Run Activity Monitor on iOS Using Instruments

This story starts as a tale about a failing iPhone battery but it turns into an awesome new tool to allow you to use Activity Monitor on your iPhone. But since I get to tell the story you’re going to hear about my iPhone battery first!

Instruments window showing fun graphsA few weeks ago, a gentleman named Scotty Loveless wrote a fabulous blog post about fixing iPhone battery problems. He speaks from experience, as he was an Apple Genius for almost two years. He developed this set of things to look for through experience. I like that the first thing he says is that this will not be one of those posts that says to turn off everything that makes an iPhone fun. You’ve read those, right? They say to turn the screen down till you can’t see it, turn off all your mapping applications, put your phone in airplane mode, and while you’re at it wrap it in bubble wrap and bury it in a kleenex box. I know these things work – my iPad battery lasted nearly two weeks on vacation when I couldn’t use the Internet on it the whole time!
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Back Up Your Phone or Tablet Using the Kingston MobileLite

Listener review from the inimitable George from Tulsa

kingston_mobilelite sitting next to a phone of the same size with the old NosillaCast logoEver been on a cruise? Out at sea you may be able to pick up some text emails in the ship’s computer center, but you can forget the kind of automatic backup of photos to iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Plus you’ve come to rely on when there’s dirt underfoot.

Enter the Kingston MobileLite Wireless Reader. It’s a self-contained WiFi gadget that with Apps for either Android or iOS can serve files to mobile devices, or more uniquely, receive and store them wirelessly. It comes with a slot for a standard SD card, the kind used in most cameras. And also has a USB slot for thumb drives.

Imagine. Your iPhone is filled with pictures from your cruise. Connect to the MobileLite and copy them safely off to an SD card or thumb drive. For extra safety, duplicate the files by copying them from the SD card to a Thumbdrive.

Imagine. You’ve taken hundreds of photos using your real camera. You’d like to view them on your iPad or Nexus 7. Simple. Insert the SD card from the camera into the MobileLite, turn it on, and use your App to browse. Once connected, you could easily copy the files off to your tablet, or duplicate them to a Thumb Drive.

The MobileLite supports many kinds of files, including music and videos, if you’d like to take along some movies on your cruise.

It can even function as a supplementary battery for a mobile device. I picked mine up for about $35 on a deep discount Amazon offer, though the regular price there seems to be about $42. I added a 128 GB SD card for lots of storage.

This is a useful gadget! I’m including a link to the Kingston site with lots more information, including useful Video Tutorials. More photos from George of the Kingston MobileLite available here.

Easily Mount Your Phone to Your Bike with Handleband from Nite Ize

My birthday was last week so I asked Steve to get me something to mount my iPhone to the bike so I could use some of those cool apps Kirschen talked about last week. That did, of course, mean it was time to drag my bike out of the shed and dust it off from last winter. Yeah, the winters here in California are pretty tough, it can dip down below 60 from time to time.

Handleband from Nite Ize
iPhone in Handleband showing how it is mounted to the bike
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Dumb Question Corner – How to Stop Safari from Offering Push Notifications

David Bogdan sent in our Dumb Question for this week. He wrote:

Hello Bart and Allison,
Hello from Japan. It’s been awhile, though I’ve been listening to you on podcasts and it sounds like the two of you are doing well.

I wanted to ask another dumb question regarding security. Recently, I’ve been getting occasional popups such as the one below which ask me whether I want push notifications sent to me from the website.

The popup is incredibly intrusive and worries me. You can’t close the tab or quit Safari. You have to either click on the button or resort to force quitting.

Clicking on the one of the buttons would no doubt be the easiest route, but it seems someone could easily use javascript to produce a similarly appearing popup, and I prefer not to click on things I don’t know about. I’d prefer to show the better part of valor and just close the tab, but this new feature of Safari doesn’t seem to allow that. Is there any way to disable this Push popup in Safari?

Bart says these aren’t typical popups, which are really websites sending you somewhere else. This is Safari asking permission to send you notification (it’s a feature!) not a true popup. The good news is that we found the checkbox in Safari that stops this behavior. In Safari Preferences, Notifications tab, at the bottom uncheck the box that says “Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications”.

And of course I created a step by step tutorial using Clarify on how to get Safari to quit annoying you!

Why Dave Hamilton Rocks

I was really conflicted this week thinking back on how I slammed the Transporter Sync. I mentioned that I was influenced by the podcasters who advertise for Drobo, and I feel badly about it because all of them are friends of mine. I was trying to think about what to say on the show to make myself not feel bad about it but I kept coming back to the realization that I just told you guys the truth as I experienced it.

One thing I didn’t tell you is that before I posted that rant, I wrote to Dave Hamilton telling him I was going to do it. Drobo and hence Transporter are big advertisers for Dave on the Mac Geek Gab but you’ll be amazed what he wrote back. He told me to do it. He told me that I can only talk to what I know and there’s no reason to hold back. That was pretty cool, but what he did this week blew me away. On his show, he told his audience that while he’s had nothing but great success with the original Transporter, he’s heard from other folks, like Allison and Pilot Pete that there do seem to be some problems. He warned people to read these reviews and comments before buying the Transporter Sync and that maybe it does have to have some stuff wrung out in the software before it’s ready for the mainstream user.

