iPhone

Using Low Power Mode for your iPhone

Using Low Power Mode for your iPhone

Almost everyone who owns an iPhone has on a few occasions run dangerously low on power. You then have to scramble around to find some way to charge your iPhone before it runs out of juice completely. If you want to avoid that unpleasant situation, you should be using Low Power mode before the problem occurs. Maybe you have in the past been prompted by your iPhone to enable Low Power Mode after your battery reached 20%. But in my opinion, you should enable it way before it reaches that point, as it can make a big difference. If you know for example that you’re going to be out on the lake all day with nowhere to charge, you should turn it on even if you’re at 80% charged. It can extend your battery life by a few hours in some cases.

So, what does Low Power Mode do exactly? And how well does it really work?
The trade-off is that when you turn it on, it will affect certain features on your phone, which you should be aware of before you turn it on. Mainly, it will pause a lot of background tasks that your phone usually does automatically repeatedly all day long. Such as:

  • Email Fetch: Your phone will no longer fetch your emails in the background. It will only fetch them when you actually click your email app such as Mail or Outlook.
  • “Hey Siri”: The phone will no longer be always listening out for you to voice activate Siri, if that’s a feature you’ve got turned on.
  • Background app refresh: This is a big one in my opinion. Apps like Facebook and Instagram will no longer constantly update your feed when you’re not using them. Your feed will populate only when you open the app. So, you may have to wait an extra second or two before you see all the new stuff. For most people, this is not a big deal.
  • Automatic downloads: App updates will no longer be downloaded in the background. It could also affect things like podcast downloads.
  • Some visual effects: Some of the visual eye candy that happens while you’re using your phone will be reduced, and the screen brightness may be automatically reduced in some cases.
  • Auto-Lock: Auto-lock will default to 30 seconds.
  • iCloud Photo Library: The syncing of your iCloud Photo library will be temporarily paused, and will resume once Low Power Mode has been turned off.

In my experience, most of these things are not a big deal for the majority of iPhone users. But still, you do need to keep an eye on things, as you may encounter some unexpected behavior once in while. For example, I realized after a few mishaps with my Uber app that Low Power Mode messed with my location on the Uber map for some reason. I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but it happened repeatedly, only while I was using Low Power Mode. That’s really the only quirk I’ve ever experienced with Low Power Mode, even though there may be more that I’m just not aware of.

how to turn on low power mode

Once you’ve decided that you want to use Low Power Mode, you can activate it from Settings  > Battery and activate the “Low Power Mode” slider. The battery indicator in the status bar will turn yellow while Low Power Mode is enabled. Your iPhone will always automatically disable Low Power Mode when you charge it up to a certain point. Low Power Mode is always temporary and only lasts until the next proper charge. There’s no way to permanently enable it.

Now, if you end up using Low Power Mode a lot, you don’t really want to have to turn it on and off by going through Settings app every single time. So, instead you can create a shortcut that’s really easy to access through Control Center. On iOS 11 or later, you can  activate and deactivate Low Power Mode from the Control Center. However, you have to add the shortcut to Control Center yourself.
Hers’ how: Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the plus sign to the left of “Low Power Mode” to add the toggle to your Control Center, and then touch and drag it to position it where you like it. You can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the battery-shaped button to enable or disable Low Power Mode.

Customize Control Center part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so that’s it for how to use and customize Low Power Mode for iPhone. I hope that you’ll find it useful.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iOS, iPhone, Productivity, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
How to hide Photos on iPhone

How to hide Photos on iPhone

Most people have a few pictures in their Photos library which they would rather keep private. If you let someone browse through your photos, you don’t necessarily want them to be able to see everything in your Library. So today, I’ll show you how to move those photos out of you main library and into a hidden photos album. It’s easy and free, and while there are dedicated apps available specifically for this purpose, this technique should be enough for most people.

While browsing through your photos, if you see a photo you’d like to hide, click on it to select it and then click on the share button on the bottom left side of the screen. So, four steps:

  1. Open your Photos app.
  2. Select the photo or video that you want to hide.
  3. Tap  > Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

The nice thing is that once you’ve picked one photo, it will also be very easy for you to choose adjoining pictures that you’d also like to hide.
And that’s it, those photos will now reside in an album called “hidden album” which you can find in the album section of your Photos app.

If you need to Unhide a picture in the Hidden Album, you basically do the same thing in reverse. Select an image in the hidden album, and click on the Share icon and then choose Unhide.

As you can see, it’s really easy to do once you know the steps. Have fun hiding photos !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
iOS 12 beta: Apple releases the third beta available to the public

iOS 12 beta: Apple releases the third beta available to the public

Yesterday, Apple released the third iOS 12 public beta. And it is now something a lot of iPhone and iPad users may be tempted to install on their main devices.

