10 Tips and Tricks for iOS 6

Maybe you've installed Apple's iOS 6, the newest operating system for iPhones, iPad, and iPod touch, but do you know about all the tricks that are inside and how to use them?
Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, may have sparked a fury of Internet hate for the new Maps app, and I certainly won't wag my finger at anyone who misses Google's engine behind the Maps app, but plenty more goodies are tucked away in iOS 6 that you shouldn't miss.
Here are ten of the best features and how to use them.

1. Swipe up to reply to incoming calls with a text message. Maybe you heard that when a call comes in, you can now reply with a text message instead of just declining the call. But these options don't appear automatically. You have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal them.

2. Customize your text replies to declined calls. The feature that lets you turn down phone calls but reply with text message allows you to use a canned message for added convenience. A few options appear when you swipe up, as mentioned in the first tip. To change what they pre-written texts say, go to
Settings > Phone > Reply with Message.
You can now customize your one-touch replies.

3. Learn how to work the Do Not Disturb option. A new feature called Do Not Disturb appears in the settings, but it's nothing more than an on/off switch. Where can you set the hours for quiet time, or make it so that calls from emergency contacts come through? Oddly, these choices fall under the Notifications area. Go to
Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb.
The Scheduled button lets you define the hours when you don't want to be disturbed. The Allow Calls From button just below it launches a new screen where you can exclude people from your do-not-disturb list.

4. Attach photos and videos to email in the Mail app. Formerly, using the mail app was occasionally a pain. You'd compose a message, remember that you wanted to send the recipient a photo, too, and realized you couldn't actually attach anything to the draft. Now you can. In an email draft, press a hold anywhere in the body. In landscape mode (holding the phone horizontally), list of options will appear, including one to insert a photo or video. If you're in portrait or vertical mode, just press the arrow button that appears until you see the right choice.

5. Read in full-screen mode. News articles, blogs, and other text-heavy pages, when viewed on an iPhone especially, cause squinting and more pinching, zooming, panning than most people feel comfortable doing. When Safari detects a text-heavy page in iOS 6, it supplies a button called Reader at the top right of the URL bar, which reformats the page in a full-screen and easier-to-read layout. You'll also notice a "share out" or "send to" button (curved arrow) in Safari with a lot of great option beneath it also worth exploring. They're mostly not new to iOS 6, but they do appear in a newly designed interface.

6. Pass your iPad or iPhone to friends without worrying they'll get nosy. I admit that I've hesitated in the past before passing my mobile devices around to friends to let them look at photos or something that made me giggle on Facebook. The larger the group of friends, the more suspicious I am that someone might take liberties with my device when I'm not looking. The same is true, I'm sure, for parents who let their kids play with their iPhone or iPad. Guided Access, new to iOS 6, lets you lock down your device so that only the app you open can be used, and no other functionality works until you enter a unique four-digit passcode. It's a little tricky to find and set up.
First, go to
Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.
Toggle the switch to on and set a passcode. When you want to use Guided Access, just open the app of choice, and triple tap the home button. Be sure to hit the start button at the top right. But wait, there's more (see the next tip).

7. Disable buttons in apps (in Guided Access). When you enable Guided Access in an app—which locks users from going into any other app or areas of the phone—you can also disable parts of the screen. For example, if you turn on Guided Access in the Photos app, you can also use your finger to circle parts of the screen you want to disable, such as the top row of buttons so that one can look through your other albums. Just be sure to hit the Start button in the top right corner before handing over your device!

8. Share Photo Stream. Apple's syncing service, iCloud, handles images with speed and good responsiveness. But it was never easy to share your pictures until iOS 6 came along. To share your Photo Stream images, go to the Camera app and press Photo Stream. Then hit the plus button in the upper left, which will open a screen where you can fill information about how to share your Photo Stream, whether with a select few individuals, or by making it public on your iCloud account.

