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Home Archive for category "Tips and Tricks"

iOS 8 features you want to know about

Most of us know that Apple’s new iOS 8 will be released later this year and on the Apple website they show some of the upcoming features, however I wanted to share with everyone what they really want to know… what the new features coming with iOS 8 are.

“Automatically send the last known location of this iPhone to Apple when the battery drains to a critical level”
This can be helpful if you lose your phone or forget it somewhere. Currently the iCloud only keeps this data for 24 hours, but this new setting will allow Apple to access your iPhone’s (or iPad) location information for more than the 24hrs.



Thanks to the integration of Shazam into Siri, you be able to ask Siri, “What song is playing?” and she will listen to the ambient sound, using Shazam to identify music, then if everything goes right you will have the proper song information.

Credit card scanning tool: With iOS 8, if you need to enter your credit card information while browsing Safari, all you need to do is scan your credit card with the iPhone / iPad’s camera, so you do not have to manually enter in all the information.



Hide Images: Usually when you take a picture with you iDevice thepictures automatically get loaded to your collections/albums with no way to put them in a “Hidden” album. With the new iOS 8 there will be an option to “Hide” your photos, by simply holding your finger on the photo a pop up menu appears and gives you the options to Hide your Picture or Video!


Battery Usage: Ever wonder which app is causing you to have less battery life? Well this little feature will definitely be of help. The guys at Cupertino has created a way to view your battery usage on iOS 8, then you can decide how badly you need that app open or to just close it and save your battery.
Camera: The Camera app got some great improvements this time. Things added to the iOS 8 camera apps; Time-Lapse mode, self-timer mode ( 3 and 10sec), Focus controls and even retrieve recently deleted photos.Mail notifications: This can be a great feature for those important emails, you can now have a notification per thread – Swiping left on an email message will allow you to delete, archive or Flag it, if you click the “More” tab you will then get the option to receive a push notification whenever a reply is sent to that particular email thread. 


Allow Notifications: There is finally you can now silent certain app notifications.

Indoor Mapping – With the addition of the M7 processor and iPhone motion sensors to the CoreLocation API will allow venue owners to create indoor positioning systems (IPS) that can be used to point the user in the right directions and floor or to direct them to points of interest.

There are many more added features to iOS 8 but the ones I just went through are the ones that stand out in my opinion.

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Apple iPhone 5S Tips and Tricks

iPhone 5S tips and tricksIt’s finally arrived and everyone has had a couple of weeks to get used to the new iPhone 5S and its attendant iOS 7.  The handset itself has some new features; iOS 7 has a whole new feel.  If you’re still in possession of an older iPhone, like the iPhone 4, 4S or 5, you can install iOS 7 on your device for free (although you’ll need around three gigs of free space on your device to do so).  If you’re one of the lucky duckies with the brand new 5S, you’ve already got iOS 7 and you’re probably pretty pleased with the new operating system for Apple’s flagship handset.  So, let’s look at a few of the new features and tips and tricks for the iPhone 5S and iOS 7.

Swiping Gets New Dimensions

While swiping has always been a big part of using an iPhone, iOS 7 brings a whole new dimension to the action.  Instead of just swiping left or right to move between screens, or swiping up or down to access specific features like the camera, you can now swipe from any edge of the screen to access new features or content.  While it’s intended to make navigation easier, users aren’t provided with a “comprehensive swiping guide,” meaning that you don’t always know when to swipe, or where, for specific features.  You can always just keep using your iPhone 5S as though it has no new swiping capabilities (i.e. tapping an icon/button) but it’s a lot more fun to explore by swiping from different edges of various screens to see what fun new capabilities pop up.  Just remember what you did in case something cool happens!

There are lots of different swipe capabilities in various apps, but some of the basic swipes are:

  • Also available in iOS 6, swiping up from the bottom, right-hand corner of the lock screen accesses the camera.
  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen, either locked or unlocked, to access the Control Center.  This feature is meant to allow easy access to apps you use often like the flashlight or the clock, as well as settings like Wi-Fi and Airplane Mode.  Volume for audio and video can also be controlled here, but ringer and alert volume is still set with the volume buttons.
  • From the top edge of an unlocked screen, swipe down to access the Notification Center.  The Notification Center has the highlights of the day from weather to stock quotes and more.  You can access notifications from Gmail, Facebook or other services by tapping the “All” or “Missed” tags.  Swiping down from any other point on an unlocked screen will take you to the search box for your device.
  • Many apps will now respond to left and right swipes.  Not all have this feature, but several popular ones do.  Safari now has left and right swiping that can be utilized instead of the forward and back buttons.

