Trending February 2024 # How To Turn Spotlight Into A Better Application Launcher # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Searchlight is a jailbreak tweak that allows you to improve Spotlight in a few basic ways: it allows you to access the Spotlight search interface from anywhere, even while within an app, and it allows you to bolt on recent and favorite apps to the interface as well. If you’re used to using application launchers on your desktop machine, then Searchlight might be a jailbreak tweak that fits nicely into your workflow.

After installing Searchlight, you’ll need to head to the stock Settings app and find its preference panel. There you’ll find a set of well-designed preferences for the tweak. First, you’ll need to add an Activator gesture by means of the Activator Methods panel. I generally settle on a double tap on the status bar, but any gesture that you’re comfortable with should do.

After establishing an Activator gesture, you can customize Searchlight’s appearance and behavior. These settings allow you to change up the look of the Spotlight header and switch from a default Adaptive Light view to light, Dark, or a Blur view.  Personally, I recommend sticking with the default setting, since having a header that looks difference from the rest of the Spotlight window looks a bit peculiar.

Now would be a good time to mention that with any change you make to the tweak preferences (sans the Activator gesture setting) you’ll need to venture to the root of the preferences and tap the Save/Refresh button to enact the changes. This, fortunately, doesn’t require a respring, but you won’t see any of your changes until you do this.

The real important part of Searchlight are the next three sections: Recent, Favorites, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Application List. Each of these can be placed in the desired order using the row reorder buttons to the right of each section, and each section can be selectively enabled or disabled by dragging it to the “Include” or “Do Not Include” section of the tweak’s preferences.

Recents allow you to establish a custom header name and choose between 1, 3, or 5 recent apps to display in Spotlight. These recents show up as soon as you invoke Spotlight, so they’re right at your fingertips.

Favorites works similarly, but you can selectively designate which apps that you’d like to include as favorites. You can then arrange each of your favorites in the desired order.

Lastly, there’s Application List. The Application List is a verbose dump of all applications on your device. It even includes hidden applications like FieldTest, that have no useful bearing on a normal user’s day-to-day experience. These hidden apps also lack app icons, which makes their inclusion look messy and unkept. Granted, you can blacklist the apps that you wish to omit, but I find that it’s just better to use favorites instead.

The great thing about Searchlight is that the core Spotlight functionality remains, and this tweak really does nothing to change how Spotlight functions. The only difference is that now instead of viewing a blank page when Spotlight is initially loaded, you’re presented with your favorite apps and recent apps. This makes Spotlight better for using as an application launcher, not to mention that it’s now accessible from anywhere, even while within another app, courtesy of the Activator integration.

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How To Turn A Leftover Candy Cane Into A Sound Machine

In 2007, electrical engineer Jay Silver discovered how to turn anything into a musical instrument. While tinkering with an electronic-organ kit, he accidentally spilled lentils on the kit’s circuit, which produces musical notes. “As I was trying to dry it out,” he says, “I noticed the noise was changing.” He realized that touching the device shifted the sound.

The next day, Silver took the circuit to the summer camp where he taught and showed the campers how it worked. When it came in contact with conductive objects, they acted as extensions of the device: Users could touch the object to create different sounds, like pressing the keys on a keyboard. Silver’s campers tested it out, making music with everything from apples to bicycles. Later, a co-worker suggested that Silver hook up the circuit to a pencil, since electricity can pass through its graphite core. The result was Drawdio, a pencil that plays “music” when you draw.

Silver published instructions for Drawdio online, and he loves when people use his idea to create something new. With that in mind, Popular Science built a caroling candy cane—and so can you.

This article was originally published in the December 2024 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Make Sweet Holiday Music.”

WARNING: Don’t get milk—or any other liquids—on the circuit or battery. Stats

Time: 2 hours

Cost: $55

Difficulty: Medium


Utility knife

Wire stripper

Soldering iron



We purchased these materials from Jameco Electronics, Home Depot, and a local grocery store.


1. Cut your perfboard

Using a utility knife, cut your perfboard into a rectangle with five rows of 23 holes. Label the rows A-E (top to bottom), and the columns 1-23 (left to right).

2. Add the timer

Insert the TLC-555CP timer with the upper left corner at A16 and lower right corner at D19. Bend the timer’s legs out underneath the perfboard to keep it in place.

3. Add resistors, capacitors, and amplifier

Stick the resistors, capacitors, and 2N3906 amplifier in the perfboard as follows. You can put a foam block beneath the board to hold the pins.

4. Add jumper wires

Use a red jumper wire to connect A12 to D15, a black jumper wire to connect A15 to E19, and a red jumper wire to connect A13 to A20. (NOTE: In this photo and the ones after, the 10KΩ resistor is shown in the wrong spot. It should be one column over to the left, at A21 to B21.)

