Apple Launches Two New iPhone 6 Ads

Apple has released two new iPhone 6 ads on their YouTube site and will be coming to your television screen soon.  The two new adds highlight the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus while the second advert takes a look at the new Health app built into iOS 8.  It is the first of what I suspect will be many iPhone 6 ads.

Skype for iPhone Gets Big iOS 8 Update

Skype for iPhone has received a healthy update, taking full advantage of several new features available in iOS 8.  Now accepting or declining voice, video or instant messages in the client are easier than ever either through Notification Center, the Lock screen or banner notifications.  In fact it looks as if Skype for iPhone is taking advantage of everything iOS 8 has to offer when it comes to these improved areas of the OS and it is pretty impressive.

When it comes to audio and video calls in Skype for iPhone, you can interact with these in multiple different ways.  From the Lock screen, for incoming voice or video calls you can swipe left on the notification to answer or decline the incoming call.  If you have missed a voice or video call you can swipe left on the notification to call that contact back or send a message.

Skype for iPhone – Free – Download Now

How To Add Notification Center Widgets in iOS 8

One of the many new features in iOS 8 is a new and decidedly more customisable Notification Center.  For the first time, developers can now have extensions in Notification Center to allow you to access apps or to provide you more personalised information with just a swipe down on your Home screen.   Notification Center widgets in iOS 8 are application dependent so not every app will have them but some big name apps have already released updates to their apps to take advantage of it:  Dropbox, Evernote, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News Digest and Weather, American Airlines, British Airways and many more.  Not every app will take advantage of it of course but check to see if your favourite app is going to have Notification Center Widgets.  You can find full list of apps that have been updated in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.  Look under Featured>Extensions.

How To Add A Share Extensions in iOS 8

One of the new features in iOS 8 is the ability to for developers to add share extensions to their apps that can be used in other apps.  As the name suggests, share extensions in iOS 8 allow you to share a picture, document or other file with another app that is installed on your iPhone or iPad.  You have seen this already in iOS 7 and iOS 8 with the ability to share with Twitter, Facebook and other apps that you have installed.  Now in iOS 8 you can control which apps you want to share content with to make it a more personalised and productive experience.

In order for you to be able to add share extensions in iOS 8 the app you want to share with must have the ability to take advantage of this feature.  Not all apps do but you will be able to quickly determine if it does when you go through this How To.  While my screen captures are for iPhone, this functionality works the same on your iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 8

Apple Releases iOS 8 Guides in iBooks

With iOS 8 now out for everyone, Apple has now released their iOS 8 Guides for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  These user guides are designed to help those who are new to iOS or seasoned veterans learn every nook and cranny of the latest version of iOS for their particular devices.  The guides are free and are available now in the iBooks Store.

Each iOS 8 guide is specifically written for a particular device so there are three individual downloads for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  Each guide is between 160-180 pages long so they aren’t huge downloads onto your device or Mac running iBooks.  If you have not downloaded these free guides in previous iOS versions I would encourage you to do so.  They are great self-help guides for finding settings or other how to’s in iOS.

iPhone User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iPad User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iPod touch User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iOS 8 Deployment Reference – Apple Inc.

Apple’s Missed Opportunity with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite

With the release of iOS 8 last week, Apple made some big improvements in their mobile OS.  Some of those improvements however really won’t see their fully glory until OS X Yosemite is out and available.  In my iOS 8 review I commented that having the two releases, which are very intertwined, at separate points was a bit of a head scratcher.  Now nearly a week after iOS 8, I’m more convinced it is a missed opportunity for Apple that has led to end user frustration and confusion.  I appreciate that OS X Yosemite might not be fully ready but maybe it would have been wiser to delay everything until the full package was done.  Now it feels like there are elements of iOS 8 that are broken or incomplete.

Delivery of the iPhone 6

Clinton is asleep as I publish this. And I can’t be bothered to wake him – I’m like a cat with catnip unboxing my new shiny toy. Clinton doesn’t have one.