Photo Sharing and Organization

Your photos will now be automatically organized into “moments.”  The organization is based on when and where the photos were taken and several moments will be grouped together to form “collections.”  The downside is that the organization is completely automated, meaning that you can’t change the collections, which are automatically grouped by year.  The upside is that you won’t have hordes of random photos floating around in your device.

Sharing photos from a vacation or other event becomes much easier because you can share whole moments just by tapping the “Share” button, located at the right side of the moment header.  Make sure you’re hitting the right button (a menu will pop out along the bottom); it’s easy to accidentally miss the “Share” button and tap the “Select” button that’s just above it.  From the menu that pops up, you can choose to share the moment by posting to Flickr or Facebook or by email or text message.

Siri Gains Understanding…and Other Stuff

You know there’s been at least one time that you’ve been trying to make yourself clear to Siri and you’ve wanted to hurl your iPhone at a wall in frustration.  You don’t have to endlessly repeat yourself anymore.  Now, there’s a “tap to edit” option for Siri that allows you to make a change manually.  No, you shouldn’t have to deal with that with a voice search app, but changing a single letter is a whole lot faster and easier than tapping out the whole search phrase.

Have you ever wished Siri sounded a little tougher, more masculine?  Well, wish no more!  You can effectively change Siri’s sex just by going to Settings, tapping “general,” followed by “Siri,” and finally “Voice Gender.”

Siri can now also be employed to return recent or missed calls or to change the device settings.  Siri also has a new ability to give turn-by-turn directions when you’re on foot.  Previously, Siri could only give vocal directions from Maps; these are, of course, driving directions, not walking directions.

Free Stuff

Apple has a new, free, streaming music service called iTunes Radio.  You can find it by clicking on your Music icon and choosing the “Radio” option at the bottom.  You can create your own stations with the musical genres that most appeal to you.  You can even tell iTunes Radio how much you like a song by pressing the star while the song is playing; you can choose to ask the service to play more songs like it, or to remove it from the rotation completely.  Stations can also be created using favorite songs or artists.  It’s completely free (meaning, you’re going to have to put up with ads), but you can subscribe to iTunes Match for a little more than $2 a month ($25 annual fee) and eliminate the ads completely.

There are other free apps that you might be eligible for, including Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), Keynote (presentations), iPhoto (editing photos) and iMovie (editing video).  These apps typically cost between $5 and $10 each, but you qualify to get them for free when you purchase a new iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.  This offer applies to all purchases of these devices purchased since September 1st.  After the new device is activated, the free apps can be shared with other devices on the account that have been upgraded to iOS 7.

Biometric Security

With the new fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S, it’s possible to make sure your device is completely protected without having to enter a passcode every time you want to use it.  Many users choose to forego securing their devices because passcodes can be irritating and disruptive.  Using your fingerprint is faster than a passcode, and safer, too.

You can set up your biometric security fairly easily.  The device walks you through the entire process, step by step.  Once you get the initial fingerprint scan done, you can choose to scan more fingers, be they yours or someone else’s that you trust to access your device.  You can start the new fingerprint setup by going to Settings, then tapping “General,” followed by “Passcode & Fingerprint.”  You can add up to four additional prints that can access the device.  Passcode screens will still pop up, but unless the device specifically requires the passcode, a fingerprint will usually work on these screens.

It’s important to remember that the device needs to be on the screen for the fingerprint scanner.  You can get to this screen quickly by depressing the Home button firmly and then allowing the button to come back to its original position while maintaining light contact with it.  The first action activates the screen and the second serves to unlock the device.





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More Handy Tips and Tricks for iPhone 5

More Handy Tips and Tricks for iPhone 5

I recently posted a partial list of helpful tips on hidden features of the iPhone 5.  As I said before, those were just the tip of the iceberg!  The iPhone 5 has so many handy features, I decided to bring you a few more.

Built-In Camera HDR

The camera that is included on an iPhone 5 is a lot better than many of the other smart phone cameras out there.  However, we all know that there are just some environments that don’t photograph well, no matter how hard you try.  With the iPhone 5’s camera, high-dynamic range (HDR) photography is possible.  HDR permits the camera to change an image as it is being captured.  This results in the best possible picture that can be taken in a particular environment.

When the HDR mode on your camera is engaged, your camera takes three images of varying exposures successively and at a very high speed.  These three exposures are intended to capture three different areas of the photograph independently.  One of these is optimized for darker areas, one for lighter areas and a third for the mid-range of light and dark areas.  Your iPhone then parses out the best of each of these images and puts them together to form the full, final, high-quality image.  In the event that you’re not satisfied with how your iPhone renders the image, the HDR and non-HDR images are both saved to the memory, allowing you to use the one you like best.

If you want to activate this option, simply bring up your camera and then go to Options.  You’ll see a toggle switch for HDR.  Turn it on and you’re all done.

