Website Maintenance 18th June 2017

Our website will be down to limited functionality on Sunday 18th June 23:00 – 6:00am, you may not be able to browse through certain categories but we will try are best to try make the services uninterrupted but just notifying our customers of these upcoming improvements.

We thank you for your continued support throughout this process.

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The only official Snapchat instruction manual is buried in its IPO filing

Snap Inc. filed to go public today, and part of the paperwork involved in setting up its initial public offering includes visual descriptions of how the Snapchat app actually works. This is neat development, if only because Snap has long prized its obtuse design as a hip badge of honor for younger smartphone owners. Now, these illustrations are offering a fascinating inside look at how every facet of Snapchat is built and to what end. It will surely be useful for the many Wall Street investors who have likely never used Snapchat and would be incapable of wrapping their heads around it even if they tried.For all the flak CEO Evan Spiegel and crew have gotten over the years for “bad design” or “crappy UI,” these descriptions also make clear that every part of the app has a distinct purpose and every screen a carefully constructed layout. Here, for instance, is how Snapchat constructs its home screen, which notably was the first mainstream social app to open straight into a camera:

Credit: Snap Inc


It’s also a testament to the ever-expanding complexity of the app that Snap put together multiple versions of these diagrams to fully explain every bit of the software. There’s illustrations detailing how lenses work, including sponsored lenses from companies like Taco Bell. There’s also detailed breakdowns of the “send to…” screen and the chat window.

Here’s the rest of the illustrations found in Snap’s S-1 filing, which you can read in full here

By Nick Statt – The Verge

Apple’s Ability to Hire Foreign Workers May Be Impacted by Trump Overhaul of Work-Visa Programs

United States President Donald Trump and his administration have drafted an executive order that intends to overhaul the work-visa programs that various technology companies — including Apple — rely on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

According to a draft of the order acquired by Bloomberg, affected visa programs include L-1, E-2, and B1. Directly affecting tech companies is H-1B, which lets companies like Apple hire appropriately skilled workers for specific jobs when there is a dearth of local talent available.

Image Credit: @MacRumors


Falling in line with Trump’s “America first” intentions, which previously ignited reports of Apple turning to U.S.-based iPhone manufacturing, the order explains that the country’s policy on immigration should not give priority to foreign workers. Its intent aims to prioritize and protect American workers, as well as their current and future jobs.

“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” the draft proposal reads, according to a copy reviewed by Bloomberg. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

Although some companies use the visa programs to find high-skilled talent overseas, Bloomberg notes that allegations in recent years have claimed that the system can be abused to simply hire workers at a cheaper rate “to fill jobs that otherwise may go to Americans.” Outsourced workers in India are said to be the main targets of the H-1B visa, filling in the technology departments of large corporations “with largely imported staff.”

Since the executive order is only in the drafting stages, it’s not yet clear how much force or backing it would receive if made official. According to Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University, companies who potentially use the work-visa programs to hire cheap labor will be affected most, likely ending up having to pay more to their employees if the order is signed. Companies using the programs to legally hire skilled workers may be able to find alternative visas elsewhere, but the intent to make the process more difficult is clear.

“If firms are using the program for cheap labor, I think it will affect them and they will have to pay workers more,” said Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University. “If tech firms are using the program for specialized labor, they may find there are more visas available.”

The current legislation caps workers who can enter the U.S. each year at 85,000, including educated workers with college degrees. According to the most recent data available, workers with H-1B visas at companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are paid more than $100,000 per year, while outsourcing firms reportedly intent on hiring for quantity over quality are said to pay workers less than $70,000 annually.

Trump’s order aims to bring transparency to these issues, with the intent to publish reports “with basic statistics on who uses the immigration programs within one month of the end of the government’s fiscal year.”

Today’s news comes a few days after Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the immigration executive order signed by Trump on Friday, which left refugees and immigrants stranded at airports around the country over the weekend. In a letter to employees, Cook said that Trump’s order is “not a policy we support,” and that the company has “reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.”

By Mitchel Broussard – MacRumors

Apple Removes Tool to Check if an iPhone or iPad is Activation Locked

Apple has removed its Activation Lock status checker on iCloud.com at some point in the past few days. The tool enabled users to enter the serial number or IMEI of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and find out if the device is secured with Activation Lock, helping buyers avoid purchasing a device locked to another user.


