Facebook Twitter RSS
magnify
Home Posts tagged "Tips and Tricks"
formats

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.

 

 

 

 

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Apple’s Siri Tips, Tricks and Surprising Capabilities

Siri Top Tips and TricksTips, Tricks and Surprising Capabilities of Siri

Apple’s Siri has achieved an iconic status since its introduction.  It’s no surprise that the decidedly feminine personal assistant has gained such a following.  Her retorts to certain queries are the stuff of legend and her usefulness is hard to overstate.

Many users who have access to Siri aren’t fully cognizant of a lot of her capabilities.  As a personal assistant, Siri can help keep track of your appointments, emails, texts and other daily tasks.  She can also carry out a variety of other useful jobs.  Gathered here are some of the top tips and tricks for Siri.

Reminders Set by Location or Time

You probably know that Siri can send you a reminder at a specific time.  What is less well-known is that Siri can also give you reminders based on your location.  Setting either type of reminder is very easy.

For a time-specific reminder, simply tell Siri what time to remind you and what you need to do.  For example, you can tell Siri, “Remind me tomorrow at 9 a.m. to call my brother.”

Setting a reminder by location works the same way.  Instead of setting a specific time for a reminder, you set a specific place, such as “Remind me to go to the dry cleaner’s when I leave home.”  Because your iPhone has GPS, Siri knows when you leave your home location and will remind you to stop by the dry cleaner’s.

You may have to tell Siri specific information regarding locations or various other tidbits but location-specific reminders can be very useful.

Manage Your Text Messages

Texts and emails can be dictated through Siri, as many users are already aware.  Start by pressing and holding the Home button, and then simply speak what you want to do.  You might need to send a text to a colleague.  Simply say, “Text Mike Willis, don’t forget the PowerPoint presentation for the meeting.”  Siri searches your contacts for Mike Willis, composes the text and sends it without further input from you.

Many users don’t realize that Siri can also read your texts to you.  When you press and hold the Home button, tell Siri to “read my texts.”  Once a text has been read, you can tell Siri to reply in straightforward language like, “Tell Mom I’ll be there for Dad’s birthday,” or “Reply saying we’re on for next week.”

Siri can also sift through texts to find the ones from specific contacts when you ask if you have texts from them.  “Do I have texts from Mike?”

Social Media Upgrades

Siri’s most recent incarnation allows you to update your Facebook status or tweet by voice command.  This is different from the older version in that you no longer have to text to Twitter or Facebook to get Siri to post for you.

When you want to post to Facebook, tell Siri “Post to Facebook, I made a new friend today, an eight foot red-tail boa!”  You must start your command with the words “Post to Facebook.”  Siri will render your post into text and you can then approve it by saying “Yes” or tapping the Post button.

Twitter is just as easy.  Pressing and holding the Home button (as you must anytime you want to talk to Siri), tell Siri to “Post to Twitter” and then compose your tweet.  Siri will again render your post into text that you can review and approve or not by saying “Yes” or “No” when Siri asks if it should be posted.

Siri is a Math Whiz

Calculators are very helpful, as anyone who isn’t very good at math can attest.  But sometimes, a calculator isn’t enough.  A problem might have more steps that you think, resulting in wildly inaccurate figures when you try to tackle it yourself.

Say you’re out with a group of friends and need to know how to split the tip.  You can ask Siri to solve the problem for you.  Tell Siri the total of the bill and how many people are sharing it and she’ll tell you exactly how much everyone needs to chip in.  Multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and more complex equations can be completed in less time than it would take you to count to ten.

Finding Family and Friends

The Find My Friends app allows you to find the geographical location of individuals who have shared such information with you.  Find My Friends opens as a map with colored orbs that represent family members and friends.  The colored orbs tell you where a specific person is, even allowing you to access the street address if you want or need it.

Of course, this app is better with Siri. Just ask Siri where your friends are, and Siri will open the app and show you their locations.  You can then tell Siri to send a message to the contact of your choice.  You can ask Siri the location of specific people, too.  For this, you need to employ commands like “Find my girlfriend” or “Where are my parents?”

Entertainment Advisor

Siri may be the best thing to ever happen to movie-goers.  Box office information, reviews, cast lists and other movie-related information can be accessed through Siri by voice command.  You can even request that Siri find movie trailers for you.

Older movies are typically not supported, but sites like Rotten Tomatoes have trailers for thousands of movies available on demand.   These include new release movie trailers as well as trailers for a lot of movies that have come out in the last five or ten years.  Whether you’re looking to rent a slightly older movie, or trying to decide what to go see at the theater, Siri can help.  Tell Siri to “Show me the trailer for Kick-Ass 2.”  The appropriate trailer will start playing on your device automatically if it is available.

Making Reservations

Not only can Siri do research for you about restaurant ratings and reviews, as well as getting driving directions, Siri can even make reservations for you.  You’ve got to have the OpenTable app installed on your device, you have to have an account and be signed into it, and your restaurant of choice must be in the OpenTable database.  Tell Siri when you want to dine, what kind of cuisine you’re looking for and where and as long as the conditions above are met, Siri can make recommendations and book a table.

You’ll want to tell Siri to “Make a reservation for four at an Italian restaurant tonight.”  Siri will produce a list of nearby Italian restaurants, show you their ratings and let you know if they have tables available and at what time.  Select one, review its details and make the reservation through the OpenTable app (Siri will open it for you).

Siri Makes Life Easier

Apple’s iconic personal assistant can help with these and many other day-to-day tasks.  Learning how to make the most of Siri is important because it will allow you to increase your productivity and take your mind off all the little details that Siri can handle for you.  You won’t have to worry about forgetting an appointment or dropping the ball on your to-do list because you now have a phenomenal personal assistant.

These helpful hints are just the tip of the iceberg, so keep an eye out in future posts for more helpful tips and tricks for Siri.

 

 

 

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments