iOS Tip 195 Level Your Camera in iOS 11

Have you ever tried to use your iPhone or iPad take a picture of a box, a sheet of paper, or something else that’s precisely rectangular, but been annoyed that the image came out skewed because it was difficult to hold your camera straight?

Turn on Grid in Settings > Camera, so thin white lines divide the viewfinder into a grid of nine rectangles. The lines help you compose your shots with the rule of thirds, so it’s a useful option to enable anyway.

The trick with the camera level:  it appears only if you’re holding the iPhone or iPad flat, so the camera points straight down toward the floor or straight up toward the sky. It manifests itself as two crosshairs:  a yellow crosshair marks the position where the camera will be level, and a white crosshair shows the camera’s current position.

Using the level is simple: tilt the camera until the two crosshairs merge into a single yellow plus sign. The hard part is keeping them together while tapping the shutter button.

iOS Tip 194 - Stop Apps From Hassling You

Stop apps hassling you for ratings

I know that feedback is important to app developers, but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. This is probably one of the things in apps that annoys me the most.
Fortunately, Apple now offers users a way to put an end to it. Unfortunately, the setting is buried and unless you know where to look for it, you'll probably never come across it
Here's how to access it:
    •    Settings > iTunes & App Store and then toggle In-App Ratings & Reviews to off

iOS Tip - 193 Avoid This Disaster ….

Recently we had a customer who was having issues with her phone and the only potential resolution  was to restore the device to factory settings.  With over two years of pictures on the phone she didn’t want to do that as ALL the pictures would be deleted and they were not backed up.

Make sure the pictures on your iPad/iPhone are properly backed up.  When you're connected to your Mac or PC, open up iTunes and right-click on your icon in the Devices list and select Backup. You don't need to worry about Apps you've downloaded or any purchases as they're always available to you from Apple.  Content you've created, such as photos and videos is what's important and at risk of loss.  

You can also use Apples’ iCloud or another online service.   The least expensive cloud service we’ve found is Backblaze.

Find iTunes Duplicates

iTunes  12.0 offers a simple way to track down and find duplicate songs in a music library:

    1    Open the “iTunes” app if you have not done so already
    2    Go to your music library in iTunes
    3    Pull down the “File” menu and then go to “Library”
    4    From the “Library” sub-menu, choose “Show Duplicate Items”
    5    iTunes will gather a list of potentially duplicate songs that you can peruse through and verify independently

Once finished, you can click the “Done” button at the Display Duplicate screen to go back to the regular track listing of your iTunes library.

iTunes will show as “duplicates” two different versions of the same song if they share the same track name, even if the songs and files are actually totally different. This is important to understand, particularly if you have a lot of music from the same artist, with live albums, Greatest Hits collections, or remixes and so forth.

use the song “Time” column to see how long each track is. If the tracks are the exact same length, it’s more likely the songs are actually the same and not just different recordings with the same name. Also be sure to pay attention to the Album name too, since that can be a helpful indicator.

Go here for iTunes 11.0.1


iOS Tip 191 - Customize Control Center

You can customize Control Center so you can quickly change the settings for the things you do most. Want to be ready when inspiration hits? Add a Voice Memos control. Want to dim the lights in the dining room with a tap? Add Home controls. Here’s how:
    1.    Go to Settings > Control Center.
    2.    Tap Customize Controls.
    3.    To add controls, tap +. To remove controls, tap _, then tap Remove.
Want to rearrange controls in Control Center? Just go to Settings > Control Center, tap Customize Controls, then touch and hold  next to the controls and drag them in the order that you want them.

iOS Tip 190 - Cleaning Your iPhone or iPad

It’s all too easy to get your iPhone or iPad dirty with ink, lotion, makeup, dirt, food, and oil.  If your device needs cleaning resist the urge to spray it with window cleaner, rubbing alcohol, or ammonia, even worse, to scrub it with baking soda or borax. That’s because all iPhones have oleophobic—oil repellent—coatings on their glass surfaces that make it easy to wipe off fingerprints. You don’t want to remove that coating any faster than it will wear off normally.  Cleaning products will strip it quickly. Instead, Apple recommends a soft, lint-free cloth such as you would use for glasses or camera lenses.

By the way, though the iPhone 7 and later have some level of dust and water resistance it’s important to avoid getting moisture in the openings—most of the time, a lens cloth should be all you need. While this does seem like common sense, it’s still good to remember that even though these items are glass, they are still electronic devices, and care should always be taken when cleaning them.

iPhone Battery Replacement Program

Effective immediately Apple will replace the battery in your iPhone 6 or newer device for $29, regardless of battery health.

