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Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 gotta-know calendar tips for iOS by Ben Patterson

Indeed, sharing a calendar with a friend can be something of a puzzle until you know which tiny, nondescript button to tap—same goes for seeing the entire week at a glance, viewing a list of all your upcoming events, or changing the color of a specific calendar. 

Read on for ten tips that’ll help you get your bearings with Calendar, as well as a few advanced pointers on setting default alert times, dealing with time-zone changes, syncing a non-iCloud calendar, and more.

1. Switch between daily and “list” view

If you tap on a date in Calendar on your iPhone, you’ll get an expanded view of your daily appointments—just scroll up and down to see which hours are free and which are booked, with each event color-coded depending on the calendar to which it’s assigned. Swipe back and forth to see the next day or the last, or tap the Back button to see your entire month.
Switch between daily and
The revamped iOS Calendar app didn’t jettison “list” view. Instead, it’s hiding in plain sight.
All well and good, but iPhone users familiar with older versions of Calendar often ask what happened to the handy “list” view—the one that let you see all your upcoming events in a compact, at-a-glance list. A flick of your fingertip used to let you scroll days, weeks, even months ahead. 

Well, good news: Apple didn’t jettison this “list” view from Calendar. Instead, it’s hiding in plain sight.
Meet the List button. In the “day” view, you’ll find the button (which looks like a tiny bulleted list) in the top-right corner of the screen, to the left of the Search button. Tap it, and your upcoming events will be arranged in one big, scrollable list. 

Note: There’s no “list” button in the iPad version Calendar—instead, you’ll have to settle for the monthly view, which boasts details for each day’s events.

2. See event details from the month view

The standard month view in Calendars for iPhone offers a blank, rather unhelpful grid of dates—tap one, and you’ll jump to the expanded daily view. Want to see the whole month again? You’ll have to tap the Back button.
See event details from the month view
Tap the Details button to see a list of daily events from the Month view.
That’s the routine, unless you’re hip to the Details button, which—much like the List button—sits unobtrusively next to the Search button in the top corner of the screen. 

Tap the Details button, and a list of events for the selected date will slide into view, with the rest of the month still visible. Tap another day of the month, and you’ll see the events for that day. You can even switch months by swiping up and down.

3. See your entire week on your iPhone

The iPad version of the Calendar app has four clearly marked views to choose from: Day, Week, Month, and Year. On an iPhone, the Day, Month and Year views are (relatively) easy to find, but what about the Week view?
See your entire week on your iPhone
Can’t find a weekly view in the iOS Calendar app on your iPhone? Try tilting your iPhone into landscape orientation.
Easy—just tilt your iPhone into landscape orientation. When you do, your week will twirl into view, no matter which calendar view you were checking.

4. Drag and drop calendar events

The most obvious way to change the time of an event in Calendar is to tap it and edit its “start” and “end” times, but there’s actually a much easier way.
Drag and drop calendar events
Dragging and dropping is the easiest way to move an event in the iOS Calendar app.
Just tap and hold an event until it pulses, then drag it anywhere you like in your calendar. You can also grab one of the little handles above or below an event to pad it out or cut it short.

5. Ask Siri to add or change an event

If you want to add or edit a calendar appointment without any tapping at all, just ask Siri.
Ask Siri to add or change an event
Siri can add, delete, and edit meetings in Calendar for iOS.
For example, you can say “Add a meeting to my calendar” or “move my 12:00 p.m. meeting,” and Siri will take care of the rest, asking you to fill in any blanks.

6. Share a calendar with a pal

In just a few taps, you can let any fellow iCloud user view and/or edit any of your calendars. Where do you tap, though?
Share a calendar with a pal
In just a few taps, you can let any fellow iCloud user view and/or edit any of your calendars.
Try this...
  • First, tap the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen to see a list of all your iCloud calendars.
  • Now, see the little “info” button next to each calendar? Tap one, then tap the “Add Person” link in the “Shared with” section.
  • Go ahead and add anyone you like—well, anyone with an iCloud account, that is.
Bonus tip: You’ll only see the “Shared with” option for iCloud calendars, not Google or other third-party calendars that you’ve added. That said, you can always share, say, a Google calendar with someone using Google’s own sharing options.

7. Turn off shared calendar alerts

If you share a calendar with someone and give them editing privileges, you’re going to start getting alerts whenever that person adds, edits, or deletes events from your shared calendar. That can be handy if you need reminders of new and nixed appointments, but all those alerts can get pretty annoying—particularly given that they’ll pop up on all your connected iCloud devices.
Turn off shared calendar alerts
Annoyed by the alerts for event changes in shared calendars? No problem.
To turn off alerts for shared events, go back to the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen, tap the “info” button next to the calendar you’ve shared, then flip off the “Show Changes” switch.

8. Change the color of a calendar

Each of your events in Calendar is color-coded depending on which of your various calendars the events were created on. If you’re not happy with the color of a given calendar, there’s an easy fix.
Change the color of a calendar
You can change the color of a given calendar in just a few taps.
Tap the Calendars link at the bottom of the screen (again), tap the “info” button next to a calendar, then pick a new hue under the Color section. 

Note: Nope, you can’t change the color of a Google calendar—don’t ask me why.

9. Set a default alert time

There’s no need to waste precious seconds setting up an alert each and every time you add a Calendar event on your iPhone and iPad. Instead, just set up a default alert time that will apply to each new event going forward.
Set a default alert time
You can set up a default alert time that’ll apply to each new event going forward.
From the iOS home screen, go to Settings > Mail, Calendars, Contacts, scroll down to the Calendars section, tap “Default Alerts Times,” then pick an option: Anything from five minutes before an event to a full week beforehand. 

You can also set up separate default alerts for regular events, birthdays, and all-day events.

