Tag Archives: iOS 9

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS 9 and Siri gives you no-typing abilities

iOS 10 will arrive shortly, but these tips will work for that too.


1/ Teach Maps and Siri where your house is — Teach Maps on iOS and Mac OS X – and Siri on iOS – to recognise your home address. Open Maps when you are at home, and tap the arrow icon in the lower left side of the screen (in iOS 10 it’s at top right, on Mac it’s at top left by the top central type-in field).
When your current location is show, tap on the arrow to the right.
On the info page in the lower left, tap Add to Contacts.
Choose Existing Contact.
Pick your iCloud Contact card.
Assign a location tag — for example, ‘Home’.
Now you can issue Siri commands involving Home andSiri will know the location you mean. You can do the same with your work address and other locations.

2/ Use Siri to get directions —Hold down the Home button to activate Siri (or say ‘Hey, Siri’ if your iOS device supports this feature and you have turned it on in Settings>Siri). Tell Siri the place you want directions to. For example ‘Where is Hell Pizza?’ (The resulting screens will even tell you whether a place is closed! Main picture, above.)
Siri will show you the location on a map. If there are multiple locations shown, tap the one you want.
Siri will then present you with directions from your current location to your destination.
Tap Start and follow the directions.

3/ Use Siri to send text messages — You don’t have to use the virtual keypad on your iPhone or iPad to send text messages because Siri can do it for you. Decide what message you wish to send. Say something like ‘Send Hone a text’ or ‘Text my sister.’ Siri will create a new message and ask you what you want the message to say.
Dictate your message.
To make sure it’s the proper message, tell Siri to ‘Read my message,’ and it will be read back to you.
You’re then asked if you wish to send the message. Say, ‘Send’ … whoosh.

4/ Use Siri to send emails — Press and hold the Home button to activate Siri (or say ‘Hey, Siri’ if you iPhone supports this feature and you have turned in on in Settings).
Say something like ‘Email Andrew’ or ‘Send an email to Andrew’, or you can send an email to multiple recipients with a phrase like ‘Send an email to Andrew and Jacinda.’
Siri opens your Contacts app and grabs the email address of the person or persons you’re emailing. If the contact has more than one email address, you’ll be asked to choose the address you wish to use.
Tell Siri the subject of the email, for example ‘Soccer practice Thursday night.’
Dictate to Siri the contents of the email.
Wait for Siri to confirm the content of your text.
Tap Send, or say ‘Yes’ to send your email.

5/ On iPhone 6s/6s Plus, go to important settings immediately — Press on the Settings app with  little force and, under iOS 9, you’ll see three options: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Battery. So you could use this to hop in and join a network, say, or turn on Low Power Mode. Under the latest release of iOS 10, there’s an additional choice, too – Cellular Data.
(This should also work on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.)

Samsung recall, Snapchat Bluetooth, Elgato expanding HomeKit offerings

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 7.26.08 AM

Samsung urged to officially recall Galaxy Note 7 to prevent resale of a dangerous product — A leading consumer advocacy group has urged Samsung to perform an official recall of its Galaxy Note 7 following reports that its battery may explode while charging. When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone two weeks ago, it appeared to have a critical and commercial hit, with an estimated 2.5 million sales. In New Zealand, a recall has been posted. [What a gift to Apple on the eve of an iPhone 7 launch.]

Snapchat joins Apple on Bluetooth consortium, plots wearable augmented reality hardware — The latest member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group is growing social media platform Snapchat, amidst rumors the company is working on a wearable augmented reality device that will expand its presence into hardware.

Elgato soon to expand its HomeKit Eve peripheral line with motion sensor — Elgato appears to be growing its stable of home automation devices, with the the first HomeKit compatible motion sensor called the Eve Motion spotted in Berlin [there has been no official announcement yet]. The new motion sensor by long-time Apple accessory vendor Elgato has a 120° motion sensor, a temperature sensor and it’s splash-proof. The device runs on a pair of AA batteries with a lifetime of a year.

