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Fix an iOS device that refuses to launch 3rd-party Apps iOS devices
I was recently stymied by my iPhone 3GS that refused to launch any third-party apps. I would open an app, the start screen of that app would flash, and then I would be dropped back to the home screen as if the app crashed.

Due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to restore from a backup. Also, I wasn't at my usual computer that manages my iPhone, so there was the fear that I would lose all my non-iTunes Store acquired music, apps, etc. And to top it all off, iCloud restoration was not an option as I'm still running iOS 4.x.

Before I stumbled on the solution, I believed the only option available to me was to wipe my phone and reload iOS from scratch.

You can try the following steps to restore launching of third-party apps:

1. Download any free app to your iOS device (you can delete it later). Third-party apps should now open. If not, continue with the following:

2. Connect your iOS device to a Mac or PC with an empty iTunes library on it (if necessary, use option when opening iTunes to force a new library location, or create a new user account with an empty library).

If you need to restore functionality and you're not at your usual computer, make sure you first go to iTunes preferences, click on Devices and select Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. Note: Make sure you do not allow iTunes to sync your iOS device to any different copy of iTunes, as you will lose all your iPhone's contacts, notes, apps, music, etc.!

3. In the iTunes source list, right-click your iOS device and select Transfer Purchases from [your device name].

4. Let it transfer all your purchased music and downloaded apps to iTunes. (You may need to sign into iTunes.)

After iTunes transfers your purchases, try to open a third-party app. If it still doesn't work, try opening an app after each step of the following:

5. Right-click your iOS device and select Backup (note that this is different than sync).

6. Reboot your iDevice

Hopefully these steps will save someone a lengthy troubleshooting session to get their apps working! Thanks goes to Alvin Alexander at for providing step 1.

PS: If you perform step 5 on someone else's computer, make sure you use secure delete on the backup files once you've finished. On Macs, the backup is located ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ and on Windows it's located C:UsersuserAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup.

[kirkmc adds: Fortunately, I'm unable to test this, bit it makes sense. It's worth posting in case it might help someone resolve a similar problem. Naturally, the best way to solve this is to simply restore the device, but if, like the poster, the computer than syncs with your iOS device isn't available, this is a good option. Or iCloud backups, if your device is compatible with that feature.]
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Swap panorama pan direction on iPhone iOS devices
The regular panorama feature on the iPhone 4S and 5 under iOS6 let's you take panoramas from left to right, but a simple tap allows right to left panning.

While in panorama mode, just tap the white arrow in the center of the screen to change pan directions. To swap back, tap the arrow again.
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How to repair an Xsan file system OS X Server
Apple has published a technical note explaining how to repair an Xsan file system. They explain that one uses the following commands to do this:

sudo cvfsck -j VolumeName
sudo cvfsck -nv VolumeName

Note that this is different from the standard fsck command used with a regular file system. See the Apple document for more information on using this command.
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One possible solution to iPhone Wi-Fi problems iOS devices
Does your iPhone constantly defer to 3G or 4G, even when you are standing right next to your Wi-Fi router?

I recently discovered that the two iPhones (a 3GS and a 4S) in my household were both deferring to using 3G and 4G instead of using Wi-Fi. All the other devices (two laptops, one iPad 2, and two Direct TV boxes) were doing just fine.

I looked all through many tutorials online and tried a number of weird tricks and resets and was getting pretty flustered about it. Then I looked into why it would be affecting out phones and not our other devices and found this:

Pre-iPhone 5 models do NOT support the newer 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. All the other devices in my house, including the iPad2, DO support the 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. This means that the only devices using the 2.4GHz range on my router were the two iPhones.

I logged into my router's control panel to have a look at the 2.4GHz settings. At first I was considering changing its security settings from WPA2 to WPA Enterprise, but first I decide to try something simpler. I changed the 2.4GHz channel setting from "Auto" to a dedicated channel, and everything was back to normal.

I wish I could provide an explanation for why this worked. It seems there are many of people having this issue. I hope this helps you if you are.

