You can now shop Google Store from other countries

You can now shop Google Store from other countries

Google Store has a number of the company’s first-party hardwares that are attractive to even iOS and Mac users. For example the ever-popular Google Home speaker with Siri-like Google Assistant. Unlike Apple’s online store, Google Store are operating in limited number of countries. 

Google has now open its online store to let you purchase device from other country. When you visit from a country that does not operate Google Store, you’re now given the choice to browse and buy from store in available country. 

When you buy from the US Google Store, the device however can only be shipped to a US address. You can then use one of the many parcel forwarding services to deliver the device to your home country.

How to scan QR codes using browsers on iOS

There are a number of QR code reader app on the App Store. Most QR codes are nothing more than a link to a website address, thus it is convenient if mobile browser has QR code support built right in. This would mean one less app on your iPhone. 

Mobile Safari and Firefox do not support the scanning and reading of QR code. QR reading and scanning however are built-in feature for Chrome, Opera Mini, Puffin Browser and UC Browser.

For Opera Mini, the QR scanning option is available when you start typing in the address bar. Tap on the QR button on the keyboard toolbar to access the QR scanner.

QR scanner in Opera Mini

For Puffin Browser the QR scanner button is conveniently located on the right end of the address bar.

Puffin Browser QR Scanner

Similar to Puffin Browser, the QR scanner button on UC Browser is located at the end of the address bar.

UC Browser QR Scanner

Chrome is not making its QR scanning feature obvious to use. You can not access it from within the app. Instead the QR option is available when you 3D Touch the Chrome icon on the home screen. On the 3D Touch menu that pops up, tap on “Scan QR Code”.

3D Touch to access QR Scanner in Chrome

For those using an iPhone without 3D Touch, you can access Chrome’s QR scanner by using Spotlight search. On the home screen, pull down the Notifications screen or Search screen to access the Spotlight. Key in “qr” on the Spotlight search to let spotlight display the list of apps and documents with “qr” wording.

Using Spotlight to access Chrome QR Scanner

From the Spotlight result list, look for the Chrome icon with the text “Scan QR Code”. Tap on it will bring you directly to Chrome and launching the QR scanner.

It’s a good habit to turn on your iPhone using the Lock/Power button

Good habit to turn on your iPhone using the Lock Power button Today View

Ever since Apple redesign the iOS lock screen by removing the swipe-to-unlock gesture, you merely just need to press the Home button to wake and unlock the phone automatically using Touch ID. At times the Touch ID unlock the phone too quickly that you’d miss the Lock screen completely. 

Lock screen can be useful for quick glance at the time and date. Swiping right on the Lock screen will get you to the Today screen where you can place some useful widgets such as latest stock price and currency rates.

Swiping to the left will get you quick access to the camera. It is this convenience that you might want to consider to get in the habit of pressing the Lock/Power button to wake your phone to the Lock screen. Give it a try, it might saves you time if you use the camera a lot.

Recover hard disk space on your Mac by removing unused Xcode Simulator

If you’re Xcode user, especially if you’ve been running Xcode for few years, you might have outdated versions of iOS Simulator sitting on your precious hard disk doing nothing. Open up the Terminal app and enter the following command to remove those unused Simulator.

xcrun simctl delete unavailable

You can easily recover 2 to 8 GB of hard disk space, depending on how many Xcode Simulator you’ve installed in the past.

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Siri on the Touch Bar can get in the way if you have the habit of hitting the edge of the Touch Bar. It can be annoying if Siri is turned on accidentally.

If you do not use Siri on a regular basis, you can remove it from the Touch Bar. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Click on “Customise Control Strip”. The Mac is now treating the Touch Bar as an external display where you can move your cursor into. Use the trackpad or mouse to drag the Siri icon on the Touch Bar out into the main screen. 

24 Siri commands that you can use

24 Siri commands that you can use

Admit it, Siri at times can be frustrating when it does not answer your question. Or It just simply point you to a website or wikipedia page. We all like Siri to get super smart, until then it is good to learn about some specific commands that Siri can answer.

