I vividly remember reading Mat Honan’s horror story in Wired magazine about being hacked and having his devices, some of which weren’t backed up, wiped out and his social media accounts taken over. I also haven’t forgotten that one of the players in that very complex chain of events that lead to the unraveling of his digital life was Apple They were hit with a social engineering attack that ended up being the last domino to fall, giving the hackers free reign over Mr Honan’s Apple devices, and in turn, all of his information. The fact that Amazon, Google and Apple were ALL involved in this hack in various ways was definitely eye-opening.
Even as “unlimited” data plans are now making a roaring comeback, the majority of iOS users are still on either tiered data plans, or have data thresholds past which they get their speeds throttled. However, with the use a few features built into iOS, and various free data monitoring apps, it is possible to stay on top of your monthly usage, and to know exactly where your hard-earned data is being used.
Just like last week’s tip on controlling the iPad’s cursor for selecting and editing using Trackpad Mode, the iPad’s multi-touch navigation features are easy to miss or forget about. In fact, I hadn’t used this feature in a couple of years myself. Since I use a Bluetooth keyboard so often, I tend to use the available keyboard shortcuts to switch apps and return to the Home menu. Thanks to @skrimaging for the great suggestion via Twitter to highlight this feature.
With the new iPad just released, I expect that we will have some first-time iPad users stopping by looking for help with their new devices. Also, some of you who may be upgrading from an iPad 2 or 3, or an original iPad Mini may find some of the tablet features in the latest version of iOS unfamiliar. With more new iPads likely still on the way, this is a good time to get back to some basics and brush up on some of the handy features of the current iPad lineup and iOS 10. As such, I will be posting a new Tips and Tricks article each week for a bit. For this first installment, I want to take a look at an unsung feature that came to us in iOS 9.
If you’re running the beta for iOS 10.3 on your iPad then you’ve most likely already received a push notification from Apple encouraging you to enable Two-Factor Authentication for your Apple ID. Apple began pushing these persistent notifications sometime yesterday. Simply opening them and dismissing the notification does not clear it. In addition, if you have badges activated for your Settings App, it will continue to display a notification even after it is confirmed/read.
Although this may seem a little heavy-handed by Apple, it’s in you best interest to be a safe as you can, and it only take s few minutes to enable two-factor authentication on any of your iOS or macOS devices. I took the plunge last night and set it up on my iPad, iPhone and Mac–and here’s how I did it.
When it comes to electronic devices, especially mobile phones, the big big buzz word these day is privacy. Makes sense, it’s a big deal. Almost as important as privacy is how you mange your privacy settings. Personalizing settings to fit your lifestyle and needs can be cumbersome and consuming. If users are confused or overwhelmed they are much less likely to reap the benefits of being able to keep their information safe and private. When privacy is sacrificed at the hands of convenience bad things can happen to good people.
One of the more configureable settings on your iPad that can impact your privacy is Location Services. Location based services are a hot topic because they can be very helpful in predicting our needs and preparing us for upcoming events. However they can also become intrusive if given too much access–it just depends on what your expectations are and how informed you are from the beginning. To make it easier, let’s walk through his to configure Location Services your iPad.
Back at WWDC last June Apple announced a major update to Apple TV that leaned heavily on the use of Siri for search in addition to features like Live tune-in and the ability to manage Home Kit accessories. They also revealed a new single sign-on capability that allowed customers in the US to authenticate all the video channels from their pay-TV providers by only having to sign in one time. After the initial sign-in/on customers will be able to watch all of their compatible network-TV apps without having to re-authenticate each app as long as they didn’t sign out.
The initial roll-out started last fall. However, the networks participating have been growing at a slower pace than I had originally expected. I had all but forgot about the new feature, and wondered after originally being excited, if I would ever really use it. That being said–I decided to go through the process of setting it up and giving it a go.
Tis the season to get unsolicited calendar invitations to your iOS devices via your iCloud account. I never knew this was a “thing” until I recently became part of a large spamming exercise to lure unsuspected individuals in to view Black Friday offers. I’m not sure how long I had the invite in my Calendar since I use Calendars 5 by Readdle as my daily driver on my iPhone, and therefore have push notifications and icon badges turned off on Apple’s Calendar. It was when I glanced at my iPad’s “Apple” folder this afternoon that I thought I may have been spammed.
Many of you already know the importance of backing up your device, whether it be an iPad or an iPhone. If this is you, I apologize if you’ve heard this before, and I’m happy to hear that you are taking the few minutes it takes to protect your data. If you’re hearing this for the first time, or if you still haven’t ever backed up your device, pay close attention. These few easy steps are so painless and important. Unfortunately, for some reason many iPad and iPhone owners fail to _ever_ backup their devices. I have sen this happen time and time again. Just today I texted a friend of mine who wasn’t sure who I was because he washed his iPhone in the laundry and had lost all his contacts. I asked him when the last time he backed up his device, and her said never. Don’t let this happen to you. It is completely avoidable and only takes a few minutes.
The most widely used email client on iOS is the default Apple Mail app. Sure there are other email apps out there that are much more feature rich and great to use. However, the masses typically go with default programs that come pre-installed in their devices. In addition, if you aren’t the type of user who dives down deep into your settings, you generally miss out on some clever, helpful little tips on occasion. This is one of them. Did your know that in Apple Mail you can add additional mailboxes and personalize your views to show only the mailboxes and sub mailboxes you’d like to see? Surprisingly, I was unaware of this feature and accidentally stumbled across it one day.
In order to add or edit mailboxes start by opening the mail app and selecting “edit” in the upper right corner. Once you do this you will see a collection of new mailbox that can be added to, or replace any of your current mailbox views. These can be supplemental, or organized in the order and preference you choose.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Siri? A dictation assistant? A way to get help with directions? Someone to talk to and ask all sorts of ridiculous questions? Well, turns out, she is all that and so much more. When Apple introduced the “Hey Siri” feature in iOS 9 it increased the popularity of the service and made it a more personable interaction–as if you were having a conversation with a friend.
I have to admit, I’m a little old fashioned. I never have really taken full advantage of Hey Siri. Instead, most of the time I choose to physically interact with my phone rather than use voice commands to initiate actions. Perhaps it’s because I never took the time to discover all that Siri can do. When you launch Siri on your iOS device, but don’t initiate any dialogue right away, Apple pages through a series of lists that contain popular use cases. That’s good and well, but how useful is that for the average user–and will you really remember them in the future presented this way? Probably not.