Category: iPad

iPhone/iPad App Tip: Pandora Radio Is the Best Way to Listen to…Comedy?

Pandora Radio iPhone app icon

Pandora Radio (free) is known as a music radio app with customizable stations that learn your tastes over time. But my favorite use for the app? To make me laugh.

Pandora also features tracks from comedy albums and clips of comedians doing stand-up acts. You can plug-in your favorite comedians—for me, acts like Chris Rock, Louis CK, and Adam Sandler—and Pandora will play clips from those acts and similar comedians. It works just like the music stations: you can vote whether you like the comedy or not, and Pandora will serve up more of what you like. In my case, it seems to be adult (very adult) humor.

Chris Rock on Pandora iPhone App

So why do I say it’s the best way to listen to comedy? Well, sure, you can find comedy radio stations elsewhere, but what’s unique about the Pandora experience is that you’re not stuck listening to an entire comedy act if it’s not funny or in poor taste, you simply vote it down, and you’re on to the next clip. You tend to get the best bits of acts. And it’s all free, with ads of course, but you can pay $3.99 a month to get rid of them.

Tip: How to Easily Delete Accidentally Highlighted Text in iBooks (iPhone & iPad Tip)

iBooks icon

I love using iBooks to read books on the iPad & iPhone, but there is one feature that can be annoying: highlighting text. You see, iBooks lets you highlight text simply by dragging your finger over it. The problem is, this often leads to accidentally highlighting the text when turning pages or casually touching the screen. To make matters worse, trying to delete those highlights can have the comically opposite effect of creating even more highlights. There is an easy solution to removing the highlighting. Below is a quick way to delete those highlights.

Video Instructions:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Tap the Table of Contents button at the top left:

Table of Contents button in iBooks

2. Tap Notes:

Tap Notes button in iBooks

3. Swipe the note, then tap Delete:

4. Tap Resume in the top left:

Tap Resume button in iBooks

And that’s it. You’ll be taken right back to where you left off reading, and the highlighting will be deleted from the text.

An iPhone Tip for Mac Owners: How to Import iPhone Photos Without Using iPhoto

Image Capture Mac App

When importing photos from my iPhone to the Mac, I’ve found the default method—using iPhoto—to be slow and clunky. There is a better solution, however. It’s called Image Capture, and it’s built right into the Mac.

Image Capture Mac App

Image Capture connected to my iPhone 5

Image Capture is a fast and lightweight application that comes with every modern Mac. The application can import photos and video from cameras, iPhones, and other devices. Just connect your device to your Mac, launch Image Capture, and import. It runs much, much, much faster than iPhoto. You can import all photos/video at once, or choose only select photos. And perhaps best of all, you can even choose the photos’ destination—for example, the desktop or a specific folder—something iPhoto won’t let you do.

Extra Tip:

You can have Image Capture automatically open whenever you connect your iPhone to your Mac, speeding up the photo-import process even more. Here’s how.

1. Open Image Capture and connect your iPhone to your Mac.

2. In Image Capture, make sure your iPhone is selected (highlighted) in the left column:

Select your iPhone in Image Capture

2. Click the icon in bottom left corner of Image Capture:

Click icon in bottom right corner

3. Click on the drop-down menu beneath the text Connecting this iPhone opens:

Click drop-down box

4. Select Image Capture:

Select Image Capture from drop-down menu

And that’s it. Image Capture will now automatically launch whenever your connect the iPhone to your Mac.

Extra Note:

  • Image Capture lets you delete photos off your iPhone without importing them first, something iPhoto will not let you do. So if you just want to delete all of your iPhone photos at once, or a select few, this is a great solution.

Review: McTube Pro, an App for Downloading YouTube Videos for Offline Viewing on the iPhone & iPad

McTube Pro YouTube client for iPhone and iPad icon

*UPDATE 5-15-2013* The video-caching feature of this app seemed too good to be true, and it was. The latest version of McTube Pro removes the cache video feature in McTube Pro per a request from Google. If you haven’t updated yet to the newer (less useful) version, you may want to back up your current version of the app (instructions) in case you accidentally update it in the future and want to revert back to the old version. If you did accidentally update, you may consider restoring your iPhone from a recent backup (just remember you’ll lose all changes on your iPhone since you made that backup).

McTube Pro’s ($1.99) killer feature is that it lets you save your favorite YouTube videos to your iPhone and iPad for offline playback. That’s right, saved YouTube videos can be played back without an Internet connection. And in HD, too, if you’d like. While McTube Pro can be used with any type of YouTube video, it really shines for music. Read on for my full review to find out why.

