January 23rd, 2014
Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 7, was initially made available to users in September. Since then, there have been a number of complaints, but overall it’s been accepted positively. That is, except for one incessant bug that has plagued a number of users and has no fix. As Adario Strange reports at Mashable, the so called “white screen of death” may be cured in the next couple months.
The bug, which has been reported by users since iOS 7 first hit their iPhones, causes devices to suddenly freeze and then reboot. It’s unclear exactly what causes the soft reboot. Some users claim it only happens when their battery dips below 30-percent, while others report they’ve experienced a sudden reboot at various levels of battery.
Up until now, complaints of users have been largely ignored by Apple, but an official statement about when users can expect a fix has finally come out. Apple says they have a fix for the bug, but there is no exact date for when that fix will be released. Most likely, users will have to wait for the release of iOS 7.1, which is currently in its fourth beta. In addition to the bug fix, the update will likely make some other minor changes to design and the user interface. However, it won’t be available until sometime in March.
This particular fix will have to come from Apple, but for other problems with your iPhone or any other device, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335.
December 16th, 2013
Apple released iOS 7, its latest version of the operating system included on iPhones and iPads, in the middle of September. Here it is three-months later and iOS 7.1 has taken another step closer to its release. Unlike iOS 7, 7.1 won’t be so groundbreaking and will feature mostly bug fixes and small tweaks. As Carly Page reports for Inquirer, the second Beta version of iOS 7.1 has been officially made available to developers.
Perhaps the most exciting of the included tweaks is a toggle for ‘Car Display’. In and of its self , this isn’t that exciting but it hints at something Apple may release in the near future. ‘iOs in the car’ has long been a rumored feature bound for release. This feature would allow users to link their iPhone or iPad to their car in order to control their music, navigation and messages while driving.
Other changes in this version of iOS include some tweaks to settings menus. Touch ID and Passcode settings have been moved to the main Settings menu to make them easier to find. In iOS 7, they’re buried under multiple options. Users will now also be able to adjust button shapes through the Accessibility setting.
The iTunes Match process has been made faster than ever, which it easier for users to access music stored in the cloud. Also faster is the animation speed used for all interactions with the operating system. This doesn’t actually make the device faster, but it will feel faster than before.
Many of these small changes won’t even be noticeable to many users, but they will make devices easier to use and introduce some options for more customization. The second Beta version of iOS 7.1 is currently available for download at Apple’s developer website.
At Geek Rescue, we know the ins and outs of iPhones, Androids and all smartphones. If your device is giving you trouble, bring it to one of our locations or give us a call at 918-369-4335.
December 3rd, 2013
Apple introduced Touch ID as a security feature that recognizes a user’s fingerprint to unlock the iPhone 5S. That feature has come under scrutiny after security experts and hackers uncovered flaws and ways to by-pass it. Some users have also complained that Touch ID doesn’t always recognize their finger, or it takes too long to scan. Soon, Apple users may not have to worry about scanning fingers at all.
Lance Whitney, of CNet, reports that Apple has been granted a patent on an idea that would allow facial scanning to replace the current Touch ID feature.
The facial scanning function, which was patented under “Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition”, is still in its infancy. It appears, however, that Apple plans to make it a security feature on future products.
In many ways, it works the same as Touch ID does for your fingers. A user would start by scanning their own face and the face of anyone else they want to have access to their smartphone or tablet. The scan would record the shape, texture, color and size of your features and store them. Then, to unlock the device, you would have to again scan your face. Only registered users would be able to unlock the device, while unauthorized users would be stuck at the lock screen.
Calls, emails, texts and other notifications would also be locked behind the facial scanner. So, if a call comes in, your smartphone would scan your face before allowing you to answer.
Many of the same security flaws and workarounds that existed with Touch ID after it was introduced are still possible with facial scanning. A password would likely still act as a back-up for situations where the facial scan didn’t work, which opens the door for hacking. But, this is another interesting step for improved security on mobile devices.
If you’d like to improve the security on any of your devices, or you’re having problems like broken hardware, slow performance, or malware, bring your device to Geek Rescue or call us at 918-369-4335.
November 18th, 2013
At this point, your phone is probably your most prized possession. You probably even feel strange if it isn’t with you. You can use your smartphone for almost anything, which means that the battery doesn’t last as long as you’d like. Jennifer Jolly, of USA Today, has some tips for how to get the most battery life out of your smartphone. These tips don’t even require you to sacrifice performance.
- Get Rid Of The Unwanted Features
Many of us don’t use our phone with bluetooth. You might not be in range of WiFi or in need of GPS services. There are features on your phone that you either never use, or only use in certain situations. If you need to get more life out of your smartphone’s battery, turn these services off until you want to use them.
Your smartphone’s display drains more battery than anything else. Turning down your brightness settings can have a significant impact on your battery. In most settings, even the lowest brightness setting is easy to see and you’ll get a much longer battery life out of it.
