Category Archives: Technology

Sharing WIFI password with guests is breeze on iOS11

Yesterday I had to share my wifi password with one of my friend when he came over to visit. I am one of the guys who have really long passwords which are very hard to remember. So I went to see the wifi password in my 1Password app and there it was. iOS’ another subtle feature that Apple never advertised it. My iPhone which was also connected to wifi asked me if I wanted to share that password with my friend. That was cool!

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Here is how you do it;

  1. Ask your friend to tap on your wifi SSID in ‘Settings’ app on his iPhone
  2. Unlock your phone which is already connected to the same wifi.
  3. Just tap on ‘Share Password’ button.

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If you want to see it in action. Just hit forget password on wifi on a phone in your home and try sharing it. I do not believe this works with iPhone to Android.

iPhone X; all hope not lost for single hand operation

As everyone probably know by now, iPhone X is not a phone you can use with single hand. In fact none of the phones after iPhone 6 are not ideal for use with one hand because users cannot reach all corners of the screen without adjusting hand grip. The problem is not limited to just iPhones and it applies to any phone that is bigger than iPhone 5, 5s or 5SE.

Solution? Apple implemented reachability feature on all iPhones since Touch ID was introduced. The operation is simple, double tapping (not click) on home button on your iPhone will bring the whole screen half way down so users can reach top corners of screen without having to adjust the grip on the device. Feature works flawlessly on all iPhones. But if you are thinking iPhone X cannot do that becuase it DOES NOT have a home button to tap on, then you’d be wrong.

Reachability on iPhone X. I haven’t seen any reviewers talk specifically about this feature and thought I would shed some light on it. iPhone X uses swipe-up action from bottom notch on the screen to give the default home-button-press action i.e. closing your apps. Swipe-down on the bottom edge notch will give users reachability option. This would particularly come in handy if you wish to use your iPhone X with one hand without adjustting grip risking the fall.

Reachability is not enabled by default and would need activation via Accessibility menu in Settings app. Here is how it works.

Awkward: Swiping down on botton notch is not really intuitive and took some time to master but, I guess fans would not mind training their hand mussles get used to this new workout.

iOS 11: 3D Touch Multitasking and new Emojis

iOS has been advancing very fast since version 8. Currently there is almost no need to actually jailbreak iOS for any new functionality. Engineers at Apple have done good job in mimicking all those fan favorite jailbreak and some of android features. iOS 11 is definitely a big leap for Apple devices especially for iPad however, Apple messed up when they took out 3D touch multitasking functionality from their initial iOS 11 release. They did not announce anything or mentioned anything as this was a negative point on their “fantastic” iOS 11 release. Later Apple told multiple news resources that the functionality was eliminated because it was causing trouble somehow on iPads.

With iOS 11.1 update Apple kept it’s promise to bring this function back. iOS 11.1 also came with several new emojis and the Internet is going crazy about it.

3D touch multitasking is back on iOS 11.1

Here are some of the new emojis introduced in iOS 11.

Apple Music for $5 per month is not a bad idea

Buying music was never my thing until I was introduced to iTunes. I used to listen to radio or just pirate my music whenever I really wanted to hear those famous songs. Yes, I downloaded music when I was staying with my parents and paying for my tuitions. everyone out there does that, so get over it.

Now I buy music but, now that is an old thing too! Last year when apple released their Apple Music streaming service I was excited because it came with 3 months of free subscription. In those 3 months I really didn’t use any streaming because I had all the latest music that I really really wanted to listen to and didn’t feel the need of buying any new music. Once the free trial period got over I absolutely did not want to pay $10/month for the music I love and not keep it with me if I choose not to pay monthly fees anymore.

Recently I came across one amazing option that will still allow me to listen to new music and just in half the price. I sure am a music love and absolutely cannot live without it. So to stay sane in life $5 is really not a bad price. iTunes is one of the reliable source to the highest quality music out in the world.

