Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recovering your your password

Here is a great article on how to recover you Apple ID and or Password

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Apple iPads, iMacs on deck

New Apple iPads, iMacs on deck. Apple's briefing scheduled for Oct. 16 may not be as overhyped as last month's iPhone 6 and Apple Watch launch, but there's plenty for businesses to appreciate. The lineup discussed Thursday should include speedier tablets with screens that make them easier to use outdoors in field applications, powerful new integrated desktops with high-resolution display technology, and the latest overhaul to the Macintosh operating system. Plus, stay tuned for details more about Apple Pay. Wired

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Set Old Messages to Automatically Delete

Tip of the Day: Set Old Messages to Automatically Delete

If you do a lot of texting, your Message app is probably clogged with old messages. Before iOS 8 you had to manually delete conversations or individual messages. Now you can set the app to automatically delete all messages older than 30 days or one year. The default setting lets you keep your messages forever, which could be handy if everything you write is a gem of unparalleled wisdom. Everyone else, read on:

Go to Settings>Messages and tap Keep Messages to open.

Select 30 days or 1 year and your iDevice will start automatically deleting messages once they are older than your chosen time period.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I finally got my iPad to take calls like an iPhone (but it wasn't easy)


1 Day Ago

Two of the neatest features I expected from Apple's new iOS 8 operating system for its mobile devices involve that old disrespected function, voice calling on the phone.

One enables wi-fi calling on the iPhone--the device can connect for voice calls, not only data services, when its wifi connection was stronger than its cellular signal. The other is the ability to answer calls coming in to your iPhone from your iPad or Mac. The Mac end of what Apple calls "Continuity" won't be available until its Yosemite upgrade for the Mac operating system comes out next month, but the function is supposedly available now for the iPad.

That's because iOS 8 has another feature common to new Apple software: if you need instructions, you're on your own. Apple's own tutorials typically are almost worthless--if you can even find the right one in the first place.

Consequently, the effort to get a new function operational sometimes involves fun, but also cursing. It can resemble a treasure hunt, the search for Waldo, or the quest for the Higgs boson. It took me forever to get the iPhone handoff to work--well, a couple of hours, anyway. The key turned out to be a simple tweak of the iPhone settings. But I did the cursing, so you don't have to.

So here are the steps. Both devices, naturally, must be running the upgraded iOS 8 software. This instruction set is based on my personal research and experience, so if you've found shortcuts or alternatives, feel free to add them in comments:

1. Make sure both devices are on the same wi-fi system. You can't make or answer a call on your iPad if it's with you in Cleveland and you've left your iPhone at home in Long Beach. Use Settings/Wi-Fi on each device to manage the connection.

2. Link both devices to the same iCloud account. Settings/iCloud manages this.

3. Activate FaceTime on both devices. At Settings/FaceTime. It's possible that the installation of iOS 8 activates FaceTime by default--it was active on my devices when I started, though I may have done that myself at some other time. Anyway, if not, activate it.

4. Enable "iPhone cellular calls" on both devices. This switch is on the Settings/FaceTime page.

Then--and this is the secret key:

5. Turn off wifi calling on your iPhone (Settings/Phone/Wi-Fi calling). That's right--the iPhone handoff won't work if your phone is configured to use the other great new iOS 8 function, wifi calling.

It's impossible to know if this is a limitation dictated by technology, or merely the product of Apple cussedness. But this step forces you to choose between enhancing your iPhone's connectibility, or making and answering calls with your other Apple devices. This is a big drawback, because if a call comes into an iPhone without a decent cellular connection, the handoff won't work either. (Again, that's my experience.) At a home like mine, which is situated in a cellular black hole, the choice is down to having any iPhone connectivity at all, or having spotty connectivity and the neat-o power to use the iPad and--eventually--the Mac as a phone. Decisions, decisions.

By the way, if you turn on "Wi-Fi calling" and then want to reactivate the handoff, you have to turn off "Wi-Fi calling" and separately reactivate the "iPhone cellular calls" setting on FaceTime. The last time I had to jump through so many hoops to get software to work, I was using a Microsoft Windows PC. I don't do that anymore for exactly that reason. Apple needs to simplify this procedure.

One last thing. Some users advise turning these switches on and off before leaving them in the proper setting, as though to cleanse the device's palate. Also advised is rebooting both devices after all the settings have been changed. Don't know if that helps, but it can't hurt.

