Apple has released iOS 10.3, and you may find yourself asking, “What makes it worth the update?” Turns out there are quite a few new features to make it worth your while.
There’s a new way to manage your Apple IDs all in one place, find my iPhone now includes support for AirPods, and there are new Siri and Carplay features. Safari has also had a small update, along with security and bug fixes.
Finally, this is the public debut of APFS. Wondering what all of that means? Let’s take a closer look at these changes.
All Your Apple IDs and Devices in One Place
You have always been able to keep separate accounts for iCloud and iTunes. However, managing each account has involved going between several menus on iOS. Now, iOS 10.3 consolidates your account settings into a single menu within settings.
When opening the Settings app, there is a new banner at the top with your name. Tap that to open a page that shows your iCloud, iTunes Store, and Family Sharing settings. After scrolling down, you see a list of devices you have registered to your iCloud account.
If you want to update the info on your account, tap through the first three entries on the list. The Name, Phone Numbers, Email menu holds your basic contact information. Also listed are your available email addresses for the Messages app.
The next entry is Password & Security, which lets you change your password or contact email. This menu also allows you to turn on 2-factor authentication, but hopefully you have already done that.Payment and Shipping covers your default credit card. If you have a shipping address on file with the Apple Store, it is listed here as well.
The next set of entries applies to your various accounts. The first entry is the iCloud account. Tap this to see a summary of your storage usage on iCloud Drive, as well as granular permissions for each app you use. The second entry is your iTunes account. Here you can turn on automatic downloads from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Stores. The third is Family Sharing where you can add and remove the family accounts you share.
These three entries previously existed as separate menus throughout the Settings app. It is not a significant change, but it is a nice touch to bring this account management into one place.
The next section consists of your devices tied to your iCloud account. You can click each one, and see if it has Find…
Have you ever used Unroll.me, the web service that helps you unsubscribe from newsletters in bulk? If so, your emails have been scanned by that company and sold to third parties including Uber. There’s a chance they’re scanning your emails right now.
If you want to switch tabs right now and remove third-party access to your email account, I don’t blame you. It’s the first thing I did when I found out. Come back when you’re ready, though, because I know you’re curious how Uber is involved.
You might be aware that Uber is having, shall we a say, a difficultfewmonths in the public relations department. The latest incident is a New York Times profile of CEO Travis Kalanick, which reveals the company was fingerprinting iPhones against Apple’s terms of service—Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly threatened to pull Uber out of the App Store altogether over it. That’s what made headlines yesterday, but scroll down a little further and you’ll find this tidbit about a company called Slice Intelligence, which Uber hired to do market research.
“Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber,” the article states.
We Got Played
I used Unroll.me many years ago. If you’re anything like me, a few things came to mind after reading about this.
Wait…Unroll.me is owned by a market research company? When did that happen?
That company scans people inboxes for reasons other than finding newsletters?
Does this thing still have access to my emails?
When I first started using Unroll.me, it was a two-person startup. I had no idea the service was still enabled on my Gmail account all these years later, and I had no idea that a market research company with a villainous name had since bought the service.
I’ll admit it: I got played. I feel betrayed. And I’m not the only one.
An uproar against Unroll.me quickly surged, and with good reason.
Is This Legal?
This is completely legal. Unroll.me doesn’t exactly go out of its way to advertise that it’s selling anonymized information from your inbox to third parties, but the information is there for anyone willing to dig for it. The Unroll.me privacy page specifically allows…
As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, April 10.
Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!
iPhone: Twitter has rolled out an update for the official Twitter app that solves the pesky problem of app bloating. Now, you can manually clear out the cache in the app.
A lot of apps on iOS have a problem where they bloat up in size over use, which can cause issues with those of us with 16GB phones. The best workaround I’ve found for this involves downloading a giant app to force iOS to clear the…
If you want to show somebody photos on your phone but don’t want them wantonly scrolling through the rest of your camera roll, there are a few clever tricks you can employ to ensure that they see what you want them to see…and nothing else.
Smartphones have become our take-everywhere, do-everything, all-in-one pocket computers that we manage (and record!) our entire lives on. Unlike handing somebody the little photo book from your wallet that we used to carry around, handing somebody your smartphone gives them access to your personal photos and more. And we’ve all handed someone our phone to show them one photo, only for them to start swiping through to look at everything else.
Rather than simply accept that, you can easily use these tricks to put a lid on rampant camera-roll-scrolling behavior and keeps their eyes just on the photos you want to share.
For Single Photos: Just Zoom In a Little Bit
This tip is a very low effort one, and best suited for showing someone a single photo on your phone while you’re there to supervise them.
