Tips and Tricks

WiFi Sync your iPhone and iPad using Personal Hotspot

One of the coolest features in iOS 5 WiFi syncing, which I now use far more often than USB syncing. Being able to hit “Sync” on my MacBook for my iPad while it’s still in my bag (it only needs charging every few days) makes me giggle every time I do it. It’s just so simple, and works so effectively every time. With it, new music, an updated playlist, and a few new apps are just a click away. Obviously…


More Tips to Make Siri Work for You

The other day I was speaking to someone who had just gotten a new iPhone 4S. They love the phone but were complaining that Siri doesn’t seem to work very well. We spent a few minutes going over some of the Siri ins and outs and, would you believe, he now loves Siri. Because of that, I thought I would circle back and share a few more tips that can make Siri a more effective productivity tool. Talk to Me:…


Give Your Old UGGs New Life with a Set of UGG Sheepskin Insoles

Let’s just go ahead and get it out of the way: UGGs are ugly. They make your feet look huge, and they are sloppy. I’ve been told that there is nothing worse than seeing a woman wearing a pair of UGGs with a skirt or a pair of shorts; Kev grew up in the San Diego area, and he has issues with those combos, evidently. So there are plenty of reasons to dislike them, but I think the biggest reason…


Macbook Pro Utility You NEED for Better Battery Life: gfxCardStatus

Perhaps it was because I was using the Sony Vaio S-series laptop with its 15-hour battery, but I never really looked critically at the battery life on my 2011 15″ Macbook Pro. But recently I have been using it almost exclusively and have felt that I should be getting more hours between charges. My assumption – particularly how the fans would spin up even when I was doing nothing particularly challenging – was that there was something related to the…


Siri and iCloud Turn the iPhone’s Notes App into a Powerful Tool

The Notes app that is built into iOS has always struck me as a bit anemic. That’s hard for me to write, considering that my cousin works for Apple and is one of the key people involved in its development. Unfortunately… it’s kind of true. Sure, Notes is great for jotting down quick memos, but that is about it. There is very little you can actually do with it other than, well, take notes. Documents can’t be formatted. You can’t…


Enough Fun and Games; Tips and Tricks for Using Siri for Productivity

Siri is a lot of fun to play with, but it is time to get down to business. After all, with a little bit of patience and a few (many?) tweaks, Siri can become an amazingly useful productivity service. Truth be told, for the first few hours I was trying Siri I thought it was a big fat fail. After making some of the changes I want to share with all of you however, I already can’t see having to…


OS X Lion Quick Tip: Reorder Windows in Mission Control

  UPDATE (With apologies): Turns out this is only in the current Lion Beta, something I never would have imagined. Thanks to Rodney for pointing it out. We’ll let you know when it makes its way into a full release since it is quite useful! The more I use OS X Lion the more I like the features it brought to the Mac and, although it can be a bit inconsistent, I am really learning to appreciate fullscreen apps. I’m…


FourSquare Quick Tip: Upload a Profile Picture to Become a Mayor

It had become a running joke in the family. “Dan, did you FourSquare here?” “Dan, still one day away from being mayor?” “Dan, when you can’t even become mayor of your own house what does that tell you?” “Dan, you know the ‘no fly’ list? I think FourSquare has you on the ‘no mayor’ list.” Yes, I was one day away from becoming the FourSquare mayor at well over a dozen venues. Despite this I had only actually become major…


GMail to the Rescue!

I have been a GMail user since their early beta days, but three times this week I was reminded of how dead simple and useful their archiving and saving functions can be! First, a bit of background. My best friend is getting married next week, and so I have been wracking my brain putting together a toast for her and her fiancée. I had some fun anecdotes about her, as well as stories from when the two of them started…


Quick Google Tip — Multiple Account Sign-in

Several months ago, Gear Diary’s email switched to Google Apps. As a result, I learned about a pretty neat Google trick — multiple account sign-in. Effectively, it lets me be logged in at my primary email address on one tab and have my Gear Diary email opened and signed in on a separate tab. Helpful, but not earth-shattering. However, in the last few weeks, I’ve had two different people flip out with excitement when I taught them this trick, mainly…


Mac Quick Tip: Use Faces to Find People and Organize Out of Control iPhoto Libraries

Sometimes it is the little features in a program that can make the biggest differences. iPhoto’s facial recognition is one example of this. I knew the feature was there in the ’11 version of the software but never used it. Last week Elana’s grandma Pearl died. It was and is sad, but at 87 she had led a long, good life and is remembered fondly by many. We should all be lucky enough to have the same said about us…


IPad Quick Tip: Want to Read Outside on Your iPad? Go Landscape

Now that summer is unofficially here you may be spending more time than ever outside. As great as the iPad is it leaves a good deal to be desired when you are in the sun. There is the glare. There is the overheating and subsequent shut down safety mechanism. And there is the fact that polarized sunglasses do a number on the iPad and can result in a screen that looks blank even on the highest brightness. One solution for…


New iPad??? Read This!!!

