Tips and Tricks

Apple's Free iPhone 4 Case Program: What You Need to Know

To help defuse the media frenzy around the iPhone 4 “Antennagate,” Apple announced that it would issue full refunds for Bumper cases to iPhone 4 owners and offer a handful of third-party cases for free. Apple claims that less than one percent of iPhone 4 owners have called AppleCare to complain about antenna or reception issues, but that it nevertheless wants to make every single customer happy.

On Friday, Apple unveiled the free case program to the public, so it’s time to answer some questions surrounding how it works, who is eligible, and how you can get your slice of Apple’s free pie.

Create Free iPhone Ringtones using Only iTunes

Tired of paying for ringtones for your iPhone? In this tutorial I will walk you through on how to create a ringtone from within iTunes using any song. This tutorial works on any song you may have purchased or ripped into iTunes. Read the full tutorial after the break.

The following tutorial works on any computer running iTunes 9.2.1 or below.

30 Fantastic Geeky Tricks to get the most from Your Mac

If you’re one of those Mac users that loves to dig in and play with hidden features and settings, this post is for you.

Below you’ll find 30 tips and tricks to help both seasoned and beginner Mac users to get the most out of their OS X experience. We’ll cover everything from obscure Terminal commands to keyboard shortcuts that every Mac user should know and use. Let’s get started!

Tricks for editing Your iPhone Photos

The iPhone's camera is a great tool for taking spontaneous photos for sharing on sites like Facebook or Flickr, or even as actual prints on paper or in photo books. But just like photographs taken with a point-and-shoot, and even a DSLR, these images aren't necessarily their best when you first capture them. A few tweaks in a photo editor can greatly improve your iPhone photos, whether they were taken with a first-generation iPhone's 2-megapixel camera or the iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera.

While there’s no single editing formula for producing a good photograph—all problem images have their own issues—there are a few concerns you can regularly expect to find with iPhone images.

Streaming Options for Music, Video need not be Space Hogs

It's inevitable that, as the amount of storage in our personal electronic devices increases, we find more and larger content to fill them up. An iPad with 16 GB of memory sounds like a lot until you try to sync a good portion of your music and video library to it, or choose to rent HD movies (which weigh anywhere from 1 GB to 5 GB) from the iTunes Store.

There are ways to get around space limitations, like setting up smart albums in iTunes for syncing, but that takes advanced planning. I also don't want to use up valuable storage in case I feel like watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" while relaxing on the couch.

I had hoped the iPad, advertised as a great way to consume media like this, would pick up the Apple TV's great ability to stream video or audio from any computer in the house without first copying it to the device. Alas, no luck.

Fortunately for my lazy self, other developers have delivered exactly that capability.

Ergonomics Advice from Apple

Today, changes in technology, changes in the way we perform work, and where and how we work are occurring at a rapid pace. Nowhere is the change more evident than in the use of computers.

This new technology has brought on new demands for information as well as new and more sophisticated computing systems. Today, almost every one of us interacts with computers on a daily basis to create new things and ideas, to produce documents, to correspond with friends and associates, and to retrieve information. Along with the expanding use of this technology have come reports about adverse health changes for computer users.

Here we will examine the factors that may impact your health and performance while using a computer.

Want to upload 720p Movies from iPhone 4? Try Pixelpipe

If you were disappointed that you can't upload full 720p video from your iPhone 4 to YouTube without transferring it to a computer first, then check out the latest update to the free app Pixelpipe.

While there has been some speculation over whether app developers would be able to access the full-resolution videos for sharing, commenters were quick to assure us there was no reason to worry. Pixelpipe claims that it will share your edited mobile masterpiece in all its splendor not only with YouTube but also to Flickr, Facebook, MobileMe, Viddler, Posterous and a bunch of other video-capable sites (as well email and FTP) for videos up to 200MB.

Easily save Web Pages, Documents in iTunes for Use with iOS Devices

Have you ever wanted to be able to save a Web site or document you wanted to read later to your iPhone or iPad? Follow these simple steps and take any offline reading you need to get done with you on your iOS device.

This hint requires a Mac using the latest version of iTunes and an iOS 4-compatible device with iBooks 1.1 installed. Once you've completed each step, you will be able to save Web site pages, documents, or any other data that any Mac OS X application allows to be printed to PDF directly into iTunes for use on your iPhone or iPad.

6 Things You can Do to make iMovie Faster

When Apple rewrote iMovie for its iLife '08 release, its primary motivation was to create a video editor that was faster at assembling and cutting together clips, as well as remove some of the bottlenecks that left people tapping their fingers—like waiting for transitions or effects to render. As a result, iMovie '08 and iMovie '09 are pretty speedy in terms of performance, even on my 2006 MacBook Pro.

There are still plenty of opportunities to perk things up, though, mostly in terms of cutting down the time it takes for you to do things, or offloading operations that can process while you're away from the Mac. Here are six suggestions.

Will Your Current Accessories work with iPhone 4?

We’ve been taking your iPhone 4 questions, answering them in a series of articles. But among the most common questions have been ones about whether or not accessories that work with previous iPhone—or iPod—models will work with Apple's latest phone.

