iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus tips and tricks

Why I see 2 different colors blue and green in iMessage texts ? May 10, 2016 00:00

If you use an iPhone, you may have noticed something odd in the Messages app: some messages are blue and some are green. why's that ?

Short answer: blue ones have been sent or received using Apple's iMessage technology, while green ones are "traditional" text messages exchanged via Short Messaging Service, or SMS.

Does this matter? In the grand texting scheme of things, should you care whether your messages are blue or green?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Let's start by making sure you have all the necessary information. A standard SMS text message is delivered over the same voice networks used for phone calls. Back in the bad old days, carriers charged by the message (often 10-25 cents per!). Then they bundled a fixed number of messages into your calling plan, and now most of them offer unlimited messaging.

In the interim, Apple unveiled iMessage, which looks and acts like standard SMS but actually relies on data networks (cellular or Wi-Fi, whatever you're connected to). That affords two benefits: freedom from carrier rates for SMS (assuming you're paying extra for it or have a capped plan) and a wider set of messaging features.

Indeed, iMessage allows you to do things standard SMS can't, like share your location, send walkie-talkie-style voice messages, check message delivery, and even see if someone's in the process of writing you back (indicated by three dots that appear below your last message).

Ah, but here's the rub: iMessage works only with other iDevice owners. If you have an iPhone and you use the Messages app to contact an Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone user, iOS recognizes there's no iMessage at the other end and switches (downshifts?) into SMS mode. Your indication that has happened? Green word bubbles instead of blue.

However, you may end up seeing green even if you're corresponding with another iPhone. There are three possible causes:

  • iMessage isn't activated on your device. (Tap Settings, Messages, then check to see if the feature is switched on. If it is, you should also activate "Send as SMS." Note that you may need to perform a one-time sign-in using your Apple ID.)
  • iMessage isn't activated on the recipient's device.
  • There's no data network available. But if your phone can still connect to a voice tower, it will default back to SMS.

So, are there times when you should opt for one messaging method over the other? Although text messages are very small, picture messages can consume a fair bit of data -- and if your service plan offers unlimited texting but limited data, you may prefer to switch off iMessage in favor of SMS.

On the flip side, if you're corresponding with fellow iPhone users but still seeing only green messages, ask them to enable iMessage at their end so you can enjoy the various benefits of the service. Many users have no idea iMessage is even a thing, and don't realize it's not enabled.


You can use Facebook Messenger share your Dropbox files with friends May 09, 2016 00:00

Dropbox and Facebook announced Messenger users now have the ability to easily share files stored in the cloud-storage service using Facebook's messaging platform.

In order to use the new feature, make sure your Android or iOS device has the latest version of the Dropbox [Android | iOS] and Facebook Messenger [Android | iOS] applications.

With both apps updated, the next time you're in a conversation and want to send a file, tap on the "More" button (three-dot icon just above the keyboard). Find and selectDropbox from the list of services, and tap on Open. The first time you select Dropbox, you'll have to grant permission for Facebook Messenger to access your files. Once that's done, select a file you want to send and let Dropbox do its magic. A few seconds later, Messenger will open with the selected file attached to your conversation.

The recipient receiving the file can view the file in Messenger, or open it in his or her Dropbox account.

Facebook states that the feature is rolling out, so if even after updating you don't see Dropbox listed as a service, keep checking the list.


How to free up iPhone memory May 06, 2016 00:00

iPhone acting sluggish or strange? When my iPhone feels like it's a step slow, a poor network connection is usually to blame. And in instances where a weak signal isn't the culprit, I usually power down my iPhone, give it a minute to catch its breath, and then power it back on. That maneuver usually does the trick, but I just discovered a quicker way to get my iPhone back on track.

When your Wi-Fi is rock-solid or your cellular connection is strong and your iPhone is still slow to respond, there is a quick procedure you can perform that flushes your iPhone's memory. I tried it on both my iPhone and iPad and found that while it doesn't completely or even dramatically free up memory resources, it did reduce each device's memory usage somewhat.

To free up some memory, unlock your phone and then hold down the power button until the "slide to power off" screen appears. Next, instead of sliding to power off or tapping the cancel button, press and hold the Home button for a few seconds until you are returned to the home screen. That's it, memory flushed.