Many users leave their smartphones on vibrate all of the time. That saves you from being the annoying person whose ringtone goes off in a meeting, but it drains your battery. Yes, it takes more battery to vibrate than it does to ring. If you’re desperate for more battery life, you’ll have to live with your ringtone.
Free apps are riddled with advertisements. It takes battery power to download and display those advertisements. So, pay the money for the full version that’s ad free and you’ll get a slight uptick in battery life. This is only helpful for apps you use often. Otherwise, you probably won’t see enough extra battery life to warrant the payment.
Keeping apps updated is also helpful for lowering battery life because many updates make apps more efficient. But, allowing your phone to auto-update is wasteful to the battery. This is because your phone is constantly checking to see if an update is available. Instead, just try to remember to check for updates on your own when it’s convenient.
With these tips, you can keep your phone from dying in the middle of the day.
If you have problems more severe than a dying battery, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We fix all brands of smartphones.
November 12th, 2013
You may have heard the latest smartphone rumors of a curved screen. Samsung will have the first curved glass offering, the Galaxy Round announced a month ago. Jason D. O’Grady, of ZDNet, reports that the curved screen isn’t just a gimmick. It also offers an enhanced user experience.
First, the curve isn’t dramatic. The Galaxy Round features a screen only .10 inches away from flat, which is about equal to the curve of most handheld mirrors. This slight curve greatly reduces the negative effects of ambient light on the screen, however. This makes it easier to read, makes colors more true, improves contrast and more. The curved screen is also much easier to use outside in sunlight.
A screen that’s naturally easier to read has some additional benefits, as well. Most notably, battery life could be much better because screen brightness can be turned down without losing readability.
The iPhone 5S, Apple’s latest smartphone release, has been knocked repeatedly for poor battery life. There are already many rumors suggesting that a future iPhone will go the curved screen route.
Part of that speculation comes from Apple’s recent purchase of synthetic, manufactured sapphire and its construction of a plant in Arizona. Sapphire crystal is already used on the Touch-ID home button on the iPhone 5S. It’s regarded as tougher and more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass, which is currently being used to make iPhone screens.
No matter what shape your smartphone’s screen is, Geek Rescue fixes it when it breaks. Call us at 918-369-4335 or come by one of our locations to get your devices working like new again.
November 6th, 2013
This week, Google made its new iOS app available to iPhone and iPad users. Experts are praising its improved functionality and additional features. Salvador Rodriguez, of the LA Times, published his favorite new features. Here’s a list of the Google apps new features and why you’ll like them.
The Google app’s image search has been upgraded to allow for more user interaction. After selecting an image from search, users can zoom in on that image, or use two fingers to minimize the selection and continue searching.
Siri has attained her share of critics from iOS users, but Google’s voice search is improved as a superior alternative. The Google app has to be open to be used, but when it is, users only need to say “OK Google” and the app will start listening for voice search. The speech recognition ability within the app is considered by most to be better than Siri.
Previously, Google Now notifications were only available to Android users. In the new Google app, these notifications are available on iOS. Users are able to set reminders based on time, or when they reach a specific location. For example, you could remind yourself to buy an item at the store and Google Now would send your phone a notification once you’ve reached the store.
Google Now also features new cards that show you what you’ve purchased and reserved recently. Tickets for movies, concerts and other events are displayed here. Also, airplane tickets, car rental reservations and hotel reservations are stored here. There’s even a listing of upcoming events in your area.
These new features make Google’s iOS app more useful and easier to use. If you have an iPhone or iPad, it’s a worthy addition.
If you’re having trouble with your Apple device, or any device, come by Geek Rescue, or call us at 918-369-4335. If it boots up or turns on, we fix it.
October 31st, 2013
There have been relatively few true threats to the security of iPhones compared to the amount of malware being produced for Android. A serious threat has recently emerged, however. Antone Gonsalves, of Network World, reports that a team of security experts uncovered a vulnerability in a large number of iOS apps. The flaw allows for a third party to intercept data and then send their own directly onto a user’s device.
The team is calling it “HTTP Request Hacking” because it allows hackers to intercept HTTP traffic between the app and server. The hacker can then tell the app to retrieve data from a different server, which usually involves putting malicious links on your iPhone and iPad. This method is particularly effective for news apps because the hackers can put fake links in the news stories, which cause malware to be downloaded when clicked.
Once a hacker gains control of the app, they can continue to send whatever data they want until the app is updated to close the security gap, or removed completely.
There is such a large number of affected apps that the security team couldn’t contact all of them directly. Instead, they opted to spread the word through the media. The vulnerability only affects apps using an HTTP connection. Most high quality apps use the more secure HTTPS connection.
There’s code available to fix the problem, but it’s much easier to just remove the app. If it’s using an HTTP connection, you probably shouldn’t be using it anyway.
This particular security flaw was specifically found for iOS and while it hasn’t been tested on Android, security experts note that it’s likely that would affect those users as well.
If you believe you have malware infecting any of your devices, come by or contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We will fix your phone, tablet or computer and help make sure you’re prepared for the next malware attack.
