iPod Tips

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!


What is DHCP?

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

Some of you will have had occasion to poke around in the network settings of your Mac, iPhone or iPad and you may have come across the term DHCP and wondered what it meant.  In most situations, you will find the network configuration of your device will be set to Configure Using DHCP.  So what is DHCP and what does it do?

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.  Sounds complicated right?  It's not!  What it means is simply this: instead of you needing to know all the settings that your device will need to connect to the network and internet, there is some device already on the network that can give you those settings automatically so that you just don't need to know!

Usually, the device that does this is the router that connects you to the internet.  Your own device, say your Mac or iPhone, simply sends out a message on the network asking if any device out there can provide it with the settings it needs.  Usually there is one and it sends back a message which says "Hi! I'm your router and I'd be pleased to help.  Here are the settings you need.  Have a nice day!"

Once this happens, your device is automatically configured with those settings and Voila! you are connected to the internet.  Clever eh?

airport-exclamSometimes, if there is no DHCP Server available (the device that gives out this information, such as a router), your device will not be able to get these settings and will not be able to get on the internet.  On the Mac, you will usually see this indicated as an exclamation mark in the Airport menu (on the menu bar).  If you look further by going to Apple Menu -> System Preferences and then choosing the Network pane, you will see more indicators that this is the problem.


As you can see in the image above, the status will show that it has a self-assigned IP address and the IP address will usually start with 169.xxx.xxx.xxx in this case.  When you see this, you can be sure that the problem is that your device is not able to get an IP address from the router (or DHCP server).  There are many reasons why this could be the case, but it's an excellent first step in finding the problem!


iPhone not connecting to a wireless network

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

It's quite common for people to have trouble with their iPhone not connecting to a wireless network, also with their iPad or iTouch.  There are a number of different reasons for this, but the one we are going to discuss today is the situation where your device actually appears to be connected to the wireless network but it cannot get on the internet.

The main cause of this problem is a bad network password.  That is, whenever you first connect to a wireless network that has a password, you will be required to enter it.  Things can start going wrong immediately at this point, if you enter the password incorrectly.  Depending on the type of encryption used, your device may actually accept the password you've typed, even if it is incorrect.  It's easy to make a typo when entering passwords, especially if they are long and complicated.

The other thing that can happen, which is very normal but is not at all as obvious as you would expect, is that someone may have changed the password for that network after you connected to it.  So, let's say I go to my friend's house today and he gives me the password for his network.  I enter the password and everything works well.  Then, a couple of days later I pop by the see him again, but now my phone connects to his network but won't go on the internet.  How frustrating!  After a while, I mention to my friend that I can't get online and he tells me that yes, he changed the password yesterday.  So now what to do??

The key is to understand why this has happened.  When you originally entered the password, your device saved a profile for that network, along with the password, so that you would not have to enter it each and every time that you wanted to connect.  In fact, it's a great feature.  It's this very feature that allows you just to wander in and out of places you've been, connecting to their wireless networks each time without the hassle of always entering the passwords.  But along with that blessing comes the problem that we've encountered at my friend's place.

wifi_arrowUsually all you need to do to fix this is to remove the profile and then reconnect to the network using the new password.  To do that, you should go to Settings -> Wifi.  Now, look for the network that's causing the problem.  You will most likely see a spinning wheel beside its name.  That's a good indication that the problem is the one we are discussing.  Now, look carefully and you will see a little arrow to the right of the network name.  You need to press that arrow.


wifi_forgetOnce you've pressed that arrow, you will be taken to another screen that shows you some details about the network and also has a button that says Forget This Network.  What this means is, delete the stored profile for this network, so that I can re-enter the password and connect once again!

You will be asked to confirm that you do, in fact, intend to forget that network completely.  Confirm this and you will then be taken back to the screen where you can select the network that you want to connect to.

At this point, you should simply press the name of the network that you want to join, enter the correct password and away you go!

If you follow these instructions but you still cannot get online, try one more time (being very careful to make sure you enter the password correctly).  If you still cannot connect, then you have some other problem, very possibly a problem with the router.

For assistance with this, or any other problems connecting your device to a wireless network, you can always contact our Live Chat Support line where you can get instant help with this and many other problems.  If the problem is somewhat complex, we will be happy to give you a quote for assisting you.

