Who Needs Instagram? View Nearby Twitter Images With Vizible [ios]

nearby twitter searchVizible is a brand new iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. What makes it special for me, is that its made by the same developers as Twizgrid, which to this day remains one of my favorite iOS apps of all times. If you’re curious, I’d recommend reading my previous post about Twizgrid, but in a nutshell, Twizgrid is a visual Twitter client which makes the recent quarrel between Twitter and Instagram seem insignificant. It lets you browse Twitter users, hashtags, locations, and keywords, and presents beautiful image grids of photos that have been uploaded to Twitter.

Vizible is the new, younger sibling to Twizgrid, and it actually doesn’t do much that Twizgrid can’t do. If, however, you’re not interested in all the features Twizgrid has to offer, and only care about finding Twitter pictures around your current location, Vizible can be loads of fun. With Vizible, you can instantly see every photo that’s been uploaded to Twitter around your current location, get a feel for new places, or see what people are doing around you.

Vizible, like Twizgrid, is completely free. If you like images, Twitter, and gorgeous apps, this one is for you.

Vizible As An Image Browser

Before you can start using Vizible at all, you’ll have to connect it to your Twitter account. Vizible connects to accounts already configured on your iOS device, and lets you choose which one you want to connect the app to (if you have more than one).

nearby twitter search

That’s pretty much all the set up you’re going to have to do. Once that’s done, Vizible will ask for permission to use your current location, and you’ll be on your way. Unlike Twizgrid, you can’t choose any location you’d like – Vizible is only about things happening around you, and will only show pictures that have been taken or uploaded nearby.

Naturally, the results depend on where you live, but on my first time with Vizible, all I managed to get was this disappointing screen:

nearby twitter users

This did not change no matter what I did, and I was just about to give up on the app, when I remembered something I encountered on Twizgrid. I recalled that the older sibling asked for Safe Search to be turned off in order to conduct certain location-based searches, and while Vizible made no such request, I went ahead and disabled it from the settings.

nearby twitter users

Upon hitting the refresh button, the magic finally happened, and Vizible showed me what was happening around me. I was still surprised to note, however, that the results I was getting through Vizible were very different from the ones I was getting using the “Around me” setting on Twizgrid. According to one of the co-founders, this is due to more image hosting services being included on Vizible, and increased control over radius.

Below you can see Vizible’s results on the left and Twizgrid’s results on the right. To start, Vizible kept presenting the same images over and over again, probably because many people retweeted them. There was no such issue on Twizgrid. In addition, the images presented by Twizgrid seemed much more relevant, although most of the images presented by both apps seemed to indeed be local ones. The app’s developers assure me that the duplicate photo issue is being taken care of, and you may not encounter it if you try the app right now.

nearby twitter users

If you want to control the results somewhat, you can change the radius Vizible is looking at. Tap the location button, and use the slider to set your preferred radius. The options are limited to 1, 2, 5, 10 or 25 miles. This is different from Twizgrid, which does not let you control the radius in the “Around me” search option, but is much more flexible when setting a location manually, lets you set a radius of up to 500 miles, and also supports kilometers.

nearby twitter

You can browse the results through the grid view, or tap an image to switch to single-image view. Each image comes with all its accompanying Twitter information, and includes reply, retweet, and favorite options, as well as a timestamp for the tweet. Additional options such as quoting, copying or copying tweet link are also available. You can tap on a user to view their Twitter profile and a list of recent tweets, and can even follow and unfollow users through the app.

nearby twitter

It’s nice to note that Vizible never exposes the exact location a picture was taken in. You know the image is from somewhere nearby, but you’re not invading anyone’s privacy, and it’s easier to protect your own.

Vizible As A (Limited) Twitter Client

Unlike Twizgrid, Vizible cannot replace your regular Twitter client – it’s only meant as a casual image browser. Nevertheless, it does include some handy Twitter features which you can use to post images or just plain tweets to Twitter.

As mentioned above, you can use the app to reply to, retweet or quote other tweets, but you can also compose new tweets from scratch by tapping the compose button. From here, you can tweet an image by taking it using your device or by choosing one from your photo album, or tweet a regular text tweet.

nearby twitter search

The compose option comes with some pretty useful features, but is missing some others. For example, when you start typing a username, Vizible will automatically load a list of users you follow which makes it easy to find the one you’re trying to mention. On the other hand, the app doesn’t come with a link shortener, so links are truncated according to the tweet’s length. You can also add your location to the tweet, which will make it pop up for other Vizible users.

Bottom Line

So how does Vizible fare compared to Twizgrid? For most users, I still recommend getting Twizgrid. It’s an awesome app, and comes packed with fun and useful features. Vizible is basically one Twizgrid feature made into an app, but if that’s your favorite feature, Vizible is definitely worth getting, and may even inspire you to start sharing images through Twitter. Need more help with that? Check out these 7 Twitter photo sharing tips to spread your photographic masterpieces.

Is Twitter a worthy place to share photos? Do you find use for a location-based image browser that’s based on Twitter? What do you think of Vizible? Share your opinions in the comments!

How To Convert Iphone Slo-mo Videos To Regular Speed

Have you ever recorded a video on your iPhone in slo-mo by mistake? Or discovered after you recorded it that it would work better as a regular speed video? You can actually easily convert slo-mo videos to regular videos right from the camera roll on your iPhone.

Step 1

Navigate to the video in your camera roll. When you shoot videos in slo-mo they are conveniently stored in one folder in your camera roll. Open up the video and hit edit in the top-right hand corner of the screen.

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Step 2

You’ll see the video with a slider beneath it. There are two different speeds in the slider, visible by the spacing. This tells you exactly where the slo-mo in the video starts and ends.

