iPhone Life magazine

Expert Blogs

Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Identify Songs Playing on the Radio

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You've probably had the experience of listening to the radio and wondering the name of the song that's playing—maybe it's new to you and you're wondering who the artist is, or maybe it's familiar but you can't remember the name. Now with iOS 8, Siri can help. In the past, you could ask Siri to identify music playing on your device, but with iOS 8 you can ask Siri to identify any ambient music. And, conveniently, Siri also makes it easy to purchase the song or album.



Tip of the Day: Turn off Predictive Text Completely

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Can Apple read your mind? With iOS 8, it looks like it! Apple has caught up with Android and other platforms that offer a form of predictive Text called QuickType. This means, when composing text, your iOS device will suggest words that it thinks you want to use. While AutoCorrect guessed at a word, based on the letters you type, QuickType predicts what word you might type next based on the context of your message or document.



Tip of the Day: How to Turn On Grayscale Mode in iOS 8

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Among the many new features of iOS 8 is grayscale mode. Why would you want your display to appear gray rather than in colors? There are two main reasons. First, for those who are color blind, items such as menus may be hard to distinguish if they rely on color to stand out from a background. Grayscale can make the display more readable for them. And second, if your battery is running low and you know that it will be a while before you'll have the opportunity to charge it, grayscale can extend battery life. 



Tip of the Day: How to Use iOS 8's Manual Exposure in Camera

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Automatic exposure (which determines how light or dark our images should be) is so convenient and accurate most of the time, but then there are those times when we end up with  overexposed or underexposed images that make us cringe. After all, our cameras are pretty advanced, but it's still impossible for them to recognize when we want our focal point darker (such when shooting silhouettes) or lighter. 



Tip of the Day: Use Reader Mode in Safari for Easier Reading

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Web pages are often cluttered with ads and menus, all of which can be distracting if you're just trying to focus on reading the text. Fortunately, Safari has a Reader Mode that removes all those distractions and presents the page's text and images in a simple and attractive fashion.



Swift Programming 101: Demystifying Swift's Initializers (Part 2)

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In this second part of my two-part post on Demystifying Swift's Initializers, I explain the concepts of initializer chaining, two-phase initialization, and initializer inheritance using hands-on examples that walk you through some of these deeper concepts. You can read part 1 of this post at this link.

If you would like to follow along and perform the step-by-step instructions with this post (highly recommended) you can download the project we have completed so far at this link.



Tip of the Day: Keep Your iPad from Ringing Everytime You Get a Phone Call

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Apple's new iOS 8 is great, and one of those great new features is Continuity. With Continuity, users of multiple Apple products can take a phone call on one device and switch to another on the fly. I typically leave my iPhone docked at the entrance to my house and then I work upstairs on my MacBook. When the phone rings, I have to make a mad dash to answer it. Now I can take the call on my iPad. And soon, with Mac OS X Yosemite, I can answer the phone call on my MacBook!



Tip of the Day: Answer Phone Calls On Your iPad

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Forget running downstairs to where you left your iPhone, take the call on your iPad or iPod instead (as long as you have later-model devices running iOS 8).



Tip of the Day: Add Phone Numbers to Contacts from Mail in iOS 8

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You probably already know you can call a phone number from within an email by tapping on the number. But did you know that you can now quickly add the phone number to Contacts as well?



Swift 101: Demystifying Swift's Initializers (Part 1)

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Now that Apple has officially released Xcode 6 and the NDA has been lifted, it's time to dive deeper into Swift—Apple's new language for building iOS apps. Learning how to properly use initializers in Swift can be daunting at first. Swift's requirement that all stored properties in a class are initialized adds complexity to the initialization process. In the first part of this two-part post I'm going to demystify initializers as I provide a hands-on approach to learning how to best implement initializers in your custom classes.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri Hands Free with iOS 8

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Siri can be quite useful, but if you really want a "Jarvis" kind of experience, like Tony Stark in Iron Man, you need to be able to interact with Siri without touching a button. Fortunately, iOS 8 makes this possible. 



