14 Hidden Tricks and Tools in iOS 8

by Samantha Murphy Kelly

Some of the best new features on iOS 8 are the ones you probably haven’t used yet. That’s because Apple has hidden a collection of new tricks and tools deep into its new mobile operating system, and many aren’t easy to find.

From ways to keep photos private to credit card scanners and a timed camera feature for selfies, here’s a look at some of the best kept secrets in iOS 8:

1. Hide Photos

Hide Photos

IMAGE: MASHABLE

There’s a neat feature that hides your photos without deleting them. Tap and hold a photo in the Photos app and an option to “hide” will surface. You’ll be able to remove it from Collections, Moments and Years and keep it in the Hidden album. No one needs to know how many pictures of your cat you take on a daily basis.

2. Mute Texts

iOS 8 gives you the option to mute alerts for text-message notifications from specific people. By choosing “Do Not Disturb” under “Details” in a conversation, it makes messages you don’t want others to see a little more inconspicuous. While this feature might be even better if it hides messages from the home screen all together, at least there’s a way to keep the volume down if you’re expecting an onset of texts from a certain someone throughout the day.

3. More Text Control

Delete

IMAGE: MASHABLE

There’s a lot more you can do with the texts you send and receive with iOS 8, including deleting them one by one. By highlighting a text message, an option for More will pop up — from there, you’ll be able to forward it along to someone else or tap to erase individual messages.

4. Credit Card Scanner

Credit Card

When you’re making a purchase via the Safari browser, you’ll be shown an option to Scan Credit Card, rather than having to manually type in details. The feature automatically appears above the keyboard. After selecting it, hold your credit card up to the field of frame (highlighted by the camera) and it will securely capture the information for you.

5. Dark Mode

For those who want to give the device a vintage flare, visit General > Accessibility and turn on the Grayscale mode. Everything from the home screen to apps and email will be displayed in black and white.

6. Interactive Notifications

Interactive Notifications

IMAGE: MASHABLE, LANCE ULANOFF

You no longer have to stop what you’re doing to respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages. A notification banner appears on top of the top of the screen and you can pull it down to respond. In fact, it’s easily one of the best new touches of iOS 8.

7. Medical ID

Medical ID

IMAGE: MASHABLE

The new Health app has a Medical ID that can be accessed via the lock screen that lets anyone access your emergency contact information in case of, well, an emergency.

Medical ID

IMAGE: MASHABLE

This means anyone that needs immediate access to your health information (or who they should call) can do so even if they don’t know your phone’s passcode.

8. Timed Selfies

Flowers

IMAGE: MASHABLE

Apple added a timer to its Camera app, allowing you either 3 or 10 seconds to get the shot exactly how you want it. You can also prop up the device before setting the timer, so you don’t even need your hands to take a picture. Open the Camera app to take a picture, select the clock icon and set the timer. You can also use the timer with Burst Mode, which snaps a bunch at shots and you’ll have plenty to pick from.

9. Update Keyboard Cycle

If you have downloaded a keyboard app from a third-party provider, you can program it directly to your master keyboard settings instead of opting to use it every time by tapping the Globe icon. Instead, change your default keyboard and the order in which you cycle through your keyboards via Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Edit.

10. Bring Back Deleted PhotosDeleted Photos

If you’ve accidentally deleted a photo, it’s possible to bring it back: there’s a new Recently Deleted album in the Photo app that stores deleted pictures for up to 30 days before they disappear for good.

11. Email Response Notifications

If you’re expecting an important response to an email, you can set up it up to alert you when it rolls in. Visit your inbox, swipe an email to the left, select More > Notify Me to get alerts when anyone responds to the email thread.

12. Manage Apple ID

You no longer have to go through iTunes or the Apple App Store to manage your Apple ID account, such as adding people to family sharing plan, add credit cards or update passwords. Now, head over to Settings > iCloud and log into your account by touching your email address highlighted at the top of the screen.