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Simply drag one side of the sliders, where the spacing is narrow, to the other side where the spacing is similarly narrow. Once the two sides are merged, hit the done button and you can play your video at normal speed.

Best of all, if you convert it and find that you preferred it as a slo-mo video, you can simply launch the video, hit the edit button, and you’ll see an option to “Revert” the video in the bottom right hand corner. Hitting that will convert you video back to slo-mo.

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Do you have any other tips to get the most out of the iPhone’s slo-mo feature? Let us know in the comments.  

The Weather Doesn’t Have To Be Dull With These Iphone Apps

Being British I have a dangerous obsession with the weather, but I’m sick of the same old weather apps. I know it’s going to rain — but isn’t there a more engaging way of breaking the news?

It turns out there are many unique and creative ways your iPhone can let you know you’ll have to cancel your plans due to possible flash flooding.

Here are six original iPhone apps that each have their own unique way of scratching the meteorological itch.

CARROT ($3.99)

This app made a rather memorable first impression when it called me a “meatbag”. Yes, my phone was insulting me. Has it never heard of first impressions?

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Undeterred, I decided to give the app a chance (few get away with calling me a meatbag). After you’ve granted CARROT permission to use your GPS you’ll see your current temperature, along with the temperatures at various times of the day. I also got an ominous message about assassins, and what looks to be someone throwing up in my prize roses.

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It also readily reveals its geek credentials: when you see it, click New Secret Location Available at the top.

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You can also time travel, which provides you with information about the weather on a date in the past. However, the data supplied for weather conditions in the future is definitely fake (duh).

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So I did a Quantum Leap back to Germany on November 22nd, 1963, and it seems people were flying from the lampposts, while President Kennedy tragically met his untimely end.

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All in all, this is a very enjoyable app, which brings its own cheeky brand of fun and geek humour to your phone — and it’s also available on Mac OS X. There are 29 secret locations to unlock, and Mount Doom is just the first. As you use the app more, further locations are unlocked. I wonder where is next? The planet Tattooine? Vulcan? Dundee?

Weathercube (Free)

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This is also another really neat weather app. As well as weather for your location, Weathercube can also serve up your calendar appointments (though you are recommended that you use another app of theirs to make it work correctly).

The app works on the principle of cubes — simply tap one to get more detailed information. So, looking at the screenshot above, it says 26 degrees celsius. If you press that cube, it gives you the morning temperature, press it again to get the afternoon, again for the evening, and so on. All sorts of information is provided under contextualised cubes, and it’s all very simple and readable at a glance.

You can use your fingers to swipe at the screen, and watch the cube spin round on its axis. Each side of the cube has different information, such as the weather for the next few days, temperatures throughout the day, and amount of rainfall. It’s free, fun to play with, and certainly more hands-on than most weather apps.

Swackett (Free)

This is an interesting and graphically pleasing app that works on the simple premise — is it cold enough that you need a sweater, jacket or coat?

The Weather Doesn't Have to be Dull With These iPhone Apps swackett1

Once you’ve been located you and the app has figured out what temperature it is, it then gives you a snazzy graphic of the kind of clothes you should be wearing, based on the current temperature.

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What is also interesting about Swackett is that if you click those nine tiny squares in the bottom right of the screen, it gives you “smart ideas” about what to do today, based on the weather.

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You’ll see things like suggestions for sports to play outdoors given the weather, and whether or not it’s nice enough to take the dog for a walk.

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NOAA World Radar (Free)

World Radar is for all the data nerds out there who love stats and maps.

After granting the usual permission for tracking your location, the app will display several screens. Here is one where you get detailed information about the weather at the moment where you are, and what you can expect later. Yes, for August, that’s pretty crap weather for me.

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Then if you want to dig deeper into that weather stats (you nerd), then you can look at all kinds of spiky graphs which mean something to someone. Just don’t ask me.

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The best bit for me is the weather map of your local area. At the bottom is a timeline and a play button — hit play and the rain, wind, and cloud, will move across the map, as it did at that time. So you can see what the weather was like, say an hour ago, and from there, predict based on the wind speed and direction, what the weather will do next.

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You can swipe the map to the left, to change the options for the map, including the type of map you want (standard, hybrid, satellite), and the weather conditions you want to track.

Dark Sky ($3.99)

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There’s nothing quite like leaving the house only to get caught out in a thunderstorm when you’ve been assured the weather gods are smiling upon you. If this is something you regularly put yourself through, Dark Sky can help you by providing what it calls “hyper-local” weather for your location.

It works best when you’ve got a strong location fix by forecasting the chances of rain or snow up to an hour in advance. What’s even better is that you don’t even need to open the app as weather alerts are delivered via push notification. In addition to this, the app has a widget you can place in your Notification Center, as well as an Apple Watch app too.

Note: Currently Dark Sky is available for locations in the US, UK, and Ireland. Sorry, rest of the world.

Partly Cloudy ($1.99)

Partly Cloudy is for all you infographic lovers out there. It combines easy-on-the-eyes design with just the right amount of weather information that you will need. Typographically the app is beautiful, and you can activate its dark background mode with a $0.99 in-app purchase.

partlycloudy

Want to know what the weather will be like on a certain day and time? Just turn the hand on the analog clock face to the correct day and you will be given a forecast for up to 7 days ahead. You can see predicted temperatures, wind force, chance of rain or snow, and overall conditions (raining, sunny, cloudy and so on).

As well as English, the app is also available in German and Japanese.

Meteoearth (Free)

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Meteoearth takes NOAA World Radar a step further, providing budding meteorologists with some interactive maps to pore over. Once you select locations (as many as you like), you can then tap on one of those locations to be given interactive and near-real-time weather maps.