Even though I think Apple Music is the best quality music streaming service out there I still wouldn’t pay $10/month for it. So how to get Apple Music for $5/month? You need to have a student’s account. If you are a student, you can get Apple Music for half the price of their individual subscription. You can validate your account with your school email. Click the link below and verify your account as student account and start using Apple Music for $0.99 for first 3 months and at discounted price later.

Visit https://www.myunidays.com/perks/view/applemusic/online for validation of your student account.

Caution: If you reach 48 months of Student Membership or they find that you are not a student anymore, your membership automatically becomes an Apple Music Individual Membership. Because, once you’re hooked on them they will rip you off any way. Until then, enjoy!! 🙂

Donate while shopping

Always think about donating for that cause you believe in? You can do it while you are shopping on Amazon. Just always visit smile.amazon.com when you want to shop on Amazon. 0.5 percent of any purchase made via smile.amazon.com will be donated to the charity organization of your choice.

You might not receive any tax benefit but you sure can do some good while shopping for your gadget or product.

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Once you sign in the website will also prompt you to install Amazon Smile 1-click extension for Chrome, do install it to make sure next time you will hit smile.amazon.com. Please also change your Amazon bookmark, if you have one.

Happy shopping!

Which one is better UP3 or UP24? (Jawbone UP3 Review)

A couple of weeks ago Jawbone released their new UP3 fitness tracker. According to Jawbone, the company couldn’t keep up with originally promised release date of “Holidays 2014” because of difficulties they faced to make the device water proof. Finally the company declared new release date with with compromised water resistant device. The new UP3 is no more friends with water than it’s predecessors UP and UP24.

Jawbone says, UP3 has heart rate monitor, bio impedance sensor and blah blah blah; all the big words. Here is what you need to know if you have pre-ordered or thinking of ordering one.

Why to go for UP3?
Sleek design – It is definitely better looking tracker out there. On the wrist it just looks like a regular jewelry band people would wear. Even though Jawbone advertised multiple band types and colors if users want one right now the only color options are black and white. Black band looks cooler than the white one but then, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.
One size fits all – UP3 sports a newly designed clasp which is adjustable and makes one size fit most of the wrists out there.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) – if you are crazy about all the numbers about your sleep information then you would absolutely love this thing. Jawbone says resting heart rate helps you get better picture of your over all health.
UP App – UP3 required new UP app which is different than the blue one. The new app icon is purple colored and the app is considerably faster and reliable than the blue counterpart which supports UP Move and 24 trackers. Notifications on new UP app are way too reliable than the old one.
Future updates – even though active heart rate monitoring is not possible today with UP3, Jawbone promises (yeah right!) to enable more HR related features in future firmware updates. We don’t know when that will happen but, if you are loyal to UP system then you might want to invest in UP3 now.
100% goal celebration – everyday when you reach your goal the band vibrates and throws you a little light show using it’s three indicator lights.
Magnetic charger – the band effortlessly latches to the charger making it easy to connect. Band takes about 1.5 hrs to fully charge.

Why not to upgrade to UP3 or UP2 and stick with you UP24?
Clasp – The clasp that latches band around your wrist is really tough to go around (Ladies, remember those Pandora clasps?). I wonder who is the idiot behind selection of this design to go in production. This clasp also moves and loosens the belt every couple of days. The simple solution is to press it a little with pliers.
Battery life – If battery life is something that really matters to you then, stay with UP24. UP24 holds battery charge upto 14 days where as UP2 and UP3 only provides 7 days of battery life. 7 days of battery is still high among all the other fitness trackers out there.
Heart Rate (HR) features – UP3 has HR monitoring but it’s very limited and is not worth the money at this point. If you want to measure HR during exercise or on-demand then stay away from UP3 for now and go for Fitbit HR bands.
No Timer on/off from band – Timer is the third most used mode among “UPsters”, Active and Sleep mode being first two. Jawbone took it away from users on UP3. Users can start or stop timer (or work out mode) only using UP app, so no more running without your phone on you. This is absolutely ridiculous.
No Power Nap mode – One of the features I liked about my UP24 was power nap, especially on weekend afternoon naps. This is no more possible on UP2 or UP3 bands.
Touch based switching between modes – UP2 and UP3 have capacitive touch surface on it’s top metal housing. Users have to touch it twice and hold the tap when any mode light is ON. I know it does sound complicated but, I got a better hold of this now and rarely have to try multiple times. However for some users this can really be frustrating.
“Were you working out” prompts – App is much faster and reliable but, a walk to train station or stretching arms around causes app to ask annoying “Were you working out?” questions. Jawbone got rid of ‘timer mode switching’ from band itself so, they added these ‘smart’ prompts to the app to help users log their missed workouts.

