Identify list of outdated 32-bit apps in iOS

Starting with iOS 10, Apple has started displaying warning message when you’re running a 32-bit app. You might encounter messages such as “The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility” or “This app will not work with future versions of iOS”.

Apple plans to phase out 32-bit apps in the App Store and has been advising developers to migrate to 64-bit. Rumour has it that the next version of iOS 11 releasing this fall will support only 64-bit apps. Apple actually requires its developers to support 64-bit when they submit new app or app update since June 2015.

Unfortunately there are still hundreds of thousand of apps in the App Store that are 32-bit only. Which means these legacy apps has not been updated by its developers since mid 2015. With iOS 10.3 update, Apple makes it easy for you to identify these apps. Go to Settings > General > About and scroll down to the Applications. If you can tap on this line, you will be taken to the “App Compatibility” page, which list all the apps that are not compatible with future iOS version. You might want to reach out to app developer for 64-bit support if you’re using any legacy app.

Notable: Amazon Alexa finally available on iOS; Chrome for iOS has a new Read Later feature; Netflix changes star rating to thumbs up and down

Amazon Alexa finally available on iOS

Amazon Alexa finally coming to iOS

When Amazon launches its smart speaker Amazon Echo in June 2015, it became an instant hit due mainly to its built-in Siri competitor Amazon Alexa voice assistant. There are third party iOS apps that allow you to interact with Alexa. Amazon is now bringing Alexa to iOS with the official Amazon app. You can now use it without buying any Amazon hardware.

You can use Alexa voice assistant to check the status of your order, do a product search, play music, start listening to Audible, check the news and weather etc. Check out Amazon iOS app [App Store Direct Link].

Chrome for iOS has a new Read Later feature

Chrome for iOS has a new Read Later feature

Google has updated its Chrome for iOS which comes with a brand new Read Later feature. The function is similar to Reading List in Safari except the articles in your reading list are saved on your device and you can read them even when you aren’t connected to the web. To add article to the reading list, tap on the standard share button on Chrome for iOS. On the popup menu, select “Read Later” Chrome icon to add the page to the list. [Direct link to Chrome for iOS on App Store]

Netflix changes star rating to thumbs up and down

Netflix changes star rating to thumbs up and down

According to Variety, Netflix is replacing its star rating for movie and TV review to simply just thumbs up or thumbs down. Based on user testing by Netflix, the simpler thumbs up/down got 200% more ratings than traditional star-rating feature. The changes is expected to roll out globally within the next month.

How to scan QR codes using browsers on iOS

There are a number of QR code reader app on the App Store. Most QR codes are nothing more than a link to a website address, thus it is convenient if mobile browser has QR code support built right in. This would mean one less app on your iPhone. 

Mobile Safari and Firefox do not support the scanning and reading of QR code. QR reading and scanning however are built-in feature for Chrome, Opera Mini, Puffin Browser and UC Browser.

For Opera Mini, the QR scanning option is available when you start typing in the address bar. Tap on the QR button on the keyboard toolbar to access the QR scanner.

QR scanner in Opera Mini

For Puffin Browser the QR scanner button is conveniently located on the right end of the address bar.

Puffin Browser QR Scanner

Similar to Puffin Browser, the QR scanner button on UC Browser is located at the end of the address bar.

UC Browser QR Scanner

Chrome is not making its QR scanning feature obvious to use. You can not access it from within the app. Instead the QR option is available when you 3D Touch the Chrome icon on the home screen. On the 3D Touch menu that pops up, tap on “Scan QR Code”.

3D Touch to access QR Scanner in Chrome

For those using an iPhone without 3D Touch, you can access Chrome’s QR scanner by using Spotlight search. On the home screen, pull down the Notifications screen or Search screen to access the Spotlight. Key in “qr” on the Spotlight search to let spotlight display the list of apps and documents with “qr” wording.

Using Spotlight to access Chrome QR Scanner

From the Spotlight result list, look for the Chrome icon with the text “Scan QR Code”. Tap on it will bring you directly to Chrome and launching the QR scanner.

You can now apply for job in US and Canada from right within Facebook

You can now apply for job in US and Canada right within Facebook

Facebook has launched in the US and Canada a service to allow businesses to post job opening in businesses’ Facebook Pages. Aim at small business, the job openings can be posted to the news feed through status update, and will appear on a “Jobs” tab on business Page. When you see the posting, you can hit the “Apply Now” button to send an application. Facebook will pre-fill your profile and send your application via Facebook Messenger. 

WWDC 2017 will be in San Jose Jun 5-9, registration opens March 27

Apple WWDC Jun 5-9 2017

Apple has announced the 2017 edition of its annual World Wide Developer Conference. WWDC 2017 will see a change in venue from the usual San Francisco’s Moscone Center to San Jose and is on the week of June 5-9. WWDC is the event where Apple releases technical info on the next major version of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. 

