By Alexandro, June 28th, 2011,in Tips and Tricks »Tags: How to, iOS 4, iphone4 |
The iPhone 4′s operating system represents a significant improvement on earlier versions of Apple’s smartphone operating system. It’s also got a new name – iOS – signifying the importance of the iPad alongside the iPhone.
And what’s more, iOS 4 is available to users of the iPhone 3GS, third-gen iPod touch and 3G too (albeit with limited features with the latter). iOS 4 will be available for the iPad later in the year.
We’ve delved right under the hood of the new iPhone to bring you some essential iOS4 and iPhone 4 tips.
Lock the screen orientation
If you’re lying in bed reading an iBook or a page in Safari it can be annoying when the iPhone’s orientation keeps flicking between portrait and landscape. You can solve this by activating the new Portrait Lock. Double tap the Home button to reveal all the running apps, then swipe your finger to the right to reveal iPod controls and the Portrait Lock.
Tap to focus/zoom in Camera
The iPhone 4′s new 5 megapixel camera has a fantastic digital zoom. But to activate it you first need to focus on an object – like a face, for example, in your view. Do this by simply tapping anywhere on the screen. A white square will appear showing you the object that the iPhone is focused on. A zoom bar will also appear, which you can use to zoom into the object you’ve picked.
Multitasking: update your apps
Multitasking is one of the big new features of iOS4, but while all Apple’s apps (like Calculator and iPod) are compatible, all third party apps will need to be upgraded to properly multitask. So, you’ll need to head to the App Store app on your phone, then visit the Updates section to download a update for each app. This can take a while, but don’t forget, the App Store app also multitasks (as it always has), so double tap the Home button to get back to it to save time after selecting each update. There’s also a handy “Update all” button to tap.
Switch to UK English
If you’re getting annoyed that your iPhone thinks colour should be spelt without a ‘u’ it’s because you’ve got English (US) selected. You can easily switch back to English (UK) for spell checking by tapping the globe button next to the space bar in any app that brings up the soft keyboard (like Mail or Notes). This toggles your iPhone between English (UK) and English (US).
Multitasking: kill a running app
After you’ve been using your iPhone for a while double-tap the Home button to see how many apps you have running – it will be more than you think! Normally you just let the iPhone decide how many it can keep running at once, but you can take matters into your own hands by killing running apps here. Just tap and hold on a running app and a “-” button appears against all of them. Tap this to kill the app.
Add an accent on the e and a key
It’s possible to quickly add a variety of accents to the letters “e” and “a” when typing on the iPhone’s keyboard. Just tap and hold on either key to reveal more options, like “e”, for example.
Turn caps lock on
If you want to change your typing to capital letters all the time, rather than just for the next letter, then double-tap on the Shift key on the iPhone’s keyboard. It will now turn blue, indicating caps lock is on. Just tap it again to turn it off.
Camera: take a picture of yourself
The iPhone 4 has a front and rear-facing camera. The rear-facing camera is the high quality 5 megapixel one, and the front facing camera (used mainly for FaceTime video chat) is lower VGA resolution. This means it’s now easy to take a picture of yourself (something that was pretty difficult on the previous iPhone models). In the Camera app just tap the Switch button at the top right to change cameras from rear to front.
Camera: email a video of yourself talking
You can also use the forward facing camera for recording video, and the iPhone 4′s second microphone means it works well capturing anything you say too. In the Camera app tap the switch icon (as in tip 8) then change to video mode using the slider and record a video of yourself talking. Now select it in the Camera roll then tap the Forward icon and select Email Video – job done!
Make and rename folders
Organising your apps is so much easier on iPhones running iOS4. Just tap and drag apps on top of each other and you create intelligently named folders. You can rename the folder names Apple chooses though – just tap and hold on an app to make them wiggle, then tap on the folder name and start typing.
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By Alexandro, May 26th, 2011,in web graphics optimisation »Tags: web design, web graphics |
To make the most of your website, and to make it appealing to others, you need to make sure that it’s not just visually appealing, but that it also downloads quickly onto their screens. Websites with lots of large graphic files are usually the ones that take the longest, and the way to combat this problem is to use graphic optimization. This just means that when you’ve created your graphic, you should do whatever you can to make it a smaller file before you put it onto your website.
Firstly, use your design skills to make the best use of your graphics. Don’t go for a huge picture in the middle of your web page if a tactically positioned smaller graphic will do. If your site needs lots of graphics, then consider using thumbnail graphics on your main pages. These are small, low resolution graphics that show what’s available. If the user wants to see the graphic in more detail, then they can click onto the thumbnail for the bigger picture.
Always use GIF format files for your graphics and JPEG format files for your pictures. Any other formats are difficult or impossible to compress, and the lack of graphic optimisation will mean that your website will take a long time to download and users may leave the site before it’s completely on their screens.
