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Make A More Secure Passcode On Your iPhone or iPad [iOS Tips]

photo - Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

photo – Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Sure, a simple passcode with four numbers will keep most casual folks out of your iPhone, but if you want it to be really secure, you should think about using an alphanumeric password, like you would on a website or your Mac.

The idea here is simple, the more characters you have (and the less obvious your password is), the better your security. Balancing a large enough number of characters with ease of recall can still be tricky, but I’d bet you’ve got it fairly worked out on the websites you visit — why not use that same acumen on your iOS devices?

Here’s how to turn off the simple passcode in iOS, and set up a more secure one.

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Tweet Any Highlighted Text From Your Mac [OS X Tips]

Photo credit: Rob LeFebvre

Photo credit: Rob LeFebvre

If you’ve ever come across a great snippet of text you want to Tweet right from your Mac, you know the drill: you have to copy it, open Twitter, create a new message, and then paste in the text there. Then hit the Send button.

Sure, it’s not that difficult, but what if there was an even easier way?

Well, there is, and here it is.

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Spotlight Potential: See The Full File Path Of Found Documents [OS X Tips]

Credit: kensegall.com

Credit: kensegall.com

Spotlight is crazy useful to find stuff on your Mac. Just hit Command-Space on your keyboard and type in the name of files, words from in text files, the kind of document you want, or even the date when you think it might have been created or modified, and you’ll find it in an instant.

I rarely organize stuff into fine-grained folders anymore due to the power of this one simple to use feature in OS X.

Sometimes, though, I want to know where a found document is — here’s a cool trick to do just that, sent to us from Cult of Mac reader Ivan Manzanilla.

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Speed Up Your Startup: Remove Login Items [OS X Tips]

login

When you start your Mac up, you may notice the process taking longer and longer over time. One of the reasons may be the sheer number of little menu bar and helper apps that you’ve allowed to creep into your system over time.

One way to decrease this start up time is to take these items out of the Login Items list, which is in your System Preferences app.

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Spring Cleaning: Use Spotlight To Find Huge Files [OS X Tips]

File Size Photo

I’m kind of a stickler for a clean hard drive, especially since I started using Macbook Airs a few years back, what with their tiny little SSD units. I’ve moved most of my music to the Cloud and my iPhoto library to an external hard drive, but there’s still a ton of cruft that ends up on my system.

So, once a month or so, I sort my Movies, Applications, and Downloads folders by size, and delete the biggest things I don’t need anymore. Or I move them to an external hard drive for access later.

What I’ve never done before is use Spotlight to find these files easily across all my folders.

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Get Those Stinking Badge Numbers Off Your iPhone’s Home Screen [iOS Tips]

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sure, it’s nice to know you have a bunch of unread email messages. And it’s understandable that iOS apps notify you about every little activity. But after a while, all the little numbers in the red circles on my iPhone’s home screen start to feel like a chore.

I hate having to open up apps just to clear out the taunting little numbers. I could ignore them, but they’re designed to bother me (or, more politely, to get my attention). I mean, I have healthy emotional boundaries, but this is getting ridiculous.

So I turned them off — and you can, too.

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Cult of Mac Magazine: Power Tips for Your iPad

ipadpoweruserAmazon

Cover design Rob LeFebvre.

If you’re like Cult of Mac Magazine¬†staffers, you want to use your iPad as more than a photo album.

Our reviews editor Charlie Sorrel even went as far to ditch his Mac for the magical and revolutionary tablet back when it first came out – before having to give up the ambitious plan, and not for the reasons you’d think. This week, he delves into all the ways you can power up your iPad for work without sacrificing your sanity.

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Make Spotlight Sing: Use Dates To Search Your Files [OS X Tips]

spotlight

You know what I miss? Those pre-defined search items that used to hang out over in the Finder sidebar window. You know, the ones that said, “Files Created Today” or “Yesterday” or what have you. They were super handy.

Turns out, you can get the same sort of search power right in Spotlight. All you need to know is a little syntax, and you’ll be looking for stuff created or modified on specific dates or within certain date ranges. There’s even a way to request stuff done before or after dates. Yay!

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Map Street Addresses Right Inside Safari [OS X Tips]

Maps in Safari

When you want to look up a street address in Safari, you may still be using an old workflow: copy the address from the web page, paste it into the search bar, and then use Google Maps.

With OS X Mavericks, you might even have gone a step further and pasted the address into Apple’s Maps app, and then sending the directions to your iPhone.

There’s another way, though, which offers more immediate gratification: opening the address in Safari.

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Get Rid Of The Chrome Bell Notification Menu Bar Icon [OS X Tips]

chrome bell icon

Boy, you’d think this would be an easy one, right? Most third-party menu bar icons allow you to either drag and delete them from the menu bar itself, or at least provide a Quit or Disable function in their own drop-down menus, but not Chrome.

The little bell menu bar just sits there, mocking us, providing no easy way to delete it from the horde of other app icons competing for our admittedly limited attention.

Fear not, though, as there is a fairly easy–though rather unintuitive–way to delete this bell icon.

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