Generally speaking, these public betas are fairly buggy and not for everyone. The first couple of betas usually have significant bugs, and are not a good idea for most users. But by the time the 3rd and 4th betas come around, things tend to be much smoother. And that is turning out to be the case with iOS 12 as well.

There is a fair amount of new features to iOS 12, which I will list later. But, one of the major appeals of iOS 12 is that it has been engineered to really speed things up. Even with older devices. So in theory, even an older like the iPhone 5S is going to see a significant speed boost. The keyboard should display faster, the camera will appear more quickly, and much more. You can tell Apple no longer wants to be criticized for devices that dramatically slow down after an update. And they’ve actually chosen to do something about it.
So, that’s a reason some people may want to get on board before the full release this fall. And I do think this 3rd beta is good enough for most people to use.

Besides the speed improvements, there’s a few really cool new features in my opinion. Screen time let’s you see how much time you spend looking at your screen, with very detailed stats. Do Not Disturb now has more options, such as the ability to last for only 1 hour. Notifications have been greatly improved and give you more control.
Instead of listing everything here, I will link to a couple of pages which have more details :
This Apple page highlights the bigger features included in iOS 12.
And this page from 9to5 Mac has a couple of videos which go much more in-depth with what iOS 12 has to offer.

Alright, so hopefully, this gives you an idea about whether or not this beta update is something you’re interested in. And if so, here’s where you can sign-up for the beta.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Recommendations, 0 comments
Using Messages in iCloud

Using Messages in iCloud

Last week, Apple released updates for the Mac, iPhone and iPad which finally introduced the ability to start using  Messages in iCloud.
Messages in iCloud is a new feature that Apple announced last fall, but didn’t become available to the public until now for some reason. If you enable Messages in iCloud on your devices, it will store all your messages to the cloud, and then sync across all the devices almost instantaneously.

Obviously, this has a couple of big advantages. First, once this is turned on, if you delete a message from one device, it will delete from your other devices on which you have Messages in iCloud enabled. So, you’ll no longer need to delete the same message from 3 different devices for example. And secondly, it clears those messages from your iPhone / iPad so that you can reclaim storage space on your various devices. This is very similar to using the iCloud Photo Library option on your devices.

Personally, I think this is a great feature. But, if you’ve not turned this on yet, there’s one thing you should be aware of that could decide whether you want to turn this on or not:

And that is that if you move your messages to iCloud, it will count against your storage quota on iCloud. If you’re on the iCloud free plan, or 50 GB plan, your messages could end up eating up quite a bit of the space you have available. I often work with people to help them figure out why they are running out of space on their phone, and quite often, Messages is the biggest culprit. People who send a lot of photos and videos to friends and family can easily rack up a few gigabytes of Messages being stored on their phones and iPads. I’ve had a few clients with 30 Gigabytes worth of messages on their iPhone. It can happen very quickly if you send a lot of videos back and forth. If you don’t keep a lot of messages on your phone, or delete them often, then you shouldn’t have to worry about this.

Also, please note that this service does need to be turned on before you can take advantage of it. It doesn’t turn on automatically when you do the update.
So, first, you need to update to macOS 10.13.5 and iOS 11.4. Then you turn on Messages in iCloud in your settings.

Here’s a good article and video from Appleinsider that shows you exactly how to do that.

Alright, well hopefully, that sheds a little light on how this new feature works, and you can now decide whether or not it’s something you want to use yourself.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iCloud, iPhone, Mac, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
iOS 11.4 was released today

iOS 11.4 was released today

Today, Apple has released the iOS 11.4 update for iPhone and iPad. It has a few new features, but the most anticipated one is the long-awaited arrival of Messages in iCloud. This feature syncs your messages on your iPhones and iPads. So, whenever you delete a message from one device, it is also deleted from your other devices.
It’s important to note that the feature is not available on for your Mac yet. It’s coming for Mac in the upcoming macOS 10.3.5 update, which will hopefully be out very soon.

Other new features include Airplay 2 and HomePod stereo. AirPlay 2 is the first major update to Apple’s wireless audio streaming protocol in years. It primarily adds multi-room audio to iOS devices, when using AirPlay 2 compatible speakers. You can adjust the audio levels on a room-by-room basis, or even play different music in different rooms.
While HomePod stereo allows you to pair and sync two HomePod devices in the same room in order to give them a wider, stereo range.

