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How the Site Kit Is the Icing on the Cake for the HMS Core

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Since the ban by Google on Huawei smartphones, the mobile providers have gone from strength to strength. The HMS core which has been rejuvenated has been key to their development. The HMS core is a framework that helps app developers provide the best experiences to their users through their app. Standing out from the HMS core is the site kit.

Make no mistake. There are so many things worthy of checking out in the HMS core. From the audio to the wallet kit, the options are endless. However, the site kit is especially important.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at why it is important and how app developers can utilize its functions. First, let’s see if we can talk a bit about the site kit

What Is The Huawei Site Kit?

The site kit gives app developers access to locations all over the world. That’s not all. These locations all come with ratings and extra information which will no doubt be valuable to the users.

Why the Site Kit Is the Shining Light

It Is Crucial To Location-Based Apps

With the way the world is set up, most apps now use location to decide what services to show their users. Without understanding where your user is located, this might be impossible.

The site kit allows you to pinpoint where your users are. This allows you to show them services they might be interested in or lead them to the right location. The ultimate aim of an app developer is to satisfy the desires of users. That’s what the Huawei’s site kit achieves.

Global Reach Can Make Your App Soar

Just like the wallet kit, the site kit also has the potential to reach millions of people. In fact, it is home to more than 130 million locations around the world. Its diversity is also not up for debate. Users can use the site kit in more than 12 languages.

The site kit is a complete package. With the global reach it commands, it’s only a matter of time until your app starts to soar.

The Site Kit Is a Direct Response to Google

Here’s another reason why the site kit just had to live up to its expectation. It is a direct response to Google. It’s pretty more or less proof that Huawei does not need Google to keep surviving. With the site kit working perfectly and many app developers jumping on board, the need for Google services becomes even smaller.

How can app developers use the Huawei’s site kit?

Are you interested in integrating the Huawei’s site kit into your mobile application? If you are, then you should definitely visit the Huawei’s developer platform. This will allow you to register. Registration will give you access to all the resources you need to build the ultimate app.

Final Thoughts

While Huawei definitely has a lot of improvements to make soon, the site kit is off to a magnificent start.

If you are an app developer, you should consider getting the site kit for your app as soon as you can.

How to Navigate the Huawei Distribution kit

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Huawei distribution platform is an essential part of the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which fortunately as just singular components of the Huawei Developer platform. The Huawei distribution kit has been fine-tuned to a near-perfect state over time. The distribution services have been created in such a way that serves as a seemingly straight highway.

This digital highway is a steady link between the global community of app developers and the increasingly massive number of Huawei product users. This distribution channel is linked to monetization and by extension, the Huawei wallet SDK. As a developer, is there a particular reason you have not yet sought access to this distribution highway?

Well, if there is it could probably be because you do not fully grasp the concept. So for this article, we will be focusing on what the Huawei distribution channel entails? The advantages of using the Huawei distribution platform? As well as what the channel means for you as an app developer?

The concept of the Huawei Distribution Kit

The distribution services are readily available on the Huawei developer platform. This developer platform is at the very heart of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). The platform is a way to ensure that developers remain in touch to assist each other. But also it serves to ensure that developers have all the tools and services needed in developing a successful app.

Now a successful app is one which has gone through some essential app development phases. One of the provisions made by Huawei is the Huawei distribution kit. yes, the role of the kit is right there in the title. The kit aids in facilitating app distribution. This is an essential phase in the development of an app. Huawei has made it possible for distribution to be fast and effective. More than that, in due time distribution, would most likely lead to monetization.

Theory Behind the Huawei Distribution Kit

The entire distribution kit could be controlled from a single Huawei distribution platform. There are several such distribution platforms made available by Huawei. For this article, we will be referencing the most popular Huawei distribution platform. The platform is known as AppGallery Connect.

Initially, we mentioned that there are various stages in app development and distribution. For those who are not aware, we will list out these stages. The stages are:

  1. The innovation phase
  2. Thedevelopment phase
  3. Thedistribution phase.
  4. Theoperation phase.
  5. Theanalysis phase.

All of these phases are interlinked and essential in facilitating distribution one way or the other.

The Huawei distribution kit is in place to make sure that you save some time when you get to the distribution phase of your app` growth. App distribution needs to be done one way or the other. Why not opt for a less stressful way? Huawei distribution kit ensures that your app gets to all Huawei users regardless of the device they use. This is done proactively to ensure that your project does not stall at the distribution phase.

Conclusion

It is quite interesting, isn`t it? The system has been proven to be effective. So go ahead and register. You can try the Huawei distribution kit knowing that it has also been tried, tested and verified by the global community of developers.

Backuptrans Review – Is it the Best iPhone/Android Data Transfer Tool?

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When you have several devices, it is vital to use a single software to manage files on your Android and iPhone devices. The truth is that managing messenger and WhatsApp is quite challenging. That is because seamless transfer technology between iPhone and Android can be tough to achieve. Fortunately, there is software known as Backuptrans that can easily manage your WhatsApp no matter the device you use. You can even print text messages with Backuptrans. However, is it powerful as its developers claim?