The real issue here, however, is why Apple drops its users into the murk when it introduces a new application. Some fan websites have begun to publish instructions for the handoff similar to mine (see here and here), which implies that the confusion is general among iOS 8 users. It will only spread as more people download and install iOS 8.

The user-generated support forums on Apple's website often are a good resource for troubleshooting a problem that's likely to be common, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be anything on the handoff issue. iOS 8, which was released this week, may simply be too new. But would it kill Cupertino to give us, its loyal customers, a little more help?

Keep up to date with The Economy Hub by following @hiltzikm.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A great innovation, the Apple Watch

The apple watch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Protect Hearing By Setting Volume Limits on Music Played in iOS

Have you ever had someone pass you their headphones to hear a song, and had your ears blasted by an outrageously loud volume level? Well, by default, anyone can crank the volume up on music played from an iOS device to 100%. That may sound like no big deal, but there are situations where listening to music that loud could potentially be problematic, leading to inattentiveness to the outside world or even theoretical hearing issues. This is particularly important for kids, who may not realize that the volume level is harmful. Thus, if you or your kids listen to a lot of music with headphones on from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you may want to consider setting a maximum volume limit for the Music app.

Maximum Volume is an optional setting which sets a system wide volume limit that overrides whatever the Music app Volume setting is adjusted to. This means that even if the Music app is set to 100%, if the system volume limit is set to 50%, the music will not reach beyond that 50% setting. This can help to prevent a variety of issues from listening to music thats too loud, and can be a good trick to protect the hearing of sensitive individuals, especially kids who may be playing with the physical side volume levels, but even for those of us who just listen to a lot of music with headphones on or earbuds in (and yes, the volume limit does apply to soundport AUX audio output too).

Setting a maximum volume limit to Music played from iOS is quite simple:

  1. Open the "Settings" app and scroll down to find the "Music" section
  2. Select the "Volume Limit" option, which will be set to "Off" by default
  3. Adjust the Volume Limit slider to a level you want to set as the maximum
  4. Tap to go Back or exit out of Settings to set the limit

With a volume limit cap set, you can launch the Music app and start playing a song or radio station to immediately hear the difference.

Again, this may not be a big deal for many iPhone, iPod, and iPad users, but it can be a really great tip for parents and educators to prevent issues with blasting audio.

But what about the few songs or audio tracks in a Music library that have much lower audio levels, and are hard to hear without cranking the volume up? iOS has thought of that situation, with a separate unique setting called ‘Sound Check’, which evens the volume levels out of played audio so that all songs are generally played at the same level. That works particularly well with the Volume Limit, and is a good additional trick to use.

Be mindful that some third party headphone brands have their own volume controls on their physical hardware as well, meaning that despite setting a volume limit for the Music app, the headphones themselves may be able to play something extremely loud and at a harmful level. If you use a pair of headphones like that and share them with children, you may want to set a lower iOS Volume Limit to accommodate for any extreme levels.

This covers the iOS world with an iPhone and iPad, but the Mac and many apps like iTunes have similar features for music and volume levels too (even getting song specific in iTunes). Similar to headphones however, most external speakers also include their own volume controls too, which can easily override the system setting, so be aware of that and set the limits accordingly.


How to fix an iPad that's been disabled after entering the wrong passcode

by Kelly Hodgkins, m.tuaw.comFebruary 11 10:30 AM

Have you ever picked up your iPad, only to discover it has been disabled by your curious children who entered the password too many times? Or maybe you've done it yourself when you've forgotten the passcode you created a month ago? if you enter in an incorrect password too many times, iOS will think someone is trying to break into your device and will disable it.

The problem with a disabled device is that you can't type in the password anymore, even if you suddenly remember it. You either have to wait a certain amount of time or connect the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iTunes, if it has been permanently disabled. Here are a few tips to help you get that device unlocked without losing valuable information.

Try to back up the iOS device in iTunes

The first thing you should try to unlock your disabled device is a simple iTunes backup. Connect your iOS device to your computer via USB and open iTunes. Select the device in the upper right-hand corner to display its properties in the main screen.

Click on the "Back Up Now" button to start a sync. You may be prompted to type in your password on your iOS device to start the sync because the device is locked. Once you have typed in your password, you can cancel the back up and start using your device.

Restore the device using iTunes and a previous backup

If the backup trick doesn't work, then you may have to reset the passcode by restoring the device. This only works if you have previously synced your device with iTunes and have a backup stored on your computer. Follow these steps to restore your device and reinstall your backup.

