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What you can do with the iOS8 update by Apple

So, we’ve had a few days to play with Apple’s  iOS 8 up-date and here are our favourites and top tips to use regularly.

The double-click –  Use the double click on the home button from anywhere to see your favourite contacts now at the top.  You can also scroll through what apps you have open here too. To set up your Favourites or change the order so your top three or four appear first, go to Phone, then Favourites and edit them by dragging them up or down using your finger to the right of the screen.

Quick Reply –  For me this is an ‘at last!’ update.  You can now pull down the message and type a reply without having to load the messages app.  When you’ve replied you are straight back to whatever you were doing.

Taking photos – There’s a new timer and time-lapse mode.  Don’t forget our previous blog on using Pano mode too.

Edit photo  Now you can improve your photos right on your phone.  Change any skew by rotating in degrees and adjust brightness, contract and exposure etc.  It’s like having a little version of Photoshop on your phone.

Sending photos – It’s now really easy to send a recent photo you’ve taken without leaving the message screen.  Click the attach photo button, scroll along your recent photos to send, or tap to open your full photo library.

Predictive text –  QuickType’s suggestions of words or phrases can even now follow your usual written style, even down to the difference in the way you might type more casually in text messages and more formally in an email. The more you use it, the more it learns how you type and how to spell special words you use, names and phrases.  Personally, I’m loving this so do give it a good go but if you really don’t like it you can hide this QuickType bar by touching anywhere on the bar and sliding it down. You’ll see a line that you can swipe upwards when you want it back.  Apple say you can tap and hold the globe button on the keyboard to enable predictive input in any app. It doesn’t seem to be available in all my apps yet.

Quick voice and video clips in messages –  Now this is Inspector Gadget kind of stuff! In a message, hold the microphone or camera icon to record a quick voice message or video to send.  You can play them back and/or delete and re-record them before you send.  These messages will self-destruct after being played, unless the recipient saves them, in order to save storage space. I’m finding this a great addition. It’s ideal when you have something more complicated than a text to send, or want to show someone something but you know they might not be able to listen or answer their phone right when you are ready to send it.

‘Hey Siri‘ – When you’re phone is plugged into a power source you can just say ‘Hey Siri’ and talk to your phone. This is great if you are busy typing a blog and want to get planing a route to a meeting at the same time, or if you are in the car and want to look something up, or get directions whilst driving.  I still find it difficult sometimes to instruct Siri, but it’s learning and improving.

“What song is playing?” Siri is now Shazam so you can ask Siri what music is playing and Siri should be able to tell you.

‘Details’ in Messages.  From any conversation, top right you’ll see ‘Details’. Here you can see all attachments you’ve shared with someone by scrolling down, and share your location. This is very helpful if someone is trying to find you to meet up. You can permanently, or for a limited time, allow them to see your location.  This, for me, replaces the Friend Finder app I use with my husband so I know if he’s left work or how far from home he is etc without having to contact him.  I can even have the kids run to the window to see him walking home from the train station and excitedly open the front door to him!

From Details in Messages, the Do Not Disturb allows you to mute a text conversation if you don’t want to get involved right then and there and read them later.  This is useful if you’re in a group conversation that’s going on a bit and you’re busy!

There’s loads more.  Apple themselves feature, on their ‘Whats New‘ page, improvements to Photos, Messages, their smartest keyboard ever, family sharing, iCloud Drive, Health, connecting your apple devices, and new Spotlight features to find out stuff!

What have you found most useful about the changes or are eager to try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Path replace Facebook?

Path – The place for your personal life

The first I heard of Path was watching The Gadget Show this week.  It’s described as an Ad-Free version of Facebook.  Why it’s been mentioned now as a possible rival in social networking terms to Facebook, when it’s been around for quite a while could be because they’ve only just launched it’s iOS7 App.  

Path is a Social Media network with the difference to others that it limits your friends to 150.  This is because physiologists say that that’s the maximum number of people you can maintain meaningful relationships with at any one time.   You can delete and add people as you change friends.

Your uploads/shares are called Moments and it’s more like a closed network as your Moments remain within those friends.  You can even have an inner circle of friends too.   It seems really slick and is intuitive to use on an iPhone, with new swiping features and moving between messages and the Home screen etc.

It has been doing pretty well gaining numbers from what what I’ve read but there’s scepticism on how it can be monetised.

Their CEO Dave Morin, according to this Business Insider article, has hinted in the past that somehow making money from data about users’ behaviour might be a way it makes money, rather than straightforward advertising,  and that they intend to remain independent.  Path Premium is £2.99 for 3 months or £10.49 for 12 and this gives you unlimited access to items from the their online shop (sticker packs and camera filters) and early access to new items.

For me, it’s like anything new…. I’d love to try it out properly but need more friends to be on it to see if it’s really going to replace something else.  It will have to be pretty good to overtake something else you’ve invested time and effort in.  It’s been around for over 3 years now and this is the first I’ve heard of it and it’s got to make money to take off too, so lets see, eh?!

As it’s FREE do have a go with Path via Google Play or Apple’s App Store. 

Facebook buys WhatsApp, so what?!

If you’re not a user of WhatsApp, then this is not really news for you.  

WhatsApp lets you text with other users regardless of the platform for FREE, even internationally.   It has great group chat features and some other additional features.   

However, if like the Dot Social team (Wendy, Ania & Stephanie) you are a regular user, you may have heard or be interested to know that Facebook has bought WhatsApp.    The first I heard of it was a post by Mark  Zuckerberg on Facebook himself yesterday – ‘We’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook…”.

While at the moment the impression given is that WhatsApp will remain unchanged, there are the sceptics out there who are discussing and will be watching and waiting to see if there will be new charges and/or if it gets integrated into/swallowed up by Facebook.

For now WhatsApp say – Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.

Only time will tell in the end I suppose.

Facebook Updates – Tips from them!

In the ever-changing world of Facebook it’s hard to keep up with what might make your posts seen or not, and even the most supportive and fanatical Facebook marketeers don’t really know, and must find it hard to keep up!  

The best way to be sure has got to be to check with Facebook themselves. Below is an extract from their Newsroom from  21st Jan 2014 on creating content for your Facebook Page.

“Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see”…

“The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”  

You can read the full Facebook post from their very own Newsroom here.   I hope this helps you. 

For more information from us, find us on Facebook!

Wendy Ager, for Dot Social

Long live Social Media

I don’t watch the News any more for two reasons.  Firstly, it’s depressing, sensationalist and upsetting and secondly because I can get my News stories direct through Twitter and from sources that I consider to be reliable and on my wavelength.

Why sit through hours of edited news stories when you can find out what happens as it’s happening through the Tweetsphere.

Amy Winehouse at Bowery Ballroom 18

Image via Wikipedia

Amy Winehouse‘s death is a prime example of this in this article by Anna Hart “News of Amy Winehouse’s tragic death hit Twitter 20

minutes after she was found” http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/amy-winehouse-how-twitter-broke-the-news#image-rotator-2. And that’s exactly how I found out, at first everyone wondered whether it was a rumour and of course, as with anything you have to cut through the rubbish to find the real story.

I was in Normandy when I heard about the London riots via a text from a friend who simply said: “where are you, Croydon is on fire?” My first port of call was Twitter: to speak to the people I knew at home and who could tell me what’s going on as it happened.

Sod the TV.  Long live Social Media.