Posts Tagged ‘ICloud’

PF32

The PhotoFast 32GB USB 3.0 MemoriesCable for iPod, iPhone and iPad arrived for review last week and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

This little Lightning to USB cable houses storage (16/32/64/128GB) on the cable itself, allowing you to easily transfer files between iOS devices and your computer.

I’ve longed for an easier method of backing up photos and video on my iPhone and iPad for years now but have never found anything that fits the bill. PhotoFast think they have cracked it. Have they? Let’s find out…

When you first plug the cable into your iOS device, a popup will inform you that the accessory requires an app from the App Store:

The companion app for the hardware is the new PhotoFast One app, not that you need to know the name of it because clicking App Store on the pop-up will take you directly to it. It’s a nice touch.

Once the app is downloaded and installed, any subsequent cable insertions generate the following pop up. If you click Allow, you will be taken directly to the app.

The app itself is very well designed and packed with features. There are clear sections at the top of the screen for accessing In-App Storage and External Storage.

At the bottom of the screen are buttons for Music/Photos/Video, YouTube (downloader) Google Drive (browser) and Dropbox (browser).

Swiping to the right takes you to a second page almost entirely dedicated to backup buttons.

I tested the Contact Backup option first and it saved all 600 of my contacts to a .vcf file in a matter of seconds.

Next up was the Photo Backup, some 693 photos in my camera roll, all saved in under 2 minutes.

It’s all very impressive.

To test the transfer speed side of things, I copied a 1GB test file from my PC (using a USB 3.0 port) and was able to achieve write speeds of ~19MB/s. Read speeds of ~33MB/s were consistently achievable.

The app isn’t just for backups and file transfers though. It also has built-in music and video players which can be used to stream content from the cable storage. In fact, the video player is compatible with MP4, MOV, M4V, MKV, AVI, FLV, RM, RMVB, WMV, VOB and 3GP formats.

The Settings section is also full of features, including the ability to protect the app with a passcode or Touch ID.

There is even an option to completely encrypt the storage, although this will render the cable unusable on a computer. If you are just transferring files to and from your iOS devices though, this may be a valuable option.

The Auto Backup feature is what really interested me for the simple reason that Apple are bordering on the sadistic with their 5GB free iCloud storage limit. Granted, Apple are trying to upsell to their paid plans but 5GB is used up in no time, usually due to iCloud photo backups.

This is where Auto Backup comes in. Every time you open the app, an incremental backup can be performed.

So now I plug the MemoriesCable into my wall charger and iPhone before I go to bed, and the app takes care of backing up my photos, contacts and calendar items, all while charging.

I have set my iCloud backup to ignore photos now and as a result, I can backup daily to iCloud with no more of the annoying ‘Storage Full’ messages I usually wake up to.

All in all, this is an excellent product that really unshackles Apple devices and their famously non-expandable memory.

PhotoFast are currently running an Indiegogo campaign from the 3rd – 24th August, where units can be obtained for significantly lower prices than RRP.

More details here: http://igg.me/at/PhotoFast

TheTechSpy rating:  9/10

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I think it is safe to say that now it is a normal sight in society to see the majority of people carrying a smart phone. Most of us carry around our whole lives in these little devices, which have private information, social network logins and our lives in photos just a few clicks away.

The other issue is that not only is there a sentimental value to the device with everything it has inside, but we forget of the actual monetary value and most of us walk around in public openly looking at our smart phones without a care in the world.

Imagine walking down the road, holding £500 in cash in front of you for the world to see….I am not sure that would last very long as thieves look to make an easy steal.

The good news is that you can protect yourself with certain tweaks which a lot of iPhone owners do not know about.

Before I start the most important thing to have is a pin number or passcode to lock the device. Make sure you ALWAYS have a passcode as this is the first line of defence to someone snooping through your device. Also make sure your device auto locks itself after a few minutes, this will ensure that if you put the device down and walk away it will lock on its own and will need your unique passcode to unlock it.

Find My iPhone:

Firstly, make sure you have Apple’s very own “Find My iPhone” app which can be downloaded from the app store, as this will allow you to track your iPhone if it has been lost or stolen. With this app you can remote wipe the phone to at least give you some peace of mind and put it into “Lost Mode” which allows you to locate and post a message when the phone is turned on. This can be accessed via the internet on any web browser through iCloud.com or on one of your other Apple devices with the “Find My iPhone” app installed.

Once installed, do the following to turn the service on;

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud
  3. Tap on Find My iPhone.
  4. Turn On the option for Find My iPhone.

Recently I lost my rucksack on the train which had my iPad inside. On returning home I launched “Find My iPhone” from my iPhone and was quickly faced with all of my Apple devices in a list. I could see the iPad in question had not been turned on yet, so I clicked on the device in the list and put it into “Lost Mode”.

Lost Mode

This allowed me to firstly set a tracker on it which meant I would be notified as soon as it was turned on and its location. I then could set a phone number and a message allowing the person who turned it on to know who owns the device and how to get in contact. If you think you could be near the device you have lost, you can also set a loud tone to sound which will allow you to find it if it is in close vicinity and will annoy the person that has it.

IMG_0006IMG_0007

Three hours after putting it in Lost Mode, I was notified that the device had been switched on and of course the location of the device and within minutes I got a call from National Rail staff telling me that they had the device and that I could pick it up.

Now this does rely on two things, firstly that your iDevice has a connection of some sort as this is how it pushes info back to you and secondly that the person who switches it on actually gets in contact to return the device. If they do not get in contact, we recommend giving the details to the police as you will now have a location. At the very worst you will be able to erase all of the data on that phone through the app.

