iOS 8.1.3 Arrives, With Lighter Storage Requirements For Updates And Spotlight Fix


iOS 8.1.3 Arrives, With Lighter Storage Requirements For Updates And Spotlight Fix | TechCrunch

Apple has issued iOS 8.1.3, and update for its mobile devices that fixes a number of bugs, and makes it so that iOS requires less free storage space on your hardware (this update itself comes in at 247 MB) to actually perform an update. Especially with iOS 8’s launch, users without much free space on their device had difficulty updating because of the size of the software download itself. Other fixes include zapping a bug that prevented app results from showing up in Spotlight search, an issue which seemed to be affecting many users on the last version of iOS.

Switch to the iPhone – For the Camera Alone


Switch to iPhone: For a better everyday camera! | iMore

The iPhone 6’s rear-facing iSight camera is 8 megapixels. Some might argue that more would be better; we saw the megapixel race in point-and-shoot cameras, however, and we know how senseless it is. Megapixels represent quantity, not quality. To get more megapixels, manufacturers carve the image sensor up into smaller pixels that take in less light. That typically results in larger photos of poorer quality. That’s why Apple made the choice not to go for more pixels, but for bigger pixels — 1.5 microns at f/2.2. Because they’re larger, they take in more light and result in better-quality photos.
If you really want to shoot images sized for posters or billboards, or want to take advantage of significant downsampling, it’s okay to look for megapixels. If you want truly great photos, however, you’ll need to look beyond them.

Great snippet from Rene Ritchie explaining the myth around megapixels. Quality over quantity.

Create PDFs from emails on iOS


Quick Tip: Create PDFs from emails on iOS – The Sweet Setup

The task that I’d like to do most is convert an e-mail into a PDF so that I can send them into Evernote. These will typically be receipts that I need to save for tax purposes. While Dispatch can do this natively, cannot.
Thankfully, a third-party service has stepped in to make this a possibility. PDF is a free service that allows you to forward emails to a special email address, and it will return a PDF copy of that email in return. There is no account to sign up for — just forward an email to and wait for the return email.

Great tip from Bradley. I use this all the time – extremely useful for my workflow.

The Demise of Google Glass


Ron Miller from TechCrunch on the Apparent Demise of Google Glass from his own First Hand Experience of using it;

I found it uncomfortable looking up to see that small screen. What’s more, the operating system consisted of a carousel interface. You could move up and and down and side to side within that interface, but your email, texts, tweets, whatever you were reading was on cards and you cycled through them by touching the side of the device. I found this awkward and I imagined that over time as more tools developed, the carousel itself would become overcrowded.
You could also use your voice, “OK Glass.” But I pictured people in the checkout lines at supermarkets all, muttering commands to their wearables. It didn’t seem like a plausible way of interacting with a computer in public on a regular basis.

As it turned out, I wasn’t going to spend $1500 on an item I didn’t enjoy using. I found myself having to force myself to use Glass because I simply didn’t like it.

Interesting though that Google have put Nest designer Tony Fadell on it to try and take the idea in another direction. We might not have heard the last of it after all.

If UK’s Prime Minister has his way, Apple will stop encrypting iMessage and Facetime


If UK’s Prime Minister has his way, Apple will stop encrypting iMessage and Facetime | Cult of Mac:

One of the great things about iMessage and Facetime is that it encrypts your messages automatically, making it very, very difficult for hackers to spy on the messages you send.
But guess what? If UK Prime Minister David Cameron gets his way, iMessage and Facetime encryption might soon be a thing of the past.

The Independent reports that Cameron says that if he wins the next election and is re-elected Prime Minister, part of his plan is to make it illegal for anyone to send encrypted messages.

The Prime Minister said today that he would stop the use of methods of communication that cannot be read by the security services even if they have a warrant. But that could include popular chat and social apps that encrypt their data, such as WhatsApp.

Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime also encrypt their data, and could fall under the ban along with other encrypted chat apps like Telegram.

These moves are being made in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

This won’t happen. Too many obstacles will have to be overcome to enable this – Mr. Cameron is offering a faint election promise in light of recent events to appear proactive – something he is arguably not the best at.

Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors


Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors | TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004:

Belkin’s iOS-friendly WeMo home automation line took another big step forward today with the announcement at CES in Las Vegas of a new line of sensors. For those who want to create a subscription-free security system, the new devices are just what the doctor ordered. The sensors are battery-powered with a one-year battery life, perfect for easy installation by anyone. Pricing at this time is undetermined, and Belkin says that the new products will arrive in the second half of 2015.
First up is the WeMo Door and Window Sensor, which is a magnetic contact switch used to determine if a door is opened or closed. This is perfect for making sure that doors and windows are closed when leaving the house, or for setting up rules to automate other processes when a door or window is opened or closed. Need to find out if a specific window or door is open or closed? Just use the free WeMo app to find out.

Next is the WeMo Keychain Sensor, a keychain fob that tells the system when someone arrives at or leaves a home. A button on the sensor can be set up to control any other WeMo device when pressed – perfect if you’ve set up a WeMo Maker Switch to open your garage door.

The WeMo Alarm Sensor is designed to listen for other battery-powered alarms – smoke or fire sensors, CO monitors, water leak detectors – and then notify you via the app, notifications, or text alerts when those devices are beeping. With the proper alarms, the sensor, and the WeMo app, homeowners can contact emergency responders or neighbors immediately in case of fires or leaks.

A popular device for home security system is a room motion sensor using infrared heat signatures to detect human movement in a room. The WeMo Room Motion Sensor is immune to pets, designed to reduce the possibility of false alarms, and can be set to work with other WeMo devices when motion is detected.

Finally, the WeMo Water with Echo Technology is quite intriguing. The device is attached to one point on a home plumbing system and senses and analyzes the pressure change vibrations caused by turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet. WeMo water is designed to calculate home water consumption, duration and cost, and can alert users to leaks in a plumbing system. WeMo Water is current undergoing field trials and will be on display at the 2015 Internation CES.

As always, TUAW will be reviewing the new devices when they become available as part of our continuing – and growing – coverage of connected devices in the Apple ecosystem.

Belkin’s Wemo products already integrate with SmartThings but these new product announcements look like they want to expand and control your control your house to the level of SmartThings. All good for the consumer either way.