Steffen Reich

I'm an Apple enthusiast by all measures, but that does not keep me from calling a spade a spade when it's needed. Living in Melbourne, Australia. Follow me on Twitter @melbsteve !

How to turn off glowing Siri lights on HomePod

Two HomePod images placed side by side, with one photo showing the glowing Siri lights on top and the other photo showing the black top with no lights

Due to its lack of a screen, HomePod's means of expressing itself are limited to the pulsating, colorful dot on its slick top surface. The design and implementation of the expressive light undoubtedly make for a masterclass in giving an inanimate speaker an air of personality.

While we do have a detailed breakdown of which of HomePod's lights exactly mean what, what we have not done yet is call attention to the fact that the lights can also be shut down - and no, I'm not talking about pulling the plug from the power outlet.

Why would you want your HomePod to become a stale, expressionless object? Well, perhaps you don't want your HomePod to emit as much light in the dark or prefer the look of a sleek black or white speaker sans the play of colors on top! Whatever floats your boat, each to their own, you get the gist. Maybe you just appreciate knowing that there is the option without ever seriously contemplating depriving HomePod of its quirky LED.

Whatever the reason you might decide to neuter your HomePod, there is a simple switch to do (and undo) just that.

The time is now for a ‘style over substance’ year for Apple Watch

It is far from controversial to conclude that it took Apple almost three years to nail the engineering of Apple’s first wearable: cramming in and fine-tuning batteries, processing and cellular chips and so on and so forth. We were all there along the ride and we can all (provided you have worn a Gen 0 model before) attest to the enormous advancements made over the years. 

How to share screenshots even faster on iPhone and iPad

Person holding an iPhone and trying to take a screenshot

In this tutorial, we will let you in on a little iPhone trick to skip past the screenshot-editing screen and jump directly from your screenshot to the iOS Share Sheet. It’s certainly only one small step for your iOS experience, but it is one that, if implemented regularly, will result in a leap in productivity.

It’s 2018, the year where HomePod will become a thing, like it or not

When Apple late last year sheepishly announced the delay of HomePod until further notice, my impression of the unfolding news coverage and social media feeds at the time was that the fallout had been remarkably tame considering that for presumably many, a brand new Apple product had just been removed from its sure place under the Christmas tree.

How to apply live filters to your camera with one simple swipe

Once in a while you pick up something new about your iPhone by complete accident, which subsequently makes you wonder what other untapped secrets are waiting to be discovered under your screen's shiny surface.

Mind you some might think of the following trick as minute, simply because it is in certain respects. By the same token, it will also be relevant enough for others - especially those of you using larger iPhones - to explicitly call attention to it. And if Apple does not want to talk about some of their nifty hidden shortcuts, we'll happily do their bidding!

Here is how to apply filters to your camera as you go, without having to readjust your grip and scramble to reach the top right filter icon in your camera view first.

How to apply filters to your camera with one simple swipe

1) Open your iPhone's Camera app.

2) As you are zeroing in on the subject, flick your thumb upwards anywhere on the live camera screen. This is not tricky by a long shot, however make sure to do it in one quick motion as opposed to resting your finger on the screen first and then swiping up. The latter can accidentally trigger the focus auto lock function or cause unwanted exposure changes instead.

3) On the filter selection you just pulled up, select your favorite view by swiping left or right to activate and superimpose the filter on your camera.

4) After you have made your choice, the filter bar can be discarded in the same fashion it was invoked: this time simply swipe down on your camera screen! Done.

That's it, you're now taking photos that have a little more oomph to them and - best of all - without having to dislocate your thumb or get your other hand to hit the filters button in the top right corner of the screen. Again, this little gem is not a complete revelation, however it might get you to play around with live filters again, which has to be worth something!

Give it a go, tell your friends about it and let us know in the comments whether or not you were familiar with this gesture before!

How to view all photos, sketches and documents stored in your Notes app

Sketch in iPad Notes app

The Notes app allows users to take quick notes, make checklists, create sketches, and even store photos and documents. However, finding and organizing all of these stored items can be a bit challenging.

In this article, we will explore how to view all photos, sketches, and documents stored in your Notes app, making it easier to find and access your important information.

Is the Face ID discussion warranted or a secret case of Apple envy?

Whenever a significant new technology is incorporated into mainstream mobile phones, such upgrade should naturally be fair game for scrutiny and critique. Conversely, if by objective standards the new arrival clears all bars, I can think of two reasons why it feels critical to acknowledge the innovative work done by its originators: because for one that credit has been hard earned and - looking at the bigger picture - sowing doubt about a feature that will inevitably saturate most phones in the market is only going to needlessly unsettle the consumer in the long run.

Runners Map lets you easily share and discover running routes

Tracking and mapping your runs to a T is something most of us runners do, mainly because it provides valuable insights into your training progress. At the same time, there is something to be said about archiving runs for posterity and having the ability to review and show off older running tracks. The likes of Nike+ or Runtastic - i.e. the big players in the game - have recognised the immense potential of route tracking years ago and beefed up their apps accordingly.

The future of iPhone starts in November, is iPad X to follow suit?

It’s all but certain that some visual cues of iPhone X will eventually trickle down to the iPad line. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,and it certainly doesn’t take lots of mental gymnastics to recall at least a few moments where an iPhone feature (hardware or software) pioneered the way for its bigger iPad cousin to follow.