1/ Make calls straight from Reminders — Apple’s Reminders app can come in handy on your iPhone, particularly since it’s very easy to create them using Siri. To make a call from Reminders, create a reminder like ‘Call Jo Public at 8am’. Make sure it starts with “call” and that you have the person in your Contacts already.
When you have it set up, it’ll pop up at the right time to remind you. When you see it on your lock screen, put your finger over it and swipe left, and the option to call directly appears if the reminder includes a contact with a phone number even in the lock screen. Now you can save steps when you’re using Reminders to set up phone calls.
2/ Switch between day and list view — If you tap on a date in Calendar on your iPhone, you’ll get an expanded view of your daily appointments. Scroll up and down to see which hours are free and which are booked, with each event color-coded depending on the calendar it’s assigned to.
In the day view, you’ll find the list button (it looks like a tiny bulleted list, shown above) in the top-right corner of the screen, to the left of the Search field. Tap it, and your upcoming events are arranged in one big, scrollable list (left).
(There’s no list button in the iPad version Calendar—you just have the monthly view, which boasts details for each day’s events.)
3/ See your entire week on your iPhone — The iPad version of the Calendar app has four clearly marked views to choose from: Day, Week, Month, and Year. On an iPhone, the Day, Month and Year views are (relatively) easy to find, but what about the Week view?
Just tilt your iPhone into landscape orientation and your week will twirl into view, no matter which calendar view you were checking.
4/ See event details from the month view — The standard month view in Calendars for iPhone offers a blank, rather unhelpful grid of dates — tap one, and you jump to the expanded daily view. To see the whole month again, you’ll have to tap the Back button. But the Details button, which sits unobtrusively next to the Search button in the top corner of the screen, shows a list of events for the selected date, with the rest of the month still visible. Tap another day of the month, and you’ll see the events for that day. You can even switch months by swiping up and down.
5/ Drag and drop calendar events — The most obvious way to change the time of an event in Calendar is to tap it and edit its “start” and “end” times, but there’s actually a much easier way.
Just tap and hold an event until it pulses, then drag it anywhere you like in your calendar. You can also grab one of the little handles above or below an event to pad it out or cut it short.
Astropad turns your iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac — Heaven for a hardcore graphic artist or photo editor is a Wacom Cintiq, one of those fancy input devices that builds in a display and includes a pen stylus for drawing, painting, or retouching photos [a new model, btw, is due in NZ soon]. They’re amazing, but they’re pricey and not the most mobile. Astro-HQ wants is making software that transforms an iPad into a Mac graphics tablet. Founders Giovanni Donelli and Matt Ronge are former Apple engineers.
Makeovr Web app lets iPhone users create blank spaces on home screen — If you’ve ever found yourself despairing over Apple’s insistence that home screen icons be lined up neatly in rows, but can’t — or won’t — turn to jailbreak tweaks, a relatively new Web app called Makeovr has come to your rescue.
ViewExif is a handy iOS extension for viewing photo Exif data — It installs as a standalone app, but ViewExif is actually an iOS extension that allows you to view the Exif information of the photos on your iPhone. This Exif information is stored with each photo and contains a range of photo and camera settings including ISO speed, exposure time, aperture, location information, camera make and model, lens make and model and more.
Inbox by Gmail heads to the iPad, bringing yet another Google app to Apple tablets —Google’s new email app is designed to surface the most important messages and better organise the rest.
Microsoft Office integrates more cloud storage services, starting with iCloud and Box — Microsoft is continuing its open approach to cloud storage by hooking more third-party services into Office. The integration is only available in Office for iOS today, but Microsoft is working on bringing the expanded cloud storage support to its Android- and Windows-based Office apps. And Macworld offers seven time-saving Office for iOS tips.
