Apple offers a variety of watch bands for their new Apple Watch, and now you have even more choices, thanks to the imminent arrival of bands from third-party vendors. These don't have any official support from Apple, but they give you a lot more choices, as well as offering the opportunity to save money.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Lucky journalists who get to have an Apple Watch long before anyone else. Now they're beginning to post their reviews, having used it for a week or more. Mostly they're very positive, but say that it takes time to get familiar with the new interface. Also, they say that this is clearly a first-generation device. In general, they seem agreed that the Apple Watch is opening up a new way of doing things.
iOS 8 has a neat feature that lets you color code emails that you're sending to help you avoid information falling into the hands of the wrong person. You've probably had the experience of inadvertently sending an email to the wrong person — and the problems that can cause. Apple's Mail now has a feature that lets you identify a particular domain and alerts you with a red color if you're sending an email outside of that domain. For example, if you want to make sure you don't inadvertently send your work-related emails to someone outside your company, you can stipulate your company's domain. Recipients within the company will have their email address appear blue in the To field, and the email address of recipients outside the company will appear red.
On Thursday a new app from Microsoft that turns your iPhone into a versatile scanner launched in the App Store. Office Lens (free) lets you take a photo of a wide range of documents and convert them into to editable Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files.
Apple has begun posting Guided Tour videos of the forthcoming Apple Watch, with four videos currently available and at least seven more coming soon. A five-minute introductory video again refers to the Apple Watch as being intimate and personal and talks about the technologies it uses and the sorts of interactions it offers.