The HDR mode works best when used for close-up photos and outdoor shots, as well as in darker environments when a flash is not appropriate.  HDR will not provide good results in bright lighting conditions or when the camera is in motion.


Reply With Message

If you’re in the middle of something and your phone rings, you may not be able to answer it.  No worries, though, because in this situation, you can reply to the caller with a text message.  It’s simple and easy to do and can save a lot of rounds of phone tag.  Letting someone know that you can’t talk right now also allows you to head off additional calls that you won’t be able to take.

When a call comes in, you’ll see an icon representing a phone located next to the green button you would normally use to answer the call.  When you find that phone icon, just swipe up for a menu, then choose “Reply With Message.”  This will prompt three messages to appear on your screen.  You can choose one to reply with immediately, or you can create your own custom message when the call comes in.  Your caller gets routed to your voice mail while you’re sending the text.

You can even choose to personalize the preset messages that pop up when using the “Reply With Message” function.  To do this, navigate to Settings>Phone>Reply With Message.  You can change any or all of the preset messages with a message of your own devising.


Safari’s Reading List

Safari allows you to make a reading list by tagging pages so that they are saved and can be read at a later time.  Saving a page to your Reading List is very easy.  You can do so simply by tapping the menu button (found at the bottom of the Safari page screen) and from the menu that pops up, choose “Add to Reading List.”

It’s not hard to find your tagged pages, either.  Just access Safari and go to Bookmarks>Reading List.



Global Languages

Have you ever been irritated by the fact that you can’t find an “n” with a tilde when you want to talk about the jalapeño poppers you had last night?  Your iPhone 5 can help you with that!  The iPhone 5 has a penchant for global languages, so if you’re actually bilingual, or you just want to be able to type jalapeño correctly, your iPhone 5 will take care of it if you know what to do.  You just need to hold your finger on a letter that you’re wanting to change; your iPhone will pull up a variety of versions for that letter in many different languages.  Select the one you need and poof, you’re international!

These are just a few of the additional, helpful tips to help you get the most out of your iPhone 5.  I’ll be hunting down more of these useful tips, so stay tuned to get the best performance from your device.









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Discovering Hidden iPhone 5 Functions

Discover the hidden functions of your iPhone 5

Discovering Hidden iPhone 5 Functions

Many users are incredibly familiar with their iPhones.  Through daily use, it’s easy to figure out most of the functions your iPhone 5 possesses, leading the user to believe they know all there is to know about using their device.  More often than not, even the most avid iPhone 5 users are in the dark about some relatively simple (and very useful) functions of which the iPhone 5 is capable.

Some helpful but (sort of) hidden features that have come to light have been enormously helpful to many iPhone users.  These include the screenshot ability, wherein a screenshot of your iPhone’s screen can be captured by pressing the Home and Power buttons at the same time, and the removal of SMS preview from the lock screen.   This feature allows you to keep your texts private when your phone is unattended and can be accomplished by navigating to Settings>Notifications>Messages and then setting the “Show Preview” option to “Off.”  However, just because you might be aware of these handy features does not mean that you know all there is to know about your iPhone’s hidden capabilities.  Read on for some of the more helpful “hidden” features you may not know about.

Saving Time…and Your Thumb!

One of the best and most underrated of the iPhone 5’s features allows you to go immediately to the top of any page you’re visiting, just by tapping the top of the screen where your clock is located.  You won’t have to scroll all the way back to the top, meaning you can get to items near the top of the page or get back to the search box quickly and easily.


Which Way is Up?

If you’ve ever been in the midst of reading or playing a game and changed position a bit, you’ve probably been frustrated by the screen of your iPhone having orientation problems.  Portrait to landscape and back again, the screen’s changing orientation can make you lose your place or flub your game.  There’s a fix for this problem that is much easier than you might think.

Start by double-clicking the Home button on your iPhone.  This causes the device to pull up a listing of recently-opened apps; simply swipe from left to right on the screen when this list comes up.  You’ll see a set of music controls, along with a gray square sporting a circular arrow to the left of the controls.  Just tap the square.  Your device will then flash the message that your screen orientation is locked.  Turn your iPhone this way and that, and marvel at the steadiness of the screen!  Your screen will only lock into portrait orientation, though, so some features will require that you unlock the screen orientation by accessing the gray square and tapping again (as outlined above).

Advanced Calculation

While a simple calculator is enough for the calculations that most users want to carry out, your iPhone 5 can accomplish feats of scientific calculations that you may have never dreamed of.  You can access a fully functional scientific calculator just by rotating your iPhone to the landscape orientation when you’ve got the calculator app open.  This is one of those features that you won’t be able to access if you’ve got the orientation locked on your device, so make sure to unlock it if you need to access the more sophisticated calculator.