Connect the device to the computer with which you normally sync and open iTunes.

If the device is still disabled, or if iTunes does not automatically sync your device, sync the device with iTunes by pressing the "Back Up Now"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Restart iPhone / iPad Without Using Power Button & Home Button

Ever needed to reboot an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that doesn’t have a functioning power button or a Home button? It’s tricky if not impossible, right? Even with the Assistive Touch on-screen buttons and variety of workarounds for a failed power button, rebooting an iOS device without working hardware buttons is a challenge, but it turns out that a few indirect tricks can work to get restart any iOS device, even if none of the physical buttons are working.

We’ll cover two quick and easy methods to reboot any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – without having to use the hardware buttons at all. These methods rely on toggling software settings that initiate a soft reboot to the device, which means even if your physical buttons are completely malfunctioning, you can still restart a device if it’s necessary to.

Method 1: Reboot iPhone by Going Bold

Not only does bolding fonts make text easier to read on the iPhone and iPad, but, as you may recall when enabling the feature, it forces a complete system reboot to enable (or disable) the feature. Well, that sure is convenient for our purposes of rebooting the phone without functioning hardware buttons, right? Here’s how to do this:

Open the Settings app and head to "General"

Go to "Accessibility" and locate "Bold Text", flip that to the ON position

An alert will show up saying "Applying this setting with restart your iPhone" – so tap on "Continue" to immediately soft reboot the iOS device

Is that easy or what? The great thing about using the Bold Fonts trick to reboot an iOS device is that you won’t lose any network settings or customizations, the only change is to the font itself. You’ll either go bold, or lose the bold text and get a narrow font, depending on your setting to begin with.

This option is limited to modern versions of iOS that have the option, so if you’re working with an older device that doesn’t use iOS 7 or iOS 8, you won’t be able to use this trick, and instead you’ll want to go with method two described next.

Method 2: Restart the iPhone By Dumping Wireless Settings

All versions of iOS offer another indirect method of restarting a device; dumping the network settings. Yea, the same trick that often resolves issues with iOS networking issues a soft reboot in that process.

Head to Settings app and go to "General" and then to "Reset"

Locate "Reset Network Settings" and select it, then tap to confirm and reboot the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

The device instantly reboots, without having to use any of the hardware buttons.

While this works to restart all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, the obvious downside is that you lose wireless settings, so that means things like Wi-Fi passwords, VPN details, and Bluetooth connections, so be ready for that and jot down any complex logins or details beforehand.

By the way, if you’re facing this issue with an iOS device that has no functioning hardware buttons, why is that? Is the device damaged? If so, you may need to pay for repairs yourself, or just deal with it. On the other hand, did the hardware buttons just fail on their own? If so, and it’s an iPhone 5, you may qualify for for the free AppleCare Repair service under the Lock Button replacement program, and if so it’s worth using that service to fix the problem. Also, it’s important to remember that all iPhone, iPad, and iPod hardware that is still within warranty from Apple will get repaired for free, assuming the problem is with the hardware and not user caused.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An Upcoming iPhone Feature From Apple Will Completely Transform How You Use Apps

by Steven Tweedie,

Apple's new operating system for mobile phones and tablets, iOS 8, is slated to release in the fall, and one of its features will transform how you use your apps.

Apple calls it Extensibility, and it basically allows your apps to share both information and functionality with each other, which means less time spent switching between apps.

Let's say you have a favorite app for editing your photos, such as Adobe Photoshop Express.

Before Extensibility, you would need to be inside Photoshop Express in order to use its editing tools. But with Extensibility, you'll be able to access those same editing tools right from within Apple's native Photos app. The editing tools from Photoshop Express would act as the "extension" in this case, and the Photos app would then have access to that extension, allowing you to take advantage of Photoshop Express' unique features and functionality even from within outside apps.

Popular password management app 1Password has already demonstrated how it will use Extensibility to let users easily fill in password info from within any app. Before, you had to boot up 1Password, copy the password for a site or app, and then open the site or app and paste it in. But Extensibility eliminates those extra steps. Other apps can plug into 1Password and let you use it without opening a separate app.

So how does it work?

There are different types of extensions depending on how and where they will share information with other apps. Apple wants to prevent apps from simply having full access to all of the information in your other apps, so extensions are focused on particular functions and tasks, such as Share, Action, and Photo Editing.