Apple Watch was supposed to be a Health Tracker, not a Fitness Tracker —Apple’s original plans for its Apple Watch were apparently far more ambitious than the final product, due to ship in April. Instead of the fitness tracker with iPhone-linked communication features, Apple had planned on giving consumers a device that tracked overall health, but had to scale back its designs because many sensors failed to perform as expected. Meanwhile, Apple is helping developers polish Apple Watch apps.
iOS 8 added new options for fine tuning your Mail, Contacts and Calendars.
1/ New Mail options — In the Mail app, tap ‘Mailboxes ‘ at top left to go ‘back’. In the Mailboxes view, you see an Edit button at top right. Touch that, and you’ll see the two new options: Thread Notification” and Today.
Today shows all messages you’ve received today (as long as they’re still in your inbox).
Thread Notifications includes emails from conversations you’ve asked to be notified about. If you toggle the checkbox next to those options on and then touch Done, they will appear in your main Mailboxes view.
Note that those lines along the right-hand side, in Edit mode, let you rearrange the order they’ll appear in.
2/ Apple’s Mail app on the iPhone and iPad includes a couple handy gestures — These let you flag messages, mark them as read, or toss them in the trash by dragging across an email in the message list. iOS 8 lets you edit your options:
To change the left and right swipe gestures in iOS 8’s Mail app, tap Settings, then choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Now tap Swipe Options: you can set the left- and right-swipe options from here, so Mark as Read and Flag are attached to the gesture you prefer. You can disable either from appearing, but you can’t change where the Trash and More options show up.
Changing Mail’s swipe settings can be useful depending on if you’re right or left-handed, how you hold your iPhone, or if you find you use one option more than the other. If you flag a lot of messages, for example, it might be easier to avoid accidentally deleting an email you’d rather not lose.
3/ Your latest contacts — When you double-click the Home button on an iDevice, you get the App Switcher/quitter as before (drag the smaller app windows upwards to properly ‘quit’ them). But iOS 8 added your latest contacts along the top for instant call-backs, messages etc – when you tap someone’s avatar in the top region, you’re given a variety of ways to make a connection with them.
But here’s the real tip: you can change what contacts are listed. Visit Settings, choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll down and touch Show In App Switcher for two options you can turn on or off: Phone Favourites and Recents.
4/ Fine tune your event alerts — While you’re in Mail, Contacts, Calendars, tap on Sync under the Calendars section. Here you can tap on the duration of time you’d like your iPhone or iPad to sync events for.
5/ Set default alert times for calendar events on iPhone and iPad — Alert times are when your calendar alerts you that you have an upcoming event or appointment. You can easily change the setting for when your Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad will alert you of an event.
Again in Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars, tap on Default Alert Times under the Calendars section. Here you can choose the default alert times you’d like. You can even set different default alert times for birthdays, timed events, and all day events.
Baking iBooks into iOS 8 has led to 1 million new users for Apple every week — Apple’s iBookstore has averaged a million new customers every week since iOS 8 launched last fall, benefitting from the inclusion of iBooks as a built-in app.
Three men cut through wall into Beijing warehouse, make off with $300,000 worth of iPhones — Police in Beijing have arrested three men accused of stealing 240 iPhone 6 units from a warehouse owned by a Chinese logistics firm after digging a 20-inch hole through the building’s wall.
Developers behind Overcast and Monument Valley release iOS sales figures — First up, the podcast app Overcast from noted developer Marco Arment, and the popular iOS game Monument Valley. Their sales figures are beyond astonishing.
Rise and shine with Gentle Wake Alarm Clock — Gentle Wake Alarm Clock is one of the most recent of these, and possibly one of the most advanced. The app is NZ$1.29 and is universally available on devices with iOS 6.0 or later. It is optimised for iPhone 5.
Spyglass is a full-featured nav app for outdoor enthusiasts — Spyglass (NZ $4.99, currently on sale) is a really complete GPS toolkit for people spending time outdoors or doing off-road navigation. Features are numerous; among them a heads-up display, a high quality compass with map overlays, a gyrocompass, speedometer, altimeter, astronomical object finder, a sextant, inclinometer, angular calculator and more.
It’s been a while, since I have been travelling, so here’s a double dose to help make up for it.
