Mac|Life - How-Tos en Ask: How to Save & Export Voicemail <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's Ask, we let you know how to save and export voicemail from your iPhone (or your phone's iTunes backup on your Mac) as a usable sound file.</p><h3>Question</h3><p><strong>I have voicemails on my iPhone that I want to save and copy to my Mac laptop. Is that possible? Is there a way to share or forward voicemail from an iPhone?</strong></p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Voicemails, whether on your Mac as an iOS backup from your iPhone, or on the actual phone itself, can be saved and exported using an application called iExplorer. This application costs $34.99 USD (a free trial is available), and you can get it from the <a href="" target="_blank">Macroplant website</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/ask_voicemail.png" width="620" height="271" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>You can use a program called iExplorer to save and export voicemail.</strong></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Once you’ve downloaded and installed iExplorer, follow these steps to get your voicemails from either an iOS backup or from the actual device itself:&nbsp;</p><p>1. Open the iExplorer application.</p><p>2. Connect your iPhone to the Mac .</p><p>3. Click on the Device Overview screen once it appears.&nbsp;</p><p>4. Navigate to [your phone] &gt; Voicemail (or navigate to Backups &gt; Voicemail if you want to browse voicemails included in the backups on your Mac instead).</p><p>5. Select a voicemail and click the play button to listen to it.&nbsp;</p><p>6. Click Export Selected Voicemails, or Export All to export the voicemails from the device or the backup to your Mac for safekeeping.&nbsp;</p><p>iExplorer exports all voicemail data in the .amr &nbsp;format. This export process is 100% lossless, so you can listen to the voicemail files using QuickTime, iTunes, and other popular audio players. NOTE: If your Backups data is loading blank, make sure that you have iTunes set to back up to your computer on the Summary tab for your device and that the Encrypt box is unchecked.&nbsp;</p><p>Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.</p><p>Got a tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Ask Export iExplorer phone Tips voicemail iPhone Mac How-Tos Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:15:57 +0000 Cory Bohon 20802 at 50 OS X Yosemite Tips & Tricks <!--paging_filter--> Gallery OS X OS X 10.10 Tips tricks yosemite Mac How-Tos Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:35:59 +0000 Michael Simon 20788 at How to Reposition a Photo’s Subject <!--paging_filter--><p>When photographing some subjects, such as wildlife, it can be a challenge to position the elements in the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the frame. In our example image shown here, the house and cow are to the left of the frame, with lots of empty space at the right. This produces an unbalanced composition. On the actual shoot, we could have waited for the cow to wander into the right of the frame, or we could have tried repositioning the camera to put more space between the cow and the house, which would have been the ideal situation.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_main.png" width="620" height="429" /></p><p>With Photoshop Elements, there are effective post-production solutions to creating a more balanced composition and countering this sort of problem — including Photoshop Elements 12’s new, intelligent Content-Aware Move tool (which is also available to users of Adobe Photoshop CC).&nbsp;</p><p>To start with, we’ll use tools that are available on older versions of Elements: we’ll use the Clone Stamp tool to quickly sample the pixels of your subject and paint it in a new position. To hide the original subject, we’ll use the Clone Stamp tool again, sampling adjacent areas of image to hide it.</p><p>Getting this type of copying and cloning right can be quite time-consuming, so for quicker recomposing, you can use the Content-Aware Move tool. It lets you select a subject (such as our cow), move it to a new position and remove it from its original location. We’ll also use this tool to extend elements in our image, so let’s get to it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>1. Clone the Subject</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_01.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Before we use the Content-Aware Move tool, let’s look at the other way to reposition a subject; in some cases, this may be enough to get the job done. Use the Clone Stamp tool and set size to 400 in the options. Hold Option and click your subject to sample it. Move the cursor to the right and paint in the clone.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Hide the Original</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_02.png" width="620" height="386" /></p><p>This cloning technique leaves you with two subjects. To hide the original, hold Option and click a clear patch of the image you want to replace it with (in our case, grass). You may need to resample a few times for large subjects. When done, choose Edit &gt; Revert.