Friday, September 19, 2014

Backup iPhone before udating to iOS 8: Here's How

Now that iOS 8 and iPhone 6 are out, it is the right time to think about backing-up your iPhone data. Upgrading to iOS 8 from a a previous version of iOS will re-instate the iPhone or iPad. Follow this guide to backup iPhone data before updating to the new iOS or before migrating to the iPhone 6.

Before upgrading to iOS 8 backup iPhone data

There are two methods of iPhone backup Apple provides: iCloud and iTunes. You should use both in order to be sure that if one fails, the other kicks in. In addition, I'd recommend using a third tool to make a full iOS backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on your PC via using a free computer program called CopyTrans Shelbee.

shelbee main screen showing backup and restore options

1. Download CopyTrans Shelbee on your PC from the following page

2. Start the program and connect the iPhone. Click on "Backup"

3.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to use iPhone as a wireless hotspot

This quick guide demonstrates how you can share your iPhone 3G, 4G or LTE Internet connection with the people around you via using the iPhone as a wireless hotspot.

Let's turn the iPhone into a wireless hotspot

  1. On the iPhone go to Settings > Personal Hotspot

    iphone settings personal hotspot

    Note that the Hotspot feature depends on whether your current carrier provides this functionality or not. You might not have the option

  2. Turn the switch next to "Personal Hotspot" to the ON position

    personal hotspot switch on iphone
  3. Set the preferred password for the connection. The people with whom you share the connection must know the password in order to connect

  4. If asked, I'd advise you to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by tapping on the option seen below

    turn on wi-fi and bluetooth for iphone personal hotspot

    If you turn this option on, your iPhone will use both your Wi-Fi radion in combination with Bluetooth to share your data connection to the people around you. You can alternatively only share the data connection with your PC via your iPhone's USB cable. My experience shows that sharing the connection via the USB cable allows for quicker Internet. But it could be just me. :)

  5. Once a connection is established, a blue banner will appear on top of the iPhone screen.

    personal hotspot: 1 connection

This is how to share the your data connection via using the iPhone's Personal Hotspot feature.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Problems updating iPhone to iOS 7.1.2: what to do?

There has been a steady stream of folks out there who have experienced problems updating their iPhone, iPad or iPod to iOS 7.1.2. Here's what you need to know before upgrading to the latest iOS maintenance update by Apple.

Most widely reported upgrade problems with iOS 7.1.2

Soon after the release of the new iOS version, iMore reported that the update may freeze before completing. However, the problem seemed to be easily solvable by a cold restart of the iPhone or iPad.

ios 7.1.2 maintenance update on iphone screen

On the other hand a more important issue has been occurring during update to 7.1.2. Both iPhone and iPad users saw their devices enter into Recovery Mode soon after initializing the update. The usual iTunes globe icon and a cable appear on the iPhone screen.

recovery mode on iphone

If this happens to you, be sure to follow this Apple troubleshooting guide on how to exit from the infamous Recovery Mode:

I'd also advise you to use iTunes when updating to iOS 7.1.2 rather than choosing the OTA (Over The Air) update provided directly from within your iPhone or iPad. Updating iOS via iTunes has shown in the past to be more stable than the OTA update.

itunes window showing ios update for iphone 5s

It goes without saying that making a complete backup of your iPhone or iPad via at least iTunes or iCloud before updating is crucial. Using multiple backup methods is the most certain way to prevent data loss in case something goes very wrong with your iOS update.

The importance of multiple iPhone backups

Backing up your iOS device is nothing new. However, did you know that you can create simultaneous backups with both iTunes and iCloud and in fact, this is the recommended way to go? Don't only rely on one backup method as you risk loosing iPhone data. In the event your iPhone enters into Recovery Mode during the iOS update process, you need to restore the iPhone from factory settings via iTunes. At that point you will lose any non-backed up data on your phone.

I'd also recommend backing up via third-party utilities as yet another alternative method of preventing data loss. Here's a number of ways to backup iPhone messages, photos, music, and apps via third-party utilities:

iphone backup methods before updating to ios 7.1.2

Don't overlook backing up your iPhone or iPad. Updating to iOS 7.1.2 has proved to be tricky.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Amazon launches Fire Phone

The first smartphone designed by Amazon is officially out in the wild. Amazon unveiled their new mobile device called Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle.

New addition to Amazon's mobile devices

The Fire Phone is the latest in a line of "Fire" tablets and streaming devices. Being out in the wild is one thing. Standing-out in an arguably saturated market dominated by Apple and Samsung is a whole different matter.

