Use TrueCrypt For Multi-Platform Encryption Support [OS X Tips]



Yesterday, I wrote a tip about using FileVault 2 encryption in Mac OS X Lion to encrypt a variety of external devices and SD cards. Although I like FileVault 2, I mentioned that it had some caveats.

The most glaring caveat is that media encrypted using FileVault 2 won’t work on other platforms. That might be fine in a home or business that uses only Macs, but it isn’t fine if you are also using computers running Windows or Linux.

Today I’ll show you how to encrypt drives that will work on computers running Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Encrypt Your USB Flash Drives, External USB Drives Or SD Cards [OS X Tips]



Mac OS  X Lion introduced the world to FileVault 2 Apple’s solution to full disk encryption. It is one of my favorite features in Lion, and it is definitely a welcome addition to Mac OS X. Just about anyone can use it to encrypt the startup disk on their Mac, but more importantly, they can use it to encrypt their USB thumb drives and SD cards. Why is that important?

It is important because USB thumb drives and SD cards are small and easily lost. If they are encrypted, you don’t have to worry about whether the content they carry falls into the wrong hands.

Quickly Access Your Reading Lists in Safari 5 [OS X Tips]



Earlier this summer, Apple introduced the new Reading List feature in Safari 5 as part of Mac OS X Lion’s widescale release. This new feature lets you save web pages until you have time to read them later. It is a handy feature that you might find yourself accessing a lot so the tips today will help you do that as quickly as possible.

Apple Initiates Replacement Program for First-Gen iPod nano


Credit: The Consumerist
Credit: The Consumerist

Apple has initiated a replacement program for the first-generation iPod nano due to an overheating issue with the battery inside of the device. The problem was recognized by Apple several years ago and they offered replacements to customers on a case-by-case basis. A number of foreign government agencies in Europe and Asia investigated the defect and last year the Japan trade ministry forced Apple to tell customers about the replacement website on Apple’s Japanese website.

Take Control Of Your 3G Data Usage [iOS Tips]



A lot of people don’t have access to unlimited 3G data plans, so they need to keep an eye out on the amount of data they use every month. There are different tasks and apps that will use data on an iPhone or iPad, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Luckily, Apple has thought of a few ways you can limit access to 3G data by forcing apps to use Wi-Fi instead when it is available.

Reverse Direction In The Task Switcher With This Keyboard Tip [OS X Tips]



You know the Task Switcher, right? It’s the keyboard command you use to switch between apps on your Mac. The list of apps in the Task Switcher grows or shrinks as you open and close apps. Sometimes that list can grow pretty large. If you go very fast you might skip past the app you want and find yourself having to go through the entire list again since it wraps around automatically at the end.

But you don’t have to loop around if you don’t want to. Instead, why not change direction and go back to the app you just passed? Here’s how.

OS X Lion Sandboxing Is A Killjoy Destined To Ruin Our Mac Experience



Mac OS X developers have been given a few extra months to accept the Mac App Store app sandboxing requirements… or to forget about selling their apps through Apple’s store altogether.

Originally, the deadline was November 1st, but Apple has since uncharacteristically extended the deadline to March 1, 2012. After that, all apps sold in the Mac App Store must use Mac OS X Lion’s new sandboxing framework. That framework is another thing Lion had adopted from iOS and is meant to increase security on the Mac.

With the deadline extended, developers now have about four months to decide on whether they will support sandboxing in their apps. The problem? If they do, some apps will become just shadows of their former selves.

Add ‘Shake To Undo’ To A Mac [OS X Tips]



Here’s a fun, kinda crazy way to use the sudden motion sensors that come in some Mac notebooks, like the newer unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros. These sudden motion sensors are used by Apple to detect when a laptop with a physical spinning hard drive is dropped, and therefore this tip won’t work on the 2010 or 2011 MacBook Airs that shipped with flash-based, non-spinning SSDs. Using a third-party app, you can pick up your laptop and give it a shake-to-undo option, just like the one on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Split Your iPad Keyboard In iOS 5 And Give Your Thumbs A Workout [iOS Tips]



When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, people either loved or hated the virtual keyboard. I still have mixed feelings about it, but I definitely prefer the one on the iPad over the one on the iPhone. It accommodates my big hands and fingers by being a lot more responsive, and with buttons so big I’m less likely to make mistakes.

Although the iPad keyboard is good enough for most people, users with smaller hands or people who like to use their thumbs for data entry will be happy to know the iPad virtual keyboard in iOS 5 can be split into two pieces that can easily be accessed using your thumbs.

Get Temporary Access To Your Mac OS X Library Folder When You Need It [OS X Tips]



The Library folder changed from being visible in Mac OS X Snow Leopard to being invisible in Mac OS X Lion. Apple decided to hide the Library folder from users to protect them from damaging the contents of that folder. Although that makes some sense from a security perspective, there are times when you need to get into that folder for troubleshooting or other reasons.

We’ve showed you how to make the Library folder permanently visible, but today I’ll show you how to get temporary access to this folder. Using this method will give you access when you need it and at the same time give the folder the protection Apple thinks it deserves.

Two Ways To Rename Your iOS Devices [iOS Tips]



If you have more than one iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you probably want to give each one a unique name so you can tell them apart. Or you might be upgrading from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 4S, like I did. If you give every device a unique name, you’ll be able to identify each one when you sync it in iTunes or pick it up from the desk you share with your family.

Apple has provided two ways that allow you to change the name of your iOS devices.

Lion Introduces New Privacy And Location Services To Mac OS X [OS X Tips]



Lion has introduced some new yet basic privacy settings. The new settings control how you share your location and collect usage data to send to Apple. Although now it seems to be fairly basic I think it is still important to know what if any apps on your Mac are accessing location services on Mac OS X.

I’ll show you how to find out if they are or not in this tip.

Shake Things Up By Making Your Own Custom Vibration Alerts in iOS 5 [iOS Tips]



If you find yourself in a quiet environment like a meeting or at the doctor’s office you’ll usually silence the ringer on your iPhone. The iPhone will then vibrate when you get incoming calls.

Although that sounds great, the iPhone will vibrate the same way for every caller. But it doesn’t have to do that. You can actually create a customized vibration pattern for every contact in your address book.

Make Your Own Bumps In the Night With iSoundGrid Halloween For iPad



Today is Halloween. So here’s a last-minute Halloween themed iOS app that runs on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  It can turn your next scary party into a real spooktacular or you can use it to enhance the fun while passing out loads of candy to all the little ghosts and goblins that visit.

I discovered this Halloween app treat last year and I had a blast with it then and I will later tonight. It is worth a look if you haven’t seen it.

Possible Fix For iOS 5 And iPhone 4S Battery Life?



I’ve been a bit quiet lately while considering the possible reasons why my new iPhone 4S has the worst battery life of any iPhone I’ve ever owned. Normally by now I would have written some battery troubleshooting tips to share with all of you. However, this time around the problem is anything but normal and the usual tips aren’t helping. So I’ve been quiet about this.

I cannot say the same thing about Apple’s discussion forums since the conversation about battery life there is reaching epic proportions and the conversation is rather loud.

It might be about to get a lot quieter with this tip, which seems to be working for me.