Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Here’s What to Do After Dropping Your iPhone in Water

Dropped your iPhone in the water, the toilet, or the swimming pool? It can be a very frustrating moment to see your iPhone drenched with water, but panicking and rushing to dry it with anything that you find is not the solution and may actually cause more harm.

In most cases, you can still save your iPhone after it has been exposed to water, but it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to limit the damage and avoid causing extra harm. Here’s the process of dealing with an iPhone that has been damaged by water.

Precautions to Take When an iPhone Is Exposed to Water

  • If your iPhone is plugged in to a power source, unplug it immediately as it can cause short circuits. Also, disconnect USB cables, headphones, or any other accessories connected to it by a wire.
  • Completely dry the external surface of the iPhone with a piece of cloth. Avoid using electronic devices for drying, such as a hair dryer.
  • Hold your iPhone upside down and gently shake it to get liquid out of the ports and sockets.
  • If the iPhone is still turned on, power it off by holding down the power button.
  • If your iPhone is in a case, take it off to avoid any liquid being trapped inside.
Now that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to limit the water damage to your iPhone, you’re ready to dry the internals.

How to Dry a Wet iPhone

It’s a popular concept to stuff a wet device into a bag full of rice to dry the internals. Based on my experience, this actually works and helps to absorb the moisture within the iPhone.

  1. To get started, grab a plastic zipper-lock bag or anything else that can be filled with rice.
  2. Now fill it with rice and place the iPhone in it so that its entire body is covered by rice.
  3. Leave it there for about 36 hours or more until all the moisture is absorbed by the rice. Be warned that some dust or rice grains may get into the ports.
  4. An alternative option is to use silica gel which is more effective in drying a wet device, but you’ll need lots of them to cover the iPhone.

Once you’ve waited for at least 36 hours and feel confident that the iPhone has dried completely, take it out and try switching on. In most cases, the iPhone will turn on successfully.

If your iPhone doesn’t turn on, then you should take it to a nearby Apple Store and have it inspected. Keep in mind that iOS devices have a liquid contact indicator that shows whether the device was damaged by water, so make sure that you don’t claim that the iPhone stopped working without any apparent reason.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

R.I.P. MP3

R.I.P. mp3: Patent Holders Declare the Audio Format Officially Dead

Mp3, the decades-old digital audio format that gained widespread popularity over the last 15 years in large part by Apple’s iPod devices, has officially been killed off and will no longer be licensed, according to the format’s majority patent holders at the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS.

In a brief statement that was published to its website late last month, the Fraunhofer Institute explained how its myriad of patents pertaining to the encoders and decoders of the 25-year-old mp3 format have expired, and that the digital audio standard of old will heretofore be replaced by the much more advanced and higher-quality ‘Advanced Audio Coding’ (AAC) format.

“On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated,” Fraunhofer’s statement reads, in part, while adding that “We thank all of our licensees for their great support in making mp3 the de facto audio codec in the world, during the past two decades.”

The mp3 code was initially developed in the late 1980s as a collaborative effort between the Fraunhofer Institute in conjunction with previous developments from the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany. Although more advanced audio codes exist today, mp3 was nevertheless popularized by Apple when it first introduced the iPod back in 2001, which brought the historically lower-quality format to the mainstream and was the primary format of audio tracks available via the iTunes music store. Although there inherently exist a number of more advanced, higher-quality formats, mp3 still remains a popular choice among consumers today.

“Most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family, or in the future MPEG-H,” the Fraunhofer Institute said, while adding that “Those [formats] can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3.”

The expiration of the Fraunhofer Institute’s patents and its subsequent decision to stop licensing the mp3 format is largely a symbolic move, however comparable to how manufacturers oftentimes adopt the next-generation of a technology while still offering intermittent support for the technology that preceded it. For instance, when the CD-ROM drive began infiltrating the PC market in the mid- to late-1990s, floppy disc drives were still considered a popular option for reading software titles among PC users.

In much the same way, while the mp3 format revolutionized the way and efficacy with which users downloaded music files — and while it will likely remain a popular choice for some time to come — more advanced file formats, such as AAC, are already considered the new gold standard by many in the industry.

Of course, mp3 will not cease to exist, as the statement published by Fraunhofer might suggest; but rather due to the expiration of its patents, the firm will merely cease licensing the format to vendors and their audio-centric music platforms such as iTunes.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is Apple Producing an ‘Amazon Echo Competitor’?

Apple is reportedly “finalizing” a design for an Amazon Echo competitor, a well-known Apple leaker said on Thursday.

The leaker, Sonny Dickson, said that he expects Apple’s Alexa competitor to be marketed as a “Siri/AirPlay device” that runs a variant of iOS, and will utilize some form of Apple’s proprietary Beats technology. Other than those small tidbits, Dickson didn’t mention anything else about the device — perhaps indicating that details are still scarce. We don’t know much about Dickson’s sources, but they have proved accurate in the past. For example, Dickson leaked information that iOS 10 would feature a “completely reworked lock screen” months ahead of its release.

