News

How to speed up your iPhone after iOS 11 slows it down

Published by:

iOS 11 FeaturesThis coming Friday, Apple is set to release a number of hotly anticipated new products including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K. Then, in early November, the iPhone hardcore Apple fans are waiting for will finally be released: the iPhone X. But before all those releases roll around, Apple has another big release that takes place today. That’s right, iOS 11 will be released to the public on Tuesday, and hundreds of millions of iOS devices around the world will instantly have access to it. Thankfully, iOS isn’t like Android where people have to wait months before they can actually install new updates.

iOS 11 is packed full of new features, enhancements, and behind-the-scenes tweaks that combine to dramatically improve the iPhone and iPad experience. Of course, iOS 11 also has some changes that people won’t appreciate, and a potential slowdown on your iPhone is likely at the top of the list. Don’t worry though, because in this post we’ll give you a few different ways to speed things back up.

First things first: after you update your iPhone to iOS 11, don’t panic. Your phone is going to slow down and your battery life will take a hit for at least a day or two as your phone re-indexes. After that, you’ll see a marked improvement in speed and battery life… probably.

Where speed is concerned, some older iPhone models will never run as fast on iOS 11 as they did with iOS 10 installed. Efficiency improvements in upcoming iOS 11 updates could help things down the road, but right now you’re stuck. That said, there are a few things you can do to speed your phone back up if the slowdown starts to get to you.

First, clear up space. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Under Storage, tap Manage Storage. You’ll see several ways in there to clear up space, including an easy way to delete large attachments in Messages, which is often a big culprit when it comes to wasted space. You’ll also be able to see which apps are taking up all your storage in this section, and you can enable a feature that automatically uninstalls apps you never use when you’re running low on space. App data will be retained, so you’ll still have everything if you ever decide to reinstall the app.

Freeing up space could have a big impact on your phone’s performance. Once you’ve done the legwork above, try to keep as much unutilized storage as possible. One way to do that is to offload your photos and videos to a backup service like Google Photos as often as you can. And in between backups, you can save some space by enabling Apple’s new photo encoding. Go to Settings > Camera > Formats and switch to “High Efficiency.”

In some cases, you can also speed up your iPhone a bit by cutting back on the number of apps that can refresh in the background (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) and access location services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services), but neither will have a big impact unless you have apps that aren’t performing as they should. One other thing that will help, however, is to cut back on the transition animations in iOS 11. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and toggle it to off.

News

A leak directly from Google confirmed several Pixel 2 details

Published by:

Google Pixel 2 Release Date

The Pixel 2 is almost upon us, but we still have to wait a couple of weeks for Google to unveil it. The company can’t wait either, as it’s already running ads teasing the new phones as we speak. And the event’s live stream video is already up on YouTube, which shows how much it wants to sell you the phones. While we wait, a new report has confirmed Pixel 2 details including a signature feature. But before you get too excited you should know it’s the saddest signature feature a high-end phone like the Pixel 2 could have.

The Pixel 2, being made by HTC and all, will have a squeezable frame just like the U11. Squeeze the frame and the phone will sense it. It’s like a side button, but more gimmicky. The new Google search app for Android actually confirmed the feature on Tuesday, when 9to5Google dug into the app’s code and found some Pixel 2 gems.

Google app version 7.12 notes an “Active Edge” feature that lets you squeeze the phone to open Google Assistant — that’s the Squeeze for your Assistant feature. While the code does confirm that HTC’s U11 squeezable frame will be built into the Pixel 2, it’ll be interesting to see whether the LG Pixel 2 XL will also get it.

The code also revealed new hot words for the Assistant, which could replace the now-iconic “OK Google.” Incidentally, a new hotword means that you won’t have to worry about anyone else activating your assistant. Or that you’ll need a frame to squeeze to wake the Assistant up.

The Assistant, meanwhile, is also getting more voices, the app reveals. Furthermore, a new Google Bar menu will be available inside the app, although it’s unclear what it is exactly or where it’ll appear.

Other features include the support for routines, which would allow users to initiate multiple actions with a single command. “Just say one command and your Assistant will do multiple things,” the code says. That’s probably a feature that Google will demo on stage while unveiling the new Pixels early next month.

Finally, sleep sounds and support for more podcast-related commands will also be added to the app.

News

iOS 11 will break your old apps and maybe even your iPhone, but that’s a good thing

Published by:

iOS 11 Compatibility

iOS 11 is finally upon us, which means you should be getting ready to install Apple’s new mobile operating system on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Before you do, however, you should know that iOS 11 is an app breaker. However, that’s not a bad thing, and you shouldn’t really worry about it.

