Five Tip Friday ~ tweaking iPhone sound, personalised Siri, Low Power mode

EQ1/ EQ your music — iOS devices offer equalisation, using the same presets as iTunes for Mac. These are settings that let you cut or boost individual volumes from the bass end through the mids to treble. On your iPhone/iPad, open Settings, scroll down for Music, Music and you’ll see EQ. One of the most common uses is to increase bass, since many earbuds are wimpy at the low end, although some headphones (ie, Beats) are actually a bit heavy in low frequencies for some.
If you apply equalisation to specific songs or albums using iTunes, that overrides any global setting you’ve chosen  on your iOS device (or in iTunes for Mac). Try out different settings and see how they sound, as you may notice distortion with some presets. Also note that turning on EQ can affect battery life, as the iPhone has to do some additional processing.

2/ Sound check compensates for the differences in volumes between tracks — If you listen to music in shuffle mode or in a playlist you’ve cobbled together, you will have noticed some songs are louder than others. You raise the volume when a soft song comes on, only to be assaulted when the next song’s volume is much higher. In iOS, you can activate Sound Check in Settings>Music to automatically compensate for these differences.
Check the box to activate Sound Check. iTunes automatically analyses your music when you add it to your library to determine how much adjustment to make. Sound Check isn’t perfect, but it can really help. It adjusts the volume based on the overall level of each track, so a track with a lot of soft music followed by a loud crescendo may end up being too loud, and vice versa.

3/ Volume Limit — This is how you stop your earbuds/headphones reaching too high a maximum. Adults have been known to turn this on got their kids’ devices to protect their ears – actually, I have turned this on for myself.

4/ Teach Siri to only recognise your voice — Siri, the digital personal assistant on iPads and iPhones, has been spruced up in iOS 9 to provide more detailed and relevant answers, and has a few new features. The Hey Siri hands-free feature that debuted in iOS 8 has been improved so that it can do a better job of recognising your voice – of course it’s listening to everyone within earshot all the time.
Go to Settings>General>Siri and make sure Siri is turned on.
Tap the Allow ‘Hey Siri button (it turns green).
Siri asks you to say Hey Siri three different times, then say ‘Hey Siri, how’s the weather today?’ and finally, ‘Hey Siri, it’s me.’
After you’ve done this, tap the Done button.
This works with an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus even when they’re not connected to a charger thanks to the M9 motion coprocessor handling the onerous task of listening to you all the time– on previous models, the iPhone has to be connected to a charger to preface a question with Hey, Siri and the personal assistant gets to work.

5/ Manually enable Low Power Mode to maximise your iDevice’s battery life — iOS 9 does a great deal to automatically improve efficiency and extend battery life. You are now automatically prompted to turn on Low Battery Mode once your iPhone reaches 20%, and again at 10%. But if you know you have a long day ahead of you, you can manually enable iOS 9’s Low Power Mode at any point to maximise your iPhone’s uptime. Open the Settings app in iOS 9, then choose the new Battery parent menu. From here a toggle switch for Low Power Mode can be turned on.
Once enabled, Low Power Mode changes the battery indicator in the top right corner to yellow, reminding you your device is running in a more efficient state. Low Power Mode enables the Battery Percentage display in the upper right corner by default, and this cannot be turned off.
Apple’s new Low Power Mode reduces power consumption by turning off mail fetch, background app refres, and automatic downloads. In addition, some visual effects are reduced or disabled to squeeze more out of the device’s battery. Low Power Mode is also said to affect networking capabilities to boost uptime.
Benchmark tests of iOS 9 have found that Low Power Mode drops the processing power on an iDevice’s chip by about 40%. The result is a slower – but longer-lasting – experience.

Procreate for iPhone free, Lightning earbuds, Kindle page flip

ProcreateApple gives away iPhone drawing app ‘Procreate Pocket’ through Apple Store app — Apple selected popular iPhone drawing app Procreate Pocket as its latest paid app giveaway on Wednesday, making the former App Store Editors Choice and App Store Best of 2015 title available for free from the Apple Store app for iOS. Available for a limited time through the official Apple Store app for iOS, Procreate Pocket is a stripped down version of iPad app Procreate. A longtime favorite of digital artists, Procreate on iPad was one of the first third-party titles to build in support for Apple Pencil when the stylus launched alongside iPad Pro last year.

New photos show possible Lightning-equipped EarPods for Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ — A pair of photos published on Wednesday show what are claimed to be Lightning-ready versions of the EarPods bundled with iPhones, presumably intended for Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ and ‘iPhone 7 Plus.’

Kindle Page Flip Comes to iPad and iPhone — Version 5.0 of Amazon’s Kindle App for iPad and iPhone adds Page Flip, a new and natural way to navigate through books without losing your place. If you’ve ever been frustrated having to flip to see a map or something on another page, Page Flip solves that problem. Just tap in the middle of your screen to activate Page Flip and skim around until you find what you want. When you’re finished looking, tap again and Page Flip will offer to return you to your original spot. Page Flip remembers the locations you have flipped to, allowing for easy bouncing around. The updated Kindle App is available for free in the App Store.
ParcelsTrainspotterEdition[In other words, it acts a bit more more like the far superior Apple iBooks app. I have – as a principle in CreativeTech Publishing – two books in the Kindle store, both converted from our iBooks creations: the Trainspotter edition of Parcels From Home, and Four Immeasurable States. To see our books in iBooks, just type ‘creativetech’ into the search bar of the Store (Mac) or Featured (iOS) section of the iBooks app. Free chapter samples are available on both platforms.]

WWDC high points, games sale, US politics and Apple


Dr Mac’s high points from Apple’s WWDC — Apple held its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last week in San Francisco. It may well be the greatest show on earth for Apple fans, at least since the demise of Macworld Expo (officially on hiatus, but we all know what that means). Over the course of this year’s two-hour keynote, Apple previewed major updates to all four of its platforms: iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. Here are Bob LeVitus’ high points

Ten games — Many modern Mac gaming classics can be had for just a couple bucks apiece, and even new games have significant markdowns. Macworld has gone through the lists and picked out 10 great deals for 10 totally great games from the Steam Summer Sale, ensuring you get awesome experiences without breaking the bank. In fact, all but two of these games are less than $10 apiece, and the pricier games still see huge discounts from the standard prices.

Republican Nancy Pelosi expresses disappointment; Clinton and Warren weigh in — Engaging in a bit of political posturing this week, US House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi offered a – surprisingly condescending – takedown of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican candidates. Hillary Clinton’s tech platform backs Apple’s positions on encryption, privacy, innovation, patents, education, but Warren, also a Democrat [and a very worthy one, too], criticises Apple’s retail dominance.