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The timeline covers the next 24 hours, and once you have chosen a weather condition at the bottom of the screen, you can hit the play button on the timeline. You will then see that particular weather condition moving across your location (or not, if it isn’t forecasted). You can only choose one at a time though, so no combining rain and cloud cover.

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The app also provides access to webcams scattered all over the globe. So as well as seeing the weather, you can now choose a webcam and see for yourself what the weather is like.

“But What About Yahoo Weather?!”

Yes, there are apps which I’m sure are your favorites, that have been left out here. The emphasis here has been on apps which differ slightly from the norm. Yahoo Weather is an accomplished weather app, but it doesn’t really have anything you could call totally unique.

I also haven’t catered to the storm chasing demographic, but we did so back in 2011.

What weather apps do you use on your iPhone?

9 Top Iphone And Ipad Apps For Drummers

Do you like rhythmically banging on things? Perhaps you’re into its more common name: playing drums?

For drummers, both beginner and experienced, an iOS device is truly the unsung hero behind the kit. Forget about needing more cowbell, what we actually need is more apps!

Today, we’re going to look at nine iPhone and iPad apps that all drummers need to have in their kit. Show up to your next practice, jam session, or gig with these apps, and you might just find that they’re as important as an extra pair of sticks and a drum key!

Metronomes

As a drummer, you main job isn’t to dazzle the crowd with flashy fills and stick tricks. Your job is to keep perfect time so the rest of your band can stay in sync. Whether playing in front of a crowd of 10,000 or sitting in your practice space, a metronome is the perfect tool for the job. And you don’t need a physical metronome anymore, because there’s an app for that!

1. Pro Metronome (Free With In-App Purchases)

Ask most drummers which app they use for keeping time, and they’ll point you to this one. It has a wide range of metronome sounds, the ability to work in many subdivisions and odd times, and a lot more. If you spend $2.99 for the Pro version, you’ll get a vibration mode that’ll help you feel the pulse in even the loudest places among other useful features.

2. Drum Beats+ ($4.99)

ios drummer app drum beats

This app is more of a beat trainer than a metronome, but it’s a great way to practice keeping time. Basically, it features tons of grooves in many genres that play at any BPM you want. This way, you can jam along to these beats instead of a boring click track. Personally, I don’t think it’ll replace a metronome, but I did find it to be an invaluable practice tool that’s well worth the $5.

3. Pulse – Haptic Metronome (Free)

ios drummer app pulse

Strip away all the fancy features and extras and you have this app. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the Apple Watch version that’ll make feeling the pulse easier. You just need to set the BPM for the song you’re playing and keep track of the 1-2-3-4 through vibrations. And if you don’t have an Apple Watch, it’s still a solid metronome app on the iPhone or iPad.

Education and Training

While there’s no replacement for a proper instructor (YouTube videos can help quite a bit though), these apps offer some fantastic teaching tools that’ll help you improve as a drummer. Whether you want to get better at reading music, or you want to learn your favorite song more easily, we’ve got you covered.

4. Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer ($2.99)

ios drummer app rhythm sight reading trainer

I use this app literally every single day of the week, and I don’t think I’d be able to read music as well as I do without it. Basically, it sees you tapping along to beats that are shown on screen in traditional music notation. Everything from basic quarter notes to complicated mixes of sixteenth notes and triplets are in the app, so no matter where you are as a drummer, you’ll be able to use it to practice.

5. ProJammer (Free With In-App Purchases)

This is a simple app that features play-along tracks and notation for you to jam along with. The free version only comes with a few loops, but you can buy more with in-app purchases if you enjoy the structure and flow of the app.

6. Amazing Slow Downer ($14.99)

ios drummer app amazing slow downer

This one is a little on the expensive side, but it’s worth it for anyone who strives to be a cover drummer. It allows you to take music from your iPhone or Spotify and slow it down without altering pitch.

Want to learn a complicated fill from your favorite song by ear? Slowing it down will let you hear the subtle nuances that you’d miss at full speed. You’ll notice ghost notes, hi-hat splashes, and all the details that take a cover version from “decent” to “spot on.”

Drum Tabs and Sheet Music

You want to learn some new songs? Personally, I prefer reading sheet music, but it’s a lot easier to find tabs, especially on iPhone. In fact, you’ll find a couple of solid applications that feature thousands of songs. While they’re more focused on guitar, many popular songs have tabs for drums, too.

7. Songsterr (Free With In-App Purchases)

ios drummer app songsterr

When it comes to music tabs, Songsterr is the first name most people look to. Instead of the text-based tabs you’ll find all around the internet, Songsterr actually gives it a more visual look that feels more like reading sheet music. Add in features like playing the song and hearing it through the app, and you have a must-use song learning tool.

8. Tabs & Chords ($2.99)

ios drummer app tabs and chords

You’ll get a more traditional tab feel from this app, so if that’s how you prefer to read, this app is for you. It also comes with a massive selection of songs, but it’s definitely more focused on guitar. However, for $3, you’ll get more than enough choices, and as long as the stuff you want to learn isn’t too obscure, you’ll probably find a highly-rated tab in this app.

9. piaScore (Free With In-App Purchases)

ios drummer app piascore

If you’re already an active drummer and you need to keep track of lots of songs, this app will change your life! You can use your phone’s camera to scan in sheet music, which is a great way to organize your setlist. Whether you play original music or covers, this app is invaluable for keeping your music nearby at all times.

That being said, many of the best features are behind the pay wall, but if you’re a professional musician, $3.99 is a small investment for what it’s capable of.

