Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Problems updating iPhone to iOS 7.1.2: what to do?

There has been a steady stream of folks out there who have experienced problems updating their iPhone, iPad or iPod to iOS 7.1.2. Here's what you need to know before upgrading to the latest iOS maintenance update by Apple.

Most widely reported upgrade problems with iOS 7.1.2

Soon after the release of the new iOS version, iMore reported that the update may freeze before completing. However, the problem seemed to be easily solvable by a cold restart of the iPhone or iPad.

ios 7.1.2 maintenance update on iphone screen

On the other hand a more important issue has been occurring during update to 7.1.2. Both iPhone and iPad users saw their devices enter into Recovery Mode soon after initializing the update. The usual iTunes globe icon and a cable appear on the iPhone screen.

recovery mode on iphone

If this happens to you, be sure to follow this Apple troubleshooting guide on how to exit from the infamous Recovery Mode:

I'd also advise you to use iTunes when updating to iOS 7.1.2 rather than choosing the OTA (Over The Air) update provided directly from within your iPhone or iPad. Updating iOS via iTunes has shown in the past to be more stable than the OTA update.

itunes window showing ios update for iphone 5s

It goes without saying that making a complete backup of your iPhone or iPad via at least iTunes or iCloud before updating is crucial. Using multiple backup methods is the most certain way to prevent data loss in case something goes very wrong with your iOS update.

The importance of multiple iPhone backups

Backing up your iOS device is nothing new. However, did you know that you can create simultaneous backups with both iTunes and iCloud and in fact, this is the recommended way to go? Don't only rely on one backup method as you risk loosing iPhone data. In the event your iPhone enters into Recovery Mode during the iOS update process, you need to restore the iPhone from factory settings via iTunes. At that point you will lose any non-backed up data on your phone.

I'd also recommend backing up via third-party utilities as yet another alternative method of preventing data loss. Here's a number of ways to backup iPhone messages, photos, music, and apps via third-party utilities:

iphone backup methods before updating to ios 7.1.2

Don't overlook backing up your iPhone or iPad. Updating to iOS 7.1.2 has proved to be tricky.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Amazon launches Fire Phone

The first smartphone designed by Amazon is officially out in the wild. Amazon unveiled their new mobile device called Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle.

New addition to Amazon's mobile devices

The Fire Phone is the latest in a line of "Fire" tablets and streaming devices. Being out in the wild is one thing. Standing-out in an arguably saturated market dominated by Apple and Samsung is a whole different matter.

The Fire Phone naturally is intended to work with Amazon's various services and online commerce out of the box.

For example, at a press of a button, you can let the Fire Phone recognize a physical object such as a can of Coke, or a piece of art such as a song or a picture. Once the phone recognizes the object, you can directly look for and purchase it on Amazon.com. This unique feature is aptly called "Firefly" and frankly it reminds me of Shazam's big brother. :)

Fire Phone tech specs and prices

The Fire Phone features a 4.7 inch display, 2 GB of RAM memory and a quad-core 2.2 Ghz CPU. The camera takes shots of up to 13 megapixels. But wait, there's five cameras on the phone in total - 4 at the front that pick up on your head's movements, and 1 at the back!

Fire Phone runs on Amazon-modified Android operating system called "Fire OS".

Price-wise, the 32 GB version of the phone costs USD 199 or USD 299 for the 64-GB version exclusively at AT&T.

Amazon Fire Phone Hands On - YouTube video



Just as the rest of the major mobile technology giants, the Fire Phone is clearly trying to bring Amazon users into a company-regulated ecosystem.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flappy bird is back with a new season

Flappy bird developer Dong Nguyen announced that he'll be releasing a new version of his popular game in August. The new version will include multiplayer and would be less addictive.

Back in February Dong Nguyen pulled out the increasingly popular game from the App Store claiming that it’s been overused and arguably was too addictive.

We are left to wait and see what the new Flappy Bird will look like with the multiplayer mode and “less addictive” features.

In the meantime, if you have the original Flappy Bird still installed on your iPhone, you can transfer it to other iOS devices conserving the game scores via using this method:

The game developer also Tweeted that Flappy Bird clone currently found on the App Store called "Flappy Bird: New Season” is has nothing to do with him.

Apple has deemed to not authorize apps bearing the name “Flappy” for the moment. Is there a chance that they missed this one? In addition the “New Season” game is listed as developed by a person named Dong Nguyen…. We are left to see whether Apple takes action but for the moment you can download the unapologetic Flappy-Bird clone from the App Store:

Friday, May 9, 2014

iPhone lockscreen bypass by Siri on iOS 7.1.1

Did you know that in iOS 7.1.1, you can easily bypass the iPhone lockscreen and gain access to the address book, place calls and send text messages? Here’s how to try bypassing the lockscreen for yourself.

Test the Siri lockscreen bypass for yourself

1. Make sure the iPhone is running iOS 7.1.1 and press the Sleep/Wake button on top

2. Slide to unlock

3. Don’t enter the pass code but long-press the Home button until Siri comes up

4. You can now inquire for specific contacts in your address book, send messages or even call them

Until Apple fixes this, I’d advise you to disable Siri from the iPhone lockscreen. To do so, go to Settings > Passcode Lock and switch Siri under “Allow access when locked” to OFF.

