Facebook Adds ‘Nearby Friends’ To Notify You if Your Friends Are Close


Buster Hein:

The new feature is a lot like Apple’s Find My Friends in that it allows you to share your location with friends and family so you can hopefully get in touch with each other in the real world. Nearby Friends will also send you push notifications to let you know when a group of pals just happen to be close by.

A similar ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature was rolled out by Facebook in 2012 but was quickly pulled, but Facebook swears this Nearby Friends will hit iOS and Android in the next few weeks.

Facebook mentions that the entire feature is opt-in: first you have to turn in on, then you can only see friends’ proximity if you choose to share it with them, and vice versa.

Precise locations can also be shared with friends for set periods of time – like say you just want friends to know where you’re going to be at in the park for the next hour. It can also be turned on and off whenever you want so you don’t have to worry about friends stalking you all week.

Privacy concerns to one side, I like how the feature can be automatic, unlike Find My Friends which needs manual intervention to set alerts.

Unlike Android, iPhone users are totally safe from mobile malware


Luke Dormehl:

For those keeping score at home, this means that 99% of mobile threats are aimed at Android. That number’s increasing, too. In the same three month period in 2013, just 91% of new mobile malware was aimed at Google’s mobile platform.

iPhones, for their part, benefit from Apple’s stricter security measures. The single instance of iOS malware detected by F-Secure was designed to target jailbroken iPhones — meaning that the majority of iPhone users are 100% safe from mobile malware.

How’s that for a statistic to throw out next time someone tries to make a point about the merits of Android vs. iOS?

iOS is not perfect and there have been some scares recently, but overall for the average user this is certainly a telling statistic and is a big reason to own an iPhone.

End of an era: Microsoft buys Nokia’s devices and services business


Zach Epstein:

Nokia’s devices and services business moved over to Microsoft on Friday morning as part of a deal worth more than $7 billion. The deal values Nokia’s handsets division at around $5 billion, which is obviously a painfully small fraction of what it was once worth.

The cell phone maker’s failure to react when Apple first launched the iPhone back in 2007 led directly to the company’s collapse. I remember it like it was yesterday — especially when one Nokia executive told me in 2008 that “Apple is like the annoying fly buzzing around the fisherman’s head. Nokia is still the fisherman and we’ll still catch all the fish.”

Nokia still knows how to make great handsets though especially the Windows Phone Lumia’s.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: It ‘Means More to Us to Get it Right’ Than to Be First



Apple CEO Tim Cook stated “We care about every detail and it takes us a bit longer to do that. That’s always been the case,” he said. “It means more to us to get it right than to be first.”

Cook pointed towards examples in the marketplace where the clear objective was to be first, possibly referring to Samsung and its poorly received Galaxy Gear smart watch. Apple customers “want great, insanely great,” said Cook, and “that’s what we want to deliver.”

Apple is renowed for it’s quality and this statement above reaffirms that.

According to Cook, Apple has many products in the pipeline that the company is excited about, but it is not ready to “pull the string on the curtain.” He did say, however, that Apple has expanded the number of things the company is working on.

Exciting times ahead.

Stop Quitting Your Apps in Multitasking

Stop Quitting Your Apps in Multitasking

Scott Loveless:

iOS 7 made it super fun to close your apps: all you have to do is double-click the home button and swipe up on the app preview to blast it into a digital black hole.

What most people tell you is that closing your apps will save your battery life because it keeps the apps from running in the background.


Yes, it does shut down the app, but what you don’t know is that you are actually making your battery life worse if you do this on a regular basis. Let me tell you why.

By closing the app, you take the app out of the phone’s RAM . While you think this may be what you want to do, it’s not. When you open that same app again the next time you need it, your device has to load it back into memory all over again. All of that loading and unloading puts more stress on your device than just leaving it alone. Plus, iOS closes apps automatically as it needs more memory, so you’re doing something your device is already doing for you. You are meant to be the user of your device, not the janitor.