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Set up the Tool</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_03.png" width="620" height="400" /></p><p>Now we'll move the subject using the typically more useful Content-Aware Move tool. Zoom in for a close look. Select the Content-Aware Move tool, and in the Tool Options, click the New icon. Set Mode to Move. The Healing slider creates a tight or loose blend between the moved subject and its new surroundings — try it in the middle at first.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>4. Create a New Layer</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_04.png" width="620" height="442" /></p><p>Go to Layer &gt; New &gt; Layer, and click OK. A transparent layer is created; editing on this layer lets us tidy up our move more easily and effectively. Check the Sample All Layers box in the Tool Options, so the tool transfers pixels from the Background layer too.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>5. Move the Subject</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_05.png" width="620" height="425" /></p><p>Click and drag to draw around your subject, including some of the area around it. Drag the selection marquee to move the subject to the right — don’t worry if it overlaps the original. When you let go, the tool moves the subject, blends it and removes the original.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>6. Tidy Up</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_06.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>The copied subject appears on the transparent layer in the Layers panel. Press Command + D to deselect the marquee. If any copied areas don’t quite work, remove them with the Eraser tool. If any traces remain in the original location, use the Spot Healing Brush.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>7. Extend a Selection</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_07.png" width="620" height="387" /></p><p>While we're at it, let's use Content-Aware Move for another neat trick: extending a selection. Click the tool’s icon and check the Extend button in the Tool Options. Here, we’ve selected the boundary between the sea and the sky. Click inside the marquee and drag the horizon upwards.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>8. Heal the Join</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtoreposition_08.png" /></p><p>Deselect the marquee — you can see the join between your original line and the extension. To make them seamless, use the Spot Healing Brush. Check the Proximity Match button in the Tool Options. Click a few times over any obvious joins to blend them together.</p> Adobe Photography Photoshop Elements reposition Tutorial Mac How-Tos Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:26:41 +0000 George Cairns 20781 at Easy Mac Hacks: 5 OS X Tricks All Apple Users Should Know <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_18.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />OS X has evolved and became better of the years, and while it's changed names, at its core, it's still the same basic operating system that Steve Jobs introduced back in 2000. Over the years, Apple has added new features, and new shortcuts as well. That's why we'd like to present to you the top 5 OS X tips and tricks that all Apple users should know. Once you learn how to use them, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>1. Temporarily Disable Notification Center</h3><p>There are times when you may wish to silence the notifications coming through your Mac. While you could navigate into the Notification Center, scroll up to the top, and enable the toggle for "Do Not Disturb," this little trick is much simpler, and gets the same effect.<br /><br />To enable Do Not Disturb mode and save yourself from the torrent of tweets about your co-worker's cats, simply hold down the Option key on the keyboard and click on the Notification Center icon in the top-right of the menu bar.<br /><br />When you do this, you'll notice the icon dim, and notifications will cease, at least for the rest of the day; it'll be re-enabled the following day, so you don't need to worry about re-enabling the notifications.</p><h3>2. Do Math in Spotlight</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/osxtricks_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/osxtricks_1.png" width="620" height="425" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>Let's face it: most of us haven't added anything in our heads since high school. For those that require quick calculations, opening the calculator app in OS X seems like a bit of a hassle.<br /><br />Fortunately, there's an easier way, and it involves Spotlight. To do basic calculations, simply press Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight, then enter the math expression you wish your Mac to conveniently echo back to you. You'll see the result next to the expression that you typed.<br /><br />If you decide you actually need the calculator to perform even more calculations, just press enter in Spotlight and the calculator will open. How easy was that?</p><h3>3. Slowmo Animations with Shift</h3><p><img src="/files/u12635/osxtricks_2.png" width="620" height="333" class="thickbox" /></p><p>Your Mac is full of eye-candy, and the animations used throughout the system are no exception. There's enough motion and UI effects in OS X to make any Windows or Linux user jealous. Why not show off those animations a little slower?