Downloading songs from Apple Music, shorter app names


Downloading Apple Music items to your device in iOS — If you’re subscribed to Apple Music, you may wonder how to tell if a particular song is downloaded to your iOS device (or if you have to stream it when you play it, which means you won’t be able to listen if you don’t have a network connection). Here’s how you do it.

Apple wants more quality, shorter names for apps in its app stores — Apple has sent a note to developers saying it will implement two new suggestions “to make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs” from the developer community starting September 7 (which just happens to be the data of Apple’s next media event).
One of those changes is shorter app names. In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app. Apple says that these long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value. App names developers submit in iTunes Connect for new apps and updates will now be limited to no longer than 50 characters.

Update iOS 9 NOW, iPad and kids’ surgery, iTrip Clip, Pivot, Apple-exlusive fitness tracker


Update iOS 9 NOW — If you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you need to update to iOS version 9.3.5 without delay. Apple released iOS update 9.3.5 almost immediately to stop a sophisticated, targeted, and persistent mobile attack on iOS devices. While it’s unlikely you are currently infected with the exploit known as Trident, you should update your iOS device to version 9.3.5 immediately. To do that, tap Settings—>General—>Software Update. If the 9.3.5 update is available.

Apple’s iPad an effective sedative for children about to undergo surgery, study finds — A research study presented Tuesday claims iPads are just as effective as medicinal sedatives for reducing pre-surgical anxiety from nervousness about the procedure compounded by parental separation on children between ages 4 and 10.

Garmin’s new action camera can be used with iPhones and iPads — Garmin has announced the VIRB Ultra 30, a waterproof action camera that can shoot Ultra HD footage at 4K/30fps or take 12-megapixel photos. It can also be used with Mac compatible software.

iTrip Clip makes your headphones wireless ahead of iPhone 7 launch — Apple is most likely ditching the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7, so Griffin Technology’s new iTrip Clip lets you cut the cord, so to speak, on your wireless headphones and earbuds and go Bluetooth instead. The iTrip Clip supports Bluetooth 4.1, includes playback and volume controls along with a built-in mic for voice calls and Siri commands, has the 3.5mm headphone jack that your brand new iPhone doesn’t, and runs for six hours between charges. The iTrip Clip costs US$19.99 and will be available in September.

olloclip announces Pivot, an iPhone-compatible articulating grip — olloclip has unveiled announced the Pivot, a compact articulating grip optimised for mobile videography. iPhone compatible, it features an articulating hub that provides 225 degrees of rotation to ensure proper positioning.

Misfit debuts Apple-exclusive Ray fitness tracker colors, new Shine 2 options — Wearable device maker Misfit on Wednesday unveiled new colour options for its Shine 2 and Ray fitness trackers, the latter of which is slated to arrive at Apple’s retail stores this fall in Apple-inspired colors.

Five Tip Friday — iPhones in pockets everywhere may need a few capability reminders


1/ Change your iPhone’s video capabilities — Apple’s default is the “1080p HD at 30 fps” choice. Go to Settings> Photos & Camera>Record Video. There’s a handy approximation (in yellow) for how much space you’ll be taking up with each configuration. So if you only have a 16GB iPhone, it’s probably not that wise to record only 4K video unless you plan on clearing off your Camera Roll approximately every day of your life. If you select any of the other options, your device will helpfully inform you of that whenever you’re taking videos from then on.


If you’re on the default setting, though, you won’t see any info in that spot.

2/ Stop your screen rotating — Does your phone switch orientations on you at random, just because you tilted it slightly too far in one direction or another?  To prevent this sort of annoyance (in my case, reading in bed is the best time to lock screen rotation). Luckily iOS has screen rotation lock: wake your iPhone if it isn’t already, then slide your finger up from the bottom edge to bring up Control Center. Tap the Orientation Lock button (the lock icon with a circular arrow surrounding it at top right) so it turns white. Slide the Control Center pane down again to hide it, and your screen’s contents will no longer rotate as you turn your device on its side.

3/ Lock rotation on iPad — The rotation lock works pretty much the same on the iPad, but with an added caveat: you can switch the Mute button toggle on the left side of the device to function as the orientation lock switch instead. Go to the Settings app, tap General, then tap Lock Rotation under the “Use side switch to:” heading. When you switch the side toggle to function as the rotation lock, the Mute function takes the rotation lock’s place in Control Center.