If you need help to enable Messages in iCloud on your iPhone and iPad, this article explains how to set it up.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, 0 comments
New security updates

New security updates

Today Apple released the iOS 11.3.1 update, and the macOS 10.13.4 update. The iOS update includes a fix for a display bug that some users experienced with 3rd party replacement screens.

Both of the these are mainly security updates, and just be aware that the macOS update is fairly large and requires a lengthy restart. The download itself is around 1 Gigabyte and it took about 45 minutes for my MacBook Pro to restart after starting the update. So, make sure you will not need your Mac for a while before you do this update.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac Security, 0 comments
Apple buys the Texture app

Apple buys the Texture app

A few weeks ago, Apple announced that it was purchasing the Texture app. Texture has been described as a sort of ” Netflix for magazines”, and gives you access to over 200 publications on your iPhone and iPad. Texture has been around since 2012, and for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, you can read a wide variety of well known magazines such as People, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Vogue and many more. But there’s also a very broad section of lesser known publications. Pretty much any magazine that you can find in the magazine section of you local grocery store and most book stores is available in the app. You can view the whole catalog on the Texture website and see if you favorite magazines are included.

I tried the app years ago, but just never used it enough to justify the subscription price. And it also felt very slow at the time. So, I decided to give it another try.
Once you’ve installed the app to your device, you can read the magazines while connected to Wi-Fi, or you can choose to download the publications to your device for offline reading. I’d recommend against downloading too many magazines to your iPhone and iPad unless you have plenty of space on your device. Magazine downloads can add up very quickly and use up a lot of your available space.

Overall, I have to say, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how well the app works nowadays. Even on an older device, such as an iPad 2 from years ago, the app felt very responsive and worked great.
So, if you like to read magazines, this is a great option to catch up on many of your favorites, all in one place and for a very reasonable monthly fee.
You can find the app in the iOS app store and download directly from there.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iPad, iPhone, 0 comments
The best To Do apps for Mac

The best To Do apps for Mac

There are some great options available on the Mac to help you organize your to-do list and manage your tasks efficiently. Given the fact that many Mac users are also using an iPhones and iPads, I will focus on to-do apps that work on both macOS and iOS.

There is some excellent free to-do apps currently available, as well as some really top notch paid apps available on the market.

Things 3: This is one of the most popular task management application available for the Mac and iPhone. This application has been around for 10 years, and they’ve won many awards over the years as one the best productivity tools for Apple users. It’s a very elegant looking application with a very minimal interface, yet still manages to pack in a lot of features. Things 3 has won a lot of praise recently and has a large user-base, and continues to receive regular improvements and new features. With a price of $49.99 for the Mac version, $19.99 for the iPad version, and $9.99 for the iPhone version, it can be pretty costly to have it installed on all your devices. Also keep in mind that you have to buy these all over again apps again when they introduce a new version, such as the upgrade from version 2 to version 3.
So, while I think it’s a great app from a great company, just be aware that it’s also one of the most expensive tool you can buy for task management.
You can find more information about Things 3 on their website here

2Do: This is my personal favorite at the moment, and the one I use on a daily basis. This one is also a paid application which usually costs $49.99, but is occasionally on sale for $24.99. But unlike Things, the iPhone and iPad versions of 2Do are free, which is a great little added bonus. It’s a very powerful application loaded with features and many ways to customize it the way you like to work. It is always one of the most highly rated productivity app on the Mac App store with a 5 star rating, and for good reason. I highly recommend that you check it out.

You can find more information about 2Do on their website here

Wunderlist: Wunderlist is a wonderful to-do list app which works well on your Mac, as well as on mobile devices. It’s also cross-platform, meaning that it also works for Android, Windows and Kindle devices. It’s completely free to use, with an option to sign-up for some premium features which are mainly useful for teams. And while I used to really recommend Wunderlist, the company that created it was bought by Microsoft in 2017, and it now looks like they will eventually kill off Wunderlist for their own to-do app. So, for that reason, I wouldn’t get too invested in Wunderlist, as I think it’s eventually going away.

Get more information about Wunderlist on their website.

These 3 apps are the most useful for anyone using Apple products at the moment in my opinion. Leave me a comment below if you think there’s something else better out there.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Mac, Productivity, Recommendations, Software, 0 comments
New Apple updates

New Apple updates

This week, Apple has released updates across multiple devices. The iOS 11.2.6 update fixes some issues on iPhones and iPads. While on other devices, be sure to download macOS 10.13.3 supplemental update, watchOS 4.2.3, and tvOS 11.2.6.