The iPad-train just keeps on rolling. There’s no question it was the “hot gift” this season and as more and more people get their hands on the “wonder tablet” and discover all it can do the momentum will just continue to build. My own circle has seen numerous iPads make their appearance in recent weeks. My niece and nephew got one from their grandmother. (My nephew emailed this morning “Uncle Dan, we’re at the airport and I’m emailing you from…


GV Connect + Talkatone = iPad Phone

When the iPad was first released there were many who commented that one of the device’s shortcomings, among many, was that it could not be used as a phone. That wasn’t quite accurate. Sure the iPad isn’t a device you would want to hold up to your ear but with apps like Skype or Ooma’s iOS app the iPad makes for an excellent speakerphone. In fact, I use it on a regular basis in this way. Now, however, thanks to…


Are You A Droid User Feeling Stung By No WiFi Tether Coming With Froyo (2.2)? Easy Root Has You Covered!

I have had the original Motorola Droid since last November just after it launched, and I have been extremely happy with the device and the Android operating system. Aside from the mediocre keyboard (which I’ve gotten used to over time) I have had an absolutely fantastic experience with the Droid – it is my constant companion, and I greatly appreciate how it has improved in many ways during the time since purchase thanks to app updates and operating system upgrades….


Add Custom Words to iPhone Dictionary

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Antidisestablishmentarianism? Okay, so maybe you don’t use those words every day, but what about other words that you do? And they aren’t in your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) dictionary? Judie was running into this issue recently on her iPhone. For some strange reason, she frequently needs to type the word “Kev”, and the iPhone kept auto-correcting it to “KeV” (note the upper-case “V”). So what do you do? Buying a bumper won’t fix this problem! Well, with the…


The Kindle’s Killer Wireless Feature: Google Maps?!?

One of the major advantages Amazon’s Kindle has over the nook is that the wireless feature is not limited to just downloading books. Unlike the nook, the Kindle can browse the web over its free built-in wireless. While it may not be the world’s greatest browsing experience, it’s still better than nothing at all! A Kindle World Blog has found ways to take it one step further than just Wikipedia on the fly…they have detailed instructions on how to access…


iPad Quick Tip- These Don’t Mix Well With iPads…

Here are just a few things that don’t mix well with your new iPad… 1. Water Duh! 2. Magnets I got an email from my friend Michael who warned me about getting any case that has even the smallest of magnets. Seems his brand new case is completely messing up the iPad’s ability to serve as a GPS thanks to the havoc the magnet plays on the device’s compass. I pulled out the Orbino case I am reviewing and, sure…


Apple 3G iPad on EDGE Using a T-Mobile SIM? Here’s How

If you were grandfathered into a low-priced T-Mobile data plan (remember the $5.99/month deal?), if you don’t mind EDGE speeds, and if don’t want to pay an extra $30/month to use the AT&T iPad data plan, this DIY hack may be just what you have been looking for. Granted, you won’t be able to pop your T-Mo SIM back into your phone, but why let that stop you? iPadInsider has posted a DIY hack that they say will make your…


Gear Chat #8- The “No iPad Edition”

In Gear Chat #8 Larry and Dan do their best NOT to talk about the  iPad. In fact they make a bet and place a dollar amount on each slip. How do they do? Listen and find out. So what DO they talk about if they are going to stop obsessing about the iPad for a bit? Why the iPhone of course.  iPhone OS 4.0, rumors about new hardware, some recommended apps and more get covered in this week’s podcast.


iPhone Bluetooth: Flaky but Predictable Corner-Case Problem

Image courtesy of Natalie Jean Lovin Holbrook I find corner-cases.  I don’t want to; I don’t try to; I just do.  Like last week, right?  I was working with some fairly sophisticated online documentation build and publish tools–and they weren’t working right.  I was making my co-workers upset.  I was making my boss upset.  Heck, I was making my wife Sami upset, because I was griping about it so much.  Was I missing something?  What had I done wrong?  Why…