It's important to note that an app won't be able to randomly request important info from another app without your consent. You have complete control over when an app makes a request to use an extension, meaning an app can't request your PayPal password from 1Password unless you ask it to.

Besides being secure, Extensibility means more information at your fingertips, and faster.

Apple, for example, is allowing extensions to plug directly into your iPhone's Notification Center, where it will act as a widget. If you want to stay up to date on the latest scores, you could enable ESPN's Sports Center app to see its extension in Notification Center, allowing you to quickly check out what's going on without opening the Sports Center app.

You won't only be able to glimpse information from within Notification Center, extensions will also let you take action.

Say you were using the Philips Hue app to control your smart light bulbs. Right now, that's all done within the app, making it a tad inefficient. But Philips has shown off an iOS 8 concept for an extension that would let you turn on and off your smart lighting, even select some pre-set mood lighting, all from a simple swipe up of the Notification Center.

At its WWDC conference in June, Apple highlighted how an eBay extension would allow you to keep track of auctions from within Notification Center. And since extensions can also include actions, you're even able to place a bid without opening the app.

Extensions can also be used to share things to your favorite social media site. Apple has limited sharing features integrated into iOS 7, but iOS 8 will usher in the ability for any social media app to design its own extension.

Say you're browsing the internet using Safari. With Extensibility, you'll be able to tap the image, select which social media website or app you'd like to share the picture with, and you're done.

Extensibility even extends to core Apple software, such as its keyboard. If another app has a keyboard that you like better than Apple's, they simply have to enable a keyboard extension to give users the ability to replace Apple's keyboard with their own.

At its heart, Extensibility will both remove friction and empower preference, letting users take their favorite app's killer feature and use it from within another app.

It's a giant step in the right direction for Apple, and it means that apps no longer will have compromise on polish in the name of being able to "do it all." Instead, they'll be able to focus on creating a unique experience that users will be able to take with them into other apps.

Extensibility will be available when iOS 8 launches as a free download this fall.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to fix an iPad that's been disabled after entering the wrong passcode

by Kelly Hodgkins,

February 11 10:30 AM

Have you ever picked up your iPad, only to discover it has been disabled by your curious children who entered the password too many times? Or maybe you've done it yourself when you've forgotten the passcode you created a month ago? if you enter in an incorrect password too many times, iOS will think someone is trying to break into your device and will disable it.

The problem with a disabled device is that you can't type in the password anymore, even if you suddenly remember it. You either have to wait a certain amount of time or connect the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iTunes, if it has been permanently disabled. Here are a few tips to help you get that device unlocked without losing valuable information.

Try to back up the iOS device in iTunes

The first thing you should try to unlock your disabled device is a simple iTunes backup. Connect your iOS device to your computer via USB and open iTunes. Select the device in the upper right-hand corner to display its properties in the main screen.

Click on the "Back Up Now" button to start a sync. You may be prompted to type in your password on your iOS device to start the sync because the device is locked. Once you have typed in your password, you can cancel the back up and start using your device.

Restore the device using iTunes and a previous backup

If the backup trick doesn't work, then you may have to reset the passcode by restoring the device. This only works if you have previously synced your device with iTunes and have a backup stored on your computer. Follow these steps to restore your device and reinstall your backup.

  1. Connect the device to the computer with which you normally sync and open iTunes.
  2. If the device is still disabled, or if iTunes does not automatically sync your device, sync the device with iTunes by pressing the "Back Up Now"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 Tips and Tricks to Make Siri More Useful

July 17 08:00 AM

I have a love-hate relationship with Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled digital assistant for iOS. On the one hand, she’s quite helpful when I need to do things like set reminders and compose text messages. On the other hand, it’s absolutely maddening when she repeatedly makes mistakes or can’t complete a task. So I can understand why people get frustrated and give up on using Siri altogether.

But you shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss her. Voice assistants like Siri (and Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana) can be useful and timesaving tools for getting things done and finding information. You just have to be willing to put in a little time and effort to better understand what Siri does and train her to be a smarter assistant.

To help you, I’ve gathered up some tips and tricks for using Siri. They range from the very basic for beginners to more advanced features that some current users may not know about.

For Apple’s part, the company is continuing to make improvements and add features to Siri. When iOS 8 is released this fall, Siri will gain new capabilities, such as providing visual feedback, so you can see how Siri translates your commands in real time. You’ll also have the ability to launch Siri using just your voice (as long as your iOS device is plugged in for charging, that is). But here’s what you can do with Siri right now.

