15 (More) iPhone Tips & Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

Posted by Harshad

15 (More) iPhone Tips & Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

15 (More) iPhone Tips & Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 08:01 AM PDT

You should know by now that we love every shiny product that Apple brings into the market especially the iPhone. Although iOS6 had some let downs, the aluminum body of the iPhone 5 is undoubtedly still one of the best looking smartphones you can buy, with plenty of stylish accessories to keep it looking good.

(Image Source: onedigital)

However, we’re not talking about the iPhone’s looks today but rather what you can do faster on it. Here amassed are 20 (more) useful iPhone tips and tricks you might not know or heard about. You can easily learn these tricks and may even find yourself using them a lot to enhance your overall iPhone experience.

But first, here is a recap of our previously published iPhone tips/tricks compilation posts:

15 iPhone Tips

1. Save Battery Life (When It Is Running Low)

When your iPhone battery is running low, turning off the following settings can help make your iPhone last longer. With these off, you can still receive calls, SMS and even go online with EDGE connection.

  1. Settings > Wi-Fi > Off.
  2. Settings > Bluetooth > Off.
  3. Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Off.
  4. Settings > General > Cellular > Enable 3G > Off.
  5. Settings > General > Cellular > Enable LTE > Off.
  6. Settings > Sounds > Vibrate on Ring & Silent > Off.
  7. Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper > Auto-Brightness > Off.
  8. Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data > Off.

(Image Source: Dokisoft)

2. Stop The Music With A Timer

Do you like to listen to music when getting into bed for the night but often doze off without switching the iPhone off? You can use a timer to help you shut down the music. To do this, tap on Clock > Timer > When Timer Ends. Scroll down and tap Stop Playing. Then, set a timer (say 30 mins) and tap Start. Now you may play any music and it will be turned off after 30 mins.

3. Delete Last Digit in Calculator App

Entered a wrong digit in the Calculator app? Instead of tapping the Clear [C] button, you can just swipe your finger to the left or right of the numbers to clear the last digit. Each swipe will remove the last digit until the number becomes zero.

4. Set An Alphanumeric Passcode

Add an extra layer of protection to your iPhone with an alphanumeric passcode. To activate it, go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. Turn off Simple Passcode and you will be prompted to enter your alphanumeric password.

5. Use Headphone Cord to Take Photo

Shaky hands not getting you good photos? Well you can trigger a snapshot using the volume up or down buttons on your headphone.

(Image Source: bestiphoneaccessoriesreview)

6. Switch Shooting Directions in Panorama

Tap the arrow in Panorama mode to switch the shooting direction so you can take a panorama picture from left to right or right to left.

7. Find Word Or Phrase within a Web page

Searching for a word or phrase in a web page? In Safari, type in the word in the search bar on the top right and tap Search. In the results page, scroll all the way down and you will see how many words were found on the web pages. Tap on the searched word/phrase and you will be directed back to the web page with the searched word/phrase highlighted in yellow.

8. Undo Typing To Delete Typed Message

Hate getting carpal tunnel on your fingers from clearing your written SMS? Try this trick. Shake your iPhone and tap Undo Typing to delete your message. Changed your mind? Shake your iPhone again and tap on Redo Typing to retrieve your original message.

9. Type Emoji with Shortcuts

If you like to use Emoji in messaging but don’t like to switch the virtual keyboards repeatedly, try this trick to type Emoji with alphabets shortcuts.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > Emoji.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Shortcut…
  3. Insert a frequently used Emoji in Phrase.
  4. Insert a text in Shortcut which will be used to convert to Emoji.

10. Formatting Email Content

You can format your email content while writing it on your iPhone. Just highlight the text you want to format, then tap on the option arrow to look for the "BIU" button. Tap on it and select the format you want from Bold, Italics or Underline.

11. Generate Random Passwords with Siri

Yes, the voice assistant Siri can do more than what it offers in command lists, including generating random passwords for you. Just activate Siri and say “random password” and you’ll be provided an 8-alphanumeric-character password from Siri. You can even add the character length e.g. "random password 16 characters".

12. Filter Groups That Can Reach You

The ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature allows us to silence calls, alerts and notifications when the iPhone is locked. However there are important calls that we can’t afford to miss, for example, calls from Mom or your heavily pregnant wife. Here’s a tutorial to help important groups of people reach you even in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode.

