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Master the Multitouch Gestures for iPad

iPad Multitask Gestures

Multitouch gestures are one of the best hidden features of iOS on the iPad, but a surprising amount of iPad users don't seem to use them. Perhaps it's because you just don't know about them, or maybe you haven't spent the time to learn what they are and why they're useful. Take a few minutes to learn the gestures and you'll be doing more with the iPad or iPad mini in no time, because they offer are the fastest way to close apps, get to the home screen, and switch between apps running in iOS.

Enable the Multitouch (Multitasking) Gestures for iPad

First things first, let's be sure the multitouch gestures are enabled. These are usually turned on by default in the newer versions of iOS but it's easy to check:

  • Open Settings app and tap on "General"
  • Scroll down to find "Multitasking Gestures" and flip to ON

Enable multitasking gestures on iPad

With the multitasking gestures turned on, you can now use four or five fingers to perform various tasks that will greatly improve the iPads usability.

Here are the four multitouch gestures you should be using right now:

The red arrows indicate finger position and movements, you can use either four or five fingers in any example.

1: Close Apps and Return to the Home Screen with a Pinch

Use a four or five fingered pinching motion to close the current app, sending you back to the iPad home screen. This one is so useful it will likely be the most frequently used of the group.

Close app gesture on iPad

2: Reveal the Multitasking App Bar with a Swipe Up

Use a four or five fingered vertical swipe up to open the multitasking app bar. This is the same multitasking bar you see when double-clicking the Home button, and it lets you quickly switch between apps, access brightness controls, play music, and more. Repeating the swipe down closes the multitask bar again.

Swipe up to see the multitask bar on iPad

3: Switch Apps by Swiping Horizontally

Using a four or five fingered horizontal swipe will cycle through open apps. Try swiping from right to left, since most likely you're in the 'last' app. If you're on the 'end' of the app list (as determined by the multitask bar), you will see a stretch animation and the currently active window will bounce back into place, rather than switching apps.

Swipe gesture to switch apps on iPad

4: Quit Multiple Apps at Once with Four Fingered Taps

If you need to close multiple apps at the same time, use the upward swipe to reveal the multitask bar, then tap and hold on any icon until they start to jiggle and reveal the red (-) close button. Now use multiple fingers to tap the red close buttons simultaneously to quit multiple apps at the same time. This isn't an 'official' multitouch or multitask gesture, but it's one we have discovered and it works so well that it's worth including in this list. Also, this is the only iOS gesture listed here that works on the iPhone and iPod touch too.

Quit multiple apps at the same time

I don't have the gestures on my iPad, why not?
If the Multitasking Gestures are not an option for you in Settings, it's probably because you're on an older iPad or older version of iOS. iPads running iOS versions before 5.0 will not have the multitouch gesture available to them.

Got a Mac too? Don't miss this list of multitouch gestures available in OS X for a variety of apps, they'll work with any Mac that has a trackpad or Magic Mouse.

What the 5-Inch iPhone Could Look Like [iOS Blog]

Earlier this week, China Times published a rumor that Apple could release an "iPhone Math", a larger iPhone with a 4.8" screen that could compete with "phablets" like the Samsung Galaxy Note. Though the name is particularly suspect, it's possible that Apple would want to get into that product category. Samsung has had some success in the area, and similar products were popular at CES this year.

Russian site has created a mockup of what such an iPhone could look like [Google Translate]. One significant part that the video gets incorrect is that the original rumor claimed the larger phone will come with an 8-megapixel camera, whilst the video says it will have a 12-megapixel camera. Instead, an update to the iPhone is said to come before the holiday season this year, upgrading the lens to 12-megapixels.

Considering the sketchiness of the "iPhone Math" rumor and the lack of any specific claims about how Apple would handle the larger display in iOS, the mockup video should primarily be viewed as a concept giving a general idea of what such a device might look like.

Samsung Retakes Title of World's Largest Semiconductor Customer from Apple in 2012

Research firm Gartner today shared its estimates of global semiconductor purchases for 2012, finding that Samsung has retaken the title Apple had gained in 2011 when it leapt over both Samsung and HP. Samsung (28.9% growth) and Apple (13.6% growth) registered as the biggest winners in 2012, as the overall market declined by 3% with Sony (1.9%) and Lenovo (0.3%) being the only other top-ten companies showing positive performance.
"Although Samsung and Apple continue to go from strength to strength, other leading electronic equipment makers fared less well, and six of the top 10 reduced their demand in 2012," said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner. "In addition to a weak macroeconomic situation, a dramatic change in consumer demand contributed to a reduction in semiconductor demand in 2012.
Yamaji pointed to the strong shift to mobile devices as a primary reason for the overall decline in the semiconductor market, with traditional computers that require significantly higher semiconductor content experiencing relatively poor sales in the face of smartphone and tablet popularity.

Top Ten 2012 Semiconductor Customers (Billions of Dollars)

Samsung and Apple together now account for over 15% of the world's semiconductor market, up from roughly 12% in 2011.