1/ iCloud Drive — iCloud has been vastly improved in Yosemite, turning it more into a Dropbox and Google Drive competitor. iCloud Drive is in the Finder, and it works in a very straightforward way: drag a file into iCloud Drive and it’ll be available on other iOS devices, as well as via the web. Make changes to a Pages document on your iPad and it’ll be there when you get back to your Mac.
You get 5GB of free storage, but for NZ$1.29 per month you can bump that up to a decent 20GB. For NZ$4.99 monthly you’ll get 200GB, and 500GB will set you back NZ$12.99 a month, and for NZ$24.99 a month, 1TB. (To buy more, which I never do, preferring to manage my storage, open System Preferences, select iCloud and click Manage Storage.) This Apple Insider post takes you into more detail on iCloud Drive across all devices.
2/ Turn Dashboard back on — By default, Dashboard, the area widgets where used to sit, is turned off in Yosemite. But it’s easy to turn it back on. Open System Preferences, then Mission Control and flick Dashboard to ‘on’.
3/ Get Enhanced Dictation — Apple still hasn’t built Siri into OS X, but the Dictation tool is handy for taking down quick notes with your voice. In Yosemite, not all the Dictation features come pre-installed; you have to download them. It’s simple enough, though – open System Preferences, click the Dictation tab and tick the Enable Enhanced Dictation box. The 422MB download allows offline use, plus continuous dictation.
4/ Use Dictation Commands — With this feature, you can control quitting programs, selecting words, and moving your cursor around with just your voice.
First, enable Enhanced Dictation as above, since the commands won’t work without that on. Now in System Preferences choose Accessibility and scroll down to click on the ‘Dictation’ tab from the left-hand list. You will see the ‘Dictation Commands’ option in the right-hand pane. Click on that to see what choices you’ve got.
Whenever you invoke Dictation under Yosemite (which you’ll do by pressing the shortcut for that, listed under System Preferences> Dictation & Speech> Dictation), you can speak those listed commands to do things like select text, copy and paste, undo an action, and so on. And if you tick the checkbox labeled “Enable advanced commands” at the bottom of that window, you can switch between apps, quit programs, minimise windows, and more!
5/ Change your Mac’s Facetime ringtone in Yosemite (OS 10.10x)— Yes, it’s possible! With 10.10 on your Mac and iOS 8 on your device, your Mac now ‘rings’ when your iPhone does. Open FaceTime (if it’s not in your Dock, it’s in your Applications menu) and from the menus at the top of your screen, choose FaceTime> Preferences.
In the Preferences window, the ‘Ringtone’ drop-down is near the bottom of the ‘Settings’ tab. Switch that to whatever you like, there are loads to choose from.
If you’ve set specific ringtones for any of your contacts, they will override this default preference, but everyone else will trigger the sound you picked here.
2/ What’s playing? Apple integrated Shazam into iOS 8, which means that you can have your iPhone name tune (most tunes, anyway – it’s not so good with stuff like Captain Beefheart) you hear playing.
Start up Siri (press and hold the home button) and say something like ‘What’s the name of this tune?’ or ‘What’s playing?’ – and let Siri listen. Provided the tune is clear enough, and there’s not too much foreground chatter, your iPhone should establish what’s playing and provide a link to the iTunes listing.
3/ Siri can direct you home — Boot up Siri by holding in the Home button for a few seconds, then say ‘Take me home,’ and it’ll use Apple Maps (which is totally fixed and useful now, please note) to get turn-by-turn directions back to your house.
You’ll need to ensure you have an address listed for Home in your Contacts app, but even if you don’t, Siri will offer a shortcut to do so.
4/ Photos before and after — When editing photos in the Photos app (choose a photo and tap the Edit button at top right) , tap and hold the image to see how it looked originally. Release to snap back to your current edit – a great way to compare and contrast what it was to what it will be.