The truth is, those apps in your multitasking menu are not running in the background at all: iOS freezes them where you last left the app so that it’s ready to go if you go back. Unless you have enabled Background App Refresh, your apps are not allowed to run in the background unless they are playing music, using location services, recording audio, or the sneakiest of them all: checking for incoming VOIP calls , like Skype. All of these exceptions, besides the latter, will put an icon next to your battery icon to alert you it is running in the background.

It bewilders me when I see friends and family do this because they think by quitting the apps, it ‘frees up memory’ or ‘saves my battery’. Take this as fact. Please.

via Bradley Chambers

Make any printer work with AirPrint on the Mac

Make any printer work with AirPrint on the Mac

Allyson Kazmucha:

AirPrint is a great feature that lets the iPhone or iPad print to any compatible printer right over Wi-Fi, no awkward cables or frustrating drivers required. Unfortunately, not every printer is AirPlay compatible, especially older printers. So what can you do? Easy, just get a copy of Ecamm’s Printopia and start using any printer as an AirPrint printer!

Another heads up for Printopia. For non-AirPrint compatible printers, this is the solution.

A Much Faster Way To Search The App Store

A Much Faster Way To Search The App Store

Alex Heath:

Let’s be honest, searching in the iTunes Store sucks, especially on the desktop. It’s often slow, and the results are difficult to navigate. Apple has tried to simplify things by displaying one result at a time in the App Store on iOS, but that approach also means that it can take longer to find the specific app you want in a sea of knockoffs.

A new web tool called “fnd” makes it easier to quickly search and navigate not just the App Store, but the iTunes Store in general.

A much quicker and more universal search across all of Apple’s digital stores. Super useful.

What’s a ‘carrier update’ for iPhone or iPad and why do we get them?

What’s a ‘carrier update’ for iPhone or iPad and why do we get them?

Allyson Kazmucha:

Carrier updates are used to help your iPhone and iPad communicate with the carrier network. These files typically contain information concerning voice networks, cellular data, voicemail settings, personal hotspot, and any other service your carrier provides. For example, with the recent AT&T visual voicemail issues on iOS 7, the only way for it to be fixed is through a carrier update, since it’s part that makes iOS and your chosen network play nicely together.

This is why people that frequently switch between carriers by swapping SIM cards may receive carrier updates more often than people who keep their SIM card in just one iPhone. For example, if you travel and your iPhone 5s is unlocked, you can simply replace your AT&T SIM with a 3 UK SIM or any other international sim card you’d like. More often than not, the international carrier will push an update to your iPhone so it talks to the network better.

When prompted to install a carrier update, It’s never really explained what the update is going to do and you only really see it when you are upgrading your phone or replacing your handset but feel free to install it anytime you are prompted to do so.

12 Million Downloads for Office for iPad Hides the Truth

12 Million Downloads for Office for iPad Hides the Truth

Alex Heath:

For those who thought Office for iPad was too late to the party, the numbers tell a different story. Today Microsoft announced that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote combined have been downloaded a staggering 12 million times in one week.

If you doubt that number, then just take a look at the App Store charts.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are still ranked as the top three free iPad apps, and they have sat there comfortably for a whole week. Apple was very welcoming on Microsoft’s launch day with big banners advertising Office’s arrival in the App Store.

Another approach that is certainly helping Office’s downloads is Microsoft’s decision to go freemium. The apps are free to download and view documents in, but to edit you need an Office 365 subscription. The base cost for Office 365 is $10 per month, and Apple takes its normal 30% cut of in-app subscriptions that are purchased.

Exactly. Out of those 12 millions downloads who have installed any of the Microsoft Office apps on their iPad, what percentage of them will have subsequently signed up for the £99.99 annual subscription just to be able to create a document on your iPad? Only the power users who are chained to Excel – that’s who and that’s fine but for the majority of iPad consumers, they will only need to use a spreadsheet or write a letter rarely so Apple’s solution of charging a one off fee of $9.99 for their spreadsheet app is the better model. Or of course Google’s free solution.