13. Battery Usage

Battery Usage

IMAGE: MASHABLE

While the battery monitoring feature has been widely reported at this point, it’s with good reason: the tool gives a percentage breakdown of what apps are killing your battery life most. To identify which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day.

14. Multitasking With Email Drafts

Email

IMAGE: APPLE

If you’re in the middle of an email, but want to go back to reading your inbox, you can hold the top of the message and drag down (but don’t put your finger too high on the screen or the notifications tab will appear). You can do this with multiple drafts, too. Double tap the minimized draft at the bottom to see all of them at once — this makes them appear in a carousel view, similar to how it looks with Safari tabs in iOS 8 — and proceed to open or delete them with taps and swipes.

Source: Mashable

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Britain Loves Wearables: One In Ten Set To Use Hardware As Wearable Tech Explodes

by Ewan Spence

Britain is falling in love with wearable technology. Recent numbers from YouGov show the increasing adoption of personal tech in the country. Currently six percent of the UK population (roughly 2.8 million people) have some form of wearable device, be it a smartwatch, fitness band, or activity tracker. That number is set to more than double to 6.1 million (13% of the population) during 2015.

Of course there’s going to be a big spike next year when the Apple Watch becomes available, and no doubt that’s going to be one of the big drivers in the adoption rates. Before then, the festive market is going to make a big contribute to the numbers. By the end of 2014 YouGov’s survey suggests the engagement 4. 7 million people (one in ten) will have a wearable device, no doubt boosted by marketing and people looking for some ‘shiny new tech’ to gift to their loved ones.

Sony SmartBand SWR10 (image: Sony PR)

The challenge for manufacturers and developers now is to keep people using their devices. The majority of wearable devices are fitness focussed devices, and not everyone is buying them to get fit. 37% of those surveyed have tracking tech simply to keep up with the newest devices in technology. That’s good for sales, but it says to me that more work needs to be done to integrate wearable tech into a normal lifestyle.
That’s where smartwatches may come into their own. Just one in six of those with wearable tech had a smartwatch, a device that is far more personal and ripe for development than any other area of mobile technology on the horizon.

If you want to read more about wearable technology here on Forbes, check out my thoughts on the Pebble Smartwatch, the Sony SmartBand, and why you should wear a smartwatch.

Source: Forbes

Working Mobile: Turning the iPhone or Galaxy Into Your Primary Workspace

by Kurt Marko

Recent events, climaxed by the biggest iPhone update in years, have caused me to ponder the use of mobile devices, whether smarthphones or tablets, in business where these indispensable consumer items (e.g. more people carry a smartphone than wear a watch) are still supplementary and subordinate to PCs in the workplace. The question is why. Why have smartphones – indeed, the mobile device market is utterly dominated by phones, more so than ever with the rise of large-screen phablets – become the preferred and often exclusive information and communication platform for younger people yet often remain accessories at work?

Smartphones have evolved into the do everything Swiss Army information appliance most people are never leave home without, yet they remain glorified PDAs for most business users. Why the dichotomy? Are mobile devices and their all-important apps inherently optimized for lightweight, ephemeral consumer needs and thus unsuitable for the heavy lifting of memo writing, spreadsheet analyzing and database mining of business? Or is this a case of the mobile business ecosystem following the early money and large market into consumer-oriented features and applications with business needs relegated to a second wave of mobile development? I think both hypotheses are true, but the net is that adapting work styles, processes and software to mobile devices presents an enormous business opportunity.

Work on the go. Source: BBC

Back to those recent influential events. The first was a lengthy conversation, which led to this column on mobile UIs, with a software executive about the importance of mobile app design. Aside from discussing the finer points of software design, I was struck by how my interlocutor, Jeetu Patel and head of EMC’s Syncplicity product line, had gone all in with mobile as a work platform. As I wrote,

Indeed, Patel, who travels the globe as an ambassador for Syncplicity has made mobile devices the center of his tool chest, typically only carrying an iPhone, iPad and some video connectors in his bag as he makes presentations and demonstrates the product. The man clearly puts his money where his mouth is.