<br /><br />Whether you need to study the animation techniques used by Apple or you just want to show off to your friends, you can easily slow down an animation by holding down the Shift key while performing the action to cause an animation.<br /><br />Go ahead: Hold down Shift and click the minimize button on a window. For added effect: Do it on a window that contains a playing video. You'll wonder how you ever lived without this modifier key.</p><h3>4. Move Dock with Shift</h3><p>Ever been doing something on your Mac but the Dock was in the way? Hiding it could solve the problem, but what if you want to have it still visible? Fortunately, there's a shortcut to save the day: Hold down the Shift key, then click and hold on the separator line that appears between the apps in your Dock and the files/trash. Move your mouse cursor to the left, bottom, or right of the screen, and the Dock will snap to that location.</p><h3>5. Rearrange Menubar Icons with Command</h3><p><img src="/files/u12635/osxtricks_3.png" width="397" height="44" /></p><p>Menu bar icons are the small icons that appear in the upper right-hand corner of the OS X desktop next to the clock. Did you know that you can rearrange the order in which they appear? It's true, and it's easy.<br /><br />You can easily rearrange Apple-included menu bar icons, and some third-party icons that appear in this location, by holding down the Command key on the keyboard, then clicking and dragging the icons left and right.<br /><br />Note: You can completely remove a menu bar icon by Command + Clicking and dragging the icon below the menu bar. It'll disappear in a puff of smoke.<br /><br /><em>Are there other tips and tricks that you know and we didn't cover that are crucial to the Mac experience? Let us and other readers know in the discussion below.</em></p> animations Columns dock Easy Mac Hacks EMH How to menu bar icons Notification Center spotlight Tips tricks Tutorial Mac How-Tos Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:48:01 +0000 Cory Bohon 20774 at Ask: Find Hidden Directories on Mac <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll show you how to reveal the hidden directories (and other files) on your Mac.</p><h3>Question</h3><p><strong>I’ve heard there are hidden directories in OS X. What are these directories, and how do you make them accessible?</strong></p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Hidden directories in OS X contain many different system-level files that tell OS X and the Finder how to behave with regards to directories, applications, trash items, and more. Following standard Unix behavior, OS X has adopted the “.” (dot) as the standard designation that a file or directory is hidden from view.&nbsp;</p><p>To show hidden files in the Finder, we must rely on a Terminal hack that will reveal the files in the Finder. To do this, open the Terminal application (located in /Applications/Utilities), and type in the following command, followed by the return key:</p><pre>defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES</pre><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/ask_hidden.png" width="620" height="397" /><br /><strong>Enabling hidden directories in OS X is an easy feat — just use this great power responsibly.</strong></p><p>Next, restart the Finder by logging out of your account, and then back into your account. Notice that you’ll see hidden files everywhere in the Finder and on the Desktop. If you wish to go back to only seeing visible files in the Finder, then repeat the command above, replacing “YES” with “NO” and log out and back into your account.&nbsp;</p><p>Hidden files are typically system files and should not be messed with unless you know what you’re doing. Opening, editing, or deleting hidden files and folders that belong to OS X could have adverse effects on the system. Whenever you have hidden files shown in the Finder, be careful when deleting or editing files.</p><p>Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.</p><p>Got a tech question? Email <a href=""></a>.</p> Ask directories finder hidden OS X Terminal tip trick Mac How-Tos Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:05:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20756 at New iOS Games This Week: October 9, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery App Store AppLife Apps Dragon Quest Final Fantasy games iOS new releases ORBB reckless racing skullduggery Terra Battle words with friends Zombie Highway iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Games Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:31:14 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20757 at How to Sign a Document on the iPad <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtosign_main_1.png" width="620" height="318" /></p><p>These days, you’re often sent forms or contracts to sign as PDFs — so why not do it digitally? This is easy on your iPad, using the free Adobe Reader app. When you receive a PDF to sign, open it in Reader using the "Open In…" command, then choose Adobe Reader. Look in the toolbar at the top for the icon that looks like a speech bubble with a pen. Tap it, then at the bottom, tap the fountain pen icon on the right. Now tap the signature area on the form, and follow the steps below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Sign your Life Away</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtosign_01.png" width="620" height="423" /></p><p>Once you’ve tapped the spot where your signature should appear, you see a new screen, with a big white space in the middle for drawing your signature. You can try to write with your finger, though you may find it easier with an iPad-compatible stylus. If it goes wrong, just leave it for a second. The option to either clear it or adjust the line thickness appears. When you’re happy, tap Save.