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Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

iPhone Hack – Create PDF Documents

I haven’t done any research or fact checking on this hot-take, but I know the PDF file format is a universal document standard that can be opened by pretty much any device.

So it blows my mind when people send me native Word (.doc) documents that I don’t need to edit. What really grinds my gears more than people who go on social media and complain about a brand that did something grimey, but ain’t thinking about boycotting, is when somebody sends me a Word document I need to sign.

If the sender would have taken the two extra seconds to create a PDF before sending the doc, I could quickly open, sign and send using my iPhone. I am NOT the one to print, sign, scan, and send a document #SaveTheTrees, so here’s little hack I use when I need to create PDF documents from Word/Pages documents, web pages and more using my iPhone – No extra PDF creator app needed.




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Mac Heads

How To Completely Uninstall Apps From Your Mac

I’m a little anal-retentive so I keep my MacBook Pro as clean as possible, inside and out. One of the things I do regularly to maintain a healthy Mac is uninstall apps I no longer use.

I would suggest anybody who wants to keep their Mac running as fast and as long as possible to routinely get rid of “old and busted” apps. I’m not really sure everybody knows how to completely uninstall apps from their Mac, so I put together a quick how-to video.

Yes, I know what you Macsplainers (I just made that up) are thinking: “Well actually, some apps leave hidden files and folders on your Mac even after you uninstall apps the regular way”.

If you want to dive deeper into cleaning up your Mac, check out services like Clean My Mac that will defintely dig into all the hidden and layered crud and crust on your Mac.

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Mac Heads

Download Microsoft Office 2016 Preview For Mac Free

Staying true to the new cross-platform identity ushered in by CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft Office 2016 Preview is available as a free download for Mac users.

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Mac Heads

Apple Watch To Be Announced on March 9th

You didn’t think Apple was going to let the Pebble Time announcement success last for too long did you?

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Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Where To Sell Your Old iPhone

So, you were one of the lucky ones that rose from the ashes of the awful iPhone 6 preorder effort with an email confirmation in your inbox. Consider yourself blessed. Many folks will minimize and shrug off your win simply because they won’t be able to share your victory.

For what it’s worth, the haters should be the least of your iPhone 6 worries. What you should be focusing on this week is shopping for cases and other accessories, hitting the ‘refresh’ button on your shipping company’s website, and figuring out the best way to sell your old iPhone.

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Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

How To Complete An iPhone 6 Preorder With Your iPhone

The Apple Store app keeps getting better and better. So much so that you can save yourself some headache and quickly place an iPhone 6 preorder in a matter of minutes…Here’s how.

Note: Pre-orders start 12am Pacific time. For folks on the east side with me, you will have to wait until 3am to place your order. Also, you’re going to want this process to go as quickly as possible because the Apple servers will crash (Never forget…the Apple event live stream), so make sure your billing, shipping, and credit card information is correct, so you don’t fumble on the 1 yard line.

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Mac Heads

My iPhone 6 Wish List

iPhone 6 Wish List via BrothaTech
iPhone 6 concept by Authur Reis

Tomorrow is the Apple event folks like me have been waiting to see for a long time. I did NOT believe Tim Cook or Johnny Ive when they stressed the “perfect size” of the iPhone. I wanted bigger. I wasn’t the only one because many Apple competitors heard the requests from people demanding a bigger device, and those competitors gave people what they asked for.

Let’s not trip, tho. Apple STILL dominates the smartphone game, but all of the buzz over the past couple of years have been around other brands willing to offer bigger smartphones to happy customers. I’m still an Apple enthusiasts, but I have an iPhone 5 and skipped on the iPhone 5S solely because of the size. I’ve even used other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Nokia Lumia Icon because of their appealing size.

From the looks of all the iPhone 6 rumors and parts leaks, it seems as if Apple has finally decided to jump on the “phablet” bandwagon and will be announcing not just one, but two smartphones that will be considerably larger than their current device. If that is true, Apple will have already checked off one of the items on my iPhone 6 wish list. Here are the other items I want to see in the next iPhone 6 during the Apple announce tomorrow.

Better Battery Life

If both the 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 are announced, that means there should be room for a larger battery for better battery life? Right now I’m getting about a half day on a full charge during normal usage. It would be nice if I could go a full day of normal usage before I’m looking for a wall outlet or praying that one of my many backup battery chargers is fully charged.

Mobile Wallet

Smartphones are “smart” enough to where they should be able to store my credit/debit/rewards cards so I can leave them at home and thin out my wallet. The problem is that major credit cards companies, banks, merchants, and phone platforms…users are NOT on the same page. Maybe Apple and the iPhone 6 can bring everybody to the table and come up with standards that makes using my smartphone as my primary method a payment a reality?

