iPad 3 Custom Lock Screen With Contact Info – How-to (also works for iPhone)

If you happen to lose your beloved iPad or iPhone, wouldn’t it be nice to rely upon the chance that the goodness of people will prevail in returning it to your hands?

Naive? Perhaps. Nonetheless, it’s worth a shot. Pondering this today, I decided to create my own custom lock screen with my basic contact info overlaid on top of the image.

Here’s how:

  1. Using an image editor (I used Photoshop), create a new file at a resolution of 2048 x 1536px for the iPad 3 (new iPad). iPhone 4 / 4S would be 960 x 640px. iPad 1 / 2 would be 1024 x 768px.
  2. Plan to design your contact info to fit with the consideration of the top menu and lock area. (roughly 230px from the top and 192px from the bottom)
  3. Add new layers with your contact info (link them so you can move them around together)
  4. Save as a layered file (PSD or TIFF in Photoshop) so you can repeat the process with other backgrounds.
  5. Save as a jpg or PNG

A couple of issues with this method – obviously you’ll have to consider that the contact info will be oriented to either landscape or portrait. There are apps out there that overlay the text from an app but I found them to be less than ideal and unsupportive of retina displays at this point. So if your info is oriented to the side on an image such as below, it’ll get cut off when you turn it to portrait. However, you can also simply put your info more centered as in the second example.

Here’s mine:

This method isn’t perfect, but it really only takes a few minutes once you get a template set up. For now I feel slightly more at ease knowing that there’s a better chance my iPad will get returned to me should I misplace it. If you have other ideas or another method please do share!

 

Back in Manila in a new role

Phew – it’s been a while huh?

A tremendous amount has happened since my last update, with the most important change being the start of a new role at work. I’ve now taken on the position as IT Coordinator for the HS and program leader for the computer dept. It’s a highly demanding role, but a challenge I welcome and was ready for. I’ll continue with technology integration but in correlation with the coordination. I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath in 2 1/2 weeks and am often working late into the evening, hence the lack of blogging.

We were in the States all summer, mainly on a beautiful lake in Tennessee, but also a couple of weeks near Clearwater Beach, Florida. All in all it was a wonderful summer spent relaxing with family and taking time to enjoy a digital diet. Each time I return it feels harder to leave, but I also feel quite content with the expat lifestyle overseas.

We’re back in Manila in our new house in Makati (heart of downtown Manila). It’s great to have so much space and a quiet office of my own, but I miss the amenities of condo living. I’m sure once we’re more settled it’ll grow on us.

On a spur of the moment decision days before leaving the States I sold my primary Mac – my 17″ MacBook Pro. I had a really tough time deciding what to do about a new computer. The new MacBook Airs are incredibly fast for their size and I was contemplating picking up the 11″ Air and using the 27″ Thunderbolt display at home. In the end I decided that in order to best get back into my love of photography, the power and size of the 27″ iMac is the way to go. I ordered the BTO top of the line: 3.4 Ghz, 12GB RAM (8GB from Crucial that I’ll install myself), 256 GB SSD + 2TB internal drive, and 2 GB GPU. It should be a beast that will last me many years. I’ll likely supplement the iMac with a 2012 Ivy Bridge MacBook Air in a year or so for the best in power and portability. (we already have a Macbook / iPad / iPhone, etc that can get me by for a while)

Unfortunately, the Philippines built-to-order Macs take quite a long time to be delivered. I’ve been told it could be up to 6 weeks. Ugh. So in the meantime I am quite limited in my photo editing capability.

Overall, I’m quite happy with how things are progressing with life in Manila. Love the job, like the house we’re in, the coworkers are fantastic, and surprisingly I’m enjoying Manila more the longer I live here. There are many things I miss about Indonesia (we’ll be back in October for 10 days), but for the next couple of years (at minimum) we’ll remain happily in the Philippines.

Kindle vs iPad for reading outdoors

These photos clearly demonstrate why an iPad (or iPhone or any glossy screen device) is less ideal for reading outdoors than a Kindle (or other similar device). I don’t yet have a Kindle – this was borrowed from a friend. But as my e-book collection grows, I find myself really wishing for the Kindle under these circumstances. Much of my reading for pleasure is done after work, near the pool and I simply can’t get by with the iPad’s reflections. I also found the light weight of the Kindle to be far superior for single hand-holding similar to a paperback book.

The images below were taken with the iPad’s brightness turned all the way to maximum.

This isn’t meant as an iPad vs Kindle in terms of which to choose – I choose both. But for reading outdoors, there’s simply no doubt that the Kindle is more ideal. I think I’ll pick one up this summer.

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17 inch MacBook Pro vs iPad

This is a direct comparison of the screen size and resolution of an 11″ MacBook Air to a 17″ MacBook Pro. The following images demonstrate the same webpage in Safari, the same photo and palettes in Adobe Lightroom, and the gloss and glare of the Air and Pro side by side. Don’t put too much into this comparison, as it’s just a quick and dirty photo shoot with poor lighting.

The resolution differences:

11″ MacBook Air: 1366 by 768

17″ MacBook Pro: 1920 by 1200

And the pixel per inch differences:

11″ MacBook Air: 135ppi

17″ MacBook Pro: 132ppi

The 11″ MacBook Air has a higher pixel density than any other MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac or iPad. I still don’t get why they need to make the bezel so large on the Air, unlike the iPad, no one’s going to be holding their Air by the screen. The 17″ bezel is nearly half the size.

In terms of my very subjective, brief and unmeasured opinion, the Air was a pleasure to use. The launch times for applications such as Lightroom, Word, iMovie, and Garageband were nearly identical to my 17″. However, I have swapped my 17″ stock drive with a hybrid Seagate Momentus SSD/HDD, so it likely launches much quicker than a stock 17″ 500GB HDD. Additionally, I have installed 8GB of OWC RAM which never hurts.

I don’t think the 11″ Air could be my primary computer, even when connected to an external monitor. I’ve become used to 8GB of RAM and am not a fan of USB 2.0. However, it would make a fantastic road warrior, and as long as you are prepared to pack an external drive (which I do anyway), I think it’d be a great supplement to something like an iMac. I personally would prefer an 11″ MacBook Air to an iPad (which we have) if I had to make a choice, as I love having a full blown computer at that level of portability. But to each their own.

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Screen resolution comparison

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Screen resolution comparison

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Glossy screen comparison

 

Steve Jobs says Apple board grants him medical leave of absence

Steve Jobs says Apple board grants him medical leave of absence

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:

Team,

At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.

Steve

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