Tag Archives: iOS

US iPhone travel rights, One Night ads, iRig Recorder 3, Hidden Folks, Game of Thrones


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Returning to the US with iPhone? These are your rights — When returning to the US from travel, border agents may select you for various reasons for a more detailed questioning. Your smartphone may be requested. You may be asked to unlock it for agents to inspect. What are your rights in this case? Two interesting articles at The New York Times and ars technica go into considerable legal detail about what might happen if you refuse to cooperate.

One Night iPhone ads — Apple launched five new commercials through its YouTube channel this week. Four of them are part of the Shot on iPhone series and take us on One Night tours of New York City, Johannesburg, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Each commercial is comprised of stills and videos from their respective cities, theoretically taken over one night.

IK Multimedia iRig Recorder 3 video/audio editing app for iOS — IK Multimedia has released a new version of iRig Recorder, its video and audio editing app for iOS. iRig Recorder 3 (free version available and full version for $/€7.99) has expanded from an audio-only app with the addition of video recording.
A unique feature of iRig Recorder 3 is its ability to export recorded content as separate files for editing in a DAW or other other third-party video editing software. The app also supports sharing through Airdrop, Messages, SoundCloud, Facebook, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, email, Wi-Fi, FTP or iTunes File Sharing in a huge number of sizes and formats.

Hidden Folks — This is a clever hidden object game with its own charm thanks to the hand-drawn graphics and sound effects, which are important to the game, as are the little animations. Tapping objects triggers actions sounds and actions. Sometimes that’s clearing away a bush or moving a boat, and can reveal the elusive objects and characters you need to find. Hidden Folks is great for a quick diversion or a couple hours exploring new levels.
You can get it for your iPhone and iPad at Apple’s App Store for NZ$5.99/US$3.99.

Game of Thrones A Dance with Dragons iBooks Enhanced Edition on preorder — Apple’s iBooks Store added the Enhanced Edition of George RR Martin’s A Dance with Dragons last weekend for preorder. It will ship on March 30th, and includes new artwork, an expanded glossary, more information about the houses, maps, and more.

Take Better Photos with your iPhone, Snapchat specs, new iPads rumoured for March


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Take Better Photos with your iPhone — The latest creation from CreativeTech is a little iBook that helps you take better photos, and it will set you back just 99¢. Based on a very popular lecture presented last year, Take Better Photos on iPhone and iPad is by Mark Webster and Paul Luker and represents the first of the New Zealand publishing company’s Quickguide series which will always feature short, clear, concise and handy guides about … anything we think will be handy in a clear, simple and concise format.
Check out this lovely little iBook now – click Get Sample for some free pages, or drop a mere 99¢ to own the entire thing, which you can install on iPhone, iPad or Mac to refer to any time (one purchase installs on all your Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID). Take Better Photos on iPhone and iPad is available in 51 countries for NZ99¢ (it’s also Australian and US 99¢).

Snapchat begins online sales of iPhone-connected Spectacles — Snap on Monday launched online sales of the Spectacles, its iPhone- and Android-connected smartglasses, finally expanding beyond its rare vending machines and a pop-up store located in New York City. A pair of Spectacles costs US$129.99, and comes bundled with a charging case and cable. Black, coral and teal colours are available, all of which are expected to ship in 2 to 4 weeks. Extra cases are US$49.99 each, while cables are US$9.99.

Apple may debut new iPads at March event — A rumour maintains Apple will host an event in March to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models, as well as other product announcements, according to the Japanese website Mac Otakara.

Workflow 1.7 for iPhone quickly saves notes and images — The latest update to automation app Workflow 1.7 makes it simpler to get started and better to streamline multi-app user processes. AppleInsider walks you through setting up your first workflow, and tailoring it specifically to what you need.

iPad Pro ads, Billboard cover, travel apps, best Warhammer 40,000 games, Where Cards Fall


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It’s been long time since Apple has used a Microsoft product to extol the virtues of an Apple device.

Apple launches new series of iPad Pro ads as anticipated hardware refresh looms — Apple has released four new commercials for the iPad Pro, coming amidst several rumors that the company is planning to update the iPad lineup within a matter of months. [Apple likes to diminish stock of outgoing models. Of course, once a new model arrives, you can get the outgoing ones at discounts …]
Each of the spots is in response a Twitter post, and make a different claim about the tablet. Three of these compare the Pro with a computer, noting for instance that it can run Microsoft Word, yet doesn’t get PC viruses.

New Billboard cover features photo shot with Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus — The cover of the latest issue of Billboard Magazine – showing Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello – was shot on an iPhone 7 Plus at the request of the magazine. The photographer normally relies on high-level professional gear, such as a Mamiya 645DF+ medium-format camera or a Canon 5D Mark III, supplemented by other tools such as lighting systems. The 645DF+ alone costs about US$5000 with a single 80-millimeter lens, whereas an iPhone 7 Plus starts at US$769. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s first device with a dual-lens camera, which enables its special Portrait mode.

Apps to load to leave before you leave for that big trip — Apps that are good to either install or familiarise yourself with prior to your departure, including for cruises.

The best Warhammer 40,000 games for the iPhone and iPad — There are dozens of Warhammer 40,000 games available for iOS, but which are the must-plays? AppleInsider examines them, and purges the heretical ones.

Where Cards Fall: new game trailer from Snowman & The Game Band — Last August, Snowman (the game house behind the mega-hit Alto’s Adventure) and The Game Band teased us with a trailer for a new game called Where Cards Fall. The game was first teased in an email in March of 2016, and the only word we got was that Where Cards Fall would be shipping in 2017. A new trailer just arrived, showing some of the actual game play. The game will be available for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac (and even PC).

Five Tip Friday ~ Siri’s Batman Easter Egg, AirPods volume control, save emails into PDFs


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1/ Siri has a LEGO Batman Easter Egg — Once these hidden little gems proliferated through Apple stuff but steve Jobs banned them. But sometimes you find them, and they’re even more precious now that they’re so rare. Press-and-hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying ‘Hey, computer’  and Siri respond with bat-appropriate comments. Cool huh? (This also works on Siri for Mac.)

2/ AirPods volume control is via Siri — Telling Siri to “increase/decrease volume” will land users at the nearest default level —0, 13, 25, 38, 50, 63, 75, 88 and 100 percent.

3/ Add percentages — You can add percentages from 0 to 100 percent onto the back of volume control commands. Granular changes within two percentage points are hardly noticeable, but tweaks above three points are surprisingly distinct.
For those who want greater control, Siri lets users set audio output volumes by percentage.
First, invoke Siri with a double tap on an AirPod, or say Hey Siri or long-press your iPhone/iPad Home button. Now say, “Set volume at 53 percent” or “lower volume to 23 percent.” Apple’s virtual assistant is capable of understanding a number of command variations including “raise/lower volume,” “turn sound up/down,” and “increase/decrease volume,” among others.

4/ What percentage are you at? To discover current listening levels, users can ask Siri, “What percent is the volume?” or “what is the volume?”

5/ Print PDFs from emails — There is another hidden feature in iOS – this one lets you print-to-PDF with any email. This doesn’t require a third-party app or another email client: you can do it inside Apple Mail with 3D Touch. Open Apple Mail on your iDevice (iPhone and iPad). Open the email you want to save. Tap the Reply button and a menu pops up with three options: Reply, Forward – and Print. Tap Print.
You’ll now see a screen where you can select a physical printer over Wi-Fi. But if you 3D Touch the email (press harder on the screen, a feature added from iPhone 6s), this message it will ‘pop’ and add a Share button at bottom right which lets you Share the email to PDF. This works for single page emails and emails with multiple pages. It’s a great way to save email receipts or important emails from VIPs.

The Straw, Siri vs Alexa, saving Netflix vids, Apple Watch status icons


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McDonalds parodies Apple ad — The McDonald’s ad uses Jeffrey Roy, identified as the company’s “person with British accent,” who parodies Jony Ive by explaining that while the STRAW isn’t “so revolutionary, it changes everything,” it’s “close.” The video goes on to mock Apple’s tendency to over-emphasize minor design elements, including use of the term “magical.” [Can’t beat an “adjective inducing masterpiece”.]

Who’s more Intelligent, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa? Microsoft has Cortana Artificial Intelligence and Google has Assistant. On your iOS and tvOS devices, we have Siri. If you’re an Amazon fan, Alexa is present in the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Amazon Tap. All of these are very capable virtual assistants, but Siri and Alexa seem to dominate the artificial intelligence landscape for many of us. So which is more intelligent? [OK, so I asked Siri on my Mac, and it offered me the contact details for someone called Alexa. But on your iDevice at least, make sure you set Siri to the NZ accent or you’ll get nowhere. You can do this on your Mac, too, in System Preferences>Siri under Language.]