13. Turn IPhone AssistiveTouch Icon On/Off Quickly

Many iPhone users have activated AssistiveTouch to alleviate the burden from the Home button. But it could be a little annoying since it is always on top of the screen. We’ve written a quicktip to guide you on how to turn the AssistiveTouch menu icon ON and OFF easily.

14. Send Multiple Photos At Once In Messages & Mail

Don’t like to add and send photos one by one in messaging or email? Try this trick. Here’s a guide on how you can send multiple photos at one go from your iPhone with just few simple taps.

15. Hide Unused Apple App Icons

We bet there are many stock apps that you do not need or use at all. The bad news is, you’re not allowed to delete them from your iPhone. The good news is, we have a trick to hide them, without having to jailbreak your iPhone.

Bonus: Another 4 More

Extract iPhone SMS & Read It On Your Computer

This tutorial teaches you how to backup your iPhone SMS data and read it through a browser on your computer. With that, you can also easily copy and paste your SMS data on your computer.

Disable Messages Preview

Here is a simple way to prevent others (see: annoying dad, mom, sister, brother, best friend) from accidentally reading your incoming SMS alerts when your iPhone is left unattended. Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages > Show Preview. Tap the option and turn it off to exclude a preview of the message in alerts and banners.

Turn Off Read Receipts in iMessage

iMessage is a cool way to send free text, photo, and video messages to friends who are using iOS 5 and above. Read receipts allow your friends to see whether you’ve viewed their message or not. But if you don’t want your friends notified of when you have read their messages, go to Settings > Messages > Send Read Receipts > Off.

Activate Text-To-Speech On iPhone

Activate the ‘Text-to-Speech’ function to let your iOS read out a highlighted article for you. It could be very useful if you want to learn the pronunciation of new words or just want to sit back and let your iPhone read out an article for you while you’re driving. Click here to read the full guide.

Activate Text-To-Speech On iPhone

Want More?

Here are more iPhone-related fixes, troubleshooting and customization tips you might want to check out:


35 Awesome IFTTT Recipes To Archive Your Social Media Data

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 06:01 AM PDT

If you’re an avid social media user, it’s always smart to have a backup of your data. Archiving your data is great in cases where a site shuts down, or your account is compromised or you want to close down your accounts. Having an ongoing archive however will fast become a really good idea, especially when something bad happens to your online accounts, and you can’t be sure if you can still retrieve the data that belongs to you.

Various tools help you backup your data from various several sites all at once, like SocialSafe and Backupify but if you’re only looking to archive only a site or two, then these may not be the best options for you. Plus, they don’t let you backup your data to your Cloud storage be it Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Evernote or Box.

But there is an alternative: IFTTT recipes.

IFTTT, In A Nutshell

If you’re unfamiliar with IFTTT, it’s an online automation tool that lets you create ‘recipes’ (Internet tasks) using triggers and actions. IFTTT stands for: If This, Then That. The best thing about the service is that you get to fill in what happens for ‘this’ and ‘that’ with a large variety of channels like Facebook, RSS, email, Pocket, Evernote, HootSuite, and more.

So without further ado, here are 35 awesome IFTTT recipes to archive your social media data.


Facebook to Google Spreadsheet

Archive your Facebook posts to Google Spreadsheet.



Facebook to Box

Archive your Facebook photo uploads to Box.



Facebook to Dropbox

Archive the photos you are tagged in on Facebook to Dropbox.



Facebook to Dropbox

Archive your uploaded Facebook photos to Dropbox.



Facebook to Evernote

Archive links that you share on Facebook to Evernote.




Twitter to Evernote

Archive tweets marked as a favorite to Evernote.



Twitter to Evernote

Archive all your tweets to Evernote (gets around policy changes) .



Twitter to Dropbox

Archive all your tweets to Dropbox.



Twitter to Instapaper

Archive tweets marked as ‘favorite’ to Instapaper.



Twitter to Pocket

Archive tweets marked as a favorite to Pocket.




Instagram to Evernote

Archive all your Instagram photos to Evernote.



Instagram to Dropbox

Archive all your Instagram photos to Dropbox.



Instagram to Dropbox

Archive your Instagram liked photos to Dropbox.



