If you haven't already, you should take a moment to introduce Siri to your family. Once you have done so, you can quickly ask Siri to message or call your wife or your brother without having to say their full name. If your spouse's full name is a multi-syllabic mouthful like my husband's, this can be pretty handy.
But first you're going to have to introduce yourself to Siri.
If only Touch ID would work! Kamira/Shutterstock
Touch ID is so very convenient, allowing you to keep your phone secure while eliminating the need to enter your passcode every time you unlock your iPhone. And because you don't need to enter your passcode every time, you can use a longer, more secure passcode without any extra hassle, thus increasing your iPhone's security as well.
Touch ID is so convenient. Except when it isn't.
Because there are always those times when it just won't read your fingerprint, no matter what position your finger is in; and after multiple failed tries you are forced to enter a passcode to unlock the phone. If you have an extra-secure passcode, the inconvenience is multiplied.
At least, this was my experience until our CEO David Averbach showed me this cool trick that resulted in Touch ID working for me every time:
Many people don't realize that when they install an app onto their iDevice that by default, it's data is added to their iCloud backup. I didn't realize this until very recently and I've had an iPhone since November 2012!
Every iDevice user gets 5 GB of free iCloud storage from Apple. This is not 5 GB per iDevice but 5 GB per Apple ID. If you have an iPad and an iPhone, like I do, where you are using the same Apple ID, the cloud storage is shared. The problem with this default backup setting, is that unbeknownst to you, your storage could be eaten up with app data that doesn't need to be backed up.
I'll be honest, I don't think I've used a scientific calculator since college. But my teenage daughter uses one every time she does her math homework. The problem is that she's constantly losing her calculator. On the other hand, she has never once lost her phone. I suspect that her priorities in this matter are similar to those of most teenagers. That's why it's so great that the iPhone has a scientific calculator for backup.
Here's a good reason to include an up-to-date address for every entry in Contacts: You can then use Maps to quickly get directions to the location of any person or business in Contacts (And set location reminders!)
Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, I will take you, the beginner app developer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure and you will experience how much fun turning your app ideas into reality can be! This is part 40 of the series. If you are just getting started, check out the beginning of the series here.
One of the hottest technologies to come out of iOS 7 is iBeacon. In case you haven't heard, iBeacon is Apple's trademark for what it calls "a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence." This new technology solves one of the biggest problems with Location Services on iOS devices—pinpointing the location of a device when it's indoors. Unlike GPS technology that determines a device's absolute location in terms of latitude and longitude, the iBeacon technology measures a device's relative distance to an iBeacon in an established location. Since iBeacons work without the need for a WiFi or cellular connection, it makes them ideal for indoor use.
Spotlight Search is a really useful feature because it lets you quickly search your entire iPhone. Just swipe down from the center of your screen to bring it up.
Have a lot of apps? Search for the one you need in Spotlight. The results will even show you which folder the app is in.
Need to find an email or message from a contact? Type that person's name into the search field and their contact info and a list of messages and emails will come up.
You can also search Notes, Reminders, Music, and a host of other things. And you can maximize its usefulness by customizing what Spotlight searches and the order it presents the results in. Here's how:
Some people take and edit photos on their iPhone like a pro, using their iPhone's native Camera app along with all sorts of other apps to produce beautiful images. Others feel majorly accomplished when they can just successfully take and post a photo to Facebook.
But what if you're part of the iPhoneography beginner group and you want to post a photo that isn't sharing ready? For example, a friend recently told me she was about to post a picture of some pretty spring flowers when she realized there was a clump of dog waste in the corner of the image. She didn't know how to crop her photo, so she just deleted it.
For anyone who has ever found him or herself in a similar position, here's how to crop a photo on your iPhone:
FaceTime is not just for video chatting. If your current smartphone plan offers only limited cellular minutes, consider using FaceTime Audio (FaceTime without the faces!) when calling other iPhone or iPad users.
Exact measurements are beautiful! ollyy/Shutterstock
Do you always measure ingredients exactly when following a recipe? Do you say things like, "According to my pedometer app, I've walked 3.8 miles today."? Do you use decimals when filling out your weight on medical forms?
If you do, you'll be happy to know you can also quantify exactly how much battery power your iPhone has left.
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.
It's inevitable that you will occasionally find yourself with duplicate entries for the same contact. Fortunately merging the information into a single entry is relatively simple.
Have you ever been browsing Safari on your iPad or iPhone and found something you would like to have a print copy of? Or maybe you're doing work on your iDevice using Pages or Numbers and need to print the document. Using a wireless network, you can print from your iDevice.
There are three ways to do this.
Tapping your iPhone's screen to take pictures can be awkward and cause you to take shaky photos if you tap too enthusiastically. That's why it's so handy to take photos by pushing your iPhone's volume button. But what if you want to focus the photo before snapping the picture?
If you've had your iPhone for awhile you're probably starting to accumulate a large number of apps and things may be starting to get a bit unwieldy and disorganized. Fortunately it's easy to move your apps around and organize them in a way that makes your apps easy to find and leaves your home screen uncluttered.
It's easy to email photos directly from your camera roll, but many people don't realize that there is an easily accessed options bar in the Mail app that allows users to insert a photo or video. Here's how to use this option bar to email photos directly from the Mail app.
Thanks to our iDevices we can be connected at all times, never missing a call, email, message, or notification. But there may be times when you don't want to be connected. That's when the Do Not Disturb feature comes in handy.
Turning on Do Not Disturb is easy; you can do it by tapping the moon icon in Control Center or your can just ask Siri to enable Do Not Disturb. But first you will need to choose who you want Do Not Disturb to block and when.
Nothing is more annoying then having your iPhone or iPad screen's orientation flip back and forth between portrait and landscape mode when you don't want it too.
Here's how to lock your iPhone or iPad screen orientation. Keep in mind that not all apps are designed to rotate.
The other day I was changing my Yahoo password and the site didn't like my chosen password because it included letters from my name and a number from my birthday. I wasn't intentionally using my birthday and it's pretty hard not to use at least one letter from my name, since my name is long and includes 11 letters out of the 24-letter alphabet. Fortunately, I had my iPhone right next to me and I was able to quickly generate a secure password using Siri. Here's how:
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