Turning your data roaming off....

If you are going away this year make sure that you know how to disable the data roaming on your phone.  As an iOS user it is pretty simple!, below are some steps to talk you through how to do this.  I thought I would also give you some tips as well if you do want to try and stay connect whilst you are away:

  • First make sure your SIM is set to work abroad, sometimes this access is disable and will be a pain to sort out once you're already abroad.
  • See what bundles your Network are offering before you travel
  • Know the costs outside of this so you don't come home to any surprises
  • If you are going fora long time 2 weeks or more, check out local SIM Pay As You Go deals when you get there
  • Most importantly try and use WIFI as much as poss! 

So you need to disable your roaming, for Android this will vary depending on your phone manufacturer, but for Apple iPhone's it is pretty simple.

A new feature was added to the roaming settings with iOS8, and this was the EU Internet toggle, with the up and coming legislation to abolish roaming charges in the EU from 2015.  This is what this toggle is in relation to and will enable you to keep data roaming only on in the EU.

Once more is known about how this works I will add further comments here! 




Another significant Instagram Update!

So today the folks at Instagram have announced what they are calling 2 significant updates! 

So apparently there are more than 70 Million photos uploaded to Instagram each day and Instagram is right when it says:

Wherever something is happening, chances are you can see it here 

How many times have you been at a venue or event and uploaded a photo, tagged the location and then gone back to your photo to see other pictures taken there?   Please don't say its just me!

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iPhone Lightening Cables from Eastern Collective

Ok just a quick post from me! 

An annoying fact about being an iPhone and iPad owner are the Lightening Cables, they are a bit crap!  They improved slightly with the new design but still are not brilliant quality, break easily and are to short for my liking! 

I was very pleased when Matt from the Eastern Collective sent me a nice care package of 4 new Lightening cables!  One big problem in the Geek household is that we all are Apple lovers, but they all like to borrow my cable and then deny doing so!   I also seem to eat Lightening Cables, the plastic seems to deteriorate and crack exposing the inner wiring or break near the end that connects to the phone! 

Now when I first opened the package from the Eastern Collective I was excited (I'm a geek, these things excite me), the colours are very vivid and well different! I know which cables are mine easily now and can also tell which little thief has "borrowed" them in the Geek House! 

Another massive bonus for me is the length, I have USB Ports under my desk and the original cable is just long enough for the phone to charge but can't use it without disconnecting! This is no longer the case thanks to the Eastern Collective cables being 1.5m! 

If you are in the market for some new cables I certainly recommend these!  As they are similar priced to the original Apple lightening cables, have seen them on Amazon for £18 or you can order direct form the Eastern Collective site for $25.95, as well as the great price they are certainly more robust that the plastic Apple ones as they are made form an excellent woven nylon! 

Disclaimer: Eastern Collective sent me these for free but no obligation for me to talk about them! 

Review: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard

Every now and then I get the opportunity to review some tech!  The lovely folk at Logitech sent me an Ultrathin Keyboard for my iPad Mini!

I have to admit I was not expecting much, for my old iPad 2 I used to have a keyboard it was reasonably bulky and in the end I stopped carrying it around!  One reason I love my iPad mini is that it is so small and lightweight, I was there fore hesitant about a keyboard for it! 

When I got around to unboxing the keyboard I was amazed at how light it was! I was also concerned that being this light it might break easily!   I shouldn't have worried.  I have been using the keyboard now for about a month and it has become one of my valuable work tools.  

A few weeks ago my MacBook blew up and was out of action for 3 days, so I turned to the iPad and Logitech Ultrathin keyboard and it worked brilliantly.  I also use it a fair amount for work! 

I am not lucky enough to have a work iPad or a light laptop, but I can access the system through my personal iPad so when needed I have been using this keyboard with no problems at all!

One thing that does need mentioning is the Keyboard, I have yet to charge it! The packaging does say that its battery will last for 3 months and a fully belief that.

Overall this is an amazing product, if you are in the market for a keyboard for your iPad Mini then you can't go far wrong than this one.

I have made a short video so you can see what it looks like! 

Instagram Update: New editing tools added and push notifications!

Instagram are in the process of rolling out an update to its Android and iOS apps.

In December Instagram updated the filters to introduce five new options, today they are introducing two new creative tools, Color and Fade.

The Color tool will enable you to tint the highlights or shadows in your photo. You will also be able to  choose from 8 different tones to bring a different perspective on the photos that you are sharing.

Images: Instagram

The Fade tool, which I am really looking forward to, will allow you to bring a quiet tone to your photos by softening colors, this will will give a similar effect to the very popular Aden filter added in December, and one I use a lot! 

Images: Instagram

One other option that has been added recently is the ability to turn on notifications, so if like me you follow a lot of people you can now keep up to date with your favourites by going to their profile and turning on the notifications! 

Kids its time to update your Snapchat

Over the last couple of months I have really go into Snapchat, or Snap as most people are calling it! Whether it is watching Shonduras say "Hi Mum", YesJulz showing me how to Party hard and work harder #NeverNotWorking (Love this) or Victoria Fratz give an insight into her world and talk about Meerkat (No not the insurance search engine), I have found myself get slowly drawn in to this temporary world! 

So if you are a big Snapchat fan then you may have missed the news about an update.  Snapchat didn't write a blog post or release an announcement, instead they announced the updated on its channel which can be found on the discover feature! 

The update that has been released today, shows that they have replaced the 'Best Friends' feature with Friend Emojis, and the good news is only you can see them! 