10. Start the week whenever you want

According to most Western calendars, Sunday marks the beginning of each week. If for you, though, Monday (or Tuesday, or even Wednesday) feels like the start of your week, no problem.
Start the week whenever you want
The iOS Calendar app will let you start your week on any day you want: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you name it.
Go back to the “Mail, Calendars, Contacts” section in the main iOS Settings screen, tap the “Start Week On” setting, then pick a day.

These 10 tips will help you navigate like a pro with Apple Maps by Karen Tumbokon



Before Apple Maps came along, Google Maps was the default navigation app for iOS. It was a mammoth undertaking, but Apple was determined to create its own mapping solution.

Back in 2012, Apple Maps officially replaced Google Maps on iOS products. While Apple Maps has a simple interface, there are plenty of features that are hidden away. Here are ten Apple Maps tips that will help you become a pro, and get where you need to go.

How to drop a pin

apple-maps-how-to-drop-a-pin If your friends from out of town are coming to visit, you can use pins to help plan ahead. You can also use pins to mark a destination you need directions for. To drop a pin, simply tap and hold, and select Drop a Pin. When you create a new pin, you can label it, add to an Existing Contact, or easily Create New Contact.

How to see traffic nearby

apple-maps-tips-traffic-nearby Maps will let you know what’s causing traffic, so you can see if there’s an accident or just a slowdown. To be able to see real-time traffic information, tap ‘i’, and then tap Show Traffic. If there’s traffic nearby, you’ll see orange and red dots. Orange dots show slow traffic, while red dots show stop-and-go traffic. If there’s traffic, Maps will provide alternative routes to help save you time.

How to see what apps local people are using

apple-maps-search-apps-nearby This cool feature, available on the Apple Maps app, enables you to see what apps are popular with other users nearby. Tap on the label to show your current location, tap on the label that pops up, and you can check out some of the top apps other people use. You will discover some of the best travel, navigation, and news applications available for iOS.

How to activate compass mode

apple-maps-tips-activate-compass-mode If you plan to use the Apple Maps app to get a sense of direction, like when you go hiking or biking, you may want to make sure you enable compass mode. In compass mode, the map you are looking at in the Maps app will rotate based on your direction. To activate compass mode, be sure to tap on the Location icon at the bottom of the screen. Once you pinpoint your location, tap on it again, and compass mode will be activated.

How to ask Siri for directions

apple-maps-ask-siri-for-directions No matter where you want to go, Siri can help you get to your destination. You can ask Siri to take you to the nearest grocery store, closest burger joint, or take you home. Press and hold the Home button on your iPhone, wait until you hear two quick beeps, and then tell Siri where you want to go.

Next page: Five more Apple Maps tips and tricks


How to Flyover cities in Apple Maps

apple-maps-tips-flyover-cities When Apple Maps launched in 2012, the company introduced the Flyover feature, which allows users to explore views of cities or landmarks in 3D from the air. To use the Flyover feature in Apple Maps on your iOS device, simply open Apple Maps and type the name of the city or landmark you would like to explore. Tap on the search button after entering the name of the city, and it will suggest a 3D Flyover Tour. Simply tap Start, and you will begin to tour the city or landmark from the sky. You can also access the Flyover feature by selecting Flyover Tour from a location’s details. To return to your map from a Flyover Tour, simply tap End Flyover Tour at the bottom of your screen.

How to share locations

apple-maps-tips-share-locations
With Apple Maps you can easily transfer locations between your iOS and OSX devices, or share with friends. From Apple Maps on iOS, simply tap on a placement marker label, then tap the Share button. You will be given options to share via AirDrop, Messages, email, or social media services such as Facebook or Twitter. If you’d like to share your location with yourself, simply find your other devices through AirDrop, or try emailing or messaging yourself. If you have a group conversation going with friends, you can tap Details > Share My Location, choose how long to share your location for, and you’ll appear on their map.

How to export maps as PDFs

apple-maps-tips-export-as-pdf One of the best Apple Maps tips relates to the OS X edition, which offers the ability to export a map as a PDF. To export maps as PDFs, choose Export as PDF from the File menu. This feature provides a convenient way to print a physical map, especially if you need a copy of a map for functions like a wedding or a meeting, and you don’t want to have to rely on your phone.

How to adjust the volume

apple-maps-volume-settings While it’s a small feature, Apple Maps lets you adjust the volume of the voice giving you directions on your iPhone. Simply go to Settings, select Maps, and you can adjust the volume of that trusty navigation voice, without adjusting the volume of anything else. You can also switch between miles and kilometers in this menu.

How to clear your location history

apple-maps-clear-history If you don’t like Apple Maps keeping track of where you go, then you can easily clear your location history. Go to Settings, select Privacy, and then Location Services. Tap on System Services, which can be found at the bottom of the list, and then tap on Frequent Locations to see your travel history. You can clear your location history by tapping on Clear History at the bottom.

Report: Windows 10 Will Be Sold on a Flash Drive by Daniel Bean

According to information allegedly obtained by German news site WinFuture, some retail versions of Windows 10 will be sold on preloaded USB flash drives.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the news, citing the company’s policy to not comment on rumors or speculation.  

The much-anticipated multi-platform version of Microsoft’s flagship OS is built to operate not only on full PCs, but also tablets and ultrabook laptops, most of which don’t typically pack a CD or DVD drive. A USB thumb drive version would allow smaller, next-gen machines to also install Windows 10 Home or Professionial versions from scratch without a lengthy download.

The full-install version of Windows 10, set to be released on July 29, will start at $119.
Of course, since Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will come as a free, downloadable update for current Windows 7 and Windows 8 customers, most PCers will never need to see a Windows 10 disc or flash drive.

But hey, by slowly eschewing plastic discs and finally giving us a version of Windows that’s better than Windows XP, Microsoft is already well on its way toward embracing 21st century technology. Way to go, Redmond!