  1. “Read my last message” – read your last text message.
  2. “Text Jon Snow where are you now” – send a text message to Jon Snow.
  3. “Show me my last email” – display your last email.
  4. “Take a picture” – launch camera app.
  5. “Download Facebook” – launch App Store and search “Facebook” for you.
  6. “Open Twitter” – open Twitter app.
  7. “Remind me to bring my charger tomorrow at 9.30 am” – add a task to reminder
  8. “Wake me up in 9 hours”, “Wake me up at 8am” – to set alarm.
  9. “Timer 5 minutes” – to set timer.
  10. “What’s on my calendar for Monday” – to check calendar agenda.
  11. “Play Nine Inch Nails” – play song or album in your music library.
  12. “How many calories are in a banana” – substitute “banana” with any fruit you have in mind.
  13. “What’s 150 dollars in pounds” – convert currency.
  14. “How many ounces in one litre”, “How many inches in a meter”, “What’s 200 Fahrenheit in Celsius” – various convertor. 
  15. “What’s Apple stock price” – list stock price.
  16. “What’s ETA to Avenue 5” – list the estimated time to reach Avenue 5 from your current location.
  17. “What song is this?” – then point your iPhone to a song playing to identify the song.
  18. “Any good Japanese restaurants in the area” – get a list of restaurants nearby. 
  19. “What movies are playing in the area” – get movie listing.
  20. “What’s Morse code for Titanic” – find out the Morse code.
  21. “Do beatbox” – for some fun.
  22. “What is zero divided by zero” – for some classic Siri reply.
  23. “Toss coin” – to get tail or head.
  24. “Bye” – to quit Siri without pressing the Home button.

Thats certainly not all Siri could do. Ask Siri “What can you do” to find out more commands.

How to disable System Haptics on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

How to disable system haptics on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Taptic Engine was first introduced in iPhone 6s for 3D Touch. For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the Taptic Engine supports the Home button, which is no longer a physical button. In addition, Apple has enhanced the Taptic Engine to introduce subtle vibrations for various system functions.

These new System Haptics are everywhere, for example when you slide open the Notification Center, you get a subtle tap as the sliding reaches the bottom of the screen. System Haptics are also available when you use Pinch to Zoom, Sliders, Switches, pull open Spotlight etc. 

System Haptics can be a delight to use. You can turn it off if you find it annoying. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics. Scroll all the way to the bottom and turn off the “System Haptics” switch.

Disable System Haptics on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Please note that disabling System Haptics does not turn off all vibrations such as for 3D Touch or incoming phone calls. These other vibrations are not under System Haptics and is managed independently.

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro starts up when opening the lid or plugging in power

Late-2016 MacBook Pro comes with a brand new start-up feature. When the notebook is powered off, it will automatically start up when you open the lids or connect to the power supply.

Specifically, when MacBook Pro is power off, it turns on when:

  • Open the lid of your Mac, even if it’s not connected to power. This is provided the MacBook Pro isn’t completely out of power.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is open.
  • Connect it to a power adapter while its lid is closed and it’s connected to an external display.

Source: Apple Support Article

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

One of the new feature in macOS Sierra is the Picture-to-Picture mode for Safari. First appeared in iPad, Picture-in-Picture allows you to detach a video so that it is always viewable while using other apps.

It is easy to enable Picture-to-Picture mode for YouTube video. First right-click on the video to bring up a menu. Then right-click again on the menu to bring out a different menu. Select “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the menu. 

The video will now detach, and stay on top so that you can watch it while using other apps. You can control the video as usual, and also resize and reposition it on the screen.

Hand draw to search special character in Google Docs

Handdraw to search special character in Google Docs

If you’re trying to type a certain scientific symbol on your computer, it is at times tedious to browse through pages of special character pane to locate the symbol that you need. Google Docs has a helpful feature where you can hand draw your character to narrow down the search. 

On Google Docs menu, select Insert > Special Characters to bring up the dialog box. On the right panel there is an empty area for you to hand draw your symbol. Your input will then be used to narrow down the search with the filtered search result display on the left panel.

This tool is handy even if you’re not a regular Google Docs user. Simply use it to locate the symbols that you need, then copy and paste them from Google Docs to Pages, Word or whatever editor you’re using.