9. Learn what the new Privacy button means (and use it). A new Privacy button under Settings comes with little explanation. Tap it, and you might not know what information it's even telling you because there are no instructions or explainers. Here's what it does: Privacy shows you apps that can talk to other apps, and whether they are. For example, my Twitter app talks to my Flipboard app. I enabled that integration, and I'm okay with it. But if I didn't remember allowing it, or wanted to shut it off, I can do so in the Privacy area with one quick motion. This feature gives you very good ability to quick ability to turn off any app-to-app sharing that you don't want and you might have forgotten existed. So if you don't want Facebook to know where you are, check the Location Services section of your Privacy buttons, and you can flip the switch off lickety-split.

10. Customize native Facebook alerts. A big new feature in iOS 6 was the direct folding in of Facebook functionality, meaning you can share to Facebook a picture from your Camera app or a link from Safari without ever opening the Facebook app itself. It works similar to the baked-in Twitter functionality that was new to iOS 5. What many users may overlook, however, is the ability to customize your Facebook chat and message alerts, separate from the Facebook app as well. They're found under
Settings > Facebook > Settings.
Of course, you can also add Facebook alerts to your Notification Center, but that feature isn't new (it's under Settings > Notifications, and then scroll down until you find Facebook in your list of apps).

7 fabulous free apps for showing off your iPhone 5

7 fabulous free apps for iPhone 5 7 fabulous free apps for showing off your iPhone 5 “What’s so special about the new iPhone?” I’ve been hearing that question over and over in the past few days, and here’s my stock answer: it’s thinner, lighter, faster … and wait ’till you’ve seen the bigger screen.

Indeed, it’s amazing how quickly my eyes got used to the taller, four-inch display on the iPhone 5—so much so, in fact, that my old iPhone 4 screen now looks stubby and cramped in comparison.
Unfortunately, just a handful of apps have been optimized to take advantage of the extra space—well, besides the core iPhone apps from Apple, that is.

Pinterest app for iPhone 5 169x300 7 fabulous free apps for showing off your iPhone 5
A bigger screen means more “pins” to peruse in the Pinterest iPhone app.

The rest are plunked in the middle of the screen, with black bars above and beneath. Sure, they still work perfectly fine, but what a waste of space!
So, which super-sized apps should you try when you’re showing off your new iPhone to your friends? Here are seven of my favorites—and yes, they’re all free.

1. Facebook

Facebook recently rebuilt its iPhone app from the ground up to juice its performance, and a just-released update zooms the interface to fill the entire iPhone 5 screen—perfect for browsing all those status updates and baby photos in your news feed.
Download: Facebook

2. Flipboard

This eye-catching “social magazine” takes headlines and photos from your favorite sites and social networks and turns them into gorgeous, flippable pages. Already one of the most impressive iPhone apps in the App Store, Flipboard looks even better now that it’s been optimized for the bigger iPhone 5 display.
Download: Flipboard

3. Pinterest

You still can’t “pin” anything from the Pinterest iPhone app like you can on the iPad, but Pinterest on the iPhone makes for a great way to browse the latest pinned goodies from your fellow Pinteresters—and on the iPhone 5, you’ll see even more pins in a single glance.
Download: Pinterest

4. Brushes 3

Unleash your inner artist with this free painting app, which lets you paint on a virtual, widescreen canvas with 14 different brush shapes. Customize your brushes, “record” your brush strokes and play them back later, or share your creations via Facebook or Twitter.
Bejeweled Blitz for iPhone 5 169x300 7 fabulous free apps for showing off your iPhone 5
The addictive “Bejeweled Blitz” looks even more beguiling on the four-inch iPhone 5 display.
Download: Brushes 3

5. Pocket

Sit back, relax, and lose yourself in a lengthy online article with Pocket, an app that takes long text stories from the web, and saves them on your iPhone, all formatted for easy reading. Yes, the new-and-improved “Reading List” feature in Safari will also save web pages on your iPhone, but the iPhone 5-ready Pocket app does Reading List one better by letting you flip through pages like a book, just like on a Kindle.
Download: Pocket