With iOS 11, Apple is dropping 32-bit app support. That means all the old apps that were not updated to 64-bit since Apple introduced the iPhone 5s in 2013 will no longer run on any device upgraded to iOS 11.

If you’re worried that some of the favorite apps won’t make the jump to iOS 11, you shouldn’t be. Either developers will finally update them to 64-bit shortly, or you should really find alternatives. After all, if a developer isn’t really interested in keeping an app around, you probably shouldn’t bother using it.

How does one check whether an app is compatible with iOS 11? Well, Apple already warned users and developers that 32-bit apps will not be supported on iOS 11. But if you’re unsure whether any of your apps will be affected, you should check it yourself.

On your iOS 10.3 device, go to the Settings app, tap General and then About. Locate Applications and tap on it. If nothing happens, then you don’t have 32-bit apps installed. If you’re taken to a new menu, that’s where you’ll see a list of the apps that lack 32-bit support. As soon as you update to iOS 11, these apps will no longer launch.

Apps aren’t the only casualties of iOS 11, though — the new software also kills iPhones and iPads. How does iOS 11 kill devices? Well, some older smartphones and tablets will no longer be supported by iOS 11.

If you think it’s bad news your iPhone 5c can’t handle iOS 11 then think again! Nobody likes a poor iOS experience on older devices, and the 5c simply doesn’t have enough oomph to handle iOS 11. But the fact the iPhone 5c can’t run iOS 11 is also tied to Apple’s decision not to support 32-bit apps. You see, the iPhone 5c doesn’t have the 64-bit chip that came with the iPhone 5s that year, so there’s no way it can run an operating system that kills 32-bit apps.

News

Free Day One DLC Adds Shadow As Playable Character In Sonic Forces

Published by:

Sonic Forces

Sonic Forces pulls out all the stops with the enemies that Sonic and his crew must take on. From staples like Eggman and Metal Sonic to the return of fan-favorite Chaos and the newly introduced Infinite, the baddies have multiplied, while the number of playable characters has shrunk. Sonic Forces puts you in control of just three characters: Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and whatever custom character you come up with. However, through newly announced day one DLC that is free to anyone who buys the game, players can also play as Shadow.

The Episode Shadow add-on is available to players beginning launch day. The DLC focuses on the backstory between Shadow and the new antagonist, Infinite. Episode Shadow adds three stages for Shadow, as well as the ability to replay over 10 Sonic Forces stages as Shadow. In addition, if you get the Digital Bonus Edition (which retails for $39.99), you get a Shadow costume for your custom character. The Digital Bonus Edition also includes the Sega/Atlus Pack add-on, which gives your custom character in-game outfit items and accessories to make your character look like five other characters from Sega and Atlus games.

Earlier this year, when I spoke with head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, about the addition of custom characters, he said that the philosophy the team has had with adding new characters was that they were fine as long as they still delivered the sense of speed they’ve found that players typically want. “It’s kind of a merging of all the fun things of Sonic with the variety of a different character without going to the extreme of not having the Sonic elements or not having the variety,” he said. Shadow’s inclusion seems to play into that core philosophy, as he retains the speed that has made him such a fun equal to Sonic since his introduction in Sonic Adventure 2.

I played through one level from Episode Shadow, and it was as challenging as anything I’ve played in any of my sessions to this point. You can see video of the level I played through below.

Sonic Forces launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on November 7.

News

Get Your First Look At Skylanders Academy’s Second-Season Trailer

Published by:

Last year, Netflix and Activision Blizzard Studios released the first season of the animated series Skylanders Academy. The show featured an all-star voice cast, and a host of familiar faces from Activision’s popular toys-to-life franchise. The game may be taking a year off, but fans of Spyro, Stealth Elf, Eruptor and others won’t have to wait long for more of their favorite characters. The show’s second season starts in early October, and you can see what’s ahead in the first trailer.

In season two, Spyro embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning more about his own origins and how he can control his special abilities. Kaos accidentally sets loose a powerful villain, which may lead to a fragile alliance between the heroes of the Skylands and their usual adversary.

