Category Archives: Mac & OS X

Mac OSX topics

How to charge your iPhone in half the time

It never fails; you’re busy, not paying attention and have a meeting across town in an hour, when you notice that your iPhone is down to 15% charge on the battery. Simply plugging it in for 15 minutes before you head out the door isn’t going to give you enough charge to get you through the day.

iPhone fast chargeHere’s a little-known secret to get you the battery charge you need in half the time it would normally take.

Plug your iPhone in as you normally would, then open the Settings app and turn on Airplane mode at the top. Doing so turns off WiFi, the cellular radio, Bluetooth, pretty much everything that typically drains the battery even as it’s charging.

I’ve verified that this works, and works well. My iPhone charged in nearly half the time it would normally take.

I wish I could take credit for discovering this trick, but I found it at AlliOSNews.

Getting control of your Mac’s volume settings

Volume controls

If you’re using an Apple keyboard (or many third-party keyboards with a dedicated audio volume button), you can adjust the volume up and down with the push of a key. For many people, that’s enough.

For those who need a little more control, you can adjust the volume in quarter increments (rather than whole increments) simply by holding Option + Shift keys while pushing the Volume Up or Down keys. You’ll notice on the Volume bezel that appears on screen that the volume is adjusting a quarter box at a time, rather than a whole.

And for those of you who are annoyed by the quacking/beeping/burping sound with every press of the volume key, you can temporarily mute that sound by using Shift+Volume Up or Down keys. Unfortunately, you can combine the two to make silent adjustments in small increments.

Easily rearrange the order of accounts in OS X’s Mail app

Mac Mail address send order

If you have several different email accounts, you may find it annoying to have to choose the right email address as your “From” email from the drop-down menu (providing the default send account isn’t the one you want to use) in OS X’s Mail app. There is no cure for this problem, but you can at least put the list in the order you want it to appear in.

Mac Mail address send order fixI’ve seen other Mac sites that offer tips to accomplish this that range from the outrageous advice that you must delete all your email accounts and re-add them in the order you want them to appear, to the less dramatic but still cumbersome idea that you must uncheck the email checkbox in the Internet accounts preference pane and re-enable email in the desired order.

Thankfully, there’s a much more convenient way to accomplish the same desired result that doesn’t require you to delete anything.

Simply drag the individual email inbox icons for your accounts in the Mail sidebar to the order you want them to appear and restart Mail. Boom, you’re done. Now your drop-down menu will list your email addresses in the order you set them in.

Get started in 3D modeling & animation with Blender (free)

Blender 3D animation software for Mac

Looking to get started in 3D modeling and animation software on the Mac? There are a few apps out there, but most fall into one of two categories. Expensive but worth it, being the first. Cheap or free, but completely under-featured and unpolished is the more likely one you’ll come across.

Blender kicks the trend and offers a high-end package absolutely free.

Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

Blender is cross-platform and runs on Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers. I’m not into 3D work, and I’ve not used this software myself. But I recently read a review from a friend who has and she was raving about it. It’s free, so you lose nothing by trying it out.

If you do use Blender, be sure to check out Blend Swap for free 3D assets created by other Blender users.

Mail Pilot public preview available

Mail Pilot for Mac public preview early sign-ups are now live. On Thursday, December 5, the first batch of public previews will go out. Sign up now to be one of the first to get Mail Pilot for Mac.

Mail Pilot users can quickly manage and productively organize their inboxes with a simple, task-oriented approach, tailored for the desktop. Mail Pilot for iPhone is already available, and quite popular.

Lynda.com offers Intro to OS X Mavericks, free until Nov. 17th

Just upgraded to Mavericks? Do you know someone who needs a little training on the new features? Lynda.com is generously offering their Intro to OS X Mavericks training video by Chris Breen for free until Nov. 17th. Watch the OS X Mavericks training video here.

You’ll have to visit this Facebook page and click the link to the Lynda.com video page. A pop-up will ask if you want to share it on Facebook, just hit Cancel if you don’t want to share right at the moment.

Video Description: While many of the important changes in Mavericks are “under the hood,” there are some intriguing “over the hood” features that make your Mac more efficient and easier to use. Macworld’s Chris Breen shows you the way. Learn how to install Mac OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks, and discover how improvements to the Finder, the iCloud Keychain, multi-monitor support, and apps like Maps, Calendar, Safari, and iBooks make your Mac experience even better.

Eltima updates Folx 3 download manager (15% discount)

I reviewed Folx back in mid-2011, and found it to be quite good as far as Internet downloaders go.

If you’re not familiar with Folx or Internet download managers, I encourage you to read the previously linked review. It’ll give you an excellent idea of what Folx can do.

While ISPs have offered faster and faster broadband download speeds, the number of files we download, and their overall size has grown much faster. That’s where Folx comes in.

Folx speeds up your downloads by intercepting the download from Safari, Chrome or Firefox, and splitting the download into multiple threads (sort of like downloading the file in pieces from multiple computers and joining them together at the end). The larger the file, the greater the speed increase you’ll likely see; and you’ll also see speed increases when downloading lots of smaller files at the same time.

Folx 3

Folx 3 improves upon the previous versions in several ways. The most obvious is an improved user interface. Previous versions looked like a cheap port of a Windows application. Folx 3 looks much more at home on the Mac. It also added support for Firefox and Retina display Macs, which were lacking in the past. Continue reading