Instagram to Box

Archive all your Instagram photos to Box.



Instagram to SkyDrive

Archive all your Instagram photos to SkyDrive .




Foursquare to Google Calendar

Archive your Foursquare check-ins to Google Calendar.



Foursquare to Google Spreadsheet

Archive your Foursquare check-ins (maps included) to Google Spreadsheet.



Foursquare to Dropbox

Archive the photos you share on Foursquare to Dropbox.



Foursquare to SkyDrive

Archive your Foursquare check-ins to SkyDrive.



Foursquare to Box

Archive the photos you share on Foursquare to Box.




Flickr to Dropbox

Archive all your Flickr photos to Dropbox.



Flickr to Dropbox

Archive Flickr photos you mark as favorite to Dropbox.



Flickr to Evernote

Archive Flickr photos you mark as favorite to Evernote.



Flickr to SkyDrive

Archive all your Flickr photos to SkyDrive.



Flickr to Google Drive

Archive all your Flickr photos to Google Drive.




StumbleUpon to Evernote.

Archive your StumbleUpon likes to Evernote.



Pinterest to Dropbox

Archive your Pinterest photos to Dropbox.



Pinterest to Evernote

Archive an individual Pinterest board to Evernote.



YouTube to Dropbox

Archive your YouTube videos marked as favorite to Dropbox.



YouTube to Pocket

Archive YouTube videos marked as watch later to Pocket.



Tumblr to Evernote

Archive all your Tumblr posts to Evernote.



Tumblr to Dropbox

Archive just your Tumblr photo posts to Dropbox.



LinkedIn to Evernote

Archive your LinkedIn updates to Evernote.



LinkedIn to Google Spreadsheet

Archive your LinkedIn updates to Google Spreadsheet.



Google+ to Evernote

Archive your Google+ posts to Evernote.



And that’s that. Now, tell us: will you be using IFTTT recipes to archive your online data or would you prefer using backup tools?


Web Design: How to Convert CSS to Sass & SCSS

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 03:01 AM PDT

CSS is a really simple and straightforward language, but when it is getting too long – let’s say for a thousand of lines, it turns into a maintenance ‘nightmare’. Everything will be too complicated to maintain, and we will get lost with which style rules to keep up with or overwrite. For that reason, a CSS Pre-processor is created to make writing CSS programmable and more maintainable.

One that is popular among developers and designers is Sass, which we have covered previously in posts like:

If you have just made the swap from CSS to Sass, you might be thinking to convert your old CSS into Sass or SCSS. Well, if that is the case, you can use a third-party tool called css2sass.


This tool is simple and intuitive – I might not even have to tell you how to use it but, for demonstration purpose, we will run a few tests with the tool. First, given the following CSS codes:

 header .nav { margin-top: 100px; } header .nav li { margin-left: 10px; } header .nav li a { height: 30px; line-height: 10px; } 

We would like to convert it into Sass syntax, which is turned into:

 header .nav margin-top: 100px li margin-left: 10px a height: 30px line-height: 10px 

The style rules are now nested under preceding selectors using indentation to distinct the cascading level. If we convert it into SCSS syntax the cascade will be differentiated with curly brackets, just like in CSS.

The Same Style Rules

Let’s give it another try. This time, we have the following two selectors with the exact same style rules, and we will covert it into Sass syntax.

 .footer { color: #b3b3b3; background-color: #fafafa; } .copy { color: #b3b3b3; background-color: #fafafa; } 

The generated output is quite clever, this tool concatenate the selectors in a single line, and separate them using a comma, as follows.

 .footer, .copy color: #b3b3b3 background-color: #fafafa 

Although, this is not what I’ve actually expected. It would be better if the output was in Selector Inheritance, probably to be something like in the code below.

 .inherit1 color: #b3b3b3 background-color: #fafafa .footer @extend .inherit1 .copy @extend .inherit1 

Pseudo-class and Selector Combination

Lastly, we would like to try converting some style rules with :hover pseudo-class and the selector combination, as shown below.

 .button:hover { color: #ffffff; background-color: #bf813d; } .button.active { background-color: #986731; } 

The output is as expected. This tool nests the pseudo-class and the selector combination with & sign, like so.

