Articles about iOS

A Christmas gift from SwiftKey -- free themes for iOS and Android

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It's December and the season of giving and -- of course -- receiving is just around the corner. You may have written your Christmas wishlist, dropped subtle hints about what you wanted, and you're now just waiting for your desires to be fulfilled. While it's unlikely that keyboard themes and skins featured highly, SwiftKey today announced that all of its themes are now available for free.

If you've harbored a secret desire to sex up your phone's keyboard but simply couldn't justify splashing any cash on something so frivolous and, ultimately, pointless, now's your chance to skin away to your heart's content. Free SwiftKey themes for everyone!

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Netflix now lets you watch your favorite movies and TV shows offline

NetFlix

Many people stream their favorite movies and TV shows today through Netflix. The service, which boasts around 86 million subscribers, is available on all the major platforms, making it easy for users to enjoy it pretty much everywhere and on every PC, smartphone and tablet. That is, as long as there is a working Internet connection.

That changes today, as Netflix announces that it is also making its content available offline. Users are now able to download movies and TV shows and watch them while, for instance, traveling on an airplane or in a remote area. Here is what you need to know.

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Plagued by Apple Calendar spam? Here's how to stop it

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Recently a lot of people have been complaining about spam calendar invitations in iOS, and it’s something I’ve experienced too -- particularly on Black Friday. "$19.99 Ray-ban&Oakley Black Friday In-Store & Online" said one unwelcome invitation.

While you can easily decline these invites, that’s not the greatest idea because -- just like responding to a spam email -- it has the side effect of telling a spammer that your account is active. Thankfully, there is an easy way to stop them.

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The 30 percent bug sees iPhone battery life dropping dramatically in iOS 10.1.1

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If you've updated your iPhone to iOS 10.1.1, you may have started to feel that your battery is not lasting as long as it used to. You are not alone; you could be experiencing what has been named the 30 percent bug.

Many users are complaining that their iPhones will suddenly drop from 30 percent battery charge to 1 percent, and then shutdown. The problem does not seem to affect one particular generation of iPhone, suggesting that the issue lies with iOS itself, but at the moment Apple does not have a fix available.

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Microsoft Solitaire Collection from Windows 10 now available for Android and iOS

SolitaireLady

Back in the the mid-1990's, everyone thought they needed a computer. After all, Windows 95 made using one particularly easy, and the internet was a very attractive thing. Unfortunately, once some people got their first-ever PC set up in their homes, they didn't really know what to do with it. In the end, it would turn out that some consumers spent thousands of dollars for a machine dedicated to one thing -- playing Solitaire! Yes, this fun Windows game is responsible for much wasted time, but not just at home -- at businesses too. The card game has historically been viewed as a negative for productivity.

Fast forward to 2016 and fewer people are sitting in front of large desktop computers at home -- people are increasingly turning to tablets and smartphones for entertainment. Today, just in time for Thanksgiving, Microsoft Solitaire Collection comes to both Android and iOS.

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Tech Deal: Get a Newton subscription for 50 percent off

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You will find plenty of deals on tech products this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As usual, the focus is on hardware, but there are some significant discounts to be had on software as well.

Case in point is Newton, my favorite cross-platform email app. Formerly known as CloudMagic, in September it received a rebranding which also introduced a subscription that unlocks a number of premium features. And, starting today until November 29, you will be able to purchase one for 50 percent off.

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iOS bug means glitchy videos can kill any iPhone or iPad

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iPhone users are familiar with strange bugs that crop up from time to time that can, temporarily at least, kill their cell phone. We've seen specially-crafted text messages crash iPhones, and now there is a video which can render Apple smartphones useless -- until they are restarted, that is.

The video takes advantage of a bug in iOS relating to the handling of media files, and it appears to affect both iPhones and iPads. The model of phone or tablet doesn’t seem to matter, and the problem affects iOS 10 and goes back as far as iOS 5. So, if you feel like pranking a friend -- or you're just curious -- here's how to kill an iOS device.