1. Find out what Siri can do

If you just got an iPhone or haven’t really used Siri, it’s helpful to know what she can and can’t do. To find out, hold down the Home button and say, "What can you do?" Siri will then provide a list of sample questions and commands she understands, such as launching an application or asking for sports scores.

Alternatively, after you’ve activated Siri, you can tap the question mark icon in the lower left-hand corner and get the same results that way.

The first couple of times Siri misunderstands your commands, you’ll probably want to scream and drop-kick your iPhone. (Or maybe that’s just me.) But have a little patience and give her a chance to learn from the mistakes.2. If Siri makes a mistake, tell her

If Siri misinterprets something, swipe down on the screen to reveal your initial command and then use the "Tap to edit" to correct the statement or question. Not only will she return with new results, she’ll also remember the correction to provide better performance in the future.

3. Teach Siri how to pronounce names and tell her about your relationships

Along the same lines, you can tell Siri how contacts are related to you, so you can say things like "Call my husband" instead of "Call Ryan Gosling." To do so, say a command like "Text my boss," then Siri will ask you, "What is your manager’s name?" Or you can say, "Walt Mossberg is my boss" and Siri will add that relationship to her records.
I always thought my last name, "Cha," was pretty easy to pronounce (it’s just like the dance). But I get a lot of "Chow," "Che" or in Siri’s case, "Char." If Siri mangles any of your contacts’ names, you can correct her by saying, "That’s not how you pronounce his/her name." Siri will then ask you how to pronounce their first and last name and give you three different options to choose from. Once you’ve made your selection, Siri will use that pronunciation from then on.

4. Raise to speak

The most common way to activate Siri is by holding down the Home button for a couple of seconds. But there’s also an option to launch the app by lifting your iPhone up to your ear. This will only occur when you’re not on a phone call. If you prefer this method, go to Settings > Siri and then turn on Raise to Speak.

5. Create location-aware reminders

So for example, you can say something like, "Remind me to pick up the dry cleaning when I leave work." But in order for this to work, you will need to add the specific addresses — home, work, dry cleaners, and so forth – to your phone’s address book. Also, you’ll need to make sure you have Location Services turned on and that it’s enabled for Reminders. To check, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, or …
Siri has become my go-to method for setting up reminders. Rather than opening up the Reminders app and manually entering all the information, I can just dictate it to Siri and she’ll create it for me. But she’s also smart in that she can remind you to do something based on your location.

6. Launch specific settings

… tell Siri to open that specific setting. Finding the menus and settings to turn specific features on and off can feel like a fruitless search, so make it easy it on yourself and have Siri do it for you, with commands like "Open Mail settings." Use the same phrasing to launch specific applications.

7. Search your notes and emails

8. Have Siri read your messages, play voicemail
Another timesaving feature of Siri is her ability to search through your emails and notes. If you’re looking for a specific message about a work project, tell Siri, "Find email about Q3 projections," and she will retrieve any relevant emails, telling you how many related messages there are for that specific subject/sender dating back to the first record.

We all know that playing with your phone while driving is dangerous. If you must check your messages or voicemail, Siri can be a better option than looking down at your screen. Use commands like "Read my latest email" or "Play my voicemail" and she’ll read them aloud, and give you options to dictate a reply or ignore.

9. Find and make restaurant reservations

10. Have fun!
Oh, crap! You forgot about your wedding anniversary and you need to make dinner reservations ASAP. Siri can help you with that, as she can tap into Yelp and OpenTable to come up with top-rated restaurants and booking information. If you have a type of cuisine in mind, you can say something like, "Find the best French restaurant around," and Siri will list results based on your location and Yelp ratings. You can also say, "Make reservations for Spruce tonight at 7 pm," and Siri will tell you what’s available according to OpenTable.

There’s a lot more things that Siri can do, so have fun exploring. One of my favorite things to do is to ask her which planes are flying over me at the moment. Need to settle a bet with a friend about who’s the better player, LeBron James or Tim Duncan? Have Siri pull up their stats. She can even solve math problems.

Siri may not be perfect, but with a little effort on your part, she can help save you time and boost your productivity, and maybe even win you a bet.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

iPhone 6 Rumor Roundup


There have been months of rumors regarding the next iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 6" by bloggers and the media. Increasingly the rumors are coming from reliable sources, and some are now being supported by leaked images. Here's a roundup of what the rumors are saying.

