How to use “Hey Siri” without being connected to power

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

“Hey Siri” is a new feature in iOS 8 that makes it possible to invoke Siri using only your voice. It’s nice for those moments when your hands are full or when your iPhone is across the room.

The only downside to “Hey Siri” is that your iPhone must be connected to a power source in order to use it. This restriction was placed there to save your iPhone’s battery life.

But, there is a way to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source. It’s not as handy as using it while connected to power, but it’s a nice workaround for those situations where you need hands-free control. Read More

 

This trick lets you refresh the App Store app in a jiffy

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 26, 2014

Have you ever ventured into the App Store expecting a new update, only to find that the update has not yet appeared? Since the App Store has no refresh button, I used to force close the app, and reopen it to check for new updates.

But in iOS 8 there’s an even easier way to refresh the App Store. I’m not sure if it was purposely done, or if it’s a bug, or what. All I know is that this refresh trick works on iOS 8, and it doesn’t appear to work on lesser firmware.

Inside, I’ll show you how to quickly refresh the App Store and check for new updates in a flash. Check out the video. Read More

 

iOS 8 Tips app just got updated with 3 more tips

By Sébastien Page on Sep 15, 2014

Apple updated the new iOS 8 Tips app with three more tips earlier today. In this over-the-air update, Apple is now explaining future iOS 8 users how to see when a message was sent, how to use Siri to find out what song is currently playing on the radio or elsewhere, and how to use Family Share. This is the second update to the Tips app since it was introduced in iOS 8 beta 4. The first update happened on August 21. Read More

 

How to erase settings and data on your iPhone or iPad

By Sébastien Page on Aug 22, 2014

There are several reasons why you would want to delete all the data and information contained on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Maybe you want to sell your device to someone else, or give it to a family member. Or maybe you just want to start from scratch on a clean slate.

No matter what your reason may be, there are two ways to go at it. In this post, we will show you how to erase all content and settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch directly from your device, or from iTunes. Both methods can be used to delete music, videos, photos, apps, messages, emails, contacts – everything! Additionally, all your settings will be completely reset. Read More

 

Over-the-air update adds new tip to iOS 8 Tips app

By Sébastien Page on Aug 21, 2014

Apple just updated the Tips app that is present in iOS 8, explaining users how to quickly access their favorite contacts. The update, which happened over the air, is the first such update to the Tips app since it was introduced in iOS 8 beta 4. Read More

 

Quick tip: clean up your Downloads folder to regain storage space on your Mac

By Sébastien Page on Aug 20, 2014

Sometimes, the most simple and obvious tips are the best. Everybody knows about them because they’re usually based on good old common sense, yet, we usually forget about them. One such tip is to periodically clean up the Downloads folder of your Mac, which, depending on your setup and habits, could quickly go out of control.

The Downloads folder is the default location where any file you download from the internet is saved. Downloading the PDF of your bank statement? It’s downloaded to the Downloads folder. Downloading a song from an unofficial source? It’s most likely going to the Downloads folder. Read More

 

iMessage spam is real: here is what you can do about it

By Sébastien Page on Aug 19, 2014

iMessage spam accounts for 30% of all mobile spam messages, according to security researcher Tom Landesman. This is part of a growing trend that started in the recent months where spammers collect phone numbers or email addresses linked to iMessage to send Apple users unsolicited messages in the hope they would click on links and purchase whatever the spammers are trying to sell.

According to Wired, who cites Landesman, setting up such a spamming campaign can be as easy as collecting email addresses and phone numbers from around the web, and use AppleScript to write a few lines of codes and automate the mass iMessage spamming.

In this post, we’ll share a few tips about how you can protect yourself from iMessage spam. Read More

 

How to find and delete duplicate photos in iPhoto

By Sébastien Page on Aug 18, 2014

Duplicate photos always seem to find a way to creep into your iPhoto library, eating up precious storage space on your Mac. You could just let it go and forget all about it – after all it’s just a few duplicate photos – but if you’re anything like me, you just want your iPhoto library to be perfect.

