Users of Apple’s Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse or Trackpad might find this free piece of code useful for monitoring the battery level of said devices via a Dashboard widget. Mighty Monitor does just that – and does it well! Hitting the Dashboard key on your keyboard is much faster than going through System Preferences –> Mouse etc. only to check the battery life of your Apple bluetooth devices, right?
Those ZIP-archives (and others) are surely useless, once unpacked. So why they aren’t moved to the bin by default, I do not know. However, here’s how to set things right: Just click on “Go” in the menu bar, then “Go to Folder…” and type in System/Library/CoreServices. Now open the Archive Utility and check out the preference settings of the app in question. In the settings you can opt for: After expanding: move archive to Trash. That’s it, one less thing to take care of on your Mac.
If you have numerous audio devices plugged in to your Mac, there’s a pretty easy way to change input and output settings quickly. Just hold down the alt key (option key) and click on the little speaker symbol in the menu bar. There you go! No need to take the detour via system preferences.
In Mac OS X Lion Apple has hidden the user library, which used to be located at Users/Your Username/Library. But sometimes it is necessary to dig into that folder to delete preference files, obsolete application support folders, print drivers et cetera. A quick way to do just that is to go to “Finder” select “Go” from the menu bar and press the Alt-Key (Option Key). The invisible library folder will show up in the window as long as you hold the alt key and you can select it and navigate its contents. You can also drag the library folder to your side bar for quick access.
So you bought a new Mac and now want to sync your iPhone to the new computer? Well, Apple doesn’t make that easy for you. So here’s how: Close iTunes on both Macs and copy the following folders/files from your old Mac to the new one:
Now you can sync the iPhone with the new Mac and merge the data. But be sure to backup first! By the way, thank Racker Hacker for this how-to!
P.S. The official way would be to use Apple’s “Migration Assistant” to accomplish the transfer.
With a few clicks you can turn your favourite song into a ringtone for your iPhone:
1. Select a song in iTunes (if the file format is MP3 convert it to ACC by right-clicking on the selected song and choosing “Create AAC Version”).
2. Select the created AAC Version and press Cmd + i
3. Go to “Options” and check “Start Time” and “Stop Time”. Set the time code to the part of the song you want (30 seconds max).
4. Drag the song from the iTunes Library to your desktop and change the ending to .m4r
5. Now drag the renamed file back into iTunes and it will show up under “Ringtones” ready for the next iPhone sync.
There’s no magic involved and it’s not a new trick, still many people don’t know this little hint: By double-clicking on the two small, vertical dashes near the bottom of the Finder window (screenshot) you can auto-expand columns to the width needed to display long file- and folder names. That’s it!
There are a number of plug-ins promising to save video streams on YouTube and other streaming sites. However there’s another simple reliable solution. Just open the stream in Safari, select “Window” –> “Activity” from the menu bar. In the activity window look for the largest stream (just go by Megabytes) and copy and paste this line into the “Downloads” window which you find by selecting “Window” from the top menu again. That’s it – you’re now downloading the file.
Finally Apple has released its big update for the iPad (and iPhone for that matter). It implements many long wished for features, such as music streaming (AirPlay) and printing. Thanks to AirPrint you can now access any printer shared by a Mac via WiFi to print e-mails, pictures, PDFs or web pages right on your iPad and iPhone. Just remember to activate printer sharing under “System Preferences” –> “Print & Fax” of your Mac. Your iOS device and Mac have to be connected to the same WLAN of course.
Some developers over at Apple have hidden more than 400 emoticons and other symbols in iOS3 and iOS4. To activate them, just download the App “Emoticons” or “Emoji Enabler” from the App Store (they are free) and follow the instructions. You might have to reboot your iPhone. Afterwards the smileys will show up as an additional keyboard in your normal text writing window. The secret emoticons can only be used between iPhone users.
With QuickTime X you can record your screen actions on your Mac. Just go to “File” and select “New Screen Recording”. It sits in your application folder and is free!
For some unknown reason Apple doesn’t allow you to add artwork to radio streams in iTunes. But there is a way around it: Select the radio stream and press Cmd + i. Next give the stream an album name. After that you chose any song or audio file (for example an empty voice note) and give that file the same album name. You can now add a cover to this audio file and it will also be added to the radio stream. Remember to tick “Part of a compilation each time”.
There are two kinds of people: the ones who hate the caps lock key and the ones who need it. If you hate it – simply turn it off! Go to “System Preferences” -> “Keyboard” -> “Modifier Keys…” and assign “No Action” to the caps lock key.
It’s no secret, but many Mac users forget about it. If you go to “system preferences”, “energy saver” you’ll find this option to schedule start up, wake or shut down times for your Mac. Useful if you don’t want to let your Apple machine running all night. Or to set up specific times while you’re away and might need to access your computer remotely.
If for some reason you want to use more than one library in iTunes, there is an easy solution to your needs. Hold down the alt-key when starting up iTunes and you are asked to create or select a library. Different libraries are still linked to the same settings and iTunes account though.
Take a picture of the whole screen: command + shift + 3 (command = ⌘-key).
Take a picture of a part of the screen: command + shift + 4
Take a picture of a program window: command + shift + 4 + space
Screenshots are saved to your desktop as PNG files. You can also use the system tool “Grab” for screenshots. It’s located in the utilities folder.
Ads on the Internet are a good thing and keep lots of content free. But on older Macs Flash-based ads are painful. They often push the CPU to the limit and make your fans go crazy. In that case Adblock Plus for Firefox can be a real cure. It blocks all Flash ads and has a noticeable effect on the CPU when browsing the web.
There are several hidden smileys in Skype you can use when chatting with others. Just type the name of the emoticon in brackets in your chat window.