As always, it's important to realize that rumors fall short of fact and that we won't know for sure what the new iPhone will be until Apple announces it, which will most likely be in September. Accompanying this post is a rendering by Martin Hajek based on the cases that manufacturers are already making and purported specs. It shows what a bezel-free, 4.7-inch iPhone may look like. You can see more renderings on NWE.


The rumors have converged around the new phone having a 4.7-inch display. Concrete evidence began surfacing in April, which I covered in a post on leaked photos of molds used to make the casing. The image at right shows the mold in comparison to an iPhone 4s. While earlier rumors said the phone would have a 1,920 x 1,080 display, most recently a credible rumor said it will have a resolution of 1334 x 750 (326ppi). You can read more in my post about Apple's roadmap for 2014, which relays information from Ming Chi Kuo, who usually has solid inside knowledge of what Apple is coming out with. Also, my post on leaked specs noted the iPhone 6 could sport an "ultra-retina" display at 389 ppi.

In addition, rumors have converged around Apple releasing a second new phone later in the year (or early next year) that would have a 5.5-inch display, which Ming Chi Kuo affirmed. In February I passed along the rumor that this "phablet" might not carry the iPhone moniker. Kuo also said that the phablet's display will be made of sapphire crystal or have a sapphire crystal laminate and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi). However, he said Apple may not use sapphire crystal in their 4.7-inch phone. In late February, I posted a hot rumor that the iPhone 6 display may use Quantum Dot technology, which renders colors much more accurately. Finally, in a post in early February, I passed along the rumor that said the phablet will be a 2K device, with 2,272 x 1,280 pixels.


In February we also began to get rumors that the iPhone 6 would have narrower bezels (the left and right borders on the display) or even no bezels. This would mean that while the display would be larger, it would keep the overall size of the phone as small as possible.

I also posted a photo of an iPhone 6 case that suggests the sleep/wake button will be moved to the right side of the phone opposite volume-up button. And I passed along the rumor that the shape of the phone's volume buttons will be an elongated pill shape, similar to the iPhone 5c. In that post I also reported noted that the iPhone 6 will emulate the iPhone 5c's holes on the bottom for the speaker and microphone as well as the iPhone 5c's back, rounded edges. In my post on the bezel-free design, I passed along the rumor suggesting that the Touch ID would be incorporated into the bottom of the display, and that there would no longer be a Home button.


Pretty much everyone expects the phone to have a new A8 processor. In March I passed along the rumor that new processor will be a quad-core chip with quad core graphics. I also posted in March some leaked specs, which included the tidbit that the processor will be a speedy 2.6ghz.


In a post in early February, I passed along some leaked specs that said the there would be a 128GB option for the new phone.


Some rumors have suggested it will be even thinner than the .3 inches of the iPhone 5s, as in this post about leaked specs in which I reported it will be in the range of .22 inches thick.


Rumors suggest the camera will continue to be 8-megapixel but will be much improved and will include optical image stabilization.


In mid-April reported that Apple was talking with the carriers to see what they'd think about a $100 price increase for the iPhone 6. So far, the carriers are balking, but it's possible Apple could succeed in getting them to agree to at least a small increase in price.

Bottom line

Everything points to a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and a larger 5.5-inch iPhone that would come out late this year, or even possibly early next year. Of course it will have a faster chip, and I'm betting we'll see the A8 processor. I also think it's a good bet that the appearance will change, such as the bezels, button shape, and edges. It will come with iOS 8, a feature of which will be the new Healthbook app for monitoring health and performance, as well as a new version of the Maps app.

What we don't know

There has been little news about the battery, but I think it's safe to assume the battery life will be longer, as Apple adopts new, more energy-efficient technologies. I expect them to use IGZO technology in their future displays, maybe even the iPhone 6. An IGZO display would use up to 90% less energy.

What it means

So is Apple copying Samsung, who's been making larger smartphones for several years? Steve Jobs was pretty clear that he thought a phone should be small enough that you could easily hold it in one hand. But larger phones and phablets have become extremely popular, so much so that a court document in Apple vs Samsung revealed that Apple explicitly acknowledged they needed a device to compete in this segment of the market. Not only does a larger phone seem to contradict the direction Steve Jobs gave, it also goes against Apple's long-held tradition of keeping its product line tightly focused. This has helped Apple be more profitable, as well as sell more devices. Research suggests that when there are too many options, consumers actually make fewer purchases. By the end of the year, we could have three phones to choose from: the iPhone 5s, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and a 5.5-inch phablet. That's quite a change for Apple.