Send Cheap SMS Messages with FishText

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

I know a lot of people nowadays have unlimited texts on with their mobile phone contract etc., but that doesn't usually include international text messages.  As I live abroad and have a lot of family and friends in my home country, it's often very pricey to send SMS messages to them.  Particularly where I live, since it's one of the most expensive places in Europe for mobile phone rates.

You can use iMessage course and apps like Whatsapp but both of those depend on the other person having one or other of those services.  Yes, lots of people do.  But lots of people don't!  There are, believe it or not, still quite a few people that don't even have a smartphone 🙂

fishtextAnyway, regardless of the technological reasoning behind it, there are many times when I need to send a text message and I don't want to pay ridiculous fees for doing do.  I found an app called FishText which is absolutely fantastic.  It lets you send text messages to practically anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of most mobile operators.  For example, sending a text to one particular network (an international text that is) used to cost me €0.60.  That's a lot for one text message.  FishText provides the same service for only €0.02.  Yes, that's 2c instead of 60c.  Thirty times cheaper in fact.

The app itself is very easy to use, links with your address book to pull out contacts, can send to multiple contacts at the same time (each at the cost of a text message of course) and even informs you how much each message cost you.  You can easily load credit onto your account too.  I've loaded €5 credit on my account and that must be 6-12 months ago and I still have €2 credit as we speak.  Granted, I don't use it for everything, only when the situation is right and you must have internet access to use it, but it has been a real money saver for me!  You can even check your balance directly from within the app itself.

It's easy to send cheap SMS messages with FishText so I'd highly recommend anyone to have a look at this app, it's free to download and works really, really well.  Well done guys, keep up the good work!

Update your iOS and Mac Apps!

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

Something I see all the time is people having problems with their Facebook app, Skype app or many others.  This happens both on iPhones and iPads as well as Macs.  Many people update their OS software through the Apple Software Updates but they often don't update the apps themselves.

This can lead to all sorts of problems, because the newer versions of the apps generally add more functionality and fix bugs that have cropped up in previous versions.  The older versions of the app may not be compatible with the version of the OS that you're using.

app-store-badgeSo, the best strategy is generally to keep all your apps up to date, unless you know of a good reason not to.  Look for the little badge beside the App Store icon that shows how many updates are waiting to be installed.


Apple Releases iOS 6.1.3 with Lockscreen Security Fix

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

Apple has an unfortunate history of lockscreen vulnerabilities with iOS and version 6.1 has suffered the same fate. People are finding random combinations of actions to unlock the display using emergency calling in iOS 6.1 (meaning that iPads and iPods probably aren’t affected). These actions can unlock the home screen of an iPhone running iOS 6.1 and give access to important user data.

Apple today released the iOS 6.1.3 update which apparently has a fix for this glitch as well as some map improvements for Japan in its Maps app.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

Sync Gmail Contacts with your iDevice

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

add_gmailMost people can probably work out for themselves how to set up their Gmail account on their iPhone, iPad or iTouch.  It's fairly straight-forward and to be honest the iOS does most of the work for you.  Going about it the easy way will allow you to sync you Mail, Calendars and Notes.  That's great!

However, something is missing from this picture.  Did you notice that you don't have any option here to sync your Gmail contacts?  So what do you do?  The answer is, you go about it a different way.

When you go to Settings and choose Mail, Contacts & Calendars, you get an option to add a new account.  Immediately you are presented with a list of possible options, one of which is Gmail.  It would seem logical to select Gmail, as you are trying to add a Gmail account.  And yes, that would be the normal procedure.  However, Gmail can also be added an a Microsoft Exchange account - and that's where you get the extra features.

add_exchangeSo, by selecting Microsoft Exchange as shown in this image, you can add your Gmail account as an Exchange account and get access to contact syncing.  The thing is, you need to know a couple of extra settings to do that and that's a bit tricky if you don't know where to look.  So here they are:

Email: put in your gmail address
Domain: you can leave this blank
Username: put in your email address again
Password: enter your gmail password
Description: enter something like "Gmail"

Now here's the trick.  When you press the Next button, a new field will appear called Server.  In this field, you need to enter "m.google.com" (without the quotation marks).  Then press the Next button.

Voila!  You can now enable contact syncing on the as well as Mail and Calendars.  If you now go to your Contacts app you will see your contacts starting to appear.  They will continuing appearing until the sync is complete and you have all your contacts!