What I think this maneuver really does is suspend all background app activity. After you are returned to the home screen, if you double tap the Home button, you will see that all of of your recently used apps are still listed in the app switcher carousel. When you tap to open one, however, you won't pick up where you left off as the app switcher normally does. Instead, the app reloads and starts you off fresh.

I installed a system monitor app on my iPhone and iPad to see what my memory usage looked like before and after performing this memory-flush move. What I found was that I freed up an average of 75MB of RAM on my iPad Air (out of a total 1GB of RAM) and about 50MB (out of 2GB of RAM) on my iPhone 6S. But I performed these tests when each device was operating smoothly. I tried to open and engage as many apps as possible to simulate a heavy load before each test, but I was unable to bring either device to its breaking point. While my gains in free memory were minor, perhaps they'll be greater in cases where a higher percentage of memory is active.


How to change slow motion capture speed on your iPhone May 05, 2016 00:00

When Apple first unveiled the iPhone 6 lineup, it also added the ability to alter the speed at which the Camera app could capture slow-motion video. Previously, the iPhone 5S had been limited to capturing slow-motion at 120 frames per second (fps). But Apple doubled that speed with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the more recent iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

What that means to you is the more frames per second video is captured in, the more dramatic the slow-motion effect will look when played back at the standard 30 or 60fps.

Changing between speeds isn't a straightforward process, and you're likely to set the speed once and never think about it again. Nonetheless, let's take a look at just how you can adjust the speed at which your iPhone captures slow-motion video.

Start by opening the Settings app, then scrolling down and tapping on Photos & Camera. Under the Camera section, select Record Slow-mo. There you'll find two options, 1080p HD at 120fps, or 720p HD at 240fps.

As you can see, increasing the frames per second will have an impact on the overall quality of the video you capture. Depending on how picky you are about 720p or 1080p video, you may not mind the difference and the increased slow-motion effect will be worth it. Also worth pointing out is the amount of storage each setting will take up on your device; a stat that's listed just below both options.

Tap on your preferred speed and close the Settings app. Going forward, any time you slide over to the Slo-Mo capture mode in the Camera app your video will be captured based on your preference.


How to quickly search for photos and videos on iPhone and iPad May 24, 2015 13:14

If you have thousands of photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad, finding a particular one can be a challenge.the IOS built-in Photos app offers some incredibly useful search tools. As long as you can remember where or when a photo or video was taken, the Photos app can help narrow down your search quickly. And if you've tagged Faces in Photos for OS X, you can even search for people, too! As long as you remember something about the picture or video in question, odds are the Photos app can help you track it down.

The search feature inside the Photos app can understand certain contexts like year, faces, photos taken nearby, a specific location or place, and much more. Just keep in mind that much of this functionality depends on location information and face tagging: If you have location sharing turned off for the camera, some pictures and videos may not show up. This can also happen if you took them with a camera that didn't support location tagging, such as a DSLR.

 

How to search pictures and videos in Photos for iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Photos or Albums in the bottom navigation.
  3. Tap on the Search button in the top menu. 
  4. Type in a location, date range, specific place, or person's name. For example, you can type things like "nearby," a specific location (like "New York" or "Golden Gate Bridge"), or even a specific month or other time frame.
  5. Tap on the correct search result to narrow down your results. You'll see how many photos meet the search term to the right of the search.
  6. The Photos app will instantly take you to photos and videos tagged with that criteria.

How to Reject Calls on a Locked iPhone April 19, 2015 12:32

When a call comes in on your iPhone, you may have noticed that you see a different set of options when your phone is locked, compared to the options available when it’s unlocked. While the unlocked options seem more flexible, you still have a bit of flexibility available when your device is locked.


The main difference that’s always bugged me is the lack of a “Decline” button on the locked screen. All you see are the “Slide to Answer” gesture to answer, a “Remind Me” icon, and a “Message” icon.

You can however, reject a call, even if you don’t have the “Decline” button handy. To decline a call from the lock screen, simply double tap the power button on your iPhone. (It’s the button on top of the iPhone for the 5 series devices and older, and it’s on the side for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.) Double tapping rejects the call and sends the caller to voice mail. A single tap of the power button silences the call ringer without ending the call.

You can also set a reminder or send a text message to the caller from the locked screen. To decline a call, but set a reminder so you don’t forget you received the call, tap the “Remind Me” button. You’ll then be prompted to enter a time to be reminded about the call. Press “Message,” and you can send a text message to the caller.


