5 Best iOS Tricks You Didn’t Know Existed

We all know the iPhone is a powerful little tool. We’ve grown up with the various generations, from the early first generation, to the brilliant iPhone 6S. One of the best things about the smartphone is that it keeps on surprising us! You can use an iPhone for months, and still find new functionality along the way. That’s what today’s post is all about. We’re looking at all the various tips and tricks that Apple have snuck into the new iOS program. (Most of the tricks we’re looking at are on the latest iOS, so some older models might not apply).

  1. Medical ID

This is not only one of the coolest tricks, it’s also one of the smartest. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. But if you do, it might just save your life. Using Medical ID, your phone can show all your important medical and contact info without opening the lock screen. If you’re involved in an accident, doctors and paramedic can see all the crucial info. You can add everything from blood type to prescriptions to allergies. You can also input emergency contacts. You can set all this up in the health app.

apple medical ID

  1. Apple Pay

Apple Pay is growing quickly. More and more shops and stores are accepting this as a valid form of payment. There are even rumours that they’re eating into PayPal’s market share. Using Apple Pay, you simply pay wirelessly for real life goods. You can also use it to pay for apps, rather than linking up your bank account. Once you’re inside the app, you can quickly and easily make extra purchases too.

Apple Pay

  1. Use the headphone cord to take pictures

How often do you find yourself stretching to take that perfect selfie. Maybe you’re trying to get a whole group of you in the frame! Tricky, isn’t it? But, did you know there’s an easier way? All you have to do is plug your headphones in, and use the volume button. Much more flexible. Much easier. It’ll change the way you take pictures.

take photos with Apple earphones

  1. Siri, remind me…

Siri has come a long way from its early introduction. It’s turned from something that was fun to mess around with, to a super useful tool. One of our favourites is asking Siri to remind you to do something. Let’s say you got an email about a meeting. Just say “Siri, remind me about the meeting with John at 3pm”. And Siri will give you a nudge at 3pm. It’s that simple. You can do this for just about anything.

siri remind me

  1. Find my phone

If you’re anything like us, you misplace your phone all the time. That’s where ‘find my phone’ comes in especially useful. Make sure you activate the ‘find my phone’ setting, and connect it to your iCloud account. Then, simply use your laptop to trigger a beep or vibration to your lost phone. Simple!

find my iphone

Now you know all the secrets, you can impress your friends! Do you know any more tips and tricks that we’ve missed?

Man Follows Stolen iPhone Across The World, Becomes A Celebrity In China

These days most of us can’t live without being no more than a few feet away from our mobile phones. They are tools that help us to be more productive and efficient in our lives.

They allow us to communicate with others online through email and instant messaging. Mobile phones also help us to better organise our lives. It comes as no surprise that having our mobiles stolen can be devastating.

With devices like the iPhone, the good news is that most of our personal data gets backed up in “the cloud”. That means we can easily transfer that data onto a new device. Because of their high value, the Apple iPhone is a sought-after target for thieves.

Most stolen iPhones end up in the Far East, in places such as Hong Kong and China. And that’s what happened to the iPhone belonging to one man from New York.

8,000 miles away

Matt Stopera is a staff writer for the BuzzFeed website. He recalls how his remarkable story began one evening in New York. Back in February 2014 he went for some drinks to a local bar. To his horror, he soon discovers someone had stolen his iPhone from the table where he was sat.

matt stopera buzzfeed
Matt Stopera

His efforts to try and find his phone were futile, with the device going straight to voicemail. Fast-forward a year later and he’s rocking a new iPhone. The weird thing is, he notices that photos of some Chinese guy keep appearing in his Photo Stream.

brother orange

Both he and a friend soon deduce that his stolen iPhone has ended up with this person. Various photos are of the man next to buildings with Chinese writing on them, so they work out the iPhone is in China.

Matt becomes something of a celebrity when he posts up a story on BuzzFeed asking who the man is.