Fill Your Phone With These Grooving Apps

When technology and drums come together, it’s truly a beautiful thing (electronic drums are a great example of this). These apps are packed with the features drummers need, and most of them are free or cheap. If you fill your phone with these apps, you’ll find that you have all the tools you need to improve your drumming, learn new songs, and most importantly, keep time for the rest of your band!

Do you have any other drum apps you’d like to recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

How To Use Apple Pay Cash To Request And Send Money With An Iphone

One of the most significant new features of iOS 11 is now available to iPhone users. Apple Pay Cash has launched alongside the iOS 11.2 update. First introduced by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017, the new feature allows you to send and request cash from the native Messages app or by asking Siri.

Today we’ll look at Apple Pay Cash in greater detail and learn how to set it up. We’ll also cover some alternatives and how they compare to Apple’s new service.

What Is Apple Pay Cash?

Apple Pay is mobile payment and digital wallet service, first introduced in 2014. It’s available on various Apple products, including iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. It allows you to make payments in person, in iOS apps, and on the internet using near field communication or NFC.

With Apple Pay Cash, you can get paid and pay other users right in Messages. There’s no app to download, and you can use the cards in your iOS Wallet app.

Money sent or received using Apple Pay Cash is stored on your virtual Apple Pay Cash card, or you can transfer it from an existing debit or credit card at the time of the transaction. You can use the money on your Apple Pay Cash card during a traditional Apple Pay transaction, or transfer the amount to your bank account.

Requirements

At launch, Apple Pay Cash is only available to those 18 years or older in the United States. To use the service, you must meet the following conditions:

  • A compatible device with iOS 11.2 or later
  • Two-factor authentication for your Apple ID
  • A credit or debit card in Wallet for spending money

Apple Pay Cash Setup

If you meet these conditions, you can set up Apple Pay Cash using your iPhone’s Settings app.

From here, select Wallet & Apple Pay and turn the Apple Pay Cash toggle to the “on” position. If necessary, log in with your Apple ID and then follow the prompts.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

Click Apple Pay Cash and select Verify Your Identity. You’re asked to verify your legal name, date of birth, home address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Using Apple Pay Cash

When you access the native Messages app for the first time after setting up Apple Pay Cash, you’ll see a pop-up screen indicating the service is ready for use. You’ll also see a new Apple Pay icon in your Messages app drawer.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

Tap on the Apple Pay Cash icon to send/receive money. If the recipient doesn’t use Apple Pay Cash, you’ll see the following message:

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

You’ll know someone uses Apple Pay Cash when you notice a keypad on the bottom half of your iPhone screen.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

Select Request or Pay and then add a comment. Next, hit the Send button like you do when sending other text messages.

When you don’t have enough Apple Pay Cash to send money, you’re asked to approve the transaction using one of your other credit or debit accounts in your Wallet. Apple doesn’t charge you when sending money using a debit account. However, you are charged a small fee when using a credit card.

Accessing Your Money

Want to spend some of your Apple Pay Cash? You can do so at any retailer that supports Apple Pay, either in person, through an app, or via the web. Another option is to transfer the cash to your bank account. You can only move money using your banking routing and account numbers, not through a debit card.

To withdrawal money from Apple Pay Cash, go into the Settings app under Wallet & Apple Pay.

Tap Apple Pay Cash, then Transfer to Bank.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

If you don’t have a bank account set up with Apple Pay Cash, you must do so now. Once you do, follow the on-screen directions. You should see they money in your account within one to three business days.

More Information

From the Apple Pay Cash screen, you can add money to your virtual Cash card from this screen. Under “Transactions” you’ll also see a running list of previous Apple Pay Cash transactions.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

You can also contact Apple Support from this screen and request a statement, which Apple sends to you via email.

Limitations

At launch, Apple Pay Cash has a maximum Apple Pay Cash card balance of $20,000. You can only add money from a U.S. debit card or prepaid card that’s in Apple Pay. Note the following criteria:

  • Per transaction, you may add a minimum of $10.
  • Per transaction, you can add up to $3,000.
  • Within a seven-day period, you may add a maximum of $10,000.

Sending and receiving limits:

  • Per message, you can send/receive a minimum of $1.
  • Per message, you can send/receive up to $3,000.
  • Within a seven-day period, you can send/receive a maximum of $10,000.

Bank transfer limits are as follows::

  • You can transfer a minimum of $1 to your bank, or the entire balance if it’s under $1.
  • You can transfer no more than $3,000 to your bank in one transfer.
  • Within a seven-day period, you can transfer up to $20,000.

You can find the latest Apple Pay Cash limits by visiting the Apple Support website.

Alternatives to Apple Pay Cash

If you like the Apple Pay Cash concept but aren’t quite ready to use something so new, there are alternatives. Three of the biggest, Venmo, Google Wallet, and Square Cash, have the distinction of being available for iOS and Android. Most also function in territories where Apple Pay and the virtual Cash card are not in use.

Venmo is one of the most popular mobile payments service currently on the market. Available through mobile devices and the web, the service allows you to send and receive cash from other Venmo members.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

Like Apple Pay, you can use your Venmo balance immediately either through mobile web or in apps. Look for Venmo as a payment option at checkout. Additionally, you can also transfer your money to your bank account, which could take up to three business days for the funds to clear.

apple pay cash send request money with iphone

Google Wallet is very similar to Apple Pay Cash. You can send money through the Google Wallet app, in Gmail, or on the web. You can also send money to someone with just their email address or phone number. Any money sent to you gets transferred to your bank account automatically.

The Square Cash app offers a similar solution, allowing you to send and receive cash and deposit the money directly to your bank. Other options include Intuit Go Payment and Google Wallet.

