Tips, Tricks & News Articles

5 super hot tips for iOS 8!

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips, Mac Tips, News Articles.

Apple have released their latest and greatest operating system for their mobile devices but many people have been experiencing issues with the early iOS 8.0 release. All sorts of complaints from the device not powering off, to being unable to send text messages and the list goes on.  We've decided to put together a list of 5 things that you absolutely have to know about iOS 8 in order to get the most from it!  So here we go:

5 super hot tips for iOS 8

Tip #1 - Update to iOS 8.0.2 before you do anything else!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.29.01Make sure you update to iOS 8.0.2!  The initial bugs as reported with iOS 8.0 have been addressed and resolved in the iOS 8.0.2 update.  I didn't update to iOS 8.0 myself, especially after the initial problem reports, and having waited for iOS 8.0.2 I've now updated my iPhone and other devices and all is well!

Tip #2 - Quick Reply

replyA super new feature has been added that allows you to interact with notifications without actually needing to unlock the device or go to the app.  For example, if you receive a text message, just swipe to the left and click the "Reply" button.  You can enter your message and send it immediately!

Tip #3 - Hey Siri!

heysiriThis is a really cool feature, but it only works while your device is connected to mains power.  You need to enable "Hey Siri" by going into Settings -> General -> Siri on your device and choosing to "Allow Hey Siri".  Now, when your device is connected to mains power, just say "Hey Siri" followed by your command or question and Siri will activate immediately and respond!  You should say "Hey Siri" followed by your question in one fluid sentence, don't wait for Siri to start listening or it'll actually not hear what you say!

Tip #4 - Voice & Video in Messages

videoJust like in WhatsApp, you can now send voice and video messages from the Messages app directly. For voice, tap and hold the microphone icon next to the typing space while you speak. For video or photo, hold the camera icon on the left and swipe across then choose the photo icon, or press the red button to record video.  Couldn't be simpler 🙂

Tip #5 - Time Lapse & Slow Motion Video

timelapseYou can now shoot time-lapse and slow-motion videos using the Camera app. When you're about to record a video, scroll to the time-lapse or slow-mo feature and start recording. This is a really fun feature and after a while you should be able to get some really great clips with this. Spend some time experimenting, it's really awesome!

Using a timer to switch off music on your iPhone

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Do you like to listen to music when you're dozing off in bed at night?  It's great to have access to your music all the time with your iPhone or iPad, but I hate to go to sleep with music playing all night - I just don't get a restful sleep.  Luckily, there's a great feature built into iOS which allows you to use the Clock to set a timer for a specific amount of time.  The lovely thing is, you can use the same timer to switch off your music after a preset time too!

stop-playingSo the next time you're getting ready to hit the hay, just open the Clock app on your iPhone, select Timer from the menu at the bottom and choose how long  you want the music to play.  Then tap the button that says "When Timer Ends" and choose Stop Playing.

Now you can listen to your tunes in peace and by using a timer to switch off music on your iPhone, they'll stop playing once you're nice and comfortable, dreaming the night away!

Handy Level now built into iOS7

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Here's a great little tip - something I only discovered the other day and that really made me smile.  For a long time I've been using a great little app called iHandy Level.  It uses the motion sensor inside the iPhone to give you an approximate idea if something is level or not.  I don't use it a lot, but a few times I've been caught in a situation where I needed to roughly level something and had no level to hand.

levelNow, in iOS7, the Level feature is fully incorporated, but in a slightly less than obvious place.  Do a little search on your iPhone for Compass.  Open the compass app and calibrate it as suggested.  Nice compass right?  Now, slide to the left with your finger and voila!  There's the Level app built right in.  Try it out.... pop it on your desk and see if it's level.  When it hits 0 degrees, the screen turns green to indicate it's level.  I wouldn't rely on it 100%, but it's neat little feature eh?!?

Using your new iPhone 5s with your old 30-pin Cable

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

I've been using an iPhone 4S for quite some time, with the standard Apple 30-pin USB to dock connector cable.  This has always worked fine, no hassle (apart from the extortionate price of the cables!)

However, just recently, I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 5S.  For speed, for features, for the screen size, for all the new goodies.  In fact, the lightning connector was one of the things that enticed me to purchase due to its size and flexibility (you no longer have to worry about which way around you insert the cable.)  But then.........

I hopped in my car and went to connect my phone to charge using the Parrot MKi9200, only to suffer the sudden blinding realisation that it comes with the standard 30-pin dock cable integrated.  Doh! I thought.  Well, ok, off to eBay to purchase myself a nice little 30-pin to lightning adaptor.  I found one easily and the price was reasonable at about €5 so I ordered it straight away.  It never occurred to me for a second that it might only charge the phone but not permit digital audio output.

