Customize Your View In System Preferences [OS X Tips]

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Mac OS X ships with a lot of default system preference panes and I have about 30 of these on my MacBook Air running Mac OS X Lion. There are an extra 11 preference panes that I’ve added by installing third-party apps. So out of a total of 41 preference panes there are more than six of these that I don’t really need or even use all that often.

Did you know that you can hide the preference panes that you don’t need? This will clear up your view when you launch System Preferences. You’ll only see what you need to see and I’ll show you how to do this in the tip for today.

Emoticons Are Finally Easy To Access In IOS 5 [iOS Tips]

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It’s about time! Apple finally made accessing emoticons via the Emoji keyboard a part of iOS. Prior to iOS 5 you had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get them. They’ve been a part of iOS for longer than I can remember, but initially they were only accessible by jailbreak and later by applications that were able to activate them. You used the app, discarded it and were on your way to emoticon heaven.

Now Apple has included an easy way to activate them and use them as much as you want.

Get The Most Out Of The Favorites Bar In Mail [OS X Tips]

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Like all of its predecessors, Mac OS X Lion ships with a Mail application. It is probably one of the most important applications you’ll find on your Mac, and although it isn’t perfect, it is at least free. You can buy more expensive alternatives, which I won’t list here, but I suggest you spend more time with Mail before giving up on it.

Mail has a lot of not-quite-obvious features that you might have missed and I’ve talked about a few of them in earlier tip posts. Today I’ll take a look at another one that will let you quickly access your favorite mailboxes or folders.

Select A Fun Or Stuffy Font In The Notes App [iOS Tips]

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I’ve heard people complaining about the fonts in the iOS default Notes app for longer than I can remember. Most of the time people thought the default font was pretty cartoony and they wanted something a bit more professional.

I think Apple has finally offered up a solution for the font dilemma. The default font is no less cartoony or fun, but they now offer one font for business people and another I’ll let you categorize. Pick your favorite — fun or stuffy. You decide.

Create An iTunes Account Without A Credit Card [OS X Tips]

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It’s Thanksgiving Week, and that means most of us Americans will start thinking about how much weight we’ll gain and how much money we’ll end up spending on Black Friday, especially if we have children clamoring for an iPhone, iPod or iPad.

If you, like many other parents, are planning on buying your kids an iDevice this Christmas, you should know that your kids will need an iTunes account to use with their new device. Presumably, you’ll want to control how much they can spend buying apps. So you’ll be happy to know you can set up an iTunes account without a credit card. Your kid will be able to download a plethora of free apps and you’ll be able to give them gift cards to use to buy paid ones. This will let you control how much they spend, which is a lot better than giving them carte blanche access to your line of credit.