How-To Geek

From the Tips Box: Comics on the iPad, Android’s Power Bar, and Limiting Spotlight Search on the iPad

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Once a week we dump out our tips box and share some of the great reader submitted tips with you. This week we’re looking at reading comic strips on the iPad, quick access via the Android Power Bar, and limiting the spotlight search on the iPad.

Read Comic Strips on the iPad


Zeno writes in with the following tip:

I find myself using my iPad largely for recreation, reading the news, and other lounging around activities. Since I no longer have a newspaper subscription I don’t get the daily or Sunday comics. Rather than give up on them altogether, I found a great iPad app, Comimix, which specializes in daily strips. It’s great! It pulls in strips from like a hundred different artists. The selection is way better than anything I could have expected from my local paper.

Well we know what we’re going to kill an hour with now; thanks for sharing Zeno!

Skip 3rd Party Widgets and Use Android Power Bar


Gregory writes in with his ah-hah Android moment:

So… I feel pretty silly about this but I’m going to suffer through sharing my blunder so other people don’t have to feel silly too. When I got my Android phone I spent way too much time trying to find widgets to access system functions (turning the Wi-Fi on and off, toggling the Bluetooth, etc.) I was unhappy with a lot of them because they seemed too complicated and/or too memory hogging for such a simple function. Then my friend pointed out the built-in Android Power Bar widget that does everything I wanted in some simple widget. Just thought I’d pass that along on the probable chance that there are other new Android users out there that are totally oblivious to this great multi-tool widget. The moral of the story is: check the widget menu before you go searching for new widgets!

If it makes you feel any better Gregory, once upon a distant new-to-Android time a few of us might have made the same mistake. Live and learn!

Restrict the Spotlight Search on the iPad


Kenna writes in with her iPad search discovery:

I have a ton of apps on my iPad and frequently use Spotlight search to find them. It might be irrational but the scope of the Spotlight search irritates me! I don’t like it searching through all my emails and other iPad content. I discovered you can limit the search to select categories by going to Settings, General, Spotlight Search. There you can uncheck all sorts of things (like contacts, applications, podcasts, mail, etc.). If you only want it to search applications, like me, you can uncheck everything but Apps and be happy!

Thanks for sharing Kenna! While many people are likely happy with the wide reach of the Spotlight search we can see a variety of reasons you might want to uncheck sub-categories. You can, for example, lock individual applications on a jailbroken iPad (like your email or notes) but the Spotlight search will still search inside them. This is a nice workaround for that.

Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at and share the wealth.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/17/11

Comments (6)

  1. brodiemac

    Funny, I found the stock Android power widget to be lacking. I Powerful Switchman. It lets me customize the power bar and add a few things too. I added a battery meter and a toggle swtich to kill idle apps and free up the memory associated.

  2. dima

    I would like to point out that Android Power Bar doesn’t have an option to toggle 3G on/off. For that I use a little widget called Data Enabler. These two are a must for any android user if you want to save your battery life. Also Power Schedule is a nice app that lets you schedule your phone to go into Ariplane mode at predetermined time (like at night)

  3. sakisds

    If anyone is using Cyanogen, you can customize the power widget to your liking. Mine has Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data, Sync, 2G/3G and Screen brightness but you can add Wireless Tethering, Lockscreen, Screen timeout and more.

  4. anybodysguess

    Hey I got a android tablet. I used the stock widget but being a tablet it only has.
    1 WIFI
    2 Brightness
    and the two arrows in a circle. I don’t know what the two arrows in a circle do can anyone tell me?

  5. Kennymatic

    @anybodysguess – that is the account sync toggle – sets whether your Google accounts (and corporate accounts I think) will be active in the background or not, I’m still not sure why you would actually want to disable that one service if you’re thinking of saving power.

  6. Thomas

    @Kennymatic – The account(s) sync can automatically start an Internet connection to pull data if needed. This toggle prevents an automatic Internet connection in theory. In reality, there are a lot more software packages trying to access data at any given moment which makes this toggle nearly useless in my opinion.

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