The leaker’s rumor does conflict with a previous report stating that Apple “has no apparent interest” in producing a direct Echo competitor. In February, Time Magazine reported that Apple was seeking to make Siri an “omnipresent AI assistant across devices,” rather than relying on a central hub the way Amazon’s Echo devices serve for Alexa. While not exactly a direct contradiction, it will be interesting to see how Apple markets its rumored competitor.

While Apple may have differing plans, 2017 is certainly turning out to be the year of the digital assistant. With stiff competition from the likes of Amazon, Google and even Samsung’s Bixby, Apple needs to be strategic with its advanced Siri upgrades to keep the digital assistant relevant. Most of Apple’s competitors have an edge in price range — Siri comes with expensive smartphones and tablets, whereas Amazon’s Echo Dot costs just $50 (which might make it more economical for, say, a hotel chain to use in “smart” rooms). If Apple does indeed release a cheaper central Siri hub, it could very well help to even out the home automation and digital assistant playing field.

It’s currently unknown when Apple could unveil or ship the actual device, but the company is expected to show off new products and tech at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early June.

News Report by iDrop News:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 iPhone Features People Don’t Use Enough

Apple’s flagship iPhone devices are packed with useful features and functionality that can make our lives easier. But not every iPhone feature gets the credit or use that it deserves. Here are three iPhone features that more users should take advantage of.

3. AirDrop

Before AirDrop, transferring files between devices was often a mess of cables, emails or data-heavy text messages that take forever to send. Since iOS 7, however, Apple has made the file transfer process much simpler and easier with AirDrop.

So what is AirDrop? AirDrop lets Apple users instantly share content between nearby Apple devices using a low-power Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network — making it easy to beam that photo or video to your friend’s phone. Not only that, the feature also makes it simple to transfer files between your own devices, and since iOS 10, AirDrop also lets users share apps.
  1. To use AirDrop, simply open an app and find the content you want to share.
  2. Tap the Share icon.
  3. From here, just tap the name of a nearby Apple device or user.
To receive AirDrop files, just wait for the alert (which also shows a preview of the content), and tap Accept.

2. Mail Drop

Mail Drop is another handy iOS feature that makes transferring large files bit easier for Apple users. Mail Drop is especially handy for sending large, HD video files from your iPhone.

Rather than actually sending a large file as an attachment in an email, Mail Drop uploads the attachment to iCloud and sends the recipient a link to download the file. In that way, the feature is similar to third-party apps like DropBox, but it has one key advantage: it’s comes built-in with iOS 9.2 and later. Unlike AirDrop, however, there’s no compatibility issues: any operating system, like Android or Windows, will still be able to download the file.

Mail Drop should be triggered automatically by attempting to send a file over 20 megabytes from your iPhone — you’ll be given a “Use Mail Drop” option during sending. You can send files up to a whopping 5 gigabytes to your recipients, and the link to download the full file will remain active for 30 days after you send it.

1. Apple News

Like AirDrop and Mail Drop, Apple’s own News app is a similarly underrated feature — even if it serves an entirely different purpose. Put simply, it’s a well-made news aggregation app that pulls headlines from a curated list of publications that you can choose from.

But Cupertino wasn’t just going to make another run-of-the-mill aggregation app. Prior to its release, Apple partnered with other 50 publishers and publications to create featured stories in a proprietary “Apple News” format. Namely, this format includes large HD images, videos, slideshows, rich pop-up text, and other nifty features that you won’t find in other formats or news apps. Best of all, ads are pretty few and far between on the platform — giving you an uncluttered news experience.

Never used News before? Luckily, it’s extremely easy to get started. Just open the app, select some publications (or “channels”) that you’d like to follow, and tap Done. News will then generate a curated “magazine” from the publishers you chose under the ‘For You’ tab. You can search for, add and remove publications from this tab to your heart’s content, as well as Save or Favorite stories for later reading.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Next iPhone called ‘iPhone Edition’? Release Date?

‘iPhone Edition’ Likely Won’t Ship Until October or Later

Apple’s 10th anniversary flagship, which is currently known around the web as ‘iPhone 8’ or ‘iPhone X’, could potentially be rechristened ‘iPhone Edition’, according to a report that was published this morning by the Japanese blog, Macotokara.

While also suggesting that Apple is currently testing several different prototypes of the device, without having officially settled on a final design or material choice, Macotokara goes on to allege that a few ‘minor hold-ups’ will be the reason that iPhone Edition actually launches within the months following its anticipated, September 2017 debut.

To be more specific, Apple is currently entertaining prototypes both with and without a physical home button, as well as those encompassed by glass, aluminum, and ceramic outer casings. Interestingly, the report also cites that Apple is testing units featuring both TFT-LCD and OLED displays — even though, pending any unforeseeable manufacturing issues, the top-tier iPhone is almost certain to ship with an OLED display.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Does the Apple Pencil Work on the iPhone?

The Apple Pencil is a stylus-style writing instrument that brilliantly replicates the experience of drawing with a pencil for touchscreens. It’s responsive, precise, and highly-sensitive to the amount of pressure applied with it, allowing users to create textured sketches that look as if they were really done in pencil.

The Apple Pencil is currently only compatible with the iPad Pro (9.7-inch and 12.9 inch models) because it requires a specific kind of display technology to work. The iPad Pro’s screen is equipped with such a subsystem that registers the Apple Pencil’s signal 240 times per second (which is twice as fast as reading a user’s finger) and allows it to read its position, tilt, and force.

“This data, combined with Apple designed software, means that there’s only milliseconds between the image you have in your mind and the one you see on the display,” Apple said.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are currently not equipped with the display technology to support Apple Pencil.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

iPhone Secrets: 8 Things You Didn’t Know Your iOS Device Could Do

There’s no question that an iPhone packs a ton of functionality into a small package. But even iOS users might not know all the hidden tricks that an iPhone is capable of.
Here’s a list of our favorite hidden and little-known iPhone features.
1. Change an eBook into an Audio Book
One neat — and often overlooked feature — is the iPhone’s ability to read any text on the screen out loud. While normally a feature to aid seeing impaired users, it can also turn any ordinary eBook into an audiobook.
To use it, go to:
Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech
From here, activate the Speak Screen function. Once you do, you can swipe down from the top of your screen with two fingers in any app — and it’ll read any text displayed on the screen to you. You can tweak certain functions, too — like voice gender and speaking speed.
2. Use Your iPhone as a Scanner
In our increasingly digital-driven world, it can be hard to find an analog scanner when you’re out and about. Luckily, the iPhone can easily mimic this function with the help of certain apps, like ScanbotDropbox and Microsoft’s proprietary Office Lens.
Using these apps, you can simply take a picture of a document — or whiteboard, or business card — and turn it into a digital copy, which you can then export save or export. Some of these apps also offer an Optical Character Recognition feature, which lets you search the digital documents as if they were text files.
3. Use the iPhone’s Hidden Trackpad
While trackpads are normally the realm of laptops and desktops, any iPhone with 3D touch also has a trackpad hidden within its features — which can be extremely useful for editing text on your smartphone.
To use it, simply press and hold firmly on the keyboard within a text app. From here it’ll automatically switch to trackpad mode — you’ll know it’s working when you see the keyboard’s characters disappear. From here, you can move the cursor around more easily, and select, highlight or edit certain portions of text much quicker than you normally could.
4. View all the Photos a Contact has Texted You.
If you’ve been texting someone in iMessage for any period of time, you know how quickly a message thread can become huge. If you want to find a picture your friend sent you last month, for example, it can be cumbersome and time-consuming to try and scroll all the way up to find it.
Luckily, there’s an easier way to find photos. Simply open a thread in iMessage, and click the circular “I” icon in the upper right corner. From here, you can see a list of all the photos and attachments that you or your friend have sent each other.
5. Get Location-Based Reminders
By now, basically everyone knows that you can ask Siri to give you time-based reminders, but you can also ask Siri to give you location-based reminders too. For example, you can say, “Remind me to call my brother when I get home.” If you’re at work, you can ask Siri to remind you get to gas when you leave — and you’ll be sent a notification when you begin driving away.
For this to work properly, you’ll need to create updated cards in your Contacts with information like name, address and contact relationships. To do so, simply open Contacts and tap the contact you want to edit. Your personal Contact card can be seen at the top of your contacts list.
6. Control Your iPhone with Your Head
Sure, you can control your iPhone with your voice — but did you know that you can also control it with your head? Now, it’s not exactly mind-control, but it’s pretty cool to use head gestures to control certain system functions on your smart device.
To activate this little-known feature, open Settings, and go to General > Accessibility > Switch Control. Tap on the Switches option, and add a new switch using the Camera as a source. To activate Siri with a head gesture, for example, select Right Head Movement, and then Siri under System Setting. If Switch Control is on, you should see blue rectangles scanning objects on your iPhone’s screen. Tilt your head to the right, and Siri should be activated.
7. Apply a Color Filter to Your iPhone
One of the new and little-known features in iOS is the addition of what’s called “Color Filters.” This is a great way to make your iPhone easier on the eyes, or to tweak certain display colors to make the iPhone more accessible for color blind users.
To activate it, simply go to General > Accessibility > Accommodations > Color Filters. The grayscale mode introduced in iOS 8 has been moved here — if you feel the need to add a noir aesthetic to your phone. Otherwise, you can select from a range of color swap options, or simply apply a Color Tint to your iPhone. The latter feature is similar to Night Shift, but lets you tint the display basically in any hue or intensity you want.
8. Teach Siri Proper Pronunciation
Siri is a great tool for productivity and convenience on an iPhone, but there’s no getting around the fact that sometimes it can pronounce things a little off. Case in point: Siri’s infamous mispronunciation of Barbra Streisand’s name.
To teach Siri to pronounce a name better, just activate Siri and say “That’s not how you pronounce (blank).” Siri will then ask you to pronounce the first and last name of a Contact, for example — and then ask you to select from a few different playbacks.