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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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Quickly Hide All The Icons On Your Desktop [OS X Tips]

There are times when you just need to clear off the icons on your Desktop, like when you’re giving an important presentation at work. No one wants to see all the images you’ve saved from the internet, right?

I used to solve this problem with a Sort Me folder on the Desktop, just select all in a Finder window focused on the Desktop, and drag it all to the Sort Me folder.

There’s an even faster and easier way to hide all the icons on your Desktop, though, using the Terminal.

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Create A Quick Response To Any Message With Keyboard Shortcuts [iOS Tips]

shortcut1

We’ve shown you how to change the default “On my way!” shortcut on your iOS device, making it just a bit less dorky. We’ve also helped you sync those keyboard shortcuts via iCloud.

Today, however, let’s look at this great use case of iOS keyboard shortcuts – the quick response template.

Cam Bunton over at Today’s iPhone has a great idea – use keyboard shortcuts to create your own short, simple message to respond to folks via Messages or Mail with this same iOS feature.

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How To Reset Your Password Without A System Disk [OS X Tips]

Have you lost your Mac password? Are you unable to get into your computer because of it? Apple lets you restore your password if you have the system disks that came with the computer, or–if you have a newer non-optical disk machine like a Macbook–with the built-in system recovery mode.

If you aren’t able to access your system disks or the recovery mode, there’s a couple of tricky ways to reset your password. Both methods are explained in a video by Quinn Nelson on his YouTube channel, and they’re pretty great ways to reset a lost password.

A word of warning, though: this is also a way a malicious person can gain access to your Mac. If you have sensitive documents on your Mac, you owe it to yourself to use FileVault or a third-party encryption tool to add another layer of protection that doesn’t require your admin password.

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Turn Your iBooks Into Audiobooks (Of A Sort) [iOS Tips]

iBook Audiobook

I personally can’t stand audiobooks except under one specific condition. I like them when I drive long distances. There’s something about listening to a book being read to me that puts me to sleep if I’m anywhere else, but for some reason, I’m able to listen in the car.

Now, I purchase a lot of iBooks, but not many audiobooks. One reason is that they’re more expensive, but I mainly avoid them for the reasons above. However, when I next take a cross-country trip in a car, I’m going to use this tip to turn the written iBooks into ones I can listen to off of my iPhone or iPad.

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Use Preview To Protect Your PDFs With Encryption [OS X Tips]

password protected

Every once in a while, you might want to password protect a PDF file with encryption. While there are several nice third-party apps that will do the trick, the simplest way to do this is with the built-in image and PDF viewer, Preview.

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Have Siri Play Secretary For You [iOS Tips]

Siri Voicemail

Sure, you can ask Siri to call one of your contacts; it’s one of the ways I make calls handsfree in the car. Simply say, “Call Kim” (or the name of the contact you’d like to call–you may not know Kim), and Siri will place a voice call to that Contact.

Did you know, however, that Siri can handle even more complexity? Yes, yes it can.

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Too Bright? Tone Down Those iOS 7 Visuals [iOS Tips]

tone it down

iOS 7 changed the visual palette on our favorite Apple mobile devices, and it may not be to everyone’s liking.

If you want to tone it down a bit, consider darkening the colors up, and reducing the white point on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to make things just a little bit less intense.

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Slow Down That Window Minimize Animation In Mavericks [OS X Tips]

Animate Dock Minimize

So, here’s a weird one–have you ever wanted to watch a window animate itself really slowly as you minimize it to the Dock? No?

Well, let’s assume you did for some reason. How would you go about it?

In Mavericks, anyway, it’s a trivial thing, and it produces a fun effect: your window will minimize to the Dock super slowly, even slower than in the animated image above.

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Control Your iPhone With Your Face – Set Up Switch Control In 7.1 [iOS Tips]

Accessibility

There’s a new accessibility feature built into Apple’s already pretty splendid suite of options for people of various abilities. Called Switch Control, it allows those with motor difficulties to connect a switch to their iOS device for better access.

The feature, originally released alongside iOS 7, allows users to connect a switch via cable or Bluetooth as well as setting up the screen itself as one big switch button.

In iOS 7.1, then, Apple added another useful option: to use the Camera itself as a head switch. Here’s how to set it up.

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