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Opening a Folder from the Dock

Sick of the dock on Mac OS X Leopard not being able to open folders with a simple click, like sanity demands and like it used to be in Tiger? You can, of course click it, and then click again on Open in Finder, but that's twice as many clicks as it used to be. (And while you're at it, Control-click the folder, and choose both Display as Folder and View Content as List from the contextual menu. Once you have the content displaying as a list, there's an Open command right there, but that requires Control-clicking and choosing a menu item.) The closest you can get to opening a docked folder with a single click is Command-click, which opens its enclosing folder. However, if you instead put a file from the docked folder in the Dock, and Command-click that file, you'll see the folder you want. Of course, if you forget to press Command when clicking, you'll open the file, which may be even more annoying.

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Work Around a Broken iPhone Button with AssistiveTouch

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My brother-in-law came over the other night because the Sleep/Wake button on his iPhone 4S was jammed. There wasn’t much I could do other than help him set up a Genius Bar appointment, but he had already discovered a little-known feature that let him put his iPhone to sleep manually, rather than waiting for Auto-Lock to kick in: AssistiveTouch.

AssistiveTouch lets you access system functions that may be difficult if you have some sort of physical impairment, like arthritis, a hurt or missing finger, or, in this case, a broken button. To enable AssistiveTouch, open the Settings app, navigate to General > Accessibility, and then scroll down and tap AssistiveTouch. When you turn AssistiveTouch on, a white dot appears on your screen, and you can move it around the edges of the screen as you wish. The dot remains visible from then on, and you can continue to move it around, should it obscure something else you need to see.


Tap the dot, and you’re presented with a popover menu that lets you activate Siri, press the Home button, and access other device buttons. Tap Device, and another popover appears with buttons that enable you to lock the screen, adjust volume and mute sounds, rotate the screen, access the multitasking bar, take a screenshot, virtually shake the phone, and make multi-finger gestures.


The Favorites button in the main popover lets you simulate gestures. The included example is Pinch, which you can use to zoom in on Web pages and maps without actually pinching the screen. You can add other gestures by tapping the white AssistiveTouch dot, then Favorites, and then one of the empty buttons with a plus in the middle. Once there, draw the gesture you want and tap Save when you’re finished. Give the gesture a name, and you can then access it at any time from the Favorites menu. You can also make and delete custom gestures in Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch.


Apple has long been dedicated to accessibility, but those who don’t need such features just to interact with their Macs or iOS devices often don’t even realize they exist. And that’s a shame, since many people who don’t regularly rely on accessibility features could use them on occasion. So do yourself a favor and scan through iOS’s Accessibility options, and see if any might be useful to you.

 

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Comments about Work Around a Broken iPhone Button with AssistiveTouch
(Comments are closed.)

robertbingalls  2013-07-31 15:37
Super-handy, thanks! My lock button has been broken for months and has led to pocket dials and all manner of tomfoolery.