You can send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

Messages app for iOS 10 comes with a neat tool that allows you to scribble and send handwritten message. This feature is build right within and there is no need to install additional plugin or app.

The handwriting ability for Messages app is a little hidden though. To activate it, start by tapping into the text entry box. Then rotate iPhone into the horizontal position.

You can send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

You should now see a full screen blank panel that you can scribble text on it. There is an even a handy “Undo” button on left-top corner. Once you’ve scribbled enough, tap the “Done” button on right-top corner. This will bring you back to the familiar chat screen. Simply hit the up arrow button as usual to send the handwritten message.

send handwritten text in iMessage for iOS 10

If you can not see the handwriting input panel while on horizontal position, tap the cursive loop icon button on right bottom corner of the keyboard.

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Instantly add Finder item to macOS dock with a keyboard shortcut

Just about all macOS users are aware that you can add items to the dock by dragging the item from Finder into the dock. There is a quicker way by using a handy keyboard shortcut.

First select the item in Finder, be it an app in the Applications folder, a file or document, or even a folder. Enter Command+Control+Shift+T. The selected item will now be in the dock. Applications will be added to the left/top side of the dock, whereas documents or folder will be at the right/bottom end of the dock.

Use + in your Gmail address for easy label and search

When you send an email to a Gmail address, Google’s email system will disregard anything you put after a “+”. For example, emails send to davidwest+tips@gmail.com will be sent to davidwest@gmail.com. There is no need to create another email account.

This feature is handy for labelling and tagging purpose. For example you can use the email address davidwest+mailing@gmail.com for subscribing to newsletters. You can then label “davidwest+mailing” to easily group and find newsletter emails.

In addition to “+” plus symbol, Gmail also ignore any period in an email address. Thus emails send to “david.west@gmail.com” and “d.a.v.i.d.w.e.s.t@gmail.com” will all be sent to “davidwest@gmail.com”.

Instapaper Premium is now free

Instapaper Premium is now free

Instapaper has killed off its $29.99 per year Premium subscription service, making all the Premium features free for everyone. This put Instapaper well ahead of its competitor Pocket.

Instapaper Premium includes an ad-free Instapaper website, full-text search, unlimited notes, text-to-speech playlists, unlimited speed reading, send to Kindle and Kindle Digests of up to 50 articles.

To migrate from Pocket, run the export tool at https://getpocket.com/export. Then at Instapaper go to Settings > Import

You might wonder how can Instapaper be an on-going concern with no subscription income and ads revenue. These are the replies from Instapaper:

There’s no catch. Our operational overhead is low, and now that we’re owned by Pinterest we can focus on just delivering the best product to our users.

The value that Pinterest gets from Instapaper are improvements to our text parser and aggregate information about links on the web. We have no plans to serve ads.

Enable App Extensions in Apple Maps for iOS 10

In iOS 10, Apple Maps has a neat App Extensions feature that allows for third party apps to integrate with the Maps app. You can for instance call a ride with Uber and book a restaurant with OpenTable all without leaving the Maps app.

Enable App Extensions in Apple Maps for iOS 10

App Extensions for Apple Maps however are not enabled by default. Go to Settings > Maps and scroll down to the Extensions section. Toggle the switch to turn on any apps you want enabled.

How to enable the expanded file save panel as default in macOS

How to enable the expanded file save panel as default in macOS

When saving a file in macOS, it is common practice to click on the dropdown arrow to expand the save panel to make it easier to navigate and save the file to a different location. If this additional click annoys you, you can set the expanded file save panel as a default.

Open Terminal apps and enter the following two commands:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool true
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode2 -bool true

That’t it. The next time when you do a File Save…, the expanded save panel will be displayed. To revert back, simply enter the same commands with the bool value set to ‘false’ like so:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool false
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode2 -bool false

Reset macOS Dock to default settings

Sometimes you might just dislike how you’ve customised your Mac’s Dock. When you look under System Preferences > Dock, there is no way to reset the macOS Dock to its default settings.

Fret not as you can use a Terminal command to quickly get back the default Dock. This will remove any apps you’ve added, bring back all the Apple’s default apps, reset the size of the Dock, its location and magnification settings.

Open Terminal app, copy and paste the following:

defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock

Reset macOS Dock to default settings

Hit the Enter key and the Dock will quit and relaunch with default settings. 

How to disable “Reply with Message” on lock screen in iOS 10

One new notification feature in iOS 10 is the ability to reply to messages directly on the lock screen without a passcode or Touch ID authentication. This default settings may not be desirable to you due to privacy concern. 

How to disable Reply with Message on lock screen in iOS 10

To disable, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Scroll down to “Allow Access When Locked” section and locate the switch “Reply with Message” and tap to turn it off. You will no longer be able to reply to a message on the lock screen without a passcode or Touch ID.

Use Google Search to convert color value in RGB to Hex

For those in design or dealing with color, one handy tool is a convertor that translate color in RGB value to its hexadecimal equivalent. Google Search has implemented such utility that let you convert quickly without firing up Pixelmatr or Photoshop.

Use Google Search to convert color value in RGB to Hex

Simply type “rgb to hex” in Google Search to display a color spectrum panel. You can explore different color with the slider. Click on “Show Color Values” to display the color value in HSV, HSL and CMYK.

To convert a specific RGB values to obtain its hex equivalent, simply type the values in bracket as search term such as “rgb(75, 216, 229)”.

Google Search to convert color value in RGB to Hex