Wednesday, June 30, 2010

iPhone Tip: Use Disposable Email Addresses

Whenever you sign up for a new service, they usually ask for your email address. This is usually a problem if you hate getting spam. One solutions is to use disposable email addresses. Gmail has one way to do this using the + sign at the end (e.g. if your email is john@gmail.com, any mail sent to john+junk@gmail.com will be sent to you as well), however this has a few problems. The first problem being that someone can easily figure out your real email address, by removing everything after the plus sign. The second problem is that many websites don't let you use the plus sign in your email address.

This is where Yahoo mail comes in. You will need a premium account, however if you are an AT&T customer (as most iPhone owners are in the US), you can get one for free.

  1. Go to get.att.net and sign up for an @att.net account.
  2. Login at att.net
  3. Click on mail on the left.
  4. Once you're at the mail interface, on the top right, select Options > More Options...
  5. Select Disposable email address on the left and follow the instructions there.

How to Export Tagged Songs from Shazam

I have over 700 songs tagged in Shazam, the scary thing is that this information is only stored on my phone (I rarely backup my phone). That means if anything happens to my phone, the data is gone. In fact, I've already lost my Shazam tags twice: once when I upgraded Shazam and it would crash when opening it; and another time when my phone got bricked. Storing this much information in Shazam is a bad idea. As I've said before, I like cloud services. Had this data been stored in the cloud I wouldn't have this problem. Unfortunately, Shazam doesn't provide that option. The only way to export data in Shazam is the "share" link. Tapping the "share" link and sending an email 700 times didn't sound too appealing... so I tried finding a way to export all the data with minimal effort. If you follow these steps, you will get the data as text (artist, title, version, and date/time) for each of your tagged songs.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

iPad Tip: Quickly reconnect to Wi-Fi via lock/unlock

For some reason I always lose my Wi-Fi connection every 30 minutes to an hour, it's probably a router issue I have. What's more annoying is that sometimes it takes up to a minute until my iPad reconnects to my Wi-Fi (even though it could have actually reconnected immediately after the signal was lost). The way I used to solve this problem is to exit out of whatever app I'm running, go to Settings, tap Wi-Fi, and then manually press on the name of my router to force it to connect immediately. Unfortunately even with this method it takes around 10 seconds to connect, not to mention that it requires you to quit your current app.

I found that by far the quickest way to reconnect to Wi-Fi after you lost your signal is to simply lock the iPad, and then press the lock button again to see the "slide to unlock" screen. On the top left where it shows the Wi-Fi signal, you should see it reconnect within a second or two. Now you can unlock the screen and you'll have your connection back, all without ever leaving your app!