5/ Quickly complete web addresses in Safari — Press and hold the full stop key on the keyboard in Safari when inputing an address and you’ll bring up a list of internet address suffixes, like .com, .co.uk, and the like. Release your thumb over the one you want to insert it into the address.
—Business-boosting tips — Do you want your business boosted by giving your workers greater productivity? Book me for my 60 Mac tips in 60 minutes, or 60 iOS tips in 60. It’s a fun presentation, it’s over in 60 minutes and everyone walks away with a tip sheet they can refer back to. Groups up to 50, no problem. This will revive workplace productivity and make your devices more fun, less threatening and raise the knowledge of your staff.
Apple Maps got such bad press when it launched, people still shun it. Me? I use it every day. I’ve used in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and currently I’m using it in New York.
Come on, people, since when has Apple let errors persist? Lots of work has been done and it’s a stellar app. I even use it when I’m driving, having given up on TomTom (which supplies some of the mapping and traffic data anyway). Here are ten tips (from Gizmodo) to help you overcome your anti-Maps bias, whether it’s on Mac or iDevice.
1/ Switch on satellite view for walking directions —Walking directions can be a bit hit-and-miss, so switch on the satellite view and you can get a better idea of where footpaths end and canal towpaths begin. Satellite view isn’t always ideal for looking at maps, as it tends to crowd out the most useful information, but if you’re planning a walk it can give you some vital clues as to the route. Satellite or hybrid views can be activated by tapping on the Information icon in the lower right-hand corner.
2/ Add contact addresses from dropped pins — One of the handy ways in which you can use a dropped pin is to add its location as an address for one of your contacts. Perhaps you’ve just visited someone’s house and have no idea what the road’s called, or perhaps you just don’t want the trouble of all that typing. On iOS, tap-and-hold to drop a pin, then tap its label to see the address. Choose Add to Existing Contact and you can pick out a contact card as well as make edits to the address if required.
3/ Take a city flyover — It may have only earned one line on one slide in the iOS 8 keynote, but Maps now supports city tours as part of the Flyover feature, and the number of supported locations across the world is growing. You can find the Flyover Tour option by tapping on the right-pointing triangle to the right of the city name after you’ve run a search on the name of a supported city; tap the word Flyover Tour from the list op options to launch a quick, aerial, 3D tour of some of the major sights in your chosen location, handy both for vacations and for getting to know the local area a little better. This is Mac OS and iOS, by the way – on Mac OS X, click the little ‘i’ information button to the right of the city name. (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have it, and Dunedin was added just a few days ago – Apple has a page which tells you which cities support Flyover.)
4/ Send locations to your mobile devices — If you’re running Maps on your Mac in OS X and you’ve found a location that you absolutely must transfer to your iPhone or iPad, it’s easily done. Click the place label, then the Share button, then your device (both computer and device must be connected to the same iCloud account for this to work). On your iPhone or iPad you’ll see a notification, which when swiped will bring up the same location. You can then explore the place, get directions, and so on.
5/ Check or disable your location history — By default, iOS keeps track of where you’re going and the spots you go to most often. (You’ll see a list of previous location searches when you search for a new place). This is good for retracing your steps and finding places in Maps quickly, but not so good if you find this behaviour a bit invasive. From the Settings app, choose Privacy then Location Services. Tap System Services followed by Frequent Locations to check up on your travel history or to turn off the feature if you don’t like it. You can clear your location history too.
6/ Switch on compass mode — If you’re stuck atop a mountain and you need to find your way home then it can be very helpful to know which way you’re facing. Thankfully, your iPhone can tell you. Tap on the Location icon down at the bottom of the screen to pinpoint your location, then tap on it again to activate the compass mode. As you turn around the map should automatically rotate at the same time, helping you identify landmarks or get back to civilisation. Now you’ll know which way your should be headed.
7/ Export maps as PDFs — Hidden away in the OS X edition of Apple Maps is the ability to export a map as a PDF. You can take advantage of it whether you need a hard copy of a map for a wedding, a business conference, a website or anything else. Choose File and then Export as PDF from the menu. If you’ve searched for a specific location on the map, then the exported file uses the default zoom level, but you can change this by moving around the map manually instead.
