Tag Archives: iOS

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 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

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

Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls

Apple is investigating multiple reports from iPhone owners of AirPods randomly disconnecting and reconnecting during calls, MacRumors has learned.

A long thread on Apple’s Support Communities website has been generated by AirPods users who are regularly experiencing Bluetooth connection dropouts during phone calls, despite the fact that the wireless earphones almost never lose their connection when used to listen to music or anything else.

At present, the issue appears to be limited to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices, with several users reporting no such problems after upgrading to an iPhone 7. MacRumors was also unable to replicate the problem on Apple’s latest handset.

Initial reports suggested the dropout issue only occurs if users also have an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, but MacRumors was able to replicate the problem with a Fitbit Blaze, suggesting a more general conflict when other Bluetooth devices are also connected.

Unpairing and then repairing the AirPods does not appear to solve the problem, neither does rebooting nor resetting the iPhone. Until Apple offers a solution, users are advised to use only one AirPod for conducting calls, as the dropouts only seem to occur when both earpieces are in use.

By Tim Hardwick -MacRumors

Prank crashes iPhones with rainbow emoji messages

Jokers are exploiting a bug in iOS and are sending messages stuffed with 🌈 emojis which cause recipients’ iPhones or iPads to freeze

Boobytrapped emoji messages filled with white flags and rainbows are causing Apple iPhones and iPads to crash. Photograph: Alvy / Microsiervos/Flickr


A bug in iOS is being exploited in a prank aimed at crashing iPhones and iPads using the power of simple text, flag and rainbow emojis.

The bug has two variants. One text string includes a waving white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow and a hidden character called a variation selector, which can be copied into an iMessage conversation and sent to anyone. The other is the same string of characters, but embedded within a contacts file, which can be shared via iCloud Drive to an iMessage contact.

Both will crash and iPhone or iPad to varying degrees, although the text string sent via a standard iMessage only appears to affect iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.1 or below. The boobytrapped contact card affects all versions of iOS 10, including the latest iOS 10.2, the Guardian can confirm.

The bug was originally reported by YouTuber EverythingApplePro, which has a history of reporting on iPhone crash pranks.

Watch here to see how it’s done
French iOS developer Vincent Desmurs, who claims to have discovered the bug, suggested that the issue is caused by Apple’s handling of the variation selector and the emojis beside it. He said: “What variation selector 16 (VS16) does in this case essentially is tell the device to combine the two surrounding characters into one emoji, yielding the rainbow flag.

“The text you’re copying is actually a waving white flag, VS16, zero, rainbow emoji. What I’m assuming is happening is that the phone tries to combine the waving white flag and the zero into an emoji, but this obviously can’t be done.”

Users sent either the emojis via iMessage or the contact card see their iPhone or iPad crash after a short period of time, either resulting in a full lock up requiring a reboot, or a partial lockup that triggers a quick reboot. The irony of the prank this time is that by using the contact card it is quite difficult to avoid crashing the sender’s smartphone or even Mac computer, if sent through the desktop Messages app.

Users will need to delete their iMessage conversation with whichever prankster sent them the booby-trapped emoji to avoid repeated crashes on opening the messages. Some users have reported having their iPhones repeatedly lock up without being able to delete the conversation. Some have reported being sent a new message, or creating one with Siri before opening Messages to clear the block.

Apple’s iOS has a history of abnormal strings of text or videos causing crashes, which are then used to prank iPhone and iPad users, crashing their devices and in some cases preventing them from re-opening certain apps without clearing the prank messages.

Apple declined to comment.

By Samuel Gibbs – The Guardian

10 old school games you can play on your smartphone right now

By Stuff Magazine

Week after week, a torrent of shiny new mobile games floods the app stores, offering in-app purchases like there’s no tomorrow.Despite their impressive graphics and meticulously calculated addictiveness, though, nothing quite warms our hearts like the classics of old.

You know, the sort of basic button-bashers that had you hooked for hours, using little more than blocky graphics and a lot of beeps.

Well, here’s the good news: it’s still possible to play a fair few of these arcade classics. A host of retro games have been officially released for your smartphone for on-tap nostalgia. You’re welcome.

Additional words by Chris Rowlands

Snake ’97


Everyone who owned a Nokia phone back in the day – which, let’s face it, was most of us – would have spent at least some time hopelessly hooked on this gem from the 90s, trying to beat their high scores while avoiding their own tail.

Simple in mechanics yet ridiculously addictive, it’s a wonder that we ever made it to 4K graphics given how engrossing Snake was.

If you miss those halcyon days, you have two options. You can either buy a new Nokia brick, which should come with the little critter installed, or you can download the simulator for your smartphone. It even comes complete with a choice of Nokia phone backgrounds.

Price £FREE

Download Snake ’97 for iOS
Download Snake ’97 for Android
Metal Slug 3


Who else here spent too much of their school allowance feeding the Metal Slug machines back when arcades were still a thing? The 2D side-scrolling shooter that lets you clear wave after wave of monsters with cool weapon upgrades and power-ups is back, except instead of a joystick, you’ll be using your thumbs to play.

You’ll be able to find mobile versions of many of the Metal Slug games in the series, but of the original arcade shooters, Metal Slug 3 gets our vote for maintaining the spirit of the earlier games from a decade ago, while introducing a bit of extra depth.

