Author Archives: Ken Ng

About Ken Ng

Father. Blogger. Photographer. Ken is native to the world of technology and regularly blogs on atpeaz.com where he would share his thoughts, tips, reviews and pretty much just about everything technology that amuses him. He regularly abuses his iPhone, iPad and rMBP. Devices with APS-sized CMOS sensors seems to be a favourite pastime. His day job involves helping enterprise untangle spaghettis strands and instead, get them to ride on a bus sometimes up in the cloud. Cryptic as it sounds, that's really what he does.

Typeeto - Using Your Mac As A Bluetooth Keyboard

Typeeto – Using Your Mac As A Bluetooth Keyboard

How many times have you worked on both your Mac and your iPhone or iPad and you suddenly find the need to copy and paste a text from your Mac to your iPhone. You would also wish that there must be an easy way to type into your iPhone from your Mac’s keyboard!

At this point, you’re probably wishing that you can use your Mac as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPhone Well, there is indeed a solution.

 

How to use your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPhone

The app that I discovered recently is Eltima’s Typeeto. Its an app that usually costs $19.99. But as of the publishing of this post, it’s currently on promotion at $9.99 on the Mac App Store. But if you do prefer to not purchase it off the Mac App Store, You can also buy it directly from Eltima’s website which offers you a trial to test it you. Then just follow this link and you’ll automatically get a special 15% off discount coupon on the retail price.

Once installed, you would need to first connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. The Typeeto app does tell you how to do it when try to add a new device in Typeeto after you start up the app.

Typeeto on the menubar

Typeeto actually works on any device that supports using a Bluetooth Keyboard as well. The following are the list of devices that Eltima’s team has tested Typeeto against.

Typeeto supported devices

Pairing the device of your choice is simply just how you would usually do it on your Mac. The following are screenshots of me pairing my iPhone 6s to my Mac.

Pairing the iPhone in MacOS Bluetooth menu

Confirming the pairing of the iPhone

Typeeto detects a newly paired iPhone

After pairing the iPhone, or any other device, you’re ready to use Typeeto. But before that, let’s take a look at the preferences and settings that you can set with the app.

General settings

The General settings are pretty self explanatory. I would recommend setting the paste text to device shortcut key combination to something that you would be comfortable with. The default alt-cmd-v works ok but change it if there’s another key combination that you prefer. Also, turn off the sending of usage statistics if you prefer to be private.

Devices settings

The Devices settings is important too. I recommend setting a Quick Launch shortcut key to have the ability to easily switch between your devices, especially when you have more that one that you intend to use with your Mac. Otherwise you would always need to click on the device you want to connect to using Typeeto’s menu bar.

Themes

As for the last Theme settings. I don’t think I need to explain it any more than the screenshot itself. ?

Next Page > Using Typeeto On Your Mac, Our Verdict

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Using Typeeto on your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPhone

I’ve had Typeeto running on my Mac for about a week now and I’d have to say that it’s been quite interesting using it. I actually have the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard for Mac that I’ve been using to type on both my Mac and my iPhone when I need it. However, I usually just leave the keyboard, though portable at work. So anywhere else, I would find myself missing the external bluetooth keyboard when typing long emails on my phone.

Thus the “interesting” description of Typeeto. Interesting because it works really well. I’ve used another app in the past but it didn’t work too well for me as it didn’t work most of the time. Typeeto has been pretty stable in my testing over the week so far. But since I already have the Logitech K811 external keyboard. I usually find myself just switching my keyboard over to my iPhone and I’d start typing away.

But Typeeto does have one major advantage which is its ability to paste text that’s been copied from the Mac. This is definitely a very useful feature, especially typing over complex passwords that I used for my online accounts. (Seriously guys, using 1Password to generate unique and complex passwords you can’t remember is the only way to go now).

One thing to note is that this copy-pasting feature has a maximum text length limit of 1024 characters, which actually isn’t too bad. You can copy roughly a full paragraph with it as you’ll see in the video capture I took below. The way it works is that Typeeto would basically retype for you character by character onto your device. This presents an interesting behaviour if you turn on autocorrect on the iPhone. Any wrongly typed words that are copied would be automatically corrected if possible. The video below shows this behaviour when I copied over a Lorem ipsum text from my Mac to my iPhone. This is definitely something to be aware of.

