iMessage, the free messaging service from Apple, has clearly been a game changer for Apple. With some 500 billion of them sent world wide, it is clear iMessage is here to stay. With all those message though it can be daughnting if you are getting them from people you know but you don’t have contacts information on. Take for example someone you meet at a trade show or the like who ends up with your mobile number and send you an iMessage.
Fortunately Apple has a built-in filtering system for iMessage to prevent you from getting alerts on messages sent from
those not in your contacts. It can help filter the important ones from the not-so-important ones. Rest assured though that even if you turn on this filter, all your iMessages will still be in your Message box. You just won’t get an alert.
To enable this filter, go into Settings>Notifications and scroll down until you find Messages in the list. Tap on it then scroll down to towards the bottom where you will see a section Show iMessage Alerts From: You have two options: Everyone, which is the default, and My Contacts Only. If you tap My Contacts Only you will only get alerts on your Lock Screen or Notification Center of iMessages that are sent from someone in your contacts. Those who are not in your contacts simply get sent to your Messages app but do not alert you.
If you ever want to change it back to where you see every iMessage notification, simply move this setting back to Everyone.
This How To is applicable to iOS 6 and is for iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini as well as the iPod Touch.
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As iOS has matured the integration between your personal information and applications that want access to that personal information has also matured. Apple has done a good job of making sure you know when an app requests access to your calendar, contacts, Twitter and Facebook accounts but also a good idea to just check up on things now and again to make sure the apps you don’t want to have access to your personal information doesn’t have it. In this How To I’m going to show you how to see which apps have access to your Contacts and how you can disable that access should you want to do so quick and easy.
First, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and scroll down to find the Privacy section and tap it. This will bring you into all of the privacy settings on your device. Now tap on the Contact section and it will bring you to the list of applications
that have access to your Contacts. Hopefully, if you have been careful, you should not see any surprises in this list. All of the apps here you would have had to approve to give access to your Contacts. But, if you gave access by accident or want to revoke the access, here is where you could disable access.
Each app that has access has an On/Off slider. Just slide it to Off for the apps you want to revoke access to your Contacts. When you are done just tap the Home button and all of your changes take place with immediate effect.
Now if you tap on the Privacy button at the top of the page to go back to the Privacy settings on your iPhone, you will see other apps such as Calendars, Reminders, Photos, Twitter and Facebook. If you remember back in August of last year I posted a How To on controlling which apps have access to your Twitter account. This is the same place, just a different app.
One of the many things I appreciate about iOS is how simple Apple does make it in giving you control over your information. For a company that is often accused of not having their customer’s best interests in mind, this clearly flies in the face of that notion.
Apple has released an acknowledgement that the sporadic issues with Do Not Disturb are legitimate and are being addressed. On the Apple Support site yesterday, Apple posted article TS4510 which outlines the problem of Do Not Disturb mode staying on even after the scheduled time for it end has passed. The resolution to the issue is interesting:
Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.
What makes this interesting is the “resume normal functionality” statement. Does this mean that whatever this bug is, likely algorithm related, runs its course on 7 January and things return to normal? Or does it mean that we can expect to see a hot patch of some sort for iOS 6 to resolve the issue on 7 January? It really doesn’t matter but the blogosphere is alight with the idea that this will be a software patch – I’m not convinced yet.
A deeper question – and I’d like to hear your thoughts – is why does Apple have a difficult time with the calendar rolling to a new year and Daylight Savings Time? They have been plagued with issues related to one or the other or both in iOS 4, iOS 5 and now iOS 6.
You can read TS4510 here and remember to turn off DND manually between now and the 7th.
I’m a big fan of Siri. Although it is still technically a beta from Apple, Siri has grown by leaps this past year with the improvements and expanded abilities in iOS 6. You can get anything from a stock quote to making a reservation at your local restaurant all with a tap-and-hold of the Home button on your iPhone 4S/5 or iPad 3rd/4th generation. The tricky bit comes in when you need Siri and you are in a crowded, noisy location. Sometimes Siri picks up the background noise, making it almost impossible to get it to understand what you are asking. Fortunately there is a way to make it easier for Siri to understand you in these situations and in this How To I’ll show you how to enable the Raise to Speak function of Siri.
Like many things in iOS, this How To highlights a functionality that is already built in but is rarely used or mentioned – but there a lot of good nuggets of usefulness in iOS if you look around. To enable Raise to Speak, go into the Settings of your
iPhone then go to General. About midway down the list you will see Siri listed as the settings that you can adjust. Tap on Siri and here you find all of the settings such as the language used, feedback of information and your personal information (so it can link it up in contacts). The last setting is an on/off toggle for Raise to Speak. Turn it on then tap the Home button to get back to your Home screen. Now hold your iPhone up to your ear as if you are making a phone call. Immediately you will hear to double-tone of Siri being activated. Now you can speak to Siri just as if you are making a call. When you pull your phone away from your ear, Siri deactivates.
Using Siri with the Raise to Speak feature enabled has dramatically improved the responsiveness of the service for me when I’m in a noisy situation such as in the middle of London, on a train, etc. It still has a higher error rate than when I’m in a quite room but it is usable now where as in normal mode that was often not the case. Your mileage will vary but give it a try and see if this mode works better for you in noisy places.
As a final point, you will not find this setting in iOS for iPad – it is an iPhone only functionality. It does however work on both the iPhone 4S and 5 as both of those models have Siri enabled.
