How to quickly fix sideways video clips on iPhone or iPad

Serenity Caldwell on iMore has a fantastic tip on how to rotate videos on an iOS device:

This one's easy to miss, but a must-have for filming fiends: iMovie for iOS is a free app for more complex video editing projects, but it also offers a quick-fix extenison in Photos for iOS. This extension lets you trim a clip, silence it, or add filters, text, or music — but it also lets you flip video with a gesture.

The rest of the article has a step-by-step guide worth checking out. This tip was news to me, but it’ll be invaluable for those times when my iPhone doesn’t orient itself before I hit record.

Quick Tip: the Apple Watch Flashlight

One of my favorite new features of watchOS 4 is using the Flashlight feature. It’s surprisingly bright for short distances, and sometimes a bit more handy than fumbling with my iPhone.

From the watch face, swipe up from the bottom and tap the flashlight icon. The screen will become all white, but somewhat dim. You can swipe from right to left to get a blinking white light to use as a signal, and swipe once more to get a red light that won’t disrupt your night vision as much.

As you turn your wrist away from your face, the screen brightens all the way to maximize the flashlight effect. Rotate back to your face, and after a moment of blinding yourself, it will dim again.

Apple’s support article says:

To turn off the flashlight, press the Digital Crown or side button, or swipe down from the top of the watch face.

I’ve found an even more satisfying way. You can also simply cover the screen with your palm, and the flashlight is extinguished. The best part is it feels natural enough to do without needing to rotate your wrist back toward your face, saving your eyes from that momentary bright light.

Now you can get your same Verizon data plan cheaper

If you have Verizon, you'll want to check and see if you can take advantage of their new data prices today. Many of the pricing tiers dropped by $10.

Verizon isn't automatically giving existing customers the new pricing, but you can go into your account settings and select the same data plan for the cheaper price, and it will start on your next billing cycle.

$10 a month may not seem like much, but that's $120 per year. I can think of a few good uses for $120 to go to.

The 1Password Emergency Kit 3.0

Mike Vardy posted a really great update to his 1Password Emergency Kit today.

The 1Password Emergency Kit V3.0 is now a fillable PDF that looks and functions a lot better, and includes even more information that will come in handy if any sort of emergency arises.

Naturally, I keep a lot of my life's essential data in 1Password. Should I ever be incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly, my family can get ahold of my copy of this (which I now need to update, so don't let me forget) in order to access the things they may need.

Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and fill out your kit, too.

¶ A Step-by-Step Guide to Pre-Ordering an iPhone 5 and Switching to Verizon

It is very possible that Apple will open up pre-orders for the iPhone 5 next week after its media event. I’ve mentioned it before, but both times I have purchased an iPhone, AT&T was the sole US carrier. But that isn’t the case now. Now Sprint and Verizon are options, too.

I’m taking the opportunity to not only move up to the iPhone 5, but to switch to Verizon. And I have a feeling I’m not the only person in this situation, so here’s a little guide from yours truly on how to pre-order an iPhone 5 and switch to Verizon while keeping your number.

  1. Pre-order your Verizon iPhone 5 from Apple or Verizon and sign up as a new Verizon customer. Let the system assign you new numbers. Just think of the new numbers as placeholders, as you’ll switch your AT&T number later.
  2. Wait a week or so for your new iPhone 5 to arrive.
  3. Unbox the iPhone 5, boot it up and activate it. I’d hold off on restoring from iCloud’s backup just yet. (Speaking of iCloud backup, on your previous iPhone, make sure you are on Wi-Fi and go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Back Up Now and run a current backup).
  4. After it is activated, make sure you can pull cellular data and make a phone call.
  5. Now call Verizon to have them switch your AT&T phone number over.
  6. Say good riddance goodbye to AT&T.
  7. Make another call and make sure your number is correct.
  8. Now, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This will start the setup guide over. Now connect to Wi-Fi during setup and log in with your iCloud ID and restore from your iCloud backup. Everything should be awesome now.

This process should have the least amount of friction in switching both phones and carriers. Godspeed.


A nice little gem in OS X Mountain Lion is its inclusion of a new font called Avenir. According to Wikipedia, Avenir is French for “future”.

I found out about it when I started using Day One (my review), since it uses Avenir by default if installed on Mountain Lion. To get a better taste for Avenir I have had Byword for Mac set to use Avenir for the past couple weeks, and I have found it to be a really enjoyable font.

Turns out Avenir will also be included within iOS 6, and will be front and center in the new Maps app. Day One for iOS will also use it by default on iOS 6, and I suggested to my friends at Byword to include it as an option for their iOS app.

In the past, I have always sought the timeless classic Helvetica Neue as my font of choice for writing. I think Avenir may actually be my new default. If you have OS X Mountain Lion, give it a whirl.

Neat App: CheatSheet

I love keyboard shortcuts. When learning a new app, the first thing I do is sift through its menus and absorb as many of the shortcuts listed as possible.

CheatSheet is a cool app on the Mac App Store that does one thing and does it very well. Once installed, it runs in the background (no dock or menu bar icon), and will pop up an overlay if you hold the Command key down for a moment. This overlay will show you all the keyboard shortcuts for an app at once. You can then either finish the shortcut or use your trackpad to select a command. Releasing the command key will dismiss the overlay.

You can also adjust the length of the delay for CheatSheet or quit the app from the gear icon on the overlay.

This is a great app for Mac keyboard ninjas learning a new app or for the fledgling keyboard padawan.

CheatSheet is free, so you really don’t have an excuse to not get it.

Removing Friction with Keyboard Shortcuts

Jason Rehmus offers some great productivity advice on the Frictionless blog:

Moving your hand the short distance from your keyboard to your mouse may not take much time, but it can interrupt your workflow enough to distract you and cause enough friction to slow you down. That’s why you should learn the keyboard shortcuts for every program you rely on.

One of the best things I've ever done to understand how my computer makes a better tool has been learning the shortcuts. On the Mac, that of course is mainly done with the keyboard, but Lion also brought trackpad gestures. Those have been handy as well, when necessary. And on iOS, it's a good idea to learn the gestures on the iPad if you have one, or for any app that offers gestures as a quick way to accomplish a task. Gestures are the keyboard shortcuts of iOS.

Rehmus focuses on the desktop, and has some great hints at getting you started.


Speaking of neat Terminal tricks for OS X, i was reminded of this project at Github by Mathias Bynens called dotfiles. In particular, I’d like to call attention to his .osx file as it is a great list of sensible defaults commands for OS X. I copied the list into a text file that I aptly named os x defaults.txt on my Mac.

Have fun.