iOS 9 To Get Night Shift Feature

iOS 9 To Get Night Shift Feature

Apple released a preview of iOS 9.3 today outlining some of the new features. One of them being what they call “Night Shift” mode. This is similar to the popular tool known as F.lux for mobile & desktop users. F.lux adjusts screen color to allow for a warmer tone & easier on the eyes experience. For those who use their computers for prolong uses of time should definitely check out the tool. Recently F.lux was made available to iOS users through a xcode workaround. However now Apple is implementing their own solution right into their OS.

As their preview page describes the feature:

Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings. Pleasant dreams.

Soon enough we’ll see this pushed out to iOS after developers & users have had time to test it & Apple irons out any bugs. Given the amount we use our devices nowadays in some cases more than our computers this is a very welcomed feature.

You can read more about iOS 9.3 beta features here.

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.

 

Samsung Agrees to Pay $548 million to Apple Over Patent Infringement

Samsung Agrees to Pay $548 million to Apple Over Patent Infringement

It’s been 5 years since Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung over patent infringements. As in typical corporation lawsuit fashion it was dragged out over the years.

Samsung has recently agreed to pay the $548 million damage claim fee. While it’s a big amount by any means it’s a significant cut from the previous $2+ billion dollar request. However here comes the catch, Samsung reserves the right to be reimbursed in full if the court appeals the decision. Though Apple disputes their dispute, which surely will drag this out longer.

The lawsuit began over Apple’s claim that Samsung had infringed on multiple patents from tap-to-zoom & other gestures that the iPhone/Apple held. Samsung has come out saying that they’ll pay in full if Apple invoices them before December 14th, 2015. Side note but I’d like to be the one to either prepare & or see an invoice of that amount.

As with most of these cases we’ll see appeals from both sides & a back & forth battle. Samsung already has requested for a Supreme Court review in the upcoming summer. However until then Apple has a pretty big check heading their way.

 

iPhone Becomes Flickr Users Most Used Camera

iPhone Becomes Flickr Users Most Used Camera

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Flickr used to be one the premier photo sharing sites & back in the day was dominated with mostly DSLR quality photos. However in recent years that has shifted drastically. Flickr’s 2015 year in review showcased that iPhone has become the most used camera at 42%. Overtaking Cannon & Nikon cameras.

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The infographic showcases a lot of useful information about Flickr’s site & user base. However these stats really show the shift towards mobile photography. Almost every smartphone nowadays features a high quality camera & software to match. That in combination with photo editing & sharing apps have added on to the mobile photo revolution.

Personally my T4i has found a permanent spot in my office mainly for videos but even that has been surpassed nearly by my 6S Plus. Theres still of course time & place for the DSLR, it has far more superior quality & level of control however for easy & convenient photos the mobile phone is definitely the #1 solution thus far.

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.