Worth Considering

After limited use, I have found Apple Pay Cash simple to use and worth a look. It’s perhaps the easiest to use cash payment system to launch to date. It will be interesting to see how the product develops in the coming months and years. It’s available in the free iOS 11.2 app update from Apple.

Are you planning on trying Apple Pay Cash? Let us know in the comments below.

Apple Ids, Airpods, And Apfs: What’s New In Ios 10.3?

Apple has released iOS 10.3, and you may find yourself asking, “What makes it worth the update?” Turns out there are quite a few new features to make it worth your while.

There’s a new way to manage your Apple IDs all in one place, find my iPhone now includes support for AirPods, and there are new Siri and Carplay features. Safari has also had a small update, along with security and bug fixes.

Finally, this is the public debut of APFS. Wondering what all of that means? Let’s take a closer look at these changes.

All Your Apple IDs and Devices in One Place

You have always been able to keep separate accounts for iCloud and iTunes. However, managing each account has involved going between several menus on iOS. Now, iOS 10.3 consolidates your account settings into a single menu within settings.

When opening the Settings app, there is a new banner at the top with your name. Tap that to open a page that shows your iCloud, iTunes Store, and Family Sharing settings. After scrolling down, you see a list of devices you have registered to your iCloud account.

account settings

If you want to update the info on your account, tap through the first three entries on the list. The Name, Phone Numbers, Email menu holds your basic contact information. Also listed are your available email addresses for the Messages app.

The next entry is Password & Security, which lets you change your password or contact email. This menu also allows you to turn on 2-factor authentication, but hopefully you have already done that. Payment and Shipping covers your default credit card. If you have a shipping address on file with the Apple Store, it is listed here as well.

The next set of entries applies to your various accounts. The first entry is the iCloud account. Tap this to see a summary of your storage usage on iCloud Drive, as well as granular permissions for each app you use. The second entry is your iTunes account. Here you can turn on automatic downloads from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Stores. The third is Family Sharing where you can add and remove the family accounts you share.

These three entries previously existed as separate menus throughout the Settings app. It is not a significant change, but it is a nice touch to bring this account management into one place.

device settings

The next section consists of your devices tied to your iCloud account. You can click each one, and see if it has Find My Device activated. In fact, if you have lost a device, you can get straight to the Find My iPhone app (for devices with location services) to see its last logged location. If there is a connected device you already wiped, you can remove it from your account.

The entry for your current device allows you to turn these features on or off. Also, you can see cards you have paired with Apple Pay.

Where Did I Leave My Airpods?

Judging by the wait time to order a pair, AirPods are both popular and hard to get. So, the last thing you want is to lose one or both devices. iOS 10.3 has you covered there, adding them as an available device in Find My iPhone. Now, you can see the last place your phone connected to your Airpods on a map. If you cannot see them, it can play a tone. This feature works even if you lost only one Airpod.

find my airpods

Although most people do not yet have AirPods, it is nice to see that Apple is responding to user complaints about how easy it is to lose them. Hopefully, you are lucky enough to get your hands on some Airpods and can utilize this feature.

Ladies and Gentlemen: APFS

It is rare that we nerds get to drool over a new filesystem. Apple’s last filesystem, HFS+, has its roots back in the original Mac operating system. Though updated in the interim, it is designed for spinning disks on older hardware. The new file system, aptly named Apple File System, is built for modern storage needs.

The conversion to APFS is seamless during the upgrade to 10.3. Many of the things bolted on to HFS+ are integral to the design of APFS. Designed for large data sets and Flash Storage, Apple says the file system can handle up to 9 quintillion files and can handle advanced encryption.

folder cabinet
Image Credit: Elvis Santana via FreeImages

There is an interesting way that the file system works with multiple versions of the same file. It uses clones and change-tracking to save space. Then, changes to the first file or the copy are saved as deltas. The files’ shared data is still stored as a single file, saving disk space.

For iOS most of the file systems’ advanced features are invisible. However, if you are looking for technical details, they are on Apple’s Developer Site.

What Else Has Changed?

There are many smaller changes in 10.3. Siri now has hooks for billing apps to let you make payments with the assistant. You can also ask Siri to order you a Lyft or Uber if you have the app installed. Cricket Fans can get scores from the Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council from Siri.

If there is another rash of Calendar spam for iCloud, there is a fix for it. You can delete the invite and report it as junk. Using 3D Touch in the Maps app gets you an hourly forecast for a location. Podcasts now has a today widget and support for 3D Touch, as well as support to share episodes via Messages. iOS now joins the desktop iTunes in supporting rentals across multiple devices.

There are a lot of smaller details that you can check out on Apple’s release notes. If the security fixes in this point update interest you, find that on this page. (Be sure to grab 10.3.1 as well to patch a Wi-Fi vulnerability.) Webkit got a little love for web developers in this update as well — you can see that on their blog.

Does the new ID management tell you that Apple is serious about iOS as the main computing platform? Is there a feature you are hoping for in the next iOS version?

Image Credit: NSC Photography via Shutterstock.com

12 Cool Things You Can Do With Imessage Apps For Ios

iMessage is Apple’s free proprietary messaging service for iOS and Mac users. Last year Apple paved the way for a richer iMessage experience, with the introduction of iMessage apps (or extensions) in iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad users.

That means you can now do a lot more than simply send text, voice, picture, and video messages. Once you’ve mastered the basics, why not try out a few of the apps below?

Install and Use iMessage Apps

If your outgoing messages within a conversation are blue, then you’re using iMessage (if they’re green, then many of these apps won’t work). You can access iMessage apps by tapping the “>” arrow near the text input box on any iMessage conversation.

imessage apps access

From here, tap the App Store icon. You can hit the button in the bottom-left corner to access a list of available apps including the store. Hit Store to find apps by category or using the search feature in the top-left corner. You can hit Manage to turn apps on or off.

imessage app store

Many regular apps (like Dropbox) have iMessage components, and you can enable or disable them from the Manage tab. This is especially handy for games that often include stickers you have no interest in seeing. Once an app is installed, head back to the menu and tap on it to launch it.

imessage apps

And that’s really all there is to it!

