A Stack Exchange user asked a question a while back: is it possible to turn off the swipe gesture in Chrome that goes back or forward a page? If you're not familiar with this gesture - which works in most browsers on OS X - you use a two-finger swipe to the right to go back to the previous page you've viewed, and a swipe in the opposite direction to go forward again. But this use found it got in the way.
Fortunately, another user found a Terminal command that turns this feature off. Run this in Terminal, then relaunch Chrome for it to take effect:
Apparently you can issue this command for other apps, replacing the com.google.Chrome.plist with the appropriate file name. I've only tested this with Chrome, but if you feel like testing with other apps, post in the comments to say which ones work and which don't.
You recently published a hint explaining how to open a new Finder window in the same folder as the frontmost window, using an AppleScript. Here is an easy way to do the same thing: no Applescript, no special apps needed.
In the Finder, make sure the Path Bar is visible (View > Show Path Bar). The current path is then displayed at the bottom of each Finder window.
As with any other folder icon in the Finder, Command-double-clicking on any icon in the Path Bar will open a new window to that folder.
The current folder is always displayed last in the Path Bar (even if the Path Bar is to short to display all the names), so Command-double-clicking on the last icon in the Path Bar will always open a new window to the current folder.
A user at Stack Exchange asked an interesting question recently : how can you open a new Finder window in the same folder as the frontmost window? When you open a new Finder window (Command-N in the Finder), it opens to the folder you've set in the Finder's General preferences. There may be some situations when you want to duplicate the current window, such as when you're moving files around among sub-folders in a specific folder.
Another reader, Lauri Ranta, posted a simple AppleScript, that you can use together with a keyboard shortcut, to do just this. When you run the script, it creates a new window at the same location as the frontmost window. Here's the script:
tell application "Finder"
target of window 1
make new Finder window to result
make new Finder window to home
Save this as a script, and use any tool that can apply keyboard shortcuts to AppleScripts. Or save it as an application, drag it to the Finder window toolbar, and it'll be just a click away. (You can move the application to any location you want afterwards.)
Quick Look uses WebKit to render SVG (scalable vector graphics) flies, and Safari has a bug that mis-renders any isolated horizontal or vertical line segment making it useless. Most SVG graphics programs like Inkscape or Illustrator are very slow to launch. Fortunately Firefox works correctly and opens SVG files instantly. So if you need to view SVG files, you can drag them into a Firefox window, or onto the Firefox icon in the Dock, to view them.
[kirkmc adds: I tried opening some SVG files in both Safari and Firefox, but didn't find any that had isolated horizontal or vertical lines, so I haven't seen how this issues displays. YMMV.]
If you have an iPad or iPhone, and a friend wants to check out a web site, or your child wants to play a game, you may not feel comfortable lending them the device, since they can access your email, bookmarks, contacts and other personal data.
There's a way to lend a device to someone, however, so they can only access the current app. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, and scroll down to the Learning section and tap Guided Access. Turn this on, and enter a PIN. Go back to the Accessibility settings, and scroll all the way down: you'll see, in the Triple-click section, that Triple-click Home is set to Guided Access. (Unless you've already set something else for the Triple-click Home setting.)
Now, to lend your device to someone, open the app they're going to use, triple click the Home button, then tap on Start. (You can also set some options before allowing access; tap the Options button at the bottom of the screen.) When the user is finished, triple click the Home button again to exit Guided Access; you'll need to enter the PIN.
I can't find a hint for this on the site, and it's probably not new, but I only just stumbled on this. The Finder toolbar, by default, has Previous and Next buttons that let you navigate back and forth in folders. If you click the Previous button, you'll go back, one window at a time, to all the folders you've visited in that Finder window. But if you click and hold that button, you'll see a list of all the folders you've visited, and can jump to any of them by selecting one. This is a good way to get to a folder you've used but that's far from where you are in the file system.
I've just moved from a country where I had unlimited (really) data on my iPhone contract to one where data plans are metered and expensive. So this recent article by David Chartier, on the Finer Things in Tech web site, comes at the right time. It points out the simple setting in iOS to turn off automatic loading of images in Mail. As with Mail on OS X, you can load images later, but you won't need to load them for every message, saving download time and bandwidth.
To change this setting, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts & Calendars, and toggle Load Remote Images to OFF. If you get an email with images, and want to see them, just tap on Load All Images in the message.
This setting would make more sense if it only affected image downloads when using cellular data. But it's an all-or-nothing choice, so even when you connect via Wi-Fi, you'll need to download images manually, if you use this setting.
Some users have issues displaying PDFs in their web browsers. In some cases, when clicking on a link to a PDF, they get a blank black or white page. These issues can be caused by certain PDF browser plug-ins.
Michael Cohen has written an article for TidBITS discussing this issue, and explaining which plug-ins to remove.
I haven't seen this issue myself, but for those having problems, this is a simple fix. It's worth noting that, over time, you may have browser plug-ins that you don't need, so it's worth having a look in ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins and /Library/Internet Plug-Ins to see what's there.
Google has added Google Now to its Google Search app for iOS. This provides local traffic information, weather data and more. Unfortunately, this also keeps GPS on permanently on an iOS device, depleting its battery.
After installing the new Google Search app, I had noticed that my iPhone's Location Services icon was on permanently. I quit all apps that could be using GPS or location services, but it was still visible. I restarted the phone, and it was still visible. It turns out that it was Google Now, and I resolved the issue by deleting the Google Search app.
You can also just turn off Google Now, in the Google Search app's settings. (See this screenshot by Dave Hamilton.) If you want to use Google Now, be aware that it will drain your battery, and remember to turn it off when you don't need it.
I assume Google will update the app soon to fix this, but in the meantime, it's a good idea to be aware of this issue.
Update, June 1: As you can see below in the comments, a Google representative claimed that Google Now has no effect on iOS device battery life. Interestingly, this person posted the exact same content on dozens, perhaps hundreds of websites that were claiming this was in issue. The Loop published an article with a screenshot for a recent update, whose notes discuss improving battery life. But The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, in an update to the post, says he might be wrong.
BitTorrent Labs has released BitTorrent Sync, a tool for syncing files across computers, using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol. This app lets you choose a specific folder (or folders) to sync, and have it automatically synced on one or several computers. It runs on OS X, Windows and Linux.
I find this an interesting tool. While I use Dropbox regularly, and depend on it for collaboration, and to sync a number of files between my two Macs, there is a limit in the amount of space available. (With the free version, it's 2 GB; paid subscriptions are available if you want more storage.) But also, Dropbox requires that anything you sync be put in its own folder. You can use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder, but if you want to sync the contents of a specific folder on your Mac to another Mac, this gets a bit complicated.
With BitTorrent Sync, you choose the folders to sync, and store them wherever you want. You could conceivably sync your entire home folder, though I'm not sure I want to try that yet. There are no space limitations, because you're not storing the files in the cloud; they're merely getting moved from one side to the other. And you can sync files in both directions, or only one, using read-only folders.
Dropbox has many advantages. You can access files on an iOS device, and Dropbox stores multiple versions of files. But if you want to simply sync one or more folders across computers, BitTorrent Sync could be the way to go.
If anyone else has tried this out, feel free to post comments on how you've found it.