This season, actress Felicia Day joins the cast, playing Cynder. She’s part of a cast that includes Justin Long, Jonathan Banks, Ashley Tisdale, Bobcat Goldthwait, Norm MacDonald, Parker Posey, and Susan Sarandon – among others.
The series debuts on Netflix on October 6.
In season two, Spyro embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning more about his own origins and how he can control his special abilities. Kaos accidentally sets loose a powerful villain, which may lead to a fragile alliance between the heroes of the Skylands and their usual adversary.

News

What will the internet look like without net neutrality? Just ask this sponsored data app

Published by:

Net neutrality, Freeway appAt first glance, Freeway looks like a good app. Through partnerships with content providers and mobile networks, Freeway can let users on limited wireless rate plans use services like YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify without eating into their precious data allowance. In return, Freeway charges a couple bucks per month through a mobile app, and also leverages sponsorships.

In theory, it’s a neat way to help consumers access services without paying for an unlimited data plan or massive overage fees. But in practice, it creates the exact kind of anti-competitive environment net neutrality advocates are so afraid of.

Freeway has a couple different packages and tiers, all with different pricing that varies by carrier:

  • Basic Bundle: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify
  • “Headphones In”: Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and SoundCloud
  • “Data Defense”: Sports bundle with ESPN, Facebook, LiveScore, MLB.com Ballpark, MLS, NBA, NBC Sports, Twitter, and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports
  • “Study Break”: Bumble, HBO Now, Instagram, Lyft, Spotify, Starbucks, Tinder, Twitter, Venmo, and YouTube
  • “Backseat Drivers”: “Cut the Rope: Magic,” Disney Junior, Nick Junior, PBS Kids Video, YouTube Kids

Two things stand out about the packages: they sound a lot like cable bundles; and they’re comprised only of brands you’ve heard of. That’s because Freeway is essentially pay-to-play: only the big companies are worth partnering with (or can afford to sponsor data), so you’re only going to see big names on there.

The bundling of different services together is another cable TV trick that refuses to die. It’s a form of (generally legal) price discrimination, and it’s designed to extract the maximum amount of money from consumers. Rather than charging a la carte for each service you want to access without using data, you have to buy a bundle — so you’ll almost definitely end up paying for something you don’t use. Most people don’t have a subscription to more than one music service, so bundling Spotify and Amazon Music together is evidently anti-consumer.

Even if you’re thinking that none of this matters and Freeway sounds good for you because you can binge YouTube on the go, there’s a downside. Allowing this kind of service discrimination to become normalized is exactly what net neutrality is supposed to stop, because of what it could do to a free and open internet. Imagine trying to set up a Spotify competitor, but before you can get consumers to sign up, you have to make a bunch of deals with wireless carriers to have “sponsored” data, which you likely can’t afford. It makes starting up a business far more costly, and gives even more incumbent power to the established companies.

News

Watch Gameplay From The Planet Of The Apes Storytelling Party Game

Published by:

Movies so rarely get their video game tie-ins anymore, but an upcoming exception is The Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier. It’s a branching-path storytelling game with the nifty addition of being able to play with multiple people on controllers or smartphones.

The game plays like something from Telltale with a few twists, including the ability for multiple players to vote on decisions, a tiebreaker system where players are given as much time as they need to debate the best course of action, and graphics that aren’t terrible.

You can check out nine minutes of drama and decision-making below.

News

Apple forgot to mention one of the best things about the iPhone X

Published by:

iPhone X Features And Specifications

Last week’s Apple event was historic for several reasons. It was the first Apple press conference to be held at Apple’s new campus in the Steve Jobs Theater. More importantly, however, it marked the tenth anniversary of Apple’s original iPhone, and the company unveiled the most radical new design we’ve seen since that first iPhone was unveiled in 2007. The iPhone X is unlike any smartphone Apple has ever created before, and according to Apple it’ll set the bar for smartphones for the next 10 years. We’re not so sure about that, but we are sure that the iPhone X marks a huge step forward for the iPhone line in terms of both design and functionality.

Despite the fact that the iPhone X was Apple’s “one more thing” last week, the company spent plenty of time discussing the phone on stage in Cupertino last Tuesday. Of course, Apple could’ve spent 6 hours talking about the phone and there still wouldn’t have been enough time to cover everything. But there is one thing in particular that Apple executives didn’t discuss, and it’s going to have a huge impact on the iPhone X user experience.