6. Hipmunk

Here’s an iPhone travel app with a difference. Instead of just spitting out a list of available flights, Hipmunk (pictured above) creates a color-coded chart that lets you compare departure and arrival times, as well as pinpoint flight with on-board Wi-Fi. And thanks to the iPhone 5′s longer screen, you’ll be able to view up to 10 flights at a glance.
Download: Hipmunk

7. Bejeweled Blitz

The addictive, ever-popular “match-3″ puzzler is now enhanced for the bigger iPhone 5 display. The game itself is free, but expect to pay extra for score-boosting power-ups.
Download: Bejeweled Blitz

How to baby-proof an iPhone app with Guided Access mode

How to babyproof an iPhone app with Guided Access iOS 6 tip: How to baby proof an iPhone app with Guided Access mode When she isn’t kicking contentedly in her ladybug chair or tossing pacifiers out of her crib, my six-month-old daughter loves swiping my iPhone’s touchscreen with her pudgy little fingers.

Specifically, she’s enamoured of Koi Pond, an app that turns my iPhone’s display into a virtual fish pond, complete with lily pads and fish food.
My daughter’s eyes go wide whenever she manages to splash the water or scare the fish with a well-aimed swat at the screen.

iOS 6 Guided Access settings 300x289 iOS 6 tip: How to baby proof an iPhone app with Guided Access mode
Once you activate Guided Access mode, you can disable touch input anywhere on the screen by tracing an area with your fingertip.

Not so fun, though, is when she accidentally hits the tiny “?” icon in the corner of the display, which interrupts the koi pond action with a boring how-to diagram.
Whenever that happens, my little one quickly loses interest in the fish and switches to a more absorbing game, called “Put the iPhone in Your Mouth.”
Well, fellow parents, good news.

A feature in the new iOS 6 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can temporarily “lock down” an app, freezing all the hardware buttons (including the “Home” button) and letting you draw zones on the screen that won’t react to taps or swipes.
The “Guided Access” feature will work on any iPhone or iPad that’s been updated to iOS 6, and you can turn it on though the Settings menu.
Here’s how to get started…
  • On your iPhone or iPad home screen, tap Settings, General, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap Accessibility.
  • On the next page, scroll down again to the Learning section, tap Guided Access, then flip the Guided Access switch on.
  • If you want to, you can also set a passcode for unlocking your device once you’re done with the Guided Access mode (tap “Set Passcode,”) or keep the Power button active during Guided Access for putting the screen to sleep (flip the “Enable Screen Sleep” switch to “On.”) Rather leave those options alone? No problem.
  • Next, open the app that you want to babyproof—Koi Pond, in my case—then triple-click the Home key. The app should freeze and a frame of Guided Access controls should appear.
  • Now, draw a circle anywhere on the screen to disable taps or swipes in a specific area. Once you’ve drawn your circles, you can drag or resize them with your fingertips (which I had to do a few times, after my baby kept swatting the “?” icon in Koi Pond), or tap the little “x” to delete a touch-free zone.
  • At the bottom of the screen, you can switch off touch and motion input altogether (on an iPhone, tap the Options button to reveal those settings).
  • All set? Tap the blue Start button in the top-right corner of the screen, then let your tyke loose.
Once you’re done letting your baby swipe away on her favorite iPhone or iPad app, you can turn off Guided Access mode by triple-clicking the Home key again.
And when she’s ready to tap again, your device will remember your Guided Access settings from last time.

50 Best Free iPhone Apps for 2012

50 Best Free iPhone Apps for 2012


One of our favorite file-syncing services, SugarSync added an iPhone app to its offering in 2011. SugarSync gives you access to your files from a multitude of devices, no matter if you store them on your laptop at home, desktop computer at the office, tablet, and so on. You can use SugarSync to stream music, back-up photos, collaborate on projects, and more.