On nearly all image gallery apps, including the default gallery apps on iPhone and Android, using the pinch-to-zoom function on a photo “locks” it into place. This locking mechanism isn’t intentionally intended to lock the user onto that photo, but is a side effect of how the activating the zoom function also activates the swipe-to-pan function so you can move around the zoomed in image.
Depending on the operating system and application the photo either stays locked until you zoom out or until you attempt to swipe multiple times—on the iPhone, for example, swiping on the photo bumps into the sides of the screen, and you have to swipe multiple times before it zooms out and resumes normal camera roll functionality.
To take advantage of this unintended feature, simply pinch-and-zoom every so slightly on the photo (zooming even the tiniest amount will do the trick). Unless the person looking at the photo understands both the concept of pinch-zooming and that the reason their swipe left/right failed, then they’ll likely just scratch their head and hand it back to you. This is a perfect super low effort solution for those times that you’re handing your phone to, say, a relative who doesn’t get the concept of digital privacy (or that you’d even have racy or private photos on your phone in the first place).
Create Albums to Contain Groups of Photos
What about those times you want people to swipe through some photos, but not others?…
You’ve been taking photos and videos, downloading documents, and installing apps like there’s no tomorrow. All of a sudden you realize you’re running out of room on your phone. What do you do?
Sure, you could use cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive to store files, but those require an internet connection to access your files. If you want to actually take files with you, there is a better solution.
Just like you’ve been using USB flash drives with your PC or Mac all these years, there are also flash drive-esque devices that connect to phones and tablets. After testing a few, here are some that we recommend:
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is the most versatile, being able to connect to iOS devices, Android devices, and computers (either wirelessly or over its USB connection like a traditional flash drive). Put any files on it from your PC, and you’ll be able to read them using an app on your phone. The SanDisk software can also back up your photos and contacts, and secure any sensitive files you have on the drive with the SecureAccess software (which can only be protected and unprotected on your PC or Mac). And, of course, wireless drives don’t have to be physically connected, which is nice—though you will have to charge it.
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is more like a traditional flash drive, but built for the iPhone and iPad. It plugs into the Lightning port on the bottom of your device so you can directly access files stored on it. Like the SanDisk Connect, it can back up photos and contacts, though it can also back up your calendar and social media. The iXpand drive can also protect individual files in the SanDiskSecureAccess vault directly on the drive using the iXpand Drive app.
The Leef iBridge 3 Mobile Memory Drive is similar to the iXpand drive, connecting directly to the Lightning port on your device. However, it has one unique feature: allows you to transfer files between the drive and a few of the more popular cloud services without having to copy the files on your mobile device first. The Leef iBridge 3 also allows you to protect your files, like the iXpand drive, but it protects the whole drive, not individual files.
The iXpand and Leef iBridge 3 drives should both fit over most cases. We tested them on an iPhone 7 Plus with a Speck Presidio Grip case and it fit just fine. They may not fit as well with some of the thicker cases, such as OtterBox cases. The iXpand drive is a bit more flexible than the Leef iBridge 3 drive.
NOTE: We’re mostly focusing on iOS in this guide, since Android phones are much more versatile. If your Android device supports USB on-the-go (OTG), you can use any old flash drive just by plugging it in using a USB OTG cable. You can read more about that process in this article. You can also use a USB-A-plus-USB-C flash drive like this one. If your Android phone does not support physical USB connections, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick should work well with Android too.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the process of using all three of these devices to store and read files on your iPhone or iPad, as well as back up photos or other files if you want to free up space. There is more you can do with these drives than we discuss here, and we’ll provide links to help pages so you can learn all about using your new drive.
How to Use the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is a flash drive that works not only with your computer, but with your phone and tablet as well. It runs its own wireless network, so you can connect to it wirelessly. That means it can be in your pocket, purse, backpack, or anywhere within about 150 feet with a clear line of sight while it’s connected to your device.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick provides up to 256GB of extra storage, and the prices range from about $25 for 16GB to about $200 for 256GB, as of this writing.
Charging the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick and Connecting It to Your PC
Before we get started with the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, plug the drive into your computer or a USB adapter and let it fully charge. This might take up to two hours.
While the drive is charging, download and install the appropriate app for your device: Connect Drive for iOS or for Connect Drive for Android. We’re going to show you how to use the drive and the app on iOS, but the process is the very similar on both. If you’re charging the drive in a USB port on your computer, you can also use the charging time to copy any photos, videos, or other files you want to access on your phone to the drive. Copy files just like you would any other flash drive.
Once the drive is fully charged, turn it on by pressing the power button on the side of the drive.
