What you can do with the iOS8 update by Apple

So, we’ve had a few days to play with Apple’s  iOS 8 up-date and here are our favourites and top tips to use regularly.

The double-click –  Use the double click on the home button from anywhere to see your favourite contacts now at the top.  You can also scroll through what apps you have open here too. To set up your Favourites or change the order so your top three or four appear first, go to Phone, then Favourites and edit them by dragging them up or down using your finger to the right of the screen.

Quick Reply –  For me this is an ‘at last!’ update.  You can now pull down the message and type a reply without having to load the messages app.  When you’ve replied you are straight back to whatever you were doing.

Taking photos – There’s a new timer and time-lapse mode.  Don’t forget our previous blog on using Pano mode too.

Edit photo  Now you can improve your photos right on your phone.  Change any skew by rotating in degrees and adjust brightness, contract and exposure etc.  It’s like having a little version of Photoshop on your phone.

Sending photos – It’s now really easy to send a recent photo you’ve taken without leaving the message screen.  Click the attach photo button, scroll along your recent photos to send, or tap to open your full photo library.

Predictive text –  QuickType’s suggestions of words or phrases can even now follow your usual written style, even down to the difference in the way you might type more casually in text messages and more formally in an email. The more you use it, the more it learns how you type and how to spell special words you use, names and phrases.  Personally, I’m loving this so do give it a good go but if you really don’t like it you can hide this QuickType bar by touching anywhere on the bar and sliding it down. You’ll see a line that you can swipe upwards when you want it back.  Apple say you can tap and hold the globe button on the keyboard to enable predictive input in any app. It doesn’t seem to be available in all my apps yet.

Quick voice and video clips in messages –  Now this is Inspector Gadget kind of stuff! In a message, hold the microphone or camera icon to record a quick voice message or video to send.  You can play them back and/or delete and re-record them before you send.  These messages will self-destruct after being played, unless the recipient saves them, in order to save storage space. I’m finding this a great addition. It’s ideal when you have something more complicated than a text to send, or want to show someone something but you know they might not be able to listen or answer their phone right when you are ready to send it.

‘Hey Siri‘ – When you’re phone is plugged into a power source you can just say ‘Hey Siri’ and talk to your phone. This is great if you are busy typing a blog and want to get planing a route to a meeting at the same time, or if you are in the car and want to look something up, or get directions whilst driving.  I still find it difficult sometimes to instruct Siri, but it’s learning and improving.

“What song is playing?” Siri is now Shazam so you can ask Siri what music is playing and Siri should be able to tell you.

‘Details’ in Messages.  From any conversation, top right you’ll see ‘Details’. Here you can see all attachments you’ve shared with someone by scrolling down, and share your location. This is very helpful if someone is trying to find you to meet up. You can permanently, or for a limited time, allow them to see your location.  This, for me, replaces the Friend Finder app I use with my husband so I know if he’s left work or how far from home he is etc without having to contact him.  I can even have the kids run to the window to see him walking home from the train station and excitedly open the front door to him!

From Details in Messages, the Do Not Disturb allows you to mute a text conversation if you don’t want to get involved right then and there and read them later.  This is useful if you’re in a group conversation that’s going on a bit and you’re busy!

There’s loads more.  Apple themselves feature, on their ‘Whats New‘ page, improvements to Photos, Messages, their smartest keyboard ever, family sharing, iCloud Drive, Health, connecting your apple devices, and new Spotlight features to find out stuff!

What have you found most useful about the changes or are eager to try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap the iPhone 6 – this is even more exciting!

If you aren’t an Apple fan then maybe you haven’t waited with baited breath for, or watched in full the Keynote about the new iPhone 6.   However, there is something we feel is even more exciting about this launch, and that is the Apple Watch.

It’s interesting to note that this doesn’t look any bigger than my husband’s current Gadget Show-style watch, a Phosphor e Ink.

