Articles about iOS

Google makes it easier than ever to switch from iOS to Android via the cloud

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Christmas is a time that sees many people getting new phones -- and for Google this is the perfect opportunity to try to steal a few iPhone users. But the problem with switching from one mobile platform to another is making sure data migrates across. Thanks to Google Drive, this is now easier than ever.

Google has had a guide to switching from iOS to Android on the Android website for some time, but it has now been updated to reflect important changes that have been made to the iOS version of Google Drive.

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Google brings Gboard keyboard to Android

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You would think that Google would concentrate on bringing its apps and tools to its own Android operating system before rivals, but this is not always the case. In fact the company has only just got around to launching the Android version of Gboard, months after it debuted on iOS.

Gboard is an updated version of the Google keyboard, and it comes with a raft of new features that make it well worth considering. Among the new additions are a dedicated number row, GIF and emoticon search, and the ability to perform Google searches from any app.

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IDC was so wrong about Windows Phone

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I laughed so hard and so often at IDC's smartphone forecast, my response took nine days to write -- okay, to even start it. The future isn't my chuckable -- that data looks reasonably believable enough -- but the past. Because 2016 was supposed to be the year that Microsoft's mobile OS rose from the ashes of Symbian to surpass iOS and to challenge Android.

In 2011, IDC forecast that Windows Phone global smartphone OS market share would top 20 percent in 2015. The analyst firm reiterated the platform's No. 2 status for 2016 in 2012 as well. Not that I ever believed the ridiculous forecasts, writing: "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2015, I'll kiss Steve Ballmer's feet" and "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2016, I'll clean Steve Ballmer's toilet". The CEO's later retirement let me lose from those obligations had I been wrong. I was confident in my analysis being truer.

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Using VP9 and H.264/AVC High codecs keeps Netflix video downloads smaller

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The announcement that Netflix now allows viewers to download videos for offline viewing caused understandable excitement among subscribers. Of course, the key concern -- particularly with mobile devices -- is storage space. But thanks to a tweaked codec, Netflix has your back.

If you were worried that you might not be able to fit many episodes of your favorite shows on your phone or tablet, fear not. For Android users, Netflix opted to use the super-efficient VP9 codec, but as this isn’t supported by Apple, it had to think outside the box a little and ended up plumping for a custom H.264/AVC High codec for iOS users. The space savings are impressive.

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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

Thanksgiving special Newton 50 percent off

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

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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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