Market analysts seem pretty much agreed, though, that the iPhone 6 is going to create the biggest splash of 2014 in the smartphone market. Many are already expecting huge sales for the device, and there are rumors that Apple will be making some 70 million of them. That's a lot of phones. In the meantime, the world awaits breathlessly to hear what Apple announces.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple is currently working on the best iPad accessory of all time

by Chris Smith,

June 12 03:30 PM
A new patent discovered by AppleInsider describes one way the iPad could get smarter, and that’s by using new Smart Cover accessories that would be able to display notifications, thus eliminating user’s need to continuously open the cover and check for emails, messagenotifications.

The patent, titled "Integrated visual notification system in an accessory device," describes various ways in which these new Smart Covers would work to show notifications.

Basically, the Smart Covers would incorporate visual elements, such as LED lights, in certain patterns that could light up to display various notifications related to incoming messages, apps or even battery status.

The Smart Covers could connect to the iPad with help of electric contacts or a cable for energy and data transmission, or could feature wireless inductive charging powers and connect to the device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for data exchange.

A third, more passive, option describes a Smart Cover that has transparent portions which would allow light to pass through. In such a case, the display of the iPad will turn on in those portions, creating a light-based notification effect.

Notifications can be displayed in form of words, shapes and symbols, and can appear in different portions of the Smart Cover. In order to make notifications quickly go away, users could use the existing power and volume rockers of the iPad.

Finally, the illuminated elements of the Smart Cover could be used for different purposes while the iPad is in actual use.

It’s not clear when, and if, such a Smart Cover would actually be launched. Earlier this year, a different Applepatent described a different direction Apple is taking with Smart Cover development, showing a touch-friendly full keyboard packed inside a Smart Cover concept.

For what it’s worth, the patent also includes images that seem to indicate a Smart Cover with the hinge along its width rather than its height is being considered by Apple.

Meanwhile, the competition has cases that allow notifications to pass through, especially on bigger smartphones such as the LG G3 or Galaxy Note 3 which have cases with cutouts that let the user interact with the device. A more passive notification-friendly case has been recently launched by HTC, the Dot View cover for the One (M8) handset.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Use Tech Like a Teenager

by Geoffrey A. Fowler,

June 10 07:05 AM

Enough with complaining that young people these days are addicted to their phones. The question you should be asking is: What do they know that you don't?

Believe it or not, there are advantages to using technology like a teen. I asked a handful of 11- to 17-year-olds to tell me what apps and gear they couldn't live without. They taught me to question my own habits: Why do I use email to talk with friends? Why do I only share my best photos?

Teens are among the most creative users of technology, in part because they don't have adults' assumptions about how things are supposed to work.

"I will just throw away the directions and see what I can make of it," Kapp Singer, a 14-year-old from San Francisco, told me.

Owning a smartphone, often a hand-me-down, means many teens can be pretty much always online, changing how they stay in touch with friends and express themselves.

Snapchat, the photo-messaging app in which images disappear after a few seconds, often puzzles adults who think of photos as formal, even permanent. But teens love it because of what can be said with instant pictures, especially disposable ones.

I'm not suggesting that everyone should immediately use Snapchat, but what if you tried it?

I did for a week, with my good-natured septuagenarian parents. After some trial and error, they were sending me "snaps": my dad struggling to pack a suitcase, my mom making funny faces. I shared a snap of tomatoes starting to grow in my garden.

My mom didn't like how quickly snaps disappeared. (A tip for Snapchatting moms: Press an iPhone's home and power buttons at the same time to save a screenshot of the snap.) But my dad thought it would be a good way to keep up with children and grandchildren. The ability to communicate with my parents in snippets meant I could keep up with them even when I didn't have time to call or write.

The experience mostly taught us we should share a lot more photos. The snaps we send aren't "important," but sharing those moments brings us closer together.

We can't just think of young people as future adults. Some of their habits are borne of uniquely teen circumstances, like not having a car. Yet from my conversations with them—and the social scientists who study them like a foreign culture—I found five practices that could change how you use technology.

Ditch Email

"Email is just where all the college applications go," says Ryan Orbuch, a 17-year-old from Boulder, Colo. (The only thing he finds more laborious is email's even more antiquated cousin, voice mail.)Only 6% of teens exchange email daily, according to the Pew Research Center. They reserve email for official communications, or venues like school where alternatives are banned.

