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Kwik Koncept: PhotoStream and iCloud

iCloud Icon

Apple introduced Photo Stream a few years back. It’s a great idea and is implemented well, but I’ve come to realize many people have misconceptions about the service.

 

Photo Stream Works Via Wi-Fi 

Your iOS device must connect to a wireless network (Wi-Fi) to send your photos to Apple’s iCloud service.

Photo Stream Needs iCloud 

Photo Stream synchronizes photos to other devices using iCloud. These can be other iOS devices, Macs, or Windows PCs. Each device or computer must be configured properly. Macs and iOS devices come with the iCloud software. Windows PCs must download and install the iCloud Control Panel.

Photo Stream is Not a Backup Service 

It keeps your photos from the last 30 days. Apple feels that is enough time for other configured devices to download those pictures.

Photo Stream Enables You to Backup Your Photos (It’s Not a Backup Service) 

This is best explained using a common scenario: You take a picture with your iPhone. That picture will remain on your iPhone until you delete it. If you have iCloud configured on that iPhone, it will upload the photo automatically to iCloud when the phone connects to a Wi-Fi network. Once the photo is in iCloud, it will download to all computers and devices configured to receive it. Now that the photo is on your computer, you may back it up (you do that, right?!) and you can either leave it on your phone or delete it from your phone.

Learn More: My Photo Stream FAQ

Flash, Safari & Mavericks

OS X Mavericks

 

One of my favorite features of OS X Mavericks on my MacBook Air is its power saver. During the Mavericks keynote, Apple showed how animations ceased when they were obscured by other windows. Inarguably a great feature to save a laptop’s battery.

But I found another great feature related to this power saver: It prevents Adobe Flash advertisements from playing automatically. Hallelujah!

Suspended Flash Element

 

When Steve Jobs initiated his assault on Flash by flat-out ignoring it in iOS, I saw his point. Seeing how Apple has continued their drive to kill Flash, it kinda makes smile and chuckle. If a day comes when I don’t get prompted to update Flash, it won’t come too soon. Oh, and let’s not forget that Adobe “shared” my username and password with hackers. Good on ya, Apple.

iOS 7 Jailbreak [Updated]

Today, the Evad3rs Team released its official jailbreak for iOS 7 on all current devices including the iPhone 5S.

iOS 7 Jailbreak

 

The iOS jailbreak community is relatively small but very fervent. I am a supporter of jailbreaking for those who really understand it. So here are a couple of things to consider before you jailbreak your device:

  • There risks of bricking your phone when you jailbreak, but those risks are historically extremely low.
  • You can restore your phone in iTunes to remove a jailbreak. Not even an Apple Store Genius can tell if a phone was previously jailbroken.
  • The software you can download and install from unauthorized repositories might carry risks. Most software is malware-free and solid. Some are a mess. Others carry malicious payloads and might be able to access and send your personal data to hackers. So you have to be careful and use common sense. Otherwise, perusing the software libraries can be fun and safe for the most part.
  • At least right now, Cydia (the app store for the jailbreak community) is not official in the iOS 7 jailbreak. So expect bugs.
  • Consider waiting to jailbreak. The jailbreak just hit the street today (December 22). The software repositories are going to be overwhelmed with traffic for the next few days. If you can’t download software, the jailbreak is kinda useless. Also, you may benefit from letting others suffer the initial jailbreak bugs that will be patched in the coming days.
  • Ask yourself why you want to jailbreak. If you don’t have a compelling reason to do it, then I recommend not doing it. Many popular jailbreak functions were added to iOS 7, like quick access to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles.

As I said, I’m a jailbreak supporter. I have jailbroken my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S. I currently have an iPhone 5S, and I will not be jailbreaking … at least for now.

Here is a link to my favorite source for reliable jailbreak info and instructions:

2 UPDATES

Dec 29, 2013: The initial release of the evasi0n 7 jailbreak did not include an updated Cydia app. This app includes important deep-level updates to iOS that allows users to reliably install software and apply tweaks available from the Cydia app store. As of this writing, the Cydia update has not been completed and released.