You should note that the Backuptrans iPhone/Android WhatsApp transfer tool has various functions. The main functions include restore, transfer, iTunes restore, and backup.

Backuptrans Features

Backup Review

The backup is meant to save vital content of WhatsApp on the iPhone/Android to a secure computer. You will find the backup function quite commendable. In fact, within seconds, all your WhatsApp messages are successfully backed into the local database.

Transfer Review

You should note that this is the critical function of this software. Ideally, it can transfer your WhatsApp messages from iPhone to Android phone and vice versa.

Restore Review

With this feature, you can restore your WhatsApp messages from the PC to your Android device or iPhone. Remember that this restore function is quite different from the iCloud/iTunes backup recovery, and it will not affect the existing content and settings on the device.

iTunes Restore Review

In this case, you can restore your iTunes backup to another iPhone or Android phone. This is an important feature if you have lost or damaged your iPhone.

Pros of Backuptrans

With Backuptrans, you can transfer audio, pictures, video, and messages from WhatsApp. You can transfer all files directly between the Android device and iPhone. Moreover, you can backup all your WhatsApp files from the iPhone or Android to PC or cloud storage easily and quickly.

You can use Backuptrans to extract corresponding messages from iTunes or PC to iPhone or Android phone without erasing content or tampering with settings. Besides, the quality of transferred files, including messages, videos, and photos, is not altered. You have the freedom to use up to five formats that include PDF, HTML, Doc, CSV, and text.

Backuptrans Cons

You should note that Backuptrans has both paid and free versions. The free version does not provide all functions, so you will need to pay to use this service. In fact, the free version cannot transfer more than twenty WhatsApp files at a time.

How to Use It

The good thing about Backuptrans is that it is very straightforward to use. However, if the transfer does not go well, you should follow these steps to make a transfer between your iPhone and Android WhatsApp seamless.

Step 1

Verify your mobile phone. In this case, you should run WhatsApp messenger, and the process is automatic.

Step 2

Cancel cloud backup links on your computer. For instance, you can disconnect WhatsApp from drive easily. Also, set the WhatsApp messenger never to backup your messages to Google Drive.

After these steps, it should be easier to use Backuptrans to transfer your WhatsApp messages and other files between your Android phone and iPhone.

Huawei’s Product Information Configuration

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As developers, one way to earn more income from developed apps is by adding in-app purchases in it. Whether it is a game, movie or videos and other apps, it pays to have IAP integrated to it to maximize more earnings from the app.

That’s the reason why it takes proper planning, dedication and commitment when developing apps. It’s not just for one time launch but it has to be something sustainable that will keep the users hooked and use it for a long time. If the app is too boring and less beneficial to its users, they tend to uninstall it in no time to free some space for other apps.

Especially in this generation, the time we are in is getting competitive and being on top is a real challenge. There’s so many fresh ideas out there and as a developer, it’s a necessity to be as authentic and unique from other competitors. It’s a good thing that Huawei helps these talented developers to stay afloat and keep producing timely and interactive apps for their users. They’re not only helping the developers but the users as well.

As part of concocting a successful app, the developer has to know the ins and outs of organizing its IAP and not only integrating those with it. It has to go through certain steps by configuring its product information. The reason for this is to keep the app transparent to Huawei and its users by specifying what it offers to the market.

Configuring Product Information

In general, Huawei users were allotted with at least 10 consumable gems that they can spend for products and services. They can use it for one time purchases or consumables that they can purchase again when they like to. Also, they can use it for one time purchases that do not have any expiration date like service memberships and such.

To configure the app’s product information, all you need is to sign up in the AppGallery Connect and check the list of My Apps. You will then see all of the apps you’ve created and you may click one of them that you need to add a product. Once you have selected an app, just click the Operate option button and go to Product Operation.

Then manage your products through Product Management where you can add specific products that can be used through IAP. This is where developers get creative with add-ons like for example for a game, they can add extra lives, weapons, treats and whatnot that can keep the users from having to sustain and enjoy the game. Save the products that you want to add and just click OK to validate the product. It will be automatically available in the app and the users can see the new updates as soon as it goes live.

Just take note to be a responsible developer and apply in-app purchases that relate to the app. Do not provide unnecessary add-ons that can harm your apps since Huawei regulates this to keep reliability and accountability to its users.

10 best video editing apps for iPad and iPhone!

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Video editing is one of the most difficult tasks for a computer. Naturally, that means it’s also a fairly intensive task for tablets or smartphones as well. Thus, most software companies stay on computers for their video editing apps. It’s simply a better place to do it. There is nothing akin to Final Cut Pro on your iOS device. However, there are some basic video editing tools that do work fairly well. Let’s check them out! Those looking for some excellent video editing apps on Android can click here!