Instead, he uses a fragmented set of messaging apps based on the people he wants to communicate with. For example, he uses Snapchat for one-on-one conversations, Facebook FB -0.03% Messenger to chat with groups and Twitter TWTR +0.93% to keep up with people he's never met in person.

For teens and adults alike, a message app is only as good as the network of people you can reach with it. The lesson for adults is that these newer tools, including apps like Apple's AAPL -0.42% iMessage, WhatsApp and Kik, drop the cumbersome formalities of email. There's no "Dear," no "Best Regards."

These apps also do a better job at managing conversations: Facebook Messenger lets you excuse yourself from irrelevant conversations, for instance.

There's also value in not having every single message stored on an email server. The idea is to just enable a regular conversation. "If someone was recording us as we were walking down the street, that would be weird—not because we have something to hide," Ryan says.

Express Yourself Through Images

The lesson for adults is that you can express things in images that would be time-consuming to write out, or read. "I couldn't scan 50 people's posts and texts as quickly as I could 50 people's posts on Instagram," says Kapp, the San Francisco 14-year-old.Today, 91% of teens post a photo of themselves on social media sites, according to Pew. Photos and short videos shared on Instagram or Vine can capture a funny moment, or say something that might offend (or anger parents) if it were written out.

But who wants to see all of these images? Oversharing can annoy teens, too. Instagram and other photo apps are actually an antidote: Instead of filling everyone's inbox, people share an image widely, while viewers choose whom they want to "follow." If people have too much to say, you can simply unfollow or mute them.

And don't just limit yourself to photos. Colorful hieroglyphics called "emoji" are available for the iPhone and Android keyboards, and many people use them to highlight messages. If those are too tiny, try the cartoonlike "stickers" found on Facebook, Kik, WeChat and other messaging services. Feeling frustrated? Send a sticker of a dog chasing its own tail.

Hide in Plain Sight

"Teenagers are growing up in a world where they assume surveillance," says Danah Boyd, author of "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens."Adults assume that young people don't care about privacy. But look closer: Some 58% of teen social-media users say they cloak their messages, according to Pew, using inscrutable pictures and unexplained jokes to communicate in code.

Natalie Jaffe, a 17-year-old from Pittsburgh, says she adjusts what she shares based on who may be able to see it. "I just make sure what I post is appropriate," she says, knowing that her 600 Instagram followers include both friends and parents.

The lesson: You can be "public" without having embarrassing things on the permanent record.

This could involve carefully managing the flow of information, through using disappearing-message apps or Facebook audience-privacy controls. It could also mean posting publicly about something without specifically naming it, known as subtweeting.

But take it from a teen: Subtweets can backfire. "That can always cause drama or confusion," Natalie warns.

Find Your Own Server

That's one reason playing the online game Minecraft has caught on like wildfire among teens, particularly with middle schoolers who have limited ability to gather on their own in the real world. Minecraft is like a gargantuan virtual Lego set you can work on together, without having to go to anyone's house.The Internet is a big public square. But it also has neighborhoods where you gather with friends and just hang out.

After school, San Francisco 11-year-old Traylor Smith-Wallis logs into Minecraft and a group Skype chat with as many as 18 buddies.

When they gather online, it's often on a server Traylor or one of his friends runs—that is to say, creep-free. "It's our virtual world, and you can make it whatever you want," he says. (His parents usually listen in the background, he adds, just in case one of his friends curses.)

The Internet has long had equivalents to Minecraft servers for niche communities. Even in the age of social networks, adults often form groups or discussion boards for their neighborhoods, hobbies or health interests.

Throw Away the User Manual

Teens think, "How can I test and experiment and bend this thing to my will, and make it do what I want?" says Pew Research Center's Amanda Lenhart, who studies how youths use tech.The reason teens are such avid early adopters isn't that they have an innate knowledge of tech—it's that they aren't afraid to break it.

(Of course, there are also adults with this mind-set. They're called hackers, and some of them are billionaires.)

Sometimes, they'll even invent new uses. Teen users of Venmo, an app for exchanging small amounts of money, have begun to pay friends $1 or another token amount, just to say "thanks" or "high-five." It's like a Like button with monetary value. Part of the reason may be that Venmo makes transactions public, though not the amounts.

The lesson: Experimentation is just as important as instructions, and don't despair if you don't have instant competence. Talk about new technology with your friends.

And when all else fails, flag down a teenager—you'd be surprised what you can learn.