Archives For Brett Barner

When the iPad was first introduced, it was touted as being a great way to receive content. Whether this was from a news source, educational app, game or just from the plain old internet. The iPad has since developed into something both for content consumption and content creation. Yet the main thrust of the iPad is still there: plopping on the couch and surfing the web.

So with a device who’s main goal is browsing online, one’s web browser is a key to the overall experience. While Safari certainly remains a viable option, there have been others to join the marketplace of iPad browser apps (Atomic, Dolphin, Opera mini and Mercury just to name a few).

One glaring omission in the mobile iOS browser space has been Mozilla. To date, their only submission into the iOS app store has been an iPhone tab syncing app. Yet they’ve had Firefox for Android for quite awhile now. Continue Reading…


Those who were looking for a major overhaul on Apple’s latest mobile operating system were left dissappointed on Monday when iOS 6 looked an aweful lot like the same. Granted there are some really nice changes in Apple’s 1st beta, and I’m sure we’ll see even more changes before it officially kicks off into the big dance of public release. But really there was nothing of major change like when iOS 5 brought a new notification function. Multitasking is still its awkward and screen real estate wasting self. No widgets. No Palm-esk card switching. Design-wise, they didn’t do any major overhauls but for a few apps.

But iOS 6 isn’t about major redesign. It was about Siri, Maps and connections. But iOS 6 does have a lot of little changes – little tweaks here and there with the goal of making it an overall better experience.

You already know about the majors things, and maybe you’re already goofing around with iOS 6 yourself. I just wanted to share some of the little things I noticed with iOS 6: Continue Reading…


Apple kicks off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference this year on Monday. The rumors wheels are churning and there’s speculation in the air. What’s going to be announced? What’s going to be revealed? As always, it’ll be a time of interest and disappointment. Some rumors will be right, some will be oh so wrong, and some reveals will come out of nowhere. Most definitely iOS 6 will be revealed, but what will that all entail?

Will there be Facebook integration? Will the iPhone have a larger screen and an uglier back plate? Will Apple dump Google in their maps? Siri on the iPad? New Macs? The release of Mountain Lion?

So if Tim Cook sat down with you for lunch and asked what you’d like to see from Apple on Monday, what would you recommend?

Better Siri? More iCloud integration? Or maybe a totally new Apple product like a waffle maker, the iWaffle?

Let’s discuss!


This may be more of a PSA than an actual tips article, but sometimes we get so ingrained in our own system of doing things, we forget that there are better ways out there.

1. Remember that Spotlight Exists

Remember that extra dark screen when you swipe beyond the left of the home screen? Yeah, that’s Spotlight. Because iOS is so app focused, it is easy to forget not to jump to that particular app to start your search. For example, when I’m looking for a contact, I unlock the phone, then run to the contacts or phone app, then search. However, I often forget that I can just go to the Spotlight page and search. The great thing about Spotlight is that it searches more than just contacts; which brings me to…

2. Configure Spotlight for Optimal Search

To get to the configuration screen for Spotlight, go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search. From there, you can begin your customization. From this screen, you can see what all Spotlight searches when you start typing. By default, every option is enabled, but you can make things more efficient by disabling those you don’t use like Voice Memos, Audiobooks, or Podcasts. You can also move the selections around to organize how the results will list. Continue Reading…


Back when the iPhone 4S came out, my iPhone 4 quickly looked sad and old. Despite looking virtually the same on the outside, I knew that the iPhone 4S had some killer insides, an even better camera, and one little software difference that got everyone in a tizzy:


There’s been arguments that Siri is more of a marketing ploy than a productivity tool, but I had a case of Siri envy regardless. So what’s an iPhone 4 owner to do?

Enter Evi. Continue Reading…


It’s that time of year again. Time to finally pull the weeds, wash the windows, sweep out those Fall leaves from the garage, and start ticking items off that Spring Cleaning to-do list.

After you’ve done a full day’s worth of productivity, and you plop yourself on the couch, why not take 15 minutes and do some Spring cleaning on your iPhone or iPad?

Here are some tips:

1. Get rid of apps you don’t use

If I can’t recall the last time I used a particular app (especially the free ones), I delete it (yes, I’m looking at you, Draw Something). Winter is over. Those apps you downloaded to make yourself feel better about being stuck inside and the sun setting at 5pm are done and over. It’s time to freshen things up again. Press and hold the icons until they wiggle and hit that nice, big “X”. If only dead leaves were this easy to get rid of.

2. Organize apps based on usage

I have three pages on my iPhone. Of course the bottom bar gets my top 4 apps, but the 1st page or homescreen is for most used (Calendar, Weather, Flipboard, Tweetbot, etc.) or quick access apps (Like Soundhound or my Ukulele chord app; which I may not use all the time, but when I do use it, I need it ASAP). The 2nd page gets secondary apps like games, fitness, finance, Starbucks, etc. And finally, my 3rd page gets entertainment and heavy productivity apps. Ones I don’t mind scrolling to get to.

I have also categorized my apps into folders. For me, here’s how my apps were best categorized:

  • Photography (eg. Istagram, Camera+, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.)
  • Utilities ( eg. YouVersion Bible, Soundhound, Clock, Calculator, etc.)
  • Games – Long playing games(eg. NBA Jam, Sword & Sworcery, Tetris, etc.)
  • Casual Games (Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, Words with Friends, etc.)
  • Shopping and Finance (eg. Mint, Localscope, Chipotle, GasBuddy, etc.)
  • Misc Other Apps – Apps I hardly use or can’t delete (eg. AirPort Utility, Voice Memos, Game Center, Cards, etc.)

3. Clear Safari Internet History

Sometimes it helps Safari performance to clear out all that history, cookies and data. You’ll have to reenter your login credentials on some sites, but the break you’ll give Safari will be worth it. Just go under Settings > Safari > Clear History & Clear Cookies and Data.

4. Make sure iOS is up to date

This used to be more difficult to check, but since iOS 5, you can now check and install updates directly from your phone. On Tuesday, Apple released an update to iOS (5.1.1) for some bug fixes and to address security vulnerabilities in Safari. You can still install from iTunes, but to check for updates on your iPhone simple go to Settings > General > Software Update.

What about you?

How do you Spring clean your iPhone and keep things fresh?


I absolutely love Sparrow for Mac as an email client. It’s usability and versatility is more useful to me than the default email app on OS X. So when I heard Sparrow was bringing their app to the iPhone, I signed up to be updated the minute it was available. When that day finally came, I raced to the App Store to download. But then I stopped dead in my tracks. My finger hovered of the $2.99 download button as I read the dreadful news:

Apple had put the kibosh on Sparrow’s ability to push email notifications through the app.

It was only released with, *gasp*, manual refresh.

Continue Reading…