Phosphor e Ink

Phosphor e Ink watch

Apple say there’s an Apple Watch for everyone.  It certainly seems so if you are ready for it in early 2015.  You need an iPhone 5 or 6 to be able to connect and interact with it, but it is stand-alone too.   If you’ve got other Apple gadgets like Apple TV, then you’re able to interact with all that too.

The Apple Watch is waterproof and screens are protected by sapphire crystal or Ion-X glass for the sport version, and, of course, there’s the Edition version in gold!

It does look amazing and suddenly it feels like we really are now experiencing that fantastical stuff from the film Back to the Future.

Are you an Apple fan?   Have you watched the Keynote or looked at the capabilities of the new products?  We find it fascinating and can’t wait to see who will be wearing one in 2015.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go and have a look at the Apple Watch and/or watch the Keynote.

A great photo mode you could be using on your mobile

To create a great panoramic photo we used to use an image-stitching software tool for creating panoramic photos.  Basically, you take a set of pictures of the view, which is normally a big expanse before you, and use software such as AutoStitch to merge them into one panoramic shot afterwards when you get back to your PC. 

However, there is, for most of us, a great mode on our phones to do this right then and there.

The Pano setting is brilliant.  Find it!  It should give you basic instructions or guidance.  Sweep across the view to get the same effect.  The above picture was taken with an SLR camera and stitched, but with a good camera on your phone you can get a great Pano shot easily with no faffing around.   It will even, in some instances, cope with people moving around as you sweep across the scene.

This Pano mode is also great for a group shots close-up as well as for views.   You can even use it vertically to capture tall buildings.   You don’t have to all the way, you can stop where you want. You can get a bit of distortion depending on how wide a view, how close you are etc but do go and have a try in various situations if you have the pano setting.  It’s great for catching a group or crowd close together (preferably if they’ll stay still for a moment!) when ordinarily you couldn’t fit them all in, taking a picture of someone posing at the bottom of a tall building, and panoramic views.

You may find uses with this to show of your next exhibition stand, crowd at an event or workshop if you are running a business too.   Tweet them to us @DotSocialise

iPhone Pano

iPhone Pano

Facebook Messenger App

I’m not sure why there has been a sudden flurry of scepticism about the Facebook Messenger Android app while I’ve been away (only for a few days) as it isn’t exactly new, it originally launched in 2011!

At Dot-Social we’re all on iOS and want the latest version of most things to keep us all up-to-date.  I personally believe Facebook make changes to enhance what we do, to keep us all on there!  The difference is that the Android version of the app is having to play by Google’s rules and declare all it’s capabilities which, when spelt out, seem quite alarming and possibly intrusive, using all kinds of data from your mobile.

This article from Mashable helps with the detail of what people are concerned about and should help decide whether you should be worried. It’s aptly named, Don’t Freak Out About the Facebook Messenger App.

Facebook’s own blog on this, Why is the Messenger app requesting permission to access features on my Android phone or tablet? explains why they need the permissions stated.  Even if you don’t really understand it all, you can get the gist.

You’ll see in the first blog post that they advise these permissions already applied to Facebook’s main app, and many of them are standard for social media apps like this anyway. It was in April this year when they split the app and started rolling it out.  The app reduces the different ways in which Facebook has to handle messages in its standard app and, “It would be too cumbersome to add to the standard app.”

In very basic terms, within Facebook if you want to send someone a picture from your android mobile, you’ll need to have given the messenger app permission to access your photos.  However, if you still don’t want to use the Messenger app, you can still access Facebook messages by accessing the site through a mobile browser.  You can then access and respond to your messages without using the Messenger app.

Post photos from your phone straight a Facebook Album

 

UPDATE – you CAN now post photos from your mobile into albums using the Facebook Pages app- Hurray!!

This came up whilst we were talking at Croydon’s Meanwhile Use marketing day.   I explained that posting photos is great and to do it from your mobile is easy and can create buzz for projects, but to remember to go and upload them into albums on your Page later with dates, descriptions, tags etc and then you can link to those albums and share them etc.   Otherwise they all just sit in ‘mobile uploads’ and that’s a massive mess!