Gartner's numbers measure the total silicon content of all products designed by Apple and each of its competitors, a metric known as Design TAM. This is distinct from Purchasing TAM, which would attribute to a given company only the amount actually purchased by the company. As an example of the difference between the two metrics, semiconductors purchased by a third-party manufacturing partner would generally count toward the primary company's Design TAM but not its Purchasing TAM.

Apple Reports Best Quarterly Results Ever in Q1 2013: $13.1 Billion Profit on $54.5 Billion in Reven

Apple today announced financial results for the fourth calendar quarter of 2012 and first fiscal quarter of 2013. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $54.5 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $46.33 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Apple's quarterly profit and revenue were both all-time company records, but Wall Street analysts had projected even slightly higher numbers.

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.6 percent, compared to 44.7 percent in the year-ago quarter, and international sales accounted for 61 percent of revenue. Apple also declared another dividend payment of $2.65 per share, payable on February 14 to shareholders as of the close of trading on February 11. The company currently holds $137.1 billion in cash and marketable securities.

Quarterly iPhone unit sales reached 47.8 million, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter and the company sold 22.9 million iPads, up from 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 4.1 million Macintosh computers, compared to 5.2 million in the year-ago period, as well as 12.7 million iPods, down from 15.4 million a year ago. Apple set new sales records for both iPhone and iPad sales.
"We're thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world."
Apple's guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 includes expected revenue of $41-43 billion.

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q1 2013 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.

Despite the record revenue and earnings, Apple's stock is currently down nearly 5% in after-hours trading after falling short of analysts' expectations and issuing weaker guidance than many had expected.

Conference Call Highlights, Q&A Follows

Tim Cook:

- We are incredibly pleased to report an extraordinary quarter. New records for iPhone and iPad sales. No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results. Most prolific period of innovation and new products in Apple's history. New products in every category we make in the past few months.
- One team to surprise and delight our customers. Part of Cook's job is to preserve corporate culture. No greater reward than seeing how customers love our products. Our fundamentals: people, strategy and pipeline, ecosystem and retail stores will serve us well.
- Tomorrow is anniversary of Mac revolution. 1984, Jobs introduced Macintosh at shareholder's meeting in Cupertino. We've come a long way.
- We don't measure success just by the numbers. The most important thing to us is that our customers love our products, not just buy them. Laser focused on unprecedented customer experience.
- Sold more than 500 million iOS devices, more than 10 per second last quarter.

Peter Oppenheimer:

- New all-time quarterly records for iPhone and iPad sales, broadened ecosystem and generated highest quarterly revenue and net income ever. $4.2 billion per week this quarter vs. $3.3 billion per week in year ago quarter, thanks to 14-week quarter last year.
- Net income was record $13.1 billion, just ahead of amount generated in last year's 14-week quarter.
- Reorganizing the presentation of our results to provide greater transparency. Established new segment of "greater China". Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Allocating certain manufacturing costs and variances to "operating segment" instead of including these expenses to corporate expenses.
- Retasked earnings for last two years on -- no affect to overall operating income.
- Realigned information related to product category. iPod, Mac, iPad and iPhone sales are now separate from related software and services. Third party accessory sales is a separate line item.

- 47 million iPhones versus 37 million in year ago quarter. 3.7 million per week, vs 2.6 million per week a year ago. Up 39% per week. Strong iPhone growth in greater China, up more than 100% year over year.
- iPhone market share up to 51% in the U.S. this year.
- iPhones in target for channel inventory.
- iPhone and iOS continue to deliver exceptional experience and secure ecosystem that IT departments require.
- Embraced by Gov. and Enterprise. Many agencies issuing iPhones by the thousands.
- NASA, NOAA, etc.
- Neiman Marcus, Volvo, etc.

- 22.9 million iPhones versus 15 million last quarter, 1.7 million per week versus 1.1 million, up 60% per week.
- Customers loving 4th generation iPad, iPad mini is tremendous hit.
- iPad is tablet of choice for biz and Gov.
- Barclays, Bank of Beijing, etc. Barclays rolling out 8,000 iPads, most successful IT deployment in Barclay history.
- State and local Gov are rolling iPad out too.
- State legislatures in VA, TX and WV rolling out iPads to legislators.
- 10,000 iPads being deployed to local Gov's in Sweden, more going to Netherlands for court system and tax authority.
- Below 4-6 range of channel inventory.

- Sold 312k Macs per week versus 371k per week last year, down 16%.
- Significantly constrained on new iMacs, only able to ship them for December. Mac sales would have been much higher without constraints.
- Between 3-4 weeks of inventory, below target of 4-5 weeks.

- 12.7m iPods versus 15.4m a year ago. iPod Touch was popular, accounts for more than 50% of all iPods sold.
- Share was over 70% in U.S. according to NPD. Continues to be best selling mp3 player in most countries.