The only way to get to perfection is to delete those duplicate photos in your iPhoto library. Strangely enough, iPhoto doesn’t have a feature that lets you find and delete duplicates, so you have to download a third party application to do this. The Mac App Store has plenty of such apps available, but I personally use Duplicate Cleaner for iPhoto.

In this post, I will show you how to use Duplicate Cleaner to find and delete duplicate photos in iPhoto. Read More

 

How to uninstall multiple jailbreak tweaks at once

By Alihassan Mahdi on Aug 18, 2014

If you’re a jailbreak enthusiast like me, you’ll probably end up installing a bunch of jailbreak tweaks that will pile up over time. Sooner or later, you might forget about them and after a period of time, you’ll end up with a lot of unused tweaks which may have a negative impact on the performance of your device and can slow it down or cause lags. Surely, it’s easy to remove one or two tweaks that you don’t need, but it becomes a hefty task if you want to delete a lot of tweaks that you no longer use.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround that allows you to uninstall all the jailbreak tweaks that you don’t need in a single tap. This involves queuing all of them together and performing a batch uninstall. To find out how, follow our step-by-step guide outlined below. Read More

 

How to remove suggested “recent” and “other” email addresses from Mail app

By Sébastien Page on Aug 13, 2014

Every time you receive or send an email to a new contact, the Mail app saves this contact’s email address as a “recent” or “other” address somewhere so that if you ever want to email this person again, you can start typing his email address, and the Mail app will offer some autocomplete suggestions.

In some instances, this is a great feature. For example, you might not have saved the contact info of this person who emailed you 3 months ago, but if you remember his name, you can start typing it, and the Mail app will automatically suggest his email address, based on your recent communication with him. That’s the benefit of the feature.

The downside of this recent emails feature though is that it might save email addresses from people you don’t care about. Worse, it might save old email addresses that aren’t being used anymore, sometimes offering these old addresses as a top suggestion.

I recently experienced this problem. I updated the email address of one of my contacts, making sure I deleted her previous email address. Now every time I start typing her name in the “To:” field of the Mail app, it suggests both her new and old email address.

In this post, I will show you how to remove recent and other email addresses from the recipient field autofill in the Mail app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Read More

 

What to do if your iPhone is lost or stolen

By Sébastien Page on Aug 11, 2014

Better safe than sorry, they say. This is particularly true when it comes to expensive items that contain a considerable amount of private information, such as your iPhone or your iPad. If you can’t necessarily prevent losing your iPhone or even worse, having it stolen from you, there are however some steps you can make to ensure that in the eventuality such thing would happen, you will be completely ready to handle the situation.

While we hope you’ll never have to deal with this, we want to make sure you know your options and have been proactive in securing your iOS device, whether it is an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod touch. In this post, we will share with you some of the actions you can take to prepare your iPhone or iPad, and to protect it in case it is lost or stolen. Read More

 

How to change your Mac computer’s name

By Sébastien Page on Aug 8, 2014

While working on a series of post about Find My iPhone recently, I realized that my iMac didn’t have a specific name attached to it. When in Find My iPhone, it would just show up saying “Unknown.”. I wasn’t sure how that happened, but I knew I wanted to have a proper name for it, just so I could recognize it easily when using AirDrop, or simply when looking for it on the local network.

The steps to set or change a Mac’s name are quick and easy, but I figured that if you already know how to do it, maybe this post will be a reminder for you to check that your Mac has indeed been attributed a name. If not, I’ll show you how to do just that… Read More

 

How to set a timer to automatically stop playing music or videos on your iPhone

By Sébastien Page on Aug 7, 2014

Sometimes I like to play calming music or white noise to help me fall asleep. I just select a playlist and play it directly on my iPhone, which is resting next to me on the night stand. The thing is though, I don’t want to play music for an extended period of time. I usually need no more than 20-30 minutes to fall asleep.