A user purchasing a used iPhone on eBay or another website, for example, was able to request the device’s serial number and use Apple’s tool to verify that Activation Lock had been turned off. If the device was still locked, or if the seller refused to provide the serial number, then it was likely lost or stolen.

The iCloud page where the tool was available now returns a “Not Found” page aka 404 error. Apple also removed the following reference to the tool from a related Find My iPhone support document earlier this week:

How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device? When you buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. You can check the current Activation Lock status of a device when you visit icloud.com/activationlock from any Mac or PC.

Apple has not explained why it removed the page. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Activation Lock, enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone, is designed to prevent anyone else from using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch if it is ever lost or stolen. A device with Activation Lock enabled requires the owner’s Apple ID and password before it can be used, even if it is erased or reactivated.

Last year, a number of users who purchased a brand new iPhone experienced an Activation Lock issue where their device was locked to someone else’s Apple ID. Apple disabled Activation Lock for affected users upon being provided proof of purchase, but it is unclear if the strange issue factored into the page’s removal.

Activation Lock was introduced alongside iOS 7. The tool to check the Activation Lock status of a device had been available since October 2014.
By JOE ROSSIGNOL – MacRumors

Do This One Thing On Your iPhone To Save Your Life

Aren’t iPhones incredible? Not only can you look at the Internet all day long, your iPhone is capable of so much more. For example, ‘Word Lens’ means you can point it over a foreign word and get it translated in real time… plus your iPhone could save your life one day.
Doctors are urging iPhone users to do this one small thing immediately for one simple reason – it could be a lifesaver.

What is it?

It’s basically the Emergency app – in the bottom left hand corner you can dial 999 but it lets you store all your Medical ID – like your blood type, any allergies you may have – and also a next of kin.

Doctors can access all this info even if your phone is locked.

Most people who end up in hospital with a locked phone and no info in their Medical ID – and having that info to hand could save precious minutes in an emergency.

It only takes two minutes – so update this info on your phone ASAP!

But before you go praising your iPhone and cuddling it into your chest, remember cell phones aren’t just lifesavers. They can have some negative effects too.

They make us more stressed – which is ironic as they’re supposed to make things easier and make us feel more connected than ever.

But they make us feel like we can never “switch off” and unwind – so try and have a digital detox once in a while and you’ll realise how much you were missing out on.

Mobile phones can also cause chronic neck and back pain.

Uh oh! It’s all that hunching over the phone, scrolling for hours on end, going from Instagram to Snapchat to checking your emails then back to Facebook. Remember to stretch once in a while.

People are also reporting increased migraines, headaches and blurry vision.

Like with your laptop of computer, you should try and look up every ten or fifteen minutes from the screen. This lets your eyes adjust. Being on your phone right before bed can also lead to sleeping problems – if you can try and put it down an hour before bed, that would be idea. If that’s just never going to happen, you can put it on “Night Mode” – it’s in Settings. You can even time it to go into Night Mode at night. It changes the colour of the screen and it will help your eyes and your sleep.

Apparently there is more bacteria on iPhones than toilets.

Gross! Considering we put it to our ear every day, give it a wipe with antibacterial spray every so often.

And mobile phones also cause car accidents.

Goes without saying that you shouldn’t use it when you’re driving.

Words Laura Hamilton

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Apple Releases iOS 10.2.1 With Bug Fixes, Performance Improvements

Apple today released iOS 10.2.1 to the public following several weeks of testing. iOS 10.2.1 also comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system.

iOS 10.2.1 is a free over-the-air update available to all iOS 10 users. It can also be downloaded and installed on iOS devices using iTunes on a Mac or PC. The update is still rolling out and may not be immediately available on all devices.


No outward-facing changes or new features were discovered during the beta testing process, suggesting the update focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements.

The iOS 10.2.1 update will soon be followed by a new iOS 10.3 beta, if rumors are correct. The first iOS 10.3 beta, with a new “Theatre Mode” was rumored to be coming out on January 10, but has not yet appeared.

By Juli Clover – MacRumors