I still recommend waiting to jailbreak your iOS 7 device. The Cydia app store is the reason you jailbreak. If it isn’t ready for primetime, you’re putting your valuable mobile device at signifiant risk. However, if you really know what you’re doing and understand all these risks, you’re probably already jailbroken (or maybe you’re not…).

Dec 31, 2013: The Cydia software required for a stable and reliable experience has been released by Cydia’s creator, Jay Freeman (@saurik). Therefore, I change my “wait” to “go” if you’re considering jailbreaking your iOS device.

View All Calendar Events in iOS 7 [Updated]

Sometimes you want to see a simple list of upcoming events (or maybe event past events) in your iOS device. Apple’s new iOS 7 still has this functionality, but it might not be obvious until someone points it out.

  1. Open the iOS 7 Calendar app.
  2. Tap the Magnifying Glass icon in the upper right of the screen.

While the magnifying glass indicates you can search calendar events, you can also view your events in chronological order.

iosCalendarSearch

 

UPDATE: This tip applies to iOS 7.x. Apple changed this behavior in iOS 7.1.

Cure Stubborn Network Issues on Your iOS Device

There are times when your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch just refuses to connect to your wireless network (Wi-Fi). Here are some troubleshooting tips that could prove helpful.

Make Sure Wi-Fi Is On and Ensure You’re Connected

Well, of course your wi-fi is on! Right? Hmm. Better check.

  1. Tap the Settings app.
  2. Next to Wi-Fi, check to see if the wireless network’s name is there. If it is, then you’re connected. If not, continue to the next step.
  3. Tap Wi-Fi.

Ensure Wi-Fi is on. When it’s on, the toggle will be slid to the right and the background behind the toggle will be green. To turn it on, simply tap the toggle slider.

Sometimes, just turning the Wi-Fi off and back on will get your device back online.

When Wi-Fi is on, the iOS device will check for wireless networks in range. After a moment or two, network names should appear. When the device connects to a network, a checkmark will appear next to its name.

To connect to a network, tap the name. If asked for a security password, enter it and tap Join. I can’t help you if you don’t know the password.

WiFi Configuration

 

Renew Lease

No, not the lease on your condo. Renewing the lease means resetting the network connection.

  1. Tap the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Locate the network to which you’re connected (see the one with the checkmark to the left of the name).
  4. Tap the Information icon (the “i” within a circle).
  5. Swipe to the bottom and tap Renew Lease.
  6. Tap Renew Lease? to confirm the action.

You’re done.

If you don’t see the Renew Lease item, tap Wi-Fi at the top left, then tap the network name again to re-enter it. Sooner or later it will show up. Yes, I know this is dumb, but you are dealing with a computer even if it’s a mobile device.

WiFi Configuration

 

Forget the Network

You can try having your iOS device forget the network and then reconnect to it. This is a more drastic action, but it has a high chance of success.

  1. Tap the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the network to which you’re connected (see the one with the checkmark to the left of the name).
  4. Tap Forget this Network.
  5. Tap Forget to confirm the action.
  6. Tap the name of the network you just forgot.
  7. Enter the password and tap Join.

See if you have a connection.

Reboot the Device

This is kinda like the nuclear option.

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button at the top right edge of the device along with the Home button at the bottom of the front face of the device.

Keep holding both of these buttons. You might see a Slide to Power Off prompt, but ignore it. Just keep holding the buttons. The screen will go blank, then you’ll see the Apple logo appear. Now you can release the buttons.

You’ll be pressing these buttons for about 20 seconds or so which might feel longer than you think.

If you’re anxious about pressing two buttons simultaneously, don’t be. Just be sure to press them both at about the same time. The iOS device will give you about a second to press them which is longer than you think.

Did It Work?

If these tips don’t work, then try making an appointment at your local Genius Bar. Sorry.