Windows 10 will automatically share your Wi-Fi with your friends By Justin Ferris

Among the many new features Windows 10 brings to the table, or leaves off the table, there's one interesting feature that hasn't gotten much attention. It's called Wi-Fi Sense and it's either a major convenience or a major security risk, depending on who you ask.
Basically, Wi-Fi Sense lets people log in to your Wi-Fi network without needing the encryption password (you did set up encryption, right?). OK, that sounds dangerous and scary, but it isn't quite as bad as you might be thinking.
Before I continue, I should point out that Wi-Fi Sense isn't actually new; it's been a feature in Windows Phone 8.1 for a year now. However, Windows 10 will finally bring it to laptops, desktops and Windows-based tablets, so a lot more people are going to have it.

If you've ever been to someone's house and wanted to log in to their Wi-Fi network, you know it's a hassle. They have to hunt down the password and you have to type it into your gadget. It's even worse if they take my advice and have a strong Wi-Fi password, which are usually hard to type.

The same goes for a business Wi-Fi network. It might ask you to provide your name, email address or phone number before you can log in. Wi-Fi Sense will provide that information for you automatically, so you can just start using the network.

If you choose to share a Wi-Fi network, Microsoft will store your encryption password on its servers. When a visitor that has Wi-Fi Sense enabled shows up, Windows will log them into your network automatically. Your visitor will never see the password, however.

The good thing is that to get on your network, the person has to be a contact of yours in Outlook (or on Outlook.com), Skype or Facebook (with an add-in). So, if your parent or child shows up, they get logged in. A random stranger walking by your house won't.

One concern, however, is that a near-stranger could get logged in. There are some friends you have on Facebook that you might not actually want on your network. Or maybe a long time ago you created a contact in Outlook for someone you emailed with only once or twice.

True, if you don't know the person that well, what are they doing near your house? Unless it's that neighbor you got in an email war with over where to put the trash cans on the curb. Do you want them on your network?
Of course, Microsoft is quick to point out that Wi-Fi Sense doesn't give someone access to your network, just your Internet connection. So, they can steal your bandwidth, but they can't actually see any of your computers or gadgets. That's something.

Still, if you don't want someone on your network, you can remove them from your Outlook, Skype or Facebook contacts. However, if you actually need to contact them, then that's not always practical.
Wi-Fi Sense does require that you voluntarily share your Wi-Fi network. If you don't share a network, then no one gets logged in. But that still lets you use the part of Wi-Fi Sense that logs you into other places automatically.

If you'd rather shut down Wi-Fi Sense completely, you can do that, too. Windows 10 gives you the option during setup to share your Wi-Fi networks with others, or share your credentials with other networks. Just tell it no to both. You can also find these options in the Wi-Fi Settings screen.

If you want to be really sure that Wi-Fi Sense stays completely away from your network, you can change your network name in your router to include "_optout" (minus the quotes) at the end. So, if your network name was "my network" you would make it "my network_optout". Learn how to change your network name, and pick a good one.

Is Windows 10 right for you and your old PC? By Komando Staff


About 2,500 years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus was quoted as saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.” I think he'd double down on that statement if he were alive today and saw how fast technology moves.

I bring this up because Microsoft is set to roll out Windows 10 in just over a month, on July 29. To persuade people to upgrade, Microsoft is offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade if you have Windows 7 or 8.1. Windows 8 users will need to upgrade to 8.1 first, but that's also free.
I know that the free upgrade, plus Windows 10's promised features, have already persuaded a lot of people to take the plunge. If comments on my Windows 10 stories are any indication, then a majority of computer users are planning to take advantage of the upgrade.

However, there are still quite a few people who remember the problems with upgrading to Windows Vista and Windows 8, from hardware compatibility problems to ending up with a buggy operating system. I don't blame them for wondering if upgrading to Windows 10 is a smart move, and if Windows 10 is just change for the sake of change.

And it's true, there are some situation where upgrading to Windows 10 might not be the best idea. Let's take a look at a few scenarios where you should and shouldn't upgrade.

When you should upgrade

If you hate Windows 8

OK, I know I'm starting this off with a negative one, but there are a lot of people, many in my audience included, who can't stand Windows 8. From the lack of a Start button to the confusing way apps work to additions meant for touch that don't work well with mouse and keyboard, it's a mess.
Windows 10 fixes those problems with the return of the Start button and Start menu, although it has a bit of an upgrade. Apps are going to run in "windows" mode like regular programs.

On desktops and laptops, Windows 10 won't have any of the touch elements active and works more like Windows 7. Learn more about Windows 10's features that make it better than Windows 8.

If you want better performance

Because Windows 8's interface was so bad, most people overlooked that fact that under the hood Windows 8 is actually a fantastic operating system. It's faster, cleaner, more secure and has better support for newer hardware than even Windows 7.

Windows 10 takes that up another level with even more performance optimization, so it should run better than 7 or 8 on whatever computer you put it on. It also has a newer, faster and more secure browser to replace Internet Explorer, and DirectX 12 for a better gaming experience.

You're buying a new computer

If your computer is more than five years old and you've been thinking about upgrading, you have a choice to make. You can buy one of the few remaining Windows 7 machines on the market; you can grit your teeth and grab one with Windows 8.1 and suffer with it for a few months; or you can wait and buy a system with Windows 10 pre-installed.

I still love Windows 7, and Microsoft is providing security updates until 2020, so if you want to keep using it on a computer you already have, that's fine. However, once Windows 10 comes out I wouldn't buy a computer with Windows 7 pre-installed.

A Windows 7 machine isn't going to have the latest hardware options. So even if you upgrade to Windows 10 later, you won't see all the benefit Windows 10 can provide.

And I wouldn't recommend buying a Windows 8 machine either. You'll have to deal with learning its interface just to use it for a month, and then you have to switch to Windows 10. If you're upgrading from Vista (or even XP), it's best to just deal with one new operating system at a time.

Even though Windows 10 is close to older styles of Windows, it's still going to take a little getting used to. So, save yourself some hassle.

