Yep, that’s right. Apple has put together a section of app-enabled accessories for the iPhone and iPad. You can find all sorts of things over there – like toys, games, musical instruments, gadgets for home automation and health accessoires. Why don’t you check it out yourself, there’s some pretty cool and nerdy stuff just in time for Christmas.
Languages contains up to 12 complete language dictionaries. You can download the ones you want, they’re included in the $0.99 price. After the download you have access to a well designed, easy to use offline translator, which searches for a word as soon as you start typing. It includes both languages (of the currently active dictionary) in the search – for example English-Spanish/Spanish-English. This makes finding a word quite fast even if you’re not sure how to spell it correctly. The only downside of Languages is the fairly limited vocabulary but that can grow, right?
Copying and transfering files between a Mac and a Windows PC can be frustrating. Especially when your file size exceeds 4GB, which means USB-Sticks and hard drives formattetd in MS-DOS FAT32 won’t work. But there’s a solution called ExFat (Wikipedia link). Your Mac can read and write on ExFat formatted drives (starting with Snow Leopard) and so can a Windows machine. The single file size is as good as unlimited. Just pop your drive or stick in to your Mac and open Disk Utility to format it in ExFat. You now have the perfect solution for swapping data between the two worlds – OS X and Windows.
Not another weather app, you may say. But its clean design and ease of use makes this my favourite weather app for now. Check the Weather features all the needed information within reach of a few swipes. On the main screen you have the current temperature and current weather conditions (like snowing, raining, sunny). A chart shows the temperature over the next few hours and there’s a two day forecast. Times for sunrise and sunset are on that page too. swiping to the right (actually half a swipe) gives you a forecast of the next twelve hours, swiping to the left a weather prediction for the following ten days. Check the weather is $1.99. Different design skins would be a nice bonus since this one is a bit peculiar.
The screenshot shows the main screen while being swiped to the left.
Say hello to the Speck CandyShell for:
iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3S, iPhone 3.
With its “hard outer shell and soft, rubbery, shock-absorbent center” it offers the protection you might want for your precious Apple device. Looks pretty decent if you ask me and the $35 price tag is acceptable. User reviews are good and it comes in different colours.
With SSD hard drives still being expensive, size (or lack thereof) is an issue for some Mac users. Others struggle with keeping their disks clean and folders tidy. CCleaner is for both types. The free helper takes care of caches, unused language packages, cookies and other junk piling up on your drive. After analysing the disk, CCleaner shows you what could go to teh trash and how much space you would gain. There are plenty of options for the user to play with. Try it out and see for yourself!
Ladies & Gentlemen… here comes another awesome tool to convert video and audio files into different formats. What’s the point you ask? Usability! Adapter is self explanatory and comes with many useful presets for Apple devices, tablets et cetera. If you feel you need more advanced options over codecs and stuff go for Handbrake or MPEG streamclip. All of these 3 great media converters for (Mac) OS X are free!
A growing number of decent games are coming to the Mac. Fans of the classic strategy and simulation SimCity will be glad to hear that they can start building modern cities in polished graphics by February 2013. Meanwhile a trip to the past playing SimCity 2000 (and other old school games) might fill the void.
There are other time killers too. Head over to steam if you are up for the latest game titles running on your Mac such as Call of Duty: Black OPS.
Apple’s App Store (for OS X not iOS) has an expanding selection of quality games on display too. Many titles are originating from the iPhone, but you’ll find classics like Civilization V as well.
Apple has decided to let fans watch today’s special event “We’ve got a little more to show you” LIVE – you know, the iPad mini introduction! You may choose between the official live stream on the web –>right here<– or you can fire up your Apple TV and follow the event from the comfort of your sofa. Either way be ready for the October 23, 2012 event at 10:00 a.m. PDT, which translates to UTC/GMT 5:00 p.m. and CEST 7:00 p.m. The Online Apple Store is already offline…
Thanks jasonsandmeyer for the fake Passbook ticket for today’s iPad mini event!
In order to use AirPlay Mirroring – the new screen streaming feature Apple built into Apple TV and Mountain Lion – you need a Mac bought in 2011 or later. So if you have a Mac from 2010 or before you’re busted, you won’t be able to mirror your Mac’s desktop to your Apple TV even if you have Mountain Lion installed. Apparently the reason is the lack of graphics power, says Cult of Mac. The on-GPU H.264 encoding (if you really need to know). Someone else told me it’s because of content licence problems. But don’t give up, this is where AirParrot comes in. For a reasonable $10 you can enable AirPlay Mirroring on your pre-2011 Mac. Simple as that!
