A Free App to Help You Be Less Angry at Maps in iOS 6
Alright. Admittedly there are worse things in life, but I was pretty bummed when I updated to iOS 6, only to see that Maps defers transit directions to third-party apps. Fortunately, I already use two fantastic apps for taking public transportation around the San Francisco Bay Area, but I'm aware that really won't help you out, dear reader, if you're not currently residing where I do.
Until Apple fixes its iOS 6 transit and walking directions, you owe it to yourself to know where you're going and how to get there. Try HopStop. It contains transit information for a multitude of cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. When you first launch the app, it asks you to select your default city, and from there it will take you to a Directions page where you can choose your start location and final destination. As you travel around, you can change the "default" city directly from the homepage with a literal click of a button, which also helps when you're looking for transit options outside of your area (useful if you're looking to, say, take the Amtrak from the northen part of your state to the south).
HopStop also enables you to select the types of transportation you'd prefer, how many connections you'd like to make, and whether it should include bicycle, walking, or taxi directions. The app also includes heavily detailed maps, and a readily available transit maps for several major cities, including the New York MTA, Chicago's CTA, London's Underground, and the Bay Area's own BART.
To keep it free, HopStop is ad supported, though fortunately the ads aren't intrusive.
Download HopStop for iPhone. [iTunes link]
09-21-2012 05:55 PM
50 Tips and Tricks for iOS 6
With iOS 6 -- out today! -- Apple added a lot of useful features to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. From Passbook, to the new Maps app, to capturing panoramas in the revamped Camera app. Apple has brought a lot of fit and finish to iOS 6, and we'll show you how to get the most out of these new features.
As a reminder, iOS 6 is a free download, compatible with the new iPad and iPad 2, the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS, and the fourth-gen iPod touch. (iPhone 5 and the fifth-gen iPod touch will ship with iOS 6 already installed.) Not every iOS 6 feature works with every device -- we'll get more specific below.
50 TIPS HERE
How To Fix iOS 6 Maps [Feature]
A lot has been written over the last day or so about the crappy maps in iOS 6, and the fact that Apple’s new data engine doesn’t live up to its pretty new map tiles and spectacular flyover feature.
My, though, aren’t these new maps purty?
Read the full story here
Open Safari Links in the Background on iPhone & iPod Touch
Safari on iPhone and iPod touch can be set to open new links in the background, a behavior that closely represents opening links in new tabs on the desktop or iPad. This lets you continue to browse the current web page while opening the link in question, rather than switching from the current web page to the newly opened link. Here’s how to change the link opening behavior in Safari on iPhone and iPod touch: Open “Settings” and tap on “Safari” Look for and tap on “Open Links” and change from “In New Page” to “In Background” Now with the feature enabled here’s how to use it: Launch Safari to any webpage with links Tap and hold any link to summon the familiar Open menu, and select “Open in Background” to create a new background window with that link Browse the main page as usual, access the opened link by tapping the Safari pages indicator in the corner This is perfect to use when you’re in the middle of reading a web page and see an interesting link that you want to read next without losing your place, though it can easily lead to endless Wikipedia wandering, and it’s also great if you’re downloading images and wallpapers to iOS .
Check Mail in iOS 6 with a Pull-to-Refresh Gesture
Mail generally automatically checks itself when launched, or every some-odd amount of minutes based on your Push and Fetch settings. From iOS 6 onward the familiar circle “Refresh” button is gone from the lower left corner though, but that doesn’t mean you can’t forcibly check mail yourself when you want to.
To immediately check for new mail right away just tap and hold on any message from the top of the inbox and pull down and then release. You’ll see a little rubber-band style followed by the spinning progress indicator as Mail pings the server to check for new messages. The gesture works the same on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
This popular “pull to refresh” gesture was famously introduced (and patented) by Twitter in their iPhone and iPad apps, and now it’s getting wider use across iOS in other apps too. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually much quicker since there is no precision touch point required and can be activated from anywhere. Now, if only Safari would adopt the same feature…
Go Full Screen with Safari on iPhone & iPod touch to See More While Browsing the Web
One of the many subtle additions in the iOS 6 update is the new ability to go into Full Screen Mode with Safari on iPhone and iPod touch. With just a tap you can boost the viewable size of web pages while you’re in landscape (horizontal) orientation, making the most of web browsing on the smaller screens:
Open any website in Safari on iPhone or iPod touch, and tilt the device into landscape orientation
Tap the little opposite arrow icons in the lower right corner to enter into full screen view
The area visible on web pages is increased dramatically, making reading and browsing on the smaller screened iPhone and iPod much more pleasant. To escape out of full screen mode in Safari, either re-orientate the device vertical (portrait) or just tap the arrow buttons again in the corner to go back to the normal Safari view.
For Mac users, you’ll find Safari’s full screen mode is a lot like taking apps full screen in OS X Lion onward, which can be a great way to maximize the screen real estate on portable Macs with limited screen space. It makes perfect sense to bring such a feature to the iOS world, but curiously this great feature is unavailable on the iPad, perhaps a future iOS update will add it there too.
