There are plenty of reasons why you might need to make an OS X bootable drive. Maybe you’re updating numerous Macs in your house and don’t want to download the installer every time. Perhaps you’ve replaced the hard drive in your iMac and need to install a fresh copy of OS X.
In the video below, I’ll show you how easy it is to create a bootable OS X Yosemite drive using software you can download for free.
Tired of the new bleeps already? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You may have noticed recently that the Facebook app makes sounds. Like a post? Chirp. Refresh the news feed? Swoosh. It’s like your iPhone got suddenly chatty and wants you to know that you’re tapping on the screen with every blip and bloop.
Surely you’d like to turn these things off. You could just mute your whole iPhone with the sound toggle button, but if you want to have other audio come through, like video, music, or (gasp) phone calls, you can dip into your Facebook app settings and soon experience the bliss of a blip-free Facebook browsing experience.
Want to see all the songs you’ve found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.
But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.
Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.
Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.
The tiny Raspberry Pi computer can power many cool DIY projects. Photo: Lucasbosch/Wikimedia CC
The credit-card-size Raspberry Pi has taken the tech world by storm. Thousands of geeky kids and adults use the tiny, low-cost computer boards to learn about coding and create fun projects like motion detectors, birdhouses that tweet when birds are present, and mini weather stations.
You, too, can use this sweet little nerdy device to reproduce some of the cool things your Mac can do, without dedicating your entire computer to the project. Let’s take a look at what kinds of things might be interesting to an Apple fan with a new $35 Raspberry Pi 2.
Photos for Mac is coming this spring. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac
Apple’s upcoming Photos app will give Mac users powerful new tools to manage, tweak and share their favorite images. While it won’t be released until later this year, we got a chance to play around with the beta version now available to developers, and we found it to be an easy-to-use and streamlined piece of software.
For a detailed and visual look at this new iOS-influenced app, check out the video below for a quick run through some of Photos’ hottest new features.
Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Swipe down from the top of your iPhone (or iPad) screen and you’ll see the new iOS 8 Notification Center. It’s got two sections — Notifications on the right and Today on the left. Tap on the Today button and you’ll see all the new widgets arrayed in their default order.
You can add your calendar, weather, stocks and any one of hundreds of third-party app that has widget support.
The great thing is that you’re not stuck with the default order, or even the default apps — this part of Notification Center is totally customizable. Here’s how to make it your own.
Buy your Mac with a credit card and you could save big money on repairs. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Have you ever had an Apple product bite the dust only a few months after its warranty or AppleCare expired? Out-of-warranty repair costs can easily soar into the hundreds of dollars for Apple products, but if you purchased your Mac using a credit card that offers extended-warranty protection, you might be able to get that money back.
Many credit cards offer purchase-protection and extended warranties, which are usually included as a free benefit for qualifying purchases made using the card. I recently had a MacBook Air die. It was over three years old, so it was no longer covered by Apple’s One-Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare. Fortunately, I purchased it using an American Express credit card and, therefore, AMEX’s extended-warranty program gave me extra coverage.
Read on to learn how Apple repaired my broken MacBook Air and AMEX reimbursed the cost — saving me nearly $300.