Here’s a video of the Siri lockscreen vulnerability in action:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Backup custom cloud contacts to PC

Many people use a company, university or other custom cloud account (for example, hosted by ownCloud) to sync iPhone contacts and calendar events via the CardDAV or CalDAV protocols.

If you are looking to back up or extract such iPhone contacts and calendar events to your PC, follow the steps from the below demonstration.

Backing up contacts and calendars from custom CardDAV or CalDAV account

1. Download the following program on your computer

2. Start the program and connect your iPhone. Let the iPhone data load

3. Click on "More" (on the top right) then on “Cloud setup”

4. Now it’s time to connect your custom cloud account with the program in order to backup the contacts or calendars contained within the account. To do so, click “New connection” then click “Custom”

5. Enter the account username, password and server address as they appear on the account already set-up on your iPhone

Tip: You can find the account details such as the server address on the iPhone under Settings > Mail, Calendar, Contacts and then tapping on the respective cloud account you wish to connect

6. Ensure that the Contacts, Calendars and/or Reminders options are checked and then click “Add account” and exit from the “Cloud setup” window

7. Now that you connected your cloud account to the PC program, you can freely back up the contacts or calendars from the account to your computer. To back up the contacts, make sure you selected the Contacts icon from the pane on the left. Contacts synced via your custom cloud account will appear with a little globule icon to the right. Finally, click on the “Export selected” button.

You can do the same for calendars. Simply click on the Calendar icon on the left pane, select the cloud calendar and click “Export selected”.

This is the only way I know to backup custom cloud contacts and calendars synced via CardDAV or CalDAV to the computer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Transfer "On My iPhone" notes to iCloud

Ever synced your local iPhone or iPad notes to iCloud? If you did, you would’ve noticed that the local notes which already existed on the iPhone are kept local while the new noes you add to the iPhone are the ones added to your iCloud account.

So how can you transfer the iPhone notes which were kept locally on your iPhone and which appear under “On My iPhone” to iCloud?

icloud and on my iphone notes in ios 7

Transfer local iPhone notes to iCloud in one go

Here’s how to move your “On My iPhone” notes to iCloud.

1. iCloud will not push the local “On My iPhone” to your online account. Instead, you would need to use a CopyTrans Contacts, a PC program which transfer the notes to iCloud in one go. Download the program from the following link:

button transfer iphone local notes to icloud

2. Start the program on your PC and plug in the iPhone via the USB cable. Click on the Notes icon in the main program window on the left to access the local iPhone notes.

main program window in contacts view

3. You will see a list of the notes which are saved directly on your iPhone within the “On My iPhone” account

local iphone notes listed in main copytrans window

4. Now, connect your iCloud account with the program. To do so, go to the More button on the top right and select “Cloud setup”

connect cloud account

5. Click on “ + New connection” and then click “iCloud”

new connection icloud account in cloud setup window

6. Enter your Apple ID credentials, ensure that the checkmark next to Notes is active and click “Add account”. Finally, exit from the Cloud setup window

window allowing to enter icloud username and password

7. Any notes you have in the iCloud account will appear in the program’s main window at this stage. Notice the small cloud icon to the right of such notes

icloud notes appear listed in program window on pc

8. Now, select all local iPhone notes by ticking the box next to each one of them. Right-click on the selection and click “Move to… > iCloud account”

move on my iphone notes to my icloud account

9. The “On My iPhone” notes are all moved to your iCloud account.

all 6 notes have been moved successfully

This is the only way I know to transfer local iPhone notes to iCloud as regular sync will not do it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

How to Export iPhone contacts, notes and calendar to Outlook: without iTunes

While iTunes can help you sync iPhone contacts and calendar to Outlook on your PC, once you click on that Sync button, you don’t really know what happens next. It is not the first time you ended up with no music or fewer apps on the iPhone just because you wanted to transfer a couple of contacts to Outlook is it?

I’ll show you how to export iPhone contacts, notes, and calendar to Outlook on your PC without the need for iTunes.

itunes sync iphone contacts and notes with outlook

Transfer iPhone contacts, notes and calendar to Outlook

1. Get yourself a PC utility which is designed to read and transfer iPhone contacts, notes and calendar by clicking on the button below

button export iphone contacts notes calendar to outlook

2. Run the utility on your PC and connect the iPhone via the USB cable. You will see your iPhone contacts, notes, and calendar events appear in the window. The default view displays the iPhone contacts

copytrans window displays iphone contacts

To access notes, click on the Note icon on the left.

main copytrans window showing iphone notes

You can access the iPhone calendar by selecting the Calendar icon instead.

iphone calendar displayed on computer program

3. To export the iPhone contacts, notes or calendar events, simply select the contact, calendar, or notes view, select the data you want to export by checking the box next to each item and press the “Export selected” button on top

export selected iphone contacts, notes, or calendar to outlook

4. From the popup window which appears, select “Outlook (direct export to Outlook)”

outlook direct export to outlook button

5. In this case, I exported some 1,800 iPhone contacts, 3 iPhone notes, and 1 iPhone calendar to Outlook on my PC.

outlook showing iphone contacts and notes and calendar section

YouTube tutorial: Transfer iPhone calendar to Outlook

This is how with a few mouse clicks it is possible to export iPhone contacts, notes, and calendar to Outlook without the need for iTunes.