Younity Overview: Stream, Access, & Share All Your Files from your Computer on iOS

Younity Overview: Stream, Access, & Share All Your Files from your Computer on iOS

My thanks to the folks at Younity for making this video & content possible. Head over to their website for more information.

Younity is a free & easy to setup application that allows you to stream all of your files for easy access across your iOS devices (Android support is in the works). Stream your video/movies, photos, and documents from a Mac or PC & get access on your mobile device anytime & anywhere instantly. Best of all Younity is completely free & unlike other services there are no plans or restrictions. Unlimited storage & streaming of your files while still providing top notch security & convenience. No more having to store gigabytes of files locally on your iOS device when it can all be accessed via Younity.

Video Overview:

Setting Up Younity:

Younity requires an installation on your desktop to act as the server of your files. This can be a Mac running OS X or a Windows based PC. Install the Younity server software here. After the software is installed you’ll need to run through the settings in order to determine your files you’d like streamed via Younity.

The first thing to take note of is the location settings in Younity. This determines the files which will be streamed from your server to your respective devices. This can be your whole drive or specific folders such as photos, music, and movies. Additionally Younity has support for iPhoto/Photos or Lightroom libraries.

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The more files you have the longer the scan process will take. The next tab houses your settings, from here you can tweak certain options such as whether or not the app boots with your computer which I personally recommend that way you never have to worry whether or not Younity is running.

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The next step is to install Younity across your mobile devices in this case my iPhone. After signing in & registering your device you’ll now have access to your files via the simple app interface.

 

Younity Mobile App:

IMG_0528The app will showcase any current playing media alongside four categories music, videos, photos, and files (documents). For the most part the Younity app was able handle every file I threw at it. Be it .jpg, .mp4, .rtf & so on. However there are some restrictions like iTunes DRM based content can’t be played back, though that isn’t the fault of the app itself. The app did a great job of pulling in all the meta data related to files I streamed across. You can now view movies on the go that are hosted via your computer or listen to music from your iTunes library. Certain files like photos for example can be downloaded locally to your Younity app to help save load times. It goes a step further with extra features such as AirPlay support, ability to directly send photos from Younity to apps like Instagram. This is useful for taking those DSLR or other pictures from your desktop & easily uploading them via Instagram without having to manually transfer the photo over.

The app also features a search to make it easy to comb through your folder of files & a filter option to make it easy to find specific files such as ones you’ve downloaded locally, alphabetic order, and so on. The app’s settings allow for further customization & security enhancements such as the ability to set a pin code on the app itself for an extra layer of protection.

These are just some use cases of course. This is a solution that can come in handy be it for professional or personal usage. Another great aspect is the sharing feature. Sharing allows you to share certain files to friends easily & securely. All transfers are encrypted & your data is never viewed by Younity itself as they never store it, it’s all streamed. Shared files have an expiration time as well which help serve as a peace of mind.

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All in all Younity is a great solution to a lot of problems. Be it for saving storage space on your iPhone, having access to your files from anywhere in the world, the convenience of streaming your photo, video, or music library. Take your pick. One thing I want to also emphasize is the speed at which files are streamed while maintaining the quality, whether it was a picture or video. You get access to all your files at your fingertips & never have to worry about manually syncing anything you may need access to again. That’s where it came in handy for me personally. I always run into cases where I’m out & need access to a work document I forgot to sync somewhere or e-mail to myself. Younity eliminated that problem entirely as long as it’s in one of my designated location folders I don’t have to think twice about getting access to it.  Best of all there’s not much at stake, cost of entry is 100% free & there are no limitations as to how many files you can stream over or access. If your looking for a simple to setup but highly effective file streaming solution look no further then Younity.

 

iOS 9 Battery Saving Tips

iOS 9 Battery Saving Tips

Battery life nowadays is pretty decent. However for those who are constantly on their phone, tablet or iPod, your constantly seeking how to get more life out of your iDevice. iOS introduced a lot of new features so lets take a look at how you can tweak some settings to get more usage out of your iDevice throughout the day.

While no one tweak will magically save you loads of battery a combination of all together do amount to minutes or even hours of extra usage.

Video:

Brightness-

A common thing to adjust on your iDevice is screen brightness, with displays getting bigger & better our iDevices backlights can put a strain on our battery if constantly set to max level. Adjusting it manually allows you set it as you please depending on your environment additionally it may be worth turning off the “Auto-Brightness” setting within iOS settings as this constantly uses a sensor to detect lighting conditions.