[kirkmc adds: It is entirely possible that there was interference from other people's routers on the channel you were using. By changing the channel, you found one that is less encumbered. But this is certainly something to try if you are having Wi-Fi connection problems, and not just with an iPhone

5GHz is not really "new," it's just not been supported by mobile devices for very long. I've had a 5GHz network in my home for a few years, even though, for a long time, only my Macs would connect to it.]
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Arrange icons on the Apple TV menu Other Hardware
Apple has published a technical note explaining how to re-position icons on the Apple TV. While you can't move those on the top row, you can move others, as follows:
  1. Select the icon you want to move
  2. Press and hold Select on the remote
  3. When the icon begins to jiggle, use the remote to move the icon to a new position
  4. Press Select again to finish
I actually find this to be simpler than on an iOS device. Now, if only they could add folders to the Apple TV...
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Close Duplicate Finder windows Apps
I sometimes have several duplicate Finder windows open at the same time. I wrote this AppleScript which quickly closes any duplicate windows, leaving only one of each open.
script pruneDupFWins
	-- tested 07/09/12
	-- Enhanced to consider Spotlight windows 09/09/12
	-- Optimized for speed 10/09/12
	--  McUsr 2012 Parts made by Nigel Garvey
	property parent : AppleScript
	property scriptTitle : "Close Duplicate Windows"
	property FinderIcon : a reference to file ((path to library folder from system domain as text) & "")
	on run
	local wCount, i, res, res2, fail, prevApp
	script o
	property wlist : {{}, {}}
	property slist : {}
	property klist : {}
	property dlist : {}
	end script
	set fail to false
	tell application id ""
	set prevApp to (name of every process whose frontmost is true and visible is true) as text
	tell application process "Finder" to set o's slist to name of every window
	end tell
	tell application id "" to activate
	set sCount to count o's slist
	if sCount = 0 then return 0
	tell application id "" to set o's wlist to {name, id} of (every window)
	set wCount to count item 1 of o's wlist
	set o's wlist to reverse of my transposeList(wCount, item 1 of o's wlist, item 2 of o's wlist)
	set o's slist to reverse of o's slist
	set i to 1
	repeat sCount times
	set res to my getSingelton(o's wlist, item i of o's slist)
	if res = null then
	if o's klist ≠ {} then
	set res2 to my indexOfItem(item i of o's slist, o's klist)
	if res2 = 0 then
	set end of o's klist to item i of o's slist
	set end of o's dlist to res
	end if
	set end of o's klist to item i of o's slist
	end if
	if i < wCount then set o's wlist to items 2 thru -1 of o's wlist
	end if
	set i to i + 1
	end repeat
	set wcl to count o's dlist
	repeat with i from 1 to wcl
	tell application id "" to close Finder window id (item i of o's dlist as integer)
	end repeat
	on error e number n
	-- Chris Stone
	set {cr, sep} to {return, "------------------------------------------"}
	set errmsg to sep & cr & "Error: " & e & cr & sep & cr & "Error 
	Number: " & n & cr & sep
	tell application id ""
	display dialog errmsg with title my scriptTitle buttons {"Ok"} default button 1
	end try
	end tell
	set fail to true
	set wcl to 0
	end try
	if not fail then
	if wcl > 0 then
	if wcl = 1 then
	set msgText to "I closed " & wcl & " window!"
	set msgText to "I closed " & wcl & " windows!"
	end if
	set msgText to "Nothing to do!"
	end if
	tell application id ""
	display dialog msgText with title my scriptTitle buttons {"Ok"} default button 1 with icon my FinderIcon giving up after 1.2
	end try
	end tell
	end if
	tell application prevApp to activate
	return wcl
	end run
	to transposeList(ctr, list1, list2)
	-- tested 05/09/12
	script o
	property newL : {}
	property m : list1
	property n : list2
	end script
	local i
	set i to 1
	repeat ctr times
	set end of o's newL to {contents of item i of o's m, contents of item i of o's n}
	set i to i + 1
	end repeat
	return o's newL
	end transposeList
	on indexOfItem(theItem, itemsList) -- credit to Emmanuel Levy 
	local rs
	set text item delimiters to return
	set itemsList to return & itemsList & return
	set text item delimiters to {""}
	set rs to -1 + (count (paragraphs of (text 1 thru (offset of (return & theItem & return) in itemsList) of itemsList)))
	on error
	return 0
	end try
	end indexOfItem
	on getSingelton(the_list, item_a)
	set astid to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	-- Nigel Garvey's with a name change
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
	set the_list_as_string to return & the_list & return
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return & item_a & return
	if (the_list_as_string contains result) then
	set p to (count paragraphs of text item 1 of the_list_as_string)
	if (p is 0) then set p to 1 -- Catch modern paragraph count for empty text.
	set p to p mod 2
	set otherItem to paragraph (p * 2 - 1) of text item (p + 1) of the_list_as_string
	on error
	return null
	end try
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to astid
	return otherItem
	return null
	end if
	end getSingelton
end script
tell pruneDupFWins to run