1. Play Games

This one’s pretty obvious, but there are many games that lend themselves well to the asynchronous nature of an iMessage conversation. These include favorites like Words With Friends, Four in a Row, and chess app Checkmate! ($0.99).

Check out a few of our other favorite iMessage games and recommend your own in the comments below.

2. Share Your Location

You can share your location easily with other iMessage users simply by tapping the i button in the top-right corner then hitting Send My Current Location. This is fine if you want to use Apple Maps, but if you’d rather use a better mapping service, install Google Maps and enable the iMessage app.

google maps imessage

You can then hit Send to get an exact location fix and send a web link to the other party.

3. Send GIFs

Despite the arrival of WebM video and high-speed internet, the world still loves GIFs — so why not liven up your conversations with some looping animations? Apple provides you with an app called #images for this task, which is a Bing-powered animated image search, and it does the job.

giphy imessage

If you’d like to step it up a bit, then Giphy is the best tool for the job. Don’t miss Giphy Cam either, which allows you to create your own GIFs to share with friends.

4. Go Crazy With Stickers

The vast majority of iMessage apps are sticker packs, which allow you to send still images and animations to friends for a laugh. Stickers go a step further than regular old images as they can be picked up, dragged, and then placed over messages and images you’ve already sent.

stickers imessage

It’s not entirely a useful feature, but there are stickers out there that can brighten your everyday conversations. I’d recommend browsing for something that matches your taste, as there’s so much to pick from. I grabbed Apple’s Classic Mac and Microsoft’s Halo Stickers for free.

Don’t miss Giphy Stickers for more animated fun or Bitmoji if you’d like to create your own sticker avatar.

5. Share Some Music

Apple’s built-in Music app for iMessage lets you quickly share a song with a friend. Launch it, and you’ll find the last few songs you played, along with the currently playing item, which you can send with a tap. This will provide them with a “playable” iTunes link, which may or may not be useful depending on whether they have Apple Music or not.

music imessage

If you really want to share the song that’s playing right now (in the room), then Shazam lets you do that in record time. Launch it, hit Shazam, and as soon as the song is identified a Shazam link is added to the text box. Don’t forget you can connect Shazam and Apple Music too.

Unfortunately there’s no support in iMessage for Spotify yet.

6. Send Private or Self-Destructing Text and Media

You can already hide what you’re sending in iMessage with the aid of iOS 10’s new features. Simply type a message or choose a photo, then 3D Touch the Send button (squeeze it quickly), then choose Invisible Ink. If you’re using an iPhone 6 or similar older device, you’ll need to tap and hold the Send button instead.

The recipient will need to swipe across your message to reveal its contents, handy if you don’t want someone peeking over their shoulder.

If you want to take things a step further, then try out the free app Confide, which allows for self-destructing text and photo messages. The app features end-to-end encryption just like iMessage, and though there are premium options available, core functionality is 100 percent free.

7. Talk About the Weather

Being British, I can talk about the weather for hours, especially living in one of the most meteorologically changeable cities in the world (Melbourne, Australia). If you want to take things a step further, you can use an iMessage-friendly weather app to quickly check and share the forecast while chatting away.

weather channel imessage

The Weather Channel provides basic free forecast sharing functionality, while CARROT Weather ($3.99) is probably the funniest weather app money can buy. Don’t miss Weathershot the next time you need to brag about the weather with a selfie, or MOON if you’re a werewolf.

8. Translate Your Conversation

There are a lot of translation apps on the App Store, but not all of them play nicely with iMessage. It’s also worth keeping in mind that translation and language-learning services often require a premium contribution. So the best apps for the job aren’t necessarily free.

itranslate imessage

Fortunately, the best tools come with a good free option. iTranslate is great, providing unhindered access to a huge number of languages while you’re connected to the web (offline translation requires an in-app purchase). Yandex Translate is a free option with offline support, but it isn’t quite as well-designed as iTranslate.

yandex imessage

It’s a huge shame that the excellent Google Translate app for iOS doesn’t have iMessage functionality. If the company expands the app to include this functionality in the future, then it could be the only translation tool you’d ever need.

9. Find a Film

Planning a trip to the cinema with a group of friends? Thinking of an older film but want to convince someone to watch it with you? Enter IMDb and its iMessage extension, which provides you with a list of films showing nearby (provided you’ve granted location access) and a searchable IMDb database right from the Messages app.

imdb imessage

Once you’ve found something, simply tap it to send an IMDb link to the film.

10. Share Files in the Cloud

iCloud isn’t so great when it comes to file sharing, and that’s why there’s no iMessage app for sharing items in your iCloud Drive. But both Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive have added this functionality. If you already use either of these services, you likely already have the app installed. You can enable the iMessage extension from the Manage tab under the iMessage App Store.

dropbox imessage

Once installed, each of these apps allows you to browse and share files directly to a conversation. OneDrive even allows you to open files quickly in Microsoft’s other apps, like Word and Excel.

11. Send a Quick Scan

If you’re not already storing invoices and receipts digitally using a scanning app, do yourself a favor and make the switch to paperless.

scanbot imessage

Owners of the premium Scanner Pro ($3.99) app can add an iMessage extension under the usual Manage tab. If you’re looking for a free iMessage-friendly scanner, give ScanBot a shot. Both of these apps handle the scanning, converting, and sending process without having to leave the Messages app.

