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.
While I’m a huge fan of the new Control Center on iOS, I can see where it might not be the best thing to have enabled on the lock screen. We’ve all left our iPhone or iPad out in places where folks might be able to get a hold of it, and you might not want those folks messing about with your settings.
Once you take Control Center out of your Lock Screen, you’ll have to enter your password (or use Touch ID) to authenticate to your phone before you can use Control Center, which is a pain, but so will anyone else, making your device just that much more secure.
Last week, a speech recognition developer found a potential exploit in the Chrome web browser that could possibly let malicious web sites activate your Mac’s microphone and listen in on any sounds your mic might pick up around you. Even if you’re not actively using your computer, the mic could be active and conversations, meetings, and phone calls could potentially be recorded or listened in on.
Luckily, there’s a way to keep this from happening, because–however remote the possibility–it’s always a good idea to keep your private information, including real-world conversations, private.
Of course, if you don’t use the Chrome browser at all, this won’t apply to you.
Let’s it one step further, though, and get Siri to actually DO some of the controlling of our oft-toggled settings, instead of just taking us to the specific page. Sure, you can also do this with the new iOS Control Center, but if you can’t touch your iPhone, Siri can cover it for you.
By default, when you turn on a new Mac or open a new user account under OS X, your Mac’s System Preferences icon will be sitting in the dock. It’s pretty easy to right-click on the icon to quickly navigate to whatever Settings panel you need, but how about a prettier option?
Preferences Quick Launch is a small tool that lets you add individual preferences to your Dock or Mac launchpad. Basically, it’s a set of 27 tiny applications, each of which launches a different Systems Panel pane. You can not only pop them individually into your Dock or Launchbar to access commonly used Settings panels, you can even drop the entire folder into the Dock to access the entirety of your System Preferences no matter where you are on your Mac.
Preferences Quick Launch is a free download for OS X 10.8. You can grab it here.
Years ago, I submitted a bug report to Apple. The problem? Teeny, tiny subtitles in the iOS Videos app, so small that even an eagle with binoculars couldn’t read them. I got a mail from Apple to follow up, and then, just one or two releases later, subtitles got big enough to read (the Lady and I have different native tongues so we usually watch everything with subs).
Now, in iOS 7, they’re not only big but completely customizable.
It’s our own fault. We all asked Apple to dramatically change the look and feel of the iOS operating system, which, until yesterday, remained largely unchanged since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. And we all complained when it didn’t do that with iOS 6 this time last year.
But I can’t help but feel the Cupertino company is now punishing us for all those requests, and all that complaining we did before about its skeuomorphic designs.
When it comes to design, iOS 7 is vastly different to its predecessors. It still functions in much the same way — though there are some new features you’ll need to get used to — but it looks completely different. As soon as you power it up for the first time the minimalistic feel is staring back at you, but it isn’t until you’ve completed the setup process and arrived at your home screen that you want to vomit in your own lap.
There are a number of tweaks you can install on your jailbroken iOS device that’ll add quick settings toggles to your lock screen, but some of them are far more complicated — and more ugly — than they need to be. LockscreenToggles takes the concept back to basics to ensure it isn’t one of them.