The new Maps app from Apple is awesome

For years now we have lived with Google maps. While is is a great app in itself with excellent search capabilities, the new maps from Apple is way better on several fronts.

The first thing you will notice is the beautiful skeuomorphic design of the navigation instructions. Since skeuomorphic design has become a mainstay of Apple’s apps, this may not be surprising in retrospect, but it is very satisfying all the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Definitely wait for the next iPhone (popularly known as iPhone 5)

I’m not sure if Apple will call it iPhone 5 this time. While softwares from Apple continue to maintain numbers, hardware seem to prefer names. So while, it may be called iPhone, for the purposes of this tip, lets just call it iPhone 5. This way we can avoid any confusion.

I had earlier recommended not waiting for the iPhone 5, and to just buy the 4S. That was in December 2011. Now it is June 2012. The iPhone 5 is not yet announced, but there are plenty of rumors going around. Based on what I see from iOS 6 announced earlier this week, and also based on their delivery date of fall 2012, I am positive that the next iPhone is coming out in the fall.

My recommendation: wait for iPhone 5. It will be definitely worth it.

Clock and time related commands for Siri

The magic of Siri is that you don’t have to know what to say. You don’t have to say specific commands. You can say what is natural and Siri will understand – to a large extent. Here are some things I said to Siri and she understood.

Set an alarm for 8:30 AM.

Set a timer for two minutes.

What is the time in London now?

Siri cannot work with the stopwatch, however.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shake the phone to undo typing and dictation

If you are a long time iPhone user, you probably already know that you can shake the phone to undo the last change you made.

Well, now with the introduction of Siri, you can do the same thing. With Siri this feature becomes much more useful, as Siri can make more mistakes than you usually do – some of the times.

If Siri did not get what you said, just shake the phone and choose Undo Dictation. If the phone does not show the choices when you shake after a dictation to Siri, just shake harder. It needs a little vigour.

This work on the iPad and iPod as well.

By the way, if Siri is taking too long to respond showing you the three dots changing colors, you have two choices. You can hit backspace to kill that command and try again. You also have the choice to continue typing while the dots try to complete your previous command in the background. You don’t have to wait for Siri to complete and respond to the previous command.

I want to delete my mail. Not archive it!

archive off delete on in gmail on iPhone

If you are an iPhone user who has gotten used to deleting unnecessary mail from your inbox when you are done with it, the change that came with iOS 4 may have been irritating. Especially when you don’t want to archive junk email.

When you check gmail, the delete button actually does an archive. To get rid of that behavior, and get the iPhone to actually delete the mail, here is what you can do. Read the rest of this entry »

The fastest way to split the iPad keyboard

You have all seen the famous demo of the iPad where Steve Jobs showed how the keyboard could be split. You had to touch the bottom right keypad on the keyboard and select “Split”. Yes, that was the first way the keyboard could be split.

On that menu you also have a command to “undock” the keyboard so that it can be moved to any position you like. When Steve Jobs demoed it, he showed the split keyboard moving so that you could hold it with your hand any where and type with your thumbs. But did you know that you can undock the full size keyboard and move it anywhere as well? Yes you can.

Coming back to the split, choosing from the menu is not the coolest way to split the keyboard! Read the rest of this entry »

4 easy steps to enable the battery charge meter on your iPhone

When you buy a new iPhone, if you don’t change any settings, the battery image on the status bar does not show how much charge is left in the battery. It only shows an image of the battery with an approximation of the remaining charge. This is less useful than an proper display that shows the actual percentage left correctly.

The good news is that is very simple to enable it, so that the remaining battery charge is displayed like in the above image. It will take less than a minute if you follow these four simple steps.

Read the rest of this entry »

Things You Can do on an iPad with an External Keyboard

You might think that since the soft keyboard on the iPad is almost as big as a real keyboard, you would not need an external keyboard. You would be right.

If you use an external keyboard, however, you will be able to do a few things that you cannot do on the onscreen keyboard.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to add an attachment to an existing email thread

I should probably not assume that you know how to add an attachment to a new email. But you probably know already. In case you did not, here is how to do it. Usually the attachment that you can send from the iPhone is a photo. There are also other apps that allow you to send their document (such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc).

In all these cases you can just touch the “share” icon and choose email from the resulting menu of choices. The document or photo will automatically jump into a new email message and be ready for your to enter the required fields to send it.

But there are situations where you want to do things differently. For example, you have an email thread already going where someone asks you for some additional information. You want to take a photo (or more than one photo) and send them in your reply to the thread. Or you want to send a document. The fact is, whatever you can copy, you can send in an email. If it is just text then it gets pasted. If it is not simple text, it gets attached. Here’s how to do it.

Read the rest of this entry »

iPhone Tips and Tricks

If you are looking for the state of the art tips and tricks to be efficient using your iPhone or iPad, this is the website to visit. It contains lots of tips organized into small blog posts. Several of the tips have supporting screen shots that clearly highlight the area of the screen that you need to focus on to get your work done. There are even short YouTube videos to make it even easier to know what to do quickly.

Read the rest of this entry »

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