4/ Remember that Siri is more intelligent — You can now say things like  you can ask things like “Remind me to take my coffee off my roof when I get in the car,” because Siri knows when you get into your car. It’s almost like actually having a human helper. (Moreover, thanks to the new frugal M9 co-processor, you can call Siri from a locked screen even on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.)

5/ iOS 9 on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — If you have the latest version of Apple’s iPhone, remember that pressing harder on apps gives all sorts of other capabilities, and it can do Live Photos (which animate for a few seconds) but they take up lots more space. If you have an ‘s’, check out Mac Observer’s catchup page to remember all its new tricks.

iPhone 6s reviews, camera shootout, iOS 9, Russian police gay Emoji fears


iPhone 6s and 6s Plus review: The best iPhone ever, by a wide margin — “The only thing that’s changed is everything,” says the slogan Apple unveiled along side the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It’s an attempt to address the perception that the odd-year “s” updates to the iPhone line are minimal and uninteresting. Check out Macworld’s review, and here’s Dr Mac’s first Look at the iPhone 6s.

Camera shootout: how the iPhone 6s compares to the iPhone 6 —
With a 12 megapixel back-facing camera, 4K video capabilities, and Live Photos, the iPhone 6s camera is a significant leap forward from the iPhone 6, and here are ten apps that already support ForceTouch.

iOS 9 — The difference between Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Assist explained: iOS 8 Introduced Wi-Fi Calling and iOS 9 introduced what’s called Wi-Fi Assist. They’re two distinctly different features. The first has no downside, but the second could, and it’s turned on by default in iOS 9. Let’s look at the difference. The Notes app has been greatly enhanced – here’s what it now does, and with iOS 9 you can disconnect from a Bluetooth accessory without making your iPhone forget it.

Russian police worried iPhone Emoji will give kids the gay — Police in Russia’s Kirov region think that including same sex couples as emoji on the iPhone is a Really Bad Thing. The police are investigating whether or not the same sex emoji violate Russia’s law banning what they see as propaganda promoting homosexuality to children. [I really don’t know what to think about this, beyond overwhelming derision.]

Finally, Apple Watch in Nightstand mode — Here’s how to use that.

6s sales records, 3D Touch, iOS 9, auto-updating system, HomeKit Event Triggers, Watch Time Travel

Apple explains 3D Touch, probably the best reason to get a 6s, in this cool new video.
Apple explains 3D Touch, probably the single best reason to get a 6s, in this cool new video.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus set new launch weekend sales record — Apple says it’s sold more than 13 million new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models just three days after launch. That’s a new record, beating the 10 million units sold in the launch weekend of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. And it’s not just a great phone, it’s a great camera/camcorder.  iPhone 6s, 6s Plus will ship to Russia, Ireland, Spain & 37 more countries on October 9th.

Apple explains 3D Touch with a cool video — 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is a really cool way to make things happen without needing to drill down through lots of menus, or in some cases, without even opening an app. It’s like a hyper-contextual menu (ie, like a right-click or Control-click in Mac OS). Apple figured that might be easier to explain with a demonstration, so the company put together an awesome video showing some of the ways 3D Touch can help you out.  [To me, although it’s a feature that’s easy to overlook, it’s the single biggest reason to get a 6s.]

Over 50% for iOS 9 adoption — Since iOS 9 launched on September 16, analytics firm Mixpanel has been closely monitoring the adoption rate of the new OS by checking the version of devices running apps with Mixpanel’s tracking code. Today, just 12 days after the launch of iOS 9, the new mobile operating system is running on 52.33 percent of all iOS devices.

Apple makes it easier to upgrade to iOS 9 with automatic overnight updates, smaller files — In a bid to drive the already-impressive iOS upgrade rate even higher, Apple has brought a bit of OS X to iOS 9 with a new automatic installation option that will let iPhones and iPads update themselves – at a convenient time for the user.