Adobe Premiere Clip

Adobe Premiere Clip is a very okay video editor on iPad and iPhone. It does some really basic stuff like cutting, cropping, clipping, adding some effects, and even some audio controls. It also has integration for Adobe Creative Cloud and some other Adobe apps (like the mobile Lightroom app). However, it just doesn’t cross line into the realm of professional video editing. This is definitely okay for some basic stuff and those with Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions may find it useful. There are better options, though.

iMovie

Apple has two video editing apps for its mobile devices and tablets. The first is the classic iMovie app. It’s long been one of the better apps for beginners, simple content, and other basic stuff. Clips adds things like filters, text, music, emoji, etc to already existing video clips. Neither of these are professional quality video editors. However, iMovie gets the job done for that quick video you want to make for social media while Clips can dress up a video clip with some fun stuff as well. They’re both free apps with no in-app purchases or advertisements.

Filmmaker Pro

Filmmaker Pro is one of the more popular video editor apps on iTunes. This is one of the few that boast a more professional set of tools. That includes support for 4K videos (on some devices), advanced settings like compression rate, video grading, chroma key support (for you green screen people out there), text overlays, and more. In our testing, the UI is easy enough, though it will take some time to learn how everything works. The app does require a subscription for all of the features. We’re not fans of subscriptions, but every app needs a flaw, right?

LumaFusion

LumaFusion is another powerful video editor. This one comes a little closer to what one would expect from a video editor. It includes three audio and video tracks for multi-clip editing, 4K support, dozens of effects (including chroma keying), layer effects, slow motion and fast motion support, audio effects, and even a small royalty-free audio library. The app costs $19.99 and that may seem steep. However, that is single purchase. There are no subscriptions with this one. It seems to cover all of the bases, even if it’s not as powerful as a desktop editor.

LumaFX

LumaFX is another okay video editor. It doesn’t actually let you edit video like some of these other apps. Instead, it adds things like effects. The app also features color correction, distortion filters, customizable presets, support for fast and slow motion (120 and 240fps), and even some super basic animation tools. This is well suited for social media posts and similar cases. Those looking for something professional may need to go elsewhere. LumaFX is also fairly inexpensive at $2.99 for the full version.

Magisto

Magisto boasts about its smart video editing capabilities. It automatically makes videos for you. You choose a style, the various clips and photos that you want included, and then choose music. The app brings it all together in a short clip with all of those elements. It supports up to 30 photos and 25 minutes of footage. The app requires a subscription for most of its best features and we think the price is a tad steep for what it does. However, people seem to really enjoy this one and, honestly, we did too. We’re just not sure we’d pay $30 a year for it.

Splice and Quik

Splice and Quik are among the most popular and best free video editor apps. Both apps are by GoPro, the camera makers. Splice leans toward the traditional video editing experience. It lets you add music to clips, title slides, text overlays, and various filters. Quik is similar to Magisto. It automatically generates completely clips from whatever photos and videos you want. Both apps are entirely free and work well. These are mostly for social media posts or simple YouTube videos. Professionals may want to look elsewhere.

Videoshop

Videoshop is very popular video editing tool. It covers all of the basics, similar to apps like iMovie. You can trip unwanted video footage, add music, add sound effects, and even change things like saturation brightness, or contrast. Many of the features are free. However, some do require the pro version. The developers sell tokens for extremely temporary access to pro features. There is also a subscription ($3.99 per month or $23.99 per year) to get unlimited access to everything. It’s okay for what it does and what it costs.

Vizzywig

Vizzywig is kind of like a diamond in the rough. On the one hand, it has some decent features, works well, and has a simple UI. On the other, it’s intensely expensive and that honestly makes it difficult to recommend. The app comes with support for 4K and was among the first to do so. It also includes almost all of the basic editing features, some fun stuff like Hollywood style titles and credits, and more. It’s actually a fairly decent editor. However, its price tag makes it all but impossible to recommend it to people. You will almost certainly be served well by one of the other nine apps on this list.

Brief Analysis of FIDO Protocol and how it Works

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FIDO protocol refers to an acronym hailing from the Latino word, fido, which means to trust. The term was made popular by Sir Abraham Lincoln. He borrowed it from society and named his dog. For that reason, it has become a befitting name for man’s friend and the appropriate word for security, where trust happens to be the key element. A rather technical reference, FIDO, emerged in 2012. It has since been backed by several big techs as well as finance players, i.e, Lenovo and Google, among others.

Pain Point

And based on the public-key cryptography, fido is also defined as a set of different protocols created to help support the authentication of any security. This includes One-Time Passwords, USB security tokens, and One-Time Passwords, among others.

Since its arrival on the scene, fido has been the go-to security system for many companies.

Here is why.

Why Companies Choose FIDO

The FIDO protocol uses a standard public key technique to offer stronger and reliable authentication.

In the process of registration with a service online, the client’s device creates a new key. Thereafter, it retains the second pair and registers the public security authentication with an online service.

In many instances, authentication is conducted by the client device. This provides possession of the key to service through signing a challenge.