 

 

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Our Verdict

At the usual price of $19.99, you may think that it’s a little on the pricier side. However, if you compare it with the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard for Mac that costs close to $90 on Amazon, you basically get the same feature of the external bluetooth keyboard at a 80% discount. And if copying text and pasting it to your device is a must have feature, well, Typeeto is an obvious choice for you. That’s just something you can’t do with any external bluetooth keyboard.

Typeeto has been a solid software making the Mac as a bluetooth keyboard for any device that supports it. So if you find yourself needing it, it’s one that I would recommend quite easily.

Purchase Typeeto from this link and get a 15% discount off the retail price!

Disclosure: I was offered a press copy of the software to test and write this article that was originally posted on my blog.

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Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Must-Have Mac OS X Apps – 2015 Edition

More often then not I get asked what are some of the must-have Mac OS X apps by friends and family members who’s just got their hands on their first Mac. So much so that I had taken the effort to put them up in an article listing exactly that. With the recent release of OS X El Capitan, it’s time for a refresh of my top apps recommendation for the Mac platform again.

I’ve previously written a similar article back on my own blog site in 2013 when OS X 11 was released. In this article, I’ve now refine the list to a set of top 5 apps and the rest in a secondary list. This is by no means that apps are not as great but instead are ones that would depend on personal preference if you need such apps or not. Just as an example, as great Affinity Photo is, not everyone needs a powerful alternative to Apple’s own Photo app.

Ok. enough of this chit-chat. Let’s jump straight into the top 5 apps that you need to have.

 

Top 5 Must-Have Mac OS X Apps

1. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 14

Even when I work in a predominantly Mac user workplace, I still need to deal with a lot of NTFS-formatted external storages. More so if you work in an environment that’s largely Windows dominated. And as you would probably already discovered, OS X by default can only read NTFS formatted drives and not write into it.

Thankfully, the good folks at Paragon Software provides us with an implementation of NTFS support for OS X. The latest version 14 provides full NTFS features and supports the latest OS X El Capitan. This alone makes it the top of the must-have Mac OS X apps list. Paragon Software has also made the installation process a lot easier on this latest release, making it simpler for non-techies to install it.

I’ve been using Paragon Software NTFS for Mac OS X for a long time and it’s really stable! And I would also say that this is a  software that’s pretty much mandatory for anyone with a Mac, unless of course you exclusively only work on OS X.

Link: Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 14 $19.95!

 

2. 1Password

With all the password hacks going around the web, it is time everyone starts using stronger passwords for all your online accounts. Not just a single strong password being re-used, but a unique strong passwords for each online account you have. And if that is to be, then you would need to use a password manager to help you remember all those passwords, unless of course you are one of those unique individual who can simply just remember everything. I’m surely am not, and therefore swears by the use of 1Password for this specific use!

When it comes to password management, 1Password is really in a league of its own. What I like most about 1Password is it’s ability to not just store and manage passwords well, but it’s ability to seamlessly sync the stored passwords across all your iDevices (iPad, iPhones and iPod Touch) via iCloud or Dropbox, as long as you also have the 1Password app on your device. It also stores not just passwords, but also credit card numbers (which is really helpful for all your online shopping needs), software license keys, accounts, and much more!

Generate strong passwords for your logins

And on the latest version of 1Password, it has a mini interface that is accessible with a quick shortcut key that allows you to quickly search the information you need and immediately copy it into the clipboard and allowing you to paste it where you need it to be.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Before, you would only be limited to the browser plugin that helps you automatically login with the stored user id and password, or opening up the full application to gain access to the secured information.

You can even create multiple vaults to be shared across different team or family members for those accounts that are meant to be shared, while keeping your own personal logins accessible just to yourself.

$49.99 and $17.99 may seem steep for an OS X and iOS app, but this amount worth spending so to allow you to start managing (and strengthening) all your online accounts. Getting your password hacked is far more annoying and potentially a costlier affair too!