I woke up excited. The shiny toy was coming today. And after a number of false starts due to Friday being refuse pickup day in my ‘hood, (the garbage trucks kept giving me false hopes, ok?) I settled into my day.

TechDad spent a good portion of the afternoon teasing me.

“Did you hear something?! I think I heard something! What was that – is that a truck? Maybe you should go check. What if they can’t find our house? Or what if they just drive right by?”

I ignored him. (Well, to be honest, when he left for his run I told him to see if he could go find the delivery truck and herd it our way.)

My case arrived first, via the USPS. I pre-ordered a Spigen Neo-Hybrid because it would arrive today. I just don’t trust myself without a case.

Finally the glorious moment arrived.

My doorbell rang, sounding like the bells of St. Paul’s. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I raced to the door, salivating at the bell.


IMG_1157There was a brief kerfuffle as my actual dogs also charged the door and the FedEx delivery guy dropped our packages on the porch and hurriedly darted back down my driveway.

“Do you need me to sign anything?” I called after him.

“No,” he waved me off as he fled back to his truck. “You’re fine.”

“Santa’s in a hurry to deliver 4 million of these little boxes,” I informed TechDad.

“You didn’t hug him, did you?” replied TechDad with mock concern.

I didn’t have time to get my feelings hurt, though. It was time to set up the new shiny toy!

And with a satisfying suck of air, my new iPhone 6 was unboxed.

As of right now, AT&T is still thinking about switching the account between phones. So I shall share my thoughts on actually using Activating Beauty over here come next week’s TechMom Tuesday.

How To Hide QuickType in iOS 8

QuickType is one of the many new features in iOS 8.  As I discussed in our iOS 8 Review, QuickType appears above the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad and gives you word suggestions or spelling suggestions based on the context of what you are writing.  The idea is to improve your speed as you type messages or mails on your iPhone or iPad.  But for some this is a bit distracting and is more a a nuisance than a help.  Fortunately there is a quick way to hide QuickType in iOS 8 and you don’t even have to go into settings.

First, open up messages or mail as you would normally and begin to compose an message.  QuickType will show up as you would

Hidding Predictive Text in Mail

Hidding Predictive Text in Mail

expect just above the keyboard and will give you the normal word suggestions.  If you want to hid QuickType just tap-and-swipe down to minimise the QuickType bar.  Now you will see a minimised line above the keyboard (see my screenshot to the right).  Now you won’t have the QuickType bar in the way of your message and it won’t be a distraction to you.

The bar will stay minimised until you open it up again.  This is done by a tap-and-swipe up of the holder in the minimised bar (the white bar in the centre of the bar).  Doing this will show the QuickType bar once again.

How To Do Email Handoff in iOS 8

One of the great new features of iOS 8 is continuity and part of that is handoff.  Handoff allows you to start working on a file, message or email from one device and finish it on another.  Let’s say you are walking to the train station and you start an email on your iPhone.  When you get on the train and you open up your iPad, you can swipe up on the Lock Screen to move that email to your iPad for a more comfortable typing experience.

In this How To I will show you how to do email handoff in iOS 8.  Just remember that like all of the Continuity features, it only works between iOS 8 devices and OS X Yosemite on your Mac when it is available later this year.

Apple Releases Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks

Apple continues to work on OS X Mavericks with the release earlier this week of the 10.9.5 update.  This morning they have release Safari 7.1, the latest update to the Mac browser.  The update brings several new features and enhancements, the biggest of which is search engine DuckDuckGo.  If you aren’t familiar with DuckDuckGo, it is a search engine that does not do any user tracking.  You can now select this as your default search engine inside of Safari’s settings.

For Yahoo users, there are new security improvements in Safari 7.1.  Now all Yahoo search fields when using in Safari 7.1 are encrypted, adding a level of security and privacy.  There is no functional difference or change that you need to make for this enhancement to be used.  It simply does it in the background for you.