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Tip of the Day: How to Rotate a Photo

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A nice feature in the Photos app in iOS 8 is the ability to precisely rotate a photo to any angle. This can be very useful, since occasionally a photo gets a bit skewed. 



Apple Posts Additional "Guided Tour" Apple Watch Videos

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In advance of April 24, when lucky enthusiasts will begin receiving their Apple Watches, Apple has posted four more Guided Tour videos, each running between one and two minutes, to show how this new gadget works. The latest videos cover Phone Calls, Siri, Maps, and Music. In addition, a Reddit contributor has created an infographic that gives you a quick-start user guide to the Apple Watch interface. Those who've tried an Apple Watch and the writers of the early reviews say that there's a learning curve when one first starts using the Apple Watch, with its various swipes and touches, and the various ways you use the Digital Crown and the contacts button. The infographic helps you make sense of it all. Click here for the full-sized graphic.



Tip of the Day: How to Set When Audio and Video Messages Auto Delete

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The iOS 8 update from last fall gave users the ability to send short video and audio messages right from a text message. This could be useful for telling your friend where you are or what you’re doing without opening your camera or recording audio in the Voice Memos iOS app.

You can even set these messages to go away after two minutes (the default) or to stick around on your iPhone forever. (Notes that this will not determine how long they stay on the recipient or other sender's phone.)



Microsoft Updates Office 2016 Preview for Apple Devices

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Microsoft and Apple have had an interesting relationship. In the early days, the two firms jockeyed for position in the nascent personal computing space. Apple leveraged the user interface and mouse design from Xerox PARC and Microsoft did the same from Apple. Later, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Bill Gates "rescued" Apple with a $130-million-plus investment and a promise to support Macs with versions of Office. This wasn't just a gesture of goodwill to keep Apple relevant. Apple was on the ropes and Microsoft needed an adversary to fend off antitrust regulators. Plus Office was a nice little revenue stream.



Apple Posts New Website with Siri Tips

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It took me a while, maybe a yearm to become accustomed to using Siri. And now I use it all the time. I'm surprised when Siri sometimes responds with, "I'm sorry, Jim, I can't answer that for you." So it helps to have a sense for the ways in which Siri can be the most helpful. To that end, Apple last week posted a new, well-organized Siri website that teaches you all the different ways that Siri can help you. The site advises you to "Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done — like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations."



Are You Ready for Ads on Your Apple Watch?

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Ads are one way for developers to make money, as app prices drop to $0.99 or free. And advertisers are always trying to find ways to get in front of people. Advertisers consider devices like the iPhone and iPad the "Second Screen," after television. It looks like smart watches will be the "Third Screen" and may become targets for ads. A new report suggests smartwatch advertising could be a $70 million business by 2019.



Tip of the Day: How to Send and Accept Family Sharing Invitations

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Sharing iTunes and App Store content is important. Family Sharing allows families to access the same content across multiple devices. Adding members to your Family Group is easy! Once you've set up Family Sharing and started your group, you can easily add new members anytime. The benefits of Family Sharing are having access to the same music, apps, and even iBooks. Here's how to send and accept family sharing invitations. 



Griffin Joins the Crowdfunding Crowd with Cove Multi-Device Charging Station

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Crowdfunding is not just for the independent inventor. Firms as big as Sony have joined the bandwagon and tested market acceptance of new products. Griffin, one of the leading vendors of accessories for Apple and other brands has launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Cove. The Cove is an elegant all-in-one charging station that charged up to five tablets or smartphones, but with a twist. About the size and appearance of a breadbox, the Cove tucks all the wires and devices inside a wood case. Martha Stewart would approve.



WWDC 2015 Announced

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As predicted, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference will be held the week of June 8, 2015 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Tickets are $1599, not including hotel costs, which can be astronomical, and there are no guarantees of getting a ticket. Interested developers must first apply and then find out on April 20 if they were able to buy a ticket. The developer's credit card on file will be charged automatically. Last year, a developer would be notified that they "won" the raffle and then have a short time period to actually make the purchase. This new policy should cut down on people entering the raffle with multiple ID's or without definite plans to attend.



