Some Cool iOS 7 Tips

Siri is greatly enhanced in iOS 7 and there are some fun and interesting things she will help you with.

Find Things

For instance, you can ask her to find the closest gas station, even ask for a specific brand and say something like “Siri, where is the closest Valero gas station?” Make sure you have turned on the location option on your phone, (Select Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Siri. Turn on that option.)

If your settings are correct, Siri will tell you what you need to know.


Query Response

Then, if you need to do so, you can even ask for directions to the location of your choice.

There are even more driving options with the iOS 7 Siri. You can ask “How long until I get to my destination?”, or “When’s my next turn?”

Correct A Miskeyed Calculator Entry

Have you ever miskeyed a number in the Calculator app on your iPhone?  Say I meant to enter 456,789, but I entered 456,788.  With most calculator programs your option for correcting this error is to delete the entry and rekey it.  But, with the Calculator app in iOS 7, you can delete the last numeral you entered by placing your finger on the LED number display and swiping left or right. Then you can key the correct numeral.


Miskeyed Entry


Last Numeral Entered is Erased

Let Siri Read It To You

There are times when Siri will look up things for you, then show you them onscreen. As an example, the locations of the gas stations I mentioned at the beginning.  Rather than trying to read that information, you can ask Siri to read it to you. To make this work, tap the microphone image at the bottom of the screen and say “Read that back to me.”

These tips and hundred’s of others can be found in iPad and iPhone Kung Fu by Keir Thomas.

Wake Up And Smell The Bacon

It’s not a secret that there are all sorts of devices for iPhone out there from car diagnostic gadgets to health care devices. But the device that we’re going to talk in this post is a really cool invention.

If you are like us, you don’t like waking up in the morning. To make getting up early easier, there shall be some motivation. What about the smell of bacon? That’s precisely what “Wake Up And Smell The Bacon” from Oscar Mayer’s can do for you.

This strange device and the corresponding app is all you need to make your waking up less painful and more pleasant. Simply, set the alarm and you will wake you up with the sound of sizzling bacon and pork-scented perfume.

The only bad news is that the device is not on sale yet and the only way to own one is to participate in a contest at the official website. Ready for a tasty morning? Try to get your device here.

Check out the Prodigy Case for iPad Air

There are hundreds of cases offered for the new iPad Air, but I find that I particularly like the Prodigy iPad Air case from ZooGue.

I am always interested in reviewing products from ZooGue because I know they will be both well made and well designed. It seems that each case I see offers some improvement over the previous one. Their new case for the iPad Air lives up to my expectations.


The case weighs only 14-oz, features a sleep/wake function, and corner edge protection. It is a notebook style case in that it covers the entire iPad when not in use. It offers six viewing angles and when placed in the position you want, it is very stable and remains in place. As long as you have it on a stable surface it will not tip over. The case is made from durable polyurethane.


The Fastener

 I expected the case to have adjustable viewing angles and to be sturdy and well made. What pleases me most beyond that is the fastener that keeps the case securely closed when not in use. It is a magnetic closure that snaps in place. The fastener will not come open unless you specifically open it yourself.


The Angles

The Prodigy case for iPad Air has an MSRP of US $59.99.

It is very easy to insert and remove the iPad Air from the case. It is held in place within the case with a fold-over flap that is located at the center fold. The flap is held in place with a velcro fastener. When the case is in a viewing angle that supports typing,  it neither wobbles or tips. All buttons and ports are easily accessible. It is also important to note that the pebbled finish on the case makes it easy to carry. It does not provide good support for vertical viewing.

Apple Security Fix Coming Very Soon

Apple has finally confirmed that a fix to the security problem found earlier in OS X will be coming “very soon”. While we still don’t know how much time is implied under “very soon”, one thing is for sure that the programmers at Apple are doing their best to address this huge security flaw as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the list of the affected applications is considerable longer than initially thought. The root of this security problem is in one of the software libraries and therefore any app using the library is affected. This includes FaceTime, iMessage, Twitter, Calendar, Keynote, Mail, iBooks, Software Update, and probably some others.

If you are Mac OS user, you can check your computer by visiting in Safari. However, this will only check if your computer has been affected or not. To protect yourself, try not to use untrusted and unsecured WiFi networks while traveling. Also, try to update to iOS 7.0.6 if you have not yet installed it on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad).

Picture source: security researcher Ashkan Soltani

Why Won’t My iMessages Show Up On All My Devices?

I started having a strange problem with iMessage. I could get messages on my i-devices, or on my Mac, but not on both of them at once. Since I rely heavily on iMessage this was a problem. I figured out that if a message was sent from a Mac, I received it on my Mac and if sent from an i-device I received it on my i-devices. Since this started around the time iOS 7 was released I figured my problem might rest with iOS 7.

Sure enough, it was an easy fix. You have to tell your i-devices to accept messages.

Start by opening the Settings app on your i-device. Select Messages.




Step 1 

Clicking on Messages takes you to the Messages window.



Step 2

Select Send & Receive and you get this window.



Step 3

Under the heading “You can be reached by message at”, be sure you enter all the email addresses associated with your Mac addresses. For example,, or This should solve your problem.

It solved my problem, hope it does the same for you.

No More Flappy Bird Copy-cats in App Store

Bad news for Flappy Bird copy-cats. Apple is rejecting apps with a word Flappy in the title. At least Vancouver-based game designer Ken Carpenter’s game was rejected by the App Store.

As soon as the original Flappy Bird was removed from the App Store by its developer, a gazillion of other clones of the game tried to capitalize on the popularity of the original Flappy Bird.