The LED on the top of the drive blinks white to indicate the drive is on.
Connecting the SanDisk Connect to Your Phone or Tablet
To connect to the drive on Android, open the Connect Drive app and select the Wi-Fi network that your drive creates.
If you’re connecting the drive wirelessly to a PC or Mac, connect to the drive’s Wi-Fi network just like you would connect to any other Wi-Fi network. Then, open a browser and go to http://172.25.63.1/myconnect/. You should see the files on your drive in the browser window and you can manage the files right in the browser.
iOS is a bit different. To connect to the drive, you have to go through the Wi-Fi settings for your iPhone or iPad, not in the Connect Drive app. To do so, tap “Settings” on the Home screen.
On the Settings screen, tap the “Wi-Fi” option.
Under Choose a Network, you should see the SanDisk Connect drive listed with unique code of six numbers and letters after it, identifying your specific wireless stick. Tap on “SanDisk Connect” in the list.
The SanDisk Connect drive moves up to the top of the screen with a checkmark beside it.
You are now connected to your drive. Open the Connect Drive app and swipe left to go through the introductory screens. On the last screen, tap the “Get Started” button at the bottom.
The initial screen of the Connect Drive app displays with some helpful hints to get you started.
Accessing Files on the Wireless Stick
Files on the wireless stick can be accessed directly on the drive. Open the Connect Drive app and you’ll see all the files and folders on the drive. To open or view a file, simply tap on the file. If the file is in a folder on the drive, tap the folder to open it and then tap on the file. For example, to view a photo on our drive, we tap the Photos folder to open it…
…then we tap on a photo in the folder.
The photo displays directly in the app. You can also tap the right arrow icon at the bottom of the screen to start a slideshow using all the photos at the same level (the root of the drive or in the same folder). The Connect Drive app supports viewing .bmp, .tif, .tiff, .jpg, .png, .xbm, .ico, and .tga images.
You can stream videos to up to three devices from the drive the same way. Simply tap on a video file to play it directly in the Connect Drive app. The Connect Drive app can play .wmv, .avi, .mkv, .mp4, .mov, .flv, .mpg, .rmvb, .m4v, and .ts video files. (Note that some DRM-protected content cannot be played, however.)
You can also play music files in the form of .mp3, .wav, .m4a, .aac, and .ogg, as well as view Microsoft Office documents (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx) and PDF files.
Backing Up Photos and Videos from Your Device to the Wireless Stick
To save room on your device, you may want to transfer some of your photos and videos from your camera roll to the wireless stick and access them directly on the drive.
NOTE: Photos and videos are the only types of files you can officially transfer from your device to the drive. However, the Connect Drive app is added to the iOS share sheet, so you might be able to transfer files from other apps to the drive using the share sheet if those apps support it. For example, we selected a video in VLC and then used the share sheet to copy the file to the Connect Drive app, which automatically copies the file to the wireless stick. You can also transfer photos and videos (up to 10 files at a time) in the camera roll using the share sheet instead of the Connect Drive app. Select them in the camera roll, tap the Share icon, and then tap the Connect Drive icon on the share sheet. Then, choose where on the drive you want to paste the files.
To use the Connect Drive app to back up photos and videos to the drive, open the app and tap the plus icon at the bottom of screen showing the contents of the drive.
The first time you copy files, the Connect Drive app will ask permission to access your photos. Tap “OK” on the dialog box that displays. You’ll then see the photos in your camera roll. You can also click the Albums button to access other albums.
Once you’ve located the photos you want to back up to the wireless stick, tap on those photos. Then, tap the “Select Destination” button at the bottom of the screen.
Now, you’re prompted to select a destination on the drive. You can select any existing folder by tapping on it, or you can tap “New Folder” to create a new folder to contain the copied photos. Once you have selected your destination, tap the “Copy Here” button at the bottom of the screen.
The app displays the status of the copy process. You can pause the copying of a photo, cancel the process, or hide the progress screen.
When the photos have been copied, the following dialog box displays. Click the “OK” button to close the dialog box.
If you’d rather back up your entire camera roll, you can tap the menu button in the upper-left corner of the main screen and head to “Camera Roll Backup”. You can set it to back up manually or automatically.
Connecting to the Internet and Use the Wireless Stick at the Same Time
When you connect your device to the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, you give up your normal Wi-Fi connection, so you won’t be able to access the internet. You can get it back, though—you just have to re-connect to your normal Wi-Fi network through the Connect Drive app.
Tap the hamburger menu button in the upper-left corner of the screen.
Tap “Internet Connection” on the slide-out menu.
Click the “Next” button on the introductory screen.