Apple brings IFTTT-like functionality to HomeKit with Event Triggers — With HomeKit-compatible accessories finally hitting the market, Apple has added new capabilities to its home automation platform in iOS 9 to make smart bulbs, locks, and garage door openers easier to manage and more powerful — including the ability to define IFTTT-style event chains with new Event Triggers.

How to use Time Travel in watchOS 2 — WatchOS 2, the upgrade of the operating system for the Apple Watch, adds a Time Travel feature. Nope, no Back to the Future or Looper possibilities here. But you can scroll with the Digital Crown to explore events in the future (and past).


Apple Event September 9, iOS albums, iOS 9, thrilling game, Windows Bridge, HealthKit for women, best camera apps

iOS 9 adds a Back button when an app link takes you to another app, for example to Maps from Calendar (photo from Apple Insider).
iOS 9 adds a Back button when an app link takes you to another app, for example to Maps from Calendar (photo from Apple Insider).

Big Apple event rumored for September 9; what can we expect? John Paczkowski of BuzzFeed, quoting unnamed “sources familiar with Apple’s plans”,  says Apple will unveil new iPhones the week of September 7th, and probably on Wednesday, September 9th. He also thinks Apple will unveil the next generation Apple TV, new iPads, and perhaps — though Paczkowski thinks it’s a long shot — the long-rumoured iPad Pro. [This is a rumour, please note, but new versions of iPhones are expected by most.]

Photo album maker — Transferring old photo albums to digital format can be a huge amount of work. There’s the hassle of taking photos out of an album, whether they’re glued in, using those little adhesive corners, or using the clear plastic sheets that are used in “modern” albums. Then the images need to be scanned, generally with a flatbed scanner of some sort. Next, each image is colour-corrected if necessary, or touched up if there are scratches or stains. Photomyne (NZ$6.49, universal) is an iOS app designed to take the work out of converting a printed photo collection to a digital format.

iOS 9’s Back button — One of the most notable, if least trumpeted, user-facing enhancements in iOS 9 is the new back button, which lets you quickly return to where you were when following links between apps.

Latest iOS 9 betas automatically detects, switches away from weak Wi-Fi signals, adds AT&T Wi-Fi calling — Two small but critical additions to the new iOS 9 betas released on Thursday include “Wi-Fi Assist,” a feature built to prevent iPhones from latching onto poor Wi-Fi connections, and Wi-Fi calling for AT&T network customers.

Thrilling choose-your-own-adventure game Lifeline leaves an astronaut’s fate in your hands — A US space shuttle inexplicably crashes on a moon in a galaxy far, far away. One survivor—a science student named Taylor—has managed to get her communications device working, and she’s texting…well, you.

Microsoft debuts early, open-sourced Windows Bridge for iOS — Microsoft on Thursday released an early version of Windows Bridge for iOS, a set of tools that will allow developers to port iOS apps to Windows.

Healthkit’s Woman Problem fixed — Apple is fixing its mistake in iOS 9 with a Reproductive Health section in the native Health app. The app as we’ve seen it in the iOS 9 public beta collects the following data points: basal body temperature, cervical mucus quality, menstruation, ovulation test result, sexual activity, and spotting. You can enter your own data here if you don’t use a period-tracking or sexual health app, and Health really drills down into specifics (we’re talking mucus clarity).

The best camera apps for iOS — Not only is the iPhone one of the most popular point-and-shoots on the market, if you had to pick one feature that sets it apart from its smartphone competitors, it would have to be the camera. The secret is in Apple’s proprietary image signal processor, which handles things like autofocus, face detection, and noise reduction to reduce the strain on the main processor and optimize the camera for iOS. Here are the best apps based on three factors: interface, ease of use, and of course features.


iOS overtakes Windows, Apple Watch at 75%, wallpaper selection, PhotoFast, iOS 9

Image from Apple Inc's NZ Store page. http://www.apple.com/nz/shop/ipad
[Image from Apple Inc’s NZ Store iPad page.]
iOS has overtaken Windows — A symbolic thing happened this last June: the world’s second largest mobile operating system overtook Wintel machines in unit sales. And iOS is the #2 mobile platform behind Android. For sure, the developed world still does most productivity, creative, development, and scientific and mathematical work on Macs and PCs. Mobile is still better suited to consumption than creation, but we nevertheless do more and more on our mobile devices.