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Adjusting on the Form</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtosign_02.png" width="620" height="262" /></p><p>You’re taken back to the form. Tap again on the spot where you want to add the signature and it appears. If the line thickness is different to what you expected, you can adjust it again using the Thickness option, along with its color and opacity. Use one of the four handles at the corners to adjust its size to fit in boxes — you can even squish and stretch your signature, if that makes it look better.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Repeat and Send</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/howtosign_03.png" width="620" height="232" /></p><p>When you’re happy with your signature, tap away from it and it should sit in the doc. Handily, your signature is now stored in Adobe Reader, so if you need to add another signature, just tap and hold on the spot where you want it and then tap Signature in the popup. Tap Add Signature to place it again. When the form is finished, tap the Share button at the top-right to email it, print it, or take some other action.</p> Documents PDFs sign signature iPad How-Tos Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:39:41 +0000 Matt Bolton 20744 at Ask: Recover a Lost Mac Password <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we tell you what to do in the event that you've lost the main account password to your Mac.</p><h3>Question</h3><p><strong>I recently secured my Mac with a password, but then accidentally forgot what I changed the password to. I only have one administrative account on my iMac, and right now I’m locked out, and have a 27-inch dust collector instead of a working computer since I cannot log in. Is there a way to resolve this issue?</strong>&nbsp;</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Even though you’ve forgotten the main account password for your Mac, there is some troubleshooting you can do in order to (hopefully) recover the OS X account and bring things back to normal.&nbsp;</p><p>The first thing to try is using your Apple ID to reset the account password. If you’ve previously associated your OS X account with your Apple ID, then you’ll be in luck. To reset your OS X password using this method, follow these steps:&nbsp;</p><p>1. After entering your password incorrectly three times at the login screen, a password hint will appear along with text that reads “...reset it with your Apple ID.” Click the small arrow beside this text.</p><p>2. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click the Reset Password button.</p><p>3. A warning message will be displayed that will tell you that your Keychain passwords will be reset. Accept this change.</p><p>4. Insert a new password, along with a password hint, then click the Reset Password button.</p><p>5. You’ll be logged in.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>If you’ve not previously associated your account with your Apple ID, then you’ll have to rely on the Reset Password application that is included with the Recovery Partition on your hard drive or the OS X Install DVD.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/ask_password.png" width="421" height="481" /><br /><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">You can reset your password by booting your Mac into Recovery mode and launching the Reset Password utility.</span></strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>1. Start by booting from the Recovery hard disk partition. You can do this by restarting the computer while holding down Command + R. You’ll see the OS X Utilities window after booting up, with various options. You won’t do anything with this window.&nbsp;</p><p>2. Click Utilities at the top of the screen, then choose Terminal.</p><p>3. Once opened, type “resetpassword” into the Terminal window, then press and the Reset Password app will open.</p><p>4. Select the drive that contains your Mac’s startup volume.</p><p>5. Use the drop-down menu to select which user account permissions you wish to fix .</p><p>6. In the box below, type a new password for the selected account.</p><p>7. The password you typed is masked, so retype it in the next box down to confirm what you typed was intended.</p><p>8. Optionally, you can set a password hint in the next box.</p><p>9. Click the adjacent Save button and the utility will confirm that the account’s password has been reset.</p><p>10. Quit the Reset Password utility app by selecting Quit as you normally would in any OS X app.</p><p>11. Quit the OS X installer by selecting Quit OS X Installer from the OS X Installer menu.</p> password Recovery reset tip trick Mac How-Tos Fri, 03 Oct 2014 20:42:06 +0000 Cory Bohon 20726 at How to Open Any File on iOS <!--paging_filter--><p>As more and more people start to use their iPad as a real work machine and their iPhone as a primary way of managing emails on the move, we need iOS devices to be able to view a huge range of file types — from simple text documents to complex design layouts, 3D models, high-quality sound recordings, and fun videos.