Tag Archives: secrets

Five Tip Friday ~ Settings and extras in Mac OS X

1/ You can turn the scroll bars back on — In System Preferences, which is probably in the Dock (grey cogwheels) and if it’s not, it’s always available from the Apple menu) on the General tab, you can turn ‘Show scroll bars’ to  ‘Always,’ and your scroll bars will always be visible. Then you’ll always know if a field is scrollable.

2/ Safari Favorites (sic) — OS X by default now hides the favourites bar in Safari. To turn them back on, just choose View>Show Favorites Bar.


3/ Change the Dock appearance — The so-called stacks that appear on the right-side of the Dock (or at the bottom if you have the Dock on the side, as I do, above) can be confusing. Folders in the Dock show their contents rather than a folder icon, which means the way they look changes when something new is added to the folder it’s linked to (this is in the area to the right or bottom, between the Trash and the vertical divider line, which is the area for files and folders rather than apps as in the rest go the Dock). To switch this, right- or Control-click on one of those Dock folder icons on the right or bottom, and choose ‘Display as…Folder’ from the popout menu.

4/ Add descriptive text to Mail’s toolbar — To make Mail’s icons more understandable, right- or Control-click on Mail’s toolbar (the grey strip across the top of the window) and choose ‘Icon and Text’ from the menu that’ll appear, and those icons will actually mean something.


5/ Bluetooth’s secret Debug menu — If you’re having issues with a connected peripheral device like a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, there’s a special menu option buried beneath the Bluetooth symbol near the top-right of your screen. (If you’re missing that icon, open System Preferences, select the Bluetooth tab and check ‘Show Bluetooth in menu bar’.)
Once you can see it at top right of your screen, hold down the Shift and the Option keys on your keyboard at the same time, then click on the icon. A Debug menu appears. This contains a few very useful choices: Reset the Bluetooth module” completely wipes all of the hardware module’s settings. Enable Bluetooth logging creates a new log file (viewable within Applications > Utilities > Console) that you can check out if you’re great at parsing log-speak.
The fourth option, Remove all devices, would be great to know about if you were moving, say, a mouse and keyboard to a new workstation, as they’d then be easy to pair with the new Mac.
The third choice, Factory reset all connected Apple devices, forces your Apple stuff back to factory settings, which is an incredible troubleshooting step if you’ve already tried things like turning the devices off and on again, unpairing and re-pairing, deleting Bluetooth preferences, resetting the SMC, and so on. Your Mac will give you a somewhat ambiguous (but still scary!) warning if you attempt to do this:

Extra: there’s one more quick trick. If you hold down Shift-Option, click on the Bluetooth menu, and then select one of your connected devices, you can choose to do a factory reset on that device only.
(Be aware that if you choose to do a factory reset on anything, you’ll have to re-pair it to your Mac, so here are Apple’s instructions on how you do so. But hopefully, whatever big bad Bluetooth problems you were having will be resolved after that, and nothing will have to get thrown at the wall or set on fire or stomped into pieces out of anger! A girl can dream.)

(These Bluetooth tips via Mac Observer.)

Apple Watch 490 ~ Secrets and Ties

Apple used to be the most secretive company in tech (apart from those working for the CIA, anyway). Apple still is secretive, of course, although there have been leaks. I don’t really count the iPhone 6 as a significant leak – I mean, iPhone 3, 4, 5 … what was the next one going to be? Swift, which was under development for four years without the media finding out, was certainly kept very quiet. That’s a long time to go without leaks.

Of course the supply chain can’t be as tightly monitored – no matter what agreements are signed, Apple can’t control it directly, whereas what goes on at Cupertino is kept at Cupertino. Visits to the Apple HQ are not encouraged, at least if you’re media. It’s invite or nothing. But as Apple settles down under the quite different guidance of Tim Cook, that’s changing too – media invitations have changed. Apple Inc invited Daniel Eran Dilger of Apple Insider through the doors of Infinite Loop to show off the the latest iPads and Macs, along with other members of the media – they used to be directed around the back of the Cupertino campus to the Town Hall door. This time they were greeted at the front door and led through the private campus courtyard – anathema under Jobs.

Dilger wrote “The uncharacteristic media micro-tour of Apple’s headquarters is part of a new experiment in dialing [sic] down the company’s reputation for excessive, nearly paranoid-level secrecy that it has maintained since its recovery in the late 1990s.”

Dilger’s take is that Apple is no longer the beleaguered underdog Steve Jobs took over to revitalise almost 18 years ago. More importantly, Apple doesn’t feel like the beleaguered underdog any more. Meanwhile, other managers at Apple are increasingly coming out of the shadows and talking about things they didn’t used to talk about. Walt Mossberg and Ina Fried talked to Apple VP of iPhone, iPod, and iOS Product marketing Greg Joswiak. He covered Apple Pay, the new Apple any-carrier SIM and the company’s rather regrettable rollout of buggy iOS 8.0.1. This little problem possibly impacted on the adoption of iOS 8 — it took nearly six weeks for iOS 8 adoption to break 50% of installs. iOS 7 was at that point after a week (iOS 8.1 seems very stable and introduced several new features, especially if you have Yosemite on your Mac as well).

Other Apple metrics are stronger than ever. Mac sales are up: the ‘middle-aged’ Mac (in the Wall Street Journal’s words) showed a surprising 21% jump in unit sales and had Apple’s computer line leapfrog the sagging iPad to become the company’s second biggest-selling product line in revenue terms, just behind the iPhone, in the last quarter. I don’t think anyone predicted this. The Mac line generated revenue of US$6.625 billion in the quarter; iPad revenue  was at US$5.316 billion.

The new iPhone is popular, too, even in surprising places: in South Korea, iPhone 6 had 100,000 pre-orders. The new Samsung (Samsung being one of Korea’s flagship companies and successes) only had 30,000 pre-orders of its new Galaxy Note 4s in a similar same period when it launched in September. Apple isn’t exactly top phone there, though, not yet: in the second quarter, Apple’s handset market share in Korea was only at 6%, fourth with Samsung first at 63%, LG Electronics Inc at 22% and ‘Pantech’ (what, who?) at 7%.

Interestingly, it may be because Samsung’s only real point of difference with the iPhone previously was larger screens, according to Lee Seung-woo, an IBK Securities analyst in Seoul. He reckons the 6 could well rise dramatically against Samsung as a result. As for the bigger 6 Plus not selling as well as the slimmer 6, demand is so strong that supply is constrained, iPhone 6 Plus resale prices are currently higher than new, at 124% of its retail price on sites like eBay. Apparently the constraint is due to overwhelming demand. The new iPhone also holds its value better than competing smartphones from Samsung: Piper Jaffray research shows the Galaxy S5 worth just 81% of its retail price after 42 days; the Galaxy Note III was at 67%.

All good for the future, then.