Price: £2.29

Download Metal Slug 3 for iOS
Download Metal Slug 3 for Android

Space Invaders


Equal parts iconic and fun, this arcade classic stole the hearts of legions of fans back in the late 70s and even caused a shortage of 100-yen coins when it was first released in Japan.

The mobile version is almost a dead ringer for the original, with an on-screen fire button with three options for controlling the laser — left and right buttons that can be tapped, a control stick that can be “dragged,” and tilt control utilizing the iPhone’s accelerometers.

You might not be playing it on an arcade machine, but the 8-bit graphics and audio will give you epic flashbacks to a time when you were.

Price: £3.99

Download Space Invaders for iOS
Download Space Invaders for Android

RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic


Largely responsible for many of us wanting to grow up to become theme park owners, the original RollerCoaster Tycoon games actually made micro-managing fun.

Atari’s new release for mobile combines features from the first two PC games and also includes the original pixelated, isometric art style that looks like a blast from the past. The build and design tools and huge range of rides and amenities have all been kept intact, plus an adjusted menu system to fit on the smaller screen of your phone. 

Price: £4.49

Download RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for iOS
Download RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for Android

Mega Man X


With its directional controls and two action buttons for shooting and jumping, this iOS port released by Capcom is very similar to the original action game on the NES.

The mobile version lets you charge your shots and fire powerful ammo at your enemies just like the original, with the addition of (completely optional) microtransactions that let the time-starved unlock weapons, health boosts and other content without the need to work towards them in-game.
Plus with the full list of Mega Man titles slated for a mobile release in January, there’s no better time to get hyped.
Price: £3.99

Download Mega Man X for iOS

Crazy Taxi City Rush


One of the all-time greatest arcade games, Crazy Taxi was addictive fast-paced chaos accompanied by awesome 90s-era music. You had to race through congested streets and pick up impatient passengers because time was money even back then.

While touch controls on the phone aren’t the most conducive for this steering-wheel driven game, the sequel is worth a download for the addition of mini-games, and for the manic excitement that many newer games fail to match.

Download Crazy Taxi City Rush for iOS
Download Crazy Taxi City Rush for Android

Sonic The Hedgehog 2


Sega brings the speedy blue hedgehog to your mobile device with a bunch of titles to suit any Sonic fan. And while the original Sonic game is available, Sonic 2 gets our vote for being the most refined and diverse of the lot that’s been adapted for mobile.

The original’s side-scrolling design has been expanded with more speed, running at 60fps during normal and special stages. Other updates include a remastered soundtrack, a remade version of the lost beta level Hidden Palace Zone, and an eighth Special Stage. The Android version even includes levels cut from the original release.

Price: £2.29

Download Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for iOS
Download Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for Android
Puzzle Bobble


Step aside, Candy Crush, this classic with the dinosaur mascot was the original match-three game. The mobile version retains all of the original levels, along with the original music and sound effects that we can still recall from memory.

While you still have to match three or more same-coloured bubbles to make them disappear before you run out of time and space, the app also introduces some new modes and features such as boss levels that require using your bubble launcher as an offensive weapon. But we’ll probably just stick with popping bubbles.

Price: £3.99

Download Puzzle Bobble for iOS

Pac-Man


Well, you just can’t have a list of classic games without including Pac-Man, can you? The highest-grossing game of all time has been reborn as a mobile app so that the younger generation might partake in its brilliance — while you relive your childhood.

The app is pretty much exactly like how you remember it – with the original 1980 maze, plus an additional 9 mazes. The touchscreen provides swipe controls and a joystick to avoid ghosts and munch on power pellets. Simple, straightforward and uncomplicated — why fix it if it ain’t broken?

Price: £2.99

Download PAC-Man for iOS
Download PAC-Man for Android

Worms


This childhood favourite wriggles onto our phone screens complete with exploding sheep, holy hand grenades and homing missiles flying furiously around as you try to destroy your opponent.

The remastered version for iOS stays true to the original that we fell in love with, but you’ll need a bit of practice to master the game on a touchscreen. While the original is only available on iOS, Android users can also join in on the action with Worms 2.

Price: £1.49

Download Worms for iOS
Download Worms for Android
** All Prices Correct on 14/01/17 and may of changed in price 

Snapchat’s Latest Feature Is Going To Make Stalking Your Ex Easier

By James Dawson – STUFF

Snapchat has decided to go ahead and make stalking your ex / crush / friends / everyone else that bit easier by introducing a new search function.
The tech company has added a universal search bar where users can search through the entire app, it will be launching today for some people on Android and rolling out soon to all iOS and Android users.
Using the search bar will make it easier to bring up friends, groups, publishers on Discover and Our Stories and it lets you dig out the best content and conversations from the app.

How to use the new search feature here!!!!

For the app, this feature could translate to monetisation according to TechCrunch, who said: “With universal search also comes new revenue opportunities. Snapchat could potentially let advertisers pay for sponsored placement atop search results, or as suggestions in the search interface.

“This could allow Snapchat to directly monetize the desire of brands to build an audience on its network. When asked if ads were coming to search, the company declined to comment on future plans.”
For anyone who’s reading this who has loaded up the app and is still wondering what the hell I’m on about, the search bar – if your app has been updated – will be located at the top of the app.
When you get ready to type into it, the rest of your screen will show a “Quick Chat” section with Bitmoji of accounts you frequently interact with, “Groups” further below that, and “New Friends.”
Sounds rad, get snapping…

Featured Image Credit: PA Images & ConsumerFu