Zoom Features That Help When You Lose Your Reading Glasses Or Are Vision Impaired [iOS Tips]

I recall the time I met someone who was not only vision impaired, but nearly blind. However, their loss of vision didn’t prevent them from enjoying computers. Although we were both able to get a lot done, they wouldn’t have been able to get as much as I can get done without special tools like a large display with overly magnified and software enhancements on their computer.

Apple’s iOS mobile operating system offers nearly the same features to help the vision impaired and even people who depend on reading glasses to see things displayed on the iPhone’s tiny display. Here’s how to access them.

Launch the Settings app, tap General, tap Accessibility and you will see two options that might help you if you have problems reading your iPhone screen.

Zoom – turning this option on will allow you to quickly zoom in and out of screens by tapping once with three fingers at the same time to toggle the feature on or off. Now double tap again with three fingers, hold and drag up and down to change the zoom level.  I really like this feature so much I leave it turned on all the time due to the ability to toggle it on/off easily.

As you can see from the screen shot below there is a lot more that you can do with zoom. You can move the screen around by tapping and holding with three fingers firmly on the screen while dragging.

My most favorite thing about zoom is what happens when you double tap with three fingers and you move them up or down while your fingers are still on the screen. The up or down motion quickly zooms in or out on the screen. Stop and the current zoom level is maintained.  When you are ready to go back to a normal screen  just double tap again with three fingers.

Large Text – turning on this option will make the text displayed in the Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages and Notes apps a lot bigger. You can go from normal (off) sized text to anything from 20pt text to a whopping 56pt text. Definitely handy if you’ve misplaced your reading glasses or if you are vision impaired.

These simple tips about iOS aren’t rocket science, but could easily be missed by people due to their location in the Settings app. I cannot tell you how many people appreciated these small tips when I wrote about them a couple of years ago. Now that I’m older and wear glasses (of which there never seem to be enough of them lying around)  I am glad to be able to fall back to using these tips to see my iPhone display whenever my glasses aren’t around.

Updated 11/17/2011 at 3:24 PM PDT: I restored a few paragraphs that went missing after a technical glitch interrupted my internet connection this morning.

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/130262/zoom-features-that-help-when-you-lose-your-reading-glasses-or-are-vision-impaired-ios-tips/

Apple Gets One Last Nuke From Xerox: A Killer Location Patent That Could Toast Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Etc.

Photo by autopoiet – http://flic.kr/p/9aEXJE

Apple has a long history of taking a technology created by Xerox and transforming it into the heart and soul of computing, such as the mouse or the concept of a graphic user interface. Now comes word Apple owns a Xerox patent for location based services. The patent could prompt Apple to sue a wide array of companies, ranging from Android-backer Google to social networking giant Facebook and any others relying on the ability to check users’ location.

Issued Wednesday, the patent actually dates back to 1998, when it was originally filed by Xerox (and received in 2000.) Apple appears to have purchased the patent Dec. 17, 2009. Not only does the patent pre-date many of today’s technology, including Android-based smartphones, GPS receivers, Facebook, Foursquare and more, but the IP is written so generally as to cover a wide swath of devices.

Here is how the the patent describes a “location information system:” A receiver that receives location identification information from at least one site specific object identifying a location.ladd., where at lease one site specific object is a beacon.laddend.; and a transceiver that transmits the location identification information to a distributed network and that receives the location specific information about the specified location from the distributed network based on the location identification information, wherein the location specific information provides information corresponding to the location.

What that language means is that the patent could cover ads sent to a cell phone based on its location, all mobile phones using GPS to locate users – even the use of QR barcodes that provide user information based on location. In essence, if Samsung and other companies thought they had enough legal headaches from Apple, their problems could multiply exponentially.

The ball is in Apple’s court.