TED by TED Conferences
TED's tagline is "Ideas worth spreading," and what better way to spread the ideas from this series of education, explorative, and motivational talks than by carrying them with you wherever you go. TED once was a highly exclusive conference, closed off even to most press, and the organization's greatest accomplishment to date has been to open up the knowledge that comes from its speakers by making videos of their presentations and performances available online to the public. This official TED app works for both iPhone and iPad. If you're unfamiliar with TED, give Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight presentation a try. You'll be hooked.

The Weather Channel
In putting together this list of free iPhone apps, I thought long and hard about the ones I actually use most day in and day out. The Weather Channel's free app is one that I open at least once a day. Sometimes it's a little embarrassing (really? I can't just look out the window?), but other times, like when I'm leaving the house for a full day and want to know how to dress for the weather conditions five hours from now, The Weather Channel has more time-based information than the built-in Weather app from Apple. The Weather Channel's free app does contain some advertisements, but they're tolerable.
Trainyard Express

Trainyard Express

In this captivating iPhone game from indie developer Matt Rix, players lay down tracks to guide trains from their starting points to the stations, sometimes merging with other trains along the way. Trains, starting points, and stations are color-coded. Red trains must end up in red goal stations. A blue train can merge with a red train to become a purple one before it reaches a purple station. As the difficulty increases, the number of trains also increases, as well as the number of objectives in each level. Trainyard Express is an absolutely addictive and fun puzzle game for players of all ages.

TripIt tops the list of travel apps. It automatically syncs your emailed itineraries to a TripIt organizer, putting all your travel plans right on your iPhone no matter which booking agent you use. It's hands down the most recommended app for frequent jet-setters… but watch out for the ads.

For a long time, Twitter Inc., the company that owns the 140-character social network, didn't make its own app. Dozens of third parties did, however, but not all the resulting apps were worth using. So when Twitter released its official Twitter app—and it worked well and loaded quickly!—users folded the new tool into their iPhones happily. If you tweet, it's a no-brainer to have this app. If you don't tweet and have been on the fence about joining the masses, the iPhone app makes it easy and convenient to get on board. With iOS 5 (available for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) has a lot of Twitter functionality directly integrated into other apps, so you can tweet out things you want to share with greater ease. You still need the Twitter app (or another Twitter client) to read tweets, though.

WebMD is much more than a diagnosis app, although you certainly can use it to input symptoms you are experiencing and find some clues as to what's ailing you. It also contains listings for healthcare professionals and pharmacies in your area, as well as first-aid guides—simple instructions for dealing with an emergency that everyone should have accessible to them at any time. This free reference app is one you hope you don't need, but the moment you do, you'll be glad you downloaded it.

Half the fun of having a smartphone is looking things up when you're in the middle of a bar bet—and hopefully proving yourself right. Wikipedia is the go-to source for fact-checking in the mobile age, and the Wikipedia app usually returns results faster than a mobile search engine.
Yahoo! Axis

Yahoo! Axis

Yahoo! Axis brings a refreshing and desirable new take on Web search, getting rid of the middle man, those pesky link-filled result pages. The implementation of this new idea still needs more sanding and buffing, but Pinterest users will find it's better for pinning than the social site's own mobile app. Yahoo! Axis includes a Pin It button bookmarklet directly in the browser for all your mobile pinning needs.


The most comprehensive review app, Yelp turns out to be an invaluable tool for finding businesses nearby, especially when you're in a town you don't know well. Yelp's mobile app has helped me find a hairdresser when I was in a pinch in Washington DC, and a suitable lunch while driving through Ohio (shout-out to Moreland Hills!). Need to find an acupuncturist in Austin? Or the most popular coffee shop in Charlotte (emphasis on "popular" and not necessarily "best," by the way)? Yelp's the app to do it.