Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to print from your iPhone

Paper is passé and printouts are old hat, but sometimes you just have to have a hard copy of something. You can view websites and read books on your iPhone – particularly on the huge screen of the iPhone 6S Plus – and you can share all kinds of files with colleagues and friends; but if you’re delivering a presentation, for example, you might also want to hand out notes on paper, or you might want to print out a poster to put on the wall.

The simple solution is a built-in feature called AirPrint, which enables you to print directly from your iPhone or other iOS device to a compatible wireless printer.

Except for the very cheapest models, a wide range of home printers are AirPrint-compatible, where you can also read more about how it all works. AirPrint is built into iOS, so you don’t need any extra software or apps in order to print, though some printer manufacturers also have free iOS apps that you can use to select advanced printer settings from your iPhone or iPad.

To use AirPrint, you simply set up your printer on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and use the Print option available in iOS apps, including Photos, Safari, Mail and most third-party apps you install.

Your iPhone or iPad will automatically detect the printer on your network and connect to it in order to print. What’s more, multi-page documents are printed with the last page delivered first, so the final stack of paper is in the right order for you to pick up and take away.

Not AirPrint compatible?

Even if your printer isn’t AirPrint-compatible, there’s a handy solution: install an app called Print n Share (£4.99 / $6.99). This will enable you to use any printer attached to your Mac or PC.

You’ll need to install a free helper utility called WePrint on a Mac or PC, which then enables your iOS device to relay to any printer that’s connected to the computer via USB or Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi.

You can even print remotely via 3G/4G, so your document is ready and waiting for you to pick up on your printer when you get home.

Printing from some apps isn’t as straightforward with Print n Share as it is with AirPrint: from Pages, for example, you first need to use Open With to send the file you want to print to Print n Share. Once it’s set up, though, Print n Share offers other useful features, including the ability to zip and unzip files and support for cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

iPhone tricks you must discover now

Almost everything Apple brings to the table is exquisite, user friendly, simplified and intuitive. When it comes to your iPhone, there are nevertheless some features and commands you wish were quicker or more in handy.

The news is great, as the iPhone has a bunch of hidden tricks that you may not have realized existed. First of all, the keyboard. Whatever you do, when it comes to communicating with friends, you need your keyboard to be as simple and compact as it can be. You’ve probably been using your iPhone’s keyboard without realizing that it’s actually easier than you thought to add symbols to your message.

So, instead of tapping once on the 123 button and then again on the ABC button when you’re done, you tap an hold the 123 button then slide your finger to select the symbol you want to insert.

If you have a business conversation you need currencies symbols for, there is a very easy way out in finding them and efficiently using them on your iPhone. Tap the 123 button to go to the numbers and symbols keyboard, then tap and hold symbols such as the pound sign to find other currencies.

Phrasing will be much easier with this next one. Instead of going to the symbols menu to find a full stop, you can double tap the space button. It will add a full stop to the end of the word you’ve just typed.

Shake it to bring it back! This one helps you bring back all the content you’ve been mistakenly deleted. By simply giving a shake to your iPhone, you can bring up the undo/redo button.

When you want the music over, stop it with a timer! Use the hidden “stop playing” timer and choose how long you want the music to play for, as you drift off to sleep.

To activate the timer, go to the clock app and tap “timer” in the bottom right of the screen. Set your time and tap “when timer ends”. There, scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select “stop playing”. This trick also works for audio books and other media.

This next one makes your phone blink when you get a message. Go to settings – general – accessibility and scroll down to the “hearing” section, where you can turn on “led flash for alerts”. Every time you get a notification, the flash next to your iPhone’s rear facing camera will work.

If you want to find words or phrases on a web page, you can find a simple way of doing it. Just type the word or phrase in the search bar at the top of your screen. You’ll see a list of search results, but you need to look at the bottom of a list for a section that reads “on this page”. Tap it and   you’ll see the results highlighted on that particular web page, in yellow.

The iPhone has useful tricks when it comes to pictures also. You can switch directions easily, if you turn on the Panorama mode. Change the direction of your Panorama in the Camera App by tapping the arrow that appears in the middle of the screen in the Panorama mode.

Last but not least, you can use your headphones to make a selfie. When the camera app is open on your iPhone, you can use the volume up button on your headphones to take a photo. It reduces shake and you can take a more natural looking photo from further away or take a photo hands-free.