The Emojis will start to appear in your contacts list and will be different ones depending on if they are you #1 BF etc

Snapchat have also introduced a new low light feather to the camera to hopefully improve the quality of pictures taken in low light, good news for you who snap in the club and on the walk home with your take away! 

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So get downloading Kids and let us know what you think of the new updates! 

Also why you are at it add me on Snapchat! 

A nice little app: Mail to Self iOS8 extension app

A load of you iPhone users have updated your phone to iOS8 and no doubt no about the enhancements this has given your device such as custom keyboards and notification widgets! But another enhancement to the iOS is the sharing extensions which enable users to share content between multiple apps.

Source: Extra Thought

Source: Extra Thought

I have started using a new app, which uses this extension in a very cool but simple way.  The app is called Mail to Self, the app create an extension that enables you to send a link to your email with the touch of a single button.

I use this feature often, once you have set up the app it very easy to use.  You just tap the "Mail to Self' icon from Safari's share menu to send a link to any page that you are viewing to yourself.

There are other functions within the main app itself such as emailing any link copied to your clipboard to yourself.

Again a very simple app but one that will save you time! The app extension also works with Tumblr, Amazon and any other app that uses the iOS' native share menu.  It is not extensive for making reminders but for the times when you want to send yourself a quick reminder of a page you are viewing etc it is ideal! 


Share a Tweet through Direct Messages

So today Twitter announced that you can now share tweets via DM's.

We have all been there, DM'd a mate and said did you see that tweet and then they have a problem trying to find it! 

Its is pretty simple to do, you can do this from the official Twitter apps, be that iOS or Android mobile apps:

Twitter_logo_blue.png
  • long-press the Tweet in your timeline and choose “Share via Direct Message.”
  • On twitter.com or if like me you use TweetDeck, tap the “••• More” icon and select “Share via Direct Message.”

The person you share a Tweet with will get a push notification, and the Tweet will display directly in the DM message conversation window.

I think this is a great little upgrade to twitter and as Twitter is the place to share things its now even easier to have those conversations and share things in private... incase you want to gossip! 

The geekiest music video ..... and I love it @OKgo

I'm a geek and everybody knows it, and I love it when a brand, person or band comes up with something new and geeky!

OKgo an alternative rock band from the states has done just that, if you haven't seen the new video for their up coming single "I Won't Let You Down" it's fantastic.

Not only does it feature some cool little Honda scooters but it is all filmed in one continuous shot (apparently took between 50 and 60 takes to nail it) using a camera equipped drone! 

Watch the video and keep watching even once the music has finished! love it!


Rooms by Facebook is joining the world of anonymous chat

Facebook have now launched Rooms, an app that allows users to create and join chat rooms anonymously.

Photos : Rooms, Facebook

The good thing about this is you do not need to create an account or link it to Facebook to access the app, all you need to do is make up a username.

Its also very simple to join a room (kind of), all you need is the QR code for that room, you could be sent this as a text from a friend or seen it shared on social media.

This is the QR code for the public room I have made on Rooms

This is the QR code for the public room I have made on Rooms

You can keep a room private by only sharing the QR code with those that you want to have access, as there are no search functions within the app, so the only way to join is with that QR code.  

If you do want to share it publicly you can do this by sharing the QR code (the thing on the left) for that room from within the app or if you like it feel free to print it out and stick it to lamp posts! ha ha

This sees Facebook taking on the likes of Secret and Yik Yak to name a couple.  These type of apps are seen to be the next big growth area so will be interesting how this develops! 

Below is a video from the excellent Jane Jones who take a more in-depth look at the app on her YouTube chanel


Google launch a new email service ... Inbox by Gmail

Hello folks, so Google have launched Inbox, an new email service.

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According to google they have taken everything learned from Gmail and used that as the base for a "fresh start", that being Inbox, which on the face of it looks like a nice clean system.

They will introduce bundles, grouping messages together hopefully making your inbox easier to manage.

Currently access is invite only, once I get access I will update the blog and provide an update.

It was only recently that I was using gmail and thought it needed some kind of refresh so look forward to getting my hands on it. 

Below is a quick intro video that Google have released...


What did Apple announce at todays Special Event?

Ok due to a slight error by an Apple employee (or might even be ex employee now) it come as no surprise that Apple would be announcing the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 at todays event.

But to summarise the main highlights are:

  • Yosemite, will launch today for Mac users and more importantly .... for free!
  • iPad Air 2 has a powerful new camera
  • Apple announced a new iMac with a one hell of a screen.... a retina 5k high resolution screen!
  • Both the iPad Air and iPad mini got a new colour - gold and got Touch ID added, and both got thinner
  • iOS 8.1 available from Monday (20th October)
  • Apple Pay launching on 20th October in the US initially!

Pictures: Mashable

The iPads are available to pre order online from 17th October and are shipping next week and the Mac with 5K display is available to order now for you lucky ones who are looking to splash the cash! 

The iPad Air 2 Pricing is as follows:

Wifi - 

  • 16gb - £399
  • 64gb - £479
  • 128gb - £559

Wifi & Cellular

  • Add £100 to the prices above!

The iPad Mini 3 Pricing is as follows:

Wifi - 

  • 16gb - £319
  • 64gb - £399
  • 128gb - £479

Wifi & Cellular

  • Add £100 to the prices above!

Things to ask Siri in iOS8

So what does a geek do when he wakes up early on a Saturday and is bored?

The answer is speak to siri and ask her (in my case) funny questions or at least try to get funny (geek humour) responses.

This is what I found!