- $2.1 billion for iTunes sales, new records for music, movies and apps.
- Expanded footprint, adding iTMS in 56 countries including Russia, Turkey, India and South Africa. 119 countries total.
- App Store had record breaking quarter with 2 billion downloads in December alone. 775,000 apps to 500 million account holders in 155 countries and 300,000 iPad apps. Cumulative app downloads have passed 40 billion, $7 billion total to app developers.

- 250 million iCloud accounts, 2 billion+ iMessages per day.

- $6.4 billion revenue through retail stores, fueled by iPhone and iPad sales. 11 new stores including 4 new stores in Greater China. 401 stores, 150 outside the U.S. Relocated or expanded 14 stores that had outgrown their space.
- 396 stores open with $16.3 million per store.
- 121 million visitors versus 110 million in year ago quarter. 23,000 visitors per store per week, up 17% year over year.

- Cash from short and long term investments was $137.1 billion, up $16 billion from last quarter. Net of 2 billion in stock repurchase and $2.5 billion in dividends.
- $94 billion in cash was offshore.
- $23.4 billion in cash from operations, up 33% from last year.
- Dividend of $2.65 payable in February.

- Changing our approach to guidance. Reflected conservative point estimate of results that we had reasonable confidence in achieving.
- Plan to offer range of guidance for what we believe we can achieve. We believe we are likely to report in the range of guidance we can provide. $41-43 billion in revenue for next quarter, gross margin between 37.5 and 38.5%.


Q: iPhone 5 did incredibly well in the U.S., but internationally data has been more mixed. How would you characterize trends outside the U.S. for iPhone? Do you feel you have right screen sizes and price points to capture demand?

A: Sequentially we increased over 70% from September quarter, 3.5x market. We could not be happier with that. In terms of geographic distribution, we saw our highest growth in China. It was into the triple digits which was higher than the market there. I would characterize it as "we're extremely pleased."

Q: With such a large cash generation this quarter and stock price off its highs, why not step up and buy back even more stock than you had originally planned?

A: We continually assess this. We are pleased to have started our share repurchase program this quarter. Combined with the dividend, we returned $4.5b in cash this quarter. Expect to return $45 billion to our shareholders over the next 3 years.

Q: Many of your competitors are differentiating themselves with larger screen sizes. How do you feel about the market in that respect? Is there a long term case for larger screen sizes for smartphones?

A: iPhone 5 offers a new 4" retina display. The most advanced display in the industry. No one comes close to matching the level of quality as our retina display. It also provides a larger screen size without sacrificing one-handed ease of use. We believe we've picked the right screen size.

Q: Can you give us some color regarding iPhone demand trends coming out of the quarter?

A: If you look at iPhone sales across the quarter, we were constrained for much of the quarter on iPhone 5. As we begin to ship more, sales went up with production. iPhone 4 was in constraint for the whole quarter and sales remained strong.

Months of rumors about order cuts and so forth, so let me take a moment to comment on these. No comment on any particular rumor as I'd spend my life doing that. I suggest its good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.

Q: When you provided guidance before, was it uniquely conservative? Is it no longer conservative? Are we getting a real planning range that's fundamentally different from before?

A: In the past we provided a single conservative point estimate that we were confident of achieving. Our new guidance provides a range that we believe we will report within. No guidance is guaranteed.

Q: You think you'll report in the range -- was the guidance before something you felt reasonably confident in achieving? Historically you eclipsed your estimates enormously. Now you say you'll land in the range.

A: In the past we gave a single point of conservative guidance. We were reasonably confident we would achieve it. We now provide a range of guidance that we expect to report within.

Q: Tim, you started the call talking about Apple's philosophy of ensuring that you satisfy your customers and make great products. Into that backdrop, how important is market share preservation? Is holding share in the smartphone market in 2013 a priority for Apple? Yes or no and why?

A: The most important thing to Apple is to make the best products in the world. We aren't interested in revenue for revenue's sake. We could put the Apple brand on a lot of things and sell a lot more stuff. We only want to make the best products. We've been able to build market share and have a great track record with iPod of doing different products at different price points. I wouldn't view those as mutually exclusive as some might. We're focused on making great products that enrich lives.

Q: Talk a little more about Macs? Shortfall there is $1 to $1.5 billion. How much of that is pushed into March quarter?

A: Thanks for asking the question. The best way to answer this is to look at the previous year. The difference is $1.1 billion from last year. iMacs were down by 700k units year over year. As you remember, we announced new iMacs late in October. Announced they would ship in November and December. Did ship by those dates. Limited weeks of ramping on those products during the quarter. Significant constraints on the iMac at the end of the quarter. Sales would have been materially higher without those constraints. Tried to share this on the conference call in October.

If you look at last year, we had 14 weeks in the quarter last year. 13 weeks this year. Channel inventory was down from the beginning of the quarter by more than 100k units. Didn't have the iMacs in channel. These factors bridge more than the difference between this year's sales and last year's.

These are lesser things: the market for PC's is weak. IDC estimate is -6%. We sold 23 million iPads, could have sold more than this because we were constrained on iPad mini. Some cannibalization there, sure there was some there. Mostly was iMacs, 13 versus 14 week, channel inventory more than explains difference from last year to this year.

Our portables alone were in line with IDC projections of market growth.

Q: Lot of publicity around Maps, can we have an update? How does year look in terms of innovation and iOS 7 and your online and web services? How will that drive Apple?

A: We're working on some incredible stuff. The pipeline is chock full. We feel great about what we've got in store.

In terms of Maps, we've made a number of improvements since the introduction of iOS 6. Roll out even more improvements throughout the rest of the year. Going to keep working on this until it lives up to our standards. Include improved satellite imagery, improved local information and so forth. Usage of Maps is significantly higher than prior to iOS 6.

Feel fantastic as to how we're doing. 4 trillion notifications through notification center. 450 billion iMessages, 2 billion per day. 200 million registered game center users. 40 billion App Store downloads. More stuff we can do and we're thinking about all of it.

Q: Gross margin in the quarter? Looking ahead, comment on a few areas on -- where on your product cost curve? What about iPhone mix? iPad of mini to regular?

A: iPad mini, it's hard to know. Couldn't make enough. Constrained every week. Customers love the mini and we wish we could have made more. Significant backlog at end of the quarter.

Gross margin, we were 260 basis pts ahead of our guidance. Half from lower product and transitory costs. Rest came from higher mix of iPhones, weaker dollar and leverage on higher revenue. Gross margin will be 10 to 110 basis points lower sequentially. Teams have made meaningful progress in product and transitory costs, and will benefit from that. Typical level of deferred revenue from device sales going forward. Will be offset by loss of leverage coming out of December quarter, and different mix of current products. Regarding mix, we'll have lower gross margin on iPad mini that is significantly lower than corporate average.

ASP on iPhones was essentially the same YoY. Underneath that, if you look at the mix of iPhone 5 versus total iPhone, versus iPhone 4S the prior year, those mixes were similar. For capacity, we saw similar results in Q1 as we saw in Q1 of the prior year.

Q: You spent almost as much as Intel did on CapEx. You said you weren't gonna become integrated, but you're presumably buying equipment for partners. What does this do for strategy? How deep will you go on semiconductor and componentry?

A: $10 billion in CapEx this fiscal year, up $2 billion year over year. A billion in retail stores, plus equipment we will own that we put in partner facilities. Our primary motivation there is for supply. Adding to data center capabilities, as well as infrastructure.

Q: What happened last year in terms of refresh cycle? You say you ship products when they're ready, but are you going to stagger them out this year or will it be a similar situation to 2012?

A: 80% was unusually high percentage for us last year. The number of ramps were unprecedented in that we had new products in every category which we haven't done before. We feel great to have delivered so many great products for the holidays and our customers have expressed joy over it.

Q: What are you hearing on China from customers and partners? What do you expect going forward?

A: If you include retail stores in China, our revenues were $7.3 billion on he quarter. Up over 60% year over year. Comparing 13 to 14 weeks, underlying growth is higher than that. Exceptional growth in iPhones into triple digits, iPad was shipped very late in the quarter and despite that saw very nice growth. Expanding in Apple Retail there. Year ago, we had 6 stores -- now have 11. Have many more to open. In our premium resellers, we went over 400 in the region, up from 200 in the previous year. 7k to 17k in iPhone point of sale. Not nearly what we need and not the final by any means. Making great progress.

It's clear that China is our second largest region and there is a lot of potential there.

Q: You've said the Apple TV experience was dated. Can you step outside the form factor and talk about how important this market is to Apple? Can you accomplish what you want to accomplish with the reality of where content is distributed today?

A: You're asking lots of questions I won't answer. In terms of products we sell today, we sold more last quarter than we've sold before. Eclipsed 2 million during the quarter. Up 60% year over year. Very good growth in that product. What was a small niche at one time is now a much larger number.

This is an area of intense interest for us and remains that. I tend to believe that there is a lot we can contribute in this space and we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us. Don't want to be more specific.

Q: Didn't give EPS guidance -- is there any parts to EPS and gross margin that you want to address?

A: Gave a line item on each estimate across the P&L -- for the future, we'll give a range for revenue, gross margin and OpEx. There are many possibilities for EPS across the range for you to figure out. We will report our actual results in April.

Q: How did iPhone 5 sales proceed in terms of new customers versus upgrades and how does that compare to the 4S last year?

A: Don't have specifics, but iPhone 5 volume shows that we're selling to a lot of new customers.

Q: We heard that it was a lot of upgrades to existing customers but it doesn't sound like you'd agree with that.

A: Don't use what you heard as a proxy for the world. Many carriers are created differently.

Q: Confused as how to think about iPads for March quarter. iPad mini was constrained, any comments on seasonality? How are you thinking about aggregate inventory in the channel? Will that be going up or down in March quarter?