Apple Watch owns 75 percent of the smartwatch market —
In just three months, Apple has captured the smartwatch market with 4 million units shipped. Meanwhile, Samsung’s market share has plummeted, according to a new report. [Apple used to own the smartphone market, which it practically invented, too…]

How normal people get their photos featured in Apple’s ads and wallpapers for iOS — One of the things that has defined Apple for the past decade is its dedication to and admiration for photography, whether it’s improving the iPhone’s camera or creating advertising campaigns centered around famous images. Here’s how the company selects the images it features on billboards, in commercials, and on your desktop.

PhotoFast MAX puts speedy data transfer and backup in the palm of your hand — PhotoFast MAX (starting at US$79.99 for 16GB) is the latest incarnation of what used to be known as the i-FlashDrive. Take a USB 3.0 flash drive, add a Lightning adapter to one end, toss in an iOS app to organise and view files, and you have an iFlashDrive.

iOS 9 — Three huge changes will make email less awful: document attachments, intelligent search, and multitasking features make Mail more useful than ever. And Home Sharing is back in the iOS 9 beta.

iOS 8.4, Apple Music, iOS 9, Health app helps

iOS 9 adds Photos features like a Selfies category
iOS 9 adds Photos features like a Selfies category

Apple Music helps iOS 8.4 exceed 40% adoption in first week — Apple now notes that as of June 22, 84% of its mobile users are now using iOS 8. Analytics firm Mixpanel further details that 40% of the installed base has already upgraded to iOS 8.4, and states that rapid adoption is being driven by interest in the new Apple Music.

Latest iOS 9 beta includes separate Photos folders for selfies, screenshots — With its latest iOS 9 beta, Apple introduced separate Photos folders for selfies and screenshots, a small but useful addition that could go a long way in cleaning up users’ libraries.

Health app inspires people to be more health-conscious — Smartwatches and fitness bands promise to help you get healthier, but about a third of wrist-worn activity trackers are abandoned after six months. One health app developer decided to see if the Apple Watch was a different story, or if Apple’s watch would be relegated to a junk drawer with other unwanted tech two months in.

Pharrel Williams, AirPlay speaker bulbs, make your own apps, iCloud backups, iOS 9, privacy, Liquidmetal exclusive

Take your own light and speaker with you with Twist
Take your own light and speaker with you with Twist

Pharrell Williams’ Freedom will be an Apple Music exclusive — Apple Music is Apple’s streaming music, internet radio and artist promotion service unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month. Are we happy?

Twist is an AirPlay light-bulb speaker designed for apartment dwellers — The connected home sounds like a pie-in-the-sky concept to apartment renters who can’t exactly invest in expensive hardware and rewire a place just to pack up and move after a year or two.But Twist is portable – it’s a new LED light bulb that turns your lamp into a Jambox-style speaker using just AirPlay.

Make your own app with these DIY services — Going mobile isn’t nearly as difficult or as expensive as you might think. In fact, you don’t even need to hire an outside developer to create an app for your business. There are plenty of do-it-yourself app building services on the market, which offer intuitive app creation tools and app hosting for a low monthly fee.

How to backup your iPhone to Apple’s iCloud — When iPhone first launched, backing up data was a cumbersome process that required users to transfer their files to a Mac or PC via iTunes. Apple has since moved to the cloud with iCloud, providing an incredibly simple way to back up iPhones, iPads and iPods without a host computer.

iOS 9 can automatically delete, reinstall apps to make room for OS updates — The second beta of Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system revealed a new feature that went undiscovered until now — the ability to automatically delete apps to clear space for the update, then reinstall them once the upgrade is complete. [You can always re-download any apps you owned for free by clicking the little cloud logo next to it in the App store – this also goes for iTunes songs and Mac apps.]