So the adaptor arrived and I promptly ran to my car to try it out.  I plugged it in and....... nothing.  Not a thing.  Not so much as a "This device is not supported" message.  Hmm... I thought.  What the heck??  I played around with it for a little while and then got busy and had to leave it.  It sat in my car for a few weeks connected to the dock cable and every so often I'd try it again but then just get too busy to worry about it.

Today, I finally took it back out of the car to test it with a standard dock cable in the house and see if perhaps the adaptor was faulty.  I connected it to a standard cable, plugged it into my Mac and hooked it up to the phone.  Again, nothing.  Then it dawned on me.  It's the case.  There is a small ridge at the bottom of the case that I use which means that the adaptor is not entering the slot fully.  Having removed the case, I connected the adaptor and suddenly it started to charge. Damn!  That's exactly what I didn't want!!

This is what the adaptor that I bought looks like:


If there's one thing I won't do, it's remove the case from my iPhone in order to use any accessory.  If it won't fit with the case on, it's no use to me.  So I figured, not to worry, I'll go looking for a nice little 30-pin dock to lightning cable instead.  Something like this for example:


Looking around, I did find a few of these.  They were a little more expensive, but I figured it would be worth it.  Then I started to read the reviews.  That only made me go back and read the reviews of the original adaptor that I bought.  In all cases, the results were the same.  Digital audio output is not supported.  Basically, these cables and adaptors would only charge and wouldn't allow me to use the audio features of my Parrot car kit.  So off I went to the online Apple store to see if they had an "original" one which might support audio.  Well, yes, of course they do.  Including delivery the price of the cable is no less than €45!!

I sat staring at the screen for a while, then I did some more searching elsewhere, I read more reviews and finally came back to the Apple store.  I stared at the price a while longer and read some of the reviews on their own site.  Then I read this article:

This helped me to make my decision, as it categorically states that this original Apple cable will do exactly what I want with the kit I have.  Still sickened by the price, I decided to go ahead and purchase it because the alternative is to change the car kit which will cost a lot more than €45.  Needless to say, it has left a bitter taste in my mouth, but at least I'll be able to charge my phone while driving again and listen to my music while I do it.

My advice is this: when you're looking for these kind of adaptors, read the small print carefully.  The cheap ones very often don't work and if they do, they may not support all the features you are looking for.  The original adaptor that I bought will serve as a charger for my phone with one of my old cables, but only if I remove the case (which I would only do if I was really stuck).  Effectively, it's made the price of my new cable more than €50 which doesn't make me a very happy camper!


How to restore a disabled iPhone – PDF Guide

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips.

PDF5Due to the overwhelming number of requests that we've been receiving from people who have iPhones, iPads and even iPods that are disabled for 22 million minutes and can't be restored through the normal methods, we have decided to release a Do-It-Yourself step by step guide in PDF format on how to restore a disabled iPhone.  As we are all very well aware, iPhones are expensive devices and to have one disabled so that it can no longer be used is an absolute nightmare!  Not only is it frustrating, but it's extremely costly to replace the device.

For that reason, we have decided to do away with the time and cost associated with a Live Support session to resolve this issue and allow our clients to simply download the guide instantly and carry out the procedure themselves, thereby saving money and guaranteeing no wait time.  We've decided to offer the guide at the amazingly low price of $12.95 $4.95 (specially reduced price for 1 day only!) so that it will be affordable to anyone that needs it.  Payment can be made via a PayPal account, or using a credit card (which is also processed via PayPal).  We use PayPal for security both for ourselves and for our clients.

If you are one of the unlucky people that are stuck in this predicament, just click the link below to purchase the guide and download it instantly!  If, after following the instructions, you are still unable to restore your phone we will gladly offer you a Live Support session at no extra charge.  That's how confident we are that this guide will solve your problem!  So click the following link to download the guide right now:

Team Treehouse!

Posted by on in Mac Tips, News Articles.

For the past year now, I've been using Team Treehouse as an excellent learning tool for many different technologies.  It's based on video tutorials that are very high quality and easy to follow. Real views for better search results were provided by professional and trusted The Marketing Heaven. Except that, they provided also real followers for YouTube channel, so you can now find it, follow and stay posted with all news. Each tutorial is followed by a quick quiz to make sure you were paying attention and they courses are designed cleverly so that you follow a clearly defined path to success.

I can't recommend this service highly enough and as they are running a special offer at the moment, I thought I'd share it with you all.  You can use the link below to get 50% off your first month's subscription and they offer a full 30-day money back guarantee in case you aren't fully satisfied.  I don't think you'll need that though!  Have fun 🙂


Windows to Mac made easy – training course at!

Posted by on in Mac Tips, Updates, News Articles.

imageExciting news! We've just finished a brand new video course which is now available at!