I thought, if this executive can work for weeks on end with little more than what most people carry to the local Starbucks, why doesn’t every C-level work out of a satchel?

Source: PBS

My epiphany, which provided the first clues to answering the ‘why not mobile’ question, came during Tim Cook’s post-iPhone launch interviews. In a conversation with Charlie Rose, the host broached Apple’s seemingly incongruous agreement with IBM and Cook makes the case for smartphone business-ification:

Cook: IBM is a great one to talk about because I think it will give you an insight into how we look at things [now]. We look at these products and the iPads that aren’t here and we think we can change the way people work. We’ve changed the consumers’ lives. We’ve changed the way students learn and teachers teach. But when you get to the working environment, the change that we’ve made to us isn’t significant enough. And so we begin to ask ourselves why. Why haven’t we done more? And the real answer is in the applications. There’s not enough apps that have been written for very deep verticals like what the airline pilot does. What the bank teller does. Down at the level of the job. [emphasis added]

Remington Typewriter

Remington Typewriter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Executives Don’t Need a Glorified Typewriter

Juxtaposing Patel’s experience as a mobile-only business executive with Cook’s apology for the largely superficial use of mobile devices within enterprises suggests a couple conclusions:

  • Business users are creatures of habit reluctant to deviate from time-tested processes using the Microsoft Office suite, document formats and email system.
  • The mobile app ecosystem has still largely ignored business needs.
  • Business execs need the courage to actually try the available business-focused apps and adjust work habits to exploit mobile advantages of ubiquity, convenience, application simplicity.

In an era of smartphones with PC-class performance, ever-present high-speed wireless networks and rich backend cloud services, there’s no reason why business execs must remain tethered to the evolutionary descendent of typewriters.

Executives and Mobile Professionals Are the Ideal User Group

More so than other job categories, business execs are the logical group to make mobile centric by turning smartphones and tablets into their primary work platform. According to Patel the fit is due both to what they do and don’t. First, business execs are often on the road, so it’s a great benefit being able to carry one’s work environment in your pocket. Second, he says business leaders (and I would argue, other mobile jobs like sales and marketing professionals) typically edit more than they create, meaning small screen mobile devices and apps designed to access existing content rather than create from scratch work well enough; that is as long as they can read and manipulatedocuments in existing repositories and document formats. The inference being that cloud storage is a huge mobile business enabler. For road warriors, the smartphone’s instant on paired with simple app designs that focus on common tasks are a big win.

Patel contends that the advent of enterprise-class file sharing services like Syncplicity, and I would add Accellion, Box for Business andCitrix Share File to the shortlist, have essentially eliminated most impediments to business execs making a smartphone their primary device. Despite the initial ridicule and unflattering “phablet” moniker, the advent of large screen products like the Samsung Note, Galaxy S and now iPhone 6/6+ have also made the prospect of going cold turkey on the PC much easier.

Based on the Patel’s experience, Cook’s statements and my own use, here’s some advice for leaving the laptop at home on your next trip:

  • Pick apps carefully and work well for the tasks you do most often. Of course email and messaging are a given with every phone, but if you regularly use other document formats whether for presentations, collaborative editing and review, make sure you have apps that can easily access and modify them. Aside from the aforementioned file sharing apps, you’ll need a productivity suite like iWork, Office Mobile, Google Apps, Readdle Documents or others.
  • Embrace the cloud as your new home directory. Whether you’re a consumer using Dropbox and Google Drive or a business using a hybrid system like Citrix or Syncplicity, working mobile means keeping your information on remote systems; local storage (at least in this context) is dead.
  • Despite the larger screens and predictive typing apps like Flesky, SwiftKey or the built-in features of iOS8, touch screen phablets and tablets still aren’t the most efficient way to enter text. For those needing to occasionally type longer passages while mobile, it’s best to carry a compact Bluetooth keyboard. For maximal portability I use and recommend a folding model like one of these from Matias.
  • If you need to project presentations to a conference room screen, don’t rely on wireless techniques like AirPlay or Chromecast. Instead, carry an assortment of video dongles that connect from your phone – typically micro USB for Android, Lightning for iPhone – to standard VGA and HDMI video outputs.
  • For executives: monitor the Apple-IBM engagement and other enterprise software vendors mobilizing their products and look for any resulting apps that address tasks relevant to your business.

Patel gives the best closing advice for business people going mobile, “try it for a week. Once you’ve got yourself all set up, you may never go back.” There is life, indeed life more abundantly, after the PC. It just requires a little preparation.

Source: Forbes

Back to the Basics

If you’ve been reading this blog for the few years since I started it, you’ll remember I used to do an app review each week.  Beginning next week I will get back to that.  Because most young professionals I work with rely so heavily on their smartphones for their news and work, I know that apps that will either increase productivity or add to their work-life balance are always helpful.  So, from now on, be expecting posts on applications, software, and websites of a technological nature that will help you be a better professional and make the most of your time throughout the week.  This will take up two to three of my #TechnologyTuesday posts each month.

If you ever have a site, software, or application that you’d like for me to review, don’t hesitate to email me at DanielsDailyReader@gmail.com and I’ll make it happen.  Thank you for continuing to support The Reader by reading.  See you again tomorrow.

Better Safe Than Sorry

This morning, I got a text message notification from Google saying that they blocked a suspicious login attempt and I needed to validate it. Mind you, I was in the gym when this happened so I already knew it was either my little brother on my laptop (unlikely because that wouldn’t be recorded as suspicious) or there was a legitimate threat to my security.

Upon logging in, I found that someone has attempted to login from Florida. I’m in North Carolina. Google made it easy to change my password immediately, so that’s what I did.

What does this have to do with professional development? Well, do you know how many employees get terminated every day because of compromising sensitive information. You don’t want to be one of those people. So I strongly recommend setting up email and text notifications for the security of all your accounts that may ever have any valuable information come to them. Better safe than sorry, right?

The iPhone 6 for the Young Professional

The iPhone 6, a great accessory for the young professional.

Just a week ago today, Apple revealed to the world the long-anticipated latest additions to its rich iPhone lineage, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. In addition to all of the glitz and glam of its all new seamless design, powerful A8 chip, and Retina HD display in two larger sizes, this phone contains several essential tools for the young professional.

To many people’s liking, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available in 4.7- and 5.5-inch display sizes. This will give current and new owners a better experience when it comes to tasks like managing documents, surfing the web and corresponding to important emails. Its improved resolution and responsiveness will result a significant jump in productivity for power users. Most of us can admit that our phones are extensions of us and allow us to complete tasks that used to limited to a traditional computer.

Outside of the visible improvements of the device, the software has been greatly improved as well. Now your iPhone allows you to stay connected to loved ones and friends like never before. For example, when sending messages in the new operating system, iOS 8, you can literally L.O.L. in the middle of a convo. With one swipe you can capture any sound, your voice, a song, or a big laugh and share instantly. By touching and holding the new microphone button to record your message. Simply swipe to send it. To hear a message, simply hold iPhone to your ear and listen like it’s a phone call.

From a business perspective, when someone opens his new iPhone or downloads iOS 8 he will have instant access to iCloud Drive. This new app can be likened to Dropbox and Google Drive. iCloud Drive gives young professionals the ability to work with the document of their choice on the device of their choice. Apple has now come out with a true cloud system that can be accessed from any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. iCloud Drive is a secure centralized location for users to store all their presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document within their personal cloud.

A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. The new iPhone 6 takes health awareness to new levels with The Health app which lets users keep all their health and fitness statistics in one place on their devices. They decide what information is placed in under this health monitoring tool and access this data through the Health app. Heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol are just a few of the things users can keep track.

Whether tech savvy or not, this phone contains several essential tools for the young professional. This smart phone provides users with more unique ways of staying connected with family, friends, or colleagues. Not to mention the how much more productive one can become from features like sharing contacts calendars and reminders. I definitely recommend placing the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on your list of phones to consider for your next upgrade.