Apple expanding user privacy, will prevent iOS apps from seeing other installed apps — As part of a continued focus on protecting user privacy, Apple is reportedly planning to change a policy on third-party applications and prevent them from finding out what other apps are installed on an iPhone or iPad.

Apple renews Liquidmetal exclusivity license into 2016 — Apple has renewed its license for exclusive use of Liquidmetal’s bulk amorphous alloy technology in consumer products for another year. [So far the only Apple item made from the high-tech material is the pin thing that you press into iPhones to get the Sim tray to pop out.]

iOS 9 — overnight updating, device limits, iPod slipping away, picture-in-picture, Continuity breaking free, smarter Siri

Picture from Apple's iOS 9 preview page
Picture from Apple’s iOS 9 preview page

Apple will make it easier to upgrade with automatic overnight updates, smaller files in iOS 9 — In a bid to drive the already-impressive iOS upgrade rate even higher, Apple has brought a bit of OS X to iOS 9 with a new automatic installation option that will let iPhones and iPads update themselves — at a convenient time for the user.

Developers will be able to limit their apps to newer devices with iOS 9 — Apple’s next mobile OS will run on devices as old as the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s, but that doesn’t mean the newest apps will. With iOS 9, Apple will allow third-party developers to restrict apps to running only on recently released iPhones and iPads.

iPod’s disappearance from top of Apple website signals further slide into obscurity — Apple quietly removed the iPod category from the top menu of its website earlier this week, in yet another sign that Apple is further sidelining the aging portable media player product category. It’s slot has been replaced by Apple Music.

Apple’s iPad-only ‘Picture in Picture’ mode lets you keep watching video with any task — Starting with the release of iOS 9 in a few months, iPad owners will be able to shrink video and continue watching and listening while accomplishing other tasks thanks to Apple’s all-new Picture in Picture mode.

Continuity breaks free from WiFi in iOS 9 — When iOS 9 is released you’ll be able to answer phone calls on your iPad or Mac even if you left your iPhone at home. Continuity, the feature that currently lets you make and answer calls from most of your Apple devices on the same network, will add the ability to do the same over a cellular connection, and that means forgetting your iPhone when you go to the coffee shop won’t lead to missed calls.

Siri will bring new smarts to sports, weather, photos, and more in iOS 9 — With Siri replacing Spotlight in iOS 9, Apple’s personal digital assistant receives a new brain that the voice service can use to retrieve information on sports and weather, find photos, look inside apps and more.

Beats One to stream music with Zane Lowe, iOS 9, 100B downloads, Wallet, Maps, Siri


Apple Music streams tracks on-demand & features 24/7 live ‘Beats 1’ radio station — Featuring on-demand content, curated playlists, and a new global always-on radio station dubbed Beats One, Apple Music is a subscription service that aims to redefine how people discover and listen to music. Starting on 30th June, music fans around the world will be invited to a 3-month free membership. (Local NZ pricing will be available closer to launch.)

Kiwi in Apple Music — That’s right, the voice of this station will be Zane Lowe.

iOS 9 to brings multitasking to iPad — The iPad is going to get more useful when iOS 9 ships this northern autumn because it introduces multitasking: the ability to work with two apps at the same time. Apple also redesigned the on-screen keyboard to make it easier to type.

Apple’s iOS App Store hits 100B downloads, pays out $30B to developers — In an update to developers at WWDC, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company recently exceeded 100 billion downloads at the iOS App Store, and has generated $30 billion for developers.

Apple replaces Passbook with Wallet as Apple Pay expands to UK — Apple Pay was designed to replace your physical wallet, and with iOS 9, Apple is uniting Apple Pay and Passbook under a new umbrella called Wallet.

Apple Maps in iOS 9 adds public transit, local business search — Apple has announced an update to Maps that include access to public transit directions, enhanced location detail, and the ability to discover nearby business and other points of interest. Transit information in Maps will be available in select major cities this spring. These include Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto and Washington DC, as well as over 300 cities in China, including Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai.

Siri becomes even more helpful with proactive assistance — Apple said its Siri digital assistant will soon become far more helpful, proactively — but discreetly — figuring out what you want to do before you do it.