Given that new iPhone and iPod models have, in the past, included circuitry changes that that rendered existing accessories obsolete, as well as the fact that the iPhone 4's physical design is very different from that of its predecessors, these are valid concerns. As we do with every new iPhone, iPod, and iPad, here’s a quick rundown of which accessories work—and which don’t.

Okay, You've got an iPhone 4 -- Now What?

Whether you were lucky enough to score an early delivery, blazed through a pre-order reservation line, or camped out all night, you're going to want to take full advantage of your hard-won new iPhone 4 once you get it home. As we said in our review, the core experience of using an iPhone hasn't changed too dramatically with iOS 4 and the new iPhone -- it's instead been refined and extended with some new capabilities. That means you'll need to poke around a little and download some updated apps to really see all the benefits -- there's some fun stuff to uncover.

So without further ado, let's run down the list of things to try and do with your new iPhone, as well as highlight some essential apps that'll let you get the most out of your new toy. Read on!

How to Opt Out of the iAd Network

Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device, you can opt out by accessing the following link on your iOS 4 mobile device: The message "You have successfully opted out" will appear and you will be automatically opted out of interest-based ads.

Make sure you are using a mobile device running iOS 4 or later. If you receive an "Opt out not successful" message, please wait a few hours and try again.

iOS 4 Walkthrough

iOS 4 (previously iPhone OS 4 or iPhone 4.0) continues Apple’s relentless yearly mobile OS cycle. If 2007 was the mainstreaming of the multitouch user interface, 2008 all about the app store, and 2009 filling in the feature list, then iOS 4 promises to be… well, that’s why we’re here.

(And yes, iOS. That’s the new name Apple has licensed from trademark holders Cisco to represent the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch — and maybe soon Apple TV and who knows what else — family.)

Back on April 8 at the sneak preview event, Apple promised 7 “tent-pole” features and 100+ general user features overall, along with 1500 major new API for developers. TiPb’s going to walk you through the ones that matter most.

iBooks: Syncing iTunes Digital Booklets to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

With iBooks 1.1 and iTunes 9.2 or later, you can now sync your iTunes Digital Booklets to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. To sync your iTunes Digital Booklets to iBooks, you will need to change the media kind of your booklet.

Follow these steps to change your booklet's media kind.

Using an iPhone without a Wireless Service Plan

If you upgrade your iPhone to a newer model or cancel your wireless service account/tariff for your iPhone, it is possible to continue using your older iPhone without an active cellular service (using it with Wi-Fi only).

To do this, follow the steps for your iPhone model.

Keep kids Safe Online

It’s the unwise parent who grants their young child unguarded access to the Internet. Thankfully, Mac OS X provides some protection with its built-in Parental Controls.

If you’re concerned about what your child might see online—or are simply interested in limiting the time your Mac-obsessed spawn spends in front of the computer—join us on this tour of Snow Leopard’s Parental Controls.

Modify the Look of the Safari 5 Reader Function

Safari 5 introduces the Safari Reader feature, for selecting article bodies to make reading and printing easier. I started looking around for where this new Reader functionality lives to see if it was customizable and I found that it is.

There is essentially a built-in CSS file with a tiny bit of Javascript located here:

You'll need to control-click on the Safari application icon and select Show Package Contents to navigate to this file, and a text editor (like TextWrangler) that can open and save files owned by root.

Checking iPhone Upgrade Eligibility

Apple introduces a new iPhone model each spring, and the company will most likely do just that Monday morning at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. If you aren’t sure if you can affordably upgrade to the latest and greatest model, AT&T makes it easy to check right from your iPhone.

To check your upgrade eligibility, just dial *639# from your iPhone.

If You’re not Cloning Your Drive, Your Backup won’t Save You

I clone therefore I am.

The other day a friend of mine lost his hard drive and all of his email. Needless to say, he was at the bar. The whisky was flowing. And it was only noon. On a Tuesday.

Chances are if you’ve been using computers long enough, you’ve had similar hard drive problems. Whether it’s a failure or a file corruption, the computer stops functioning. And it always seems to happen at the exact wrong time, like when you’re late for a meeting or you’re on deadline. Poof! Drive death.

Here is how to survive drive death without breaking into the Knob Creek:

Is Your 802.11n Wi-Fi feeling Sluggish? This Simple Solution could Help

With many routers now transmitting Wi-Fi signals using the 802.11n standard (including all of Apple's current router offerings), some users may find that they are unable to take advantage of the increased speeds. This is most likely due to the password settings users have chosen for their network.

The maximum transfer rate, as outlined in the IEEE 802.11n standard, for networks using WEP or WPA (TKIP) passwords is 54 Mbps (megabits per second). To ensure that you are getting the best speeds from your 802.11n router or Base Station, be sure you are using the WPA2 password configuration.

You may also choose to have no password protecting your network, though security risks obviously increase with that choice.

Manually Remove the newly Found OSX/OpinionSpy Spyware

Here is some background on the recent announcement about a piece of malware which has been found to affect Macs. The spyware in question is called OSX/OpinionSpy and it’s a new variant of Windows spyware that has existed since 2008.