Wireless Charging

A mobile wallet standard and Wireless Charging could be achieved with NFC (Near Field Communication…GTS). Other platforms have been using NFC for a while, but again, none of them have used it to it’ capacity because the lack of standards. By Apple, the most popular mobile manufacturer, adopting NFC may push the technology to reach its potential. I would love to set my phone on a pad or an entire desk that is NFC-enabled without looking for a cord.

Deeper 3rd-Party Integration

This is more of an operating system request than a iPhone hardware request. I would like for Apple to open up its OS and allow 3rd-Party developers to integrate even deeper with iOS. A perfect example would be the ability to use other keyboards than the standard keyboard. Word on the street from the gems unearthed from the iOS 8 Beta is this will be the case. I just made sure to put it here because I would LOVE to use my favorite Android keyboard SwiftKey, on the iPhone 6.

DIY Repair

The iPhone 5/5C/5S is one of the easiest devices to open up and fix. As a smartphone repair guy and a general fan of “Do It Yourself” repairs, I would like Apple to continue the repairability (is that word?) trend with the iPhone 6. Apple is rumored to make the iPhone 6 thinner, and use a new Sapphire display. That could lead to a new manufacturing process, which could lead to making it harder to consumers and repair shops to crack open an iPhone 6. The new MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Airs are a prime example of fly new devices…that are almost impossible to repair.

As you can see, I’m a pretty reasonable guy when it comes to building a “perfect” iPhone 6. All of these are pretty easy for a company like Apple to implement, and I’m sure most of these will make the list when the iPhone 6 is announced tomorrow.

Before the official unveiling on Tuesday Sept 9th (streaming live on Apple’s website and iOS device), drop a line in the comments section and tell me what items are on your iPhone 6 wish list?

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Mac Heads

Apple Drops Maximum iPhone Trade-In Value

I’d like to think I’m the master at selling old smartphones on eBay, Craigslist, and other gadget buy-back sites. It doesn’t take me very long to research all the sites, list my items, haggle with riff-raff, pack-up and ship my devices in exchange for the maximum available.

For many, getting rid of an old smartphone to make way for the latest and greatest can be a hassle. For folks without any patience looking for a more convenient way to upgrade their old iPhone, Apple does offer a simple program where you can take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store (or go online) and hand it over in exchange for credit towards the purchase of a new one.

Word on the street is that Apple has just cut the maximum iPhone trade-in value you can get by $45 bucks, bringing the total down to $225. I’m assuming there are a ton of people who are looking to use this method in anticipation for the upcoming ‘new hotness’ iPhone 6 that should drop between late-late summer and early fall. Just be aware that you are trading cash for convenience, for I’m sure you can get way more money for your ‘old and busted’ if you take the extra time and to sell your device on your own.

Here’s an ‘oldie but goodie’ post I wrote on Babble to jumpstart your research.

I know you have some tips & tricks on selling old gadgets. Be sure to drop a line in the comments section.

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Mac Heads

8 Best Mac OS and iOS Features From The Apple WWDC Keynote

I almost forgot to sit through the live stream of Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) Keynote speech where Apple makes public what developers and consumers can look forward to in the coming weeks/months as it relates to its software offerings (Mac OS and iOS).

I’m glad I did because Apple has announced some pretty interesting features that many Apple enthusiasts like myself had on their wish-list for quite some time. There were a ton a features announced and since this is my blog, I’m going to give you the run down of  features that I was most hyped about in addition to what I think you should know about.

Mac OS X 10.10

Yosemite

First and foremost, this latest update to Mac OS X comes with a new name: Yosemite – That’s a “meh” for me, but Apple has a history of unique naming schemes, so while I’m not impressed, I’m not surprised either.

iCloud Drive

Apple has now provided a decent option for storing your files in the cloud, and more importantly, syncing them across your Apple gadgets. You can quickly search for anything stored in iCloud via Mac OS X “Finder” including iOS stuff. Similar to Dropbox, you can create folders and tags in iCloud Backup for organization.

Apple Gadget Continuity

Probably the best news to come out of all the Mac announcements is how close Mac OSX 10.10 and iOS 8 will work together. AirDrop is now useful, with the ability to quickly share files between your Mac and iDevices. Sharing your iPhone network connection with your Mac is stupid simple with Instant Hotspot. You can now see incoming SMS messages and voice calls via a notification pop-up on your Mac AND start/answer phone calls using your Mac’s speaker phone.