One word of caution

I know there are plenty of people who are going to want to upgrade to Windows 10 the second it arrives. However, for most computer users I recommend waiting a few months.
While I know quite a few people already using the Windows 10 Preview with no problem, there are bound to be some kinks for Microsoft to work out. There are always upgrade problems and features that don't work quite right.

Fortunately, the free upgrade offer is good for a year after Windows 10 comes out. There's time to let Microsoft release some updates and smooth out some wrinkles before you make the jump.

When you shouldn't upgrade

Your computer is running Vista

If your computer is running Vista, then it's probably more than five years old. While Windows 10 will run faster than Vista on the same hardware, Windows 10 is really designed to take advantage of newer computer parts like motherboards with UEFI and solid-state hard drives.

Also, Vista users don't get the free upgrade, so you'll be spending $100 or so for the Windows 10 upgrade. If you buy a new computer, part of that cost is subsidized in the overall computer price.

Not only that, Microsoft is going to be focusing on smooth in-place upgrading for Windows 7 and 8. Your upgrade from Vista might have some hiccups. In short, you're really better off buying a newer computer with Windows 10 already installed and transferring your programs and information.

You need features Windows 10 doesn't have

Windows 10 has some nice new features, but it's also going to drop some features you might use. For example, if your home entertainment uses Microsoft's Media Center program, then you won't want to upgrade. Here are six more features that Windows 10 users will have to live without.

Most of these features aren't deal breakers for the average user, but you should know what they are just in case.

Your computer has old peripherals

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, a lot of older hardware doesn't make the cut. Older scanners, printers, digital cameras and other add-ons might not get updated drivers.

Thanks to USB connections and universal drivers, this isn't such a worry for anything you bought within the last five years. However, if you have something that's 10 years old, then it's a risk.

A good rule to follow is if it works in Windows 8 then it should work in 10. Windows 7 is a little iffier, but you should usually be OK. If you haven't tried it with any Windows newer than Vista, however, you could be out of luck.

Head online and see if anyone using your model has tried it on newer systems. That can tell you if there's going to be a problem before you upgrade.

Again, this might be a situation where you want to buy a new computer with Windows 10 and keep your old computer around to work with your older hardware. On the other hand, most of the older hardware you have can probably be replaced with a new inexpensive model that works just as well.

Your next phone update could delete some apps By Komando Staff


Apple is working on a way to make sure that users who want to upgrade their iPhones will have enough space on their gadgets to install the latest operating system. With the update of iOS 8 came a ton a complaints that the file couldn't be installed due to its size.

Well not this time around! Apple developers created a program that can temporarily delete some of your biggest apps and immediately reinstall them as soon as the update is done. This sounds like a great idea, but what if it doesn't work? You could be without your favorite apps and the data that was stored within them.
Even though iOS 9 is just a quarter of the size of the iOS 8 update, users could still find themselves without enough room to install it. This issue was the main reason developers included this program in the beta, or test version, that is currently available for a select group of Apple owners.

Don't worry, the program won't delete anything if you don't want it to. The phone will prompt you with an option to temporarily delete the apps before the update or cancel the update all together. You will still be in control of what goes and what stays on your phone.

I love this idea and I can't wait to see if it becomes an official part of iOS 9 when it's released to the public later this year. But do you think it's a smart addition to the operating system or do you think that Apple should keep their paws off your apps permanently?

Let me know how you feel about this program by leaving me a note in the comments section below.

5 MORE tricks to get more out of Netflix By Justin Ferris

If you're streaming online video to watch TV shows or movies, there's a good chance you use Netflix. It's the largest streaming service around. In fact, it has more than 100 million hours of video, and during peak hours it makes up more than one third of all Internet traffic.

One of the reasons Netflix is so popular is how easy it is to use on every gadget. You can quickly find videos you want to watch, they automatically stream at the best quality for your connection, and, as you watch more videos, Netflix gets better about suggesting new ones you might like.

That isn't to say you can't improve your Netflix experience. I've told you before about three tricks you can use to improve your video quality and recommendations.

Now, I'm going to give you five more tricks that will take your Netflix experience up a notch, from improving your recommendations even more to saving money while you travel.

1. Get rid of buffering

One obstacle to enjoying online video is buffering. Buffering is actually a good thing because it lets you load part of the video before it starts playing. That means on a slower connection you can watch at a higher quality than you could with real-time streaming.

However, if your Internet connection isn't steady, the video can stop to buffer at the worst possible moments. And if you have a steady but slower Internet connection, Netflix can take more time buffering than it really needs.

If you're watching Netflix on a computer, start playing the movie and hold the keyboard shortcut Shift + Alt and then left click the video (Shift+Option+Click on a Mac). Select the stream manager to see the buffering rate.

Click the "Manual selection" checkbox, then set the buffering rate to the same number as the "Playing" number. Then click "Apply." You should notice a drop in the amount of time Netflix spends buffering.

2. Get better video choices

As you watch more videos, Netflix gets better at recommending videos you might like. However, it isn't perfect; it has nearly 77,000 genres to match you up with, after all. Plus, Netflix it gets confused if you have more than one person using a single Netflix profile.

Handy Tip: If you have several people in the house using one Netflix account, be sure to set each person up with their own Netflix profile to avoid these kinds of conflicts. On the Netflix website, click Manage Profiles in the top right corner to get started.

The way to change your recommendations is by rating what you watch. When you're first starting Netflix, you'll see a lot of surveys called Taste Preferences that ask you to rate movies, shows and genres you've watched recently.

Taste Preferences are important to fill out so Netflix can build your Taste Profile. After a while, you won't see as many of these, however. If you want to revisit your preferences, go to the Netflix site and under Your Account load the Taste Preferences survey. Or click this link and log in.