Brother Orange

Soon after an international search gets carried out to track down this Chinese man. Matt discovers his story got translated and posted up on the social network Weibo. People start referring to the man in the photos as the Orange Tree Man. That’s because some of his photos got taken beside orange trees. Later on, that man would become known as “Brother Orange.”

Once the man got found, thanks to the power of the Internet, Matt signs up to Weibo and starts chatting to him. It turns out the man, Li Hongjun, got given the iPhone as a gift from his cousin.

matt stopera weibo
The first day Matt joined Weibo (Chinese equivalent of Facebook) he gained 50,000 followers!

The pair chat to each other on Weibo for some weeks and then “Brother Orange” invites him out to China!

An extraordinary turn of events then ensues. With the help of BuzzFeed and a couple of translators, Matt flies out to meet Brother Orange. The pair get treated like celebrities. They are often seen on Chinese social networks and the media!

matt meets brother orange

For the next few days, Matt strikes up an unlikely friendship with Brother Orange. The pair spend several days together, and Matt feels like he’s with a long-lost brother! And, yes, Brother Orange gives Matt back his stolen iPhone.

Today, Matt and Brother Orange are the best of friends, albeit of the long-distance kind.

Does It Matter That HTC ripped Off The iPhone?

The Apple vs, Android debate has raged wildly for almost a decade now. Each corner fights fiercely to dominate the market. While their respective fans and customers will argue their merits until they’re blue in the face. But, the whole debate came to a big, public head this week.

HTC released its latest successor, the HTC One A9. On paper, it’s a fantastic addition to their line up. It has one of the best cameras on the market, improved graphics, and Android’s new Marshmallow operating system. It’s a brilliant phone.

But critics couldn’t help but notice one small detail. It looks exactly like the iPhone 6.

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Has HTC purposely copied Apple’s flagship design? Or is it purely an accident? A byproduct of inspiration and current trends? Well, the jury is decidedly in Apple’s camp, if you read the myriad blogs and articles on the internet. Meanwhile, HTC are claiming it’s Apple that are copying them! It’s getting heated over in Silicon Valley, that’s for sure.

Apple vs. Android

The division between Apple and Android users is almost tribal. A blind loyalty exists among the two biggest mobile operators. Apple generally has the upper hand in terms of design and usability. But, arguably, Android is the more powerful operating system. And loyal Android customers love the customisation. It’s always been fairly amicable between the two, but this issue is stirring things up!

What exactly has HTC copied?

Well, take one look at the new A9, and it’s not hard to see the similarities. The HTC has the same sleek design as the iPhone 6. The rounded corners have obvious connections with the new Apple design. And, most incriminating of all, the protruding camera lens is suspiciously similar. There’s also an antenna on the back, which Apple famously changed in previous iterations. Not to mention the familiar looking range of metallic colours which mimics Apple’s latest design.

Or is it the other way round?

The biggest argument coming from the HTC camp is that Apple actually copied them. They have called their HTC a ‘design worth imitating’, and they clearly think Apple have done exactly that. They maintain that they were the first to introduce metallic designs. They also claim to have been the first to put the antenna on the back of the phone. They might have a point on the antenna, but the rest of the argument falls distinctly flat. It seems the internet is having trouble believing HTC’s claims!

Does it matter?

At the end of the day, Apple and Android have been borrowing ideas from each other for a decade. Apple adopted Android’s keyboard shortcuts and their split screen mode. They also stole Google maps (though quite frankly, Apple can keep Apple maps). The point is that tech companies take inspiration from everywhere. In the end, it helps create better products. Is this is a step too far? Maybe.
What do you think, readers? Is the new HTC a blatant rip off? And do you care? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and rants in the comment section.

12 iPhone Camera Hacks To Step Up Your Photography Game

selfie-stick

Did you know that you can use your iPhone camera as more than just a selfie machine? That’s right, folks. You can actually produce professional quality photos and artwork with your camera phone. But, if you want to get really good, you’d better learn these 12 iPhone camera hacks, and step up your photography game.