A: iPad mini was very constrained -- ended underneath our target channel range. We believe we can achieve supply/demand balance later this quarter. That would likely mean that we would need more units in the channel than we have today. That's a fair conclusion to draw.

For total iPad sales, we don't provide a sub level forecast. We would expect a large year over year increase in holiday sales, but a drop sequentially. We expect to meet demand for the mini.

Worth pointing out that for last quarter, we had strong sales of iPad and iPad mini.

Q: Discuss the tablet market a little bit? And also constraints going forward? Where do you see challenges in meeting demand?

A: Overall, our team did a fantastic job ramping a record number of new products. Significant shortages due to robust demand on iPad mini and both iMacs that persisted across the quarter. Short on both products today. Supply of iPhone 5 was short to demand until late in the quarter. iPhone 4 was short for entire quarter. Can achieve supply demand balance of mini and iPhone 4 this quarter. Significantly increase supply on iMac this quarter, but not sure if we can achieve balance this quarter.

Cannibilization is a huge opportunity for us. We never fear it because if we do, someone else will do it. iPhone has cannibalized iPod, that doesn't worry us. iPad has on the Mac, and that doesn't concern us. For iPad, Windows market is much larger than Mac market. Tremendous amount of opportunity there for us. I believe the tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point. You can see by the growth in tablets and pressure on PC's that those lines are beginning to converge.

The other thing for us, maybe not for others, if somebody buys an iPad mini and it's their first Apple product, we have great experience through the years — if someone buys their first Apple product, these people buy another Apple product.

It's the halo effect, as we termed it, that we saw with the iPod and the Mac — we've seen some of that with the iPad as well.

I see it as a huge opportunity.

Q: How should we think about the iPhone family year over year and quarter over quarter increases or decreases? Any dynamics related to slower pace of LTE rollouts having an impact?

A: For iPhone, in the year ago quarter, we built 2.6 million units of channel inventory. We did the China launch in the March quarter versus December. Underlying sell through was 32.5 while sell-in was 35. In thinking through the number of iPhones to predict, we look to the 35 number as a base line. We believe we'll grow year over year, but don't want to be more specific than that. We guide in the aggregate instead of the product level.

Q: Pace of LTE rollout around the world, has slower rollout had impact on iPhone sales philosophy? Could that change?

A: Today we have 24 carriers on LTE around the world for iPHone 5. Those are in countries like the US, Korea, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia and a few others. Next week, we're adding 36 more carriers for LTE support in countries we're not currently supporting LTE -- Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Philippines and several Middle Eastern countries, covering 300 million customers. iPhone 5 supports other ultrafast networks like HSPA+. Feel very good about the situation, particularly with these adds next week.

Q: Guiding high single digits on iPhone sell through going forward. Why?

A: Not talking about guidance on a specific product level. Here are some things we talked about. 5 to 10% year over year increase on revenue. 2.6 million units of iPhone channel inventory built last year. Increased revenue by $1.6 billion. Hit distribution to 100 countries in December, versus March last year. Introduced iPad mini last quarter, kept price-reduced iPad 2 in the line. Saw reduction in iPad ASP of $101 year over year in December quarter. iPad units grew faster than iPad revenue. Expect iPad ASP to continue to drop on a year over year basis for same reasons.

PC market grew 4% last year, IDC is projecting it to decline this year by 3%. Underlying performance in business is stronger than 5-10% YoY growth implies. Feel strongly about pipeline.

Q: iPhone 4 is constrained during quarter, seems to be a lot of demand at lower price points. Why not get more aggressive and move downmarket in the iPhone business?

A: I'm not going to go into our pricing strategy. We feel great about the opportunity for getting products to customers and getting a percentage of those buying other Apple products. We see evidence of that through history and evidence of that through today.

Apple Seeds Build 12D58 of OS X Beta 10.8.3 to Developers [Mac Blog]

Apple today seeded build 12D58 of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 to developers, marking the eighth beta iteration of the newest version of Mountain Lion. 10.8.3 was first seeded to developers in November.

Build 12D58 comes a week after build 12D54, and like the previous build, contains no known issues or features. Build 12D54 brought significant changes to WiFi, and asked developers to focus on testing AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Graphics Drivers, and Safari.

9to5Mac notes that the new build again contains significant changes to WiFi, but additional changes are unknown. Registered developers can download the update on Apple's Developer Page.

Get Fast Access to Sleep, Shut Down, and Restart Controls in Mac OS X

OS X Power controls for sleep, restart, shut down, etc

Many longtime Mac users may know the handful of keyboard shortcuts to instantly reboot, shut down, and sleep Macs, but for those who haven't memorized the precise keystrokes yet, a much safer option is to instantly summon the power controls for OS X instead. This allows you to choose the power option you need while also providing a measure of safety if you have unsaved documents open or if users are connected to the Mac by networking, and it let's you review the various power options before just jumping right into one of them with a direct keystroke. We'll cover how to summon the Power Controls instantly, and then how you can interact with them by using only the keyboard:

  • Press the Power button on the Mac to summon the power controls

Obviously you can now choose to just click the appropriate button if you'd like, but each option corresponds with a single keyboard action as well, and keeping hands on a keyboard is often faster for advanced users. Here are the interaction keys and their corresponding actions:

  • S – Sleeps the Mac instantly
  • R – Restarts the Mac, but with a prompt if some apps are open and unsaved or if users are connected via networking
  • Return – Shuts down the Mac, but includes a prompt for apps that have unsaved data or if LAN users are connected
  • Escape – Exits out of the power controls, the same effect as "Cancel"

Notice there are not controls specifically for the display in these choices, for that you will still need to either use the lock screen keystroke or a hot corner that is configured to sleep only the display.

If you have no idea what the power button is, it looks kind of like (|) and is either located in the upper right corner of the keyboard for most modern Macs and portable Macs, or physically located on the Mac itself for desktop models and older MacBook models. It's shown below on a MacBook Air if you're still unsure:

Mac power button

Of course whether or not you should sleep, shut down, or just leave your Mac turned on is a matter of debate, but for a lot of cases we recommend either leaving the device turned on or just putting it to sleep. Rebooting or shutting down a computer every day just isn't necessary for most people.

How to Change Photo Album Names in iOS

Sorting pictures into albums on your iOS devices is a good way to manage photos intended for different purposes, and some image editing apps like Snapseed and Instagram will create their own albums to help keep things arranged. It's not uncommon for an albums purpose to evolve though, and what once may have held just a bunch of pictures for picture frame mode on the iPad may have slowly evolved into a broader place to store photos, making a name change appropriate.

Renaming those photo albums isn't entirely obvious though, so we'll cover how to do this on an iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Renaming Photo Albums on iPhone & iPod touch

  • Open Photos and stay in the primary screen with all photo albums listed, then tap "Edit" in the upper right corner
  • Tap directly on the name of the album you want to rename to summon the keyboard
  • Enter the new album name then tap "Done" to complete the change

Before tapping on Done, selecting other albums will let you change their names as well.

Rename a photo album on iPhone and iPod touch

Changing an album name on the iPhone and iPod touch both look identical, and while doing this on the iPad is basically the same process, it looks pretty different because the albums are displayed in thumbnail views rather than lists.

Rename a Photo Album on iPad

  • Open Photos and tap on "Edit"
  • With the (x) now visible on the albums corner, tap directly on the album name to change it
  • Tap "Done" to finish renaming the album, or tap another albums name to rename another one

Change photo album names on iPad

You can rename any album with the exception of Camera Roll, which holds all photos on the device. There are some cases where you won't want to change the given names though, because some iOS image editing apps like Snapseed will create their own albums for photos altered or modified with those apps. As you may have guessed, if you change the name of those albums made by apps and then use the app again, that app will end up generating a new album with the apps name again anyway.

Set an Ultra-Strong iOS Password by Using Accent Characters

Super Strong iOS Passwords with Accent Characters

If you want maximum security with your iOS device, having a strong password is essential. Though you can extend password strength by using a phrase with mixed characters, another excellent option is to use special accent characters, making a password virtually impossible to guess. The idea is fairly straight forward: take a word, sequence, or phrase that you would normally use as the password, but then replace certain characters with accent letters or special characters. This will work the same on on any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, and here's what you'll need to do.

Turn On Strong Password Support in iOS

We've discussed the strong passcodes feature before as a great way to secure iOS devices, and that's where this tip begins. Here's how to enable that if you haven't done so yet:

  • Open Settings then tap "General" followed by "Passcode Lock"
  • Tap "Turn Passcode On" if you haven't done so yet, then flip the "Simple Passcode" switch to OFF

For added security and easier testing, set 'Require Password' to "Immediately", though that is optional.

Strong Passwords in iOS

Setting a Strong Password with Accent Characters

To type accent characters in iOS, you need to tap on a letter and hold for the accent menu to appear. An example of a password created this would would beFor example, a password like "tacobell" could be come "tãçōbęll"

  • Now enter a new password, and replace some characters with accented versions to make it more secure

Strong passcode with accent characters

Once this has been set, you can see how it works by locking the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You will now have the standard keyboard available rather than the simple numeric keys. As usual, the accent characters are accessible by tapping on holding on the letters that support them.

Secure Password in iOS

Though no password is perfect, this really does create extremely strong passwords that are almost impossible to guess because just about nobody is going to think to use accent characters, and most people don't know they're accessible at the lock screen anyway.

Finally, don't forget to set up Find My iPhone on the device as well, and consider further improving Find My iPhone by locking down location settings.

Take a Photo While Recording Video on the iPhone

The latest versions of the iPhone can record high definition video, and as a result they're getting a lot more widespread use as ways to capture memories in motion. But sometimes when you're recording a movie, you also want to take a picture of what's in focus too, and you can do exactly that on the iPhone. The secret is in the details, and the same camera button you tap to flip the camera from the rear to the front-facing lens transforms into a standard camera button when a video is actively being recorded. Try it out, it's very simple:

  • While recording a video on the iPhone, tap the camera button in the upper corner to instantly snap a picture of the same shot

This does not halt the recording of the current movie, and the screen flash and camera sound do not become part of the video either, those are indicators exclusively for you, the photographer.

Take a photo while recording video on the iPhone

You can locate the the snapped picture in the Photos app and Camera Roll as usual, where you can do whatever you want with it.

There's one caveat though; the snapped photo will save at a reduced resolution when compared to a standard iPhone photo. For example, on the iPhone 5, a photo taken during a video recording will save at 1080p resolution, the same resolution as the movie, not the standard 8MP resolution of the camera lens itself. This is probably because the iPhone camera is actually just saving a frame of the video rather than taking a separate picture, thus the change in resolution. So while this is handy for capturing a quick moment as a frozen frame, if you want a standard high res picture version you'll want to stop recording video temporarily and flip to the camera for best results.

Speaking of resolutions, remember that you'll want to copy the HD video off the iPhone manually if you want to save it in it's highest resolution format. Mailing a video is certainly easy, but the process of emailing it also compresses the video quality and dramatically reduces the resolution.

This may work on the newest iPod touch and iPad as well as other iPhone models, though I only tested this on an iPhone 5.

Apple releases iOS 6.1 beta 5 to developers for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 7.54.55 PM

Apple has released a fifth beta of iOS 6.1 to registered developers. It is currently available via Apple's iOS developer center. iOS 6.1 runs on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and includes a number of enhancements for both users and developers. For example, developers are welcoming new iOS Maps APIs to better integrate Apple's mapping database into App Store apps. End users will find new features such as movie ticket ordering via Siri, improved lock screen media controls, and various other tweaks. Apple hasn't announced when iOS 6.1 will be released to the public. Thanks, Matthew

Apple’s Town Hall meeting: Tim Cook talks Android, China, earnings, retail, more


Last year, 2012, was Tim Cook's first full year at the helm, and the first full year without Steve Jobs. It was a year filled with new products and advancements, but it was also a year of controversy, mounting competition from companies like Google and Samsung, and a year of a rising—and later falling—stock share price.

To address the last year and the year ahead, Apple CEO Tim Cook summoned corporate employees to his Cupertino Campus's De Anza 3 auditorium. With the company's top executives in the first row, followed by several rows of employees, Cook spoke in his signature black, buttoned, untucked dress shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

Cook was reportedly pumped up during this Town Hall meeting, rallying troops amid questioning from analysts regarding Apple's future as a global technology titan. According to multiple people in attendance at the meeting, Cook rallied his staff by discussing Apple's latest earnings, its competition, and its future.

Find all of the details after the break:

Apple Stock, Earnings:

Cook addressed Apple's Q1 2013 earnings report, which featured over 54 billion dollars in revenue, with pride. The CEO recognized the decline of Apple's stock price, specifically in the days following Apple's earnings announcement. With Apple floating between the world's wealthiest and second richest company by market cap, Cook seemed unfazed by the recent drop in share price.

Speaking to employees on the current controversies around Apple's income and future, Cook reportedly told his workers and colleagues that "we [Apple] just had the best quarter of any technology company ever." Cook expressed this with immense satisfaction and appreciation for his teams that made this happen.

Cook further added, likely referring to gas and fuel juggernaut Exxon, that "the only companies that report better quarters pump oil." "I do not know about you all, but I do not want to work for those companies," Cook reportedly said. This portion of Cook's talk reunited employees in disbelief over Apple's stock price decline and restated how great of a company Apple is to work for.

Cook also reportedly made it clear that share price is not Apple's focus. Making new products that customers love is the priority. Revenue and share price is just a by-product of Apple's efforts. Cook said that he believes that Apple employees agree with that sentiment. He also said that Apple is commonly misunderstood and that the company will always have critics, no matter how successful it is by Apple's standards.

Employee Perks:

On the note of working for Apple, Cook also announced a new employee discount perk. Apple, for a while, has offered its employees an EPP (Employee Purchase Plan) that provides discounts on various Apple products. Now, an expansion of the EPP program will include discounts on unlocked versions of the iPhone. This new offer will become available this upcoming Monday.

During the meeting, Cook also announced that some of Apple's latest products, including the constrained iMacs and iPad minis, would soon become available for discount. People familiar with the matter have said that Apple expects to reach supply and demand balance for the new iMacs and iPad mini in the next couple of months. Cook reiterated the current product constraints during the Q1 2013 earnings call.

As we reported last year, Cook initiated $500 Mac and $250 iPad discounts for employees. The new extended discount program is just the latest addition to a slew of new employee perks that have taken off during the Tim Cook era. Other recent additions include a "Blue Sky" program for side projects, a free 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage, a charitable donation matching program, and a beautiful new glass award for employees that celebrate a decade of work at Apple.