</p><p>The iPad and iPhone can view many file types out of the box with no extra software, but in some cases, they need a bit of help from the App Store. Of course, app developers have stepped up here and created a huge range of apps for handling lots of different files, from the common to the specialist. Using the context-sensitive "Open In..." option in iOS, you can send files to apps that support them, many of which let you do much more than just view what’s in the files. Some have great editing capabilities and ways to share the files with others.</p><p>A lot of the time, unexpected files come to you over email, so we’ll show you how to open a file in another app right from the iOS Mail app. When someone sends you a URL to download a large file, or you just find one online that you want to download, the lack of a file system can seem to hold you back; there’s no obvious way to use such files, but we’ll show you a way around that, too.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>How to Receive and Use Files from Any Source</h2><h3>1. Open from Email</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoreceive_1.png" width="620" height="378" /></p><p>If someone emails you a file, you’ll see it in the email as a little square. Once you scroll down to it, it downloads to your device. (If it doesn’t, tap to start the download). Tap and hold on the file to bring up a pop-up menu and show options for sharing the file or sending it to an app.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Open from AirDrop</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoreceive_2.png" width="620" height="350" /></p><p>If someone shares a file over AirDrop, you first get a notification asking if you want to receive the file. Accept it and the file comes over — if it’s one of the file types that iOS usually recognises, you’re told what kind of file it is. You can then choose which app to send the file to.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Download Web Files</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoreceive_3.png" width="620" height="273" /></p><p>If someone sends you a link to a file hosted online, you can often open it with the right kind of app. If you don’t have one at the time, you can save almost any file to certain apps — we recommend Dropbox. Just choose the option in Safari to “Open in…” rather than the default option.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>How to Work with any File Format</h2><h3>1. Office File Formats</h3><p>Microsoft Office and Apple Pages documents are all supported natively, as are TXT, RTF, and PDF; when you receive one, just tap it to open it. If you want to edit these files, there are some options.</p><p>Microsoft Office for iPad is free for viewing documents, and will always format Office files correctly, something other apps can struggle with. However, you have to pay a yearly subscription if you want to edit documents. Apple’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps are free to anyone buying a new iOS device, and let you open and edit MS Office file types and more. For OpenOffice file formats, including ODT, ODS, and ODP, you can view them for free using OOReader. To edit these document types, use the Documents Unlimited apps by AppsVerse Inc — there are separate iPad and iPhone apps ($4.99 and $3.99 respectively).</p><p>If you need to annotate or sign a PDF, Adobe Reader is a good free option which also lets you open encrypted PDFs (such as legal documents). If you’re working with lots of PDFs, however, GoodReader 4 ($6.99) is a more organized way to manage these files.&nbsp;</p><p>If you’re sent documents in ZIP form, you can sometimes use iOS’s Quick Look option to view the contents. For properly unpacking ZIP or RAR archives, though, use the free app iZip.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoopen_1.png" width="620" height="425" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>The iZip app shows you contents of a ZIP file, and lets you choose what to do with each file extracted.</strong></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Creative File Formats</h3><p>Photoshop PSD files can only be opened by Adobe’s Photoshop Touch app if they come through its Creative Cloud service. Use the free PSD Viewer for Photoshop to open these files on iOS. For Illustrator AI files, grab the free doctape viewer app, which is a cloud service that actually converts the file to a PDF for easy viewing. For InDesign INDD files, there are a couple of apps that rely on InDesign’s built-in preview image to enable you to view files: the free ADOView and the paid-for SneakPeek ($9.99).</p><p>To view EPS files, you can use doctape viewer again. For SVG files, use the free Inkpad app. For DWG CAD files, you can use the free AutoCAD 360 app to view and edit the files, or use the paid CAD View 3D app ($4.99) by Afanche Technologies to view more CAD file types. ATView3D Professional ($19.99) from the same developer is compatible with a wide range of 3D app file types. For Rhino 3DM files, use the paid iRhino 3D app ($3.99).</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoopen_2.png" width="620" height="413" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>PSD Viewer is highly responsive for viewing your Photoshop documents.