However, I don’t think a lot of people know that, for your personal profile, you can actually add to an Album or even Create an Album on your phone.

After selecting ‘Share a Photo’ on your timeline and selecting them, click the icon underneath (below!) and you can add to an Album or create a new Album.

  • Choose an album

Alternatively, on the iPhone Facebook App, from anywhere just go to ‘More’ then scroll down until you see ‘Photos’ and in there you can upload like you do from your PC.

Both give you the options to add a description, location, people-tagging and privacy alterations as normal.

The only thing we’ve noticed you can’t do is Edit the Album to do things like re-order the photos like you can from your PC.

So, there’s no need to re-upload to organise your photos into Albums.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be available for Pages Apps yet, but for personal use it’s great.

We hope you find our Blog useful and if you’d like more tips from us please do connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Can Path replace Facebook?

Path – The place for your personal life

The first I heard of Path was watching The Gadget Show this week.  It’s described as an Ad-Free version of Facebook.  Why it’s been mentioned now as a possible rival in social networking terms to Facebook, when it’s been around for quite a while could be because they’ve only just launched it’s iOS7 App.  

Path is a Social Media network with the difference to others that it limits your friends to 150.  This is because physiologists say that that’s the maximum number of people you can maintain meaningful relationships with at any one time.   You can delete and add people as you change friends.

Your uploads/shares are called Moments and it’s more like a closed network as your Moments remain within those friends.  You can even have an inner circle of friends too.   It seems really slick and is intuitive to use on an iPhone, with new swiping features and moving between messages and the Home screen etc.

It has been doing pretty well gaining numbers from what what I’ve read but there’s scepticism on how it can be monetised.

Their CEO Dave Morin, according to this Business Insider article, has hinted in the past that somehow making money from data about users’ behaviour might be a way it makes money, rather than straightforward advertising,  and that they intend to remain independent.  Path Premium is £2.99 for 3 months or £10.49 for 12 and this gives you unlimited access to items from the their online shop (sticker packs and camera filters) and early access to new items.

For me, it’s like anything new…. I’d love to try it out properly but need more friends to be on it to see if it’s really going to replace something else.  It will have to be pretty good to overtake something else you’ve invested time and effort in.  It’s been around for over 3 years now and this is the first I’ve heard of it and it’s got to make money to take off too, so lets see, eh?!

As it’s FREE do have a go with Path via Google Play or Apple’s App Store. 

Anyone can ‘do’ social – but not everyone can do it well

I’ve heard it said time and time again that ‘anyone can do social’ and it’s true, pop onto your Facebook profile and you’ll find any number of relatives from 15 to 80 sharing and chatting. But would you let your errant Aunt run your business’ Facebook page? Or would you let your tearaway teenage niece get her hands on your business Twitter profile?

The answer of course is ‘no you wouldn’t’ (unless you had some kamikaze tendencies).

The point is that yes, anyone can do social but to ‘do’ social successfully for business, they will need the following basic skills:

1. Good written language skills
Everything you say online is representative of your business, it is very important that you come across online professionally.

2. Empathy
They need to understand other people, and know how to talk to people in a way that allows them to get the best from a situation.

3. Creative Imagination
A lot of work around Social Media focuses on content creation, they have to be able to come up with great, interesting ideas.

4. Most importantly they have to like socialising
Sociopaths don’t bode well on Social Media sites, they will have to like a good natter.

And that’s just the basics! After that they will need:
1. Training on the platform/s of choice
2. An understanding of the ethos of the company
3. A knowledge of the correct tone for the message.

Yes, anyone can ‘do social’ but when it comes to YOUR business you need to make sure you get it right!

This month I liked this: iphonography

Got some spare time?  Why don’t you take up a course in iphonography – that’s iphone photography to you!

Richard Gray a photographer for 25 years has set up a course at Kensington & Chelsea college in iphone photography.  To attend the course all you need is a passion for photography, a creative mind and, of course, an iPhone. If you want to participate it will cost you £115 with an additional £20 for required apps.