8/ Balance the volume — Since iOS 7, Apple Maps has let you adjust the volume of the voice giving you directions in relation to the rest of the audio coming out of your iPhone. If you’re listening to music or a podcast while trying to get from one place to another then you might want to quieten down the voice directions or switch them off altogether. From the Settings app, choose Maps and you can set the volume level, as well as switch between miles and kilometres.
9/ Find what apps are popular near your location — One of the more unusual features available through the iOS Apple Maps app is the option to have a look at what iTunes Store apps are popular with other users in your area. Tap on the marker showing your current location, tap on the pop-up label that appears, and you’ll be presented with a list. Possible uses for this are to find the best taxi firms in the area or to see the news sources that the locals rely on. For now it only works for your current area.
10/ Finding places with Siri — Siri really comes into its own when it comes to finding nearby locations and the integration between Apple’s digital assistant and the Maps app is getting better all the time. Try asking Siri to “find the nearest park” (to bring up the closest result) or “find a park” (to bring up a longer list). You can also try “Show me a map of…” to jump straight to a place in Maps without messing around with typing and swiping, or “Directions to…” for navigation options.
1/ What’s that song? In iOS 8, Apple incorporated Shazam’s technology into Siri, making it even easier to find out the name of a song you hear. Hold your phone close to the music source, activate Siri (by holding in the Home button for a couple of seconds) and ask what song is playing. After a few seconds, Siri should you the name of the music, the album it comes from –and, if it’s listed in the iTunes store, Siri even offers a buy button!
2/ Instant reminders — You don’t have to even open the Reminders app to add things to it, but first you have to set this ability up. Open the Reminders app and at the top you will see the option for adding a new category. Click on the + sign. Name your list where it says “New List” and pick a colour by clicking on the colour circle (as in the main picture at the top of this page).
Create your list and select a colour identifier, then create as many as you want (Home, Work, Shopping etc) – use names you’ll remember as bot you and Siri need these as identifiers. (The generic list called ‘Reminders’ is included as part of the app.)
Now open Siri and say something like ‘Add get milk to my shopping list.
Siri will confirm ‘You want me to add milk to your shopping list?’ [With my NZ accent, Siri kept changing ‘add’ to ‘ed’ no matter how I over-pronounced it, so you might want to try ‘put’ which worked every time.)
Siri should say ‘Alright, I will add get milk to your grocery list.’If you say ‘Remind me to call Tim Cook on Thursday’, Siri will say ‘Get off the grass!’ – no, that’s a joke. Siri will say ‘Here is your reminder, shall I create it?’ (If you didn’t specify a time, it’s entered at 9am.)
Confirm, if Siri got it right.
3/ Train Siri — In the case above, Siri might say ‘There are two numbers for Tim Cook. Which one do you want?’
Me: I touch the one I want.
Siri: OK, I will remind you. (Siri adds it to Calendar and sends a message via they iPhone at the time specified. The message is preceded by a tone)
4/ Train Siri to identify contacts by your own labels — Say you want to tell Siri to call someone Jim. There may be lots of Jims in your Contacts list, so you can tell Siri to call this particular Jim by his first and last name, assuming his name is easy to pronounce. You can take the time to train Siri to recognise that last name, but there is a faster way to tell Siri exactly who you want: assign a nickname to this Jim.
(Of course, the person under consideration must be listed in your Contacts along with their phone number.)
To have Siri recognise this specific Jim, hold down the home button until Siri appears. In a strong voice say “Jim is my Jimbo.” You may have to correct Siri a time or two until it gets it right. When it does, grant permission for it to apply the new term – from then on, you can say ‘Call Jimbo’ and you’ll only get this Jim.
Note — With Siri, you have to word requests precisely, in this case by saying “person is my xyz.” . You must put the word ‘my’ in front of the nick name.
