Securely Backup Your Digital World With SOS Online Backup [Deals]

Cult of Mac Deals wasn’t just going to let World Backup Day pass you by without offering you a great deal on a service that makes backing up easy. With SOS Online Backup you can backup 100 GB of your files for three years – and you can do it in a secure online backup application so you can share, access, and maintain all of your important files right in one place. This award winning automatic backup web application that will have you covered on up to five PCs, Macs, Android devices, iPhones, and iPads.

With this deal you can free up 100GB of space on your gadgets for just $29. That’s a savings of 88%!

Here are just some of the features included in SOS Online Backup:

Access your cloud anywhere, anytime. Every past version of every file is kept – but we only count the latest version towards your cap! Files are kept forever (even accidentally deleted ones) – so you can always recover before you have a problem. Optional UltraSafe protection makes data accessible only to the account-owner. Smart file selection wizard automatically figures out which files on your computer need to be backed up. You can share files with friends & family directly from your cloud.

Online connection is needed and you can perform complete and secure online backup and recovery for files on any PC or Mac. To view all of the other important reminders and specifications surrounding this offer, visit our Deals page.

While PC Magazine has made SOS Online Backup its Editors’ Choice for 4 years straight, the praise doesn’t stop there:

“SOS Online Backup may be the very best way to protect your precious personal data, storing secure versions offsite. Now it’s faster than the competition, and Facebook backup and good iPhone and Android apps are worthy plusses.” – Michael Muchmore, Lead Software Analyst PC Magazine

SOS gives me peace of mind. With my family’s data backed up automatically offsite, I never have to think about backup. And I never worry about losing precious files.” – A. Sharpe

Don’t be an April Fool — SOS Online Backup will give you peace of mind without taking a huge piece out of your pocketbook. Pick it up for just $29 and celebrate World Backup Day right!


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Securely Backup Your Digital World With SOS Online Backup [Deals]

Mastering iMessages On Your iPhone [Feature]

iMessages have taken the iOS world by storm, offering multi-device messaging services that go across the internet, rather than the SMS systems of your cell phone provider. For those who pay per SMS message, this is great news, and for the rest of us it’s still, well, great news.

Here are five ways to get the most out of Messages and iMessage on your iPhone, as well as other iOS and Mac devices.

Manage Multiple Devices

Let’s be honest, the fact that you can conduct iMessage conversations across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac is pretty freakin’ cool.

Let’s also be clear, sometimes this very same feature is a pain in the butt. Getting iMessages on all three of my Apple devices in the same room can be a bit daunting, especially when I’m trying to concentrate on, say, writing an iOS Tip for the next day.

What’s a busy, popular, connected person to do? Manage those devices and their iMessage settings a bit better, that’s what.

On each device you want to use iMessage on, tap into the Settings app, then tap on Messages. Scroll down to Send & Receive, and tap through to that screen. You’ll see your Apple ID at the top, and then a section titled, “You can be reached by iMessage at:” with one or more phone numbers or email addresses there.

Let’s say you want to get iMessages on all devices you own. This is easy. Make sure that every iOS and OS X device you use has all of the phone numbers and addresses you’ve entered into iMessage checked off in these preferences. That way, each device will get every iMessage sent to your iPhone, your iPad, or your Mac.

To get trickier, you could only enable *one* phone number or email address per device. For example, I could only allow iMessages to my phone number to show up on my iPhone, by unchecking all the email addresses in the iMessage Settings page there. Then I could only check one of my associated email addresses on my iPad, and then a second one on my Mac. That way, I’d still be using iMessage, logged with my Apple ID, but messages would only go to and from the specific device I was currently using.

The great thing? You can mix and match these strategies. If you don’t want to get iMessages on your Mac for a bit, uncheck all the email addresses and phone numbers. Say you don’t want anyone reaching you at your email address via iMessage on your iPhone? Simply uncheck it there, but leave it enabled on your iPad and Mac. The permutations are up to you.

Send Batches Of Photos To Your Friends

Here’s another one of those tips that should be blindingly obvious, but isn’t. At least, it wasn’t to me, at first.

If you try to send a photo via iMessage (or text message), you’re limited to one photo at a time. Go ahead and give it a shot. I’ll wait. No, really–give it a shot.

See? From the Messages app on your iPhone, you only have the option to take a photo or choose an existing one. What if you want to send more than one photo at a time, though?