There is a subtle feature in the Clock app that lets you set a timer that will stop playing any media currently playing on your device, whether it is music or video. In this post, we will show you how to set a sleep timer to automatically stop playing music or videos on your iPhone or iPad after a specific time. Read More

 

How to show hidden files and folders in Finder on Mac

By Sébastien Page on Aug 4, 2014

Some people like to know everything that is on their computer. Admittedly, I was one of these people many moons ago, when I was a Windows user. I would always make sure that Windows Explorer would show all hidden files and folders. I’m not sure why, but I liked it this way.

These days, I’m quite the opposite, as I like to see as little files and folders as possible on my Mac. But I understand some people out there have the desire to see all those files and folders, for whatever reason that may be.

In this post I will show you how to show hidden files and folders in Finder on your MacRead More

 

How to remove the shadow effect from window screenshots on Mac OS X

By Sébastien Page on Aug 3, 2014

We take screenshots all the time to illustrate our posts here at iDB. Most of them are from iOS devices, but from time to time, we do post screenshots from a Mac app or utility.

If you have a Mac, you’ve probably noticed that every time you take a screenshot of an opened window, it will add a nice drop shadow to this screenshot. While it does give the screenshot a little more character, sometimes, you just don’t want to have this shadow effect in your screenshot.

In this post, we’ll show you how to quickly remove the drop shadow effect from screenshots you take on your MacRead More

 

How to restore contacts from iCloud to your iPhone

By Sébastien Page on Jul 28, 2014

In our ongoing series of simple iOS tips and tricks, today we’re going to help my mom (or yours) restore her contacts from iCloud to her iPhone. You’d typically need to do this if you got a new iPhone for example, or maybe if you performed a restore. Or if you’re my mom, you might have just “accidentally” disabled iCloud contacts sync and you just have no idea how to turn it back on.

In this post, we’re going to assume that you previously synced your contacts with iCloud. Note that these steps work just as well for getting iCloud contacts back on an iPad. Read More

 

How to watch AVI videos or movies on iPhone

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 22, 2014

I previously wrote a guide on how to stream movies from your iTunes library on your iPhone or iPad using Home Sharing. The feature only works with iTunes-supported file formats though, meaning that you can only stream videos or movies in formats like MP4 and MOV. Many other video codecs, notably AVI, are not playable by iTunes.

Nevertheless, it is still possible to play AVI videos or movies on iPhone or iPad. You simply need to download the official VLC for iOS app, which is free on the App Store, and choose one of several methods to get the AVI videos or movies onto your device. Read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to watch AVI videos or movies on iPhone or iPad…  Read More

 

How to record your Mac screen on OS X

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 21, 2014

I was recently streaming the Stanley Cup Finals and waiting for a new Apple commercial to air during the first period. Looking for a solution to record the TV ad, as it was not up on YouTube yet, I discovered a simple feature built right into QuickTime for recording your screen on Mac. Forget using third-party software or other cumbersome tools for recording your screen, and read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to record your screen on Mac using QuickTime… Read More

 

How to sync bookmarks between Mac and iPhone

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 20, 2014

One of the useful features of iCloud is that it allows you to synchronize your bookmarks between your Mac and iPhone. In fact, the cloud service can be used to sync bookmarks between any iCloud-compatible Apple product without much effort. For our beginners out there, we’ve prepared this guide on how to sync bookmarks between Mac and iPhone using Safari. Read ahead for the step-by-step instructions…  Read More

 

How to delete iCloud backups on iPhone

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 19, 2014

For the past few weeks, my iPhone has prompted me with an annoying message about how iCloud does not have enough space to continue backing up the device. Apparently I need an additional 2.1 GB of storage to backup my iPhone, but I would rather not pay for a higher tier than the free 5 GB of storage that Apple provides by default.

If you’re in the same shoes as me, there is actually a simple solution. Apple makes it easy to delete your iCloud backups right on your iPhone. You can even manage how your backups work so that you are only backing up essential data. Read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to delete old iCloud backups on iPhone…  Read More

 
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