How to save Netflix videos for offline viewing on an iPhone or iPad — A feature you’re bound to see more of in streaming video apps is support for offline caching – that is, the ability to temporarily download a show or movie so you can watch it later without internet access. Here’s how to do it for Netflix, one of the most popular video services on iPhone and iPad.

What’s with the Status Icons at the top of Apple Watch — Cupertino has added several new status icons to the list on Apple Watch, so here’s what they are and what they mean.
Note that you can always access the Apple Watch User Guide. From your connected iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app and tap My Watch>General>About>View the Apple Watch User Guide. The description of the status icons are in the Get Started section.

iPhone number 1 again, Trump’s Reich likes secure message app


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Apple’s iPhone reclaims top position in global smartphone sales — Global sales of smartphones totaled 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 7% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. The fourth quarter of 2016 saw Apple leapfrog past Samsung to secure the number one global smartphone vendor position, notes the research group.
In 2016 overall, smartphone sales to end users totaled nearly 1.5 billion units, an increase of 5% from 2015. It’s taken eight quarters for Apple to regain the No. 1 global smartphone vendor ranking, but the positions of it and Samsung have never been so close, with only 256,000 units difference.

Secure messaging app Confide for iOS finds popularity with White House staff, reporters — A messaging app available for both iPhone and Mac called Confide is finding unusual success at the Trump administration White House – both among government staff and journalists. Staff are using the Confide app to avoid being blamed for leaks to the media, currently the subject of an popular with reporters who work on the White House beat.
Confide is available for iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android, with iMessage and Apple Watch versions as well.
President Trump is said to be upset about repeated leaks of normally confidential confirmation, such as the details of calls to foreign leaders. This is ironic since Apple has come under fire from politicians including Trump for its own privacy practices, including end-to-end encryption on iMessage and FaceTime, and full disk encryption for iOS.

iPhone 7+ portraits, night photography, Fake News, Pages popular, smart TVs stealing info


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Apple posts new iPhone 7 Plus commercials to highlight portrait camera — Apple has two new commercials out promoting iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait camera. That’s the two-lens camera unique to iPhone 7 Plus that allows photographs to have a shallow depth of field (meaning a blurry background and sharp foreground). The pieces explain in very simple terms what Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus does for a photo.

iPhone night photography tips — Whether you want to shoot the stars or capture the mysterious, romantic, or magical feeling of a scene at night, there are tricks to the trade. Taking great pictures at night requires skill, accessories, and the right settings. That’s not always easy to do with the stock Camera app, so here are some tips to improve your iPhone night photography.

Apple working to combat fake news in News app, Eddy Cue says — Apple’s internet service chief Eddy Cue in an interview Monday night said the tech sector has a responsibility to protect consumers from the recent scourge of fake news, revealing Apple is working on backend solutions to the problem.

Pages, Numbers, Keynote among 10 most popular mobile business apps — The use of mobile apps for business is heating up with nearly 80% of companies using more than 10 apps for business, according to MobileIron, a company “founded on the idea that mobile apps and data would become fundamental to mobilizing business workflows.” And Apple’s apps are doing well. The ten top apps are Webex, AnyConnect, Concur, Adobe Acrobat, Pulse Secure, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Google Maps and Word.

Smart TV surveillance — At least one TV maker has been collecting and selling your viewing habits. Secret assaults on our systems are cloaked in deception. Here’s how to stop surveillance by smart TVs from Vizio, Samsung, and LG to protect your privacy.

Prince arrives on Apple Music, closing Activity Rings on Apple Watch


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Prince’s Warner Brothers music catalog lands on Apple Music, other streaming services — After Prince abruptly pulled his music from all streaming services save for Tidal in 2015, the Purple One’s Warner Brothers catalogue, which contains a majority of his biggest hits, has returned. Warner Brothers has made its collection of Prince tunes available to all streaming platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.

Apple shares new Apple Watch Series 2 ad featuring Activity rings
— Apple has posted a short commercial spot highlighting the health tracking functions of Apple Watch Series 2, urging users to keep fit by closing their Activity app rings. You can watch the spot at Apple Insider.

