Quick Tip: Typing a Tab character in iOS

Quick Tip: Typing a Tab character in iOS – Six Colors:

However, as you eagle-eyed readers surely know, the iOS keyboard lacks a Tab key. Searching around for an alternative, I came across a few suggestions, including copying and pasting a tab character from another app, but one that I uncovered on a message board was particularly simple: use Dictation.

That’s right, if you tap that microphone icon on the keyboard and say “Tab key,” iOS will insert a tab for you. That’ll work pretty much anywhere you can use Dictation, including in Shortcuts. So I was able to output tab-delimited data into a file for future reference.

Great little tip highlighted by Dan to solve the not-obvious-tab-key on iOS limitation.

iOS TV App Poised to Be Launching Soon in UK

Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac:

As of right now, the TV app is not available – when it rolls out, it will replace the Videos app on iPhone and iPad, in addition to appearing on Apple TV. The TV app integrates movies and TV shows from a variety of sources into one application with discovery, watch queues and other features.

At the iPhone X September media event, Eddy Cue said the TV app would roll out to the UK before the end of the year. He also promised that other major UK channels would add support for Apple TV with video-on-demand apps, including the ITV Hub and My5.

With Amazon’s Prime Video App being released for Apple TV yesterday, it looks like all the promised services and apps are coming together on all the Apple platforms and for UK customers just in time for the end of the year.

iPhone Slowing Down After Recent Upgrade

A New Phone Comes Out. Yours Slows Down. A Conspiracy? No. – The New York Times:

It happens every year: Apple releases new iPhones, and then hordes of people groan about their older iPhones slowing to a crawl.

Just look at the recent data. Between September and early November — when Apple made the iPhone 8 available, followed by the iPhone X — Google searches for the keywords “iPhone slow” jumped about 50 percent.

The phenomenon of perceived slowdowns is so widespread that many believe tech companies intentionally cripple smartphones and computers to ensure that people buy new ones every few years. Conspiracy theorists call it planned obsolescence.

That’s a myth. While slowdowns happen, they take place for a far less nefarious reason. That reason is a software upgrade.

Let’s say, for example, you have an iPhone 6 with 100 apps installed, four email accounts and 2,000 photos. It is more likely that a quality-assurance engineer tested installing a new operating system on a blank iPhone 6, rather than an iPhone 6 with the same setup as yours.

So if you want to minimize the chances of something going awry, resist the easy update path and opt for a clean install. For smartphones, I recommend backing up your data to your computer. For computers, you could back up your data to an online service or a portable drive. After the operating system installation is complete, you can then safely restore your data and apps to the device from the backup.

Here’s something many people don’t realize: Just because your iPhone or Samsung phone has 64 gigabytes of storage doesn’t mean you should fill it all the way up. The device will generally run faster if more of its storage is available.

I also recommend freeing up a huge amount of space by managing your photo library in the cloud. You can upload all your albums to a service like Google Photos and periodically purge all the images from the device itself. I did this recently on my iPhone 7 that was nearly full and seemed to be slowing down; purging the photos freed up about 50 gigabytes of data, and the iPhone feels as good as new.

Some great points here. Try it – if you feel like your iPhone is slowing down, make sure you have an up to date iCloud backup, then wipe the iPhone and put a fresh install of the operating system on your iPhone before restoring all your data.

Microsoft Apps – A Better Experience on iOS

Paul Thurrott:

Long story short, iPhone is a great platform for apps, as we all know. But it’s also a great platform for Microsoft apps—it’s arguably the best mobile platform for Microsoft apps—as well. And that makes it a lot more interesting. And a lot more useful.

It is surprising that you get a better experience of Microsoft’s own apps on iOS but that could lend the possibility to not just the popularity, but the ease of development due to software constraints and fragmentation on other developing platforms. With Google not exactly supporting Windows Phone anymore, it would appear Microsoft supporting Android is due to necessity. Even with Microsoft being the 3rd in the top players, they still maintain their class of putting users first – would Google do the same in their position? I doubt it.

App Store Changes ‘Free’ Button to ‘Get’

Zac Hall Reporting for 9to5Mac:

Apple has introduced a small but interesting tweak to the way it markets apps on the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot above, non-paid apps are now presented with the word ‘GET’ rather than ‘FREE’. While the reason for the change in how Apple is presenting non-paid apps isn’t clear, it’s likely due to the popularity of ‘freemium’ apps and in-app purchases, something that has been the source of controversy for Apple in the past…

Apple has taken a great deal of flack from customers and consumer protection groups through the years over apps marketed as free that push in-app purchases. The freemium model has been used in some cases to circumvent the lack of app trials on the App Store. For example, a developer may make an app free to download, but require an in-app purchase to unlock the app’s full functionality. The new ‘Get’ labels seem to address such a use case where previously ‘Free’ could be misleading.