6. Solder

7. Test your circuit

8. Attach circuit to candy cane

Use double-sided tape to attach the perfboard and battery clip to the candy cane. If you plan to reuse the circuit, just wind electrical tape around the unit to hold it in place.

9. Complete the candy cane

Coil the short green lead up the hook of the candy cane and the long green lead down the candy cane’s body. Wrap a band of aluminum foil around each lead and tape closed.

10. Make music!

How To Turn Excel Into A Powerful Marketing Reporting Tool

This is a sponsored post written by Supermetrics. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Every day marketers spend hours creating reports in Excel. Not only is the task extremely tedious, but the chances of mistakes are also high, especially if you’re doing a ton of month-end or year-end analytical reports.

Yet, Excel is still a great tool for reports because everyone knows how to use it, and you can easily share the reports with every member of your team and your stakeholders.

So, the question becomes: is there an easier way to leverage Excel for your reports, but make the process more streamlined?

Let’s first, however, dive into whether you still should be using Excel for your reporting needs.

Is Excel Still Good for Marketing Reporting?

While Excel wasn’t necessarily built with marketers in mind, everyone uses it – especially in larger companies. Microsoft Office is one of the most commonly used products within an office setting, so it’s often the go-to reporting suite for in-house marketers.

And, yes, it does have its drawbacks, but those can be overcome. Plus, many companies still frown on cloud-based products due to security concerns. Therefore, Excel winds up being everyone’s go-to product.

So, What Are the Challenges?

As a marketer, you often need to prepare reports on a regular basis, be it ad hoc reporting or full monthly reports. The data collection phase takes a great deal of time. And, this data has to be imported into a single system.

The problem is this: campaigns are run on multiple platforms by different companies and channels. Pulling all of this data into a single source can be problematic.

For example, if you are obtaining reports from Google Ads, you can just download that, but you also want to compare that campaign with a similar one that you’re running on, say, Facebook or Bing to determine how well your Google efforts are matching up against the rest.

Now, you have to manually type in all that data into Excel – which is a slow, tedious process and is fraught with the potential for mistakes from fat fingers.

So, we have an additional challenge on our hands: you need to get the extra data from all these sources as quickly as possible. Excel doesn’t make this easy to do.

Add to this the issue that you might want to look at a particular time span or compare user segments. In this scenario, you have to download the individual information, pull it into a single tab, and then create functions to compare all the various sources. This takes a lot of time.

Yet, what if you need to do all of this within a limited time frame because you have a big meeting at the last minute? It could be near impossible to do. And, when you try to do things quickly, you increase the chances of mistakes.

Most people believe that they don’t have any other choices except this. Or, they might be talked into an expensive data collection and analysis system.

However, most marketers don’t have the budget – or can’t get permission to buy it.

So, what are your options if you want to speed up the data collection and analysis process?

How to Create a Marketing Report in Excel with Supermetrics

We at Supermetrics completely understand the pain of marketers who have to manually pull data from a number of different sources, which is counter-productive, error-prone and probably the most boring part of their job.

This is why we have developed an Excel add-in which allows to effortlessly create reports with metrics from all the major marketing platforms.

After you have downloaded and opened the add-in, you will see the sidebar on the right.

With the help of the intuitive sidebar UI, you can pull the data you want from any major marketing platform and turn the data into exactly the form you need in seconds. No VBA or coding knowledge is required.

After the metrics are pulled and the reports are created, you can automate the data refresh and email the reports by setting up triggers.

Additionally, you can get the data while you’re online and then edit the report offline. No need to store the data online. If you work in a bigger company with strict security policies, this is a huge plus.

Here is what Duane Brown, CEO of Take Some Risk Inc., is saying about Supermetrics for Excel:

“Supermetrics for Excel made reporting and analysis of marketing campaigns a breeze! It saves us a huge amount of time, allows us to easily get all of our marketing data in one place, and provides our clients with the transparency and insights they really appreciate.”

Try It for Free & Start Saving Time Today!

It all boils down to one question:

Would you want to use hours of your time manually pulling data into Excel, or would you rather spend that time on more valuable tasks like extracting insights and optimizing campaigns?

If your choice is the latter, try Supermetrics for Excel for free today!

Automate all your reporting. Work smarter, not harder.

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How To Turn A Website Into A Web App On Mac Running Macos Sonoma

macOS Sonoma has a new feature that lets you turn any website into a Mac app. All you need to do is add the website to your Mac’s Dock, and it turns automatically into a web app. In this tutorial, we’ll tell you everything about web apps on Mac and show you how to get an app-like experience with your favorite websites.

