Sometimes you want to be alerted when you have new e-mail, but you don't want an audible alert. Here's how you can do it.
If you take a silent audio file, when you install it as a new silent ring tone and set it for the New Mail alert, your phone will vibrate only. Since the iPhone lowers any audio currently playing, you want to make this as short as possible (.1 sec), so the audio dip will be at a minimum.
[kirkmc adds: It so happens that I have a bunch of silent MP3 files on my website, in an article about adding silence to iTunes playlists. I added a .1 second file, as well as a .1 second ringtone to the zip archive.
I set up the ringtone on my iPhone, but I wasn't able to test if it works or not. I happen to be part of the 1%; that is, the 1% of people whose iCloud e-mail has been down for more than 24 hours, and none of my other accounts work with push e-email.]
Apple recently released a Podcasts app for iOS. This application has a number of performance and interface issues, but some podcast listeners may find it superior to using the Music app (though many standalone podcast apps have far more features than Apple's app).
When you look at the Podcasts app, it seems as though you can only subscribe to podcasts that are in Apple's store. This is not true, but the way to subscribe is unintuitive.
When you're in the Podcasts app and viewing your podcasts, there's a black bar at the bottom of the window with a Search field to the right. Paste a podcast URL into this field and tap on Search. A dialog will display asking if you want to subscribe to the podcast. Tap Subscribe to add it to your podcasts.
With the arrival of Google's Chrome web browser on iOS, many are finding this to be a better tool than Safari. Developer Jon Abrams posted a nifty trick to easily open a web page in Chrome. Since iOS doesn't allow you to choose which browser will open links, Safari takes over every time you tap on one. But you can create a bookmarklet for Safari to open the current page in Chrome.
To do this, do the following:
Bookmark this or any web page.
Open Safari's bookmarks, tap on “edit,” and edit the new bookmark.
Rename it to “Open in Chrome” or whatever name you wist.
Delete the bookmark's URL in the bookmark and paste in the above code in its place.
This seems to remove an extended attribute that prevents iTunes from syncing the iPhoto Library. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of photos in your library it may take a while to sync them all.
Note: You may have to re-apply the command from time to time, when the attribute is restored by iPhoto.
[kirkmc adds: This works as described. However, this may sync much more than the photos that you see in your iPhoto library. I have a very small iPhoto library, and the number of photos that synced was about 5 times the number in my library. This is because the iPhoto library contains masters, previews and thumbnails. However, that happened the first time I synced my iPad; the second time, the number was much lower. So I'm not sure if this method tells iTunes to find every picture in the iPhoto Library bundle the first time, and subsequent syncs only find the main pictures, and not their variants.]
The default YouTube app in iOS was great back in 2007, but it hasn't seen a significant update in years and is lacking many features compared to the newer mobile YouTube website that Google launched two years ago.
To stop iOS from launching the native YouTube app, and force it to use the superior YouTube mobile website, simply disable YouTube under Settings > General > Restrictions.
This will make all YouTube links open the mobile website and will also hide the native YouTube app on the device. If you decide you want to revert these changes, simply go to the Restrictions settings and toggle YouTube back on.
This hint solves a long standing problem when playing classical music on an iPhone. When using the iPhone Music app (iOS 5.1), the full entry (e.g. name of artist, album or song title) for an item can be too long to be displayed. Tap and hold entry to see the full entry pop up. Tap and drag your finger down the list to make the pop up change as you drag. This works for album titles, song titles, and artists names.
[kirkmc adds: Nice. I hadn't heard of this before, but searching the web shows that it is not totally unknown. Since it hasn't shown up here before, it's worth posting.]
iOS Reminders can give you alerts when you arrive at a location, but those locations must be in your Contacts list.
I want to be reminded before I get to a location, for example, when I get to the exit off the Interstate. If I turn left, I head home, but my bank and the grocery store are the other way. It won't work to set a reminder "when arriving at the bank," because I'll never get there. I need to set a reminder "when arriving at Exit 15."
The trick is to use the Maps location. Tap and Hold the location you want to use for your reminder.This will create a "Dropped Pin." Tap on the > button to display details about that location Then tap on "Add to Contacts," "Create New Contact," and give it a name, like "Exit 15." This is kind of silly, as it isn't a person, and it isn't a business. It has no email, or phone, or even a real address.
Now go back to the Reminders Application. I can use "Exit 15" as the location for "Stop at the Grocery Store," and get a reminder, which lets me know that I need to turn right.
The only problem with this approach is that if I happen to be lucky enough to get a green light at the end of the exit ramp, I'm not at the location long enough for the Reminder to trigger.
[kirkmc adds: Interesting idea, but the bit about needing to stop seems to make it unpredictable. I don't have time today to go out and drive around to test this, but I think that if you are going to depend on a reminder that will only remind you if you get a red light, then this might not be ideal. If anyone wants to test this, please post your results in the comments.]
Transferring photos from an iOS device to a Mac can be a hassle. This is especially the case for those of us who take screenshots on an iPhone or iPad and want to use them on our Macs. I generally e-mail them to myself, but I won't be doing that any more.
A tip published on The Iconmaster website last week shows a nifty way to get near-immediate access to these files on your Mac. Here's what you need to do.
Make sure you have Photo Stream turned in on each of your iOS devices, as well as on your Mac.
Go to ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub. You'll see a bunch of subfolders with names like "013184d3f181aa175db7e48b08817861eff8cac25a".
Perform a search for .png files in this folder. Enter "png" in the search field; you'll see only the .png files, which are all the photos currently in your Photo Stream.
Save this as a Smart Folder by clicking on the Save button just below the search field. You can save this where you want: by default, this goes in the Saved Searches folder, but you can check the box that says Add to Sidebar if you want quick access from the Finder sidebar. You can also choose a different location for the Smart Folder, such as your Desktop. If you want this folder in the Dock, add it to the Dock by dragging the folder there.
Whenever you need to get quick access to a photo or screenshot that you took on an iOS device, just open this folder and find it. If you have a lot of files, you might want to add the Date Created column (right-click on the sort headers and choose Date Created), then sort by this date (click on that header so the most recent date is at the top).
[kirkmc adds: As mentioned in the comments below, using png only finds screenshots; use jpg if you want photos, or kind=image if you want both.]
It is possible to create an HTML signature for Mail on an iOS device without jailbreaking that device.
For this to work you need a backup of your iOS device made via iTunes.
First, create your HTML signature in your favorite text editor. It is essential that you replace the HTML tag delimiters < and > with the appropriate HTML entities: < and >.
Then run iBackupBot, choose your latest backup, then look for /Library/Preferences/com.apple.mobilemail.plist. Click on this file to display it in the editor, and find the <SignatureKey> section.
Below it you will find tags; paste your HTML code between these tags (overwriting what is already there) and save the file.
Exit iBackupBot, then restore your iOS device via iTunes. (Click on the device in the iTunes source list, then Option-click on the Restore button and select your backup.) The signature should then appear in any e-mails you send from that device.
I recently needed to add an appointment to iCal that was a couple of years from now on my iPhone. I began tapping on the forward arrow but as that was getting tiring I thought I'd try keeping my finger pressed down on the arrow. I found that it quickly skips ahead by months, and it only took me a second to get to my desired date.
[kirkmc adds: This seems more useful to view a future date. To set an appointment, just tap and hold a date when in Month view, and you can then set the date from the Add Event dialog. Just tap on the Starts or Ends dates and set the date you want there. Or, if you are using an iPhone 4S, just use Siri.]