Category Archives: Apple

Baby Tracker App

screen568x568
Have a new baby and need to track feedings, diapers, sleeping, and growth statistics? I initially thought the tried-and-true pen and paper approach would be easiest. But after reviewing most of the baby tracker apps, I found an app that is simple and easier than anything else. Most baby apps are bloated with features and ugly. Baby Tracker by nighp is an iPhone and iPad app that looks like it was designed by Apple.

One of my favorite features is the ability to use it with others. I set Baby Tracker to store its data in dropbox so my wife and I can both enter and review information. So if I do a late night bottle feeding, she can wake up and see when the feeding started and ended.

It’s the perfect app for the nervous new parent.

iPhone 6 Mockup Cutouts

Download iPhone Mockups to See Which Size You Prefer

Not sure which mythical new iPhone is right for you? If you are a self-respecting iPhone user, you will print out mockups, cut them out, tape them to cardboard, and carry them around to help see which model you prefer.

iPhone 6 Mockup Cutouts

Download my mockups which show the expected 4.7 and 5.5 inch models next to the existing 4 inch iPhone 5/5s. When you print, be sure to not scale the document. Or manually enter scaling of 100%.

After cutting out mockups, tape as much cardboard as you need to reach your assumed phone thickness.

iPhone6-mockup

Are your hands big enough to reach the top left of the screen one-handed? If you are Shaquille O’Neal, you won’t have a problem with the 5.5 inch model. Otherwise, are you okay crimping your hand in a weird grip for one-handed operation? I can barely do this for the 4.7 inch, so the 5.5 inch would be a two handed operation for most of my use. This means I would type on the 5.5 inch iPhone like an iPad, two thumb style.

The 5.5 inch iPhone would be more difficult to use while crammed on the metro. Scrolling through an article would work, but navigating around the phone could mean a hazardous lapse of holding onto the safety bar. And no one wants to be knocked over by someone carrying a giant phone.

Does the phone fit in your pants and jacket pockets?  Do you feel like an idiot holding a large rectangle up to your head? There isn’t much time left to decide before the September or perhaps October announcement.

Tip: don’t let people at work see you using a pretend iPhone. Not everyone understands the importance of this decision.

Add Movies to iPad with SD Card

Adding movies to an iPad with an SD card is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3, but with each step having several sub-steps and annoyances.

The SD Card Reader will pull in movies, so long as they are formatted as if they are taken from a camera. That is, they should be in the following directory:

\DCIM\PRIVATE\

And the files should be named DCM_0001, DCM_0002, etc. Keep the original file extension such as m4v or mp4.

When you plug in the SD Card to the iPad with the Lightning to SD Card Reader Adapter, you will only see movies listed with times. You won’t see the file names DCM_0001, etc.  Therefore, you need to make a list of all the movies and their associated lengths. Here’s an example of what I use to keep track of videos:

DCM_0012 27:42 Flight Of The Conchords D1 Ep1.mp4
DCM_0013 27:45 Flight Of The Conchords D1 Ep2.mp4

Note that I’m luckly these TV shows have slightly different lengths. That’s the only way I can tell which episode I’m importing.

If you have a lot of files, you might find it easier to “print” the file names to a text file. Here’s how to make a list of files into text on a Mac.

When viewing videos like this, there is not a zoom function that exists in the Video app player. Instead you view the cropped video through the Photos app.

So for now, the moral I take a away is that I should have just bought an iPad with more storage. But at least this solution does work.

Update to Paperless Office Post for OS X Mavericks

One of our most popular posts is Paperless Office in a Snap explaining how to set up automatic OCR of scanned documents.

With the release of Mac OS X Mavericks, the controls for Accessibility features have changed. Therefore Step 5 in the Paperless Office in a Snap post has changed. Instead of clicking Enable access for assistive devices under System Preferences – Universal Access, you now need to do the following:

Go to System Preferences – Security & Privacy – Privacy – Accessibility.

Click the checkbox to allow Folder Actions Dispatcher to control your computer as shown below.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: This option might not show up for you until you go through the other steps in the original script and it fails. Then come back here and the checkbox option below should be available.

Security Privacy Accessibility

Magic Plan Floorplan Creator App

The Magic Plan app for iPad and iPhone deserves to have “Magic” in it’s name.

I recently helped an Arlington, VA, customer who had a new iPad and had just moved. They wanted to build a floorplan of their place. Using Magic Plan allowed us to create a floorplan quickly by clicking on the corners of the rooms. You  align the rooms, add in windows, make a few adjustments to the estimated dimensions if needed, and you’re done. Once you get used to it, you can have a house done in under an hour.

Then you can even add in furniture to your floor plans or see what it looks like if you do a construction project and knock down a wall.

The app is free to use and requires a subscription if you want to export PDF files for use by an architect.