Animations-

iOS 9 brings all sorts of animations some of which while you may prefer at a personal level can eat up battery quite a bit. Disabling or not constantly using such things like Dynamic wallpapers can make all the difference. Additionally digging into Setting-General-Accessibility-Reduce Motion & toggle that as you please.

Low Power Mode-

iOS 9 also brought a mode that pretty much toggles a lot of these settings for you whenever you need it. Low Power Mode is accessible via the Battery menu in your settings & toggles automatically things like Hey Siri, Mail Fetch, Background App Refresh, and more.

Side note while in the battery menu it’s worth noting the apps that are taking up a lot of your usage in the first place. Being aware of apps that constantly take up battery helps you avoid killing your device faster. Sometimes apps may even leak energy such as the recent Facebook app update that had to be pushed in order to fix such issues.

Disable Radios –

Another common thing but disabling any unused radios can really save you some battery life. Things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Cellular when not in use is highly useful in getting that extra juice out of your battery.

Hey Siri-

If you have the “Hey Siri” feature enabled this will constantly be listening for the phrase to trigger it. So if your not using it as often or currently then feel free to turn it off to save some battery life.

Location Services-

Last but not least is location services. Many apps & services nowadays use location services be it GPS or Wi-Fi to triangulate our location for certain features. You can manually decide which apps do this & iOS has improved in that some apps only track when your actually in the app itself & not running the background. However if you don’t use this at all & don’t like your location being tracked then disabling it is another radio that contributes to more use out of your device throughout the day.

 

Of course there are multiple other things you can do like invest in a battery pack accessory for your device or carry portable chargers. However these are some tips that require no extra investment rather a couple tweaks within your iOS.

The Case for the iPad Pro

The Case for the iPad Pro

Previously I published an article on what to expect at Apple’s “Hey Siri” event. Leaving off the iPad’s from said list. Until now rumor mills have been going back & forth whether or not we’d hear about iPad’s at the event. Some saying Apple had a bigger focus thus requiring the bigger space they rented in order to showcase multiple new products. While others argued that Apple would certainly have a secondary event solely for the iPad.

However more news has come to light that this will probably be Apple’s sole fall event. Thus bringing the iPad releases into said “Hey Siri” event for a big release alongside the new iPhone & Apple TV.

So what exactly can we expect for Apple’s famous tablet lineup.

iPad Pro:

The long awaited iPad pro is said to add power user like specs to the iPad line & bring a bigger screen size at 12 inches. The rest of leaked specs are as follows-

  • 2732×2048 resolution
  • A9 Processor w/2GB of Ram
  • Force Touch-Enabled Stylus
  • Stereo Speakers Top & Bottom

Thats right a stylus. While thats something we probably wouldn’t see years ago under Jobs with the addition of Force Touch technology a stylus could be a good addition to the tablet. However this is still up in the air as users are mostly fine with the finger precision.

As far as design goes the iPad Pro will share the looks of the previous two iPad models Air & Mini just harboring the faster hardware, screen size, & of course “Pro” tag.

iPad Mini 4:

Apple is also said to update the iPad Mini alongside the Pro release adding in a thinner design, better camera at 8 megapixels, and improved display (fully laminated). There’s still question as to whether the mini will receive the A9 update or the A8X CPU to coincide with the rollout of iOS 9.

iPads have no doubt been in a league of their own for quite awhile. It’s Apples product where we haven’t quite seen true competitors to it’s design, ease of use, and app support. The Pro isn’t for the everyday user rather the power user. Those who want more out of the iPad & to truly replace that of a laptop, as if that can’t be done already. Pro model would be a perfect fit for iOS 9 & the new series of games/apps that’ll be released with it. Also finally rounding up their tablet line from Mini, Air, to Pro (or whatever they call it).

Stay tuned for more coverage following the event.

How to Get Apple Music on iOS, OS X and Windows

How to Get Apple Music on iOS, OS X and Windows

Apple Music makes its big debut today on 3 main platforms iOS, OS X, and Windows. This signifies Apple’s official move into the music streaming business since its acquired Beats. The streaming service will offer a 3-month free trial & proceed to cost $10 a month following the trial. The highly talked about service will feature millions of songs in its library & focus on some other aspects such as radio through Beats One, Connecting fans & artists, and music curation.

All that said how do you go about getting Apple Music on your specific platform?

Android/Windows Phone:

Currently Apple’s rollout of the music service will be delayed till an unannounced date for said platforms. So you’ll have to hang tight if you want to try it out.

iOS:

For all iOS users be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad its as simple as an iOS update. Going into your Settings, General, and Software Update will prompt for an iOS 8.4 update that will be required to get the all new Apple Music app. After updating you’ll be presented with the new stock app that will allow you to sign up via your Apple ID or if your a previous Beats Music subscriber you can simply login through there importing all music, playlists, and so on.