Using a Mac mini as a media center connected to your TV is a great thing. There’s just one tiny hiccup: the missing AirPlay feature from Apple TV. Wouldn’t it be cool to wirelessly connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV for easy photo and video streaming or to play games? Plus with Mountain Lion you can also stream the screen of a Mac to your tube via Apple TV – it’s called “AirPlay Mirroring.” Well, AirServer solves that problem. Just install the $15-tool on your Mac mini and you’re set – no need to buy Apple TV. Works pretty well with iOS 6 and Mountain Lion.
Retronaut has put together a collection of Apple print ads from 1975 till 2002. It’s funny to have a look at the tech past and interesting to see the evolution of Macs and advertising campaigns at Apple. You should check it out. Now can someone do the same with Apple TV ads, please?
Here’s a fine selection of wallpapers for your new iPhone 5 – free of charge. Not much more to say really. There’s no search box or sorting option by categories though. Just keep scrolling.
Beautiful and clean cut reader for feeds such as Google Reader subscriptions and RSS. Google Currents supports sharing articles through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Read It Later, Instapaper, Pinboard and other services. You can read articles offline and the universal app is free! It utilises Google trending to bring you the most recent stories of several categories like world, entertainment, sports and science. You need a Google account for this app though.
If you want to secure an external drive (USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt hard drive, SD-Card or USB-Stick), there’s an easy way to do this in Finder. Make a right-click on the volume of your choice (either in the Finder Sidebar or on your Desktop) and select -> Encrypt *nameofyourdrive* You get to choose the password and OS X will encrypt the disk. Be patient it takes quite a while and there’s now progress indicator. Thanks for the tip osxdaily!
If you are the world travelling type who likes to take his Apple gear with him, you might be intersted in Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kit. The collection of six AC plugs has you covered in North America, Japan, China, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Korea, Australia, and Hong Kong. It works with the iPhone, iPad and your portable Mac. It’s yours for $39,00.
The autocomplete feature (e-mail address completion) of Apple Mail is great, but if you’ve ever entered a wrong e-mail address, it haunts you forever. Here is how to set things straight: In Mail –> menu bar (at the top) select “Window” and go for “Previous Recipients.” A window will pop up which lets you search and delete or edit wrong e-mail addresses.
If you are the kind of guy who is “interested” in mobile phone radiation and want the new iPhone 5, Apple has you covered. You’ll find the relevant RF Exposure Information, from transmit frequency to SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) ->right here<- including the legal limits (W/kg) set by the FCC. So now at least you know whats hitting you
Depending on where you buy your iPhone 5 (i.e. which mobile phone carrier) you will get different models with varying tec specs (LTE support). You will also have different iOS 6 features available (services like Siri), depending on the country you use the iPhone. At worst your iPhone will only work with the LTE network of some providers. (There are 3 different iPhone 5 models at the moment). So better make sure you know which one you’re buying! For a break down of the LTE capabilities of the iPhone 5, refer to this official Apple site. If you want to find out which iOS 6 services are supported in your country, make yourself familiar with Apple’s iOS 6 feature availability list.
So Apple kicked YouTube out of iOS 6. That didn’t stop Google from offering their own app, which you can find over here. It’s pretty well done: You have several categories to browse through and everything feels sweet ‘n’ snappy. Navigation is crisp, while content loads fast. Good job!
Limit Ad Tracking. Go to Settings, General, About, Advertising, Limit Ad Tracking –> “On”.
Location-based ads. Go for Settings, Privacy, Location Services, System Services, Location-Based iAds –> “Off”.
Diagnostics & Usage. If you don’t want Apple to collect “daily diagnostic and usage data to improve its products and services” you should turn off that feature too: Settings, Privacy, Location Services, System Services, Diagnostics & Usage –> “Off”. Also check: Settings, General, About, Diagnostics & Usage –> Don’t Send.
In iOS 6 you can now easily controll which app is accessing which services. Go to: Settings, Privacy and remove or grant access to your location, contacs, calendar, photos, bluetooth and more.