The Guardian offers a manual method to remove the spyware which was installed with the screen savers from 7art, or other infected applications which may have been installed.

To see if you're affected, run Activity Monitor (in /Applications/Utilities) and set it to show All Processes in the dropdown menu. Look for a process called 'PremierOpinion' which will be owned by root. If it's there, you've been affected.

Calling all Authors: How to sell Your Books in the iBook Store

Have you got a novel or two in your bottom desk drawer? Did you participate in the National Novel Writing Month competition last November? Are you a budding author who needs that last nudge to actually get writing? If any of these describe you, Apple has just given you a way to get your masterpiece into the iBooks store for the iPad, and you can do it yourself.

You don't need a publisher, distributor, agent or anything else for that matter. You can decide how much to charge and which countries (that have an iBook store) to sell into. You also get the same deal as the app publishers, meaning that Apple takes 30% and you keep 70% of the revenue.

There are some requirements though but help is available.

Speed up Your Wireless Network

Wi-Fi networks are miraculous and devilish at the same time. They can seem miraculous in their ability to deliver high-speed network and Internet communication through walls and ceilings, and over long distances. But they don't always deliver the speeds they promise. When you're troubleshooting a slower-than-it-should-be network, the devil is in the details.

The most common reason for an underperforming wireless network is interference, which can crop up when competing wireless signals disrupt the transmission of data on your network. Interference means bits have to be resent or sent at a slower speed. It can also mean that network throughput drops to zero or that devices lose their connections to your base station. Here's how to find out what might be interfering with your wireless net and then to make sure you're getting the highest rates you can.

Deleting your Facebook Account (FAQ)

Are you confused by the myriad changes Facebook keeps making to its privacy settings? Are you angry about your data being exposed without your express consent? Are you just fed up and not going to take it anymore?

You're not alone. A recent poll from Sophos found that an estimated 60 percent of users are considering quitting Facebook over privacy issues. More than 11,000 people have committed to ditching the social-networking site on May 31, according to And more people are searching Google for ways to delete their Facebook accounts than ever, according to the Search Engine Land blog.

But leaving Facebook can be almost as confusing as navigating the privacy backwaters on the site. The New York Times shows that there are 50 settings and more than 170 options to managing the privacy of a Facebook account. Here are some tips on deleting your account and answers to questions about what that means for your data, and more.

Use Timed Access to Lock out iDevices from Wi-Fi

Worried that your teen or tween is spending all night wired to his or her iPod touch or iPad? While Mac OS X has timed access controls that let you specify during which hours a computer account may be used as well as a cumulative daily limit, the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch lack such options.

But there’s a way to set timed access in a manner that sticks if you’re using Apple Wi-Fi base stations on your network. The Timed Access option for access only lets you choose days of the week and times of the day to block usage, but it’s effective.

How to Protect Your Privacy from Facebook

Thanks to Facebook's complex, ever-changing set of privacy-related options, protecting your privacy on - and from - Facebook is essentially impossible. But by understanding how Facebook's privacy settings currently work, and by following my Three Golden Rules of Facebook Privacy, you can both control what the world knows about you and be prepared for future privacy changes.

How to Protect Your Privacy from Facebook

Claiming over 400 million users, Facebook is the dominant social networking service on the Internet, uniting families, school friends past and present, and international political movements. Facebook has since morphed into a behemoth of a platform with diverse set of features such as real-time multiplayer gaming, online chat, retail operations, event management, and thousands of small applications. From sending birthday cards to trading "flair," Facebook seems to have it all.

Thanks to Facebook's complex, ever-changing set of privacy-related options, protecting your privacy on - and from - Facebook is essentially impossible. But by understanding how Facebook's privacy settings currently work, and by following my Three Golden Rules of Facebook Privacy, you can both control what the world knows about you and be prepared for future privacy changes.

5 Tips for speeding up iPhoto

If you find that iPhoto is running a bit sluggish on your Mac, here are a few suggestions for speeding it up—some tried and true such as rebuilding the library, and others a bit more esoteric such as vacuuming the database. While iPhoto '09 performs well on my MacBook Pro 17” 2.5 GHz with 4GBs of Ram, performance can vary widely depending on the age and power of your machine, and the size of your library.

If you attempt any of the techniques that involve the iPhoto Library, I recommend that you back-up all of your images first. I’ve never had anything go wrong during a rebuild, but it is one of those things that is best not left to chance.

Hands on with Air Video - Stream Video to iPad, iPhone

Air Video is an app which lets you stream any movie stored on your Mac or Windows PC to the iPhone and iPad. It will do this both over your home Wi-Fi network and 3G. As long as your computer is on at home, you have access to a limitless number of movies and TV shows, and they take up no space on your portable device.

Air Video isn’t the only app that streams video like this, but it is the easiest and most reliable I have tried.

Hands On with iPad VNC Clients

When you look at VNC clients for the iPad, there are really two uses you have to take into account. First, can the software connect locally, allowing you to screen share your desktop computer? Second, can it connect remotely, providing off-site access to your computer?

With these two issues in mind, TUAW recently took a look at several iPad VNC clients. Read on to discover how they stood up to real world testing.