OS X: launcher for iOS Simulator and bypassing Xcode

iOS Simulator Launcher - Simulator AppOn OS X, the best way to almost natively test apps or websites is by using the so called “iOS Simulator” (now named simply “Simulator”) which is available as part of the installed Xcode Development Tools. Even though it requires a development suite installed, the tool itself is not only relevant for developers but also for testing or previewing e.g. mobile optimized websites or do a Screen Recording in iOS!

By default, after having Xcode installed on your Mac, the Simulator.app must be started via

Xcode.app > Xcode > Open Developer Tool > Simulator

This way to start it is cumbersome and takes a lot of time.
iOS Simulator Launcher 01 - Xcode default launch

But good news: the iOS Simulator is delivered as a standalone app actually – hidden inside the Xcode.app Package Contents!

So to bypass Xcode for starting the Simulator, I wrote a simple Automator application which directly launches the Simulator.app!
You can download it here or – by following these steps – create it yourself.
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Google Search – powerful search features beyond your usual searches

Google Search - Information Network
Yes I admit, I use Google Search a lot – it’s my default and preferred search engine on most of my devices and computers. I do regularly use DuckDuckGo Search – but often, especially when phrasing more unspecific searches – Google just gives better results (meaning, sometimes I search something and Google shows me with the FIRST result what I was looking for, whereas DuckDuckGo seems NOT to understand what I was searching for at all 🙂 ).

What I appreciate most about Google Search is just how extensive it is in providing accurate information to queries, where I am only looking for a certain specific information, rather than various result pages to websites. In this post I’m showing you some of my favourites – some of which I use almost daily.

Currency converter

Using a simple search query in Google, you can convert any amount in one currency to another, whereas Google takes the current/today’s exchange rate:
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Did you know that the Reminders App in OS X has intelligent text interpretation? (example inside)

Apple’s very own Reminders.app, available on OS X, iOS and iCloud, comes with a very neat yet helpful feature: intelligent interpretation of a new reminder/to-do text!

What does this mean?
Look at below examples: when you type a new reminder and include date & time in the text, the Reminders App will automatically recognize this as the due date of the new reminder and update the entry accordingly. This is not only much simpler and faster than setting due dates manually, but also more natural.

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Using Twitter? Enable your free personal Twitter statistics!

Twitter Analytics LogoJust recently I found out about the awesome Twitter Statistics that you can activate for your Tweets. With this feature, Twitter gives you great insights about the reach and interactions of every single Tweet you publish – and of course sums it all up in a nice Dashboard. And the best: it comes at no costs!

Here are the 2 simple steps how you can turn on the Twitter Analytics on your account:

  1. Go to the Twitter Analytics homepage at https://analytics.twitter.com/
  2. Login with your Twitter account
  3. Done, Twitter Analytics are now activated for your Twitter account!

How can I verify, that Twitter Analytics is working?

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Safari OS X: Fix Facebook web login buttons not working anymore

Facebook Web Login Button broken - Icon
Since some time I noticed an issue with Safari 8 on OS X 10.10 Yosemite and Facebook Single-Sign-On Login Buttons on websites not working anymore. Basically on all sites which are providing the possibility to log in using your Facebook account, such as airbnb.com or pinterest.com and many others, I wasn’t able to log in anymore…

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Google Pretty Earth: Random Image Link Generator (HTML)


Returns only existing, direct links to static Google’s Earth View (Pretty Earth) images.