Your iPhone can alert you to text messages and calls in a rather clever way — by flashing your iPhone LED flash.
If you’re in a scenario when your phone to be set to silent, or you’re just trying to practice good phone etiquette, this is an ideal way to visually see when a message comes through without any noise.
Change your Settings
- First, head to your iPhone’s “Settings” menu, then scroll down to select the “General” option.
- From the “General” menu, go into your “Accessibility” submenu.
Enable LED alerts
- Now, scroll down and look for the section entitled “Hearing.” The LED flash setting is part of Apple’s suite of tools to help the hearing impaired.
- Toggle the “LED Flash for Alerts” to on, so you see a green oblong under the virtual button.
Now, when your phone’s screen is locked and you get an SMS, MMS or phone call, your iPhone’s flash will go off several times to alert you.
Keep in mind this will adversely affect your iPhone’s battery life.
To turn the functionality off, just toggle the “LED Flash for Alerts” option back to off.
Attention iPhone and iPad owners: now is a great time to make sure your software is up to date.
Apple has released iOS 9.3.4, which includes “an important security update” that the company says all iOS users should get.
The update addresses a “memory corruption issue” and patches the Pangu jailbreak, according to Apple’s website.
If your device hasn’t prompted you to install the update already, you can find it in the main settings app under General —> Software Update.
Apple today released iOS 9.3.3 to the public, marking the third minor update to iOS 9 since iOS 9.3 launched in March of 2016. In testing since May 23, there were five betas of iOS 9.3.3 released to developers and public beta testers ahead of the public release of the software.
Today’s iOS 9.3.3 release is available as an over-the-air update for all iOS 9 users and it can also be downloaded through iTunes.
As a small update, iOS 9.3.3 focuses mainly on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes rather than outward-facing changes.
iOS 9.3.3 is the ninth update to the iOS 9 operating system. iOS 9 will be followed by iOS 10, which has already been provided to developers.
iOS 10 brings a host of new features, including a revamped Lock screen experience, an overhauled Messages app with new functionality and its own App Store, a new Photos app with object and facial recognition, a redesigned Music app, a centralized HomeKit app, and a Siri SDK for developers.
Know Fast for iPhone delivers short (less than four-minutes), informative videos to you each day, in categories you choose. It’s a great way to spend a few minutes learning something new and interesting in a field you’re interested in, or just to expand your horizons a bit.
The app itself is fairly simple. Once installed, select categories that interest you, like technology, science, finance, cooking, culture, history, DIY, and more—then watch a short video from one of those categories. Rate it, so the app can deliver better ones to you in the future, share it with your friends if you like, and then sit back and wait for a fresh video to be delivered to you tomorrow.
If it seems a little slower than, say, going to YouTube and binging on all of the DIY videos, it’s intentional—the goal is to give you a quick way to learn something interesting in a short period of time between other things, so it’s easier to make room for it. The videos are also hand-picked, too, so you get good ones (even better if you help rate them.) It’s a quick, simple way to explore a new field, or just make your commute home or idle time more interesting—and educational. The app is free, and available now.
Know Fast (Free) | iTunes App Store via Know Fast
Apple announced the second major update to iOS 9 since its September launch. iOS 9.2 features a number of bug fixes as well as updates to Apple Music, iBooks, Podcasts and News.
Rather than just relying on algorithmic sorting, as it had done previously, Apple is now going to use human editors to curate a top list of news stories it thinks you’ll want to see each morning and afternoon. The about-face is an interesting one, and should add additional value to a native app that I’m quite fond of already.
Aside from the bug fixes, which are much-needed, the coolest feature update in my opinion is a tweak in the way Safari View Controller handles third-party apps.
The update allows integration with third-party applications so that you have access to LastPass or other applications from within the View Controller window of non-Apple apps, like Narwhal, the popular Reddit app for iOS.
Additionally, iBooks gets 3D Touch support and other native apps, such as Music and Podcasts get minor updates to improve functionality.
Apple has quietly released a new iOS app that allows users to map out the interior spaces of a building using just an iPhone.
While the apps doesn’t show up in search within the App Store, you can grab it using this direct link, first spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. The app’s description reads:
“By dropping ‘points’ on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware.”
Apple bought the start-up wifiSLAM two years ago, and with it the company’s ability to analyze and track RF signals from Wi-Fi access points to maps and determine a user’s location. It seems like at least some of that expertise has crept into Indoor Survey.
Apple’s been experimenting with a series of indoor positioning technologies over the past few years, testing its iBeacons in retail stores and inviting retailers to to submit indoor maps of large, successful stores for use in Apple Maps. Using Indoor Survey to crowdsource indoor maps may finally make them a more common addition to the world of digital navigation.
Facebook’s newest iOS update, released yesterday, fixes a major battery draining bug that some Facebook users have been experiencing in recent weeks. Affected users were seeing large amounts of battery drain on their iPhones due to Facebook running in the background, something that happened even when background app refresh was toggled off in the Settings app.
While the latest Facebook app release notes don’t include a reference to the issue, Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant wrote a post explaining the issues behind the battery drain and what Facebook has done to fix it. According to Grant, there were several factors that contributed to the problem, including a “CPU spin” in the network code and silent background audio sessions that kept the app awake even when it wasn’t open.
The first issue we found was a “CPU spin” in our network code. A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination. This repeated processing causes our app to use more battery than intended. The version released today has some improvements that should start making this better.
The second issue is with how we manage audio sessions. If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently. This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing. The app isn’t actually doing anything while awake in the background, but it does use more battery simply by being awake. Our fixes will solve this audio issue and remove background audio completely.