If you want to get away from Netflix's interface, there's another way to find videos. The site What is on Netflix? lets you see the top-rated movies from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB and other review sites that are streaming on Netflix. These aren't just new movies, but can range all the way back to the 1930s.

3. Get a better remote

If you're watching Netflix through a streaming box, such as a Roku, or on a smart TV, you know how annoying it can be to control with a standard remote. Searching for titles, for example, means a lot of button presses to select each letter.

It would be nicer if you could use your smartphone or tablet as a remote, and you can. If it's newer, it's likely your streaming gadget has its own custom control app in the Google Play or Apple store.
Roku, for example, has one that gives you the ability to navigate with the touch screen and type with the on-screen keyboard. If you're using a PlayStation, you can load up a video on your smartphone, or tablet, and then start it playing in the Netflix app on the console.

4. Don't miss any dialogue

Have you ever cranked up the volume on a video because you can't quite hear what the actors are saying? Maybe they're talking too softly, the soundtrack is too loud or they have an accent that's nearly impossible to understand.

Instead of straining yourself or constantly rewind the scene, you can simply turn on the subtitles. OK, I say simply, but the steps actually vary depending on the streaming gadget you're using.

Fortunately, Netflix provides handy instructions for every streaming gadget you might own. It also lets you customize the subtitle font and color so it's easier for you to read.

5. Save money while traveling

You're going to be going on a long trip and aren't going to be using your Netflix account. Why keep paying for it?

If you cancel your Netflix account, Netflix keeps your information for up to 10 months. You can restart it at any time within that 10 months with no penalty.

To cancel your account, log in to your Netflix account and click "Cancel Membership." You can keep using Netflix until the end of that billing cycle, then it will stop working.

To restart Netflix when you come back, log in to you Netflix account and tell it you want to restart. You'll be back up and running in no time.

Even if you aren't going on vacation, you can save a little money for a month or two with this method. It's also handy if you have a project you're working on and you need to remove the temptation to binge watch some TV shows instead.

Every New Movie and TV Show You Can Stream on Netflix This Week (June 28 – July 4) by Jacob Siegal

It’s that time of the week again, and BGR is bringing you a roundup of the best new Netflix movies and shows for your streaming pleasure. A lot of your time is wasted by looking around Netflix for something you haven’t seen yet, so this update will save you some precious ticks on the clock.

DON’T MISS: 10 Netflix Movies You Really Need to Watch Before They Expire in July

July 1st
  • Alive (1993)
  • An Honest Liar (2014)
  • Bad Hair Day (2015)
  • Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (2009)
  • Bulworth (1998)
  • Dave Attel: Road Work (2014)
  • Death in Paradise (Season 3)
  • Grandma’s Boy (2006)
  • Hostage (2005)
  • Invizimals: The Alliance Files
  • La Reina del Sur
  • Octonauts (Season 3)
  • Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
  • El Senor de los Cielos (Seasons 1-2)
  • Saw V (2008)
  • Set Fire to the Stars (2014)
  • Shooting Fish (1997)
  • The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
  • Underworld: Evolution (2006)
  • Velvet (Season 2)

July 3rd

  • Knights of Sidonia (Season 2)

July 4th

  • Faults (2014)
  • Hell on Wheels (Season 4)
  • White Collar (Season 6)

6 reasons to get excited about OS X El Capitan by Jason Snell


I’m not feeling a lot of love for OS X El Capitan out there. That might not be surprising, given that it’s firmly in the tradition of Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard–new-feature-light, speed-and-stability-focused OS X updates.

But as someone who reviewed Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion, I can tell you that not only did these cat modifier cat releases contain a bunch of bug fixes and other internal tweaks, they also managed to add a bunch of new features, too. Apple can’t help itself.

So let me present to you six reasons to be excited about what’s coming in El Capitan.

Spotlight as search engine

Some people love clicking around looking for things, whether it’s on their computer or on the Internet. For those people we have navigation bars on websites and the Finder on the Mac. But some people would really rather just type what they’re looking for into a box and hope that the result works for them.
el capitan spotlight closeup Apple
The better the results from those searches get, the more time you can save versus clicking around. With El Capitan, Apple is making Spotlight even more of a search engine than it was previously. Yosemite brought a bunch of new Internet data sources to Spotlight, and El Capitan brings even more. If you’re wondering about something, be it on your Mac or out in the rest of the world, Spotlight can try to bring it to you.

And in El Capitan, Spotlight will also react to natural-language queries. You’d be surprised to discover just how many people type complete sentences into search boxes on the Web. Sure, all of my searches are based on keywords (delete facebook account), but some of the most popular searches on the web are complete sentences (how do I delete my facebook account). Spotlight now speaks that language!

Apple doesn’t need to launch its own search-engine competitor to Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. It can integrate all of those search engines while overlaying its own data sources–catching many of your queries before you have to resort to a web search engine. It’s happening on iOS and it’s happening in El Capitan.

Notes—you heard me!

I know it’s not cool to like the Notes app, either on iOS or on the Mac. After all, it’s just a next-generation version of Stickies. (By the way, I am shocked to report to you that the Stickies app is still kicking around!)
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Notes doesn’t have features, but that’s okay. It runs on all my devices and syncs between them. I use Notes on iOS all the time when I just need to toss text somewhere and access it later somewhere else. In iOS 9 and El Capitan, Notes is getting an upgrade. It has finally abandoned IMAP syncing (seriously, why did Notes spend years syncing via your email account?) and properly uses iCloud now. And there are numerous new features, including support for clippings and checklists.

According to Apple, half of iPhone users use Notes regularly. I’m one of those people, and I refer to those notes on my Mac frequently. I’d never call Notes an essential app, but it’s ubiquitous, and improving it seems only right.

