Turn off an iPad or iPhone without touching the power switch

My friend Frank works for Canon in Manhattan, and occasionally gives demos in a room with locked-down iPads. Sometimes those iPads need to be rebooted—but Frank has no access to the sleep/wake switch ostensibly required to power off an iPad.

In the past, I’ve suggested that Frank “reset” something (under Settings -> General -> Reset) that’s easy to set again; resetting Location & Privacy settings doesn’t mess too much up, and it restarts the iPad when you tap it.

But there’s a better way. Also in the Settings app, head to General -> Accessibility, and and turn on Assistive Touch. That adds a draggable dot control to your screen, meant for people with physical challenges that prevent them from triggering certain iOS actions the traditional way. Tap the dot, then tap Device, and finally tap and hold Lock Screen—a software equivalent of the sleep/wake button. After a few moments, the familiar Slide to Power Off message appears, and you can shut the iPad down.

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Cache Google Maps for offline access on iOS

Google’s recent update for the Maps app introduced a variety of new features and improvements. One of those is the ability to save map data for offline access.

If you use Google Maps on a Wi-Fi only iPad, or if you’ll be traveling somewhere where cellular data is spotty, knowing how to enable offline caching of map data is pretty important. CNet explained the trick recently.
First, you’ll need to zoom in a bit; you can’t cache a widely-zoomed-out map view. Then, when you’re at the spot you’d like to cache, type OK maps into the search box, and then tap Search.
When you do that, a Google Maps icon will appear briefly, followed by a message indicating that your map data was saved. Now, even when you’r …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Delete files without emptying the Trash

Long ago, we detailed a (rather scary) way to delete files without needing a stop in the trash can. A recent thread on StackExchange brought the issue up again, and some folks there provided other, less scary approaches.

Why would you want to delete a file without needing to choose Empty Trash? Here’s one example: You have some files in the Trash on your Mac that you’re not ready to pull the trigger on forever. Now you connect a USB drive and have files on it that you wish to dispose of. If you drag those files to the Trash, you have to select Empty Trash to do it—which means deleting the files from both the drive and your Mac itself.

Most Hints readers know about the rm Terminal command, which lets you remove files instantly and without a trip to the Trash. Bu …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Developers: Prevent GateKeeper 'Damaged application' warning on Java apps

If you create an application bundle to start a Java application as a regular Mac app, you will get a message that the application is damaged when you try to run it on Mac OS Mountain Lion with GateKeeper active.
The error is caused by the fact that the Java stub application is signed by Apple, and Apple’s signature will not be valid for your application.The codesign tool will give the following message:

codesign -d MyJavaApplication.app
MyJavaApplication.app: invalid signature (code or signature have been modified)

The best solution is to sign your application with your Apple Developer key, but if you do not have one you can still sign your application with an ad-hoc key, and replace the Apple signature that will cause this message. To do so run codesign with the following options:

codesign -s – –force MyJavaApplication.app

The user will still have to allow running the application the first time by using the right-click (Co …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Generate a list of Reading List URLs

Perhaps you use Safari’s Reading List feature to save various Web articles for later reading. But maybe your Reading List is so overwhelming that you’d prefer to export a simple list of URLs to keep track of—or to open in an app besides Safari.

Over at StackExchange, Rob Mathers offers up a quick Python script to do just that. Copy Mathers’s Python script into a plain text document, and name it something like readinglist.py. Next, make it executable; you can use the Terminal command chmod +x readinglist.py.

Run the script—which loops through the proper section of the ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist file where those URLs are stored—and it will generate a list of the URLs in question. If you’d like to save the URLs to a file, use a command like ./readinglist.py > urls.txt to do so.

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Navigate directly to recently accessed files and apps

Sometimes, an old hint is so good, it bears repeating. Years ago, we shared a hint involving the Recent Items section of the Apple menu.