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/130462/apple-gets-one-last-nuke-from-xerox-a-killer-location-patent-that-could-toast-facebook-foursquare-google-etc/

How To Root Amazon Kindle Fire In One Click

Well well well, it seems Amazon was true to their word after all, and the newly shipping Kindle Fire is indeed wide open for those that want to get at its inner workings, allowing customization of the underlying Android operating system.

Kindle Fire Root

While Amazon had said that it wouldn’t stand in the way of anyone wishing to take a spanner to its Kindle’s software, it wouldn’t have been the first time a hardware manufacturer had reneged on a promise, so we’re glad to see they have played ball.

So, how do you get that ball rolling? Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy.

Enable ADB Access

If you’re the kind of person that likes to get intimate with your Android hardware, access the file system and generally get your hands dirty, then you’ll be needing ADB access, or Android Developer Bridge for those not all acronym’d up.

To get access, you’ll need to get hold of the Android SDK from here and then add the Vendor ID for Amazon’s Lab126 (0×1949) to the adb_usb.ini file. Chances are that if you’re doing this, the previous sentence made perfect sense to you, but if not, a quick Google search will yield the information about the Android SDK that you require.

Step 1: Go to %USERPROFILE%\.android , once you’re there, edit the adb_usb.ini file and add the following line at the end:

Save and exit.

Step 2: Navigate to the location where you have installed the Android SDK; open the folder labeled google-usb_driver and hunt down the android_winusb.inf file and under the following lines under the [Google.NETx86] and [Google.NTamd64] sections:

;Kindle Fire
%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006&MI_01

Save and exit the file. That’s it, you’re done with the ADB part.

Enable Root Access

Step 1: Plug in your Kindle Fire to your PC, we’re assuming you’ve already plugged it in since you did go through the above written ADB hassle.

Step 2: Open Device Manager from your PC, and under “Other Devices”; you should see the Kindle Fire, now select the android_winusb.inf file.

Step 3: Enable installation of apps from Unknown Sources. You can do so by tapping the top-most bar on your Kindle Fire and navigate to Choose More and head over to Device, over there you should see a listed device.

Step 4: Head over to this thread over at XDA and download the SuperOneClick tool.

Step 5: Run SuperOneClick and simply click on the Root button on the top-left of the tool, that’s all. You now have a rooted Kindle Fire with complete Superuser access. Refer to the screenshot below if you’re still confused where / what to click.


Amazon has also given users the option of installing third-party apps onto the Fire, with just one option needing switching on in order to give apps the green light.

We’ll go through the drill one more time just to make it more clear on how to install third-party apps; head on over to Settings, and then Device. You’ll want to turn on ‘Allow Installation of Applications’ and hit OK when the warning box pops up. Amazon will warn about possible security risks, but we’re sure you’ll be fine with that given the plus side to installing your own apps.

That’s it, your $200 android tablet just got a whole lot more interesting, not to mention more useful. Awesome!

(source XDA)

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from Redmond Pie http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-root-amazon-kindle-fire-in-one-click/

Typed Cards App Shares Your Thoughts With The World [Review]

The amazing thing about The Amazing Type-Writer app is that it isn't just about typing on a virtual typewriter

It's also a social network of sorts, a place where you can find other people's thoughts and ideas, copy them, and add your own

Other people can see the cards you make public

then copy them and add their own annotations, and share them again. Like this:

(some make art with it)

(some share quotes)

(some do weird stuff)

each card becomes whatever you want it to be

and can be made the way you want to make it

It's deliciously odd, so whatever you use it for: enjoy the oddness

(And now, a text transcript…)

The Amazing thing about the Amazing Type-Writer app is that it isn’t just about typing on a virtual typewriter.

It’s also a social network of sorts, a place where you can find other people’s thoughts and ideas, and add your own.

Other people can see the cards you make public, then copy them and add their own annotations, and share them again. Like this. (Examples follow.)

Some make art with it. Some share quotes. Some do weird stuff.