Apple also debuted “Handoff” where you can share work (emails, iWork, etc) between your devices. For example, start an email on your iPhone, and you can quickly continue that draft right where you left off via your Mac or iPad…No need to “save as draft” first.

iOS 8

This iOS 8 announcement is where Apple was all like “You’ve been sweatin’ us for years to adapt some of the features found in third-party apps, Android, Windows Phone, and even BlackBerry…Well get ready to be overwhelmed.” You name it, Apple grabbed and flipped it. Which to me is awesome because competition is ALWAYS good for the consumer.

Notifications

Now you can quickly take action on items that hit the notification bar, a la Android. You can respond to messages, “like” Faceboook posts, see sports scores, etc. without being forced into the respective app.

Third-Party Widgets and Extensions

I have been waiting for Apple to introduce Android widgets or Windows Phone Live Tiles for a hot minute. Well, Apple decided to use widget-like features in the Notifications Center versus using widgets on the home screen. I would much rather see widgets with Windows Phone Live Tile-esque At-a-glance information on my home screen, but I’ll take what I can get.

Apple is finally letting developers create apps that can share information with native Apple apps. In other words, popular features found in third-party apps (like photo filters) could possibly be used within native Apple apps (like Photos). Normally, initiating this app transaction would force you to leave the native app and open up the third-party app.

QuickType

Apple has decided to include predictive/learning keyboard typing where you can add suggested words to your content with the touch of a button. Apple will also allow for third-party keyboards (think Swype and my favorite, SwiftKey) to be added so iOS users could finally be able to do gesture-based typing rather than pecking at tiny individual letters. Hopefully the rumored larger iPhone 6 will alleviate some of my fat-thumb typing?

Hey Siri…

One of my favorite Google Now features is coming to Siri. Instead of the press/hold or bring your phone to your ear to activate Siri, now you can just say “Hey Siri” to initiate a dialog. With the added Apple HomeKit and compatible Home Automation gear, you can use Siri to control your lights, thermostat, garage dooe and other connected-home stuff.

Family Sharing

For the tech-savvy family with multiple iTunes accounts. Family sharing will not let members see (and approve) purchases made by each other up to six members…But you all have to share the same credit card. This is dope for parents with of-age kids with itchy download trigger fingers. Kids can send a request to buy a song or app, and the parent has to approve it first.

This was just the stuff I cared about. There were a ton of features, including some great app development, new Photos app, Health Features, and Mac OS X Yosemite design additions announced yesterday. You will be able to sign up for the free public beta of Mac OS X Yosemite sometime this summer, while you will need an Apple Developer’s license to dive into iOS 8 beat available now (Lemme hold something).

Visit Apple’s website if you want to check out the Keynote replay and get more the details.

What features are you most excited about? What do you think Apple fans will use the most? Lemme know in the comments section.

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Mac Heads

New Apple iOS Blocks Concept – Best Of Three Worlds?

I’ve been saying this every since I got my hands on my first Android after courting iOS for so long…It would be dope if Apple used a variation of Android “widgets” to let iOS users further customize their home screen(s). Furthermore, one of the reasons why I dig Windows Phone so much (and now own a Nokia Lumia Icon)  is because of the Live Tiles that serve up information on the home screen without digging into my phone just to find out what’s going on in my digital life.

All three mobile platforms have adapted ideas from each other to further compete for our eyes and thumbs, but Apple has held off of on doing anything dramatic to iOS and has opted for smaller “iterations” and “refinements”…Boo.

The Apple World-Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off next week, where the company will possibly show off its plans for iOS 8. Hopefully it will include some of the ideas from UX (user experience) designer Jay Machalani that pulls in tricks from both Android and Windows Phone in his latest iOS 8 concept work.

iOS Blocks as they are called, take your average app icons and lets users enlarge them using the pinch and zoom gesture to reveal more information. You have the choice to return the icon back to its original shape, or permanently re-size the icon to customize your home screen. In its larger form, the widget will provide at-a-glance information, similar to how Android widgets and Windows Phone Live Tiles work. Peep Machalani’s concept video to get a better idea.

Dope right? Rumors are Apple will reveal a larger 4.7 inch iPhone 6 later this year. I will buy the iPhone 6 because I do want larger iPhone hardware…which is why I skipped on upgrading my iP5 to an iP5S. I’ll be honest though, I’m tired of the “iterations” and “refinements”. I’m looking for something new as it relates to iPhone software as well.

I still think Apple could easily do more with iOS that has essentially looked the same since iOS 6 was released in 2012. Apple doesn’t have to copy revolutionize how we interact with our mobile devices, but I do think they need to up the ante. Windows Phone is emerging as a solid option and Android is definitely giving Apple a run for its money. So I think Apple needs to change up the game on both mobile hardware and software fronts.

What say you? Does Apple have/need to take cues from Android and Windows Phone to stay on top? Or can they continue to iterate to provide the ideal mobile experience Apple users have grown accustomed to?

image via Jay Machalani