of thought. Certainly, it causes a pause as you reach for the mouse, do what you need to do with it, and move your hand back to the keyboard again.

Fortunately, if its a menu item you need to choose, Mac OS X gives you a way to navigate menus without your hands having to leave the keyboard.

Press Function-Control-F2. (On older keyboards, press Control-F2.) You'll see the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen highlight. Press Return to show the Apple menu.

Press the left and right arrow keys to show another menu. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate up and down the items in a menu.

When you get to the menu item you want, press Return. It works as if you had clicked the menu item with a mouse.

By the way, you can use the keyboard to select text, too, without using the mouse. Check out this article: Move the Cursor and Make Selection in a Document Without Using a Mouse.