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 use new one-finger zoom gesture in Apple Maps

Over time Apple Maps has certainly grown in complexity, both in terms of software layers and controls. With iOS 11 and the addition of indoor maps, that statement rings truer than ever. That in mind, it is great to see whenever new software simultaneously makes a concerted effort to level it out by introducing simpler ways to perform basic tasks.

Crack down on text message spam with SMS Shield

There’s no two ways about it: unsolicited texts are an issue. Be it outright spam, carrier notifications or simply unpalatable contacts, more often than not your phone fails to protect you from some rather unsavoury messages.

Interestingly, text message security is an unusual topic rarely broached, either because it remains forced to live a sad existence in the shadow of the seemingly more profitable email bubble, or because it’s decidedly trickier to contrive a service that genuinely satisfies text message users.

For all intents and purposes, SMS Shield has pulled off that feat. Once downloaded and set up (subscription fees range from $5.99 yearly to $0.99 monthly corresponding with a 1-year, 1/2-year and 1-month package), you can’t help but feel that your iPhone’s Messages app just battened down the hatches.

How to customize the auto-reply response of your Driving Focus mode on iPhone

Driving Focus auto-reply response on iPhone

Driving Focus is an important step towards minimizing interaction with your iPhone behind the wheel and, more widely, an asset for road safety. The Auto-Reply feature inside Driving Focus mode automatically sends a message to your favorite or selected contacts when they message you while Driving Focus is turned on.

The default auto-reply message is “I'm driving with Focus turned on. I'll see your message when I get where I'm going.”

If the above default message does not sound like your kind of jargon, follow these simple steps to personalize the stock reply.

Faviconographer adorns your Safari tabs with site icons

Internet browsers long have featured favicons, small-sized site icons adjacent to the tab description. In fact, some still do. They are certainly great as visual cues and aids to speed up navigation. Nevertheless every so often, what's handy can be at odds with what looks aesthetically pleasing, which is why Apple - on their perpetual crusade against clutter - have no such default setting for Safari.

With iPhone X, the end of the iPhone moniker is nigh

Just on the heels of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X announcement, it might sound ludicrous to start pondering on the 2018 line up. As Tim said though, always go where the puck is going to be. Here’s the simple reason why I think we have reached the end of the line for iPhone.

Elk’s smart use of a Live Wallpaper tackles your biggest peeve with currency converters

Anyone having the pleasure (or obligation) of travelling overseas has likely had their share of exposure to currency converters on iPhone. Whether you have selected your travel companion on the basis of features, price or mindlessly downloaded the first search result, in my experience the common denominator across the board is an off-putting level of self importance. More often that not, currency converters lack an understanding of their role on your phone.

The best voice recording apps for Apple Watch

The potential of voice recording from your wrist is huge, as it certainly has been for years on iPhone and iPad. For that reason, Apple itself has equipped their iPhones with a stock memo app years ago, and here at iDB we have showcased the most compelling alternatives for iOS back in 2016. Alas, the Apple gods haven’t graced us with a similar stock app for Apple Watch yet and that’s in spite of the fact that for the longest time quality third party apps to fill the gap were few and far between.

Promote iMessage to your Menu Bar with Unreplied for macOS

Find it hard at times to stay on top of your iMessage and SMS influx because you’re just too damn popular? Or are you simply a notoriously slow responder that likes to wait until that red badge on iMessage has swollen to inordinate proportions?

Either way, Unreplied, a low-key app bundling iMessage chats in your Mac’s Menu Bar, vows to make your iMessage game faster and perhaps less flaky.

Plant a tree and get things done with Forest

Living in a time where mindless entertainment is only one touch (or app) away can make it incredibly hard to focus on the simplest tasks and really get your head down for uninterrupted, productive work. If you can relate to the struggle, Forest, an app best described as a good-natured trojan horse inside the world of apps, could be a service to tickle your fancy.

How to segment your Apple Watch workout mid session

If you're fastidious about tracking your workouts, be it running, cycling or hitting the weights, you might have been irritated before by the apparent lack of options to divide your active session into multiple splits. Granted the swimming workout automatically breaks the distance down into laps and running stats are dealt with in a similar fashion, but what about the freedom of choosing those markers by yourself? Say you fancy a treadmill warm-up followed by some beefy strength training, ultimately to be capped off by a session on the yoga mat.

Apple’s iPhone dilemma: damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

Thanks to the 24/7 news cycle we have come to embrace, it seems no iPhone rumor today can be unhinged enough to not at least be regurgitated by a few online outlets. Over the last couple of days, this everlasting narrative has been dominated by two hot-button issues especially, since some respectable sources added their voices to the guessing game: Apple’s alleged failings to wrap up the iPhone 8’s assembly amidst design and component shortages for one, and of course the projected, steep price hike brought about by Apple’s anniversary iPhone.