In case you are interested: Apple has hidden 43 additional Desktop pictures in the latest OS X. osxdaily.com reports that you can find them in: /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/ They have a resolution of 3200 x 2000 and some are simply stunning.
Apple has added a new set of emoticons – usually referred to as emoji 2 – to its latest iOS 6. This enables the popular chat symbols on the iPhone 3GS right to the iPhone 5. You might need a free app like Emoji Enabler to activate the first emoji set and emoji 2 keyboard on your iPhone. Once the secret emoticons are enabled, there are hundreds of smilies, animals and symbols at your fingertips.
If you are into home networking and ultimate file access using your iPhone or iPad, check out Files Connect! It connects to your Mac or PC and network shares like AFP, WebDav, SMB, SFTP, DropBox or Google Docs. If you have a hard drive attached to your Airport Extreme you can set up your own Internet cloud. How cool is that! Of course you may also browse your local network or connect to a Mac via the Internet. The configuration is straight forward. The file exchange could be improved …but works. You can upload and download all sorts of files. All this connectivity costs you $4.99.
Dropbox offers a simple way to exchange files between Macs, PCs and iPhones/iPads, store files in the cloud or back things up. BoxCryptor adds one great feature by offering you a secure, i.e. encrypted folder (well, volume actually) in your Dropbox. There’s a limited free application for Mac, PC and iOS if you use the service for private purposes only. BoxCryptor helps you to create a volume in your Dropbox (looks like a regular folder), set a password and then secures your files with an AES-256 encryption. That way only you can access the volume. This might be handy for storing private documents like a copy of your passport and other travel documents while circling the globe.
Fonts are a powerful design tool and finding the right one isn’t always easy. A great resource for (free) fonts is Font Squirrel. The site offers “hand-selected typefaces, licensed for commercial work.” You can search by style or popularity, OpenType and TrueType. What else can you ask for!
The app offers simplified access to over a million public WiFi hotspot around the world. You have to pay several cents per minute but you are online within a few taps. Skype WiFi (iPhone & iPad) uses your Skype account and Skype credit to go online. No need to register with each hotspot provider at airports, hotels, etc. and give them your credit card details. To use the service, click on a supported hotspot network and connect, make sure you have enough Skype credit! After 30 minutes auto disconnect kicks in but you can reconnect. If you want to stop surfing before the 30 minutes are up, you do that manually. Unfortunately not every WiFi provider is supported by the free app.
You will need: A second Mac (with FW or TB port) running Snow Leopard, a Firewire or Thunderbolt cable, a Snow Leopard installer (DVD or image on the second Mac).
1. Bakup all your stuff, it’ll be gone! 2. Connect your Mac to the second Mac which is running Snow Leopard via Firewire or Thunderbolt. 3. Boot the Mac you want to downgrade into Target mode (press and hold T after startup chime). 4. Once the Mac shows up as an external hard drive in the Finder of the second Mac, delete/reformat the drive with Disk Utility. 5. Now start the Snow Leopard installer on the second Mac (DVD or image). Choose the external hard drive you just erased as the target and install Snow Leopard. Quite a bit of work but it does the trick. Thanks Apple for making it so easy, not!
Netgear is about to extend your AirPlay network with the Powerline Music Stream Box (German website). This means you can not only pump data through the power lines in your home but connect speakers to your Apple AirPlay network as well. (We are talking music streaming with iTunes or iPhone and iPad). The Powerline XAUB2511 comes with an Ethernet port and a USB port which talks to USB speakers and connects to a stereo using cinch cables too (adapter included). You may also use the USB 2.0 port to plug in a hard drive or a printer for easy network sharing. Price? 140 € for two Powerline adapters.
Many applications for OS X are available in different languages. You can change your system language, including all program languages via System Preferences –> Language & Text (requires a user log-out). Language Switcher, however, can change the language of any single application of your choice (if the software comes in different languages, of course). Simply select the program and choose from the available languages. Language Switcher will restart the app in the desired language and lets you specify a default setting too.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (Gimp 2.8) is a free alternative to the likes of Photoshop and GraphicConverter. Finally Mac users can run this full-fledged photo editor as a NATIVE application under OS X. No need for the annoying X11 Window System anymore. Thx guys! Need more details? Dig right in!