Universal apps: What apps run where?

Some apps on the iPhone and iPad App Store are “universal”.
This means if you download an app on the iPhone and then download that same app on your iPad it won’t cost you anything extra, but it will still be made to fit your iPad. You can tell which apps are universal by Continue reading


What the heck is iCloud?

I’ve been asked this by many a bewildered Apple user.

“Is there an iCloud app?”
“Where do I go to see iCloud?”

There’s a great video from The Onion that emphasizes the problem.

The Onion: HP On The Cloud Thing That Everyone Is Talking About

I can understand the confusion. Continue reading

Mountain Lion Launch Today

The new Mac Operating System is here! It’s launching today in the Mac App Store. Wanna see the features before laying down that weighty $20 bill? I don’t blame ya. Here are 3 things that I’m most excited about in Mountain Lion.

  1. Documents in iCloud. I won’t sugar coat this-the first feature is kind of selfish. I don’t want it for you, I want it for me and all the techies that help you with your iDevice when something goes wrong. You can now let us go a little more. I’ve found that around 80% of the average population (read: Not nerds like me) who use Word, think that their documents are in Word. Until now, that’s been a rookie mistake. Now it’s true-ish. At least enough to let everyone use it that way. To get to your docs now-that’s right-open Pages. You’ll see all the documents there that are already on your iPad and iPhone and other Macs. Bottom line? Think about it less. iCloud takes steps and complexity away while you continue to use the apps you already know and love.
  2. iOS similarities. There is stuff you already use on your iPhone, probably all the time. Like the Notes app.    Previously the notes that synced with your iPhone over iCloud were in the Mail app, remember? No, no one else does either. That’s why it’s getting it’s own app. Same thing with reminders. they were in iCal (now called Calendar, again, for consistency across platforms), and they’re stand-alones that looks just like they do in iOS. Basically, since millions of people know how to use iPhones and iPads, let’s just make it all consistent so you don’t have to relearn everything when you inevitably switch to Mac.
  3. Dictation. This is not Siri. You can’t say, “Open Garageband.” You can open Pages, hold the two Command keys on either side of the spacebar (At least that’s what I’ve heard. Still waiting on the download as of this posting.) double tap the Function key (fn) and start talking. Talk your term paper. Don’t try this in a coffee shop. You’ll get a mocha in your lap on “accident” and you’ll pick up Frank Sinatra playing over the speakers. You professor will read, “The economy in Western Europe during WWII was dramatically affected by the fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away. If you can use some exotic booze there’s a bar in far Bombay.” Let’s save everyone the headache.

Honestly, there’s so much in this one that is going to blow your socks off. There are over 200 new things to play with. Most of the stuff I’ll be excited about is stuff that no one else will notice. Like Settings. I love settings. *pushes up glasses* And it’s all here today. For $20. Click here to make sure your computer can handle it.

Check out even more here.

Quick Tip Tuesdays: ‘Define a Word’ Shortcut

This is the first of what will be a series of “Quick Tip Tuesday” posts. We’ll cover all sorts of helpful tricks from the most useful shortcuts on OS X and iOS devices to hidden settings none but those who have been in the bowels of the Genius Room at Apple know of.

Today’s quick tip is how to quickly pull up the definition of a word in almost any app.

This will only work in Cocoa-based apps. For beginners out there, this means the majority of apps that came on your machine or could get in the Mac App Store.

  • If you have a trackpad (either a laptop, or an iMac without a mouse): Rest your cursor on the word you want to define. With 3 fingers, (lightly) tap twice on your trackpad. It may take some practice.Try this word out:


  • If you don’t have a trackpad, the shortcut is quite easy too. Just like before, rest your cursor on the word. The keyboard shortcut is Command + control + D. Think “Define” or “Dictionary”.

The definition will pop up along with the Thesaurus, and even a Wikipedia article if you have an internet connection.

Have a tip you’d like to share? Add it in the comments below and maybe I’ll feature it in a future post.

Apple Rumors and Retail Employees

I worked at the magical land of white and aluminium for over 4 years, and during that time I gained an interesting perspective. I left in November and have been happier at my new job, not because Apple is a bad place to work (in fact, I don’t think there’s a better retail employer out there), but because it was nearly 5 years of retail. That’s not the way I would have chosen to provide for a future family (Lord willing), and it was also seriously cutting into my ability to serve well at my church-especially on Sundays. Dang retail hours…

So how secretive were they?

Continue reading