Technology alone is not enough.Technology must intersect with the liberal arts and the humanities, to create new ideas and experiences that push society forward. This summer we bring together thousands of brilliant minds representing many diverse perspectives, passions, and talents to help us change the world.

Tickets will be offered by random selection to those who register their interest. Registration opens Monday, March 27 at 10 am PDT. You must be a member of Apple Developer Program to register. Mark your calendar and check out the WWDC site.

24 Siri commands that you can use

24 Siri commands that you can use

Admit it, Siri at times can be frustrating when it does not answer your question. Or It just simply point you to a website or wikipedia page. We all like Siri to get super smart, until then it is good to learn about some specific commands that Siri can answer.

  1. “Read my last message” – read your last text message.
  2. “Text Jon Snow where are you now” – send a text message to Jon Snow.
  3. “Show me my last email” – display your last email.
  4. “Take a picture” – launch camera app.
  5. “Download Facebook” – launch App Store and search “Facebook” for you.
  6. “Open Twitter” – open Twitter app.
  7. “Remind me to bring my charger tomorrow at 9.30 am” – add a task to reminder
  8. “Wake me up in 9 hours”, “Wake me up at 8am” – to set alarm.
  9. “Timer 5 minutes” – to set timer.
  10. “What’s on my calendar for Monday” – to check calendar agenda.
  11. “Play Nine Inch Nails” – play song or album in your music library.
  12. “How many calories are in a banana” – substitute “banana” with any fruit you have in mind.
  13. “What’s 150 dollars in pounds” – convert currency.
  14. “How many ounces in one litre”, “How many inches in a meter”, “What’s 200 Fahrenheit in Celsius” – various convertor. 
  15. “What’s Apple stock price” – list stock price.
  16. “What’s ETA to Avenue 5” – list the estimated time to reach Avenue 5 from your current location.
  17. “What song is this?” – then point your iPhone to a song playing to identify the song.
  18. “Any good Japanese restaurants in the area” – get a list of restaurants nearby. 
  19. “What movies are playing in the area” – get movie listing.
  20. “What’s Morse code for Titanic” – find out the Morse code.
  21. “Do beatbox” – for some fun.
  22. “What is zero divided by zero” – for some classic Siri reply.
  23. “Toss coin” – to get tail or head.
  24. “Bye” – to quit Siri without pressing the Home button.

Thats certainly not all Siri could do. Ask Siri “What can you do” to find out more commands.

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

How to enable Picture-In-Picture for YouTube videos in macOS Sierra

One of the new feature in macOS Sierra is the Picture-to-Picture mode for Safari. First appeared in iPad, Picture-in-Picture allows you to detach a video so that it is always viewable while using other apps.

It is easy to enable Picture-to-Picture mode for YouTube video. First right-click on the video to bring up a menu. Then right-click again on the menu to bring out a different menu. Select “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the menu. 

The video will now detach, and stay on top so that you can watch it while using other apps. You can control the video as usual, and also resize and reposition it on the screen.

Hand draw to search special character in Google Docs

Handdraw to search special character in Google Docs

If you’re trying to type a certain scientific symbol on your computer, it is at times tedious to browse through pages of special character pane to locate the symbol that you need. Google Docs has a helpful feature where you can hand draw your character to narrow down the search. 

On Google Docs menu, select Insert > Special Characters to bring up the dialog box. On the right panel there is an empty area for you to hand draw your symbol. Your input will then be used to narrow down the search with the filtered search result display on the left panel.

This tool is handy even if you’re not a regular Google Docs user. Simply use it to locate the symbols that you need, then copy and paste them from Google Docs to Pages, Word or whatever editor you’re using.

Preserve camera mode and photo filter in Camera app for iOS 10.2

The recently released iOS 10.2 adds a new “Preserve Settings” settings to the Camera app. You can now preserve the last used settings for Camera Mode and Photo Filter. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Preserve Settings to turn on the switches.

Preserve camera mode and photo filter in Camera app for iOS 10

iOS defaults to opening the Camera in Photo mode. By turning on the Camera Mode in Preserve Settings, the Camera will now open in your last used camera mode. This is useful if you predominately use a particular camera mode.

Similar to Camera Mode, the Photo Filter switch will preserve the last used filter, instead of reset to None when you next use the Camera app.

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Quickly restart Google Chrome

Google Chrome on the desktop is admittedly a memory hog compares to Safari and Firefox. Beside removing non-essential Chrome add-ons, one way to release Chrome’s memory usage is to restart the browser.

Here’s a handy way to quickly restart the browser with a Chrome URL. Simply key in “chrome://restart” on the address bar and hit Enter key.

To make it one step more convenient, you might want to bookmark (Command-D) the URL “chrome://restart” and save it to your Bookmark Bar for quick access.