Tip of the Day: Take Slo Mo Movies on Your iPhone

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The iPhone 5s gave us Slo Mo video capture, where images are recorded at 120 FPS (Frames Per Second) and then played back at 30 FPS. But now the iPhone 6 offers Super Slo Mo, which captures 240 FPS. This will allow for some incredible action videos. I played with this new feature at my daughter's softball game and was able to analyze her swing and running essentially in real time. This could be a great boon to coaches and athletes, not to mention a lot of fun! Here's how to use it:



Tip of the Day: How to Use the New Self-Timer on Your iPhone's Camera

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Until now, you could only use a self-timer with your iPhone camera via third-party apps that included the feature. It's surprising this was never a built-in option for users before, but either way, we’re happy it’s finally here!



iOS 8 Upgrade Fail — Why It May Be Better to Upgrade Via Connecting to Your Computer [update]

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Eager to upgrade to iOS 8, I connected my iPad to my computer and booted up iTunes. The iTunes software automatically backed up my iPad to my computer, as it usually does whenever I connect my iPad. Then I clicked on the update button and confirmed that I wanted to update to iOS 8. The update downloaded just fine, but then when it was installing I got a message on my computer that there was an unknown error. I looked at the screen of my iPad and nothing was happening in the progress bar. Basically it seemed frozen. I had to press the power button and home button simultaneously to force the iPad to shut down. Then when I restarted it, I got a message that I needed to restore to the original factory settings. Which I did by selecting that option in iTunes. Then once the iPad was restored to its original state, iTunes asked me if I wanted to set it up as a new iPad or to restore from the backup. I chose the latter, and when it was done, things were back to normal — and my iPad Air was running iOS 8.



Do NOT upgrade to iOS 8 just because you can

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Apple is great about making the latest operating system run on older equipment. But just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should! There are reports from iPhone 4S owners that suggest they might have been better off without upgrading.



Tip of the Day: How to Install iOS 8 on Your iDevice

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Today is the day iOS 8 will be available for download, so make sure you read our rundown of all the cool new features. If you've decided to update the software on your iPhone or other device, consider waiting until the initial rush of downloads has passed; this will allow you to avoid longer download times or installation fails. When you're ready to update, make sure you check out these tips on downloading and installing iOS 8:



Tip of the Day: Are Your Apps Ready for iOS 8?

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As an App Developer, every new release of iOS means a scramble to make sure my apps are compatible, and usually they are. But once in a while, Apple changes things just enough that old apps need to be tweaked to work with the new operating system. Making a living on the App Store, while difficult, is possible, but you have to keep your apps updated and add new features as Apple adds capabilities. The sad fact is, not every developer does that. Indeed some developers will be probably have apps in the App Store that simply won’t work on iOS 8, and never will. The developers may have shut their doors, and there may be no plans to fix incompatibilities.



Tip of the Day: How to Stop Control Center from Popping Up Unwanted

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Control Center is great because it allows you to quickly do all kinds of useful things like turn WiFi, Airplane Mode, and Do Not Disturb on or off, lock your screen orientation, adjust volume levels, open your phone's calculator, and use your iPhone as a flashlight, among other things. 

What's not so great is swiping up from the bottom of the screen while using an app (especially when that app is a game) and accidentally bringing up Control Center.



Visualizing the New iPhones

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I ordered the iPhone 6 today, and thanks in part to a printout, I was able to use to see how big the new iPhones are. A colleague, Adam Engst, of TidBITS Publishing, makers of the Take Control ebooks, had printed those prototypes and taped them to cardboard, for a better sense of the three-dimensional size. That helped me rule out the iPhone 6 Plus.



Tip of the Day: How to Delete U2's New Album from iTunes

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On Tuesday, September 9, Apple concluded its iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event by announcing it would be giving away free copies of U2's new album Songs of Innocence to everyone with an iTunes account. This unexpected generosity garnered a range of different reactions:



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