Do you remember what the iPhone 5s was like after Apple first introduced Touch ID? Yes, there were a few bumps in the road as some people had difficulties getting it to work consistently. But we’re talking about the narrow availability of the technology itself. Most people would use Touch ID to unlock their iPhones and then, well, that’s it.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Touch ID is everywhere. Any decent app iOS app with a need for secure authentication has integrated Touch ID at this point. Can you imagine having to start from scratch with Face ID? It wouldn’t be quite as bad as it was when Touch ID started from scratch back in 2013, since developers now see how important it is to adopt Apple’s authentication APIs. But it would still be a pain because these things do take time.

Well, we have some good news: You don’t have to imagine starting from scratch.

During an interview with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi dropped in an interesting and important tidbit that someone caught on Reddit. In a nutshell, Face ID will “just work.” Thanks to the way Apple implemented Face ID in iOS 11, any app that currently makes use of Touch ID for authentication will automatically work with Face ID. There will be no work needed on the developer’s part, so users won’t have to wait for Face ID to work with their favorite apps.

As noted on Reddit, you can find the portion of Gruber’s interview that covers this nifty feature at around the 23:40 mark in the latest episode of his podcast.

News

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus review roundup: Wait for the iPhone X

Published by:

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Review

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are two of Apple’s shiny new iPhones that are currently available for preorders, set to hit stores on Friday. That means a flurry of iPhone 8 reviews are now out, and you may be interested to read them more than ever before. You see, the iPhone X launches in early November, and if you’re one of the many people who hasn’t preordered an iPhone 8 yet, now’s the time to find out what you’re missing out on.

The New York Times

The iPhone 8 is a “worthy refinement before the next generation,” The New York Times believes:

Unsurprisingly, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are very good phones. Most of Apple’s improvements over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are minor, but if you have an older model, either of the 8s will feel like a solid upgrade. And if you are considering upgrading from an Android phone, there’s one area where the new iPhones still rank head and shoulders above their competition — the processor, the engine that runs the entire device, where Apple is so far ahead that it almost feels unfair.

The Wall Street Journal

But The Wall Street Journal disagrees. The iPhone 8 are not the upgrades you might be looking for:

Putting the iPhone 8 through its paces for the past week, I learned Apple should have called it the iPhone 7s. (The company skipped the “s” model this year, calling it a “new generation.”) The iPhone 8 is a good smartphone, but only a slight improvement, mostly in the camera department.

TechCrunch

The iPhone 8’s camera is a big deal, and TechCrunch seems to agree with The Journal. In its review, the tech site only addressed the camera features of the iPhone 8. But make no mistake, the camera features are only a culmination of everything that is iPhone, including hardware and software advancements.

Nearly every iPhone upgrade for the past several years has been driven by the camera. There have been impressive updates in hardware and feature additions, but anecdotally I cannot count the number of times people have cited the camera as the primary reason that they’re interested in updating their phone.

So, how does the camera in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus stack up?

Killer.

When people talk about Apple’s silicon team, they often concentrate on the A-series processors, which is fine. But that team also contributes heavily to the image pipeline in the iPhone’s camera systems.

The Verge

For The Verge the iPhone 8 is “an iPhone.” It may also be the default option for buyers:

[Apple] will ship millions of iPhone 8s — to people on upgrade plans, people who don’t want to pay $999 for an iPhone X or wait for what seems like limited availability, and people who just need a new phone without thinking about it too much. If the iPhone X is Apple’s bold vision of the future, the iPhone 8 is Apple making sure everyone else at the party has a nice time too. If you know what an iPhone is and you want one, then the iPhone 8 is exactly that, one tick farther down the line. It’s an iPhone.

Engadget

The iPhone 8 is for people “who aren’t ready to forgo the home button,” Engadget believes, so enjoy them while they last:

They’re familiar-looking phones that mostly operate the way people expect them to. They’re conventional. But that doesn’t mean they’re inherently lacking — far from it, in fact. While I suspect all iPhones will look like the iPhone X soon enough, the 8 and 8 Plus are expertly built, high-performance devices for people who want to ease into Apple’s vision of the future. And who knows? These just might be the last conventional iPhones Apple makes.

Daring Fireball

You don’t ignore one of the most influential Apple bloggers out there when looking for iPhone 8 reviews. And John Gruber has a lengthy take on both devices over on his Daring Fireball. And he thinks the “iPhones 8” are much more than a “half-hearted or minor update over the iPhone 7.”

These are solid year-over-year updates — at least as impressive as the iPhone 7 was over the iPhone 6S.

And, almost nobody is excited about them because the iPhone X is on the horizon.

CNET

Just like anyone else, CNET tries to explain who should upgrade to the iPhone 8 and who shouldn’t. Long story short, if you’ve got an old iPhone and you’re not too keen on spending $1,000 on an iPhone, the iPhone 8 is for you.

So why buy an iPhone 8 when that sexy iPhone X is just around the corner? The 8 is last year’s design with this year’s technology. It feels familiar. It’s a safe pick. It’s a “let’s not spend a thousand dollars on an iPhone” iPhone. It’s a “Touch ID and a home button matter more to me than a leap of faith into the world of Face ID” iPhone.

Financial Post

For the Financial Post, the iPhone 8 sets the stage for the iPhone X:

All said, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are easily the best phones you can get from Apple at the moment if you are looking for an upgrade. Just keep in mind, however, that it’s already scheduled to be replaced as the latest and greatest come Nov. 3 with the iPhone X.

USA Today

The iPhone 8 is an “excellent phone forced to the shadows by iPhone X,” thinks USA Today , echoing the feeling of many reviewers:

For many potential buyers, especially those with an older iPhone looking to upgrade, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus represents a solid purchase option. But I’m holding out for the next “latest” iPhone, the looming iPhone X.

Yahoo

David Pogue writes in Yahoo’s review that the iPhone 8 are nice, “but nothing to buzz about.” Unlike Gruber, he really thinks the iPhone 8 is a minor upgrade over last year’s iPhone 7:

Good thing, too—because if Apple hadn’t unveiled the iPhone X, there’d be no buzzing at all. The other phone Apple unveiled that day, the iPhone 8, is a very minor upgrade indeed.

Developing…

News

iOS 11 will soon be available to download – here’s everything you need to know

Published by:

iOS 11 Update Download

It’s finally the day many iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users around the world have been waiting for. The final iOS 11 version will be rolling out on Tuesday to compatible devices around the world. iOS 11 was available in beta since June, and we have already discovered its best tricks since then. It brings over a large number of new features, and it’ll totally change the way you use the iPad. You may have already tested iOS 11, but most users haven’t, and they’ll receive software update pings later on Tuesday — here’s what they need to know.

Compatible devices

iOS 11 is indeed the biggest update for iPad ever, and a major release for iPhone. But not all iOS devices are created alike, meaning that various older models are about to be “killed.” Rather than offer a sub-par experience, Apple chose to simply discontinue support for older models, which means some users won’t get to use iOS 11 on their existing gadgets.

You have to have at least an iPhone 5s, iPad mini 2, or iPod touch 6th generation to run iOS 11. Here’s the full list:

Backup first

This isn’t the first time Apple releases an iOS update, and it’s likely you won’t encounter any issues whatsoever. But let’s keep in mind that hundreds of millions of iOS device users will install iOS 11 at the same time. On the off chance that something goes terribly wrong, you wouldn’t want to risk losing some of your personal data, including precious memories.

Whether you back up your phone or tablet automatically, or whether you do it manually, take a few minutes to make sure you do it before iOS 11 rolls out.

While you’re at it, you might want to delete content that you hardly use, including apps and videos, to make room for the update. There are still plenty of iOS 11 users who rock 16GB devices.

The actual update process

Like every year, there are two ways of updating your phone. One involves wires, and one doesn’t. The easiest way to do it is to go to the Settings app when you receive a prompt that iOS 11 is available for download, and start the process. Now, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got a steady internet source to download the file, which may be as big as 2GB. Battery life is also something to pay attention to. The update process won’t start unless you have at least 50% charge left.

You can choose to do it via iTunes, but you’ll need to hook up the iPhone to your computer. The advantage here is that you get to backup your device locally before the update starts, and your iPhone charges while you wait.

You can also postpone the update to tonight, and have the iPhone or iPad upgrade itself while you’re asleep and while it’s charging. By the time you wake up and assuming everything goes well, you’ll find yourself using an iOS 11 device.

Finally, if Apple does end up experiencing any server issues once it starts rolling out iOS 11, you should wait before upgrading. Do it tomorrow or in the following days. After all, you’ve waited this long for it.

Downgrade still an option

If for any reason, you don’t like iOS 11, you’ll be able to downgrade to iOS 10.3.3 right away. For a time, Apple will continue signing both operating versions for each device, so now will be the chance to do so. Say you’re still attached to your iOS 10 jailbreak, or you want to use some 32-bit apps that developers aren’t overhauling for iOS 11, then you’ll just have to switch back to iOS 10 as soon as you can. Also, if you find iOS 11 to be too slow on the older iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2, you should also consider reverting back to last year’s software update.