This program runs through December of 2018.    We can do the replacement at Capitol Macintosh; total cost with the battery and labor is $69 before tax.  You should make an appointment for the service which takes about an hour to do.

If you replaced your battery at $79 before Apple's announcement, you may be able to get a refund by contacting Apple support.

iOS Tip 189 - Not Enough iCloud Storage

Before you pay Apple for more Cloud storage check and see what’s using up yours.  On your iOS device go to Settings, Tap your Apple ID account at the top of Setting, Tap iCloud, Tap Manage Storage and review what’s using yours.

If you don’t need some some of the information Tap on it and select Delete.  Once done you can NOT get this information back.   

One of the biggest users of data is iPhone backups (personally I back up to my computer).  Another data hog is photos and videos.  If you have them already in iPhoto or Photos you can safely delete them.

If you just need cloud storage the one of the best rated and least expensive is Backblaze, you can try it for free:  Backblaze


When you’re unboxing your new iPhone (or iPad), it’s time to think about how you’ll move your digital life from the old iPhone (or iPad) to the new one.  If your old device is running iOS 11, you can use Quick Start, a new iOS 11 feature that makes the transfer easy. Just turn on the new iPhone, set it next to the old one, and tap Continue when asked whether you want to use your Apple ID to set up your new iPhone (or iPad). An animation appears on the new device for you to scan with the old one, similar to pairing an Apple Watch to your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, follow the rest of the instructions to enable Touch ID or Face ID and then restore your data and settings from your most recent iCloud backup (you can update the backup first if necessary). Leave the two devices next to each other while data is being transferred, and if possible, keep the new one plugged in and on Wi-Fi after setup so it can download your apps, photos, and music from Apple’s cloud-based services. That’s all there is to it, your new device now has the same information and settings as your old one.

Don't let a liquid spill or drop ruin your holiday and new device - for only $50 you can buy damage protection with NO deductibles!  Stop in and we can get it done for you.


iOS Tip 187: Use the One Handed Keyboard

How to Use the One Handed Keyboard on iPhone

The latest iOS versions support one-handed keyboard mode for iPhone. One Handed Keyboard shifts the touch screen keys over on the screen to the left or to the right, so that it’s theoretically easier to reach the keys with a single thumb. This keyboard feature can be particularly helpful for users who have the larger iPhone Plus and iPhone X models and find them challenging to type on one handed.

You will need a modern version of iOS for iPhone to have this feature available, anything beyond iOS 11 has the capability. The iPad does not have one handed keyboard support.

You can quickly switch into and out of One Handed Keyboard mode on iPhone, here’s how it works:

    1    Access the keyboard anywhere on the iPhone as usual, whether in Messages, Mail, Safari, Notes, etc does not matter
    2    Tap and hold on the Emoji icon in the lower left corner of the keyboard (it looks like a little smiling face icon)*

    1    When the pop-up keyboard menu appears, tap on the keyboard icons to shift into the equivalent One Handed Keyboard mode:

  •       Left: keyboard shifts to the left, if you type with your left thumb this is likely what you’d use
  •       Center: the default iPhone keyboard, centered and not shifted over into One Handed Mode
  •         Right: keyboard keys shift to the right, if you want to type with your right thumb this is probably what you’d use

    3    One Handed keyboard will be enabled, shifting the keys over to the left or right side of the screen depending on what you chose

iOS Tip 186: Print Webpage Articles Without Ads

How to Print Webpage Articles Without Ads from iPhone or iPad, and Safari

This tip is focused on printing articles from Safari in iOS with an iPhone or iPad.

To try this out you’ll obviously need an iOS device with an internet connection, and an AirPrint compatible printer.

This method works to strip down a web page or article in Safari to just focus on the content (text and pictures in the article), which you can then print out as a simplified clutter free version of an article. This process works the same on iPhone and iPad, here’s all you need to do:

  1.   Open Safari and head to the web page article you want to print out
  2.   Tap the Safari Reader button in the link URL bar at the top of Safari, it looks like a series of lines atop one another, this will enter into Reader mode in Safari for iOS
  3.  Once in Reader mode, tap the Sharing action button, it looks like a little box with an arrow flying out of it
  4.   From the Sharing action options, choose “Print”
  5.   Adjust your printer options as necessary and choose the “Print” button to print the article or web page from Reader Mode, stripped of any ads or other content

That’s all there is to it, the resulting printed web pages or articles should simply include the article text, and related article images – nothing else.

This works because Safari mode strips out webpage data that is not directly related to the core content of the web page in question, and by printing from there rather than the regular webpage view, you can print out a simplified version of the article.