Safari gets pinned

Safari’s my default web browser and I use it endlessly, so I’m happy to see Apple continuing to find new ways to improve it. It would be really easy for Apple to rest on Safari development and consider web browsing a solved problem, but that hasn’t happened.
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In El Capitan, Safari adds support for muting of audio in stray tabs–huge for dealing with sites that really like to play video automatically, including this one. As someone who doesn’t rely on RSS feeds but does have a collection of sites I like to visit regularly, I’m enthusiastic about the new Pinned Sites feature, which is sort of like a fancy version of the Favorites Bar, keeping your very favorite sites one click away. It’s the kind of feature that novices and power users alike can appreciate.

Mail swipes to success

I’ve still got a love/hate relationship with the Mail app. I use it for a while, then quit it for an alternative, but eventually seem to end up back in its clutches. But the fact is, most Mac users who use a Mail app use Mail–it’s right there. And as with Safari, Apple keeps pushing the ball forward.
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I used the Mailbox app for a while and really enjoyed its interface, which (as on iOS) lets you swipe on messages to file or delete them. It’s a metaphor that really works if you’re using a trackpad, and Apple’s integrating it into Mail with El Capitan. It’s not the most discoverable feature in the world, but if you do learn how to use it, it’s quite a time saver.

Upgrades to Photos

Photos for Mac arrived a few months ago, and is getting its first notable update with El Capitan. By far the most glaring feature omission from Photos 1.0 was the inability to add or edit location information. That feature has been added in the new version of Photos that comes with El Capitan, along with other metadata editing features, both individually and in batches.
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There’s also support for third-party photo editing extensions, which should please Aperture users who have made the move to Photos and found it limiting. It’s unclear what third parties will actually write editing plug-ins for Photos, but the capability will be there in El Capitan.

Speed and stability

Let’s not forget that bug fixes and speed boosts are features! And they’re worth getting excited about. I’ve heard from many Mac users who have been frustrated by bugs they’ve in countered in Mavericks and Yosemite. Apple’s upgrade cycle, providing a new version of OS X and iOS (and now maybe watchOS, too?) every single year, seems relentless. It’s probably wise for the company to ease back to more of a tick-tock approach, with a major release followed by a year of retrenchment and focus on refining the new stuff that’s been added in recent years.

It’s unclear whether that new tick-tock approach is happening or not, but at least for this year Apple’s OS releases seem to be tocking. That’s good. Adding support for Metal on OS X may not seem like a great user feature, but it’ll speed up apps, creative-professional suites, and games alike. Fixing bugs isn’t necessarily something to be shouted to the stratosphere, but if you’re someone who’s been bitten by those bugs, it can be a huge relief.

How to actually wipe your Android By Cailyn Finkel

Did you know that your phone stores information about you that's nearly impossible to erase?

Trading in your Android gear can help with the cost of an upgrade, and selling it online can give you some major cash, but you're going to need to wipe your sensitive information before anyone else gets their hands on it.

If you think you don't need to erase all of your saved data, just know that people can easily access your accounts, contacts and private media by accessing files buried deep down in your gadget's drive. You may think that you'll be covered with a basic factory reset, but that's not the case.
Performing a factory reset acts like the “empty trash” function on your computer. The files seem to be gone, but the path to get to them is actually all that's been removed. With the right knowledge and expertise, a talented user can access these files.

Short of smashing your gadget, how do you know your information is really wiped off of your Android? There are a few easy ways to make sure that your information is really cleared off of your Android when the time comes to get rid of it.

If this seems stressful, don't worry; it isn't difficult.

Resetting isn't 'hard' at all

A hard reset is an easy way to restart your phone when it starts acting up, and it's also the first step in securely wiping your Android.

This type of reset stops your phone in its tracks and forces it to shut down and restart. It won't get rid of any data that you still want stored on your smartphone, but it will help permanently trash items you "deleted" before.

You can do this when your phone freezes as well. You'll normally end up holding the power button and another button on the exterior of your phone for five seconds or so, but every Android hard reset is different.

You can look up your smartphone's make and model on this site and it will give you detailed instructions and photos on how to reset your specific type of Android gadget. If you can't find your make or model on the site, search online for “(model of your phone) hard reset” and go to the instructions provided by your phone's carrier or maker. They'll have the most accurate and trustworthy way to hard reset your Android.

Your phone will power down abruptly and restart, once you see your usual home screen appear again the hard reset process is complete. Now you're ready to move on to the easiest step in wiping your gadget.

Encryption is important

Have you ever heard of encryption? It's not just for protecting secret government documents and confidential business files. You can actually encrypt all of the data in your phone, and it's a necessary step in wiping your phone securely.

To do this, you'll need your trusty smartphone, its charger and about an hour. Plug your phone in go to your “Settings” page. Then Security>>Screen Lock or Encrypt Device depending on your smartphone.
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You'll be prompted to create a unique password or lock PIN, and that's completely normal. This is to allow you to perform an encryption. Write this password down, as you may need it later. Just be aware that once you encrypt your Android gadget, there's no going back.

You'll see a progress bar appear after you agree to the encryption terms. This process can take about an hour, and you don't want to interrupt it. Doing so can permanently damage your smartphone.
You'll be alerted once the process is complete and then it's time to move on to phase two!

Get rid of your phone's memory

The last step in making sure everything is gone from your phone is physically removing your memory card, if you have one. Most people forget these are even in their gadgets after they put it in when they first get their phones.

Just in case you weren't aware, many Android gadgets let you plug in a memory card to expand the storage space. Memory cards range from 1 to 512 GB and keep videos, photos, music and documents on your smartphone without slowing it down.
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The memory card is generally located under the back plastic plating and it's a small, removable black square like the one seen above.

You can take this external memory card and use it in your next smartphone or you can get rid of it forever. Just make sure to break it in half if you do decide to get rid of it, that way it can never be accessed again.

It's finally time to factory reset

When you finished all three steps listed above you can initiate a factory reset. To do this, you go to Settings>>Backup & reset>>Factory data reset. This will erase all of the data and take your phone back to the settings that were on it when initially purchased it.