A client’s key can be used after the unlocking of the device has occurred. Usually, the unlock is accomplished using a rather user-friendly, secure connection like swiping a finger, speaking into the microphone, or entering a PIN. The user can also insert a second-factor element or press a button.

Fido protocols are created from scratch to protect the privacy of a user. These protocols have never provided information that may be used by various online services in collaborating and tracking a user across different services.

If the biometric information is used, it will not leave the user’s device.

The Process of FIDO Registration

  • The user is prompted to select an available fido authenticator, which often matches the service acceptance policyof the online portal.
  • The user then unlocks the authenticator via a fingerprint reader. A button may also be used in other cases
  • A PINcan also be used in unlocking the fido authenticator
  • The public key will be sent to the service portal that is appended to the user’s account
  • The private keywill be sent to the service portal online. It should not leave the user’s device

Logging in to FIDO

There are different online service challenges that a user can encounter in the process of keying in their information with an initial registered device, which matches the acceptance policy of a service provider.

The user shall unlock fido’s authenticator using a known method (same as the one used during the registration process)

The device uses a user’s account identifier given by the service in choosing the right key and then signing the service’s challenge

Finally, the client gadget sends a signed challenge to the service. This will, in turn, verify it with a stored public key.

Final Thoughts

Thinking of installing fido into your firm’s security system? Well, FIDO cryptographic log in credentials happens to be special and unique across every website. That is definitely a great thing because the security model largely eliminates the high risks of phishing.

What is an applock and do you really need one?

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Having an app lock can be useful. It’s good for security and it’ll keep people out of your business. However, like most security concerns, having an applock isn’t always necessary. In fact, in most situations, you probably don’t actually need one.

So what is an applock? Good question. Let’s explore what an applock is, what it does, and whether or not you need one.

What is an applock?

An applock is a security feature that sits above your other apps. It prevents access to your apps without a password. So, even if your phone is unlocked, if you have an applock on Facebook, people can’t get into your Facebook app without the password. It works a lot like a lock screen on your phone but for individual apps.

There is a bit of confusion around the subject. That’s mostly because every operating system is a little different. Most desktop operating systems don’t have one installed by default. Likewise, most mobile operating systems don’t either, with iOS the exception to the rule, via its Settings. For all other systems, you’re going to have to download a third-party app to get this functionality.

But, the good news is that’s all there is to it. Once downloaded, you set up the applock for the apps you want to keep private. From that point forward, entering those apps requires a password of some sort. It can be a good way to keep prying eyes out of your social media, your kids out of whatever app store you have, and keep friends out of your photos or messages or dating apps. Some applocks even take photos as people try and get into your locked apps, which might help if you need to prove someone is being unscrupulous.

Where do I get an applock?

It depends! There are a bunch of applocks in the Google Play Store for Android phone owners. iOS has one already, but there are apps in the App Store as well. Desktop operating systems don’t really have one in place as security and admin privileges are quite different. Most people use web browsers and websites rather than apps, which generally require logins to accounts, while apps generally remain logged in. Plus, it’s harder to steal a laptop than it is to steal a phone.

That said, there are a couple of applocks in the Microsoft Store, iTunes, and whatever app installer you use on Linux. It’s really just a matter of finding them, downloading, installing, and setting up locks on the apps you want to lock down. For iOS users, look around your Settings app and it should be there.

We can’t stress enough that the only OS with decent applocks is Android. Microsoft has admin privileges as does Linux and Mac. iOS has an applock built-in. Really, that’s it. Third party apps on those platforms won’t perform as well as the stuff that you already have access too.

Do I really need an applock?

Now we get to the meat and potatoes of this post. Applocks can be effective in certain situations. Let’s quickly outline those:

When do you need an applock:

  1. People who have kids should probably get one. That’s especially true if your kids use your phone for various activities like watching YouTube or playing kids games. Set up the applock right and you can keep your kids out of your camera, gallery, social media, banking apps, and even out of your app store to prevent unwanted purchases. This is more about avoiding accidents and unwanted taps.
  2. People who share a single device can probably use one as well. Sharing a device among a single family or group of roommates may warrant a little security. You don’t want your roommate getting in and messing with your game files. As a parent, you probably want to keep your kids from buying a bunch of stuff in the app store with your credit card.
  3. Any situation where you don’t want someone snooping on your phone. Sometimes this is for innocent reasons. Sometimes it’s not. We’re not here to judge you. An applock is a great way to keep people out of specific apps. Especially for things like banking apps, social media, messaging apps, your photo gallery, dating apps, and similar apps.

When you don’t need an applock:

  • Pretty much any other situation other than the ones described above. Just set a good lock screen (PIN, pattern, fingerprint, whatever). That’ll keep people out of your business far more effectively than an applock.

How secure are applocks?

Here’s the thing, folks. Applocks aren’t that effective. Hackers can bypass them relatively easily. They’re really just another app running on your device for most operating systems. iOS is a notable exception. That applock is at the system level and harder to bypass. However, on most other devices, it’s not all that difficult.

