Tag Archives: Apple

How to setup AirPods (1st generation) with a MacBook Pro (2011)

I really like my first generation AirPods. I use them on my 2012-2018 devices all the time, but I had never tried them on my old MacBook Pro from 2011. I had always assumed they probably use some low-energy version of Bluetooth 4 or whatnot, expecting they won’t work. But I was wrong! They DO work – it’s just that the setup process is slightly different than on my other devices.

Here’s how I could connected them successfully.

What usually happens

Ordinarily, iCloud seems to take care of spreading the connection love. That is, AirPods connected to my iPhone will automatically be “seen as available” by my iPad and my Desktop Mac. All I have to do is to head over to the little speaker icon on the Mac, then select my AirPods from the list.

On my MacBook Pro 2011 that doesn’t work. There’s no AirPods entry. I had to pair them manually.

Make the 2011 MacBook see the AirPods

So what we need to do then is this:

  • switch Bluetooth on (obviously)
  • put the AirPods in their case
  • open the lid
  • press the pairing button on the lid and leave it open
  • take the AirPods out (but leave the case open)
  • wait a moment to hear the connection beep

Now we can close the case and listen to the AirPods. The pairing process takes a little longer, and oddly enough there’s no AirPods entry to select in the list of audio devices. Be that as it may, they are indeed connected and can be used to listen to audio now.

Why that is I do not know – and perhaps I don’t need to either. All I know is that they’re working fine under macOS High Sierra. Hope this helps!

UPDATE: After restarting my MacBook, the AirPods did indeed show up in the Bluetooth menu, so now it behaves just like my Mac Mini. Even Macs need restarting every once in a while.

Creating New Emails in Split View on macOS

I’ve discovered that when I respond to emails on my Mac Book, the default Apple Mail programme started opening my new message windows in a split screen view. Previously this wasn’t happening, and instead a new message would be presented as an overlay on top of the whole mail window (I believe they called it a Modal Dialogue).

Don’t get me wrong, I like the split screen thing – but I always wanted to know where this setting was, and why it was now magically switched on since I wasn’t involved in this design decision. I’m a bit of an stick-in-the-mud sometimes and a tad pernickety about preserving my user experience.

Thankfully it’s easy to find – but in case you’re stumped, here’s where to enable/disable this experience. In Apple Mail, head over to Preferences – General (the first tab). At the bottom you’ll see a tick box labelled prefer opening emails in split view when in full scren.

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Apple Pencil Review: My Experiences with the 1st Generation

I’ve been using my Apple Pencil 1st Generation with my iPad 6 for the last couple of months on and off, and thought I’d share some thoughts on my experiences. I’ve left this review on Amazon.com and though I’d post it here for posterity. Enjoy!

This is the Apple Pencil 1st generation. It’s title doesn’t do it justice, because it suggests that it’s inferior to the 2nd generation, and that it will soon be replaced. The story is a little different as you may know. This pencil is compatible with the 6th and 7th generation of the iPad, or “The New iPad” as every “new iPad” is now called upon release, until a new “New iPad” comes out. To clarify then, this device (1st generation Apple Pencil) works with the non-Pro and Air iPads that came out between 2018 and 2019. It works with a bunch of other iPads too, like the first and second generation iPad Pro (2015-207) and some Minis (like the 2019 version). Later generations of the iPad Pro require the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, which this device is not. They’re different devices altogether, and Apple did a lousy job explaining this to us mere mortals.

The thing works great, although $90 is very expensive for what it is. I don’t deny that there’s a lot of technology going on, and this seemingly magical approach is a lot of fun if you can draw, or if anyone can decipher your handwriting. I’m one of those “creative” types and my handwriting looks a bit like back in the day when doctors wrote prescriptions out by hand. It’s difficult to read by others, sometimes even by myself. I can’t draw either, but I like to doodle sometimes. Still, even someone like me can use this Pencil for highlighting documents or occasionally putting a signature to a PDF document. I like using it, and it gives the iPad a new dimension it was previously lacking.

Continue reading Apple Pencil Review: My Experiences with the 1st Generation

Installing Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro (2011) without Bootcamp

I love my old MacBook Pro. It does everything I want for a portable coding, writing and occasional editing device. I’ve had it since 2011 and it’s still going strong.

Apple however doesn’t want to suport it anymore. I’m stuck with macOS High Sierra, without an option to upgrade without shadowy patches. Even if I could keep up with Mojave and beyond, the hardware might just not be fast enough anymore to give me an enjoyable experience.

So I thought, perhaps I’ll put in a new hard drive that I had in another old laptop and install Windows 10 on it. Apple’s recommended way is to do all this from macOS, using their own Bootcamp setup. However, being the hacker that I am, I thought perhaps I’ll try the “Windows Only” experience.

I did this in two live streams the other night, and continued the process over the following days – and now I’ve got a (more or less working) Windows 10 installation on my MacBook Pro (early 2011 Edition). I thought I’d take some notes on how I did this step by step, and give you my opinions if this was an adventure worth undertaking.

Continue reading Installing Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro (2011) without Bootcamp

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 3

In this final episode of this mini series I’ll show you how to configure the first episode of your Podcast Feed by adding the audio file to the post. I’m also talking about the implications of setting the date and time on the post so that all your post-dated episodes appear in the correct order. Finally, we’ll submit our validated feed to the Apple Podcasts directory.

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 2

In this episode I’ll show you how to configure our Podcast Category with the relevant settings that are necessary for the feed to have meaningful content. I’ll talk about every single tab, including the Feed Description, specific Apple iTunes and Google Settings, how to add artwork and how to preview the feed.

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 1

In this episode I’ll show you how to add podcasting capabilities to your WordPress website, using the Blubrry PowerPress plugin. I’ll explain the concepts and inner workings of a Podcast Feed, how it can be read by podcast directors and readers alike, and talk you through the installation of the plugin.

For this example, I will setup Category Podcasting on my website https://supersurvivor.tv, which will allow me to host more than one Podcast Feed from the site.

How to make Notes App sync properly on iOS

ios9-notes-app-iconHave you ever wondered why some notes seemingly sync just fine between your iOS devices, but others do not? Wether a note is not fully updated, or you find a duplicate entry in the list, it can be an exercise in frustration.

But fret not, it doesn’t have to be! This is not a bug in the Notes app; it’s the way we’re using it.

Let me show yo what you can do to avoid such problems, and how they can happen in the first place.

Why do we sometimes get random duplicate notes?

This has to do with the way the app stores data in the cloud. Notes saves your content only when you close the note, or when you switch away from it. Your note is not saved while you’re typing it.

Likewise, iOS can only “save over” the current note if you’re not actively editing it. Leaving it open, even if you’re only looking at it, means your note is locked for edits from other devices.

When you make a change on device A, and the same note is opened and edited on device B, then iCloud cannot save your changes to the current note. Hence it creates a duplicate entry. This is a safety mechanism so that your changes are saved rather than lost, and you can decide which copy you’d like to keep when you’re done.

How to avoid sync trouble on iPhone

So on iPhone, the solution is simple: always return to the list view of all your notes. Do not leave a note open. That way, another device can edit its contents without trouble.

How to avoid sync trouble on iPad and Mac?

On the iPad as well as your Mac, things are a little different due to the nature of the Split View Controller. It displays both the list of your notes, as well as a note next to it. Even when you hold your iPad in portrait mode and cannot see the list view, one note is ALWAYS open and displayed, and therefore cannot be edited by another device. That’s usually when and why iOS (or macOS) saves a duplicate.

To avoid this situation, make sure you switch to a note that you’re unlikely to edit from another device. Perhaps create a “dummy note” without content and switch to it when you’re finished with the Notes app.

Remember you can look at a note even if it’s open on another device – it’s just that when editing an open note, trouble keeps in.

Hope this helps 🙂

How to sync past events in the Apple Calendar App on iOS

Apple-Calendar-Official-iconHave you ever been shocked to find out that a new iOS device does not show your old calendar entries, even though future events sync fine across your other devices?

We’ve all been there! Turns out there’s a default setting in the Calendar App that only synchronises the last 1 month of entries. As if your life before that point didn’t matter. Kind of like Apple’s policy of not supporting hardware older than 4 weeks. But I digress…

To fix this problem, open the Settings App on your iOS device, then head over to Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll all the way to the bottom. Find the Calendars section. There’s a section here called Sync, and by default it says “Events 1 Month Back”.

Change this to All Events, and magically, past events are now synchronised on this device as well.

Photo Aug 07, 16 38 37

You must make this change on ALL your iOS devices so that all past calendar entries can be pushed to every device. Note that there is no such setting on the Calendar App for OS X.

Another mystery solved!

How to switch off Developer Beta Downloads on Mac OS X

A while ago I thought it would be fun to run the OS X Developer Betas on my MacBook Pro. That was before El Captain was released. Once the buzz had died down I grew a little tired of the bi-weekly point release downloads that took about an hour to install.

So how can we tell a Developer Beta Mac to become a “normal” non-beta Mac again?

While forum posts suggest that it’s an impossible feat, it’s actually no trouble at all. Simply head over to System Preferences – App Store and find a button that reads “your computer is set to receive pre-release Software Update seeds”.

mac-beta-versions

Click it and an overlay window is shown, allowing you to “not show pre-release updates” anymore. Be warned however that when you do this, the option to bring up this dialogue disappears – so once switched off, there’s no going back easily (unless you install another beta from scratch, like you did when you first obtained yours).

Note that when you switch this feature off, your Mac will remain on the beta you have currently installed, until a new release comes out and replaces it. This option will not remove beta files from your machine, nor will it turn your beta system into a non-beta system instantly: you’ll have to wait for the next release and use the regular update option for that.

You can always check what’s currently installed by heading over to the Apple Icon and select About This Mac.