These updates fix security issues and various other bugs which could hamper your devices. Better safe than sorry !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iPhone, Mac, Mac Security, 0 comments
Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, it is beneficial to have a basic grasp of which iCloud services are available to you on those devices, and how to turn each setting on and off. When you use iCloud on your iPhone, you are allowing Apple to back-up some of your information to the Apple servers somewhere in the US. Once the initial back-up is done, you can also ask iCloud to sync all your Apple devices so that you will the same information across all devices.
In this video, I cover all the different settings which are available to you on iPhone / iPad, and how to customize them for your needs:

Over the years, iCloud has grown to include a broad set of features which are all pretty useful, but you may not necessarily want or need to use all of them. So, we’ll look at what each service does, and you can decide whether you want to turn it on or not.

  1. iCloud Drive: This is Apple’s answer to other cloud services such as DropBox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. This service allows you to easily back-up files and documents from your computer and mobile devices to the the Apple servers. Those files an documents are then synced across all your devices on which iCloud drive is turned on. If you tend to save a lot of large files onto iCloud Drive, you may at some point need to buy extra storage space for iCloud.
  2. Photos: This allows you to sync either some of your photos and videos, or all of your photos and videos to iCloud. If you turn on the iCloud Photo library, all your pictures and videos will be stored on iCloud and then synced across all your devices on which iCloud photo library is turned on. Turning on the iCloud Photo library can help clear space on your devices, particularly on iPhone and iPad if you’re running out of room.
    But it is important to keep in mind that if you turn on the iCloud Photo library on all your devices, once you delete an image or video from one device, it deletes from your other devices as well. Your Photos library will be identical on all devices on which this feature is turned on.
  3. Mail: This feature is available if you have one of the Apple supplied email addresses that are available for free to anyone. These addresses end in @icloud.com,  @me.com, and @mac.com.
    If you use one of these email addresses, your emails will then be synced across all devices. You can also save previous emails in folders as a back-up should you ever need to retrieve anything.
    These use the IMAP protocol, just like a Gmail address or a Yahoo address, which means that when you delete an email from one device, it also deletes it from everywhere else.
  4. Contacts: When you use the Contacts application (formerly known as Address Book) on your Mac, you can either save contacts to your Mac or to iCloud. The advantage of saving your contacts to iCloud is that your contacts will always be in sync on all your devices, and also become available on www.icloud.com. For the vast majority of people, you will probably be using the cloud to back up and sync your contacts. But it can also be used in conjunction with contacts you may have stored with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange and many other providers.
  5. Calendar: The Calendar app lets you can create events, appointments, and to do’s in a simple scheduling app. You can create calendar events either just on your Mac, or create them using iCloud, which will then sync across all your devices. Again, I strongly recommend that you use iCloud for your calendar events so that everything syncs across all your devices.
  6. Notes: Same as the previous two, most people should store their Notes in the cloud, unless you are really worried that someone could gain access to your iCloud account. You can create super simple notes, or far more intricate notes with tables and attachments in the latest version. It’s a pretty powerful tool which many people are starting to use instead of something like EverNote because it integrates so well with all your Apple products.
  7. Siri: Turning on Siri in the iCloud panel allows Apple to learn your voice across multiple devices. The way that Siri is supposed to work is that it learns your voice over time and gradually gets better at recognizing your voice and the way you ask it questions. If you’ve been using on iPhone for some time, and you get a new device, having Siri turned on in iCloud means that it doesn’t have to start from scratch and learn your voice all over again on that new device. Slightly spooky maybe, but pretty useful …
  8. Keychain: Keychain is password manager built into Apple products, which allows you to save only certain passwords. When you create or enter a username and password on a website while using Safari, you can save that username and password to your Keychain so that Safari will enter it automatically for you the next time your visit that sit. Your Keychain can also remember wi-fi passwords and various other internet related usernames and passwords. You cannot use it to store just any passwords like you can in some other applications like 1Password or LastPass. But it’s still a very handy feature.
  9. Back to My Mac: Hardly anyone uses this feature, because it hasn’t always worked very well. But, in theory, if you have 2 or more Macs using the same Apple ID, you can access your Macs remotely. So, if for example you’re on the road with your MacBook Air, and you have an iMac at home… If both are turned on and using that same Apple ID, you can access and operate you iMac from your MacBook Air. You can grab files from your home computer while you’re away basically. Again, it’s not used much, but it can be very useful for some people.
  10. Find my Mac / iPhone / iPad: With this feature turned on, you’ll be able to track down your Apple devices and see them  on a map when you log into www.icloud.com, or by using the Find my phone feature on one of your mobile devices. Of course, your device needs to be turned on and within reach of a network for this feature to work. For most people, I’d recommend you have this feature turned on in case you ever lose your device.
Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iCloud, iOS, iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, Training, 0 comments