McTube Birthday Song Offline Viewing

Downloading Videos. McTube distinguishes itself from other YouTube viewing apps by allowing you to store YouTube videos for later playback. McTube avoids saying it “downloads” videos because that would violate YouTube’s terms. Instead, it “caches” them. When you find a video you like, you simply tap the Cache button, and the video downloads, whoops, I mean caches, in the background. Cached videos are stored in the Local folder for later playback.

Review Summary

McTube Pro

Price: $1.99

‘s Rating:
★★★★★ (3 stars out of 5)

Review Summary: McTube works well for storing your favorite YouTube videos and as a way to collect free music from YouTube. But the app is rough around the edges, lacking a way to organize videos and a way to control audio outside of the app. Still, it’s the best YouTube downloader among the several I tried out.

Videos Can’t Be Moved Out of the App. Unfortunately, videos stored in the app stay in the app—they can’t be downloaded to your computer. Allowing you to do this would be against YouTube’s terms, and would likely lead to the app’s YouTube access being revoked. But apparently allowing you to “cache” them is fine. That’s the power of semantics.

Best for Music. YouTube has quickly become the place to find and listen to music on the web. Just about everything is on there, for free. McTube Pro not only lets you save these videos, it has a special MP3 mode where you can listen to the audio-only portion of your saved videos, as if they were mp3s in the iPhone’s Music app.

But that’s not to say McTube Pro is a particularly good music player. It’s not. McTube’s biggest flaw as a music player is that music control functionality (play, pause, forward, back) only works inside the app. You can’t use the iPhone’s lock screen controls to, say, pause a song, and you can’t you use the headphone dongle controls either. You must use the app. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future version. MP3 mode also lets you create playlists, although the interface is crude and clunky.

Mp3 mode in McTube iPhone App

MP3 Mode lets you listen to audio-only portion of videos.

No Folders or Organization Tools. Another big annoyance with the app is that there is no way to organize your saved videos—there are no folders or playlists (except for MP3 mode). Videos just sit there in a big long list in the order you downloaded them. This gets annoying once your library grows.

Offline Cached Videos in McTube

Cached videos in McTube for offline viewing.

Access to Your YouTube Account. You can log in to your YouTube account inside the app and get access to all your Subscriptions, Favorites, Playlists, etc. This is a nice feature if you’ve already done some work collecting your favorite videos. You could simply go through your lists and download them to the iDevice.

Video Review:

Pro vs Free Version. There is also a free version of McTube that only lets you store 5 videos and has advertisements. I recommend checking it out first. The Pro version ($1.99) removes the storage limit and the advertisements.

Settings in McTube

Settings in McTube Pro.

HD and Auto Caching. The app has two useful option in its settings. The first is the ability to turn on HD streaming. If you’ve got good download speeds and lots of storage on your iPhone, I recommend taking advantage of HD video, as the audio quality is so much better. The Auto Cache setting, when turned on, automatically saves every video you watch using the app. It’s a nice time-saving feature—if you’ve got a lot of free memory. The Region setting lets you set a country (Argentina, Italy, etc) as your base for content filtering purposes.

AirPlay. The app also supports AirPlay. Combine this with HD downloads and an AppleTV, and you can put together a pretty sweet music-video party.


McTube Pro’s key feature is its ability to store YouTube videos on your iPhone/iPad for offline viewing later. In this area, it works as advertised. You can even save HD videos. The app also has a special “MP3 Mode” that lets you listen to the audio-only portion of videos, making this a good way to collect free music. But this app is rough around the edges. There are no tools to organize offline videos, and the iPhone’s audio controls (play/pause/forward) don’t work outside of the app. Despite it limitations, I can highly recommend this app for its main purpose: caching YouTube videos for offline viewing. It’s also a great way to collect free music.

How to Turn On and Use Guided Access in an App (iPhone & iPad Basics)

Guided Access

Guided Access is a powerful new feature on the iPhone & iPad that essentially prevents users from quitting out of an app. Guided Access can also block off areas of the screen from registering touches, and prevent users from changing the volume or putting the device to sleep. Check out the video below for instructions on how to activate Guided Access and how to use it in an app. Also check out the Extra Notes section for extra tips.

Video Instructions:

Quick Instructions:

1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.

2. Swipe the tab for Guided Access to On.

3. Tap Set Passcode and enter a 4-digit code. This code will be required to quit out of Guided Access once you start it in an app.

How to Use It In an App:

1. Launch an app.

2. Triple click the home button.

3. Circle any areas you want to disable. You can fine tune by dragging the corners of the boxes that appear.

4. Tap Start.

5. To quit out of Guided Access mode, triple click the home button again, enter in the passcode, and tap End.

Extra Notes:

  • In the Settings for Guided Access, you may notice an option: Enable Screen Sleep. When this is set to On, the iPhone’s screen will dim (but not turn off) during periods of inactivity, saving battery. You can also put the iPhone to sleep by pressing the Sleep/Wake button.
  • When you triple click to activate Guided Access in an app, an Options button will appear in the bottom left. There, you can turn off all touches from registering on the screen (this would be perfect for playing a movie on your device in a marketing situation) and another option to lock the screen’s orientation and turn off the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope, preventing the device from registering movement.

Apple Introduces the iPad mini (Details and Pricing)

iPad Mini

Apple today announced the iPad mini, a smaller, thinner, lighter, and cheaper version of Apple’s iPad tablet hardware. The mini shares much of same specifications of the iPad 2, including the same processor and screen resolution, but it’s a much lighter device, and that’s really the mini’s killer feature. Below is a collection of details on the new iPad mini, including pricing and release date.

Screen. The mini’s screen is 7.9 inches diagonally compared with the iPad 3’s 9.7-inch display. The mini is not, however, a Retina Display. It has the same resolution as the now “ancient” iPad 2 at 1024×768, but that resolution is packed into a smaller screen, so it has a higher pixel density of 163 ppi compared with the iPad 2’s 132 ppi, so it will appear slightly sharper. (163 ppi is the same as the iPhone 3GS’ screen.)

Weight. The iPad mini is a much lighter device, weighing a mere 0.68 pounds, 53% lighter than the iPad 3’s 1.44 pounds. As an iPad 1 and iPad 3 owner, my lone complaint has always been the weight—it really starts to grow uncomfortable after 20 minutes of use. The iPad mini is a big step toward solving that.

iPad mini in black and white

Pricing and Colors. The iPad mini comes in either black or white, with 3 different storage sizes, each with Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions. US carriers for the iPad mini are Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint (this is Sprint’s first time on an iPad). See the pricing table below.

iPad Mini Wi-Fi Only Price iPad Mini Wi-Fi + Cellular Price
16 GB $329 16 GB $459
32 GB $429 32 GB $559
64 GB $529 64 GB $659

Preorder and Ship Dates. Preorder starts this Friday, October 26. The Wi-Fi only version ships Friday, November 2. The cellular version ships one week later on Friday, November 9.

Videos. Apple showed off two videos featuring the iPad mini at its event today. The first is a TV commercial (which is great) and the other is the usual video featuring Apple execs explaining the iPad mini. Check them out below.

Other Features:

  • Dual-core A5 processor (same as the iPad 2)
  • Supports Siri
  • Lightning port replaces the old 30-pin connector
  • Thinner bezel on left and right sides. Apple has updated the iPad’s software to cope with the increase in accidental touches the thinner bezel may cause
  • 5-megapixel camera on back with 1080p video recording. Front-facing camera does 720p video and 1.2MP photos
  • 10-hour battery life for surfing web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music (9 hours using cellular)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi 02.11a/b/g/n (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • New Smart Covers for the iPad mini ($39). Apple already has a commercial for it (see video below).

The CW Network App: Tons of Free TV Episodes

The CW Network iPhone iPad app icon

Like America’s Top Model? The CW Network app (free) for iPhone & iPad lets you watch it, for free. The app can stream the latest 5 full episodes of every primetime show on the CW, for free. Here are some of the shows available:

  • Gossip Girl
  • 90210
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • America’s Next Top Model
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Supernatural
  • Nikita
  • Emily Owens, M.D.
  • Arrow
  • Beauty & the Beast

There are commercials interspersed throughout each episode, of course. They’ve got to pay the bills somehow. But the streaming video works beautifully, although it wasn’t quite HD quality. And if you have an AppleTV, there’s a tricky way to get AirPlay to work. More on that later.

The CW Network iPad app  1

The app other features are Twitter and Facebook integration, the CW Network TV schedule, photos, etc, but who cares about all that? It’s all about the free TV.

AirPlay Support. The app supports AirPlay out to AppleTV, but there’s a trick to it (AirPlay isn’t found in the app itself). To use AirPlay, start playing a show, then double-click the home button to bring up the fast-app switcher. Swipe to the right to bring up the iPad’s media controls, then tap the AirPlay button. It will stream both audio and video to your AppleTV.

The CW Network iPad app screenshot

If you want more free movies and TV shows, check out our list of Apps That Stream Free Movies & TV Shows. Now get rid of that $100-a-month cable bill.

iPhone & iPad Basics: How to Use Flagged Emails and the New Flagged Inbox

Flagged email inbox in iPhone Mail app

The Flagged inbox is a new feature introduced in the iOS 6 software update that is useful as a way to sort important emails into one central place so you can find them easier. Flagged emails from different accounts all go into the same Flagged inbox.

To send an email into the Flagged inbox, you simply tap the flag icon in the bottom right corner of the individual email, like this:

Tap Flag icon in bottom left

Flagged emails still remain in their original email account’s inbox but also appear in the Flagged inbox. To remove the email from the Flagged inbox, just tap the flag icon again, then tap Unflag from the pop-up menu.

Extra Notes & Tips:

  • Don’t see the Flagged inbox? It doesn’t appear until you flag an email for the first time.
  • You can move a flagged email out of the Flagged inbox into another sub-inbox of the email account it belongs to by tapping the move email button in the Mail app, which is the second button from the left. The email will remain flagged, it just won’t appear in the Flagged inbox. You can move it back into the Flagged inbox via the same “move email” button.

iPhone/iPad Tip: Notes From the Notes App Can Now Be Edited In a Browser on

iCloud apps in web browser

The Notes app on the iPhone & iPad just became a lot more useful thanks to a recept update to Now, notes created on the iPhone can be edited in a web browser on, and vice versa. With iCloud syncing, it’s all pushed wirelessly and automatically—no need to tap a button or connect a cord. And no matter if you’re on Windows or Mac, home or office, if there’s a web browser, you can access and edit your notes and sync back the changes to the iPhone instantly.

I find this feature incredibly useful for doing things like maintaining a to-do list, planning vacations, or simply storing important bits of information that I come across throughout the day.

There is one tricky part, however. In the Notes app, you have to create the notes you want to sync in the special iCloud “folder,” which is kind of hidden. To find this folder, open the Notes app, if you see a button labeled Notes in the top-left corner, tap it, then/else tap Accounts:

Maneuver to iCloud account in Notes app

Then tap iCloud from the list shown (see below):

Create Notes in the iCloud folder

Now, when you create or edit a note, it will created in your iCloud account and be pushed (synced) to iCloud. You can then go to, log in, click on the Notes icon, and take up where you left off. You’ll even see that familiar legal-pad yellow paper background (see below).

You can make your iCloud account the default account for new notes by going into the iPhone’s Settings > Notes and selecting iCloud. That way, when you create new notes (for example, creating a note via Siri), they will by default be synced via iCloud.

The Notes app at, editing a note I created on the iPhone (click to enlarge):

Of course, you must first have iCloud set up on your iPhone/iPad. To set up iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud and make sure the Notes tab set to On.

iOS 6 Troubleshooting: iPhone/iPad Wi-Fi Not Connecting After Update? Turn Off Location Services

*Update* The problem involved an Apple server being down. When your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi network, Apple checks a special site to confirm the Wi-Fi network is not behind a paywall. Despite there being numerous “solutions” like the one below, it appears that the problem simply resolves itself after a period of time. All I can say is the solution below worked instantly and permanently for me (and others), but it simply could have been a coincidence of timing.

iOS 6 Wi-fi not connecting on iPhone and iPad

After upgrading my iPad 3 to iOS 6, my iPad’s Wi-Fi connection stopped working. And a quick glance at Apple’s discussion boards reveals hundreds (maybe thousands) are having this problem as well. Here’s a closer look at the issue: my iPad would temporarily connect to my home Wi-Fi router for a few seconds, then a browser window would pop up and try to connect to, and then the connection would end. It appears there is some conflict with Location Services on the iPhone and iPad. I asked Siri how to fix it, but she was no help. But I eventually found the solution.

The Solution:

1. Go into Settings > Privacy (which is new in iOS 6) and slide Location Services to Off.

2. Connect your iPhone/iPad to the Wi-Fi network again (Settings > Wi-Fi)

3. Go back to Settings > Privacy and slide Location Services back to On

That solved the problem for me. Good luck!