You'll need the charger for this part, too. Factory resets can eat up a battery in a flash and you want to make sure that the reset executed completely to avoid damaging the Android.
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Only do this when you're totally ready to get rid of the phone. You can't reverse a factory reset; all of your contacts, photos, videos, calls and texts will be erased forever.

Once the factory reset is complete, you can feel secure selling or trading in your Android smartphone.

Apple's new warranty will replace your battery before it's half dead by Brett Murphy

Apple's new warranty will replace your battery once it loses 20 percent of its capacity Apple Inc. 

Is your laptop's life span just not what it used to be? Is your iPhone not making it through the day? You might be in luck.

Apple has added a new feature to its AppleCare+ warranty service, an added cost for people who buy an iPhone smartphone, MacBook laptop or iPad tablet device. Typically, the company said it would replace the battery on a device only if its capacity, or the amount of energy it's able to hold, fell to less than half of its original capability. Now, Apple says, it will replace the battery if it falls below 80 percent.

The move could be a boon to consumers, who for decades have struggled with slowly evolving battery technology. The batteries inside an iPhone and MacBook haven't significantly changed in over two decades, and that old technology sometimes just doesn't work as well as it should.
Now, Apple says, it's going to meet customers more than half way.

This is an important change for another reason: The batteries in Apple products are not user-replaceable, meaning if something goes wrong, customers void their warranty if they open the case and try to switch out the battery for another one they may have ordered off the Internet. 

Oftentimes, people do this because their batteries stop performing as well as they once did.
The AppleCare+ protection plan covers batteries in the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The change also applies to any new purchase and retroactively to any device still under warranty, Apple said. Customers need only submit a valid claim.

According to Apple, to check the capacity of your iPhone's battery, if you suspect it's draining too quickly, you should start a service request that will get the ball rolling on your replacement. Out of warranty, the battery will run you $79 (up to $199 for Macbooks).

AppleCare+ costs $49 for the Watch Sport, $59 for the iPod Touch, $69 for the standard Watch, $99 for iPhones or iPads, and between $250 and $350 for MacBooks.

How to Find Apple Music on Your Phone, Mac, or PC by Dan Tynan

By now you’ve probably heard of Apple Music, the all-new $10 a month music-streaming service brought to you by the folks who invented iTunes and the iPhone.

You may have even downloaded the Apple Music app to your phone or your computer. And now you’re probably wondering, Where the #%!&#! is it?

For a service as heavily hyped as this one, Apple has been doing a fantastic job of hiding it. Here’s where to look for it.

Find it online

First, of course, you have to get Apple Music. Don’t bother looking for it in the mobile App Store, you won’t find it there. 

For iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch, Apple Music is part of an upgrade to its mobile operating system: iOS 8.4. Download and install that, and you’ll have Apple Music. 
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If you’re longing to stream music directly to your Mac or PC, you need to download a new version of iTunes—12.2, to be precise. (That desktop update wasn’t available for many users until 8 or 9 hours after the mobile version was released—causing all kinds of teeth-gnashing in Apple’s support forums, as well as among certain tech journalists who shall remain unnamed.)

There are two ways to get the desktop version. You can download iTunes 12.2 from the Web here, and then double click the file to update your current copy of iTunes. 

On the Mac, you can launch the App Store app and click Updates at the top of the screen. At the next screen, click the Update button for iTunes 12.2. (If your Mac has more than one piece of software that needs updating, you could instead click Update All at the top of the panel.)

Find it on your machine

Now that you have Apple Music, where the heck did it go?

On your iPhone, it’ll simply replace your old Music app (wherever you were keeping that).
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Apple Music, hiding in plain sight on an iPhone 6. 

Tap that new icon, and you’ll have the option of signing up for Apple Music. (The first three months are free, then Apple will bill you $10 a month until you cancel). If you choose not to sign up, you’ll still have access to any music you’ve stored on your phone or tablet, as well as the ability to stream the free Beats 1 radio station and join Apple Connect, the social media portion of the new streaming service. 
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On the desktop, you simply need to launch iTunes. It should load with Apple Music front and center, prompting you (again) to sign up for a free three-month trial. Click Yes, and it will sync with the account on your phone—so you won’t get billed twice—though it may quiz you about your musical preferences again using those silly bubbles. 
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And that’s it. You’re now free to enjoy 30 million+ songs on your machines at any time—provided your data plan is up to the task.

Who Makes the Best Smartphone Cam? Not Apple by Daniel Howley

Like most people, I replaced my digital point-and-shoot camera with a smartphone camera a long time ago. So now that the two-year contract on my worn-out Samsung Galaxy S4 is up, I want to make sure that my next phone has the best camera available.

But with every smartphone maker claiming to have the newest, flashiest camera, how can you tell which is actually the best?

To find out, I took to the streets of Manhattan with some of today’s hottest smartphones and shot pictures of everything from statues to flowers to people. Then I compared how each phone’s camera performed. 

Four co-workers and I ranked each photo on a scale from 1 to 6, awarding 1 point to the worst photo in each category and 6 to the best. Scores are based on how clearly detailed the images were and how closely the colors matched those in real life.

It’s important to note that these rankings are based on each person’s personal preferences. As such, a reasonable person can completely disagree with our ratings. A less reasonable person can scream at us in the comments.

All of the phones’ cameras were set to auto mode, pictures were captured without using a tripod, and none of the images were color-corrected or altered in any way. Changing a camera’s settings can significantly change the way a photo comes out. But that’s more a measurement of your own shooting skills than of how the camera performs.

The contenders

The phones I chose for this matchup were Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4, the LG G4, and the HTC One M9. Each phone is less than a year old and comes with a seriously powerful camera.

