iOS 7 How-to: Make FaceTime Audio calls and check how much data they use

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New in iOS 7 is the ability to make FaceTime Audio calls. FaceTime Audio works internationally and works on a Wi-fi network, or on a cellular connection. Using Facetime Audio sounds nicer than actually using the iPhone to make calls. FaceTime Audio sounds deep, and closer to the actual sound of the voice. Another benefit of using FaceTime Audio is that it is associated with your Apple ID and phone number and is built right into the core operating system. For example, while you are texting someone, and you want to make a FaceTime Audio call, you can press the Contact button in blue in the upper right hand corner:

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iOS 7 How-to: Redeem iTunes gift cards with your device’s camera

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iTunes gift cards are a great gift for iOS Device users. They can be used to purchase content from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore. However, entering in the string of characters to redeem the gift card balance has typically been a pain with the touch keyboards on iPads, iPhone, and iPod touches. Like iTunes 11 on the Mac, iOS 7 moves to solve this problem. You can now use your device’s camera to scan in the code.

Go to the main/featured page in whichever store you choose and to get to the redemption screen, scroll all the way down, and press on redeem:

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iOS 7 How-to: Easily delete, not archive, your Gmail messages in Mail

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Setting up your email in iOS 7 is just like setting it up in earlier versions of iOS. Just like before, you are able to have Gmail set up in the Mail app. To set up your email you would go to Settings, then tap on Mail, Contacts & Calendars, and then press Add Account. By default in iOS, Gmail is set to archive your emails as opposed to deleting them. Archiving email keeps the messages in an Archived folder, but Deleting moves them to the trash.

If you are viewing your inbox, and you swipe from right to left on the message, you do not get the option to delete the message. Rather, you get an Archive option or a More option. The More option gives you every other option except for deleting the message. You could always tap on More, then press Move Message, and then choose the Trash folder. That’s rather tedious for a simple task:

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How to: Live a paperless life with Mac, iPad and iPhone

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Remember those promises we were made, about a paperless world? Everything electronic, everything online? Since the world was failing to deliver, I decided a couple of years ago to do an experiment to find out whether it is possible to live a truly paperless life.

Two years later, the bad news is that you can’t entirely avoid the stuff. There are a few documents the government insists I keep in paper form: my passport and driving licence, for example. There are documents that still arrive in paper form, and documents I have to supply in paper form.

The good news is that you can get very, very close. Here’s how I made it work …  Read more

How-to: Shave some GBs off of your iOS device so you can update to iOS 7

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Yesterday iOS 7 came out. There was a massive rush to try to install and it download it. The one thing that we were not prepared for or made aware of was the need to have up to 3.3 GB of space available in order to download and install iOS 7. The reason you needed 3.3 GB available is that the 900MB download of iOS 7 also needs to move a lot of stuff around during installation.

If you are like us, you might not have that 3.3GB of space needed on your iOS device. We’ve spent the last year downloading music, videos and apps to the point where our iPads tell us to stop. So now we need to delete some of our stuff.

Once you free up your space on your device, and back up your device, then you will be officially ready to download iOS 7. In this how-to I will discuss the two different methods to free up storage space off the device, either from the device itself, or managing the device while being connected to the computer through iTunes…

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iOS 7 How-to: Blocking FaceTime calls, Phone calls, and iMessages

Before iOS 7 it was rather inconvenient to block a phone number, and there was nothing built into iOS that would allow you do so. If you got phone calls from Telemarketers you can always register your number for free on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you wanted to block specific people, you had to contact your carrier to do so. For example, with AT&T, you can pay $4.99 per month per line to block up to 30 numbers with their Smart Limits. With Verizon Wireless, you are able to block up to five phone numbers per line with no charge. With Sprint you fill out a form on their website and it appears there is no additional fee.

Dealing with your carrier can be a rather tedious, and with the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, you no longer have to…

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How-to: Use iOS’s Guided Access feature

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iOS devices are built with all users in mind: they come with several accessibility features for low-vision or legally blind users, settings for hard-of-hearing or deaf users, settings for individuals who have physical and motor difficulties, and settings for individuals with learning difficulties.

In this accessibility segment, I will be discussing how to use Guided Access.

Guided Access is an accessibility feature that came out with iOS 6. Guided Access enables you to set up the iOS device so that you cannot leave apps, and you are able to control which features of the app you are allowed to use or not use. There are a lot of great benefits and applications for this (listed in no particular order):

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How to: Organize your iPhone apps with less logic, more usability

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It’s the very definition of a “first world problem”: you have way more iPhone apps than you ever expected to use, and finding the one you want is becoming more and more of a chore. So much so that you’ve resorted to using the search screen to find them by name – which is clunky and doesn’t help when you can remember what the app does but not what it’s called.

I’m a pretty logical and organized kind of guy, so my first pass at organizing my apps was by category. All travel-related apps on one screen, all entertainment ones on another, and so on.

That worked fine for a while, but as the apps and categories grew, it became less and less effective. That Entertainment category, for example, contained a mix of apps I used daily – like Music – with ones I used rarely, like iBooks (usually read on my iPad). Then there were those apps I could never remember how I’d categorized. Is Dropbox in Business, or in Network? Is my Meetup app in London or Social? And what about apps that span two or more logical categories?

So I recently tried a new way …  Read more