Do you have an iPhone? Here are two undocumented features that I use everyday on my iPhone.
- Silence incoming calls – You can instantly silence an incoming phone call by pressing either of the volume buttons. By pressing one of the volume buttons one time you’ll immediately silence your phone if it’s ringing or buzzing.
- Jump to the top of a page or list – Have you ever scrolled to the bottom of a long web page or to the Z’s in your list of contacts? Rather than scrolling back to the top, simply tap your the top of your iPhone’s screen. The top area is called the Status Bar. It typically displays the time, your battery level, cell phone signal strength and other information. Tap anywhere on this Status Bar area and you’ll jump to the top of your web page or list.
I have found these features indispensable once I learned they existed. Apple did a good job of hiding them. I discovered the first feature, by accident, many years ago. I stumbled across the second gem while reading a web page of iPhone tips just a few months ago.
Would you like to be able to export some or all of your email messages as PDF files that you can store in a regular folder on your Mac? If so, check out Email Archiver Pro (time-limited demo version available). Previously, I wrote about how to archive email if you use Microsoft Outlook (or Entourage) and using EagleFiler to archive messages from Apple Mail. Email Archiver Pro takes a different approach to archiving emails. First, Email Archiver Pro works independently of your email application, such as Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. Second, it exports email message as .pdf files as opposed to .mbox or .eml files which are created by EageFiler and other mail archiving applications. Read More
Does your Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanner have problems feeding documents? I love my ScanSnap and have used it nearly every day for many years. It finally had problems reliably grabbing pages and feeding them. The pages’ leading edge would get stuck and I’d have to fuss a bit to get the paper to feed properly. Earlier this year, I cleaned my ScanSnap and this helped, but didn’t fully resolve the situation. The manual for my ScanSnap S500M recommends replacing the pick-up roller and pad assembly every 50,000 scans or every year. My ScanSnap has only scanned about 8,000 pages but I’ve never replaced these parts in 9 years, so I figured it’s time. I ordered an official Fujitsu Consumables Kit for my model. It cost about $100. The kit contains 1 Pick Roller and 2 Pad Assembly. I followed the instructions in my ScanSnap’s manual and easily replaced the parts in about 20 minutes. This fixed my problem. My ScanSnap now reliably feeds paper again. The ScanSnap only has 1 pad assembly inside but the consumables kit contains 2 so now I have a spare which I can install then the ScanSnap starts acting up in another 7 years.
50,000 pages or every year. My ScanSnap is now 9 years old. Paper feed has become a bit fussy.
Do the fans on your Mac make a lot of noise? In a sense, this is not a bad thing, but it it is worth investigating to try to figure out what is going on. Typically, the fans in your Mac are running all the time. They are just running at relatively slow speeds so they do not make any audible noise. One typically can only hear the fans when they are running at full speed. The fans’ job is to cool the interior of your Mac so you want them to run if the interior is hot. The problem is not that the fans are running. The problem is that something has triggered the fans to run faster. Let’s explore what could cause this. Read More
Do you type on your iPhone? If so, you should make sure you know these four typing tips.
- Tap the Space key twice at the end of a sentence. This inserts a period and a space and also activates the shift key. You’re now ready to type the next sentence without missing a beat.
- Hold down the Shift key with one thumb while typing a word with your other thumb to capitalize the entire word.
- Alternatively, enable Caps Lock and then double tap the Shift key to turn it on. First, you have to enable this feature by tapping on the Settings app, then tap on General, then Keyboard and turning on Enable Caps Lock. Now, when you double tap the Shift key your iPhone will display the icon shown below to indicate that Caps Lock is on. To turn off Caps Lock tap the Shift key once.
- Quickly enter a number or punctuation mark by tapping and holding the 123 key and then sliding your finger to any number or punctuation mark and then release your finger. You will find that you’re automatically able to keep typing letters without having to press the ABC key.
Would you like some guidance on selecting a new iPad? Clients often ask me to help them select an iPad since this has become a more complicated choice. When Apple first introduced the iPad in Jan 2010, there was only 1 screen-size and a few decisions that needed to be made. Now, iPads come in 3 screen sizes and there are more choices. This article will highlight the important decisions that you need to make. If you would like to read about the differences between the models in greater detail I would direct you to Wikipedia’s iPad page or EveryMac’s iPad page. Also check out Apple’s current lineup of iPad models. Read More
Have you ever had problems locating your Library folder on your Mac? If so, let me help you locate it. There are two complicating factors. First, there are typically three Library folders on the Mac so locating the correct one can be tough. Second, Apple made one of these three Library folders invisible starting with OS X Lion (aka OS X 10.7). Read More
Is your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro running low on storage space? If so you could consider installing a TarDisk which will increase your available storage space. A TarDisk is not your only option, but it’s an easy option that appeals to some. A TarDisk is a micro SD card that can easily be slid into the SDXC slot on the side of most recent Mac laptops made in the last handful of years. Read More
Do you organize your digital pictures using Albums in either iPhoto or its replacement, Photos? If so, did you know that you can sort your albums? iPhoto lets you manually sort or re-sort your albums by name. Photos lets you keep your albums sorted by either name or date. Read More
Would you like some guidance on selecting a new printer? Clients often ask me to recommend a good printer or tell them which printer they should buy. These requests are actually surprisingly difficult for two reasons. First, there are numerous printer manufacturers and each company makes a range of printer models which are often updated yearly so it is tough to keep track of all of these devices. Second, people’s individual needs vary more than you might realize. Consequently, rather than recommend one or two particular printer models, I often start by outlining the range of printer features that are available to help people select an appropriate type of printer for their needs. This article contains a summary of my guidance. I intend to update this article as the printer market changes so check back before you buy your next printer.
[Aside – If you’d like to look for specific printer model recommendations check out The Wirecutter which tests and offers recommends for The Best Cheap Printer, The Best Multi-Function Printer and maybe other types of printers. ]