From The Tips Box: Buying Apps, Firefox Speed, Cheap Subscription Services

From The Tips Box: Buying Apps, Firefox Speed, Cheap Subscription Services

Readers offer their best tips for checking to see if you’ve bought an iOS app, speeding up Firefox, and getting Xbox Live at a discount.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Email it to tips at

Check for Purchased iOS Apps by Writing a Review

Tyler lets us know how to check if you’ve purchased an app before on iTunes:

Have you ever deleted an iOS app and attempted to redownload, only to find out it was a different version (and you got charged for it)? I just discovered an easy way to check to make sure you own it:

Try to write a review for it. If you haven’t purhased it, you won’t be able to. If you are, you can redownload the app for free.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can check if you’ve bought an app by adding it to your wish list, too.


Speed Up Firefox by Removing Languages

Khai > shares yet another tip for speeding up Firefox:

Want to give Firefox a speed boost? Go to Tools > Options > Content > Choose Languages. You should find English and US English (this seems to be the default). Remove one. (I removed US English). Away you go!

It seems the more languages FF has installed, the slower it is at processing pages.


Google for Family Packs Before Subscribing to Services

Dethzilla shares a money-saving tip for subscription services:

Xbox live Family Packs, AKA…you and four friends on the cheap.

Microsoft offers a family fun pack. A friend and I decided to go in together on one with our sons. It basically works like this:

1. Pick someone to be a primary. Take other accounts/recover accounts on that person’s Xbox.

2. Have that person purchase the Xbox Live Family pack. That person will get credit for all the time he has left on his account (roughly $US5 a month).

3. Once that person signs up they’ll be able to add members. It will walk you through how to do this. It’s pretty easy.

4. The best part about it is you get an additional month added to your account for every two months you have left…and they round up. So if you have 2 months left for 1 person, you now have 1 month for four people.

Once set-up is complete then you can recover the other accounts at their home Xbox’s.

That’s it. With the time we had left, plus the original discount, we ended up with 21 months of Xbox live for 4 people for $US80. When we renew, it’s only $US24.25 per person or roughly $US2.025 per month. Pretty good deal.

I didn’t even know these existed, and probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought if I had. This tip could probably be applied to a lot of things; when you’re signing up for a subscription you know a lot of your friends use too, try Googling to see if there’s a family pack available for that particular thing. You could probably get a hefty discount.


How to Charge a Fickle Flip Camera Battery Pack

Photo by Phil Roeder.

Ivan shows us how to charge a Flip battery pack that refuses to cooperate:

Two weeks ago I bought my own Flip Ultra HD camera to do some video marketing with.

Unfortunately it conked on a first attempt to use it.

In a nutshell, the Flip seemed fine, but the battery just wouldn’t charge.

Which in itself is not a big deal considering the hilarity of the session I had with the tech support.

It all started when the battery symbol got jammed on empty, even after charging overnight.

I tried charging it again, but eventually that screen was replaced with a “Check battery pack-Charging paused” message.

Today I decided to unleash the fury and tinker with it myself.

And so after gefutzing with it for 45 min (and numerous consults with YouTube, Google and Cletus-the-Slack-Jawed-Yokel’s finest moonshine), I was able to get the persistent “Check battery pack-Charging paused” message off the screen.

Procedure 1:

  1. Take out the battery from your Flip Ultra HD
  2. Plug the Flip into the USB
  3. Once the “connected” indicator comes on, stick the battery back into the Flip
  4. Choose the safe remove hardware option on your PC (or the Mac equivalent)
  5. Once safe to remove, pull the Flip out of the USB port
  6. Plug it back in – it should charge without a hitch now.
  7. If the battery won’t charge, give it 5 minutes before trying the second procedure.

He lists two other procedures at his blog for those that didn’t get any change after the above procedure. Procedure one did the trick for me; after a week of the camera being essentially broken, I got everything to work just with a bit of clever battery play.

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