 .button &:hover color: #ffffff background-color: #bf813d &.active background-color: #986731 

Room for Improvement

This tool has some limitations in recognizing our CSS cascading structure to convert them appropriately into Sass or SCSS syntax. But, there is certainly room for improvement.

I am not quite sure whether it is possible to integrate Compass to this conversion tool. It would be just great, if we were able to convert the following CSS3 @font-face rule:

 @font-face { font-family: "DroidSansRegular"; src: url("fonts/DroidSans-webfont.eot"); src: url("fonts/DroidSans-webfont.eot?#iefix") format("embedded-opentype"), url("fonts/DroidSans-webfont.woff") format("woff"), url("fonts/DroidSans-webfont.ttf") format("truetype"), url("fonts/DroidSans-webfont.svg#DroidSansRegular") format("svg"); font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; } 

…into Compass @font-face mixin, as follows

 @include font-face("DroidSansRegular", font-files("DroidSansRegular-webfont.ttf", "DroidSansRegular-webfont.otf", "DroidSansRegular-webfont.woff"), "DroidSansRegular-webfont.eot", normal); 

But, in general this tool is one of a many good places for those who are just getting started with Sass. Convert your old CSS and you will see how it is constructed in Sass or SCSS syntax.


How To Capture Jaw-Dropping 360-Degree Videos and Panoramas

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 12:48 AM PDT

With wearable gadgets like Google Glass and Memoto, taking firsthand videos or snapshots of what you are doing is real easy these days. But today we are going to show you a mind-boggling new way of taking videos, 360 degrees wide. Check out this video (if you want to skip to the gist, go to 0:35).

Like what you see? That’s what you see in a 360 degree horizontal view and 180 degree vertical view from a single point of reference. And to get this, you need GoPro cameras, some fancy software and a special camera holder, one from 360Heros.

1. GoPro Cameras

GoPro cameras offer HD view, are waterproof and can withstand wear and tear that is expected with extreme sports, making it the perfect camera for these activities.

While normally, the versatile GoPro camera is attached to the helmet or a part of the body, to get a high-def, almost cinematic view of the surroundings, the camera requires some help – a special camera holder and some fancy video-stitching software.

GoPro cameras

There are a few types of GoPro models but only 2 are compatible with the 360Heros camera stand – GoPro Hero2 and Hero3. As for Hero3, there are 3 different models: Hero3 White edition, Silver edition and Black edition.

GoPro Hero2

(Image Source: Outdoor Equipment Rentals)

The main difference between the models are their megapixels (MP) and low light image quality.

  • White Edition – 5 MP, Consumer grade. [$199.99]
  • Silver Edition – 11 MP, Prosumer grade. [$299.99]
  • Black Edition – 12 MP, Professional grade. [$399.99]

GoPro Hero3

2. 360Heros Plug-and-Play Holder

One GoPro camera can record a 170-degree view, which is basically from your far left, to your far right. With this 3D-printed 360Heros holder (available on Kickstarter), you can attach 6-7 cameras and operate them wirelessly to grab videos or shots.

plug-n-play holders

The holder positions the cameras strategically to capture images that can be compiled into a spherical view of 360 degrees horizontally (that’s a full turn) and 180 degrees (the view above you and below you).

360 degrees

The holder is made out of aircraft-grade 3D printed flexible nylon. Just slide in your GoPro camera and lock it in place, and start shooting. Backers on Kickstarter will receive their own holder around June 2013.

installing gopro

3. Video Stitching Software

To help you stitch your videos together and to produce a 360-degree video or panoramic view, you need a software for it. 360Heros has recommended three desktop software to help you stitch your videos:

  • PTGui – 360-degree videos [Personal License ($106) | Pro Personal License ($200)]
  • Kolor – build mp4 files and jpeg stills [Bundle Autopano 3.0 + Panotour 1.8 (€189.00)]
  • Video-Stitch – interactive videos [Beta (Free)]

360 Experience

Want to see what this alliance can produce? Check out the videos and panoramas that got the full treatment.

360Heros Scuba Edition


360Heros Hang Gliding Edition

hang gliding

360 Video Aerial Flight

Aerial flight

360 Video of Mount Hood

mount hood

360 Santa Claus Lane Parade

santa claus lane parade

360 Full Spherical Video Ride

bike ride



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