Weekly Planning

You need to be able to see in an instant if you’re available during specific times or on individual days.  Your iPhone can help you with that in its built-in calendar app.  Simply open your iPhone’s calendar for a monthly view and then tilt your device so that the screen changes orientation to landscape mode (unlock your orientation if you’ve got it locked).  The view of the calendar will change from monthly to weekly, showing a detailed summary of the events you have scheduled for that week.  If you’ve tagged your appointments correctly, your weekly calendar view will be color coded for events at home, work, etc.


Silent Alerts

Some users have expressed disappointment that iPhones do not have a blinking light that can alert you to incoming messages.  Actually, iPhones do have this capability.  The built-in LED light on the camera can be set to provide a flashing light alert for incoming or waiting messages.  Simply navigate to Settings>General>Accessibility and go to the Hearing heading.  Under that heading, set the toggle switch to “On” for the “LED Flash for Alerts” option.

Making Shortcuts

It can be both time-consuming and irritating to have to keep bringing up Safari and typing in the name of a site you visit often.  You can make your own shortcut to your favorite websites that will appear on your home screen.  You’ll have to visit the site from Safari in order to make your shortcut, but from then on, it’ll be instantly accessible.

When you’re visiting the page you’d like to make a shortcut for, you’ll need to access the menu.  The button for this is located at the bottom of your Safari screen and appears to be a rectangle with an arrow pointing out of it.  Simply select the option to “Add to Home Screen” and then choose a name for your new shortcut.

The Tip of the Iceberg

There are lots of other handy little tips and tricks for the iPhone 5.  Listing them would take more time and space than I have at the moment, but fear not, more will be forthcoming!  Keep your eyes peeled for the next batch of helpful hints on getting the most out of your iPhone 5.




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Updating to Apple iPhone iOS 7

Updating to the new iOS 7Updating to iOS 7

The newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, is still a while from being officially released.  If you want to try it out before it’s available to the public at large, you’ll have to use the beta version of the software that is currently being evaluated by developers.

Before you decide that you just can’t wait for the official release, remember that beta software is still in the testing phase.  It typically has bugs that need to be worked out before it’s ready for full implementation, so don’t forget that you’ll likely suffer a few of these bugs when using the beta version.  Take the necessary precautions by backing up your phone before you install the iOS 7 Beta software.

It is also important to note that you’ll need to register your Unique Device Identifier (UDID) with Apple as a developer.  There is an annual cost of $99.00 associated with this registration.  If you know someone who is already a developer, you could also ask them to simply add your UDID to their developer account and thereby receive access to iOS 7 Beta.

Caution! AppleApproved does not assume responsibility for any problems which may occur during the installation of iOS 7 Beta.  We do not assume responsibility for any damages or faults which may be caused by the installation process outlined in this guide.  These instructions should result in an error free process if followed correctly; however, please be advised that you will be attempting this process at your own risk.

Important!  If you have not backed up your device, it is recommended that you do so before continuing with the following process.  Backing up your data is very easy with iCloud.  Just navigate to your device Settings, then to iCloud, then to Storage & Backup.  Make sure iCloud’s Backup option is switched on and then press Back Up Now.

Step-by-Step Installation of iOS 7 Beta

The first thing you’re going to need to do is download the appropriate iOS 7 Beta file for the device you want to update.  You’ll need to make sure that you’re getting the right software for your specific device.  If you’re going to be installing iOS 7 Beta on an iPhone 5, this is particularly important, as there are two separate versions of the software available for that device.  The difference comes down to where you’re located.  In Australia, you’ll need to get the software for the model number A1429 iPhone 5.  In the US and Canada, you’ll need the software designed for model number A1428.  This is because these countries sell discrete iPhone 5 models.

To ensure that you’ve located the right download for your needs, make sure it is a file that ends in .ipsw.  This proprietary Apple file type denotes that it is iPod Software or iPhone Software.  It is Apple’s traditional method of loading any iOS software on any iPhone, iPad or iPod device.

Once you have the right .ipsw file, open iTunes on your computer.  Using the USB cable, plug your device into the computer.  When these steps are complete, you’re ready to restore your device with iOS 7 Beta.

If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need to do this by holding down the alt/option key and then clicking on “Restore iPhone.”  This action will cause a pop-up box to open.  Find the .ipsw file you just downloaded and click on it to open it.  This will prompt another pop-up window telling you that iTunes is about to erase your iPhone and restore it with iOS 7.  It will also provide restore information and verification to Apple.

With the completion of these steps, iOS 7 will be installed on your device.  The process typically takes around 15 minutes, but may take as long as half an hour.  It’s important to be patient.  It’s also recommended that the device remain plugged into a power outlet when the restore is taking place.

You now have the latest version of Apple’s immensely popular mobile operating system.  Explore it and see what you find, but watch out for the bugs!




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