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Apples Siri Tips Tricks and Surprising Capabilities

Tips, 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.

Apple iPhone 5S Tips and Tricks

It’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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Updating to Apple iPhone iOS 7

Updating 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!

8 iPhone Tips and Tricks Every iOS Device Owner Should Know

Did you just get a new iPhone 5 and want to learn how to utilize it efficiently?  Or have you had your iPhone a while but are interested in some secret tips and tricks to get the most use out of your phone?  Below are ten handy tips and tricks to ensure you’re using your iPhone (running iOS 6) to the fullest.

  1. Easy Scrolling

Instead of wasting your time swiping your finger up and down over and over again to reach the top of a webpage you’re reading, top once in the status bar.  The status bar is located where the time and battery life are displayed.  One tap on the status bar will jump you to the top of the webpage, email, article you’re reading.

  1. Email Tips

There are many suffixes proceeding the period in an email address, including “.com,” “.org,” and “.net.”  Rather than typing the entire ending out when composing an email, simply hold down the period key to view other address endings.  This also works when you’re typing in websites.  Hold down the period key to see alternate endings to your website.

You can also view your email drafts quickly.  Simply press and hold the Compose Message button, and the iPhone will bring you to a screen that shows all your previously composed drafts.  The Compose Message button is located at the bottom, right-hand corner of your Inbox screen.  It is a box with a pencil in it at a diagonal.  This button will allow you to compose new messages and quickly access your drafts.

  1. Keyboard Tips

Tired of switching between the numerical and alphabetical keyboard when composing messages or typing email addresses?  Avoid the hassle of switching keyboards by tapping and holding the “123” key and dragging your finger to the number you’d like to select.  Select the number, lift your finger, and watch your phone revert immediately back to the alphabetical keyboard.

If you’re looking for a more creative way to express yourself when texting, tweeting, emailing, etc., try the new iOS 6 “Emoji” keyboard.  Access this keyboard by going to Settings, General, Keyboard, International Keyboards, Add New Keyboard, Emoji.  Emoji allows you to type with various faces, shapes, pictures, etc.

  1. Speed Through Apps

You can switch between open apps by returning to the home screen every time, or you can double tap the Home button.  Double tapping the Home button—the button at the bottom center of the phone, below the screen—brings all apps that are already running to the bottom of the screen.  You can then swipe to the left to scroll through the apps and select the one to which you’d like to switch.

  1. Save Battery Life by Closing Running Apps

You can also close running apps that might be open by double tapping the Home button.  Double tap the Home button; then press and hold your finger on an app.  The apps will begin to wiggle, and a red circle with a white horizontal line will appear in the top left corner of every app.  If you hit that red circle, the phone will close the app.  Don’t worry; it won’t delete the app.  It’ll only close the app so it’s not unnecessarily running in the background and wasting precious battery life.  Oftentimes, apps have location services running in them—especially maps—and those location services waste battery life.  Those are especially smart apps to close when not in use.

  1. Take a Screen Shot

Ever wanted to capture the screen you’re viewing but never knew how?  Take a simple screen shot.  You can do this by tapping the Home button and the On/Off button simultaneously.  In case you cannot find it, the On/Off button is located on the top, right side of the iPhone.  Tapping the Home and On/Off buttons together will instantly take a picture of whatever you have displayed on the screen and save the photo to your phone.

  1. Organize Your Apps

Organize your life by organizing your apps.  You can create folders in which to place your apps.  You can do this by first pressing and holding your finger on an app button.  This will make all the apps wiggle, as if you were closing or deleting them.  Select an app with your finger and drag it atop another app.  This will automatically create a folder in which both apps rest.  When you create the folder, your phone will automatically generate a title for the folder, but you also have the option of personalizing the folder by creating your own name.  You can fit a total of 12 apps in a folder.

  1. Read Easier

If the iPhone screen is too small to read, the iPhone offers Safari Reader for most websites.  If Reader is available on a website, a small button that says “Reader” will show up in the URL right next to the website address.  By tapping this button, your phone will take you to a separate screen that allows you to choose between two different text sizes and view the content of the website more clearly.

Now you have a few tips and tricks to keep in your pocket with which you can better use your iPhone.