  1. Burst mode – How many times do you take a selfie, and then take it again because it wasn’t right? And then again… And again… Instead, simply hold down the shutter button when taking a photo. It will take a burst of photos. You’re guaranteed to get at least one good one, right?

burst_continuous_2x

  1. Sunglasses filter – The latest iPhone comes with a pretty good range of stock filters. Instagram has another good set. But, why not get a really unique look by using your own filter? Just put your tinted sunglasses in front of the lens. Easy.

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  1. Tights filter – Everyone’s using the hazy filter these days. You can show off by making your own instead. Simply stretch a pair of tights over the lens while you take a photo. I know you’re all going to go and try this now.

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  1. Binocular zoom – Let’s face it, the iPhone zoom function is pretty terrible. That’s because it’s not a real zoom. It just crops the photo and enlarges it. You need a real optical zoom instead. Try putting a pair of binoculars in front of the lens.

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  1. Underwater photos – Wait, what? Yep, you really can take underwater photos with your iPhone. It might sound crazy, but here’s the trick. Simply put your iPhone upside down in a clear glass. Submerge the glass slightly, and you’ll capture the underwater scenes.

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  1. Tripod – Did you know that you can use your earbuds to take a photo from a distance? Just use the + button on the wire. It means you can make a little cardboard tripod, and take better photos from far away.

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  1. Tap focus – The iPhone autofocus is super frustrating. Turn it off, and use the self focus. All you have to do is tap the screen where you want it to focus.

tap-to-focus

  1. Use your own lenses – There are tons of extra lenses you can buy for the iPhone. A separate fish eye lens is pretty cool. You can also use a tiny macro, held in place with some tape.

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  1. HDR – Not many people know this feature exists. Turn it on, and your camera instantly takes higher quality pics. (It does take up extra space in your camera roll though).

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  1. Panorama fun – Panorama shots are great for scenery. But, they’re also great for messing around. See how many times you can appear in your friend’s panorama photo. Just remember to run around the back so you don’t end up with super stretched limbs.

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  1. Water drop macro – If you can’t afford an additional macro lens for your phone, use a water droplet. Put a tiny (tiny!) drop of water on the lens for a smudgy, unfocused effect.

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  1. Try a time lapse – Put your iPhone in time lapse mode. Now leave it in one place, and let it take photos over a long period of time. When it’s finished, you’ll have an awesome slow-mo effect.

Time-lapse-Guide-copy

Got any iPhone camera hacks of your own? Let us know!

Turn Your iPhone Into A Satellite Phone

iphone satellite phone sleeve

These days, we all take mobile phone coverage for granted. No matter where we are in the world, we expect to get a signal. It is thus altogether worrying and annoying when we are in an area without a decent level of phone coverage. There was a time when, if you wanted the ultimate level of coverage, you would need to get a satellite phone. Those days are long gone, though, because you can now transform your existing phone into one of these devices.

What is a satellite phone?

You might be wondering what a satellite phone is and rightly so. These incredible devices are not always available on the mainstream market. That means that not everybody knows that they exist. Unlike standard mobile phones, this type of device connects to satellites in space. You may already know that there are many satellites orbiting the globe at this moment in time. If you plan on travelling to areas where there is unlikely to be phone coverage, it is worth having one of these devices. They can offer you an unimaginable level of coverage no matter where you are.

When would you need it?

Much of the time, people use satellite phones when they are out exploring the world. For example, if you plan to trek across the desert, you might want to have one of these devices on you at all times. That way, you can be sure that you can communicate with the rest of the world whenever you need to do so. Of course, if you are in the middle of nowhere, this is the type of device that could save your life. If you tend to worry about losing signal when you need it the most, it may be worth getting one of these phones. Alternately, you can now turn your iPhone into a satellite phone in just one simple step.

What is Thuraya SatSleeve?

The Thuraya SatSleeve is one of the most exciting new gadgets on the market. As the name suggests, this device is a simple sleeve that you slip over your current phone. At the moment, you can get this gadget for both iPhones and some Android phones. Once you have put the sleeve on your phone, you can start accessing satellite phone coverage. You can use all the normal features on your phone, and so you don’t need to worry about usability. It is crucial that you are cautious when using this system, though, or it could cost you a small fortune.