12. Check a Math Formula

Finally, if you’re a mathematics student who needs to bounce ideas of your classmates, then Vulcanize is the app for you. It allows you to convert LaTeX to beautiful mathematical formulas worthy of any printed textbook.

Which iMessage Apps Do You Use?

iMessage extensions may seem like a gimmick, but the right apps can really help speed up your workflow and brighten your everyday conversations. Whether you’re playing word games, sending dank memes to your friends, or saving a precious few seconds by optimizing your workflow, iMessage apps are worth a second look.

Do you have any favorite iMessage apps? Let us know in the comments below.

Runner’s Log Makes It Easy To Keep Track Of Your Runs [ios, Free For A Limited Time]

Runner's Log Makes It Easy To Keep Track Of Your Runs [iOS, Free For A Limited Time] 2012 11 21 08Any serious runner knows that it is important to keep track of their runs. There is no way you can remember all your times and routes manually. It’s also impossible to really know if your runs are improving without keeping detailed records of your runs everyday. The best way to see improvement is with lots of data. Thankfully, smartphones can make it easier to keep track of all the important information.

Runner’s Log is a fantastic application for keeping track of your runs. It has all the features a diehard runner needs for logging their runs and keeping track of their times. It is incredibly easy to use and it does everything in the simplest way possible. If you are a runner looking for a way to keep track of your runs, Runner’s Log is the perfect app for you.

Runner’s Log normally costs $1.99, but for a limited time, you can grab it for free from the App Store. It has incredibly strong reviews on the App Store, and it’s easy to see why. If you need a runner’s app, the time to grab one is now, while you can get Runner’s Log free!

Features

The first feature of Runner’s Log is the ability to keep track of your runs. However, before you can accurately keep track of your runs, you will have to set up a couple of things within the app. First, you will want to input the routes you like to run. To do this, go to the Routes tab and click the “+” to add a new one. To set the route, it will open a Map where you simply drop pins to lay out the route you like to run. Click “Done,” and it will save your route for later.

Runner's Log Makes It Easy To Keep Track Of Your Runs [iOS, Free For A Limited Time] 2012 11 21 08

Before you start logging your runs, you will also want to enter your shoes, so you know which ones you used, and which ones you perform best in. Simply go to the “More” tab and you will see shoes. Add the shoes you use, and when you log a run, you will be able to choose which ones you wore.

Runner's Log Makes It Easy To Keep Track Of Your Runs [iOS, Free For A Limited Time] 2012 11 21 08

Now, you have what you need to log your runs. So go run, and when you finish, go to the “Log” tab to enter in what you did. Click the “+” to add a new run. Click “Route” to choose from your created routes. It will fill in the distance field automatically. You log the time, choose the shoes and add any tags to the run you need.

Runner's Log Makes It Easy To Keep Track Of Your Runs [iOS, Free For A Limited Time] 2012 11 21 08

As you log more runs, you will get to see your stats overall on the stats and calendar screen. Stats will break down everything you need to know on a day by day basis. You can also choose to see your stats monthly or yearly. Calendar simply shows you the days you ran, so you can keep track of when you worked out and when you did not. As you use the app longer, you will be able to use these screens to keep track of your improvement and see if you are actually getting better.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great app for runners. It has plenty of options and features that runners look for. Best of all, it’s available free from the App Store for a limited time, so if you are a runner, don’t wait, because it will go back to $1.99 soon!

The Best Apps To Sign, Annotate, And Edit Pdfs On Ipads

If you find yourself dealing with a lot of PDF files, it’s only natural you’ll want something other than Apple’s basic iBooks before long. iBooks offers a nice interface for reading, but its value begins to diminish if you are looking to annotate, edit or sign a document from your iPad.

Evernote has solid PDF integration as do a handful of other third-party services that you might already be using, such as Google Drive, Dropbox and others, but few of these are as feature-rich as even a free version of one of the following apps.

If you’re a real power user, stick around until the end and I’ll reveal my favorite PDF reader for editing, annotating and signing documents.

Adobe Reader (free)

adobe-reader-screenshot

The desktop version is often criticized for being bloated and unnecessary but on iOS, Adobe Reader is light, agile and full of amazing features. You can display a range of PDF files, annotate, highlight, create fillable forms, password protect files and electronically sign documents all from within the app.

Adobe Reader has all the bells and whistles you’d imagine from a premium PDF reader app, and a few you probably didn’t know you needed.

The text reflow feature, which gives you better contextual search abilities (and is common on other premium PDF readers), is one of my favorites. You can even bookmark, annotate or share and sync what you find with Adobe Document Cloud, without paying a cent.

The app itself is free, but if you want some of the more advanced editing and creation features, they’re available as in-app purchases.

iAnnotate PDF ($9.99)

iAnnotate-pdf

On the surface, iAnnotate looks like a less feature-rich version of other readers in this list, and that’s probably a fair assessment. Where it truly shines though is in annotating documents.

Like most readers, you can open and edit a PDF document, but none give you as many tools to mark up documents by drawing, highlighting, underlining or striking through text in quite the same way iAnnotate does.

My favorite feature though, is tabbed browsing. Unlike most PDF readers, I can now switch back and forth between documents without closing either.

The continuous scroll view is also nice, as it starts to get rather taxing waiting those pesky miliseconds while the next page loads.

Foxit PDF (free)

foxit-screenshot

Foxit is a popular desktop reader that is every bit as good on mobile devices. We even wrote about the Linux version a few years back.

This PDF reader handles (and allows you to create) password-protected PDFs for the security-conscious as well as offering up some really cool options like freehand drawing, sticky notes and all of the annotation and document signing abilities that you’d expect from one of the better PDF readers.