Tip of the Day: How to Search Conversations in the Messages App

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Did you forget what time you made that dinner reservation for? How about when you have that meeting tomorrow? Did you text about it? Thankfully, you can search your messages in case you need to! It’s easy.



Apple Makes Apple TV More Affordable for Content Providers

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During Apple's Watch event in March, they dropped the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, and introduced HBO NOW, which lets cable customers cut the cord and still get HBO on their Apple devices. The HBO deal was significant because it is Apple exclusive, although just for three months, and users can get a 30 day trial for free. It turns out the deal may be even more significant because it foreshadowed that Apple is slashing the fee it takes from such content providers.



iRig Mic Field Review - Improve Your iPhone's Recording Quality!

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The iRig Mic Field ($99.99) is a simple way to capture better quality audio in vids, personal recordings or on-the-go interviews. The newly released external mic from IK Multimedia gives you the flexibility to tilt the mic to Portrait or Landscape orientation while filming and is a good companion for vbloggers, musicians, or just anyone interested in boosting the sound on their recordings.



With the Apple Watch, Seeing, and Trying One On, Is Believing

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I was able to order an Apple Watch at 3:10 a.m., EST, Friday, and my watch is on the way. But I wanted to try one on to make sure I ordered the right size, etc. After I placed my order, I booked one of the first appointments for a try on. There was just a short line when I arrived at the Apple Store, and quite a few people were there for the new MacBook, not necessarily for the watch. The staff was getting a quick intro to the watch and the process, which includes custom drawers that can be unlocked only by a specially equipped iPhone.



Tip of the Day: How to Set Up Touch ID in Apps

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There are a few apps that allow you to use Touch ID to access something sensitive such as private documents or personal finance information, instead of setting a password you might forget!



Plan a Summer Road Trip and Win a $50 iTunes Gift Card!

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No other type of getaway summons quite the sense of adventure as the classic road trip. Packing up your car and leaving everything behind for a time is incredibly liberating!

If a road trip is in the cards for you this season, use this challenge to pick out everything you'd like to buy from the iTunes Store to make your trip great. We want to know what is unique about your trip, whether you're taking off in an RV or a convertible or staying at homes of friends and relatives along your route or at campsites. Whoever submits the best entry will win a $50 iTunes Gift Card and a spot in our July/August issue of iPhone Life magazine!



Tip of the Day: Find an iPhone or iPad? Siri Will Tell You Who Owns It

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I've had the experience of finding a smartphone and having a hard time figuring out who the owner is. It always seems urgent, since I know the owner is desperately looking for it. Should you find a lost iPhone or iPad, you can simply ask Siri who the owner is. Siri will tell you the owner and show contact information. But you need to phrase the question the right way.



What You Need to Know about iOS 8.3

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When it comes to operating system updates, a "dot-dot" release is usually reserved for bug fixes, and a "dot" release adds performance enhancements and some minor new functionality. With Apple, a full release, like 7.0 or 8.0 is a major update, often with 1,000-plus new features. True to form, Apple unleashed iOS 8.3 this week and there are just a few features worth mentioning. First, as I covered earlier, depending on your carrier (Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S., EE in the UK), you can now make phone calls using Wi-Fi, without consuming cellular minutes or requiring a cell tower nearby. That means you could make phone calls from overseas, for free, and still appear to be calling from your cellphone number.



Tip of the Day: Adjust Text Size in Safari Reader Mode in iOS 8

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As I noted in an earlier tip, Reader Mode in Safari is a great way to reduce the clutter on a web page in order to make it easier to read. When you enable Reader Mode, Safari strips away all the ads and sidebars and other extraneous material, and just shows you the article itself and accompanying images. iOS 8 has added a helpful feature to Reader Mode: the ability to adjust the text size.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Control Music Playback

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Why would you go to the trouble of opening your Music app and manually selecting the music you want when Siri can play tracks, albums, and entires genres for you? You can even pause the music or skip at track.



Party People, Follow Your Favorite Bartenders with Hoozetending

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I've been using an app called Hoozetending (free) from Hoozetending, Inc. The idea is to let potential customers and partygoers know which of their favorite bartenders is working where and when, and what deals their favorite establishments have to offer. Of course, users can discover new places and bartenders, too. It's a bit like Pinterest for nightlife.



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