Operations, Supply Chain, and Mac Sales:

Directing to the company's long term future, Cook made announcements relating to the company's global operations. Addressing the company's controversial supply chain for product manufactering, Cook announced to employees that Apple would move even further forward ahead of the competition in terms of supply chain transparency. "We want our partners to be as ethical as we are," Cook reportedly said. It was recently reported that Apple will require its third-party accessory makers to comply with Apple's own supply chain standards.

Cook has already been known to be open about Apple's supply chain. He frequently releases supply chain progress reports and makes public trips to China. Cook reportedly mentioned his early-January trip to the country during the Town Hall. Last week, Apple released a new supply chain progress report that revealed that it has cut ties with a supplier over underage-working infractions.

Cook also reiterated that Apple is working to move manufacturing of one of its Mac lines to the United States by the end of the year. Cook addressed that moving Mac production to America was not a PR move, but a move to increase production of Apple's computers. Cook said that Mac sales were low in the quarter because Apple could not manufacture enough Macs. The company reportedly sold every Mac that it could build. Most of Apple's Mac line was updated in the past few months, which naturally would make units high in demand, but low in supply (for the time being). Moving a Mac's production to the United States could help with that.

With Apple's growing reliance on cloud services and the data farms that come with that, Cook also announced that Apple will be moving to 100% renewable energy for all of its data centers by the end of 2013.


As a core part of his business, Cook also discussed Apple's retail group. Cook reportedly solemnly recognized the apparent drop in the satisfaction of retail employees during the recent, short John Browett-run period. Cook said that Apple is working hard to focus on rapidly improving the happiness of its retail employees. This is a major focus for Cook and the rest of the Apple leadership team. The same goes for maintaining and growing customer satisfaction in Apple Stores.

Apple's retail sector has been a controversial one as of late with the recent departure of Retail Vice President Jerry McDougal and last year's firing of Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett. Apple employees are yearning for retail to be as pleasurable as a job as it was during the Ron Johnson era.

Since the departure of Browett, Cook has acted as the top manager for all retail matters. Steve Cano, Bob Bridger, and McDougal (up until his departure) have all worked directly under Cook. In recent weeks, Apple Finance VP Jim Bean has made additional contributions to the retail team. Apple previously said that Bean would move from the Finance group to the Retail team.

Attendees at the meeting noted that Cook said Apple's search for a new head of retail is still active. Cook said that Apple is looking for an executive who understands how Apple does retail. This means a principle focus on employee and customer satisfaction.

Apple retail employees continuously preach their appreciation of Steve Cano. Cano is an Apple retail executive that began at Apple as a retail store manager. He is believed to do his work in the image of Apple retail pioneer Ron Johnson, and Cano is seen as a strong advocate for the people who work in Apple's 400 stores around the globe. It is currently unclear if Cano is actually one of Cook's options for the top retail job.

Android versus iOS:

Cook, of course, mentioned Apple's arguably fiercest competitor: Google. Cook talked specifically about Android and its competition with Apple's iOS. Cook discussed iOS's integrated, reliable experience versus Android's fragmentation with a plethora of devices.

Cook mentioned Apple's large iOS web traffic in comparison to Android's smaller web marketshare. He noted that while Android may be running on more devices, it is clear that people love and use their iOS devices more than the people who use Android-based products. Cook mentioned the key statistic that far more people used iOS devices to purchase items this past Black Friday than with Android devices.

Cook also noted that Android is about marketshare with its range of devices and low pricing, while iPhone and iPad products are about experience, top hardware and software quality, and, most importantly, actual usage by customers.

Notably, Cook reportedly said that if Apple's iPhone division was stripped out of the company, it would be a top corporation that is more successful than Microsoft in its entirety. Cook also reportedly added that most of Apple's divisions, if they were individual companies, would make the Fortune 100 list. At a 2010 Mac media event, Cook used similar math to note that Apple's Mac business, if removed from the company, would be one of the top firms on the Fortune 500 companies list. Of course, as Cook jokingly said at that media event, Apple has no plans to spin-off divisions.


Cook reportedly also discussed China as a crucial, growing "hyper-market" for Apple. Cook noted that growth in China is exceeding that of the U.S. He also noted the importance of other emerging markets. He reportedly noted how much the Chinese population adores Apple's products. With long lines, counterfeit "Apple Stores," record-breaking sales numbers, and even egg-throwing by impatient line-waiters, this is clearly the case.


Cook's meeting with employees seemed to have reaffirmed Apple's strength as the leading technology company to its employees. The common theme recognized by Apple employees is the immense strength, experience, and foresight of Apple's management team. More than ever, employees are witnessing how much their CEO and management cares about them and both the near-term and long-term success of Apple on a global scale.

(Top Image via Flickr user Deerkoski)