BeatsX Headphones, percentage AirPods adjustment


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BeatsX headphones finally launch on Apple Store — Apple has finally launched the long-awaited BeatsX headphones for US$150 (in New Zealand, $229.95). The headphones were originally delayed in Fall 2016. Apple’s website listed shipping times of 4-5 business days for White and Black colours, and 8-11 days for Blue and Gray.
The BeatsX headphones are Bluetooth using Apple’s W1 chip, but in a different way than the AirPods. BeatsX are tethered together with a neck cable and come with a Lightning charging cable. The headphones also ship with four interchangeable ear tips in different sizes and removable wingtips if you decide to go running with them.The headphones work for up to eight hours of music playback on a full charge. You can get two hours of playing on only five minutes’ charge. You’ll also enjoy optimised noise isolation for an “immersive listening experience.”
Here’s how they compare to Apple AirPods.

Quickly adjust AirPods volume by percentage and check listening levels with Siri — Due to its distinct lack of physical controls, setting sound levels on Apple’s new AirPods requires the use of either Siri or the volume buttons on a paired iPhone, both of which operate on preset magnitudes. For greater control, use Siri to raise or lower the beats by percentage.

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS Photo markup, Portrait mode, zoom, 3D touch


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1/ Quickly mark up Photos on iPhone — The stock Photos app in iOS has a great tool for drawing perfect geometric figures on your photos. With Photos you can draw shapes freehand, and the software can determine what shape you are trying to draw and, at the lower part of the screen, offer two options: your original shape or what the photo app thinks you are trying to draw.
Access the markup options by tapping on the three lines with circles located at the bottom of the photo. Then tap on the circle with the three dots and choose Markup.
At the bottom there are options for colour selection, and below that four options: drawing a shape, lens magnification, overlaying text, and undo.
Choose the colour you want – the drawing tool should be selected and in blue. If not, tap on the drawing tool which looks like a marker drawing a line. Now draw the shape on the photo. If you draw a shape closely resembling something the app recognizes, then, at the bottom, you will be given two choices: your drawing or a well-defined shape the app thinks you are trying to draw.
If you tap on the box to the right, choosing the shape the app suggests, you will have a perfectly formed shape with handles to resize or shape it further. You can press on the shape and move it to place it somewhere different on the photo. When you are finished, simply tap on an open space on the photo. If you like what has been done with the photo, tap “done”; otherwise tap “cancel.”

2/ Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 on iPhone 7 Plus — iPhone 7 Plus can utilise its Portrait mode, creating an effect known as bokeh where the background behind a subject is blurred automatically. Officially it’s still in beta but you can get some pretty decent results out of it.
Swipe across the photo modes to Portrait, then frame your shot. Your iPhone will tell you if you need to move further away or find more light.
Keep your composition as simple as possible, with your subject (living or inanimate) as clearly defined as possible to avoid blurring the wrong thing. Experiment with exposure levels by tapping on the screen then dragging up or down on the sun icon. This will make things brighter or darker.

3/ Digital zoom — If your phone doesn’t have a second physical lens for zooming, digital zoom is an option too, but this is inferior since it just enlarges and crops the photo. If you do want to use it, tap and hold on the zoom button then drag left or right. Just don’t expect super sharp results.

4/ Get up close with optical zoom — Zooming in with optical zoom on the iPhone 7 Plus, which has two lenses, is easy: tap the 1x button above the shutter button and hey presto, you’re twice as close to your subject.
Keeping your phone steady is really important, but this model of iPhone is actually having its lens move so it’s a sharp, details zoom rather than the artificial result all the other iPhones get, as above.

5/ 3D touch shortcuts — Since iPhone 6s, pressing harder on your screen gives you extra commands and abilities (this does not work on iPhone 6 and any iPhone before that).
Here are some good ones to learn:
When downloading an app, you’ll see its icon appear as a timer on the home screen. To prioritise a download, and put it to the front of the queue of all the apps currently being installed, 3D Touch (i.e., press harder on) the icon and choose Prioritize Download.
One of the key uses for 3D Touch is to expand notifications and get more details without having to actually open them – if you do this on an Uber alert, you’ll get information on the driver’s current location, plus the option to send a message.
The iOS Control Center is packed with 3D Touch shortcuts just waiting to be discovered and used, including one for the Flashlight icon, which lets you choose between three different levels of intensity for the light: low, medium, and high.
Do a hard press anywhere on the iOS keyboard and it grays out, which means you can then move your finger to adjust the position of the cursor in the text.
A shortlist of contacts you frequently communicate with appears with a 3D Touch on the Phone app icon.
With a light tap on a link in Safari you can get a preview of the page without actually navigating there. It’s one of the “peek and pop” uses of 3D Touch.

Want more? Check out this Gizmodo story.