Enable “Kid Mode” on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with Guided Access in iOS
The iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone make excellent toys and learning tools for kids, but if you’ve seen a youngin’ with an iOS device you know it’s only a matter of time before the inquisitive mind of a child escapes the current application and ends up elsewhere. That inevitable sequence can be stopped in its tracks thanks to Guided Access, a great new feature brought to iOS in 6.0 that basically functions as “Kid Mode”, whereby any iOS device can be locked into an application with the hardware buttons disabled. This is one of those must-have features for teachers and parents, and using it is easy.
Enabling “Kid Mode” in iOS with Guided Access
As mentioned already, you will need iOS 6 or later to have this feature.
Open “Settings” and tap on “General”
Navigate to “Accessibility” and under the Learning section tap on “Guided Access”
Flip the switch to ON, then tap “Set Passcode” to set a password you’ll use to escape out of Guided Access mode
Choose whether or not to Enable Screen Sleep, turning it ON will help sustain battery life when the iPad, iPod, or iPhone is left inactive
Now that Guided Access is configured, you can use it to lock the iOS device into any app you want.
Using Guided Access to Lock Into an App
Launch any app as usual, then triple-click the Home button to summon the Accessibility menu
Tap “Guided Access” from the menu
Set the Guided Access rules and swipe areas on the thumbnailed screen to disable certain areas of the screen, choose whether touch input is on or off, and whether motion works
Tap “Next” to enter Guided Access mode
The iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch is now effectively locked into the current application, and pressing the Home button will no longer leave the app. Sooner or later you’ll surely want to escape out of this mode though, but only those with the passcode set earlier can do so.
Escaping Guided Access in iOS
Triple-click the Home button and enter the passcode chosen during setup of Guided Access to unlock the device
You’ll now be back to the usual behavior of iOS.
If you’d like to turn off Guided Access completely, just go back to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access > and flip the setting to OFF. You’ll need to enter the passcode again to do so.
Open Apps with Siri on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Siri now lets you launch applications by just speaking a simple command to the iPhone, iPod, or iPad. This is a great feature for a variety of obvious reasons, and using it is simple:
Hold down the Home button to summon Siri, then say “Open [App Name]” or “Launch [App Name]“
Sometimes you can just say the app name as well, but that doesn’t always work. Nonetheless, with the “Launch” or “Open” prefix, apps will immediately launch and become the forefront app. You can even launch apps from the lock screen with Siri, though if you use a passcode you’ll have to enter it before the apps open.
The only real requirement here is that your device has iOS 6 installed and it’s compatible with Siri support, which means iPad 3, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch 5th gen, and obviously devices launched thereafter.
This should be a particularly useful tip for anyone who drives in a region with strict laws around cell phone usage, since you can now go directly to apps without fiddling around with the phone much at all. That means launching long-drive and commute redemption streaming apps like Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify can be done instantly while you’re focus remains on the road.
How to Mark eMail as Unread in iOS 6
One of the many subtle changes to iOS 6 is how marking emails works in the Mail app. While there used to be a very obvious “Mark as Unread” option sitting atop each open email, that action has been moved to a new flag menu that rests in the toolbar of messages. If you’re confused by the change, here is how to mark emails as unread:
Open a Mail message and tap the flag icon in the lower left corner
Tap “Mark as Unread” from the popup menu
Of course this works the same on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later.
Once you get used to it, the change is for the better since the toolbar stays visible all the time, whereas before you had to navigate back to the top of an email to mark it as unread. Nonetheless, the minor change has caused a fair amount of confusion, and a lot of people seem to rely on this in order to later address emails that are important. I know I use the feature constantly for that purpose as a way to filter out the email onslaught from what matters and what doesn’t, and if I’m surrounded by people who couldn’t find Mark as Unread than certainly others are in the same shoes too.
Currently there does not appear to be way of marking multiple messages as unread, though a group of mails can be marked read just the same as before.
App Store Slow in iOS 6? Here’s How to Fix the Sluggishness
Other than the Maps issues, the App Store in iOS 6 is probably the next most talked about change of the latest iOS system software. Though it’s undoubtedly a better user experience in a lot of ways, one area that really suffers is speed, and a lot of users are experiencing very sluggish behavior in the App Store whether it’s lag while trying to navigate around apps, browse the Top Charts, or just review and download from their purchase history. Most frustratingly, the App Store slowness can even impact the newest iOS devices, including the iPhone 5 and iPad 3rd gen.
Some people are blaming HTML5 and the heavy eyecandy and animations, but strangely, the sluggishness seems to come and go at random, and we think we’ve finally discovered the reason. Here’s how to fix it:
Open Settings, tap on “Privacy”, then tap on “Location Services”
Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find and tap on “System Services”
Look for “Genius for Apps” and flip the switch to OFF
For iOS 6 devices that have experienced the slow App Store problems, that “Genius for Apps” setting almost always has a grey or purple icon next to it, indicating that it’s been using location services recently. Turning this feature OFF seems to end the random speed issues of the App Store completely, presumably because the Genius feature is no longer doing whatever it does in the background while you navigate and use the store.
With App Genius off, double-tap the Home button, then tap and hold on the App Store icon to quit it. Relaunch App Store, and everything should be much faster again.
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