There have been some reports via Twitter and a few other Apple centric sites this morning about a bug impacting scheduled Do Not Disturb and the rolling of the calendar to 2013. I can report that I’ve seen the bug on my iPad (3rd Generation) but my Scheduled DND turned off as normal on my iPhone 5.
Take a look at this screen capture I made this morning from my iPad. Note the scheduled DND is still enabled even though the time is past the scheduled end time of 08:00. I had to manually turn of Do Not Disturb instead of it disabling itself automatically as it did throughout 2012.
The interesting thing is that I did not see this problem on my iPhone 5. The Do Not Disturb is set up exactly the same way on it as it is on my iPad and it disabled itself as normal this morning. Others have reported this being a problem on their iPhone 4S and 5 so it doesn’t seem to be isolated to just the iPad. In other words, it could be the worst kind of bug: No method to the madness.
I will update this post as I gather more information or if Apple releases any statement regarding this maybe-or-maybe not bug.
Whether it is a “Honey Do” list or a grocery list, couples always need to share tasks and lists with each other. Fortunately for couples on Macs and/or iOS devices, doing so is quick and easy with the Reminders app. The Reminders app is built into OS X Mountain Lion as well as iOS 5/6 for iPhone and iPad. Through iCloud, any list you create is replicated to all of your devices and when you create a shared list, it is sent to those which you have designated to share the list with on their devices.
In this How To I show you how to create a list in Reminders in OS X then how to share it with others.
If you have an iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, Apple has released a minor software update for you today. The new iOS 6.0.2 update specifically address a bug that impacts WiFi functionality on the latest devices from Cupertino. The update can be done via iTunes or it can be done over-the-air from your device. To get to software updates on your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, go to Settings>General>Software Update and if your device is eligible, the update will the there to download.
No word on if there will be any updates to the 3rd or 4th generation iPad with this update but in checking my 3rd-gen I see 6.0.1 as the latest update.
If there was one feature that was suppose to be “killer” in iOS 6, it was Maps. Apple had turned away from Google Maps and developed their own solution and all of the hype leading up to the release of iOS 6 pointed to it being great. The demos, after all, were awesome.
But as we all know by now, Maps was a flop. A large flop. So large in fact that it had a significant role in the dismissal of Scott Forstall from Apple. Apple publically apologised for the Maps app, promising to double efforts to make it everything that it should have been from launch. Requisitions on the Apple site indicate that Cupertino has and continues to look for mapping expertise to bring in house to help solve some of the issues.
So here we are, three months after launch. Has Maps improved. The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding yes. So much so that it has become my sole navigation app on my iPhone 5. Risky? Some thing so but I’m not one of them and I’ll tell you why.
One of the exciting new features of the camera app that came in iOS 6 is Panoramic. This mode, available on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, allow you to sweep your camera around you to capture a full length panoramic shot. It works amazingly well with images having few of the traditional artefact problems that panoramic apps have with them.
By default Panoramic has you sweep your iPhone from left-to-right while you are capturing a photo. This works well in almost every situation but others it will be easier and better to go from right-to-left. Fortunately Apple has made it easy to do this straight from within the Camera app itself.
To get to Panoramic mode, open the Camera app then tap on Options. You will see the Panoramic button there and tap it to go into Panoramic mode. On screen you are shown instructions on what you need to do to capture the panoramic shot. You will see that the arrow on the instructions are pointing from left-
to-right, indicating that is the direction you need to go in order to capture your shot.
To change the direction to right-to-left, simply tap the arrow. Instantly you will see the instructions and indicator change to the right side of the screen. Now you can start capturing your panoramic shot sweeping in the “reverse” direction.
When you close the Camera app and relaunch it, this function will go back to the default left-to-right. There is no way to permanently change this within iOS (although I’m sure a jailbreak of some type likely does).
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Last week Tapbots released the much anticipated Tweetbot Twitter app for OS X. One of the features that this powerful Twitter app brings is the ability to synchronize with iCloud. What this means is if you are reading your Twitter timeline in Tweetbot on your Mac then move to your iPad, where you were in your timeline will be where you pick up on your iPad. It is leveraging the power of iCloud to make things easier for the end user. Enabling iCloud sync is easy to do on both the iOS versions of Tweetbot and the OS X version and in this How To I will show you how to enable it to your advantage.
Starting with Tweetbot for Mac, go to Preferences (command+comma) and go to the Accounts tab. Here is where all of
your Twitter accounts you have setup in Tweetbot are displayed. At the bottom of this page there is the option to Sync. You can chose to either sync with iCloud or Tweet Marker or nothing. Chose iCloud then close the settings page. Now as you navigate your timeline in the app, your location in it will be synchronized to iCloud.
Now you need to do the same thing in Tweetbot on your iPhone or iPad. In my case I’m showing you on my iPad but the navigation is the same on either device. In Tweetbot go to Settings>Accounts and select the account you want to enable synchronization on. The 5th option down under Services is Sync. Set this to iCloud then navigate your way back out. Now, just like on your Mac, your navigation of your timeline within Tweetbot for your iPad or iPhone is synchronized to iCloud.
This is just one of the ways that sets Tweetbot apart from other Twitter applications in the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store. Leveraging
iCloud just makes sense and it is good to see developers starting to take advantage of the service from Apple.
Tweetbot is available for your Mac for $19.99 with limited availability while the app for your iPhone or iPod Touch is $2.99 and for iPad it is also $2.99 (separate downloads).