Note: Currently, macOS Sonoma is in the developer beta stage. We have an easy tutorial showing you how to install it on a different partition of your Mac.

If you don’t want to get macOS Sonoma, you can add a website shortcut (not a web app) to your Mac’s Dock running an older version of macOS.

About web apps on iPhone and Mac

If you recall, progressive web apps (PWA) have existed on iPhones for many years now. To install it on your iPhone, all you need to do is visit that website in Safari, tap the share button, and add it to your Home Screen. After that, when you tap the website icon on your iPhone Home Screen, it opens as a web app, and you can see it as an app tile in the App Switcher.

However, if the website owner/developer has not designed it to work as a web app, tapping its icon on iPhone Home Screen will simply open that site in Safari.

In other words, web apps on iPhone and iPad need the website’s developer support.

But this is better and more streamlined on Mac running macOS Sonoma. Here, you can turn any website into a web app, even if it doesn’t natively support being a web app.

For example, if you add iDownloadBlog’s website to your iPhone Home Screen and tap it, it will open in Safari because we don’t natively have web app support (as we already have an iOS app). However, you can easily turn iDownloadBlog into a web app on your Mac, as it requires no support from the site developer.

How to add a website as a web app on your Mac

1) Open Safari and visit the website you want to turn into a web app.

This website is now added as a web app to your Mac, and you will find its app icon (website icon/favicon) in your Mac’s Dock and the Launchpad.

Note: From now, when you visit a website in Safari whose web app exists, you will see a banner on the top giving you the choice to open the web page in the web app.

Using a web app on your Mac

2) You can browse this website as you normally do. The back and forward buttons allow you to navigate between pages. You can also use the standard two-finger left and right swipes on the trackpad to go to the next and previous page.

Opening internal links in web apps

Suppose you turn iDownloadBlog into a web app on your Mac running macOS Sonoma:

Opening external links in web apps Change the icon, name, and other settings of a web app

1) Open the web app on your Mac running macOS Sonoma.

3) You can change the Application Name and the web app Icon.

4) If you uncheck “Show navigation controls,” it will remove the back, forward, and browser icons from the top of the web app window.

5) Unchecking “Show color in title bar” will stop using the website’s color scheme in the top title bar of the web app window.

6) And finally, you can go to the Privacy section to clear this web app’s website data and manage its permissions related to microphone, camera, location, etc.

Related: How to change and customize app icons on Mac

Advantages of using web apps on Mac

1) Web apps are an easier way to have quick links for your favorite or most visited websites in your Dock and Launchpad.

3) Turning a website into an app gives you better window management without affecting all existing open websites of your browser. For example, you can easily resize the web app window, put it into split screen, or move it to your other connected display. And this won’t affect other websites you have open in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.

4) Web apps can send notifications and access privacy features like microphone, location, camera, etc., as a native app. You can manage them in Mac’s System Settings as you do for other apps. By the way, the same website can also do all these inside Safari or Chrome.

A few things you may not like while using web apps on Mac

1) Auto-opening of external links in the default web browser and not inside that web app window can get annoying.

2) In Safari and other web browsers, you can see the full URL when you place the cursor over an in-page link. But web apps lack this handy feature.

4) Having even a few web app icons on your Dock can make it crowded.

Finder folder where web apps are saved

Though macOS Sonoma web apps appear in your Mac’s Dock and Launchpad, you won’t find them in the usual Applications folder (/Applications/). So, here’s how to see the folder where your web apps are saved:

1) Open Finder.

3) Enter ~/Applications/ and hit the return key to see all your web apps in one spot.

Delete a web app from your Mac

You can go to the ~/Applications/ folder and delete the web app from there. Additionally, the usual methods to uninstall standard macOS apps also work to delete web apps. For example, you can go to Launchpad, hold the Option key, and hit the X icon to delete a web app.

Does removing a web app from the Dock uninstall it?

No. If you don’t want a web app icon to take up space on your Mac’s Dock, you can drag it out to remove it. Doing so will not uninstall the web app, and you continue to see it in the Launchpad and the ~/Applications/ folder.

Other new tips:

Turn Your Xbox Console Into A Working Linux Pc Using This Guide

Turn your Xbox console into a home PC with this guide Turn your Xbox One into a PC with just a few steps




If you want to see how you can turn your Xbox One intro PC, this article is perfect for you.

See if you have the required items and you can start following the steps provided below right away.



Try Outbyte Driver Updater to resolve driver issues entirely:

This software will simplify the process by both searching and updating your drivers to prevent various malfunctions and enhance your PC stability. Check all your drivers now in 3 easy steps:

Download Outbyte Driver Updater.

Launch it on your PC to find all the problematic drivers.

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readers this month.

If you’ve ever wondered if you can turn your Xbox into a PC, you came to the right place.

Because the Xbox console has the same hardware specifications as some older computer desktops, you will be able to convert it to a fully functioning PC. Unfortunately, you will not be able to install Windows on your console, but you can use the Linux operating system.

In this article you will find out what items you’re going to need in order to make this happen, and also the steps you need to follow to accomplish this.

Note: Please read through the instructions carefully before starting this process to make sure that you are able to manage all the steps required.

In the case that you’re not secure enough on your skills to achieve this, it is recommended that you don’t try it, as a mistake may result in making your Xbox console unusable.

How can you turn Xbox One into a PC? 1. Required items

Xbox console

Lexar JumpDrive Secure 128 and 256 MB or Kingston Data Traveler 32 and 256 MB

USB cable adapter

A Linux OS

Mechassault Xbox game

2. Get a bootable Linux image on your USB stick

Attach your USB memory device to your console by using the USB cable adapter.

Turn on your Xbox console (This will reformat your USB device in order to be recognized by the Xbox, and will display the device inside your dashboard).

Download MechInstaller.

Flash the FatX image (compatible Xbox format) to your USB stick by connecting it with your PC.

Transfer the Mechassault image to your USB device by dragging and dropping it inside of it.

3. Copy FatX image to your Xbox 4. Run the copied image to start Linux

Insert the game copy of Mechassault.

Navigate inside the Xbox dashboard hard-drive and select the Emergency Linux file copied earlier.

If all of the steps above were performed correctly, then your Xbox will restart and the TV will show a black screen with white letters. (that means Linux is booting)

Navigate to the address and log in with root as username and Xbox as a password.

After logging in, type the following command xbox_tool-a to display the hard disk key (make a note of this key as it might be useful in the future).

Download a copy of Linux and burn it onto a DVD-R.

Place the DVD-R in your Xbox to boot from it.

Type su to login as the administrator and use xbox as a password.

type XBOXLinuxInstaller and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.


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Pagare Smartstraps Turn Pebble Time Into Payment Machines

Pagare smartstraps turn Pebble Time into payment machines

Despite the now ubiquitous Android Wear smartwatches and Apple Watch timepieces, Pebble still has a strong and loyal following, thanks to its simplicity, battery life, and being so far one of the few truly cross-platform smartwatches in the market. Simplicity, however, sometimes has a price to pay, like in the form of features that are also becoming more prevalent on more mainstream smartwatches. Like contactless mobile payment systems. Pagare, however, has found a way around that, to deliver the same convenience as Android Pay or Apple Pay on Pebble Time, without having to swap out smartwatches.

Before there was Apple Watch or Android Wear, there was Pebble. While more recent smartwatches lavished sophisticated, touch-driven features on their faces, Pebble had an enticing counter-proposition: a battery-saving e-paper display controlled by physical buttons. It was simplicity at its finest, a trait that allowed it be compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices, something very few smartwatches, not even Samsung’s Gear line, can boast about.

Pebble, however, eventually ran into the problem of any simple product: scalability. In March last year, it revealed its solution: smartstraps. Instead of burdening the Pebble smartwatch itself with new hardware, those could be offloaded to the strap, allowing the simple smartwatch’s functionality to be expanded without bloating it up. Later in November, Fit Pay announced the Pagare strap that does exactly that, adding the convenience of mobile payments to the Pebble Time family.

Pagare does a few unique things you won’t find in most mobile payment incarnations in smartwatches. For one, it is mostly independent of a smartphone. After the payment cards have been set up, you can pay with your Pebble any time anywhere, even if you left the phone at home. Juggling through cards is done with the Pebble’s buttons. The smartphone app is only used to manage the cards themselves, not for actually making a payment.

One other unique feature is the strap itself, that works both for security and power. The secure element chip is located underneath the watch while a flexible PCB runs through the length of the strap. When the PCB makes a complete circuit by connecting the ends of the strap together, Pagare will activate and then ask for a PIN code to authenticate the user. In other words, it can only be used if worn on the user’s wrist and after validating the PIN code. The strap also doubles as a charger for the Pebble itself, as one of the strap ends is actually a USB plug.

Sounds good? Of course there are a few gotchas. For one, Pagare is only compatible with the newer Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round, as these are the only ones supporting the smartstrap feature. But most importantly, it’s still on a Kickstarer campaign phase, though they are nearing half of their $120,000 goal. Certification with payment systems, however, is still in the process. If all goes well, it will ship in July and, if the certification pushes through, can be used in dozens of establishments, like McDonald’s, Macy’s, Toys’R’Us, Staples, and more.

SOURCE: Kickstarter

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