The reason for choosing these phones? Beyond being some of the newest phones you can buy, as well the ones you’ll most likely see in stores, they all claim to be the best smartphone for shutterbugs. 
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both feature Apple’s new 8-megapixel iSight camera. The iPhone 6 Plus adds optical image stabilization (OIS), which helps ensure that your shots are clear even if your hand shakes while taking them.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4 come with a 16-megapixel camera as well as OIS, as does the LG G4. HTC’s One M9 gets a large 20-megapixel camera sensor but no OIS.

It’s important to note that just because one camera has more megapixels than another doesn’t necessarily make it a better camera; that merely means it can take a larger photo. 

So if you print a picture taken with an 8-megapixel camera, it will be smaller than a 16-megapixel shot. A higher megapixel count also means you can zoom closer into an image before it starts looking pixelated.

The winner is…

After thoroughly testing each phone’s camera, LG’s G4 came out on top. That was followed closely by Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4, and a little more distantly by Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6. Bringing up the rear was HTC’s One M9.
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The LG G4 captured the most detailed and colorful shots. If you’re looking for a camera that offers slightly less detail but more vibrant colors, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4 are also fine choices. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, are great if you want to capture colorful photos and don’t think you’ll need to crop or zoom in on your images, due to their lower megapixel count. Don’t even think about getting the HTC One M9 if you want a good smartphone cam.
Read on for my shot-by-shot account.

Best details at a distance: LG G4

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This shot of a train station is meant to illustrate how each camera captures details at a distance. The original photos were cropped to focus on a specific area of the station.

Of the six phones, the LG G4’s photo of this train station in Queens is the best. Colors look vibrant, and details such as the graffiti on nearby buildings are clearly visible. The sky in the G4’s photo also has the most color contrast of any of the shots.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus took nearly identical pictures, though colors in the iPhone 6’s photo are a hair better. Overall the shot looks great, but when you look closely, you can see that the sky is unnaturally blue. Background details are also lost when you view the images at full size.
The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 both captured an impressive amount of detail, but color and contrast are better in the Note 4’s image.

At the bottom of the pile is the picture I took with the HTC One M9. It’s too dark, making details like the Broadway sign and background hard to see.

Best color and details at a distance: Samsung Galaxy S6

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This shot compares the color and details of a subject taken at a distance. The photos were cropped to focus on contrast between the yellow flower and green leaves in the background.

Both the Galaxy S6 and Note 4 took the best shots of this yellow flower in New York’s Bryant Park. Colors in the S6’s image are even, and details like the small dimples in the flower’s petals look clear and crisp. The Note 4 fell short of the S6, though, as parts of the flower’s petals looked too white.

The LG G4′s image was nearly identical to the Note 4′s, but the whites in the flower’s petals were too bright. 

One problem I found with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is that they tend to make colors look too vibrant. That’s especially clear in this shot, as the greens and yellows look far more green and yellow in the photo than they do in reality. The iPhone 6’s picture was slightly better than the iPhone 6 Plus’s because it wasn’t as bright. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the HTC One M9, which gave its image an unattractive yellow tint.

Best color contrast: Samsung Galaxy S6

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This image is meant to compare color contrast between photos.
The Galaxy S6 took the best photo of this chess set, capturing colors exactly as they looked in real life. The Note 4’s shot was largely the same, though colors are too dark at the top of the image.

The LG G4′s picture was also on the dark side, but colors were even throughout. The iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 both made the colors of the individual chess pieces look brighter than they actually were — the iPhone 6 in particular made them look as if they had been dipped in bright green paint.
Once again, the HTC One M9 fell behind, with the whites and browns on the board seeming to blend together

Best close-up details: LG G4

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This photo compares color quality and detail in a close-up shot of a flower.

Wow! That’s honestly the first word that popped into my head when I saw the picture the G4 took of the flower. There are details in this shot that I couldn’t even see with my own eyes. Sure, the colors also look great, but the sharpness of this shot is what’s so impressive.

The Galaxy S6’s shot looks fantastic, but the details just can’t match what the LG G4’s camera is capable of. The Note 4’s shot is crisp, but not quite as clear as the Galaxy S6’s.

The M9’s shot looks as if the contrast had been turned up too high, as details are nearly completely invisible. Still, the HTC′s photo is better than the ones I took with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, both of which lack many details and tend to blend colors. 

Best for portraits: LG G4

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An image showing the clarity and color quality of a portrait.

This is a close call between the LG G4 and the Galaxy S6. Whereas the S6′s image captured more details, it came out too red. The G4′s colors are spot-on, but the image reveals fewer fine details. In the end, I gave the nod to the G4 for its more accurate coloring. The Note 4 fell just behind the S6, as the image details were soft and colors were slightly off.

The iPhone 6 Plus photo looks good at a distance but is far too pixilated when viewed at full size — and the iPhone 6 image was even worse. Still, neither was as bad as the HTC One M9′s, which was not only grainy but also too dark.

Best for low-light images: LG G4

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An image showing how each camera handles low-light photos.
At some point, you’re going to take a picture in a bar or at a party, so you’ll need a camera that handles low-light settings well. In this group, the best low-light smartphone camera is the LG G4. Not only was its shot clear, but the colors were just shy of perfect.

Behind the G4 is the Galaxy S6, which captured decent details and relatively accurate colors. The Note 4′s shot is bright enough, but the yellows in the image are exaggerated.

The iPhone 6′s picture was grainy and dark but a hair sharper than the iPhone 6 Plus’s image, which suffered from the same coloring issue as its smaller sibling’s. At the bottom of the list was — yes, again — the HTC One M9, which took a grainy, discolored photo.

The big picture

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This was a close race, but in the end, the LG G4′s camera captured better photos more often than its competitors, racking up a total score of 32 points. Behind the G4 is the Galaxy S6, with a total of 28 points, and the Galaxy Note 4, which accrued 26 points.

The iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 fell on the lower end of the scale, garnering 17 and 15 points, respectively.

The worst-performing phone of the bunch was the HTC One M9, which consistently captured photos that were either too dark or too grainy.