Thus, you shouldn’t depend on it as a main form of security. The main form of security is back at the system level, where your mobile devices uses a fingerprint lock or FaceID now. Having a functioning lock screen with a PIN, password, fingerprint lock, or FaceID/face unlock makes your device infinitely safer than any applock. It’s really good for keeping the kids out of the Play Store or keeping your friend out of your mobile game but once you’ve unlocked your phone it’s open season. The problem is that you’re basically stopping honest people with your applocks, those who just want to quickly snoop, or kids who just want to press every button until something happens. A persistent thief who’s trying to extract all your data can likely break an applock without too much of a hassle.

Deeper security is a wider issue we’re not really covering here: applocks do their job in basic prevention of problems, not high-tech security.

Wrap up

Applocks can be useful. However, it’s really easy to overstate their security and usefulness. They’ll keep an inexperienced, non-tech savvy person out of a few apps. That’s about all you should be using it for. Any other situation and you risk compromising your private data, your photos, your money, and your personal life. Trust us, put up a good lock screen with a PIN, pattern, face unlock, or fingerprint. It’s safer that way.

7 most common problems with the iPad and how to fix them

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Ever since its introduction, the Apple iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and the previous editions of the tablet proved to be one of the most popular devices available, continuing to maintain its stronghold in the ever-growing tablet market. Through every subsequent generation and changing form factors, the growth and market share of these tablets have continued not only in the US, but across the world, by combining a premium build quality and design with a software experience that is appreciated by many.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most mobile technology available today, the iPad is not without its flaws. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common issues that plague iPad owners, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them.

Disclaimer: Since a lot of these issues are related to the latest iOS version, they will apply to almost every iPad iteration. The iPad is still a great tablet, and in all likelihood, you will not face any of the problems stated below.

Having problems charging your device? Check out our guide to iPad charging problems.

Problem #1 – Occasionally slow and laggy keyboard

Users have occasionally come across a keyboard that lags while typing an email or using iMessage. Any iPad running iOS 8 and above can make use of third-party keyboards, but this issue persists even then.

Potential Solutions

  • Guided Access, an accessibility mode, sometimes interferes with some keyboards. Go into Settings – General – Accessibility – Guided Access,  and make sure that the button is off.
  • Go to Settings – iCloud – Documents and Data, and turn it off. If the issue goes away, you should be able to turn this back on again without the problem coming back.
  • You can also try resetting all settings by going to Settings – General – Reset all Settings.
  • Adding or removing third-party keyboards is now possible by going to Settings – General – Keyboards. Swiping a keyboard name to the left will reveal a delete button. Tap on “Add New Keyboard…” for other available options.

Problem #2 – Interface orientation stays stuck to landscape or portrait

Some users have found their iPad user interfaces to remain stuck in either landscape or portrait mode, without switching when the device is rotated.

Potential Solutions

  •  Tap the power button to turn the display off, and press it again to wake it up again. If that doesn’t work, press and hold the power button and the physical home button for 15 seconds to restart the tablet.
  • Go Settings – General – Use Side Switch, and check to see whether it is set to “Lock Rotation” and turn it off.
  • If this happens when using a particular application, double tap the home button to open the multitasking screen, and slide the app window up.
  • You can also try resetting all settings by going to Settings – General – Reset all Settings.

Problem #3 – Performance issues, crashing, and random rebooting

Older generation iPads can face issues with performance following updates to macOS, or switching from the old iOS version to the latest macOS. Slowdowns, freezing, and random rebooting can seem to occur. This issue is regularly seen on most iPad problems lists.

Potential Solutions

  • While all the animations and transitions may look good, older hardware may have a difficult time keeping up. Reducing animation and transition effects may help alleviate any problems with performance. Go to Settings – General – Accessibility – Reduce Motion to reduce animations, and Settings – General – Accessibility – Increase contrast – Reduce transparency to reduce transparency.
  • When a slow down is evident, double tap the home button and close all the apps running in the background by swiping the windows up.
  • If crashing and random rebooting are the problems, a rogue application may be the issue. Try uninstalling them one by one, and reinstalling them carefully.
  • There is also the nuclear option which can make the most difference: a complete, factory reset. Go to Settings – General – Reset – Reset all Settings and Content but be warned you will lose your apps and data not backed up

Problem #4 – Connectivity Issues

One of the more common iPad problems that users face have to do with connecting or maintaining a connection to a Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth pairing, and for the devices that support it, cellular network issues.

Potential Solutions

  • If your Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping or doesn’t connect, try restarting the router by turn it off for 30 seconds, and then turning it back on. Then, go to Settings – General – Reset – Reset Network Settingsand add the information from scratch.
  • If pairing your iPad with a Bluetooth device is an issue, go to Settings – Bluetooth and turn it off, and back on again
  • For data connectivity issues, go to Cellular – Cellular Data and turn it off and on again.
  • If these problems continue, go to Settings – General – Reset and Reset All Settings.