I am not sure ‘Get’ is the right term to use here and maybe ‘download’ isn’t the right term either due to it already being used for your previously purchased apps but I certainly like it better than ‘Get’. I’d bet this term will get changed again in the near future.

Apple to Bundle Beats Music With iOS Early Next Year

Via 9to5Mac:

Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.

This seems pretty plausible especially as Jim Darlymple over at The Loop more or less confirmed it. Whether it will be a seperate app from iTunes is not clear at this point but one step at a time eh?

‘Masque attack’ on iOS

 

‘Masque attack’: Don’t panic but do pay attention | iMore:

“Masque Attack” is the new name—given by security firm FireEye—to an old trick intended to fool you into installing malicious apps on your iPhone or iPad. Most recently detailed by security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, tricks like Masque Attack won’t affect most people, but it’s worth understanding how it works and, in the event you are targeted, how to avoid it.

To avoid Masque and similar attacks, all that’s required is to avoid downloading any apps from outside Apple’s official App Store, and denying permission for any untrusted app to install.

If you are concerned about being susceptible to attacks, then don’t jail break your device and only download apps direct from the App Store. Most consumer users probably won’t know how to install 3rd party apps anyway but it was worth noting for when people see a negative headline and are concerned.

Neato for iOS – A Unique Widget Notification Centre Text Composer

With the introduction of customisable widgets in the notification centre in iOS 8, developers have been prolific in expanding their apps to take advantage of the extra functionality that the Notification Centre can bring and Neato is a dedicated app designed just for the widget/Notification Centre functionality.

From a rules perspective, it’s highly possible that Apple will pull this app from the App Store due to the fact it potentially infringes on the App Store’s guidelines that apps must stay within the boundaries of the API guideline for the Notification Centre and it’s highly likely that any sort of text composing or editing is such one of these guidelines. Due to the recent controversy over the app PCalc and what they were allowed to show in the Notification Centre for their app, it’s possible that Apple is currently reviewing their guidelines and this Neato app has slipped through the net so to speak.

Screen Shot 2014 11 07 at 11 12 16

Having said, the functionality of the app is very useful as once you swipe down to show the Notification Centre widgets and start typing, you can then send that text straight to Evernote or Dropbox. With Evernote’s own widget, you have a link to create a new note which upon tapping, takes you straight to Evernote to start composing your text but with Neato’s widget, I can compose my text right on the Notification Centre and when I am done, I tap send and it will open up Evernote, create a new note and have the text already filled in so I can store it or expand on it more.

With Neato you can:

•Take notes simply and quickly

•Take notes while using other applications

•Save the notes to your Dropbox or Evernote immediately

•Mail, tweet or text the notes rapidly

There is an argument to be made on whether you are actually saving any time typing in the Notification Centre but if you think of other scenarios where you quickly want to write some text, a quick swipe down on your iPhone is going to be quicker, then unlocking your iPhone, navigating to an app then composing.

It’s a simple app overall and it has some issues namely with cursor placement which will be down to the API restrictions but for a free simple, text composing widget, I like it and would suggest downloading it very soon before Apple pulls it from the App Store. You can download it here.

Multiple Attachments App Lets You Attach Multiple Files To Email Messages On iOS

Multiple Attachments App Lets You Attach Multiple Files To Email Messages On iOS

MacStories:

Multiple Attachments is clever in that it works with the Open In menu itself and Apple’s Mail app. Every time you need to send a message with multiple files in it, you can send one file at a time to Multiple Attachments using “Open In”; as you keep sending files to the app, it’ll show you their icons and names on its main screen. When you are ready to send a message with those files, hit the Share button and Multiple Attachments will bring up a Mail panel, composing a new message with the files you’ve sent to the app. Then, you only need to confirm the email account you want to send from, and you’re done.

Essentially, Multiple Attachments works as a container of temporary files based on two of Apple’s inter-app communication features – Open In and Mail sharing. The app stores files until you send them (or delete them with the Trash button), and it’s clever in how it combines temporary storage with the ability to send emails outside the main Mail app. Attachments can be previewed individually, and, in my tests, the app performed as advertised, collecting files sent via Open In and sending them as a message with multiple attachments using accounts configured in Mail. It’s a rudimentary solution, but it works.

Someday, it’s likely that Apple will revamp how iOS apps communicate with each other and offer a way to collect multiple files in an email message at once. Until that day, Multiple Attachments provides a simple way to send an email message with multiple files on an iPhone and iPad – it’s a small victory, especially if you work on iOS a lot every day.

Nice app for us iOS power users and as Federico says, Apple are likely to build this functionality into iOS in the future, so for now this is a nice work-around.

You can download it for free here.