In addition, Foxit offers Pressure Sensitive Ink (PSI) technology support that makes for accurate pen bleeds and edges on signed or annotated documents. In short, it’s pressure sensitive and looks more like the document was signed with a real pen.

Compatibility is also a key selling point. Within the app, you can view Word, Excel, Powerpoint and image files in addition to standard PDF files from iTunes, email, Safari and others. When you’re done making notes and adding stickies, you can upload to the cloud for backup or safe storage.

PDFpen 2 ($19.99)

pdf-pen

If you get sticker shock from the iOS version of PDFpen, I’d like to point out that the desktop version is $75.

It’s a pretty price to pay for a PDF reader and editor, but it’s the most feature-rich option available, and has a ton of features that will make life much easier if you find yourself digesting a large quantity of PDF files. That said, it’s probably overkill for the typical user and even some power users.

Cloud integration is where it’s at when you deal with a large number of PDFs, and PDFpen doesn’t disappoint here. With easy integration to services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud Drive and others, you’re always within arms reach of that file you’re attempting to retrieve. Unlike most PDF readers that use cloud storage, you don’t actually have to retrieve documents in order to use PDFpen. Instead, you can read them right from Dropbox, iCloud, or elsewhere.

The annotation tools in PDFpen are second-to-none. In fact, it’s less of a PDF reader and more of a printed page that you can edit, alter or sign without much thought. The tools are intuitive and easy to find, navigation is simple, and if you do manage to get stuck, the help section is more than adequate at getting you out of just about any jam you find yourself in.

This might be the best PDF reader on the market, but, if you’re price conscious or concerned about an overwhelming number of features, there’s a better option…

Top Pick: PDF Expert 5 ($9.99)

I saved the best for last. PDF Expert is my hands-down favorite in this category. While it’s not the cheapest, it does deliver a lot of punch for not a lot of money. In my opinion, it’s the best option for all but the most hardcore of power users.

When it comes to PDF power users, the theme is the same amongst all of them: organization, annotation and a great reading experience. PDF Expert delivers all this and more.

Not only can you add favorites to the sidebar, but you can view the files as a list or thumbnails, sort by a number of categories, view recently accessed documents, tag and label each file or use the rather impressive search feature. If you have a PDF file in PDF Expert, it’s not getting lost.

Annotation and editing are on par with any of the top PDF readers. PDF Expert offers not only annotation, but document signing, form creation and a rather handy “customer signatures” feature which doesn’t save the signature to the device. Of course, the only real flaw I’ve found in PDF expert relates to the signature feature. For some odd reason, you have to hold the screen while signing, which is a bit awkward. Hopefully, this is removed in future updates.

As for reading, horizontal and vertical page scrolling are seamless. It also offers a night/day mode as well as sepia, which helps you to remove blues from the screen late at night. This has been proven to make it easier for you to drift off to sleep while reading.

Cloud integration is another area where PDF Expert shines. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Windows SMB, SugarSync, Box, Office 365, Sharefile, Skydrive and others are all available so that you can send or store PDFs to any of the major cloud services.

What do you use for PDFs on your iPad or iPhone? Is there a PDF reader that should be on the list that you feel was snubbed? Let us know in the comments below.

Open Apps & Perform Actions On Iphone By Dialing Them [iphone]

cydia app dialersSome users pack their iPhones full of so many applications that finding and opening them can become quite a process. Have you ever wished for an easier way to open the applications you use a lot, without having to remember the folder you placed them in? No? Well me neither, but that was before I discovered AppDialer, and I realized how much of a convenience an application like this is.

AppDialer is a Cydia tweak that allows you to literally dial an application or iPhone function and have it quickly open. You simply use Activator to store a gesture to launch AppDialer, enter in the numbers or pattern you stored for the application and the application will open up quickly and easily. I did not really think I needed a tweak such as this on my phone, but now that I have it I could not imagine going without.

Installation

AppDialer is available for free on Cydia. It is under the default repos so there is no need to go seeking out any funky repo for the app. Simply open up Cydia and search for “AppDialer” and click on the link for AppDialer in the search results. On the top of the screen you will see an install button, click that and let Cydia do its thing.

cydia app dialers

When the application finishes downloading, Cydia will force you to respring your device to allow the changes to take effect.

Set Up

Setting up AppDialer take a few steps. First, go to the settings option on your iPhone, scroll down to the section right below “Store” and click on AppDialer to adjust the settings for the app.

cydia tweak

The next step is to click on “Activation Methods” to set what kind of gesture you would like to use to activate AppDialer. I chose to shake the device to get it going, but there are lots of available options to make it start whichever is the most comfortable for you.

cydia tweak

Next you will have to choose whether you want to use numbers or a pattern to make each application open.

cydia tweak

After you choose how you want to input your commands, you need to actually set up a command in the application. To do this click Dial Setting on the first setting page. Click the “Add Item” button to input a new command.

app dialer

A keyboard or pattern input screen will pop up, and you need to enter whatever you want for this particular app and click call. Your newly entered command will appear below the “Add Item” button. Click on it to tell the application what program to open when you choose this command.

Next choose “Activator Event” at the bottom of the screen and scroll through the list to choose whatever you want this new command to do. You can make it open an application, or launch a basic iPhone function, whatever you prefer.

app dialer

Now try it out. Shake your device or do whatever activator control you used, enter the code or make the pattern and your application should open the same as if you clicked the icon on the springboard.

cydia app dialers

Conclusion

This is one of those awesome Cydia tweaks that you just do not think you need until you try it. This is one that I will be keeping on my phone for the long haul, and I highly recommend that you check it out if you are a user with a lot of apps on your phone.

Have you tried AppDialer? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments.