Apple didn’t dominate the tech world until it’d been in operation for roughly 20 years. “Overnight sensations” like Facebook and Twitter actually needed a couple years to take off. Even Luke didn’t turn into a proper Jedi until the third movie. Yes, mastery doesn’t come easily—unless you read this guide. We’ll show you the power-user secrets you need to wring the coolest and most cutting-edge functionality from your iDevices.
Do you plug in your iPhone or iPad to sync with your Mac (or PC, you poor soul), then groan in dismay as the progress bar crawls toward the finish line? You don’t have to grin and bear it—with a few simple tweaks, you can reduce the time it takes to sync your iDevices with your computer. For starters, store as few photos as possible on the iPhone or iPad itself—in addition to freeing up valuable storage space, this speeds up syncing by trimming fat from the backup that iTunes makes before each sync.
Apple’s totally earned that whole “it just works” thing…except when it comes to getting photos on and off your iDevices. Quite frankly, it doesn’t work well at all unless you know your way around a less-than-obvious app or two. Fortunately, they’re super-easy to use, and once you get acquainted with them, you’ll wonder why you mucked around with anything else.
Nearly all of Apple’s iOS accessories do more than advertised, and since you’ll spend a fortune buying them, we’d call that a good thing. So let’s make sure you get your money’s worth with these pricey iPhone and iPad add-ons sold at apple.com.
Unless you’ve invested in a universal remote, simply watching a movie can require more remotes than we have limbs to operate. But a pair of apps can help reduce that clutter by letting you run much of your entertainment from your iPhone and iPad. Apple’s Remote app (free, universal) is a no-brainer for controlling iTunes on your Mac or media on your Apple TV from your iPhone or iPad.
Apple likes to call its creations “magical,” and this is one of those rare times where you might agree. The iPad in particular (but also the iPhone) have unheralded powers for entertaining and occupying your little ones during long car trips. The most obvious solution is watching movies or TV shows, a task the iPad handles so effectively that there’s no need for a headrest-mounted DVD player—and no, you don’t have to risk subjecting your precious (meaning your iPad) to an unfortunate juice-box incident.
Ever been out, about, and away from your Mac’s music library when a song’s stuck in your head? If you want to stop being tempted to give iTunes another $1.29 to redownload it, the solution is an SFTP client on your iPad or iPhone that connects to your Mac back home to download the song to your iOS device. The best part of a setup like this is that you can keep using iTunes to manage your music without interrupting streaming to your Apple TV. You’ll also be able to stream any tunes that are DRM-free to your iOS devices over the internet with a 3G or EDGE connection, and you can access many other Mac-based files as well.
You’ve got to spend money to make money. But with the rise of iDevices, you don’t need to spend much to make a lot. With a few well-planned purchases, you can get your business going with nothing but an iPhone, iPad, and a few good ideas.
An iOS business is a highly mobile one, so get the Wi-Fi hotspot on your iPhone for an additional $25 a month on your AT&T or Verizon bill.
One of Apple’s bigger oversights with the design of iOS devices has to be the hassle we all undergo to get files from Mac to gadget and vice versa. To continue working on a Pages document on a different platform, you have to connect your device to iTunes and sync before the file will be transferred. This oversight leaves most of us spamming our own email accounts with files we need to quickly move around…until now. Enter DropCopy—the ultimate file-sharing tool for both Macs and iOS devices. Here’s how to use it to achieve file-sharing nirvana.
You’ll need both HandBrake (handbrake.fr) and VLC (videolan.org) to rip your videos for viewing on your iPhone and iPad. Luckily, they’re both free for the taking, so you’re just a download from portable video heaven. HandBrake does the actual encoding, but it relies on code from VLC to take care of DVD copy protection, so install them both.