Force iOS to use YouTube site instead of app

The default YouTube app that comes with iOS was great back in 2007, but it hasn’t seen a significant update in years and is lacking many features compared to the newer mobile YouTube website (m.youtube.com) that Google launched two years ago.

Reader seanm5 points out that you can stop iOS from launching the native YouTube app when you click on a YouTube link, and force it to use the superior YouTube mobile website instead. To do this, simply disable YouTube under Settings > General > Restrictions.

Once you’ve done that, all YouTube links you click on in an iOS browser will open YouTube’s mobile website; the native YouTube app will also be hidden. If you decide you want to revert these changes and go back to using the YouTube app for those links, go to the Restrictions settings and toggle YouTube back on.

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Back up blog or FTP directory with AppleScript

Reader lucaslivingston has a WordPress blog, and wanted to make sure to back it up regularly. But while there are plenty of WordPress plugins that claim to do backups, he frankly found them daunting. Instead, he decided to create his own simple Mac-native solution using AppleScript, and then set up a daily iCal event to run that script at 4:00 every morning.

The script he came up with:

  1. Simulates a double-click on the alias to the Web server where his WordPress blog lives, mounting it as a WebDAV volume (just like iDisk);
  2. Runs the handy Unix backup command rsync to copy the remote contents locally; and
  3. Unmounts the web server.

Here's the script. Open AppleScript Editor and paste the following into a new window, then save it as an Application:

set filepath to "Macintosh HD:Users:USERNAME:Library:Favorites:www.example.com"

tell application "Finder" to open filepath

delay 30

do shell script "rsync -av /Volumes/www.example.com/blog/ '/Volumes/Backup/wordpress-backup'"

tell application "Finder" to eject "www.example.com"

If you're adapting it, you'll obviously need to provide you own user name, domain, and backup destination in the script. You should be able to use this with any web server or FTP directory that you work with.

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3

Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X

When you use the volume controls on a Mac to increase or decrease the sound coming from your speakers, those levels increment in whole steps on a scale from 1 to 10: Press the Up Volume button once, for example, and the volume goes up one step out of ten.

But in versions of OS X prior to 10.7, it was possible to adjust the volume in smaller increments: If you held down Shift and Option before pressing the Volume keys on your keyboard, you could adjust the volume in quarter-steps instead of whole ones. For some reason, Apple removed this ability in OS X 10.7. But reader aGr[j5(6WU noticed that it has returned in 10.7.4—a change not mentioned in the release notes.

In addition to using this Shift-Option combination to control the volume more finely, you can also use it when you adjust the brightness on your Mac. Press Shift-Option, then press one of the brightness keys on a Mac keyboard, and you’ll notice that the brightness changes in quarter-steps. This is nice if you find your display is just a bit too bright or too dim.

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23

View a program's graphics in Preview

Whether you're preparing a presentation or how-to documents for your staff, there may come a time when you want access to a program's graphics. You may especially be curious about the images in applications like Apple’s Keynote or Pages, which include plenty of graphical elements in their themes.

Reader LMP showed how you can view all of an application’s graphical resources—its icons, pictures, UI (user interface) elements, and so on—quickly and easily by dragging the application icon onto the Preview icon. When you do this, Preview’s sidebar will show all of these items, and you can click on any one to view it in the main window.

With Keynote, for example, you'll gain access to all the graphical elements in the various themes the program contains; and with Pages, you’ll be able to see all the elements from the program’s templates. These latter programs’ contain thousands of graphics, so it may take you a while to wade through them all. But you might find something interesting.

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10

Three quick browser tips

Have you ever found yourself on a webpage filled with animated GIFs? Annoying, aren’t they? Reader NoOH-Lye noticed that you can pause those GIFs in Firefox just by pressing the Escape key. You can do the same in Safari, but you need to hold the Escape key down to keep them from starting up again.

Safari’s Downloads pop-up (which opens when you click on the button in the upper right corner) offers some interesting features. Some of them you probably know about. (For example, double-clicking a file’s icon in the pop-up opens it, and you can copy a file’s URL by selecting it in the pop-up and pressing Command-C.) But Hints reader Bairnsfather pointed out one I didn’t know about: You can select a downloaded file in the Downloads pop-up and then drag it—to a folder, to your Desktop, or even to a Dock icon to launch it with that application.

Finally, if you’re short on hard drive space, check your copy of Google Chrome. When Hints reader itechguy.com did so, he found that the app was taking up 1.2GB of drive-space. The reason for the bloat: When he looked into the app’s bundle (by right-clicking and choosing Show Package Contents), he found multiple old versions of the app, all which appeared to be nearly identical. After he removed all but the most recent version, the app shrank to 113MB but still worked just fine.

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9

Make Mail Dock badge show important messages only

If you get a lot of email, it can be hard to see the important messages among all the others that can clutter your inbox. Reader radek suggests a way to have the badge on Mail's Dock icon display only the count of the emails you really care about—those from people you know.

To set it up, first create a new rule: Go to Mail -> Preferences -> Rules, select the Inbox Rules tab, then click on Add Rule. Name the rule Personal Email then define it:

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4

Stop the Lion "rubber-band" bounce

One thing that annoys many Lion users is "rubber-band scrolling": When you scroll to the end of a page in many apps, the page seems to continue scrolling a bit, then bounces back. OS X Hints reader Havner found a way to remove this effect. (He started from this anonymous hint about turning it off in Xcode, then did some research on Apple's discussion forums to find the answer for other apps as well.)

As with so many other 'hidden' settings in OS X, the fix for this is just a Terminal command away:

defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0
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