Link: 1Password ($49.99 on the Mac App Store) and 1Password for iOS ($17.99 on the App Store)

 

3. Alfred with the PowerPack

Alfred is one of the few utility apps that I can’t live without now on my Mac. Essentially, it’s a search utility, working pretty much like Spotlight of OS X. However, it does it in a far more elegant way. It also provides you with the quickest way to launch applications. Find out more about what Alfred can do for you here. The basic version of Alfred is available free on the Mac App Store or from their website as well, which makes it a real no brainer to have it installed on your Mac.

Effortless search with Alfred

But I highly recommend using Alfred with its Powerpack which only costs you £15 as the extra features is really worth the cost! One of the greatest features that the Powerpack includes is the ability to create global shortcut keys that allows you to launch not just apps but also to open a commonly used folder, activate an AppleScript, run system commands, and much more. It also provides a quick file system navigator that’s really handy in many situations.

Extend Alfred with Workflows!

In addition to that, the Powerpack also enables the ability for you to create workflows! You can find many cool examples of the use of Alfred Workflows here. Personally, I use it as a replacement to bash scripts that executes or starts up servers which I would have to do on the terminal.

Starts up a web server and opens up the browser all with a quick keyword

Link: Alfred Powerpack (£15)

 

4. Airmail

Personally, I think Airmail is the OS X mail app that should have been. I’ve used Airmail from the very early days of its beta releases and now that the app is officially released on the Mac App Store, I’m highly recommending it to anyone who has looked out for an alternative to the default Mail app, especially if your email is based on Google Mail. Airmail is built from ground up to support Gmail natively.

What’s really great about Airmail is its highly responsive interface. It also have a very intuitive user interface which most mail apps have come to adopt since. One thing I like most about Airmail is its awesome support for multiple email accounts, support for a multitude of email services, including support for Exchange, IMAP, POP3, Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.comLive.com and many other providers with IMAP or POP3 support.

Also, Airmail’s iOS app is on the way and when it is released, it would likely be the first mail app that supports the iOS and OS X Handoff feature.

Link: Airmail ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

5. AppCleaner

Uninstalling applications on the Mac is really easy. Unlike Windows which requires an uninstaller to do the job right, on the Mac, you simple would just delete the application. It’s that simple! However, it still does leave some traces on your Mac, in the form of settings and configuration files. If you plan to reinstall the application later on and would like to have all the settings and configurations intact, then that’s fine. However, if you like to wipe it all clean, then AppCleaner does exactly that for you with just a simple drag and drop.

I would basically keep AppCleaner on my dock and simply drag and drop any applications I like to removed on the AppCleaner icon on the dock. The other options is to simple open up AppCleaner, click on Applications (or Widgets or Others) and search for the app in question and  then click on “Search”, confirm that you want to delete the app and its related files, then delete them,

Link: AppCleaner

 

So far…

As I’ve mentioned earlier, these 5 apps are must haves and I would recommend them to anyone who’s on the OS X platform. The total amount so far is about US$120 (US$97.92 + £15 which is roughly $23.00).

The rest of the must-have Mac OS X Apps

These next set of apps are really great to haves depending on how you use your Mac and the work that you do with it. I’ve decided not to put it up as top apps as not everyone needs to use these apps if there’s no need for it. Read on to find out more about them and see if you too have a need for them as I do.

 

6. Scroll Reverser

If you use both a mouse with a scroll wheel and the TrackPad with OS X’s natural scrolling direction, Scroll Reverser is the tool for you. The screenshot below shows the exact settings I’m using, specifically to keep using natural scrolling on the trackpad and maintain the expected scrolling direction for mouse’s scroll wheel.

Natural on the Trackpad and “normal” on the mouse scroll wheel

Link: Scroll Reverser

 

7. PathFinder 7

If you find OS X’s Finder lacking, consider trying out PathFinder 7. I’ve written a pretty comprehensive review of PathFinder 7 here in comparison to OS X Yosemite’s Finder. But even when compared with Finder in OS X El Capitan, the points I made in the review is still valid and I continue to use PathFinder 7 today.

8 customisable modules in both the bottom and right shelf

I won’t go deep into the features of PathFinder that makes it my choice of Finder replacement here on this article but here’s a summary of it.

  • File Operations Queue
  • Dual-pane view
  • Bookmarks and Favourites
  • Configurable Shelves
  • Highly customisable and a whole bunch of features like…[adrotate banner=”4″]
    • Calculate file checksums with MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA224, SHA-256, SHA384, and SHA-512
    • Built-in hex editor
    • Built-in image editor
    • Archive files and folders with zip, gzip, bzip, dmg, Stuff, tar, and more
    • Ability to quickly get the dimensions of an image file and copy the dimensions into the clipboard as the following text: width=”###” height=”###”
    • Built in terminal console module
    • Git or subversion integrations
    • Ability to securely delete a file
    • and more!

Link: Path Finder ($39.95)

 

8. Affinity Photo

If you need a good photo editor that has all the key features you look out for in Adobe Photoshop, but does not really need something as powerful as Photoshop, then Affinity Photo is the editor for you. First thing first, Affinity Photo is REALLY fast. It really is something that you have to use to believe how fluid the controls are. But more importantly, Affinity Photo provides most of the familiar features and capabilities as Photoshop, the industry benchmark for a professional photo editor app.

Affinity Photo also includes a pretty powerful RAW Processing capabilities as well which is very similar to Adobe’s Lightroom. I’ve not yer personally explored the RAW Persona deeply as I continue to use Adobe’s Lightroom for RAW development. But in my limited use of it, I find it as functional as one would expect from a RAW processing app. However, it does lack the rich support for camera color profiles and lens profiles as Adobe has. And because of that, I would likely continue to use Lightroom to develop my RAW files and then edit them in Affinity for post-processing.

Develop your RAW photos with Affinity Photo’s RAW Persona

Link: Affinity Photo ($49.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

9. DaisyDisk

If you have MacBook with limited SSD storage space, that means you’re more likely to fill it up faster as well. This is where an app like DaisyDisk is really handy.

As you can see form the screenshot, DaisyDisk presents your storage usage in a beautiful flower-like graph which acts as the intuitive visual map of your disk. It also doubles up as an interactive interface where you can discover what’s taking up all that storage space while allowing you to also select and remote the files within the app itself.

So if you find yourself to be running out of space on your Mac, DaisyDisk is the app to use to figure out what you can remove to gain back the space you need.

Link: DaisyDisk ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

10. Gemini

Just as my recommendation for DaisyDisk, If you use a Mac with limited SSD storage space, any apps that helps you figure out how you can free up files that you don’t need anymore would be very helpful. And with Gemini, it does exactly that by searching your storage for duplicate files.

Gemini does it really fast and elegantly. Due to my highly collaborating work environment where I share a lot of files with my colleagues, there’s bound to be files that are duplicated pretty much all over my MacBook’s storage. Gemini has been a really great tool in helping me find all those duplicated files and allowing me to decide if I would want to delete them. I’ve so far been able to remove about 10+GB worth of storage wastage.

Link: Gemini: The Duplicate Finder ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

11. iTerm 2

If you use the terminal and work on the command line a lot, then I highly recommend using iTerm 2 as the replacement of OS X’s Terminal. Just check out this list of advanced features of iTerm 2 here and you’ll never go back to Terminal. Trust me.

Searching on iTerm

 Link: iTerm 2

12. Little Snitch

For all the paranoid in you, Little Snitch is a great app that helps you protect your Mac from the outside world. How it works is quite interesting as it essentially is an anti-firewall, protecting not what’s incoming to your Mac, but what’s going out from your Mac to the Internet. And in some ways, this protects you better than just using a firewall as Little Snitch will prompt you every time an app requires to sent anything out to the Internet, unless you’ve already allowed it to do so permanently.

You can find out more about Little Snitch here. But if you are as paranoid as I am about what’s getting out of your Mac, Little Snitch is a great tool to help you keep that in check.

Link: Little Snitch (€ 29.95)

This article is an adaptation of the original article on my blog post here.