The just amazed me. It’s easy for me to say something is bad if I’m not being paid to say it’s good, but for Dave to point out these problems and suggest people pay attention while they ARE one of his advertisers shows that he’s a man of great integrity, and I really really admire him for that.

Shared Photo Streams May be Eating Up Your Disk Space

Photo Streams are an awesome feature of OSX via iPhoto or Aperture and through iOS. With “regular” Photo Stream, the last 1000 photos you’ve taken on your iOS device are pushed up to the cloud as a short term backup (take photo 1001 and the first photo vanishes). If you turn on Photo Stream in Aperture or iPhoto those same photos come whooshing down to your desktop for safe keeping. I love this feature. I’ll take a photo with my iPhone, wait a few seconds and then go to my Mac to tweet it out. It’s awesome. But you probably know all that. Either you’re like most of us and love it, or you’re like George from Tulsa, Jim Sewell or Kim Landwehr and haven’t turned it on on purpose.
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Tiny Portable Tripods for Your Smartphone or Tablet from Square Jellyfish

So you’ve got your iPhone with you at dinner with Grandma and she starts telling one of her best stories and you’d like to record it. You can sit there with your phone or tablet in your hands for the length of the story while you record her, but that’s annoying. You try to prop your device up against a water glass, but then you have to use the salt shaker to keep it from sliding.

What if you had a tripod and mount so small, so light and so flexible that they were easy to have with you all the time? Enter Square Jellyfish. They have some really innovative solutions to the problem of needing a tripod but not wanting to carry one around because they’re big and bulky and heavy. I’ve been testing a few of their solutions for phones and small tablets.
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BIG Changes to Podfeet.com

I have something really wild and crazy change to announce about Podfeet.com. I have been inching up on this idea, and I finally started executing it. Ok, problem to be solved first, right? For coming up on 9 years next month I’ve done a GIANT blog post every week, usually on the order of 5000 words a week. No one does this, right? But I’m writing the script of the show anyway so why not let people have it to read if they like? There’s a couple of problems with this. Let’s take this week when Linda Gousha wanted to send out to her user group a link to Bart and my notes about the Heartbleed problem? She couldn’t do it because she only had a link to the entire show. I did go in and create what’s called an anchor link, which links to a specific spot on a page, but they’re a pain in the neck to create so I rarely do them.

If I or a listener does a review of a product, it’s hard for the vendor to link to it directly, again because it’s a giant blog post and their couple of paragraphs are piled in with everything else. Last week I gave a tip to the Mac Geek Gab, and I heard Dave Hamilton say, “I hope Allison does a blog post on this because I’d like to link to it.” Well of course my tip was already on podfeet.com, but buried within a giant blog post about 28 different things.

I write all week long and often have short articles done mid-week, so why not let people who like to read, read them in bite-sized chunks instead of piling through 5000 words all at once? There is one group of people for whom this might be a disappointment, and that’s the people who actually like to read along with the blog and click links as they’re listening to the show. Now this group will have to bounce around on the blog finding each article I’m afraid. I suspect that it’s not a huge percentage of the audience though…I hope?

Steve and I talked this through and we thought about actually surveying you guys to see what you think, but that would have taken, like, time and energy and stuff, so we didn’t. I decided to just pull the trigger and start doing it this week! I think this might actually attract more readers to the blog if it’s more like a “normal” blog with short form reviews and such.

Now the good news is that if you’re an audio listener only, you won’t see any change at all to the show, so I think this will only be a good thing. I’d love some feedback on the new changes even if it’s “constructive criticism”.

Store and Secure Your MagSafe 2 Adapter with MagCozy

$10 part at store.apple.comRemember what Tim Verpoorten used to say, that he liked little apps that did one thing and did them well? I’ve got a piece of hardware that does one thing and does it well. It might be a misnomer to call it hardware though, since it’s soft and squishy. But wait, what’s the problem to be solved? You have a relatively new MacBook Pro, so you have the generation 2 version of the MagSafe connector. When you had your old MacBook Pro, you knew the battery didn’t last very long so you invested in one or more extra chargers. Apple in their supreme wisdom changed the size of the MagSafe connector. I’m sure they had a good technical reason and that they didn’t intentionally just change it to make us buy an adapter, right? At least in this case they only charge $10 for it instead of the what is it, $20? $30? they charge for a 30 pin to 9 pin adapter.

MagCozy in bright red!Ok, we have a baseline, you have the old charger, and you can stick that new magsafe adapter on it (all by magnets) and it’s all great, right? But now you go on travel and it gets knocked off. Or maybe you carry a spare adapter just in case you’re out and you can only find someone with an old charger, or you share your power supply with someone who has Magsafe 1, the chance are SUPER high that you’re going to lose this little gem. Buying it twice is the only thing more annoying than buying it once.

Enter the MagCozy. It’s a little rubber thingy that holds onto your Magsafe adapter. You stretch one end over the connector from the power supply, and you stretch the other end to encapsulate your magsafe adapter. From now on you can take the adapter on and off and your Magsafe adapter will stay with the power supply and greatly reduce the chances that you’ll lose it. I have two of these adapters, one for my Apple Cinema Display, and one for my downstairs power supply by the couch, so Steve got me the bright red MagCozys – a two pack for $10 at Amazon. You can get them in clear, black, green, orange, pink, white, dark blue or even glow in the dark! I told you, it does one thing and does it well!

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