OS X/Windows:

Mac users will have to run the update via iTunes to get access to the service. Specifically iTunes 12.2. At the time of launch iTunes servers are all over the place preventing many from updating. Be patient as Apple sorts out the update & pushes it across to all OS X users. The same can be said for Windows users, you’ll need to have iTunes on your PC & update it to the latest version once the server situation is sorted in order to get access to Apple Music.

Read more about my thoughts on the Apple Music service here & enjoy then newest player in the streaming game. With a 3-month free trial you’ll surely be able to test it out to see if it’ll take place as your new go to streaming platform & or replace services such as Spotify or Tidal.

Review: Phone Clean Pro

Review: Phone Clean Pro

Disclaimer: I’ve worked with iMobie in the past to provide giveaways of other software they also develop. However this review/post is in no way associated with iMobie. This software was purchased personally.

Phone Clean Pro is a utility provided by iMobie that allows you to clear up space on your iOS device be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad. By scanning for common junk files & temporary data allowing you to reclaim space on your drive. The major problem being it deletes data you don’t tell it to. Here’s my review & experience on why you should not buy Phone Clean Pro.

Video Review:

What it’s supposed to do:

So what does Phone Clean Pro actually do. The trial version offers a free scan feature while you’ll the pro to actually delete content.

You can scan, use the tools packed into the app, and restore iTunes backups of your iOS device (thankfully). Phone Clean Pro is meant to save a ton of space by deleting files from your device easily & all in one place. There are some tools packed in as well that allow you to optimize performance for both native & jailbroken iOS devices. Scan wise you have quick & deep option. Each scanning mode describes what you can specify for deletion and after the scan is complete you can then clean up your device…or so you think.

Note: Phone Clean Pro does backup your data before any deep cleaning

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What it did:

All of this is well & great however as mentioned above the big flaw here is a countless number of users have experienced deletion of files that you do not even specify. In my own testing I had it delete over 1,300+ photos & some videos from my camera roll. So it achieved its goal of freeing up space…just not the data I told it to delete. Luckily I keep constant backups of my data & had a restore point that I could jump to but still for an app that’s main feature is cleaning & deleting data you’d think it would get that part right.

I thought maybe just maybe I had a bad scan or something got corrupted. Nope, further research showed all sorts of people having similar issues. iMobie had the same robotic response to their Facebook feedback.

 

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Now the above images are just a sample of what I found from some very upset customers & rightfully so. The whole “rare” issue problem doesn’t seem to be so rare. The app clearly has been deleting key files for users without any permission whatsoever. Now I’m sure once in a blue moon it actually deletes only the data you set but the likely chance of it also deleting private data of yours without any acknowledgment to the user is a big sign to steer clear from this app.

Mind you in my own experience the app had deleted my data on my very first deep clean. My apps, messages, and other parts of iOS remained untouched however again my camera roll was completely wiped & while I could restore the data I had issues with albums, corrupted photos, and other issues. So to say I restored everything to 100% would be a lie.

What to do if your data was deleted:

While I can’t give you a definitive answer that’ll help everyone out there, here are some options. Try using iTunes to restore from a previous backup that PhoneClean made or you have made recently with your iOS device. This is usually the best course of action & can help salvage the deleted data. If you don’t keep regular backups & had no iTunes restore points you can try to invest in other software that restores iPhone lost data. Keep in mind iMobie also ironically offers this software, that choice is entirely yours. You may want to steer clear entirely & use other software.

You can also use software such as iExplorer to find old iTunes backups & manually comb through them to gain the data you want. For example grab just photos that were deleted & then sync them back to your iOS device.

Conclusion/Rating:

In a way this has been one of the easiest reviews to write in that I simply reccomend to all my audience & those who stumbled upon this wondering if it’s worth the paid edition the answer is simply no. This is a big fat DO NOT BUY warning post. Normally if I have any negative thoughts I don’t expand much further than that, however when my word can help others in wasting money & investing in tools that don’t work I’ll gladly take the time, risk, and money. There’s no use in me breaking it down pro/con style when the main feature & aspect of the app isn’t even working.

Rating: DO NOT BUY (Two Thumbs Down)

I’ve used iMobie products in the past with success & even hosted a giveaway with them. I think they make some decent mobile tools for iOS. However this is one of their products I can’t recommend to any of you who may read this. Save your money & spend it elsewhere or at that rate look for another solution or just stick to manually wiping data off & reading that usage menu to see what’s taking up the most space.