Apple’s Headphone Remote: more than just volume control

Apple Headphone remote

Though Apple’s headphones are a source of frustration to many users, for a variety of reasons, nobody can argue the usefulness of the built-in remote. At first glance, it appears to offer nothing beyond volume control. But Apple has actually built-in quite a few handy features for controlling your iPhone with it. Here are some lesser-known shortcuts.

  • Tap the center button twice and hold it down on the second tap to fast-forward through a song. To rewind through a song, tap three times and hold it down on the third tap.
  • Skip to the next song by double-tapping the center button, and tripple-tap to hear the previous song.
  • Take a photo while in the built-in Camera app by tapping the volume up button.
  • Press and hold the middle button for two seconds, then release it to ignore an incoming call (sending it to your voicemail).
  • Tap and hold the center button to activate Siri.

Completely remove Flash from Mac OS X

If you’re having issues with Adobe Flash player in Mac OS X, simply removing the control panel from the System Preferences (by right-clicking on the icon) or doing a manual search through the Applications folder in the Finder isn’t going to work. But there is a relatively painless way to do it.

You can completely remove Flash in Mac OS X by following the instructions Adobe has provided on their website, including running the uninstaller.

Adjusting your cropping preferences in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 cropping preferences

Adobe Photoshop CS6 brought with it a new cropping method that has left some users frustrated, and others wishing they could tweak it a bit. Fortunately, Adobe has built-in the ability to do both.

With the Crop Tool active (hit the C key to activate it), click the little gear icon in the toolbar stretching across the top of your Photoshop window.

In the pop-up menu, you can tick the Use Classic Mode checkbox to return the cropping method to the way it was before CS6. If you like the new cropping method, as I do, you can also toggle the Auto Centering and Cropped are viewing. In addition, you can adjust the Cropping Shield (the dark area that you’re cropping out of your image).

In defense of email

Interesting read. I’ve worked for a few companies that tried having an “email-free day,” and even one that tried substituting various web-based messaging services for it. None have worked. Personally, I think it’s because people are too hung-up on sharing & communicating, and tend to procrastinate.

TechCrunch shared some interesting thoughts In Defense of Email. accounts migrating to Revel

Adobe Revel

Adobe has announced that current storage and sharing accounts will move to the new Adobe Revel service starting April 2, 2013. The migration will be automatic.

Adobe Revel is a sort of mix of Apple’s old .Mac photo album feature and iPhoto. It stores your photos in the cloud, keeps them synced with all your devices, builds photo albums for viewing by friends, and offers minimal editing features.

Adobe Revel offers a free tier with limited uploading, and a premium tier that offers unlimited uploading and storage for $6.00 per month.

Prevent your Mac’s drive, display, or both from sleeping with Sleep No More

Sleep No More

Sleep No More is a tiny menu bar application, that allows you to prevent your Mac from sleeping for a specified amount of time. An app like this is perfect for those who like to watch movies on the computer but still keep their sleep settings set to a low amount (I keep mine at 15 minutes to conserve battery life on my MacBook Air).

Sleep No More allows you to prevent computer sleep, display sleep or both of them simultaneously. Unlike other sleep-prevention apps, Sleep No More can be set to prevent sleep for up to 24-hours. That makes it perfect for preventing your Mac from sleeping while downloading massive files over the Net.

The interface is pretty slick, using an analog dial as the method for setting the time. You simply click and drag to set the time. The app even makes a nice clicking sound as you drag.

Sleep No More is free, and available only in the Mac App Store.

Fixing the grid alignment bug in Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator alignment bug

Have you come across this little gem of a bug when using Adobe Illustrator? You draw a box and apply a stroke to the inside of the frame, and the stroke appears to “float” off of the frame itself. As you can see in the image above, the actual frame object is the blue line, and my 1-pixel black stroke is way off. The bug has been around for a few years, and I’m not sure why Adobe hasn’t fixed it yet. Fortunately, the solution below fixes the problem.

When creating your document, click the Advanced tab at the bottom of the New Document dialog box. Untick the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid checkbox.

The iMac 27″ for graphic designers: part 2

27" Apple iMac

In part one of The iMac 27″ for graphic designers, I covered the reasons for choosing the late 2012 iMac 27” to replace my 2006 Mac Pro. As a graphic designer who works in Adobe Creative Suite apps all day long, with file sizes pushing the 1GB range, power is important. But as I found out with my MacBook Air, the Mac Pro just isn’t necessary anymore. Not only does the iMac have all the power you need, but it’s a much more elegant hardware solution, and significantly easier on the pocketbook. I also listed some of the pros and cons of the iMac.

Now I’m going to talk a bit about my experience actually using the iMac for the last two months. (more…)