5 tips for using Safari in iOS 8

Oct02

Among the new features in iOS 8, here are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of Safari.

  • Credit card scanning from within Safari. When you’re buying something in Safari, iOS 8 will let you hold your credit card in front of the iPhone’s camera. It will then lift the numbers and paste them into the correct field, making checkouts easy.
  • Request desktop version of a website. Some mobile websites can have several features missing from the desktop version or work slightly different. While some websites give you the option to switch to the desktop version, there are many that don’t. The Safari in iOS 8 lets you see the the desktop version. On the address bar, select the URL and scroll downwards to see the Request Desktop Site option.
  • Private searching with DuckDuckGo — DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t keep track of every search you make like Google and Bing does, can now be set as your default search engine. You can change it in Settings>Safari.
  • Selectively delete history. You can delete Frequently Visited websites (accessible by tapping the address bar) with a tap & hold, then Delete.
  • Subscribe to a site’s RSS feed. Touch the bookmarks icon and then select the @ column. On the bottom you will find a button labeled Subscriptions. Touch that and then select “Add Current Site” to include it in the list of feeds. The shared links section is another nice addition—it offers other articles and discussion related to what you’re reading.
  • Bonus tip for iPads: the new tab view. Safari on iPad has a new tab view which can be accessed by tapping the top-right button or pinching in on any page. It displays a thumbnail of each page that is open.

Just a reminder, don’t microwave your iPhone

Sep22

I’ve seen this before and other similar spoofs, but apparently there are those who are gullible to believe it.

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Don’t put metal, including a smartphone, in the microwave. Bad things happen.

…just in case any of y’all are as gullible as me, DO NOT MICROWAVE YOUR IPHONE pic.twitter.com/TV1JKtT7hQ — lorena terroba (@lore1306) September 18, 2014

Who else need a new iphone and microwave? pic.twitter.com/qRP9Xt2pQp — Ralph (@ralph23jays) September 19, 2014

I tried using the new IOS 8 feature WAVE where you can charge your phone with a microwave, does not work @Apple pic.twitter.com/IWsWnVboUl — nick (@Fallenbot) September 18, 2014

DO NOT TRY THE WAVE THING FOR IOS8!!! pic.twitter.com/g0N2ENJnrv — Bryan Kim (@bryankim23) September 18, 2014

USE WAVE THEY SAID. IT’LL CHARGE YOUR IPHONE IN THE MICROWAVE THEY SAID. pic.twitter.com/DJspCShhJq — jadaa (@iPunchhBabiies) September 18, 2014

 

Do as we say…

Sep19

Most of the early adopters amongst us have already taken the plunge and updated their devices to iOS 8. This post is for the rest of you. The cautious ones. Those who sit on the sidelines and watch the lab rats early adopters bleed. Take joy from my struggle, but heed its lessons. In my excitement to play with the shiny things, I ignored a few cardinal rules — rules that I often hear myself preaching to others — and but for the grace of the universe I could have found myself in a bit of a pickle.

Unless you're compelled to update, it might be wise to wait a week or so and let the early adopters bleed!

My first mistake was failure to manually initiate a backup on either of my devices. Truthfully, this isn't something I give much thought to on iOS as the iCloud backup system has proved flawless in my experience, but a more cautious person would have pushed a fresh backup to the cloud. Doing an additional, local backup to a computer is probably overkill but wouldn't be completely over the top. If you ignore all the rest of the rules at the very least:

Back it up!

I didn't update my apps before updating the OS. Again, this wasn't a deal breaker (and I initiated the Update All process shortly after iOS 8 was installed) but this was another oversight that could have worked out badly.

Update your Applications before updating your Operating System!

Did I mention I was anxious to play with the new stuff? I was working (for the man) all day and wasn't able to initiate the updates until I got to the Hack Factory for the wednesday night open house. As soon as I sat down I whipped out my iPad and impulsively started the update. Once that was in progress I immediately pulled out the iPhone and started its update.

Update one device and see how it goes before updating the rest of them!

The update process on the iPad was (finally!) complete. I was running through the set up process and was prompted to log in to my iCloud account. Naturally, my iCloud account requires two factor authentication. I have three options for authenticating. I can send an iMessage to my iPad (which was “stuck” on a set up screen), send an SMS message to my iPhone (which was offline downloading a software update) or enter the recovery key securely stored in Password Wallet on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook. (The MacBook wasn't immediately available to me, it was at home.)

I ducked the bullet on the that one. Once the iPhone update was complete I was able to send the SMS message back to itself. The updater automatically recognized the incoming message and authenticated my iCloud ID. After that I used the phone to authenticate my ID on the iPad. In retrospect, I also could have skipped the initial iCloud setup on my iPad and then manually configured iCloud using iMessage (which in my case uses a different Apple ID) to receive the authentication PIN.

Understand the process — and — Think it through!

“Why didn't you just skip the initial set up, open Password Wallet, copy the key, and manually initiate the iCloud login from settings?” Great idea. I tried. Unfortunately, the version of Password Wallet I had installed was crashing as soon as I entered my wallet password. To make matters worse, the iOS 8 compatible version was stuck in the App Store approval process.

Check compatibility of mission critical apps before updating!

In my defense, there was no report of the then current Password Wallet's incompatibility with iOS 8 at the time I was plowing through this—only the notice that the new version with iOS 8 support had been submitted for approval a week earlier. That being said, it would have been prudent to confirm compatibilty.

No News ≠ Good News!

The silver lining is that sometime late Thursday/early Friday the updated Password Wallet App dropped. I was only without (iOS) access to my passwords and keys for a day. I didn't quite duck the bullet, but it only grazed me. I'm having a few shakedown glitches with iOS 8 but for the most part I'm up and running. That being said,

Do as I say, not as I do!

 

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