Tag Archives: iPhone

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?

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  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.

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  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.

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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.

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.

Apple Releases New Emojis With iOS Update

emojis

In April 2015, Apple released its latest iOS, which promised to have loads of brand new features and updates. As with any new system, there was a whole load of hysteria, and many people speculated on what the new features would be. The system is available on both iPhones and iPads right now. Since its release, though, users have noticed a great number of problems with the system. One of the main issues with it is that some of the emojis appear differently depending on what version of iOS you have.

Apple’s iOS 8.3 beta

The latest system is the iOS 8.3 beta, which has only just hit the mainstream market. One of the main things people are saying about the upgrade is that, once you download it, it is impossible to downgrade back to iOS 8.2. Other than that, there are many new features that the new system offers users. The update allows Apple customers to use a better version of CarPlay. The feature means that users can sync their phones with touch screens in their car. Aside from that, the system has rectified some of the problems with previous iOS downloads.

New emojis

In the name of diversity, the latest upgrade has a whole new set of emojis. The emojis vary greatly in skin tone, which means that they are much more diverse than any previous images. The emoji keyboard has also had a rather dramatic makeover, meaning it is much easier to use the broad range of images than it used to be. If both Apple users have the latest iOS, there is no problem with these images. If, on the flip side, you try to send an emoji from a phone with iOS 8.3 to one with iOS 8.2, you might run into a range of issues.

For example, if you try to send a dark-skinned emoji from the new system to a phone with an older version of iOS, you will find that it is an alien. This issue has angered many iPhone users, who have taken offence to the problem. That is not the only example of the emojis not translating to older systems. The main problem with this feature is that some of the new emojis appear to be other things when you send them. That means that while you might want to send someone an emoji of a baby, they might get a nose instead. As you might imagine, this issue could lead to no end of problems when you are trying to communicate with other users.

Other changes to the brand new system

As if the new emoji keyboard was not enough to excite (or anger) users, there are yet more features available with the new system. As we have already mentioned, the system allows users to access an updated version of the CarPlay feature. There have been yet more changes to Siri and the iCloud, which should aid usability. The update is available to all Apple users, regardless of the generation of their device. Only time will tell if this update is an improvement for Apple devices.

Android Wear Soon To Work On The iPhone

 

android-wear

The popularity of smart watches means that every company is currently creating their version of the device. From Apple to Android, there are loads of different watches about to hit the market or, indeed, already on sale. These gadgets are much like smartphones in that they will have all the capabilities that most modern phones have. The catch? Well, of course, they are much smaller than the average smartphone. Most mainstream brands are currently developing these devices.

One of the main issues with the devices is compatibility. If a user gets an Android Wear watch, can they synchronize it with their iPhone? In the same respect, can an Apple Watch work alongside any other smartphone, such as Windows phones and Android phones? The answer is unclear, at least at the moment. Sources suggest that Google, one of Apple’s competitors, are close to developing software to work with iOS.

What does this mean for the gadget?

If they were to be successful, this move would mean that users could sync their Android Wear watch with their iPhone. That means that users would have a wide variety of choice when it came to choosing a smart watch. These days, consumers use their smartphones in every aspect of their waking lives. From alarm clocks and reminders to calorie counters and fitness apps, people use this technology for it all. Without the technology that syncs the two conflicting systems, users would have to stick with the same brand. For example, iPhone owners would need to get an Apple Watch to make sure that they can sync all their apps. The new software will mean that people can mix and match the tech they own.

Will Apple allow it to happen?

Ultimately, Apple has the final say when it comes to this new software. It doesn’t matter whether the Google developers can create the software – Apple still has the right to reject it. In order for users to sync the two systems, the apps would have to be available for both the Apple App Store and the Android store. If Apple decides to reject the software from their store, it means that there would be no way in which users could download it. As we already know, Apple has tight security when it comes to external downloads. With the release of the Apple Watch on the horizon, it would make sense that the company would reject the cross-platform app. After all, Android Wear is in direct competition with Apple.

Previous issues with external apps

Of course, if Apple does decide to stop Google from releasing this app for iOS, it would not be the first time they have rejected their apps. In 2010, the mega-company stated that it would reject any apps mentioning other brands. It is unlikely that this software would not mention Android, which, of course, is a massive problem. The jury is still out on whether Apple will accept the new app, but things don’t look all that promising. After all, Apple has no real incentive to promote a rival app to users!