How much does it cost?

The sleeve itself costs around £400, which is quite a lot when you consider the average cost of a smartphone. Once you connect to a satellite, calls and messages will cost you much more than they do on your current plan. That is why it is crucial that you only use this gadget when you need to do so. The specialist technology is not for day to day use, but for extreme circumstances. Regardless of the cost, the fact that this brand new technology is available to everybody is exciting news.

iPad App Grounds Planes

pilots using ipads on flight deck

These days, we all need technology to aid us in our everyday life. There are so many apps on the market right now that you can control your entire life with your smartphone or tablet. It is not just citizens who use apps all the time, though – professionals also need them in their daily activities. It might surprise you to learn that some of the most technical career people, such as pilots, use this type of technology to help them. When the tech fails, though, there are catastrophic consequences.

Until as recently as 2013, the major airlines in the world tended to use paperwork on board. Pilots would often have to carry reams of paperwork with them, which seemed a little unnecessary. That year, American Airlines made the crucial decision to go paperless. The change would save trees and also save a whole load of cash in fuel each year. Aside from being better for the environment, this move made each pilot’s job easier than it was before that time. With the use of an online database and a simple app, the entire staff had access to all the information they needed. With much of the modern world using new high-tech gadgets, it made perfect sense that the professionals would too.

iPad Software

When the company chose to go paperless, they gave each of their pilots an iPad, loaded with all the apps they would need. While in-flight, the tablet means that any pilot can access a wealth of flight information, maps and features. In essence, this technology should mean that there are never any technical glitches. As we all know, though, no software works like clockwork. In fact, much of the time, it can fail you when you need it most.

App glitch (April 2015)

Last month, there was a glitch with the some third-party software, which caused the pilots’ iPads to stop working. American Airlines were quick to point out that the problem was with the app itself, rather than Apple’s software. The app in question was FliteDeck – a specialist piece of software that is only available to people within the industry. Unfortunately, the app stopped working for a brief period, which meant that many planes could not fly. According to sources, a duplicate database in the application caused it to malfunction. Without the app, there was no way for the pilots to continue in their jobs. That in itself just goes to show how much faith people put in technology.

Quick fix

When the problem arose, the officials at American Airlines were quick to act. The management team told each pilot to uninstall and reinstall the app so that it might work. Some people found that doing so solved their problem altogether. Failing that, pilots flying certain routes had to use PDF copies of the database so that they could navigate the flight.

Most airlines around the globe have now switched (or are now switching) to paperless systems. That means that the majority of planes will need to use modern technology on board. The move is one that should mean flights are safer than they once were because the app offers pilots timely updates.

Apple Sells 61.1 Million iPhones In Q1 2015

apple q1 2015 sales by product

The iPhone has always been a high-selling product. As one of Apple’s most popular lines, it is no great surprise that the phone makes the company a large percentage of its income. Annual iPhone sales are always extremely high, but in Q1 of 2015, the company surpassed expectations. In the first quarter of this year, Apple sold 61.1 million units. There is no denying the fact that the iPhone is one of the best-selling phones of all time, and now Apple have the figure to prove it.

Record sales in 2015

This quarter has been Apple’s second most successful quarter of all time. That means that there have been record-breaking sales in short periods. This period came second only to the last quarter in 2014 when the brand sold 74.5 million phones. It is, of course, understandable that in the lead up to Christmas there was a peak in sales. Despite that, nobody expected the high level of sales to continue into the new year.

In the same quarter last year, the numbers were nowhere near as impressive as they are now in 2015. In fact, at the time some investors complained that there was a decrease in sales. There has been a mind-blowing increase in sales between 2014 and 2015. In fact, in Q1 of 2014, Apple sold a just 43.7 million units. That means that in this quarter, the brand sold 17.7 million more iPhones than it did in the same quarter last year.