Each card becomes whatever you want it to be, and can be made the way you want to make it. It’s deliciously odd, so whatever you use it for: enjoy the oddness.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/129727/typed-cards-app-shares-your-thoughts-with-the-world-review/

Download Hundreds of Breathtaking National Geographic Wallpapers for Mac, iPhone and iPad [Gallery]

OS X already comes with a sizable library of some of nature photography’s most beautiful pictures, curated personally by Steve Jobs for use as wallpapers. But as breathtaking as OS X’s default wallpapers can be, if you have your Mac desktop set to randomize, you’re probably sick to death of them at this point.

The foremost name in beautiful nature photography is here to help you supplement them. Every year, National Geographic holds a photo contest, and this year, they have put up all of their entries in downloadable JPEGs suitable for the desktop, iPhone or iPad.

We’ve knocked up a few of our favorites in the gallery below, but if none of these work for you as a wallpaper, you can choose between hundreds more over at National Geographic’s website.

Most of the images max out at 1600 x 1200, so while they’ll be fine for most Mac laptops, if you have a 27-inch iMac, you’ll have to put up with a little bit of up-rezzing. The iPad and iPhone versions all look great, though.

I love these. Trapped behind a computer all day, it can really be easy to forget how staggeringly magnificent and awesomely monstrous the world can really be. Catching periodic glimpses of it in the background of my digital life is what helps me go out into it more often.

Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

[via OS X Daily]

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/129647/download-hundreds-of-breathtaking-national-geographic-wallpapers-for-mac-iphone-and-ipad-gallery/

‘iMac Believer’ Video Tribute To Steve Jobs Is Weirdly Catchy

I’ve seen a lot of weird videos on the internet over the years, but ‘iMac Believer’, a video tribute to Steve Jobs takes the cake. It’s probably the most bizarre video tribute I’ve ever seen.

The video was posted to YouTube by GangBabyGaga. It might be influenced by Ms. Lady Gaga, due to the showmanship and effects in the video. It has a catchy tune, “I’m a Believer” written by Neil Diamond, that we’ve probably all heard played by The Monkees and Smash Mouth, to name a few. However, it is freaky enough to make you want to sleep with a gun after watching it.

Check it out  and decide for yourself about whether it will be the next big internet hit or not.


I’ll record my vote here — two thumbs up, but I’ll still be sleeping with one eye open tonight. LOL.

[via Wired]

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/128858/imac-believer-video-tribute-to-steve-jobs-is-weirdly-catchy/

Check The Remaining Minutes On Your AT&T Calling Plan [iOS Tips]

Are you an AT&T subscriber who wants to see how many minutes are left on your calling plan? Here is a quick and easy way to get that information sent right to your iPhone.

You can check the number of minutes remaining by accessing the Phone app and dialing: *646# and pressing Call. You’ll see a message stating the information is sent to you in a text message. Once you receive the text message, it will look something like this:

As you can see, in this example there are 765 anytime minutes remaining, unlimited night and mobile-to-mobile minutes, and a whopping 9,182 rollover minutes. On 11/6/11 733 rollover minutes are scheduled to expire.

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from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/128316/check-the-remaining-minutes-on-your-att-calling-plan-ios-tips/

Transform Windows 7 Into Windows Phone With Mango Skin Pack – Download Now!

You’re a Windows 7 user, right? You like that nice user interface, complete with all that blue glass and with all those, well, windows. More importantly, you like it because it isn’t Vista, mainly. Lets take that liking to a whole new level shall we?

WP Theme for Win 7 4

But wouldn’t you like it even more if it looked like one of Microsoft’s other products, perhaps one of its other operating systems? What if, and we know you’re going to love this, you could make it look just like Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s latest attempt to try and build something resembling a real presence in the smartphone world?

You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

That’s where Mango Skin Pack comes in, and it’s up on Deviant Art right now for those that just love that Metro UI – and let’s be fair, who doesn’t love it?