The Fire Phone naturally is intended to work with Amazon's various services and online commerce out of the box.

For example, at a press of a button, you can let the Fire Phone recognize a physical object such as a can of Coke, or a piece of art such as a song or a picture. Once the phone recognizes the object, you can directly look for and purchase it on This unique feature is aptly called "Firefly" and frankly it reminds me of Shazam's big brother. :)

Fire Phone tech specs and prices

The Fire Phone features a 4.7 inch display, 2 GB of RAM memory and a quad-core 2.2 Ghz CPU. The camera takes shots of up to 13 megapixels. But wait, there's five cameras on the phone in total - 4 at the front that pick up on your head's movements, and 1 at the back!

Fire Phone runs on Amazon-modified Android operating system called "Fire OS".

Price-wise, the 32 GB version of the phone costs USD 199 or USD 299 for the 64-GB version exclusively at AT&T.

Amazon Fire Phone Hands On - YouTube video

Just as the rest of the major mobile technology giants, the Fire Phone is clearly trying to bring Amazon users into a company-regulated ecosystem.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flappy bird is back with a new season

Flappy bird developer Dong Nguyen announced that he'll be releasing a new version of his popular game in August. The new version will include multiplayer and would be less addictive.

Back in February Dong Nguyen pulled out the increasingly popular game from the App Store claiming that it’s been overused and arguably was too addictive.

We are left to wait and see what the new Flappy Bird will look like with the multiplayer mode and “less addictive” features.

In the meantime, if you have the original Flappy Bird still installed on your iPhone, you can transfer it to other iOS devices conserving the game scores via using this method:

The game developer also Tweeted that Flappy Bird clone currently found on the App Store called "Flappy Bird: New Season” is has nothing to do with him.

Apple has deemed to not authorize apps bearing the name “Flappy” for the moment. Is there a chance that they missed this one? In addition the “New Season” game is listed as developed by a person named Dong Nguyen…. We are left to see whether Apple takes action but for the moment you can download the unapologetic Flappy-Bird clone from the App Store:

Friday, May 9, 2014

iPhone lockscreen bypass by Siri on iOS 7.1.1

Did you know that in iOS 7.1.1, you can easily bypass the iPhone lockscreen and gain access to the address book, place calls and send text messages? Here’s how to try bypassing the lockscreen for yourself.

Test the Siri lockscreen bypass for yourself

1. Make sure the iPhone is running iOS 7.1.1 and press the Sleep/Wake button on top

2. Slide to unlock

3. Don’t enter the pass code but long-press the Home button until Siri comes up

4. You can now inquire for specific contacts in your address book, send messages or even call them

Until Apple fixes this, I’d advise you to disable Siri from the iPhone lockscreen. To do so, go to Settings > Passcode Lock and switch Siri under “Allow access when locked” to OFF.

Here’s a video of the Siri lockscreen vulnerability in action:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Backup custom cloud contacts to PC

Many people use a company, university or other custom cloud account (for example, hosted by ownCloud) to sync iPhone contacts and calendar events via the CardDAV or CalDAV protocols.

If you are looking to back up or extract such iPhone contacts and calendar events to your PC, follow the steps from the below demonstration.

Backing up contacts and calendars from custom CardDAV or CalDAV account

1. Download the following program on your computer

2. Start the program and connect your iPhone. Let the iPhone data load

3. Click on "More" (on the top right) then on “Cloud setup”

4. Now it’s time to connect your custom cloud account with the program in order to backup the contacts or calendars contained within the account. To do so, click “New connection” then click “Custom”

5. Enter the account username, password and server address as they appear on the account already set-up on your iPhone

Tip: You can find the account details such as the server address on the iPhone under Settings > Mail, Calendar, Contacts and then tapping on the respective cloud account you wish to connect

6. Ensure that the Contacts, Calendars and/or Reminders options are checked and then click “Add account” and exit from the “Cloud setup” window

7. Now that you connected your cloud account to the PC program, you can freely back up the contacts or calendars from the account to your computer. To back up the contacts, make sure you selected the Contacts icon from the pane on the left. Contacts synced via your custom cloud account will appear with a little globule icon to the right. Finally, click on the “Export selected” button.

You can do the same for calendars. Simply click on the Calendar icon on the left pane, select the cloud calendar and click “Export selected”.

This is the only way I know to backup custom cloud contacts and calendars synced via CardDAV or CalDAV to the computer.