[kirkmc adds: Looking at the script, I really don't understand much, but I tested it and it works.]
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Send e-mail notifications via Find My Friends app in iOS 6 iOS devices
It is now possible to have Find My Friends app send notifications to e-mail addresses.

I like the Find My Friends app, which allows you to see where your friends are located (if they allow you to). With the latest version, in iOS 6, you now have the option to be notified when a friend leaves or arrives at a location.

But you can also set up notifications for yourself, to notify others where you are currently, as well as when you leave or arrive at a location. Additionally, you can send an e-mail automatically when you arrive or leave a location, or send an e-mail showing someone where you are currently

To do this, open Find My Friends, tap Me, then Notify. You can now tap either Immediately, to send an e-mail right away, or At a Location, to send an e-mail when you get to that location. Tap on the To field to enter an e-mail address. If you choose an Apple ID for a friend who has the Find My Friends app, they'll get a notification on their iOS device. But if you enter a different e-mail address - such as one for someone who doesn't have the app, or an iPhone - an e-mail message will be sent. This is nicely formatted, and contains a small map (using Google maps) showing your location.

So if you need to tell someone where you are, and they don't have an iOS device or the Find My Friends app, this e-mail can be a big help.
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Opt out of ad tracking on iOS 6 iOS devices
With iOS 6, you can choose to limit (though not entirely disable) ad tracking, by digging deep into settings. Go to Settings > General > About, then scroll down to the bottom and top on Advertising, then toggle Limit Ad Tracking to On.

There's a tiny Learn More link at the bottom of that screen, which explains that this uses a "non-permanent, non-personal, device identifier, that apps will use to give you more control over advertisers' ability to use tracking methods."

[kirkmc adds: I'm not entirely sure how effective it will be, as it's still in its infancy. But it can't hurt.]
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Safari 6 ".com" shortcut Web Browsers
Before Safari 6, you could navigate to a URL with having to type ".com". The same can be done in Safari 6 with one extra keystroke.

Entering "apple" in the location bar of Safari 6 will yield you Google search results for those terms. However, including a trailing slash will cause Safari to add the .com TLD to a logical location in the address, and take you to that URL. So, "apple/" will take you to

[kirkmc adds: This is fine, if you're trying to get to .com sites. If you're in a country and want to get to local sites, it won't help you. It's worth noting that you can enter any number of slashes and still get this to work.]

Update: As per a comment below, here's how to make it work when you type a /. For example, if you type "apple/ipod/" Safari will go to, if you do the following. Go to System Preferences > Network, click on Advanced, then DNS. In the Search Domains section, click on + and add .com. Click on OK, then on Apply.
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Listen to podcasts with Music app on iOS 6 iPod
With iOS 6, podcasts no longer show up in the Music app, if you have installed the Podcasts app. But if you like to make playlists of podcasts, the Podcasts app doesn't pick these up. If you want to get your podcasts back to the Music app, and be able to access playlists, just delete the Podcasts app. Podcasts will show up after you tap More in the Music app.
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