How To Avoid Big International Iphone Data Charges

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Taking an iPhone on an international trip can be a harrowing experience. Every time you post a status update to Twitter or check your email, you imagine your wireless carrier charging you a fortune in international data roaming fees.

But there are ways to stay connected while you’re traveling without freaking out about the cost. Taking advantage of some new features in iOS 7 and following a few savvy data-roaming strategies can ensure that at least that aspect of your trip is worry-free.

Close the data spigot

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Turn off Roaming and you’ll use no data at all.
The most important iPhone setting when you travel internationally is found in the Settings app, in the Cellular section: Data Roaming. Turn this switch off, and when you leave the country, your iPhone will just stop using data entirely, even when it’s on the local phone network.

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Posted in Technology

All Things Apple Weekend Update

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss.

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 13th Oct 2013

Posted in Technology

Forthcoming iPhone 5S May Sport Champagne Color, 128GB Memory, 64-Bit Chip

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It’s just over three weeks until the rumored Sept. 10 introduction of the iPhone 5S, and the rumors are coming hot and heavy. The latest rumors, reported in an article on CNET, say the new phone may also come in a gold or champagne color. Plus, it may follow the precedent of the iPad 4 and offer an option of 128GB of storage. Also, this new baby is rumored to be even faster, thanks to a new A7 chip. A post on AppleInsider suggests this new chip will boost performance by 20 percent and that it may use a 64-bit architecture.
In addition to memory and performance, the camera is also expected to get an upgrade. According to the CNET article, it will likely still be 8 megapixels but will come with a larger f/2.0 aperture. Also, there have been multiple rumors that the new phone will have a dual LED flash. As I understand it, a dual LED flash emits twice as much light, meaning you can illuminate subjects that are farther away. It’s also better for low-light situations. The larger aperture also is good for low light situations because it lets in more light, allowing for a faster shutter speed.
Many rumors in the past week have been saying the new phone will use a scratch-proof sapphire crystal for the rumored fingerprint sensor. Obviously, a scratched sensor could mess up the image of your fingerprint, so it makes sense that Apple would use an extremely hard material. According to 9To5Mac, the home button on the iPhone 5S will double as a fingerprint sensor and, instead of being concave, will protrude just slightly from the phone. What’s the point of such a sensor? Quoting a market analyst, 9To5Mac says, “Apple will likely be able to offer users a more secure and more intuitive way to conduct mobile payment transactions and access cloud computing services, thereby strengthening advantages of the ecosystem.”

As you can see, many of the features are “under the hood.” Overall, the form factor should be pretty much identical to the current iPhone. This follows Apple’s typical pattern of changing the phone outwardly every two years and making performance upgrades in the alternate years.

It will be fun to see what Apple introduces, and whether these rumors hold true. And if Apple does indeed also introduce a low-cost iPhone 5C, that will certainly generate a lot of interest.

Posted in Technology

How to dial extensions with the iPhone

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MacObserver this week posted an absolutely awesome tip detailing how to auto-dial phone numbers with extensions into your iPhone address book.

Forget having to remember someone’s extension number, or trying to keep it handy and accessible with a note, iOS 6 takes care of all the dirty work for you.

To get started, go to the contact info of someone with an extension or create an entirely new contact. Hit the “Edit” button in order to make changes to the contact’s information page.

When you attempt to edit a contact’s phone number, you’ll be presented with the following screen.

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If you tap the lower-left button with all of the special characters, you’ll notice that options for “pause” and “wait” will appear where the “4” and “6” used to reside.

MacObserver writes:

A pause adds a two-second delay, which is indicated by a comma.

You can add as many pauses as you like, and then you’ll type in the extension at the end. So if you know, for example, that a certain business makes you wait six seconds before you can punch in someone’s extension number, just insert three pauses as I’ve done above, and your iPhone will dial the extension for you after that amount of time.

Brilliant!

It gets even better because the “wait” key will allow you to pre-program in a number of extensions, thereby saving you from having to wait and traverse through a frustrating tree of automatic menus.

This is one of the more interesting iOS 6 tips I’ve seen in a while and MacObserver has a lot more instructive photos if you’d like to put this tip into practice.

Posted in Technology

Apple Design Awards 2013

The Apple Design Awards, presented annually at WWDC, acknowledge and recognize the apps that provide a compelling and well-crafted user experience for the customer. The awards, for both Mac and iOS apps, set new standards in the App Store in terms of UI design, OS-level system integration, functionality and performance.