Next time you’re looking at that particular section, hold down the Command key. The names of your recent apps and files—which you could otherwise select to launch as desired—will change. For example, if your Recent Apps list included Acorn, that item would change to Show Acorn in Finder. And yes, this works with documents, too.

So if you very quickly want to find specific files in the Finder that you know you used recently, the Apple menu’s Recent Items section, in tandem with the Command key, can help you out in a jiffy.

Source: Mac OSX Hints


How to use Command-Tab to escape screen sharing

Since OS X 10.6, when you’re screen sharing and looking at a remote Mac’s screen, you cannot successfully use Command-Tab to switch out of a screen sharing window, because the command is sent to the remote machine instead.

I recently found a way around this by using Quicksilver. With Quicksilver installed, the key combination is not sent to the remote machine, but rather to your local Mac instead—once you’ve summoned Quicksilver. When the Quicksilver window shows up, focus goes to local machine, and Command-Tab is also sent to the local machine.

Lex adds: And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In his testing, my colleague Dan Moren found the same behavior works with Alfred; he could trigger Alfred’s shortcut while screen sharing, and the app would launch on his local Mac, and thus Command-Tab would begin working on the local Mac instead.

I’m a LaunchBar guy, though, and when I tried to trigger LaunchBar on my Mac—which I’ve set to use …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Click the Apple and Notification Center menu items more easily

This hint is an oldie but a goodie, and we could only find it mentioned in comments on older hints. If you don’t know it, you’ll want to; if you already knew it, pay it forward to Mac users who are spending too much time fussing with the mouse.

The Apple menu sits at the top left of your menu bar, and the Notification Center icon sits at the top right. For years, though, OS X has made clicking menu items in either position simpler than it might appear. You needn’t move the mouse cursor to precisely the slim confines of either icon when you want to click on them. If you slam your mouse all the way to the top left corner of the screen, well beyond the perimeter of the Apple icon, and click—you’ll still successfully trigger the Apple menu.

The same trick works with the Notification Center menu at the upper right: Move the mouse all the way to that corner, fretting not about whether your cursor is actually atop the icon, and your click will still register as desired. …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Hidden settings to adjust Dock animations

By Matt Swain Here are a couple of tips for customising the delay and animation speed of your Dock if you have it set to automatically show and hide (in System Preferences).

Custom delay time

You may have noticed that there is a short delay before the Dock appears when your mouse hits the edge of the screen. There is a hidden setting that allows you to adjust the delay time using the Terminal.

Start by opening up the Terminal app (in Applications/Utilities). To remove the delay entirely, paste in the following line and press Return.

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0

The changes won’t take effect until you restart the Dock, which you can do by typing killall Dock and pressing Return.

The number at the end of the command is the delay time in seconds, which you can customise to your liking. My preferred delay is 0.1, which is a bit quicker than the default. To return to the default, just use the following command:

defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-delay

Custom animation speed

There is a related hidden setting that allows you to customise the speed of the animation when the Dock slides onto the screen. As before, paste the following line into the Terminal and press Return.

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.5

Remember to restart the Dock with killall Dock for the changes to take effect. Just like the delay, the number at the end is the length of the animation in seconds. 0 will make the Dock instantly appear with no animation. My preferred time is about 0.5, which makes things just a little snappier than the default.

To return to the default, just use the following command:

defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-time-modifier

Source: Mac OSX Tips


Use Siri to find movies with two specific actors

Sure, IMDb’s advanced search tools can you help find occasions when two disparate actors appeared in the same film. But navigating IMDb when you want to play offshoots of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is no fun. If you have a Siri-capable iOS device within reach, you can find movie star overlap using only your voice.

Give Siri an instruction like, “Show me movies with Jason Biggs and Woody Allen,” and the virtual assistant should suggest Anything Else a moment later. And in cases of overlap—“What movies have both Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry”—Siri provides a list of all the matching films. (In that case, it’s both Rugrats in Paris and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Tap on a matching movie to see more information about the film.

Source: Mac OSX Hints