For GIF formats, the most common form of graphic optimisation is to use GIF Palette Optimization. This allows a fixed number of colors in the file, which can dramatically reduce the file size. For example, reducing a GIF graphic from full color to 16 colours can reduce by six times the size of the file. You must be sure, however, that the graphic still looks good, or you will be losing graphic quality as well as file size. Use a software package that’s specifically designed for graphic optimization. It will allow you to optimize by palette and you can maintain the standard of your graphics and make those important file space savings.
In accordance with NetMarketShare’s recent data, Mozilla Firefox’s share of the global web browser market reduced to under 23 per cent in July.
At the same time, Microsoft Internet Explorer won a little rise of market share – 0.42 per cent last month. It is up about one per cent since May, 2010, the stats firm reports.
“This is the second month in a row of global gains for Internet Explorer and the third straight month of gains for Internet Explorer 8 in the United States. The gain comes at the expense of Firefox (-.9%) and Chrome (-.08%),” reports NetMarketShare.
Apple’s Safari browser broke the five per cent record for the first time this year after dangling around the 4.5% mark for most of 2010.
Internet Explorer, down some five per cent on September 2009 figures, topped out the list with a 60.74 per cent worldwide market share for July.
Chrome saw a small dip in global usage last month, and currently stands at 7.16 per cent of browser usage globally.
But Google’s own surfing tool’s popularity has blossomed in little over a year since its launch. The browser jumped ahead of Safari to take the number three spot in December last year.
In effect, the current state of play in the browser wars remains pretty much unchanged, then. Down the line it’s fair to surmise that Chrome will make some gains, perhaps at the expense of Firefox. At the same time, it’s unlikely that IE usage will see any major drops or jumps either.
By Alexandro, July 27th, 2010,in News »Tags: google, search engines, yahoo |
Japan’s top Internet portal Yahoo! Japan on Tuesday announced a search alliance with Google, in a deal that would see both giants dominate the Japanese market in a possible blow to Microsoft.
Yahoo! Japan will switch to Google’s search engine this year from the Yahoo! Inc. technology currently used and deploy Google’s online advertising and distribution system, while maintaining its current user interface. Read more »
By Alexandro, July 20th, 2010,in Tips and Tricks »Tags: Apple, iTunes |
Sometimes the solution to a problem is right in front of you. You just have to take the time to notice it—or at least find out about it. Such was the case for me with two separate iTunes-related matters.
The missing artist
I connected my iPhone to iTunes and went to the Artists listing in the iPhone’s Music tab. Much to my surprise, the artist I intended to select did not appear in the list. I confirmed that the artist’s songs were still in my iTunes Library on my Mac. So why wasn’t the musician showing up on the iPhone’s list? Searching the Web, I located the answer at an iTunes & iPod Hints & Tips Web page.
It turns out that, if the “Part of a compilation” option is enabled for an album, the music from that album does not affect the iPhone’s Artists list. As a consequence, if the only music you have for a particular artist is from a compilation album, that artist will not appear in the Artists list at all.
This can make some sense—I suppose—for an album that consists of a collection of songs by different artists (compiled from other original albums)—especially if the artists in the compilation album are listed only as “Various Artists.” My problem, however, was with a “greatest hits” album where the music was all by the same artist. It clearly made no sense for this artist to be omitted from my iPhone’s Artists list.
Happily, the solution is simple and what you might expect:
* In iTunes, highlight all the songs for the compilation album, select Get Info (via Command-I or the command in the File menu)
* From the Options tab, change the “Part of a compilation” option to “No.” Click OK.
After I did this, the missing artist showed up in the iPhone’s Artist list.
Note: If you select Get Info for a single song, the Compilation option is located at the bottom of the Info tab rather than in the Options tab.
Book file clutter
In iTunes, there’s a big difference between an audiobook (as you might purchase from audible.com) and a book on CD (as you might purchase from Borders). The former imports as one file (or as a very small number of files) that encompasses the entire book. With the latter, each disc typically contains several dozen small file segments (often with meaningless sequential names like 2a, 2b 2c). For a book that spans 10 CDs, you might have to import hundreds of small files to get the entire book in iTunes.
Having all of these files in your iTunes Library winds up being an annoying source of clutter. Most notably, it can make it difficult to keep track of where you currently are in your book listening. Were you last at 3c or 4f or 4j or what?
Fortunately, there’s a wonderfully effective solution:
* Insert a CD and wait for it to appear in iTunes. If you get the message asking if you would “like to import the CD,” say “No.”
* Choose Select All (Command-A) for the contents of the CD.
* Select “Join CD Tracks” from iTunes’ Advanced menu. Warning: You cannot select this for a book already in iTunes; you must do it before you import a CD.
* Now click the Import CD button.
The result is that all the files on the CD will be combined into just one file in iTunes! This means that the number of files for an entire book will equal only the number of CDs for the book. This is a much more manageable number. You can easily give meaningful titles to the files, as needed. Put all of a books’ files in sequential order in a playlist to further assist in keeping track.
Having done this, you’ll also want to be able to keep track of where within each file you last left off. You can accomplish this after completing the import: Select Get Info for all the files in a book and then select Yes from the “Remember position” popup menu in the Options tab.
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