WP Theme for Win 7 1

WP Theme for Win 7 2

The theme comes courtesy of SkinPacks, the team that has brought numerous other Windows 7 theme packs to the platform. Over on their web site you’ll spot skins to make Windows look like Apple’s OS X, Google’s Android and just about everything in-between. We didn’t think that Microsoft did too bad of a job with Windows 7 here at Redmond Pie Towers, but it appears you guys just can’t wait to make it look like anything, so long as that isn’t Windows 7!

Installation is a relatively simple affair – point your web browser at the downloadable .EXE, run it, and sit back. The installer is also automatically updated when changes have been made, so you’re always up to date with whatever changes have been made. Super simple, indeed.

WP Theme for Win 7 3

You can download the Mango Kin Pack right now for free, as well as many, many other packs for changing the way Windows 7 looks on our computer, without having to change functionality at all. Remember, once you install these packs and the appearance changes, it is still good old Windows 7 under the hood, though whether that really is a good thing very much depends on which side of the fence you sit on!

Give the Mango Skin Pack a go today along with some of the team’s other options. We particularly like the Mac OS X theme, but then, we’re Apple fans here at Redmond Pie but at the same time not partial to Windows as well, so there.

Happy skinning people!

Download Mango Skin Pack For Windows 7

For more wallpapers and themes, make sure you visit our Windows 7 Wallpapers and Windows 7 Themes Gallery.

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from Redmond Pie http://www.redmondpie.com/transform-windows-7-into-windows-phone-with-mango-skin-pack-download-now/

How To Install OS X Lion On Your Hackintosh PC With UniBeast All-In-One Bootable USB Drive [The Easy Way]

If you’ve ever attempted to install OS X Lion onto your PC (a process known as hackintosh), you will be aware that although the result is pretty good, the effort required to get you there is quite high in what is a rather tedious process.

OS X Lion PC

You have to install Snow Leopard, and follow an upgrade process in order to enjoy Apple’s famed operating system on an ordinarily Windows-based PC. Hardware wiz tonymacx86 is renowned for developing the hackintosh project, and has now made the process a whole lot simpler by introducing UniBeast all-in-one bootable USB drive.


The new utility enables you to create a bootable Lion flash-based drive for hackintosh, and also eradicates the necessity of using an iBoot CD to boot. So unlike the previous method, no optical drive is needed for you to create your own hackintosh.

We’re going to demonstrate how you can install OS X Lion on your hackintosh, following these recent advances.

Firstly, you will need a copy of OS X Lion (downloadable from the Mac App Store or attainable via the official Lion USB flash drive), and a separate 8GB (or more) flash drive.

Additionally, you will need UniBeast, which can be downloaded from here.

Step 1: Firstly, you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive using UniBeast. Open /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility and highlight your USB drive on your Mac.

Step 2: Next, click the Partition tab, then Current and opt for 1 Partition. Then, click Options and select Master Boot Record.

Step 3: Change Name to ‘USB’ (can use any name, but we’ll use USB for the benefit of this tut), and select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as your format. Once you’re done, select Apply followed by Partition.

NOTE: If you’re using the Install Mac OS X Lion Application, be sure to check that it’s been placed in the /Applications folder. If you’re instead using the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive, plug it in.

Step 4: Download and run UniBeast. Continue through the first few steps.

Step 5: At Destination Select, click USB and then Continue.

Step 6: Select the package name of the method you’ll be using to install as depicted below. Laptop users will need to select the Laptop Support in addition. Once that’s done, hit Continue.

Step 7: Enter password and click Install. Depending on the speed of your system and the flash drive, it could take up to 15 minutes.

Step 8: Boot from your freshly prepared USB flash drive and install.

If you get stuck at any point along the way, head over to tonymac86′s forums and sign up there, where you’ll find a bunch of like-minded techies on hand to help you through your trials and tribulations!

If you liked this, then you may also like to check out:

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from Redmond Pie http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-install-os-x-lion-on-your-hackintosh-pc-with-unibeast-all-in-one-bootable-usb-drive-the-easy-way/