Despite above disadvantages, UP3 provides pretty advanced sleep tracking with user’s heart rate throughout the sleep cycle.

Overall, UP3 band sports ambitious new technology to provide users more information about their sleep and activity. Most of the UP users will still upgrade to UP3 hoping to receive firmware updates in ‘near future’ to unlock many of it’s currently disabled features. We can only hope that, Jawbone would keep ‘up’ with their loyal customers and bring UP3 to it’s full potential before end of products life.

Connecting the world

Ever wondered how easily you get online and punch a few keys to visit that website half way around the world or send messages to your loved ones instantly? Ever thought about how you can do live video chatting with people several thousand miles away? If you are thinking about those communication satellites hovering around the globe make this possible then your information is marginally correct.

Underwater communication lines: Before humans even thought about satellites, we knew a better way to send electric signals between two places kilometers apart. Human communication has been relying on cables for decades before first satellite launch. Engineers just took that thought to the extreme by deploying long and huge communication lines on our ocean beds. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Submarine cable with repeater showing in the picture

Submarine cables have Multi-terabyte bandwidths making them an ideal solution for future of communication. Today our satellites only count for 1% of international communication. Growing network of these submarine cables provides really high reliability incase of a cable break. Engineers can deploy these cables with help of specially designed ships. However, these submarine cables have limitations. Signal through these cables weakens over long distances so manufacturers have to incorporate these cables with repeaters every 6 to 9 km. Another disadvantage is that, in case of a cable break the repair crew has to deep dive to replace whole affected segment and that makes repair work very risky. Advancements in the filed are now allowing robots to do any hazardous underwater work.

Submarine cable deploying ship
Fiber optic submarine cable design

Submarine cable vs. Satellite
Why does most of our data still travel via submarine cables instead of satellites?
Data traffic through undersea optical fiber cables offer advantages in terms of reliability, security, capacity and cost.
Microwave satellite signals take about 0.2 seconds to travel roundtrip from the ground to an orbiting satellite, while optical submarine cables can send data across the Atlantic in 1/20th of that time, resulting in lower latency.
The microwave spectrum available to satellites is limited, while the spectrum available for optical communications has more room for increasing IP traffic.
Wavelength division multiplexing technology increases the capacity carried by single fibers and thereby reduces the number of cables required; deploying fewer and smaller cables is then more cost efficient for the amount of capacity versus the high cost of deploying and maintaining satellites. [osa-open.org]

If you are curious, check the map below to get some idea of how the world is connected or click here to view an interactive updated map.

Submarine cables map, 2009

How to use vulcan salute emoji on iOS 8.3?

iOS 8.3 update bought over 300 emoji to it’s users. Many of these emoji were already available on Android already. However, there is this one Vulcan Salute users cannot use because iOS Emoji Keyboard doesn’t have a key assigned for it but, that doesn’t mean you cannot use it. Follow steps below to get access to the famous Vulcan Salute without any jailbreak.

1. Copy this Vulcan salute imoji here, 🖖

2. Goto Settings App -> General -> Keyboards -> Shortcuts and add this new keyboard shortcut.

 

3. Type your shortcut phrase when you want to use Vulcan salute.

Using shortcuts: You can also create keyboard shortcuts for other uses for example, use short of your email ID to type whole email ID or shortcut to your Out Sick email to your boss 😉 Some better examples would be like, Short of that restaurant you always ask to go, convert ‘gm for Good morning, ‘gn for Good night.

Live long and prosper! 🖖