</strong></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Image File Formats</h3><p>While Apple’s iPhoto app is capable of opening many raw photo file types using the iTunes File Transfer feature, it can’t open them directly from the iPad. You need an app called PhotoRaw ($9.99 — there’s a Lite version too), which can open a huge range of raw file formats, perform basic edits, and export to JPEG.</p><p>iOS doesn’t support viewing GIF files natively when sent in emails (though it does in Messages, oddly). Open them in Adobe Reader and you see the animation, though.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>4. Audio/video File Formats</h3><p>For FLAC, AmpliFLAC Free lets you listen to up to 120 seconds of a song without paying. Equalizer Pro ($2.99) lets you listen to both FLAC and OGG tracks. For MKV, WMV, and AVI files, use the free-but-basic VLC for iOS app, or the great AVPlayerHD ($2.99).</p> Files iOS iOS 8 Tips iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:01:15 +0000 Matt Bolton 20711 at Ultimate Guide to iOS 8 Keyboards <!--paging_filter--><p>For the first time with <a href="" target="_self">iOS 8</a>, Apple is letting users replace the system-wide keyboard with third-party alternatives. Most people will be perfectly happy with the standard option, which is better than ever thanks to the time-saving new predictive-text feature. But if you'd like to take a walk on the wild side, we’ve collected six keyboards that each offer something Apple doesn’t, from unique typing methods to animated GIF libraries. Let’s go keyboard crazy!</p><p><img src="/files/u324771/keyboards_top_image.png" width="620" height="180" /></p><p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Many keyboards, such as Swiftkey, include a predictive-text feature similar to the one in Apple's standard option.</strong></span><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></span></p><h3>Before we get started...</h3><p>Keep in mind that dictation is possible only with the standard keyboard. Also, it will probably be awhile before another keyboard supports as many languages as Apple's. I’ll also point out that holding an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus sideways brings up some very welcome new keys in iOS 8, including arrow keys and an Undo button. But the good news is, you can switch between the standard keyboard and any others on the fly by touching the Globe key, so you never have to fully give up the features of one to use another.</p><h3>About “Full Access” and security</h3><p>Every third-party keyboard app wants you to enable “Full Access” during activation. This is a security risk because it allows a keyboard developer to record every keystroke, whether you’ve spelled out “LOL” or your credit card number. Many features of these keyboards have a legitimate need for full access, such as loading language packs or learning how you write to provide better predictive text results. Most likely, nothing bad will come of this. Trusting anyone with access to private information is a risk, but it’s one people routinely take every time they buy something online or fill out any kind of form with personal data. The decision is yours, but we do recommend that you check out a keyboard’s developer first and make sure you’re comfortable with its terms of service and privacy policies. If you choose not to enable Full Access, most of these keyboards will still work, they’ll just be missing some key features.</p><p><img src="/files/u324771/keybord_full_access.png" width="620" height="320" /></p><p><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">When you add a new keyboard, you're told the potential risks of granting it full access.</span></strong></p><h3>How to buy, install, and activate a new keyboard</h3><p>Third-party keyboards will only work with iOS 8, so make sure you’ve upgraded. (If your device is too old to support iOS 8, you’re out of luck.) After you've downloaded a keyboard from the App Store, open Settings and go to General &gt; Keyboard &gt; Keyboards &gt; Add New Keyboard… and choose the keyboard you want to activate. This is where you’ll be asked to enable “Full Access” — again, it’s up to you. Now go into any app that uses the system keyboard, pull it up, and tap the Globe key at the bottom-left to toggle between keyboards. If you like, you can also hold the key to pull up a full list of all available keyboards. And that’s it! Simple, huh? One last note: to adjust keyboard settings such as themes, or to toggle certain features on and off, you'll need to open up the app you originally downloaded.</p><p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">How to activate and use a third-party keyboard in 30 seconds.</span></strong></p><h3>Now check out some keyboards!</h3><p>Flip through the gallery below for six of our favorite third-party keyboards. All of them were rated at least three stars at the time we tested them, and are compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. For a complete list of languages supported by a keyboard, see its individual product page in the App store. It’s also worth noting that, since custom keyboards are brand-new to iOS, these first-pass apps may be a little rough around the edges sometimes but will likely receive more polish as time goes on.</p> Gallery GIF Keyboard iOS 8 Keyboard Kuaiboard Minuum MyScript Stack SwiftKey TextExpander Features iPad iPhone iPod Videos How-Tos Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:27:57 +0000 Chris Slate 20694 at