October 9th, 2013
The iPhone is regarded by many as a recreational tool, not one made for business. However, iPhones are being used more and more with the BYOD trend and, as Joel Mathis of MacWorld, points out, iOS7 is packed with features that makes the iPhone a great tool for business.
Any device being used for business is either going to be storing sensitive data, or have access to it. So, the security of that device is extremely important. With new features like the fingerprint scanner and Activation Lock, which gives you the ability to disable your device if lost, iOS7 has the security features necessary to keep data out of criminals hands.
Apple has also included app-specific security to help keep employee’s personal devices from compromising the network. Apps designed for company use can be configured to connect to a virtual private network, or VPN, while an employee’s personal apps aren’t allowed access.
Another important feature of any business tool is that it allows easy collaboration between team members. AirDrop, which allows the seamless sharing of files between iPhone users in close proximity, is a new feature of iOS7. In an office setting, AirDrop could enable quick sharing between all employees.
Another factor in the ease of teamwork is that iPhone users generally adopt updates faster than Android users. More than half of all iPhone users had updated to iOS7 one week after it was made available. For Android users, only about 33-percent are using a version of their operating system released within the past year. Having all of your employees on the same device, running the same operating system cuts down on a lot of headaches and compatibility issues.
Apple’s iWork app suite is specifically designed for business productivity. New iPhones running iOS7 now have access to iWork for free. This app suite is competition for the widely adopted Microsoft Office and gives users the tools needed to complete most office tasks.
There are, however, still some features missing from the iPhone to make it a perfect business tool. For example, many users still complain about battery life and that becomes more important when employees are using more demanding functions of the smartphone. There’s also still concern over employees mixing personal use with business use and a feeling that, even with app specific VPN features, Apple hasn’t done enough to ease those concerns.
If your company would like to explore options for data storage, hosting, networking and security, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We offer a variety of IT business solutions. We also offer service on iPhones and other smartphones.
October 2nd, 2013
It’s not a big surprise that some users are encountering problems after upgrading their iPhones to iOS7. Initially, there were concerns over ways to bypass the fingerprint scanner. Now, more and more users are complaining that they can’t send or receive messages with iMessage.
Matthew Panzarino, of TechCrunch, reports that Apple is working on an update that will fix the issue, but there’s a quick fix that might work for some users.
First, let’s get to the quick fix. According to an Apple support document, turning off iMessage, then using the Reset Network Settings function, then turning iMessage back on allows users to again send messages. This causes your iPhone to re-authenticate iMessage, but some users are already reporting that while this does allow you to send messages, it only works temporarily.
Apple released a statement about the errors some users are encountering and estimated that only a “fraction of a percent” of their users were affected. Whether or not that’s accurate, those that are affected are frustrated. They’re stuck without a fully functioning iPhone until Apple releases an update to fix the problem.
Once that update is released, it’s a good idea to back-up your phone’s data before installing it. When Apple patched their previous security related bug for iOS7, some users reported it crashed their smartphones. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Luckily, if you do lose data from any of your devices, Geek Rescue helps restore it. We also fix broken devices and get rid of malware infections. If it boots up or turns on, we fix it. Call us at 918-369-4335.
September 24th, 2013
As expected, Apple’s release of their new operating system, iOS7, has been met with hostility by some. One of the most common complaints is that iOS7 drains a user’s iPhone battery much faster than iOS6. Many report that their smartphone no longer lasts an entire day on a single charge.
Craig Grannell, of Stuff Magazine, has some tips for iOS7 users to make their battery last longer. Disabling non-essential options is key, so get ready to make a few sacrifices.
- Make changes in the Control Center
By swiping up from the bottom of your screen, you’ll be able to access the Control Center. From there, you can make a number of changes that will prolong the life of your battery. Disable Bluetooth and WiFi while you aren’t using them. Also, disable Apple’s new sharing method, Airdrop. Finally, adjust the brightness settings. A dimmer screen takes less battery, but iOS7 automatically sets your screen to the brightest setting.
If you absolutely have to make your battery last and there’s no way to recharge in the middle of the day, you’ll have to cut out some of your app use. Games eat up your battery like nothing else. Check to see which apps are costing you the most battery life by going to ‘Settings’, then ‘General’ and choosing ‘Battery Percentage’.
Your iPhone is constantly working, even when it’s in your pocket. All of this background work drains your battery. To save some, disable the auto-update apps option. You will find that option in the App Store settings. For non-essential apps, you should also turn off background app refresh. Do that in the General Settings menu.
Of course, you could turn off your 4G capabilities, or turn on Airplane mode, if you want to really save your battery. That greatly diminishes the capability of your smartphone, however. With the above tips, you should gain more battery life without having to sacrifice too much.
At Geek Rescue, we fix any device. So, if you are having problems with your iPhone, bring it to us. We restore lost data, clean malware infections and fix broken phones. Come by or call us at 918-369-4335.