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iOS apps three times more likely to crash than Android

Mobile frustration

With iOS and Android waged in a long term battle for smartphone market share every quarter, device performance can often play a role in shaping the final results.

According to a report released today by Blancco Technology Group, Apple is losing the app performance battle to Android with its iPhones and iPads failing at a rate of 62 percent worldwide, compared to the 47 percent failure rate of Android devices.

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Google PhotoScan turns your smartphone into a scanner for your old photos

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Despite the name, smartphones are generally used for anything but traditional phone related activities -- and one of the most popular usages of the devices is snapping photographs. But while an entire generation of photographers has grown up with digital photography, there are plenty of physical photos out there waiting to be digitized.

Google thinks it has the answer in the form of PhotoScan. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it transforms your smartphone into a scanner so you can preserve old photos. Unsurprisingly, it is packed with smarts to simplify the whole process, and it all ties in neatly with Google Photos.

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The new Google Play Music rolls out to Android, iOS and the web

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Starting today, Google is rolling out an updated version of Google Play Music, its streaming music service. The company says that the update sees the use of machine learning to create contextual playlists based on where listeners are and what they are doing.

The latest version of Google Play Music is more "assistive" than ever, with Google making much of the personalized playlists it is able to automatically create.

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Google flatly denies claims that Android has hurt competition -- quite the reverse

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Google's battle with the European Commission has raged on for many years, and the company has faced frequent accusations of anti-competitive behavior for one reason or another. Today the Android producer has hit back at the European claims, saying that the existence of iOS is proof that its own mobile operating system is not anti-competitive.

Senior vice president of Google, Kent Walker, writes on the company blog that "Android is not a 'one way street'; it's a multi-lane highway of choice". He also points to the fact that the cost of smartphones running Android has dropped dramatically over the years, but one of his primary arguments against the anti-competitive claims is that phone manufacturers are free to use Android in whatever way they want.

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Facebook adds augmented reality Halloween masks to Live video plus spooky reactions

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Out on the streets people may be keeping an eye open for killer clowns, but on Facebook this Halloween things are also taking a frightening turn. The social network is using this spooky time of year to introduce augmented reality masks to Live video -- with a Halloween twist, of course.

At the same time, Facebook is also adding "limited-edition" Halloween reactions. These transform the now familiar Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry reactions in something rather more ghoulish.

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Apple fiscal Q4 2016 by the numbers: $46.9B, $1.67 EPS

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Two days before Apple's next media event, where long-overdue new laptops presumably arrive, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant released fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results. You could feel the anticipation after the Bell closed on Wall Street today—and, honestly, it had been palpable for weeks. Shares closed $118.25, up .51 percent.

The drama is a TV thriller: Release of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus set against a backdrop of saturated global smartphone sales; launch of Apple Watch Series 2 into an already declining market for smart timepieces; analyst data showing calendar third quarter to again be bad for PC shipments—with even Macs losing momentum. So everyone wants to know: What was the quarter's financial crop?

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New Sway Democracy app wants to help you choose between Trump and Clinton

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You've probably noticed that there's an election just around the corner. As Trump and Clinton battle it out there have been accusations that Russia is trying to interfere with the result, Julian Assange has been cut off from the internet to prevent him meddling, and Google has released a fact checker to help separate political fact from fiction.

There's no denying that this is one of the most important US elections ever, and the balance of power could be tipped by an important demographic -- millennials. With this in mind, a new app aims to help educate younger voters so no matter who they vote for, they are doing so in an informed way. Enter Sway Democracy.

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Lost for words? Facebook Messenger suggests conversation topics at the cost of privacy

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Facebook is keen for people to keep talking. Recently the company has been pushing its Messenger app as a way for people to stay connected in a variety of ways, but it has also noticed a problem -- people don’t always have something to talk about.

But Facebook (of course!) has a solution. To help those who struggle with small talk, an experiment is underway whereby Facebook Messenger will suggest possible topics for conversation. These are, obviously, not just random suggestions, but topics based on the activities of the participants -- opening up the usual privacy concerns that tend to be associated with Facebook.

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