Apple has announced this year’s winners.

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Student

Finish – A task-manager that uses gestures to streamline tasks.
Mosaic.io – An app to connect two or more iOS devices around a single image.
Mac and iOS

Yahoo! Weather – A simple, uncluttered weather app with a beautiful UI.
Evernote 5 – Mac app for the popular note-taking and archiving service.
SkyGamblers – A WWII arcade-style combat game.
Badland – An atmospheric action adventure platform taking place in a forest.
Coda 2 – A modern and innovative editor for web code.
Ridiculous Fishing – A never-ending arcade world about fishing.
WWF Together – an iPad app that allows you to experience the world’s most amazing animals and their stories.
Letterpress – A word game that is simple, yet high addictive.
Procreate – A complete art studio that is packed with features for the iPad.

Posted in Technology

Jailbreaks Concepts We’d Like To See In iOS 7

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Apple has been using ideas that originated in the jailbreak community for years. A jailbreak tweak called MobileNotifier enhanced push notifications in iOS 4, and Apple hired the guy who made it and released Notification Center in iOS 5. Jailbreakers were doing multitasking and tethering before Apple too.

Looking ahead at iOS 7, I honestly have no idea what to expect from Apple. Jony Ive has never really been a big fan of skeuomorphism, so flatter and more minimalist graphics wouldn’t surprise me. Some truly innovate ideas for enhancing the iOS experience have arisen in the past year, and I think it would be foolish for Apple to not at least draw inspiration from these three.

Better App Switcher

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A jailbreak tweak called Auxo started as a concept online. The idea got so much attention that the designer decided to try his hand at creating it for jailbroken iPhones.

Auxo is an utterly brilliant app switcher replacement. It’s not perfect, but it’s way better than what Apple had by default. Card-like tiles show live previews of the apps you have open, and swiping down on a tile closes the app. Swiping to the left gives you access to system toggles, like screen brightness and WiFi. You can customize which toggles are displayed. Swiping to the left again gives you access to enhanced music controls.

While I’m not convinced that multitasking should be confined to a bottom tray in iOS, there’s something great about the fluidity of Auxo. The tiles make better use of the iPhone’s screen while the switcher is live. Take note, Apple.

More Control Over Notification Center

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Abstergo is a more recent jailbreak tweak who’s name means “to wipe away” in Latin. Notification Center is decent, but you don’t really have fine control over managing notifications. Abstergo lets you swipe to clear each individual notification, and you can swipe up and over to clear all unread notifications from the lockscreen.

Another handy part of this tweak is the ability to set reminders for individual notifications. Tapping and holding a message cell lets you set a specific time to make the notification push back to your device. Reminders also work in the Messages app, which is super handy. Apple could easily adopt something like this using the architecture that is already built into iOS.

Customizable Lockscreen

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Slide to unlock. The iOS lockscreen is boring. There’s a lot that can be done with this part of the experience, and jailbreakers have been experimenting with it for years.

A newer lockscreen tweak called atom is my favorite so far. Many tweaks for the lockscreen add widgets for things like RSS and Mail, but I think the first screen you see on your iPhone needs to remain simple. And simple does not mean boring.

Quickly launching a short list of favorite apps is the activity to add to the lockscreen, and atom does it beautifully. The unlock slider is replaced by an elegant little button. Tapping and holding the button unfolds a group of app icons you pre-set. Dragging the button over an icon and letting go instantly opens the highlighted app.

Apple probably won’t implement something exactly like atom, but it’s clear that the lockscreen has plenty of untapped potential, like the rest of iOS.

Posted in Technology

Donations for Oklahoma top $20 million

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Millions of dollars are being raised in the wake of the deadly Oklahoma tornado. The Red Cross has received more than $15 million in donations and pledges so far for the town of Moore, which was struck by a tornado Monday that killed 24, injured more than 300 and destroyed thousands of homes. With the money raised, the organization has opened 10 emergency aid stations, provided shelters for victims, served more than 16,000 meals and snacks and given out more than 3,000 relief items like shovels, toiletries and trash bags. The Salvation Army has raised another $4.3 million, and donations made to individual victims or nonprofits via crowdfunding websites now exceed $1 million. Other aid organizations, including AmeriCares and Feeding America are also collecting donations for victims.

Posted in Politics
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