While the new Reminders app that Apple built into iOS 5 isn’t as full-featured as some other task management apps in the App Store, it does offer a few clever niceties. Among the app’s best features are its ability to sync to-do lists and share them with other users via iCloud and its tight integration with Siri on the iPhone 4S.
You’d be forgiven, though, if you didn’t know about that first one—the ability to subscribe to and share to-do lists with other folks—because it’s not actually discoverable from within the app itself. Instead, you first need to head over to iCloud.com and log in with your iCloud email account. (If the iCloud website immediately takes you to the Find My iPhone screen when you log in, press the Back button in your browser or click on the small cloud icon near the upper left to get to the main menu of options.)
There’s no Reminders option on the iCloud homepage. Instead, you need to click on the Calendar icon; just as Reminders syncs with iCal on the Mac, it syncs with the Calendar app in iCloud. On the left side of the Calendar view, you’ll see a list of your iCloud-synced calendars, followed by any iCloud-synced Reminders lists.
Thanks to Dashboard's Web clipping feature, you can turn almost anything you see on a webpage into a widget. Hints reader Freethought realized that you can use that capability to grab your very own Mickey Mouse clock for your desktop. The key: Mickey is one of the numerous clock faces Apple now offers on the iPod nano, and Apple shows a full working, ticking preview of the clock on its website. Here’s how to grab it for your Mac.
First, go to Apple’s iPod nano page in Safari. Control-click (right-click) on a white, empty section of the webpage, and choose Open in Dashboard from the contextual menu that appears. Then, click once on the Mickey Mouse clock face, which places it in a white, resizable box. Adjust the box by dragging the handles so that it completely contains the clock. When you’re ready, click on the Add button at the upper right corner of your Safari window.
Acorn (), my favorite image editor, was giving me trouble. Whenever I’d open a file in the app, the image would appear immediately—but then the app would hang for five, 20, even 60 seconds. I saw the spinning beach ball of doom, and couldn’t do anything else in the app. I was running the latest version of Lion and the latest version of Acorn, and I checked with a few of my fellow Acorn-using Macworld coworkers; not one of them was having my issue.
Acorn is developed by Flying Meat Software, so I reached out to the company for tech support. After a lot of investigative back and forth, Flying Meat’s president Gus Mueller figured out the solution, discovering two scary truths in the process: First, the hang wasn’t actually Acorn’s fault at all; the second, other apps—among them iA Writer—could suffer the same issue.
Mueller suggested that I check the permissions on a folder I hadn’t heard of before: ~/Library/Application Support/Ubiquity/. It turns out that Ubiquity is an internal name that Lion uses to refer to iCloud. Mueller learned that occasionally the folder’s permissions become mistakenly tweaked, leaving the folder owned by the root user instead of the logged-in user’s account. When that happens, Mueller discovered, the exact hangs I experienced could occur in a variety of apps—even though those apps don’t (yet) use iCloud.
In Lion's Finder, you can group files, folders, and applications in a variety of ways—by name or date last opened, for example, or, in the case of applications only, by application category. (View -> Arrange By -> Application Category.) Unfortunately, OS X lumps many apps into a catch-all Other category. Even when it does categorize an app more specifically, you might disagree with that categorization: For example, Amazon classifies the Kindle app as Reference, but I consider it Entertainment. Hints reader sd figured out how to change or add categories to applications yourself.
Quit the app if it’s running and find its icon in your /Applications folder. Then, Control-click (right-click) on the app in question and choose Show Package Contents from the contextual menu that appears. Open the Contents folder, look for the info.plist file, and open it in your plain-text editor of choice. (You may be prompted as to whether or not you really want to unlock the file for editing; assure OS X that you would indeed like to do so.)
If your app is already categorized in something other than Other, search for the string LSApplicationCategoryType. If you can’t find it, or if this is a previously-uncategorized app, you’ll need to add the new key yourself. (If you do find it, skip the next paragraph.)
In iOS 4, there was a toggle-switch that let you turn Notifications off and on. (If you’re still running iOS 4, that’s in Settings -> Notifications.) But with iOS 5’s Notifications overhaul, there’s no longer an obvious means of disabling all notifications on your iPhone or iPad.
So what do you do if you don’t want to disable your notifications one app at a time, but you still want to be free from them once in a while? The answer depends upon your particular situation.
You’ve just started using a brand-new Mac. You launch Mail.app and start to compose an email to a friend. That’s when it hits you: You haven't yet sent any messages on the new machine, so Mail.app hasn't had any addresses to remember, so it can't autocomplete your friend's address when you begin to type his name. Drat! Fortunately, as Marco Arment recently blogged, there’s a way to copy Mail.app’s autocomplete database from your old setup to your new one. (Marco also happens to be the developer of Macworld favorite Instapaper .)
On the original Mac—the one that successfully autocompletes email addresses for you—use the Finder to go to the folder ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/. (If you wish, you can select and copy that path here, then go back to the Finder, choose Go -> Go To Folder or type Shift-Command-G, and paste the path.)
Earlier this week, we shared a hint about applying Finder labels from the keyboard. But that hint, which focused on adding labels to the Finder’s toolbar, suffered from a few annoying limitations. One Macworld reader, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted us with a much better solution to the same problem.
This reader’s solution uses Automator. Launch Automator, and create a new Service.
Look for the “Services receive selected…” dropdown menu at the upper right, and choose “files or folders.”