Users switching to iPhone

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has commented that there has been a noticeable trend in people switching to iPhones. While there is a broad range of smartphones on the market, it would appear that many users favour Apple over the vast competition.

Boost in Chinese sales

America has always been Apple’s biggest market and thus one in which the company promotes itself greatly. For a long time, though, Europe came a close second, but recent numbers show that times are changing. An enormous boost in Apple sales in China has meant that the country is now the second largest market for Apple products. The change follows the company opening five new Apple Stores in the region. The move is just one aspect of the company’s plan to grab the Chinese market. By 2016, there should be 40 new stores in the country, which will help to boost Apple’s Asian sales.

iPad Vs. iPhone

Despite the growing popularity of the iPhone, it would appear that the far less fashionable iPad is lagging behind. Apple has sold over 250 million tablets since they released the iPad back in 2010. While at first that number might sound impressive, it is a mere drop in the ocean when you compare it to iPhone sales.

Experts believe that the growing trend will continue, and Apple will keep selling record amounts of iPhones in Q2. With no new iPhone releases on the horizon, though, some customers might wait it out until the next iPhone comes out. That issue means that Apple could see a decline in their sales, at least in the short-term.

iPads And iPhones Hit By Piracy App

popcorn time

Don’t you just love sitting down and watching your favourite movie? These days, people don’t bother with the cinema as much as they used to. Why should they? Now, you can get all the latest movies without leaving the house. There are, of course, many subscription based services that offer customers the best TV shows and movies. Amazon Prime Instant Video is becoming increasingly popular, yet Netflix is still ahead of the game. But, what if users could watch movies without having to pay for them? The beauty of Netflix and its competitors is that they have a simple interface that allows people to choose any show they like. For a long time, pirate sites were not as easy to use, but that all changed with the launch of Popcorn Time.

Popcorn Time

A year ago, Popcorn Time launched around the world. The app was available for download on PC devices. Once users had it, they were able to access a world of cinematic joy without having to sign up to a contract. Once opened, the app looks much like Netflix. Users can choose genres and browse loads of different shows in seconds. The app connects to torrent sites and, once a user presses play, it starts to download the film. That means that the videos on the app are super high quality, if not particularly legal.

Apple’s guidelines

While users can install almost anything they want onto Window devices, Apple has high security. If you want to release an app onto the iPad or iPhone, you need to submit it for approval. Of course, there is no way that Apple would approve an app like Popcorn Time. The app allows users to get free content, which they would need to buy from the iTunes store otherwise. There is a legal grey area when it comes to the app as well. The app itself is not illegal, yet the torrents it accesses are.

New installation tactics

Last month, though, the people behind Popcorn Time came up with an ingenious way to make sure that the app was available to everyone. Users can download an installer for their Windows computer. Once they have it, it will allow them to transfer media from their computer to their iPad or iPhone. That means that people can start downloading Popcorn Time on their Apple devices with ease. Of course, it is only a matter of time before Apple shuts this function down.

Promotional video

In celebration of their one-year anniversary, Popcorn Time released a rather weird video. The video is a cartoon featuring popcorn people. It references a range of big blockbuster movies including the Clockwork Orange. It also features some creepy voice-over work. After many setbacks, it seems that this platform is still going strong. This video seems as though it is mocking those who tried to stop the app creators from releasing it. In the past, various companies have tried to shut the app down, yet it keeps coming back, and each time it is stronger.

IKEA Creates iPhone 6 Adapter

The world of technology is forever changing and expanding. Now, mainstream stores, such as IKEA, have begun to release a range of modern gadgets and furniture pieces. These high-tech pieces seek to combine both functionality and style. They allow customers to use their gadgets in their home with complete and utter ease.

One of the latest developments has to be IKEA’s range of phone-charging furniture pieces. These cool, new pieces can charge smartphones with Qi wireless charging, but what about other phones? Luckily, the Swedish multinational company has come up with a solution to this minor problem.

IKEA iphone 6 charger

What is Qi wireless charging?