How to reboot Your iOS Device when it becomes unresponsive April 19, 2015 12:26

While you’ll very seldom face issues that will require you to reboot your iOS device, it’s good to know the option is available to you if the need arises.If your iOS device becomes unresponsive, appears to lock up, and won’t respond to the Home Button, do the following.

  1. Hold down the Power Button (on top of the iPad, and iPhone 5 and older devices, and on the right side of the device on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices).
  2. While holding down the Power Button, also press the Home Button.
  3. Hold down these two buttons until your device’s screen clears, and a silver Apple logo appears, as seen above.
  4. Release the buttons.
  5. In a few moments, your iPhone or iPad lock screen will appear.
  6. Your iOS device should now work properly.

How to reorder Today view widgets in Notification Center for iPhone and iPad April 17, 2015 13:15

Notification Center lets you add handy Today view widgets so you can keep up with your most used apps in just a swipe.

How to reorder Today view widgets in Notification Center for iPhone and iPad

  1. Swipe down from the top of your iPhone or iPad to bring up Notification Center.
  2. Tap on the Today tab at the top if you aren't already there.
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on Edit.
  4. Tap and hold the move icon to the right of the widget you'd like to move up or down. The button looks like two horizontal lines.
  5. Once it's located in the place you'd like it, release your finger.

How to share a contact card via iMessage using the iOS Contacts app April 14, 2015 00:00

  1. Launch the Contacts app on your iPhone or iPad and find the contact you'd like to share. On the iPhone you can alternately use the Phone app if you'd prefer.
  2. Now tap on Share Contact towards the bottom.
  3. Tap on Message.
  4. Type the name of the person you'd like to share it with and select them.
  5. Now tap Send.

How to report iMessage spam in iOS 8.3 April 13, 2015 14:14

 

If you've ever received spam in the form of an iMessage, it's a good idea to report it as junk to Apple.While you've always been able to report iMessages as spam, you can now do it in a lot fewer steps if you're running iOS 8.3 or above. Reporting junk iMessages will help Apple to remove spammer accounts from their servers, making iMessage a much happier place for everyone. In order to report an iMessage as junk, just follow these steps:

 

How to report an iMessage as junk on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.3 or newer.
  2. Tap on Messages.
  3. Turn On the option for Filter Unknown Senders.
  4. Launch the Messages app.
  5. At the very top of your messages list (you have have to pull down), tap on the Unknown Senders tab.
  6. All messages from unknown senders appear here. Tap on the message thread you want to report as junk.
  7. Tap on Report Junk underneath the message.
  8. Tap on Delete and Report Junk in the popup menu.
  9. That's it. Apple will receive a junk message report and it will automatically be removed from your device.

How to filter and disable notifications for iMessages from unknown senders April 13, 2015 13:56

 

A lot of us depend on iMessage to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. That means not every message we receive is attached to someone in our contacts. If you keep finding yourself buried in tons of iMessage threads, some less important than others, here's how to filter out messages from those you don't have saved.

 

How to filter out iMessages from unknown contacts

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.3 or higher.
  2. Tap on Messages.
  3. Turn On the option for Filter Unknown Senders.
  4. In the Messages app you'll now see a tab at the top to view unknown senders.

The full features fixes list from Apple for iOS 8.3 April 11, 2015 11:48

 

This release includes improved performance, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. Changes include:

Improved performance for:

  • App launch
  • App responsiveness
  • Messages
  • Wi-Fi
  • Control Center
  • Safari tabs
  • 3rd-party keyboards
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Simplified Chinese keyboard
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes

  • Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
  • Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
  • Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
  • Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers
Orientation and rotation fixes

  • Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
  • Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
  • Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
  • Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking
Messages fixes

  • Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
  • Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
  • Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
  • Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts
Family Sharing fixes

  • Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members' devices
  • Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
  • Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications
CarPlay fixes

  • Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
  • Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
  • Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn't
Enterprise fixes

  • Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
  • Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
  • Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
  • Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
  • Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
  • Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems
  • Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
  • Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
  • Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated
Accessibility fixes

  • Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
  • Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
  • Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
  • Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
  • Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing
Other improvements and bug fixes

  • Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
  • iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
  • Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
  • Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
  • Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
  • Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
  • Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
  • Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
  • Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
  • Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
  • Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
  • Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
  • Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
  • Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
  • Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting "FYI"
  • Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
  • Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
  • Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular networks
  • Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
  • Fixes an issue that caused the status bar to sometimes appear when it shouldn't