Instead of launching the Messages app, launch Photos. Open your Camera Roll with a tap, and then find the “funny arrow swoop thing” at the top right. Tap it and your iOS device will let you tap on more than one photo at a time. It will place a little red circle with a white checkmark in it in the bottom right corner of each photo you tap. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to send along, tap on the Share button (lower left).

You’ll then have the option to send all the selected photos via Message (and Email and Twitter, too). Tap Message, and the app will appear, with all the selected photos in the text box. You’ll be able to send it to anyone as per usual, just fill in the name or phone number in the To: field and hit Send. Your buddy will get all the photos you selected. Neat!

Keep Your iMessages Private

Has this happened to you? You’re out and about with friends, and a text message (or iMessage) hits your iPhone. Being a serious iPhone user and Tweeter, of course, you’ve left your iPhone out on the tabletop. Unfortunately, the text message that shows up on your screen isn’t very flattering to the friend sitting immediately to your left. She sees it, gets upset, storms off. Nobody wins.

With a quick trip to Settings, however, you can prevent this tale of tears and keep your iMessages for your eyes only.

Hop onto your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) and launch the Settings app with a tap. Tap on Notifications, and then scroll down to the Show Preview toggle. Tap this OFF.

Now, when a message shows up, it will just show who it’s from, not what they said. Which, you know, could be handy. If you don’t even want to see that much, toggle the View in Lock Screen to OFF as well, and they won’t pop up in the lock screen. However, if you’re using your device, and have the banners and notification sounds ON, you’ll still get them. Just not in the Lock Screen.

This should help you avoid a lot of potentially embarrassing situations created by the ubiquity of communications that we’re all starting to take for granted. Or at least keep your private messages to yourself.

Send iMessages As A Regular Text Message

Not too long ago, there were a couple of iMessage service outages. When that happened, I (and many other folks, I bet) wasn’t able to send out my iMessages. The little red exclamation point would show up, mockingly, and I waited for the service to go back online to send them again.

Luckily, there is a way to easily turn that iMessage into a regular SMS text message, thereby avoiding any service outages from Apple. Here’s how to do just that.

When you get a stalled text message, you’ll usually see a Sending progress bar across the top. When that Sending bar is active, tap and hold on your blue iMessage. When you do, a pop up menu will appear, with two options: Copy, and Send as Text Message. The second option will attempt to send the iMessage as regular old SMS, via your cell data plan, just like it does when texting a friend without an iOS device.

When iOS text-to-speech is enabled, you’ll have to tap the right-facing arrow to get this same popup option.

So, if you have iOS 6 and up, you can force your iPhone to send those iMessages along, just with the normal SMS system that comes with your data plan. It will, of course, use up a message credit, so if you have a low cap, be sure to be aware of this.

Via: OS X Daily

Ditch The Multiple Alerts Per iMessage

One of the wacky things you may notice if you’ve just gotten a new iPhone is the default double alert whenever you get a text message, whether iMessage or SMS. Why Apple has this as the default, I’m not sure, but it kept freaking me out before I figured out how to turn it off.

However, I’m willing to see that you might want the double alert, or more (shudder), and there’s a simple way to make that happen, as well.

First, launch your Settings app, and tap on Notifications. Tap on Messages, then scroll down to where it says, Repeat Alert. Tap there to open the preference pane.

Here, you can tap on Never, Once, Twice, 3 Times, 5 Times, or 10 Times. Note that if you tap on Once, you’ll get the original alert for the text message, and then one Repeat alert. If you tap on Twice, you’ll get the original alert, and then two repeat alerts. And so on.

Personally, I leave this set to Never, since I always think the repeated alert is another text message coming in and it adds to my technology loop stress. However, if you need to be reminded more than once, have at it!

Via: OS X Daily

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Mastering iMessages On Your iPhone [Feature]

How to Compete Against Google: Build On Android


Facebook invited the media to “Come See Our New Home On Android” on April 4.

The most likely prediction for Facebook’s project, code-named “Buffy,” is that it’s a modified, Facebook-centric version of Android on an HTC handset with a promise of other handsets — some insiders call it an “application layer.”

The dark horse contender is a Facebook-branded phone.

That’s great, right? Facebook has now friended Google and will join the growing family of Android-loving companies. Uh, right?

Wrong. Facebook is joining the club of Google’s enemies who are using Android to take business away from Google.

Facebook has only one truly serious competitor and rival: Google. 

Facebook has only one end-user product, which is its social network. Google+ is the only rival capable of replacing Facebook as the world’s biggest social network (it’s already more than half the size of Facebook and growing faster than Facebook ever did).

Facebook has only one significant source of revenue: Advertising. They compete mainly against Google for advertising dollars on both the desktop and in the all-important and growing mobile ad market.

Facebook has only one goal in order to succeed as a business — keep eyeballs on Facebook and away from the real Internet, which is dominated by Google, including Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and, increasingly, Google+.

So if Google is Enemy #1, why is Facebook “supporting” Google’s Android platform?

The answer is: They’re not supporting it. They’re exploiting it because it’s the most powerful way to beat Google.

How Building On Android Can Take Business From Google

Testifying under oath last year in a lawsuit with Oracle over some patent nonsense, Google CEO Larry Page made it clear that Android is valuable to Google only to the extent that it enables Google to get “pre-existing Google services to mobile users” as The Verge put it. Google bought Android and cultivated the Android platform because, in Page’s words, “We’d been frustrated getting our technology out to people.”

There, in a nutshell, is the key to hurting Google by building on Android: You exploit Google’s effort and genius and investment and branding of Android, but “frustrate” Google’s efforts to get Google technology “out to people.”

That’s the test, by the way, to tell if an Android-using platform is supporting or exploiting Android: Are they giving their users easy access to Google’s technology? Or are they instead pointing users at products and services that compete directly against Google’s technology.

Amazon Showed the Way

The first big, bold move into the exploitation of Android was made by Amazon, when it launched the Kindle Fire line of tablets.

While Google develops Android in order to get Google technology out to people — technology like Google Search, Google Maps, Google Chrome and music, movies and books on the Google Play store — Amazon built a custom user interface to instead direct people to technology that competes with Google’s.

Instead of Google Search, the Kindle Fire points to Microsoft Bing. (The Fire launched with Google Search as the default, but switched to Bing late last year.)

Instead of Google Maps, Amazon is actively cultivating an alternative Nokia-powered Kindle Maps ecosystem, complete with an Amazon Maps API for developers.

Instead of Chrome, Amazon created its own browser called Silk.

Instead of content downloads on the Google Play store, it directs users to Amazon’s music, movies and book downloads.

Google put in the work, the vision, the money and cultivated the developer and user communities. Amazon gets the benefit of all that Google effort. And Google gets nothing.

In fact, Google gets less than nothing.

Using Android in this way is far more damaging to Google than using another non-Android operating system for two reasons. First, it helps fork Android. And second, it converts the Android fans that Google has created and incentivizes them to become non-users of Google services.

People tend to think of Apple as Google’s main competitor in mobile. The reality is that the use of Google’s technology is orders of magnitudes higher even on a per-person basis on iPhones and iPads than on Amazon’s Android devices.

Google makes a fortune on iPhones and iPads and next to nothing on Amazon’s Android tablets.

Now Facebook Follows the Amazon Model

Nobody outside Facebook’s circle of trust knows exactly what Facebook will announce. But I know one thing: Its purpose will be to move eyeballs and mindshare from Google services to Facebook.

And as Facebook has learned from Amazon, the best way to hit Google hard is to use Android to convert Android fans into non-users of Google’s most important technologies.


(Concept image courtesy of designer Michal Bonikowski.)

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How to Compete Against Google: Build On Android

Fun Game: Step into the High Heels of Merlin the Magician’s Heroic Descendant

Every week Mac Games and More ( features a casual, relaxed Mac game for you to get into over the weekend. This week, save a distant family member, Merlin the Magician and his lover, Viviana, from an evil entity whose identity is unknown…for now. Download it and try the free demo now

Time Mysteries – The Final Enigma Collector’s Edition (adventure/hidden object) – After the Easter egg hunt today, settle down to play a hidden objects adventure game as a relative of Merlin the Magician. You’re tasked at time traveling while saving Merlin and a sorceress, Viviana from a terrible fate. Explore a mystical land filled with ghosts, magic, puzzles and helpful village people. Download it now

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Enhance Your Mac With 9 Top Mac Apps: The Mac Variety Bundle 3.0 [Deals]

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Fun Game: Step into the High Heels of Merlin the Magician’s Heroic Descendant