Trade it in: How to get the most for your old iPhone

As many of you know, Apple just released the specs on its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of keeping up with the Joneses.  It’s nice to have the most up to date technology but it’s not always necessary.  However, if you are one of the techies who has to have the latest and greatest, you can at least make sure you’re saving as much as you can by selling/trading in your old iPhone.  This USA Today article by Jennifer Jolly guides you through how to get the most for you iPhone.

We are now just hours away from the unveiling of Apple’s latest iPhone. The iPhone 6 is expected to be a complete redesign of the company’s iconic smartphone line, and if the people already lining up outside Apple stores is any indication, there’s a good chance you’ll want to ditch your current iPhone and upgrade.

Here’s how to get the most for your used iDevice and lower the strain on your bank account while making the switch to the newest iPhone.

GAZELLE
Gazelle is one of the most popular options for iPhone owners to get cash for their used smartphones, and for good reason. I just checked and found out that my 64GB iPhone 5S is worth $285, $335 if it’s unlocked. You can also score as much as $300 for a 16GB iPhone 5s in great condition, which should put a nice dent in the price tag of the iPhone 6 when you head to your carrier to pick one up. Gazelle ships you a pre-paid box to send your iPhone in and then sends you a check within days.

When to trade in: Right now. The best thing about Gazelle is that you can commit to your trade-in right now, but not actually send the phone in until after the new iPhone launches.

Alternatives similar to Gazelle, but offering a bit less than Gazelle when I checked: uSell, NextWorth. If you’re not sure how many GB your current iPhone is, here’s a way to find out.

AMAZON
The web’s largest retailer is also a fine choice if you’re looking to offload your used iPhone. You’ll get an Amazon gift card as payment, and if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper anyway you’ll be happy to hear that you can make up to $400 for a 16GB iPhone 5S and up to $385 for a 16GB iPhone 5s. Yes, that’s a ton of money for a year-old device.

When to trade in: Just before you pick up your iPhone 6. Your best bet with Amazon is to initiate your trade-in online a few days before you’ll be picking up your new smartphone. Since Amazon sends the box right away and expects your device to arrive in a fairly prompt manner, you’ll only have about a week-long window to get the most money. When Apple announces the iPhone 6 release date during its September 9th event, mark your calendar and remember to order your Amazon trade-in box a few days beforehand, and you’re golden!

Alternatives like Amazon – Best Buy Trade-In, Wal-Mart Gadgets-to-Gift-Cards

EBAY
If you’d rather take pricing and shipping matters into your own hands, you can always give eBay a try. With eBay you can create either a standard auction, a fixed-price listing, or an “Or Best Offer” deal. Keep in mind that shipping costs require some careful calculation, especially if you’re adding insurance for the pricey gadget you’re sending, and there’s always the chance that the buyer could hassle you if things don’t go exactly their way. It’s often more trouble to sell your device over eBay, but there’s also the chance that you’ll get a great payday out of it.

When to sell it: The sooner the better. eBay is a massive free marketplace and the price for iPhones drops with the announcement of each new one. You’ll still get plenty of cash out of it, especially if it’s in good condition, but time is of the essence. If you can deal with not having your phone for a day or two, it could pay off big time to sell your phone before the iPhone 6 actually launches.

Alternatives like eBay: Craigslist

SAFETY FIRST!
Before you part with your phone, it’s important to make sure you’re wiping it of all personal information. This will help prevent any nasty identify theft or scam scenarios from biting you down the road, so don’t skip it! Thankfully, Apple makes this pretty easy to do:
1. Head to the Settings menu
2. Tap “General” and then tap “Reset”
3. Select “Erase all content and settings”
Your iPhone will now erase itself and prepare for a new owner, so give it one last kiss goodbye, buy it a Starbucks coffee for the trip, and send it off into the sunset. Don’t worry, your shiny new iPhone 6 is waiting, and boy won’t she be a beauty!

 

Source: USA Today