The course is aimed at users that currently use Windows and are considering moving to Mac. It covers such things as:

• Why you should switch to Mac
• Commonly asked questions and concerns
• Similarities & Differences between Windows & Mac
• Super cool Mac features that you MUST know about

The course contains over 3 hours of content, delivered using high-tech screen recording technology to allow us to present both Windows and Mac operating systems side-by-side, delivering the best comparison available!

If you are a Windows user, or you know people that use Windows and that should be using Mac, this course is for you! It's even possible to gift the course to a friend if you wish.

To all our Facebook likers & Twitter followers, we are offering a very special promotional discount - you can use the link below to get a whopping 25% off the list price! For a limited time, you can also share this link with your friends and they can benefit from the discounted price also!

So get clicking and we'd be delighted to hear your feedback

Send items directly from the Finder

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Mac OS X (10.7+) has a really neat new feature which allows you to send items directly from the Finder.  It's very easy to use and can be a real time-saver.  To use this feature, simply go to the Finder and open a new Finder window.  Find the files that you want to send and select them.

Once you have selected the items you want to send, simply click the Share button that's located in the title bar of the Finder window.


You'll be presented with a list of options which can vary depending on the type of files that you've selected.   Choosing Email will open a new email in the Mail program and attach the files, ready for sending.  If you choose Message, a new message will be created in the Messages app with the files attached.  If you've selected photos, as in the image above, you can post them directly to Facebook or Flickr.

Using these quick access features can really speed you up and help you to get the most from your Mac!

Changing the APN on your iPhone

Posted by on in iPhone Tips.

To use your iPhone to connect to the internet via your mobile phone SIM card, you need to have a subscription to a cellular data service.  This is provided by your mobile phone operator.  However, in order for it to work correctly, some settings need to be configured on your phone.  Very often, these settings are automatically configured on your SIM card so that they match the mobile operator that you're using. The main settings that are relevant are what's known as the Access Point Name (APN), the username and the password.

Without these settings correctly configured, it makes no difference if you have a subscription for data or not.  You won't be able to access the internet through the SIM card.  To check that these settings are correct, or to change them as required, you would normally access the Cellular Data section which you'll find in Settings > General > Network > Cellular on older versions of the iOS (generally pre-iOS6) and on later versions you'll usually find these located in Settings > General > Cellular.  Once there, you should see the above settings and can modify them as required.

Generally speaking, the mobile operator will set these values for you and as a result, they often hide this menu option so that you can't even get in there to change the settings.  This is where most people run into trouble.  If your internet works through the SIM card, you'll probably never even go looking for these settings.  If it doesn't, there's a fair chance that you won't be able to access the menu item to change them because your mobile operator has hidden that option.  This is not related to the version of iOS that you have installed.  It is directly related to the mobile operator that you use.

apn1However -  there is some good news.  I found myself in this very situation with a Spanish mobile operator.  In fact, it generally becomes a problem when you are using a sub-operator of one of the main operators.  So, for example, in Spain you have main operators such as Movistar, Vodafone and Orange.  Then you have many, many cheaper sub-operators such as Happy Movil, Mas Movil, Lebara and so on.  These networks actually use the infrastructure of one of the main networks - they don't have their own physical networks.  So, in my case, I was using Mas Movil.  Since Mas Movil is a sub-operator of Orange, the SIM card I received had the APN, username and password configured for Orange and it had the option to change these settings hidden.  So no matter how many times Mas Movil told me the settings I needed (which were not the same as Orange), I had no way to actually input them.  Then I found the solution and it's worked so beautifully for me for years that I thought it was worth sharing.  It makes changing the APN on your iPhone a breeze!

All you've got to do is head over to, select the country and network that you are using and the website will generate a Profile which can be automatically installed on your iPhone.  As soon as it's installed and activated, you're done.  The only caveat here is that you must have access to the internet on your iPhone via wifi in order to be able to access the website, so make sure you do it before you travel to another country where you need to change the APN!

apn2The settings that you need for the network you are using are then stored in the profile in your iPhone and automatically override the SIM card settings.  Voila!  You have succeeded in changing the APN on your iPhone and you can access the internet via your mobile phone SIM!

Remember, you must go to the above website using Safari or another browser on the iPhone itself, not on your computer.  Otherwise you will not be able to create a profile.

iMac running very slowly

Posted by on in Mac Tips, News Articles.

Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.

Symptoms can include your iMac running very slowly - much more slowly than normal.  Also read/write errors occurring while copying files, backing up, migrating etc.  It can also cause the iMac to suddenly no longer start up, showing a "no-entry" symbol on the screen instead.  While using your iMac, you may also notice that you see the spinning "beach ball" much more frequently than normal and it stays for much longer than expected.

Apple have accepted that there is an issue with a particular batch of hard drives used and they have extended the warranty on affected iMacs to cover the replacement of the hard drive.  If you think you have been affected, you can check your iMacs eligibility for the hard drive replacement program here: