Turn your old iPad into a digital photo frame

So you have an old iPad (like an iPad 2), and you think it would be a shame to just recycle it?

Why not turn it into a fancy wifi-enabled digital photo frame? This is what you could do:

  • Create a dedicated Apple ID for your frame, and configure your iPad to use that specific ID.
  • On the computer where you store your pictures, create a new Shared Album, and share it with the Apple ID of your iPad. If you want other family members to be able to add pictures to the iPad, share the album with them too.
  • On the iPad, install the LiveFrame app. It is free for testing (you can view the picture slideshow for 5 minutes, then you get adds), 2,29EUR to remove that limitation.
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“Notes quit unexpectedly” on macOS

notes-iconSince the new Notes app on macOS has a sharing function, I am planning to use it much more often. But today I shared a note with someone else, and since then, the Notes app systematically crashed when I opened it, with the message “Notes quit unexpectedly“.

This is how I managed to solve it:

  • In System Preferences, navigate to iCloud
  • Turn off the Notes synchronisation
  • In the Finder menu, click Go while keeping the Option key pressed, and select Library
  • Open the Containers folder
  • Move the com.apple.Notes folder to the trash
  • In System Preferences, iCloud, turn the Notes sync back on
  • Start Notes again.
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iCloud shared streams not shown after upgrade to Photos

The Mac OS X 10.10.3 includes the new iPhoto replacement called Photos. My upgrade experience was not very positive: I could no longer connect to the various albums I shared on iCloud. The albums were still there, they were showing up on other devices, but in Photos they were not visible. The Shared section of Photos showed the message “Connecting to library… Retrieving latest photo sharing activity” but after that, nothing happened.

After trying various things, this is the procedure that fixed it for me:

  • Close Photos
  • Repair disk permissions via Disk Utility
  • Restart
  • Don’t start Photos, but go to System Preferences, iCloud, Photos and disable iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Enable it again
  • Start Photos. After a while, the activity stream will update and the shared photos will start coming in.

 

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Mac OS X: forcing an application to use a specific language

I ran into the following problem: I switched the keyboard layout of my Mac running OS X 10.9 to use a different keyboard layout (French instead of Dutch). The result was that a number of applications also changed their interface language to French instead of English (!). Which is very annoying.

Removing the French keyboard layout did not solve the issue just like that. For some applications, deleting the preference file solved the issue, but for some it didn’t.

I finally resolved the issue by downloading App Language Chooser from the Mac App Store. This developer tool allows you to “hard code” the language of a specific application. Just drag the application icon into the application window, and specify the language of your choice.

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Microsoft OneNote available for iPad

Last week, Microsoft released the OneNote app for iPad in the app store. It is the first version of the app, and still lacks some functionality I would like to see added, but it is a great first step. These are the things you should know:

  • the app is free, but is limited to 500 notes; if you want more, you can unlock this limitation with an 11,99 EUR in-app purchase. I consider myself a heavy OneNote user, and I am currently at 320 pages. So with some management, you can stay under the limit.
  • Notes are synced with Windows Live Skydrive, so you will need a Windows Live ID to use the app. Advantage is that you have an online backup of your notes, and you can even edit them on Skydrive in the web app.
  • If you use formatting extensively in OneNote, you will be disapponted that a lot of these features are not supported in the iPad app. You get plain text. There is some room for improvement here.
  • Written notes (ink on a tablet pc) are not visible in the iPad app. Sometimes the app crashes on pages that contain a lot of written notes.

There is also an iPhone version of the application. And if you are thinking about converting your entire Evernote archive to OneNote, my colleague Frank pointed us to a conversion tool. Although you might want to wait with that until the 2.0 version of the OneNote app is released…

 

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