Problem #5 – Safari keeps crashing

Many users have found the Safari app closing unexpectedly, especially when multiple tabs are open, or even while attempting to open more another tab.

Potential Solutions

  • Go to Settings – Safari and tap on “Clear History” and “Clear Cookies and Data.”
  • If this issue becomes too much to handle, a factory reset may be the only solution. Make sure that you back up any important data, and then go to Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Using a third-party browser such as Google Chrome or Opera may help.

Problem #6 – Camera application crashes

Some users have found the camera application failing to load, or crashing while in use.

Potential Solutions – 

  • Double tap the Home button, and swipe up the Camera app and any other app that uses the camera to close them. Start the app again to see if it is now working.
  • Go into Settings – General – Restrictions and check to see whether the camera app is allowed.
  • Resetting the settings may help. You can do so by going to Settings – General – Reset – Reset All Settings. 
  • A rogue third-party application that uses the camera may be the culprit. You can try deleting these apps one by one to see if the issue is fixed, or performing a factory reset being careful about what you install.

Problem #7 – iPad activation error

ome users have come across an error message stating that “the iPad could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable.” While this generally occurs when setting up a new device, quite a few users have faced this problem after using their iPads for a while. This is one of the iPad problems that happen only with the cellular data-capable versions of the device.

Potential solutions:

  • There is a workaround that has worked for some users. Remove the SIM card from the tray, and perform a hard reset by pressing down and holding the home button and the power button simultaneously until the device restarts. Re-insert the SIM card and the issue should go away.
  • For some users, the issue was related to the SIM card itself. Simply replacing the older SIM card with a new one should fix the problem.
  • If you are having issues with setting up cellular service on your iPad, a useful guide is available here.

Need to know how to use Siri? Here’s your ultimate guide

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Despite our dependence on mobile devices, tech giants such as Microsoft and Google now boast that we’ve moved from a “Mobile First” world to an “Artificial Intelligence First” world. Previously, all we heard about was devices and apps. Now the big talk centers on the cloud, services and intelligent assistants. That includes Siri, the popular AI-powered virtual assistant residing on all Apple devices. We explain how to use Siri to get the most out of Apple’s assistant.

For starters, our guide is based on iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave. Note that because Apple provides various means of accessing Siri across its devices (including the Apple HomePod), we’ve included the full list. For example, the iPhone X doesn’t have a Home button but instead enables you to access Siri via the Side button on the right. Meanwhile, the latest iPod Touch sports the vanilla Home button while the second-generation iPad Pro has the built-in touch sensor. That said, you’ll see variations across devices.

Also keep in mind that Siri requires a connection to the internet. That’s because the assistant needs a connection to Apple’s cloud even if you’re asking Siri to load local content. If it doesn’t have access, you’ll see/hear messages that “I’m having trouble connecting to the network” or something similar. That requirement may eventually change, but currently Siri’s thought process resides on Apple’s servers to translate your speech and determine the action needed to fulfill your request.

Now let’s get started with our guide on how to use Siri!

How to activate Siri

To actually use Siri, here are the methods for every Apple device:

iPhone

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.” (Untethered for 6s or newer)
  • Press and release the Home or Side button.
  • Press and hold the Home or Side button for longer requests.

iPad

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.” (Untethered for iPad Pro or newer, iPad 5th Gen or newer)
  • Press and release the Home button.
  • Press and hold the Home button for longer requests.

iPod Touch

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.” (Tethered only)
  • Press and release the Home button.
  • Press and hold the Home button for longer requests.

Apple Watch

  • Simply say “Hey Siri” after tapping the screen.
  • Raise the watch to your face. (Series 3 or newer)
  • Press and hold the Digital Crown. (Keep pressing for longer requests)

Mac

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.” (15-inch MacBook Pro 2018, 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, iMac Pro)
  • Press the Siri Icon. (MacBook Pros with Touch Bar)
  • Click the Siri icon on the menu bar or Dock. (MacOS Sierra or newer)
  • Press and hold the Command Key and Space Bar.

Apple TV

  • Hold down the Siri button on the remote.

HomePod

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.”
  • Press the top. (Hold for longer requests)

CarPlay

  • Simply say “Hey Siri.”
  • Hold down the voice-command button on the steering wheel if compatible.

AirPods and headsets

  • Double-tap the outside of either AirPod.
  • Hold down the center button or call button on third-party headsets.

General settings

If you haven’t already enabled Siri when you received and set up your device, you can find the settings for Apple’s virtual assistant here:

Settings > Siri & Search

After navigating to this area, you will see three toggles, depending on the Apple device. This is what you’ll see on the iPhone X and the latest iPod Touch:

Here is the second-generation iPad Pro:

Note that for iPhones older than the 6s, all iPod Touch models, older iPads and Macs, the “Hey Siri” listen feature only works when they’re plugged into a wall outlet (aka tethered). That’s mostly to prevent Siri from draining the battery while she/he lurks in the background, silently waiting for your command.