5/ Trashed an image? No problem — With iOS 8.1, Apple finally aded a way to undelete an iPhone or iPad photo or video clip that you may have deleted.
Open the the Photos app, then tap the Albums tab at bottom right. At the bottom of your list of albums, you’ll find a new one labeled ‘Recently Deleted’; go ahead and tap it. Inside the album, you’ll see all the snapshots and videos you trashed within the past 30 days, with a countdown timer on each photo showing the number of days left before the image is deleted for good.
To rescue it, Tap the Select button in the corner of the screen, tap the image or video clip you want to save, then tap Recover.
Analysis of Apple’s A8X SoC uncovers customised GPU, confirms 3-core architecture — Apple appears to have moved to a semi-custom design for the graphics processor in its new A8X SoC while employing an unusual triple-core CPU, according to a new analysis of the chip that powers the iPad Air 2.
Apple’s iOS 8 now on 56% of devices as adoption rate slowly picks up — Adoption numbers for Apple’s iOS 8 are leisurely plodding along, with the latest statistics showing 56% of users are now running the latest operating system nearly two months after launch.
Get motivated to get moving with Movn — A simple pedometer and Movement Goal Coach wants to help you become more active. The free app works on all iPhones and 2nd generation iPads and later and requires iOS 7.1 or later. Move tracks how long you have been active so if you did a stationary warmup before starting your walk it measures that time too.
The best third-party keyboards for iOS 8 — One long standing criticism of iOS has been its lack of support for third party keyboards, but with the introduction of iOS 8, developers are now allowed to build custom keyboards that can be used on both iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s iMessage workaround arrives too late to avoid a lawsuit — Apple finally offered an easy solution this week to people who wanted a way out of iMessage purgatory after switching from iPhone to Android, but that workaround won’t help the company in an ongoing legal dispute: U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh decided Monday that Apple must respond to a class-action suit about the iMessage foul-up in a California court.
iPad Air 2 ‘best’ —Here’s a video review if you like to see what’s being talked through about Apple’s very impressive new full-sized iPad.
Overglide is a game for your iOS notification screen — The Today pane of Apple’s Notification Center is meant to provide useful, at-a-glance information. And now you can stick a game in there for instant access (pictured above).
Monument Valley Update brings 8 new chapters to iPhone and iPad — The highly anticipated update for Monument Valley is finally available, and it brings eight new chapters to the iPhone and iPad game. The new levels, titled Forgotten Shores, include more MC Escher-like puzzles to work through with the same mysterious beauty we saw when the game was first released. The new levels will cost you $2.59 as an in-app purchase; the game costs NZ$4.99 in the App Store.
Vizzywig 8xHD price tag now a very affordable US$49.99 — Until a few months ago, your choices for shooting 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video were to use a dedicated, very expensive, 4K video camera or DSLR. Then in September, developer Michael Zaletel and his company i4Software released Vizzywig 4K, a US$999.99 UHD app that used an iPhone 5s and a tweak on burst mode to capture 4K video.
The app has now been given a US$49.99 price tag (that’s NZ$64.99 for us). It’s also been given a new name –Vizzywig 8xHD (pictured above) –to reflect the fact that each video frame captured by the app contains more than eight times the number of pixels as 720p video.
Xpress Yourself is a wonderful way to talk with friends — Xpress Yourself is a chat app in an already crowded field. However, TUAW finds it’s a very polished, fun app providing a full suite of features and then some. In addition to the usual text and photo capabilities, it also adds the ability to draw on pictures, send video and audio, and provides the capability of sending ephemeral messages that expire after 3 to 9 seconds never to be seen again. It’s free.
An iOS app predicts your death thanks to HealthKit data — Apple’s latest push is to make you as healthy as possible – or at least give you the tools to do so – but a new app will read your newly available HealthKit data and use it for a more sinister purpose: predicting your death. The app is called Deadline, and it uses health statistics, along with your own personal readings to make an educated guess on when you’ll meet your demise. [Yikes! Gives Halloween a new shade of macabre.]