Obviously, some of the clones achieved considerable success and such games are now simply re-branding their names: Flappy Bee has become Jumpy Bee.

This is the right move from Apple to clean the app store. What do you think?

Source: iMore

Easy, Easy Scanning on a Mac

You can use Preview on your Mac to make scanning easy.  I have been stove up in the hospital with a broken hip (note to self – don’t do that any more) and have had the time to put the finishing touches on a video training to show how this is done.  My video is a part of a collection of video’s produced by members of Capital Macintosh Users Group (CapMac) in Austin Tx. You can find the whole lot of them at

For this particular video just click here and you will go straight to it.

Don’t Expect 12.9-inch iPad or third-gen iPad mini in 2014

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is famous for predicting Apple’s product releases, issued a report on Saturday. In the report obtained by AppleInsider, Ming-Chi Ku predicted that overall iPad shipments will actually decline this year. The logic behind this prediction is based on the assumption that Apple will only refresh iPad Air in 2014. The device shall be gaining a next-generation A8 processor and Touch ID fingerprint sensor late in the third quarter of the year.

Ming-Chi Kuo also predicts that Apple’s resources will be directed towards development of the next iPad Air and a new 12.9-inch iPad. The bigger iPad also requires considerable rework of Apple’s operating system. As a result, Kuo said that the chances of a new iPad mini model in the second half of 2014 are “slim.”

Kuo also speculates, that higher priority has been placed on finishing the iWatch operating system. iWatch is expected later this year.

phoneMiner Review

Try to live a single day without your smartphone and you will see how heavily we depend on our mobile companions these days. The digital content that we create and consume has increased dramatically these past couple of years and there seems to be no end to this trend. When was the last time you actually printed a photo? Your photos, call logs, text messages, e-mails, notes, videos, memos, calendars, documents and probably a gazillion other files live permanently on your smart-phone.

With greater power and flexibility come greater risks!

What if the unthinkable happened and you lost or damaged your device? This might well be your worst nightmare and is why all modern devices come with backup capabilities of some description, be it an iPhone, iPad, Android or BlackBerry device.

However, there is one problem.

The backups created by these devices are not often human-readable or accessible directly by users. Theoretically, a power user may be able to retrieve their data from a backup, or so the theory goes.  In reality, it would be extremely difficult, even for a programmer, to extract all the data in reasonable time. For the average user, this task is way beyond practical.

But now, there is no need to do so – meet phoneMiner from Amrak Software. Who said that an application that specializes in complex data cryptography needs to have a cryptic GUI? phoneMiner features a clean and sleek interface and is such an easy to use tool – even your grandma would like it.

Let’s see what phoneMiner can recover from your backup files:

• Photos
• Contacts (Address book)
• SMS messages
• Emails
• Calendar
• Call logs
• Movies
• Memos
• Tasks
With phoneMiner you’ll be able to recover the above mentioned content, sync your contacts to Google and even transfer your data to other phones or simply export your data to Microsoft Excel, PDF, vCard, XML and more.

You can use the app with an iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry and Sony/Ericsson devices. To use phoneMiner, you’ll need a Windows computer running practically any flavor of Windows, from XP to 8.

phoneMiner is free of trojans, viruses and malware and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

You have insured your health, house and car? It’s time to insure your digital content too and phoneMiner from Amrak Software is your best bet yet. Sound good? Give it a try.

Samsung and Apple CEOs Meet But Fail to Reach an Agreement

According to the Korean version of ZDNet, the head of the mobile division at Samsung Electronics, JK Shin and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook met in the US last week.

While not confirmed by Samsung, the meeting is nevertheless very important for the two companies as the verdict is approaching quickly. According to the sources, the top executives failed to reach an agreement.

The court will announce its final verdict after the 19th. For Samsung this may translate into $930 million of damages payable to Apple.

This is not the first lawsuit that the two technology giants have been involved in since 2011.

Announcing: Republic Sniper

Sorry for being so quiet of late. We’ve been busy at MartianCraft of late.

In addition to merging with Empirical Development, we’ve also been studiously working on the first game set in the Turncoat Universe™.

It’s called Republic Sniper™.

Today, we released a teaser trailer for the game. This trailer was done entirely in-house. Most of the production was done over just a two week period by a team of four people, only one of whom who was dedicated full-time. They did a hell of a job and I need to give a special shout-out to Patrick Letourneau for not just carrying the ball across the goal line on the trailer, but running it the entire length of the damn field.  He accomplished an amazing amount in a completely ridiculous amount of time and we’re both grateful and impressed.

We’ve also been sharing concept art, trivia, and WIP screenshots from the Republic Sniper twitter account.

We haven’t announced a ship date for Republic Sniper, but you can sign up for our mailing list on the website to be notified as soon as we have more information to share!

Our much larger combined company has a dedicated game team with multiple in-house and contract games currently under development and we’re always happy to talk with people about new game (or non-game) projects.

Apple Suppliers Do Not Use Unethically Sourced Tantalum

According to the 2014 Supplier Responsibility Report issued by Apple yesterday, Apple’s suppliers do not use unethically sourced tantalum. The report is based on the audit done by third-party auditors.

This means that the materials used to build your favorite device have not been gathered in war-torn regions of Africa. The report also highlights a number of other achievements for 2013 such as driving suppliers to achieve a 95% compliance rate with the company’s standard maximum 60-hour workweek.

Apple also take maximum care to avoid exploiting underage work force. When the company revealed one of its Chinese suppliers to be systematically engaging in such a practice, Apple dropped the supplier.