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

How to generate PDFs from print preview with 3D Touch

iOS has a hidden feature that allows you to generate PDF file from the print preview screen. Yes, PDF export is built into iOS and you do not need to install additional app. Unfortunately this feature is available only on iPhone with 3D Touch.

When viewing a page on Safari or working on a document in Notes app, tap on the Action/Share button and select the system Print function. This will open the print preview page with print options on top half of the screen.

How to generate PDFs from print preview with 3D Touch

Press on the preview image (3D Touch) to bring out a Quick Look preview of the PDF file. You can then share the PDF, save to Dropbox etc from the Quick Look screen by using the standard iOS share extensions available on your phone.

Quick and dirty way to bypass content blocking using Google Translate

Quick and dirty way to bypass content blocking using Google Translate

Google Translate does not just translate words and phrases. You can use it to translate a web page. The translated page is hosted under Google’s domain, and this effectively makes Google Translate a quick and dirty web proxy.

One side effect, benefit or loophole (depending how you look at it) of this service is that you can use it to access content that is block by your school or company. If you encounter the error “The page you have attempted to translate is already in English”, try to set the target language to your second language or any random language. 

As Google Translate is not intended to be a real web proxy or VPN, not all sites will work. And some images and videos will not load. But it is a quick way to gain access to blocked content if you have no other better options.

Use TextEdit as plain text editor in macOS

If you’re looking for a plain text editor in macOS, you can use the TextEdit app that comes with the operating system. TextEdit’s default file format is rich text. But you can change it to use plain text.

Use TextEdit as plain text editor in macOS

Go to TextEdit > Preferences and change the Format settings to “Plain text”. That’s it.

Some people likes to keep their notes in plain text format rather than rich text, as plain text file can be easily open in all computer systems and there is no worry of format obsolescence.

You can also use a plain text editor to remove text formatting from documents and web pages. Copy the rich text from Notes, Pages or web page into the clipboard. Then paste it into plain text editor to remove all formatting. 

Turn off Safari’s AutoFill in iOS 10

Safari in iOS 10 comes with AutoFill feature that offers suggestions for your personal info when you fill out web forms. This is handy to some but you might find it gets in the way. 

Turn off Safari AutoFill in iOS 10

To disable Safari AutoFill goto Settings > Safari > AutoFill. You have the options to turn off Contact Info, Names and Passwords, and Credit Cards. Toggle off the switch for whichever ones you don’t want to show up when filling web form.