You may have heard of this new technology, but do you know what it does? Some new smartphones, including the Nexus 4, have a built-in charging system that allows people to charge it. All you need to do is pop the phone on a charging pad (rather than plugging it into the main power) and leave it to charge. This design is the height of contemporary technology and a function that is sure to take off in the next few years. The range of furniture that IKEA has just released have built-in charging pads.

The IKEA iPhone 6 adapter

Strangely enough, two of the most popular phones on the market, the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, do not have this technology. That is why IKEA have now released a new gadget to help turn these two phones into ready-to-charge ones. The gadget’s name is VITAHULT.

The adapter is easy to use. In fact, it looks much like a regular phone case. To use the device, a customer has to slip it over their current phone. Once a user pops the gadget over their phone, they can use any of the charging pads around their home to charge their phone. In effect, that means that the gadget transforms either smartphone into one with remote charging. Experts believe that the device will be extremely popular when it hits stores in Spring 2015.

What does the range include?

It is not just charging pads that can charge the smartphones – there will be a range of furniture pieces that also have this ability. There are many super sleek and sophisticated pieces within the range. For example, the store will release a range of lamps and nightstands, which will have built-in pads you can use whenever you need to do so.

Is it worth the money?

The range of gadgets and furnishings are quite reasonable when you compare them to similar pieces on the market. In keeping with IKEA’s house style, the pieces are contemporary and chic. The idea of charging a phone without a traditional charger is one that has been a long time in the making. Now, many modern smartphones have this capability. With this brand new technology available to everybody, it is clear to see that most mainstream brands will follow suit. The novelty of charging a smartphone by putting it on a particular surface is enough to sell the gadget to many users. Whether this device has any longevity, though, is still unclear.

Pope’s iPad Sells For $30,500!

pope sells iPad

Nobody can say that iPads are cheap, but would you pay $30,500 for one? No? Well, that’s what one person did in April when they bought a special iPad at auction. Last month, Pope Francis auctioned off his iPad in aid of a good cause. As you might imagine, the move got a whole load of media attention and bidders from around the globe tried to win the holy gadget. It is not the first time the Pope has auctioned off his things. Last year, he sold a Harley Davidson for $320,000 at auction. The motorbike had been a gift, yet he decided to donate the money to a local charity.

Charity auction

At a charity auction in Uruguay last month, the Pope decided to put his used iPad up for sale. After many bidders had attempted to win the device, it was an over-the-phone bidder who claimed it. Bidding a massive $30,500, the person won the iPad with ease. The proceeds from the auction have gone towards helping a local Uruguayan school for poor children. As you might imagine, the Pope is no stranger to charitable activities, and this one follows a long history of similar events.

So, who bought the iPad?

Many people are wondering who bought the iPad. Since the bidder paid over the phone, it is hard to know who it was. It must have been someone with a lot of cash to splash, given the amount they were willing to pay for the gadget. Right now, nobody knows who the anonymous bidder was, and we are unlikely to find out anytime soon. People have speculated about who it might be, but with the officials keeping their lips sealed, we may never know the truth.

What did they get for $30,500?

For that amount of money, you might expect that the buyer would get more than just an iPad. Well, the gadget did come with its fair share of extras. On the back of the device, there is an inscription that says, “His Holiness Francisco. Servizio Internet Vatican, March 2013.” There is also a certificate from the Vatican that serves as proof of the iPad’s authenticity. That means that the buyer can prove that the gadget was once the property of the Pope. Aside from that, it appears that Pope Francis has also thrown in an old keyboard so that they buyer can use the gadget as a mini-notebook.

Pope Francis Vs. technology

For some people, it seems a little odd that a holy man such as Pope Francis has such an interest in technology. People don’t tend to associate mainstream religion with gadgets, yet the Pope has always loved them. He has said that the internet is a “gift from God” and says that we should use it to try and spread the word of Christianity. He has also used the video chat function on Google Hangouts to communicate with disabled children around the globe. His use of gadgets shows that even the most ancient of religions can learn to embrace new technology.

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