Obviously, you can mix-match these settings, depending on your needs. The hands-off verbal command is definitely useful but can be problematic if you have more than one active Apple device in the listening area. For instance, you may want Siri to set a timer on your Apple Watch, but your iPhone picks up on the command. In this case, you have two Siri instances obediently awaiting instructions. This fix would require you to disable the “Hey Siri” voice activation on your phone and enable the Side/Home button option.

Change Siri’s voice and language

Apple’s devices ship with the American female voice by default here in the States, but you can switch over to a male voice. Even more, either gender can have an AustralianBritishIrish or South African accent. Go back and you can set the preferred language although don’t expect to address Siri in English and get a response in Japanese (although that would be fun).

The shortcuts:

  • Change Siri’s voice: Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice
  • Change Siri’s language: Settings > Siri & Search > Language

Change how Siri provides feedback

Siri’s voice feedback is set to “Always On” by default, meaning Siri will provide voice feedback whether you use the Home/Side button or speak the “Hey Siri” command. But there are two other options to control when Siri provides verbal feedback if you’re not keen with the “always on” aspect:

Control with Ring Switch: This really only applies to the Ring Switch and Home/Side Button. If you turn the Ring Switch to mute and press the Home/Side Button to activate Siri, the assistant won’t respond with a voice. But if the Ring Switch remains in mute mode and you say “Hey Siri,” you’ll receive voice feedback. You’ll also get voice feedback through headphones, CarPlay and Bluetooth devices.

Hands-Free Only: This option is similar to the Control with Ring Switch option, only you’re not required to move the Ring Switch to silent mode.

Siri and the Shortcuts

The next section regarding Siri deals with suggestions. Apple’s assistant runs quietly in the background to learn your everyday tasks and be more helpful throughout the day. Thus, when you perform a search, Siri will suggest options that tie into your activities. If there are specific apps you open each day, Siri will suggest apps that will be just as useful. That said, you have three toggles you can switch on and off:

  • Suggestions in Search
  • Suggestions in Look Up
  • Suggestions on Lock Screen

These suggestions tie into the suggested shortcuts you’ll see at the top of the Siri & Search panel. For instance, if you set a timer for 20 minutes every day, you will see a suggested shortcut. Simply touch the “+” icon and then tap the big red button to create a customized phrase. In this case, we said “reading time” and saved the command. The next time we say “Hey Siri,” it will be followed by the “reading time” phrase. You can even create a shortcut that will navigate you home (“go home”), create a blank email to a specific contact, send a static loving message to your spouse and more.

With the release of iOS 12 arrives Apple’s first-party Shortcuts app. This stacks a huge plethora of shortcut options on top of what Apple provided in its latest operating system, extending shortcuts out to third-party applications and services. However, Apple’s Siri-related suggestions include taking a photo with just your voice (although just tapping the camera icon is quicker), turn on Do Not Disturb until you leave your current position and more.

Is Apple’s iOS still easier than Android?

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It used to be easy to recommend Apple’s iOS products to my non-techy friends and family as an easy, intuitive operating system. Android, my OS of choice for years, on the other hand, had a steeper learning curve and customization options that could be un-welcomed by some.

My thoughts have changed this week as I’ve helped my parents set up their new iPad (from 2,000 miles away).

The Easy iPad

’ll never forget hearing my parent’s excitement about the iPad when they first saw it in an Apple store in the spring of 2010. They quickly bought one for themselves. They also got one for me. While I enjoyed using it, I sold mine long ago as my need for it diminished and my need for a full computer dictated my usage. But their original iPad is still with them and has been used for thousands of hours and traveled tens of thousands of miles around the world.

The beauty of the iPad, and what allowed them to make it a part of their lives so quickly, was its ease of use. Opening the box for the first time, they were greeted by a black slab of glass with no user manual and no real learning curve. For two non-tech people in their 60s, the simplicity of tapping the thing they wanted and having it delivered more than lived up to the promise of the technological revolution that Apple’s advertising would have us all believe.

Over the past few months, though, that original iPad has begun its slow walk toward relegation. Surprisingly, the battery still holds an impressive charge, and the screen and back look brand new under their protector and case. But, it hasn’t gotten a software update for years (still running some version of iOS 5!). The Safari browser will now only load some pages some of the time, and Google has now labeled it an ‘Unsafe Device’ which has prompted a security warning to be sent to my mom after trying to check her mail this week.

As my mom’s need for reading a lot of PDFs and taking notes in her continuing education classes has increased recently, it has become clear that the now eight-year-old iPad simply is not up to the task.

Last week, they bought a new iPad (2017).

The Complicated Nexus

In 2015 I knew that the original iPad that my parents were using was starting to slow down. Even then, there were complaints of some websites not loading, or loading and then crashing, as the outdated version of Safari no longer supported plugins.

Because I’ve long been an Android user and knew that long-distance trouble-shooting should be reasonably easy for me, I got my Dad a Nexus 7 (2013) for Christmas. It’s feather-like weight, pure Android interface, and steep retail discounts made it a great gift. I also knew I would be able to keep it updated past Google’s scheduled OS releases with Cyanogen (now Lineage OS) – a task I will be performing next month when I visit home. This gift was not particularly well received. Despite my comfort with Android, the operating seemed foreign and alienating to my parents, who had been looking at the same iOS screen for five years.

While I was disappointed in the device’s lack of use, I could also understand it to some extent. Android was second nature to me, but not to my folks. The app drawer alone was a sticking point. While I enjoy having only a few home screen widgets and my top four of five apps displayed, this type of setup meant for him that other apps were hidden, even if it was only one tap away. I worked with the extra real estate of the tablet screen to get my dad his most needed widgets (news, weather) and nearly all other apps he would need right on the home screen. I demonstrated swiping to Google news feed for all the sports, news, stocks, and weather info that I had preloaded for him. But still, the familiarity of the iPad was too much of a draw, and he ended up using that much more often than the Nexus.

Interestingly, as my mom (who is more tech-adventurous) began to mess around with the Nexus more, she began to appreciate some of its abilities (video calling, the addition of my family subscription to Google Music, and it’s portability over that of the iPad became highlights for her).

But still, as I would help her navigate some of the more complex settings and options to help her get the most of what she needed out of the Nexus, even I realized that Google’s way of doing things just is not for everyone, and it was almost always harder than on that original iPad.

The New iPad

Enter, the new iPad. My mom was very excited to get the new device, but that excitement quickly dampened. At the store, she spent nearly two hours with the salesperson working to get it set up. For some reason, this involved taking some unnecessary steps, including creating a new email address, creating a new iCloud account, and some circular conversations about whether to set it up as a new device or not.

Once she got home, I was able to help her fix these issues (using Hangouts’ video chat on the Nexus!), and we were able to get her real email set up, get her properly signed in to the right iCloud account, and begin working through navigating the Pages app. But then she asked me why she couldn’t download PDFs.

For two hours, I worked to help her get the PDFs she needed for her classes. At the end of that time, I was only somewhat successful. It took another two hours with friends of hers who use iOS exclusively to help her get things squared away. This process should have been easy, but a combination of quirks got in the way. For one, the source website didn’t communicate well with the latest iOS update. For another, the iPad forces the default use of iBooks as a PDF viewer. There was also a hidden menu system for downloading a link as a PDF and sending to various sources (iBooks, a printer, or other apps).

Indeed, on my Android phone or the Nexus, one taps a PDF link on a website, the file automatically downloads and opens in Android’s dedicated PDF viewer or the default app of your choice, and you can easily find it again in downloads.

Now some of this confusion may merely be because neither my mom nor I have evolved with iOS. Neither of us has used a new iteration in 4 years since her last iPad was updated (iOS 5), and I am sure that if she had bought a couple of new iPads in the eight years, these processes would have been learned in small steps throughout iOS updates. But this just highlights the beauty of the original iPad that seems to have been lost since that original tablet was released.

Part of this may also be that my mom is now doing more advanced things with this iPad than she did with the original. Similarly, the new iPad can do more things thanks to advancements in the tech under the hood. Nonetheless, there seems to be a steepness to the learning curve that simply was not there in the original unit.

Case in point: if she had never picked up an iPad before, and this was her first time using a tablet (just like back in 2010), she would have no idea how to do anything intuitively.

The old ‘ease of use’ argument may not hold up anymore

Ultimately, I think that for a person who has used iOS for several years, and especially the newer versions, a switch to Android may still be a bit rough at first. But with the enormous improvements in Android over the past few years, that transition period may be much shorter than it would have been when Google’s OS was first hit the tablet scene.

I would venture to guess that the main issue for an iOS-to-Android convert would be in having to learn the Google ecosystem after (presumably) having been a part of the iCloud world. For example, my mom is now navigating iCloud settings and functions to help her manager her PDFs; meanwhile, as I work through this process with her, my brain is constantly thinking, ‘Between Drive, Docs, and Keep, everything you are asking to do would be done already on Android.’ Neither is right or wrong; they are just different ways to get to the same point. But between the last week’s hassles and anecdotal stories from her long-time iOS-using friends who get frustrated that every new version of Apple’s operating system presents new abilities – but also new frustrations – my mom is regretting the iPad purchase.

The new iPad will still get plenty of use I am sure, and they will both come to learn its ins and outs. Still, a part of me keeps thinking that maybe all my mom needs is a nice external keyboard for the Nexus, and that the Android world is no longer quite so complicated compared to iOS.

Obviously everyone’s experience with iOS and Android is going to be different. That said, in 2018 Android and iOS have evolved considerably to the point where they both have different complications and advantages. It’s no longer a world where “iPads are for ease of use,” and Android is simply “for power users”. |

For us tech nerds it might be high time we stop instantly recommending Apple as the choice for those that “want something simple and easy to use”. What do you think, do you feel that Apple’s iPad (and iPhone) lineup is still super user-friendly or has the ease of use gap lessened between the world’s two biggest mobile platforms?