Safeguarding Your iDevice:

Now, criminals have got tech savvy and have realised that merely switching off location services disables the tracking feature which police can use to track the phone down, so here is how to stop them doing this;

  1. Click on Settings
  2. Hit General
  3. Select Restrictions – at the point you will be asked to set up a pass code, do this!
  4. Click “Enable Restrictions”
  5. Scroll down and look for Deleting Apps and toggle the switch to “Off” – This stops people deleting “Find iPhone” which aids in locating the phone after its been stolen.
  6. Scroll down to the section labelled Privacy
  7. Click on Location Services and then click “Don’t Allow Changes” – This stops location services from being disabled without your pass code.
  8. Lastly, scroll down to the Allow Changes section and click on Accounts, then hit “Don’t Allow Changes” – This will stop anyone disabling your iCloud account and will allow the phone to be tracked as long as a Sim card is in the phone. Even when a thief puts their own sim card in, your details cannot be taken off even with a system wipe.

This makes it impossible for your phone to be disabled, so if you do encounter the worst and your iPhone is stolen, call the police and hand over your iCloud account details and let them track your phone.

We have all been in the situation when we are just about to leave the house and we cannot find our iPhone. Hidden by the same pixies that hide your car keys, they always seem to be in the strangest of places.

Apple have had a neat feature within Find My iPhone for a few years which I am still a little surprised that people do not know about. Most have heard of the stories of Police finding stolen iPhones after they were traced through the online login but still do not know about the alert feature.

To find your phone, you need to login to iCloud.com and enter your Apple ID credentials. After you have logged in, you can click on the “Find My iPhone” icon to view all your iCloud devices, including your missing iPhone, on a map. All this can be done on another iOS device using the Find my iPhone app with your logon details.

Once you phone has been located, click on the small “i” in the window and you will be presented with a number of options, just click Play Sound and the phone will begin to make a loud beeping sound allowing you to locate it. Be quick as it keeps getting louder until your find it!

Find My iPhone

 

 

I am sure most of you have tried to send files from one iOS device to another and I am also sure most of you have found that the process is not as straightforward as you wished it to be.

The method that we all have pretty much resorted to is either emailing it across, cloud services like Dropbox or Apple’s very own iCloud or attempting file sync with the USB cable and iTunes.

Well all of that is about to become a thing of the past as some developers have created an app called Instashare which you will be happy to know does its job with ease.

Instashare is very similar to AirDrop but for iPhones and tablets. It uses WiFi or Bluetooth without a connection to the internet to transfer files from one device to the other. The app is also in beta phase for OSX which will allow you to transfer from mobile device to Mac which will be very handy indeed. 

You can get these apps for free, but TheTechSpy recommends stumping up the 69p to make it ad-free as they are simply annoying and it makes for a much better experience. The interesting thing is the developers are currently working on the same apps for Windows and Android, so expect cross-platform transfers some time soon. 

Instashare

 

One of the risks of having such great tech is the fact it is even easier now for criminals to target you to make easy money.

We are all guilty of walking down the road, openly looking at our smart phone without a care in the world, this could not be a better sight for any thief. Imagine walking down this same road, but holding £300 in cash, would you do this? It’s basically the same, and unfortunately this is the way that thieves view you and your phone. The good news is that you can protect yourself with certain tweaks which a lot of iPhone owners do not know about.

Firstly, make sure you have Apple’s very own “Find iPhone” app which can be downloaded from the app store, as this will allow you to track your iPhone if it has been lost or stolen. With this app you can remote wipe the phone to at least give you some peace of mind. This can be accessed via the internet on any web browser through iCloud.com.

Now, criminals have got tech savvy and have realised that merely deleting the “Find iPhone” app and switching off location services disables the tracking feature which police can use to track the phone down, so here is how to stop them doing this;

  1. Click on Settings
  2. Hit General
  3. Select Restrictions – at the point you will be asked to setup a pass code, do this!
  4. Click “Enable Restrictions”
  5. Scroll down and look for Deleting Apps and toggle the switch to “Off” – This stops people deleting “Find iPhone” which aids in locating the phone after its been stolen.
  6. Scroll down to the section labelled Privacy
  7. Click on Location Services and then click “Don’t Allow Changes” – This stops location services from being disabled without your pass code.
  8. Lastly, scroll down to the Allow Changes section and click on Accounts, then hit “Don’t Allow Changes” – This will stop anyone disabling your iCloud account and will allow the phone to be tracked as long as a Sim card is in the phone.

This makes it impossible for your phone to be disabled, so if you do encounter the worst and your iPhone is stolen, call the police and hand over your iCloud account details and let them track your phone.

Mugger

The magnificent Olive One connects all of your portable gadgets and music libraries without the need for connectors and adaptors. Combining beautiful design, open architecture and audiophile sound quality, this really is the all in one home network music player to show off in your home.

You can connect your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth 4 viewing album art and info or via the dual band Wi-Fi connection for HD music quality. The Olive One will also connect wirelessly to your NAS or can have internal storage installed to those with limited storage.

Pandora is built-in, but you can also play Spotify and any other music services that you use on your smart phone. You can even queue music and videos from YouTube and stream music from your cloud service (iTunes Match, Amazon Locker and Google Play) and ONE is upgradeable through the internet, so future updates from new developers will be a breeze.

Hand-built in the US with a $40 international shipping charge, this player, which is currently being crowdsourced on Indiegogo, starts at $399 with a July shipping date. These guys seriously have thought about the perfect network music player and have opened it up to the public to make it even better.

The Tech Spy gives this the Thumbs up!

The Olive One