Speeding-up Microsoft Office 2016 startup times

Wednesday May 18, 2016

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Word, Excel versions 2016 et al taking a long time to start? Some people report startup times of 60 seconds, even on Macs with solid-state storage!

Try the following, which rebuilds the dyld cache. Please don’t contact me saying this doesn’t do anything. It’s true that it shouldn’t help on a technical level but somehow it does appear to help those using Microsoft Office 2016 and who have long startup times for those apps. Go figure.

  1. Open a Terminal window, which you’ll find in the Utilities folder of the Applications list in Finder.
  2. Type the following two commands, one after the other, giving each time to finish. Note that you’ll be prompted for your login password. This is fine.
    sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -debug
    sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -force
  3. Reboot your Mac.


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Giving the iPad two fingers when using an external keyboard

Thursday May 12, 2016

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As is fashionable in blogging circles I’ve been investigating the reality of using my iPad Air 2 as a full-time workstation (although I still use my MacBook Pro in the office). It’s going well but key to the operation is an external Bluetooth keyboard – and also this following tip.

It’s been known for a while that if you bunch two fingers together while using the iPad’s on-screen keyboard, and slide them around, then you’ll turn the text cursor into a semi-mouse cursor, allowing you to move it around freely. The keyboard lettering will disappear to create a trackpad area.

Well, when an external keyboard is connected (or attached), you can use the two-finger trick anywhere on-screen to move the cursor around. Give it a try. You don’t have to limit your fingering scope to where the keyboard usually is.

Update: As reader Mayson points out below in the comments, this trick works even if you’re using the on-screen keyboard. I erred in thinking that the two-finger trick only worked if you started the movement within the on-screen keyboard area (and I’m sure this was indeed the case in earlier iOS releases). Arguably, however, this trick is less useful when the on-screen keyboard is visible because there simply isn’t enough space. The cursor seemingly randomly scrolls the text, and switches into highlight/word definition mode.

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Weird bug brings circular folders on your home screen

Wednesday April 27, 2016

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We don’t know how this one works but if you follow the steps below and use a particular wallpaper image, the folders on the iOS home screen become circular. No jailbreak required. Nothing required, in fact, apart from a particular wallpaper image.

Here are the steps. We’ll speculate about how it works after.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, visit this site (Chinese language) and scroll down to the wallpaper images, which are shown as colored blocks. Choose a color you like, then tap and hold it, and choose to save it.
  2. Open the Settings app, then the Wallpaper heading, and then Choose A New Wallpaper. Choose the image you saved in the step above.
  3. Choose Still rather than Perspective view, and after tapping Set, choose to apply it only to the Home screen.

And that’s it. Any folders on your home screen will now appear be circular.

So, what’s going on? The images are extremely simple 3×3 pixel PNG files, with 8-bit color depth. They’re graduated in slightly different shades from lightest at the top to darker at the bottom. Somehow this confuses iOS’ rendering system into fully curving the edges of the ordinarily rounded-square folders. Maybe it’s something to do with the translucent effect applied to the folder? We just don’t know!

We’re sure this is safe because what’s being used is just a very simple image file. As soon as you switch to any other wallpaper image the ordinary folders will return.

[Via videosdebarraquito]

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China now second biggest revenue generator for iOS apps

Tuesday April 26, 2016

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App analytics outfit App Annie is reporting that China has leapfrogged Japan to become the second biggest revenue generator for iOS apps. The number one spot is occupied by the US.

Last year App Annie reported that China was the biggest downloader of iOS apps, overtaking even the US in this regard.

Unsurprisingly, China’s revenue growth in iOS apps has been driven mostly by games but the growth of 2.2x year over year has taken App Annie by surprise.

Furthermore, the report says:

If China’s iOS game revenue continues to grow at these rates, it is set to pass the US in the coming quarters. However, the US still maintains a sizable 30% lead on China for total iOS App Store revenue due to the growth in monetization of non-gaming apps in the country. While the US experienced a stronger growth rate year over year in Q1 2016 than in Q1 2015, China is growing at an even faster rate.

Apple has made no secret that it’s spending significant resources investing in China in order to take advantage of the country’s growing middle classes. However, China has recently closed Apple’s iBooks and iTunes Movie stores in the country.

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