By the way, you can also use this trick to save simplified webpages as PDF files.

You may already know this, but Reader Mode has a lot of other great uses as well. You can use Reader Mode on iPhone to make a webpage mobile friendly or easier to read, you can use it to change the appearance of articles and make text bigger, change font faces, adjust colors, and much more.

High Sierra Security Update

Apple has released Security Update 2017-001 to fix a serious vulnerability that enables access to the root superuser account with a blank password on any Mac running macOS High Sierra version 10.13.1.
The critical bug lets anyone gain administrator privileges by simply entering the username "root" and a blank password in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

The security update is on the Mac App Store now, and it should be installed by all users running macOS High Sierra as soon as possible. Regardless Apple said the security update will be automatically installed on all Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

Apple has since apologized for the vulnerability:
“Security is a top priority for every Apple product, and regrettably we stumbled with this release of macOS.

When our security engineers became aware of the issue we immediately began working on an update that closes the security hole. The update is available for download, and starting November 30,  automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra.

We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.
The vulnerability does not affect macOS Sierra or any other previous version of the operating system.”

To ensure you have updated your Mac, go to the App store, click on the “Updates” icon and verify you have installed this update.

iOS Tip 185 - Bogus "Critical Alert" Message

Microsoft has discovered a scam site tha's targeting both Apple and Microsoft users.

Instead of scary dialog boxes, the site plays an audio message to warn users about a supposed "critical alert from Apple support". The message reads:

"Critical alert from Apple support. Your mac(phone) has alerted us that your system is infected with viruses, spywares, and pornwares. These viruses are sending your credit card details, Facebook logins, and personal emails to hackers remotely. Please call us (number given)  immediately on the toll-free number listed so that our support engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. If you close this window before calling us, we will be forced to disable and suspend your Mac device to prevent further damage to our network. Error number 268D3."

This is entirely bogus and you can IGNORE it.  If you can’t get rid of the message turn your phone (or computer) off and restart it.  On your iPhone you can also go to Settings, Safari, “Clear History and Website Data”.

iOS Tip 184 - Language Translater

Think of Siri like your personal translator, it’s super easy to use on iOS:

    1    Summon Siri on the iPhone or iPad by using a button press or Hey Siri voice command
    2    Tell Siri “Translate (phrase) into (language)”, where language is either Spanish, French, German, Italian, or Mandarin Chinese

Siri will instantly translate the phrase into the language specified. The translation is immediately spoken aloud, and also written out in text on the phone. Additionally, there is a little play button next to the translation to play the spoken translation again, so you can easily repeat the translated phrase too.

The key is to tell Siri specifically at the start of the command either to “translate” or ask “how do you say”, followed by the phrase and the language. If you simply tell Siri a phrase and then follow it up with “in (language)” it will not work properly. For example if Siri starts trying to search the web for something you asked, you didn’t make the right request, or Siri interpreted you wrong, or you’re speaking to it wrong.

Not all major languages are supported yet;  currently Siri only can translate between English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Mandarin Chinese.

Requirements for Siri translation is that the iPhone or iPad be running iOS 11 or later and has an active internet connection, either cellular or wi-fi.


iOS Tip 183 - Assistive Touch

AssistiveTouch floats a small menu on your display (which you can move about on the screen to wherever suits you) that allows you to carry out gestures such as pinching or multi-finger swipes with a single finger, offers quick access to a variety of functions, and even allows you to activate Siri without pressing the Home button.
There are three ways to activate AssistiveTouch:
    •    Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, then switch on AssistiveTouch
    •    Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and then activate AssistiveTouch
    •    Ask Siri: "Turn on AssistiveTouch"

iOS Tip 182: The New Control Center


 In iOS 11 the Control Center has been reduced from the two or three pages in iOS 10 to
 a single page in iOS 11.

AND you can now customize Control Center to a certain extent in Settings >
 Control Center > Customize Controls. Most notably, you can add a
 variety of Apple-provided controls.
Although you can remove a few default controls, others are fixed:
 the networking platter, the media platter, Orientation Lock, Do Not
 Disturb, Screen Mirroring, Brightness, and Volume.

iOS Tip 181 - Edit Screenshots

In iOS 11 there's been a change totakingsScreenshots.  If, like me, you take a lot of screenshots in iOS, then you will no doubt have seen the change in the way this works. Now when you take a screenshot, a preview appears in the lower left hand side of the display. You only need to click on it if you want to edit the screen capture, otherwise it will disappear after a few seconds.
Your screenshot still be saved to your camera roll as normal.